Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Shuffle Lives On

Many claim that the shuffle is dead as of the patch, even I said so. But after watching the markets since then and giving a bit more thought on the matter, I don't think that's entirely correct. I honestly believe that the shuffle is down, but not out. Not for now at least. Why do I think that? Because you can still profit from prospecting ore and if you can do that then you can shuffle. You just have to be very mindful now instead of smashing your face against your prospect macro.

Bottom line points on the shuffle:

  • It still works
  • Requires JC, xmute alchemy, and enchanting
  • No longer free money
  • All mats and gems are an investment at an "assumed" vendor price
  • There is no vendor everything safety net
  • You must exploit every aspect of the shuffle to profit
  • Continues to fuel several markets with huge cuts on costs

I'm going to be covering how the shuffle is still clinging to life today by giving several examples of how you can profit from it in the same way. First thing to point out is the new floor price of 30g per stack of ore. That's the new vendor everything and profit price range. Before 4.1 you would ask "how much should I vendor" where as today you will ask "should I vendor?" To be honest, I feel a little guilty writing this entry because it feels like fake content in a way because things are mostly the same. But it's the "mostly" part that is pushing me to write this up.

The things that are the same are, well, everything minus the cut uncommon gems step. Buy a ton of ore, prospect, vendor useless greens, DE stuff, so on and so forth. The primary difference is what pricing points you put on gems, enchanting mats, metas, and what you intend to do with them all. Also the main thing to keep in mind is that with probably 90% of the people that were shuffling ore totally gone there isn't a flood of gems anymore and there won't be again if things stay the same.

So bearing that in mind the obvious price increases have happened and are compounded by the increased demand. All supplies are drying up fast, even mine. So that means that if you can outlast the competition you're going to be in a happy place.

Assuming a stack of ore sells for 40g, you'll get no less than 4 common gems but it will average out to 5 and a fraction of a rare. I believe it's 1 rare per 3 stacks of elementium ore? In any case, 2g per ore makes 10g per prospect and that translates into paying 10g per common gem. That's only a single coin more than before the patch that they were all valued at anyways, but the difference this time is that you can't get that money back from a vendor. This assigned value is an investment that must turn a profit in and of itself or you lose your money. So what do we have available to us that can use the same pricing method of a 10g common gem?


Once you factor in the vendor price of the rares and xmute spec, you're looking at around maybe 7-8g or so per common. This gives you a lot of wiggle room where most of the other JC's out there have none. You DO have xmute spec don't you? Good I thought so, you're learning! So at somewhere around 40-45g per stack of ore, the method of shuffling ore with the intent of crafting meta gems has not changed what so ever.

On my server these are now selling for at the lowest price of 150g with a top price of 500, but lets go with a more realistic price of 200g across the board. That turns the shuffle into a 160g profit for every set of gems you put together with a very healthy market and a reliable customer base. Meta gem sales were great before the patch and now they're even better with the increase of demand. Once the demand simmers down the lack of competition will compensate for that thus keeping this an extremely profitable market to be in.

So 10g (ish) per common gem, what else can we do to match that up from before? Disenchanting. The biggest change here is based entirely on how the enchanting material prices are shifting on your server. The only real thing that I can say here is that if they have gone up you can safely shuffle for DE mats to sell as is.

Ok I think that's enough of that. What's the purpose to stating all of the above? The simple fact that at 40g per stack of ore you can continue to shuffle to your heart's content but without a safety net. In other words, don't buy 9000 stacks of ore, only buy it as it becomes available or as you need it. But what can we do now? Ore prices are likely still in flux right now, I know they are for me. But I haven't mentioned rare gems. This is where things get tricky. If you assume selling the average rare gem for 50g then the shuffle is alive and well just as it was before even at 50g or so per stack of ore.

We can still make metas, we can still get easy DE mats, and we can still sell rare gems for great prices. The only change is that none of this is free and your threshold has to be above the vendor price. The short version of all of this is if you add 15g to the vendor price of anything you get from the shuffle and sell it all at that price, you're going to profit no matter how much you do it.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Metas and DEing was how I shuffled my Elementium (Obsidian was hardly available and barely worth prospecting when it was available) and I stopped playing weeks before 410. One thing that made this easier is that my JC is also a transmute spec alchemist with all PvE meta cuts. I stockpiled good amounts of raw meta and rare gems before letting my sub expire so I have something quick, easy and profitable - even now - to return to.

