366 Days of Tools
Last Spring, I looked around for a project I could do to contribute to the LOTRO community. Crafting is a big part of the game and I enjoy it. I have often made crafting tools for players that need them, and I noticed that the Auction House never had many available. I decided to try making tools more available on AH to help starting and low-level crafters.
At the time, I didn’t know what the demand might be. Perhaps the reason there were few sellers was that there were few buyers. It turned out there was a consistent demand, and after 366 days of selling an average of 11 toolsets per day, I recently sold my 4,000th toolset!
Every crafter deserves Superior Tools
Starting with Helm’s Deep Update 12, lower-level crafters have been able to use vocation-specific toolsets, which replace the separate tools that their three professions use. This saves two inventory slots for the tools you aren’t using at the time, and avoids having to switch tools when you do something using a different one of your professions. When you complete the initial crafting quests, you get the three different tools for your vocation, and suppliers sell only a little better version of those tools.
The toolsets that can be crafted provide bonuses, increasing the crit percentage or making crafting go faster. The crit versions, called Superior Tools, provide better bonuses and are more durable, so need repairs less often. Toolsets are crafted by metalsmiths. I had noticed that they were not commonly available on the Auction House. I decided to try making them more accessible, although I had no idea what the demand might be.
There are 7 vocations (Armourer, Armsman, Explorer, Historian, Tinker, Woodsman, and Yeoman). A VIP character has 30 slots available for selling on AH, so I decided to start with the first four crafting levels: Apprentice, with no minimum level; Journeyman, level 13; Expert, level 25; and Artisan, level 35. The ideal would be to have one those 28 possibilities available on AH at all times.
Tools are made from ingots, usually refined (for example, steel instead of iron). They also require some vendor-purchased ingredients such as a short ash shaft. The chances of a crit are increased by a crit ingredient, the appropriate level of brimstone. Using crit items, my metalsmith has a 70% chance of making the Superior version. Because of the limited number of AH slots, I decided to sell only the Superior ones and vendor the non-crits.
I started selling tools using extra mats I had accumulated, but soon realized the demand was higher than I expected. I needed to be able to buy ore or ingots and crit items on AH if I were going to continue doing it for a while. As I learned selling dyes, if you check AH regularly, you can on occasion find mats at reasonable prices, even if they are unavailable or too expensive most of the time. After a week, I adjusted prices so I can purchase mats when they are available cheaply enough and still break even over the long run.
Because I am making 28 different kinds of tools and they don’t stack, it isn’t practical to make the tools in advance. The recipes are all different, using 2 or 3 vendor ingredients in addition to ingots and the crit item. As a VIP, I can read mail even while standing at the forge. I check my mail there and when I read a message saying that one was sold, I immediately make another one of that type. When I’ve cleared my mailbox, I go to the auctioneer and post the replacement items, then check for any bargains on the mats I need.
I started this as a public service rather than to make money. I wanted to break even, and since I couldn’t afford the time to get all the mats I needed, I had to charge based on the cost of mats on AH. After a few weeks, I set my prices as follows:
They almost always sell for the buyout price. Occasionally, someone will buy multiple tiers of the same vocation. (I assume when I see two or more tiers of the same vocation bought in the same minute that it is someone planning ahead.)
Gross sales for the year have been about 1,500 g. My metalsmith has about the same amount of gold as when I started, so I am breaking even. I have accumulated enough mats for a few weeks so I can wait to buy mats when they are affordable.
4000 Toolsets and Counting
It has now been over a year since I started. After some adjustments, I got to the point where I could sign on to my metalsmith once a day for a few minutes to repost any tools that didn’t sell, make replacements for those that did sell, and look for any available mats at reasonable prices.
As of the end of April, after 366 days of selling tools, I have sold over 4,000 toolsets, an average of a little over 11 per day pretty consistently. All four tiers and all seven vocations sell regularly.
Here is the breakdown by tiers:
Here is the breakdown by vocations:
These numbers may not reflect to true total demand. If the particular set has already sold for that day, someone might not find the tools they need. Of course, there have been some other sellers as well.
Just for fun, I started tracking the crits, which are nominally 70%. I have gotten 3,691 crits in 5,250 tries, which is 70.11%. The longest crit streak was 26 in a row over three days. The longest miss streak was 6. Like most crafters, if I get all 11 crits on a typical day, that just seems normal, but if I get 4 misses in a row, I'm ready to /bug it!
Over the year, there have been other sellers but none for an extended period of time. I would be happy if there were other sellers. Since my goal is to have the tools available for the players who need them, it would be great if other people were helping to fill the demand.
I plan to continue making tools for the foreseeable future. If you’re interested in contributing to the project or cooperating in making tools available to crafters, contact Varmentor on Landroval. Because
Every Crafter Deserves Superior Tools!
by Michaleo on 2016-05-27 02:39:35