  2. First off 90% of the shufflers aren't gone - unless 90% of the suppliers have also gone simultaneously. At least on my server (Boulderfist-US) prices for obsidian ore fluctuate at about the same price as they did before the patch, maybe with a slightly lower overall cap. It could hit 50g before, now I see it hit 40 before hitting the same floor at about 30ish gold.

    Second (again, at least on my server) enchanting scrolls seems to be a big loss compared to the raw mats market. Individual Celestial essences are selling at upwards of 70g apiece and holds remarkably steady. Hypnotic dust however fluctuates ridiculously and can bottom out at about 3g apiece, which means that enchanters desperate to get rid of their wares will craft tons of scrolls and this has pretty much permanently crashed the scroll market.

    Anyone here bother crafting Carnelian Spikes? I'd love to transmute my carnelians into nferno rubies but I'm getting charged 150g per stack of heartblossom so it's not feasable.

    Now, anyone in a high level guild with the 'Bountiful Bags' guild perk active might have noticed something when they disenchant carnelian spikes. It's been my experience that it NEVER procs on them. I've procced extra maelstroms, shards, lesser shards, dusts... but never extra essences from carnelian spikes specifically. I have a theory that this is what is contributing to the overabundance of hypnotic dusts on the market.

    Anyways I know all this is kind of an aside, but I just wanted to throw in a 'caveat emptor' on the obsidium shuffle vis a vis the enchanting market. Your milage will vary based on server of course.

  3. Just to clarify my last point about how I think carnelian spikes not proccing celestial essences is 'contributing' to the overabundance of hypnotics... I meant that in the sense that there is an intended balance somewhere with regard to the proportion of essences to dusts that should ever be in existence at one point or another such that neither resource is too abundant relative to the other. Don't forget, either, that with the nerf to gems vendoring, the Jasper market has likely further inundated the hypnotic dust market as it only requires one jasper to create a jasper ring. Bountiful bags compounds the imbalance further.

  4. On my server I am picking up ore for under 30g a stack regularly. I'm still vendor shuffling. Anyone else have a server like this?

  5. Couple of nitpicks.. for green quality gems, please call them uncommon, not common. :)
    also i think there is a typo in your "I believe it's 1 rare per 3 stacks of elementium ore?", this should be obsidium. correct? as Elementium is 3 - 4 rares per stack.
    sorry for the nitpicking,.. :-! love the site and a longtime reader (dare i say close to the beginning)

    Have to post anony, as IE6 messing up on me.

  6. @Avlox.

    Elementium is around a 25% chance of a rare on prospect, so definitely not 3-4 rares a stack, more like 1 rare on average.

    Personally i'm still doing the shuffle and transmuting Carnelians to Infernos, at 60g a stack for Heartblossom it's definitely worth it.


  7. My server's price for obsidium is about 25g/stack, so it's not worth the effort to just vendor the gems, but I fear I'm flooding the dust and essence market...

  8. Heartblossom on my realms is down to 25g a stack so I'd be crazy not to transmute. Inferno Ruby and associated cuts sell around 90ish.

  9. My server is still in vendor fallback range big time as well, I've picked up 7k Elementium ore for under 1g per ore in the last week, stockpiling most of it though for now as it will be always worth more than I paid for it. Been getting some Obsidium for under 25g a stack, but not much.

    The main downside is prices of every stage after are much lower, uncut infernos are 40-60g, cut 50-80 (if your lucky). Uncut Shadowspirit are sub 100g, cut's fluctuate 100g-220g all the time.

    Dust was down to 3g last night, essences 30g, though essences have a habit of fluctuating up to 50 then back down again quite a lot.

    It appears our major farmers/bots favour ore more than herbs though, as most herbs stay steady in price, with Heartblossom generally 3-4g per plant, so that put's transmutation out of the window except for the rare times it appears a few stacks for lower.