Category Archives: wow

Mail Basics and Using CODs – end

End of my post about   Mail Basics and Using CODs

Delivery Times

  • Text only messages with no attachments arrive immediately

  • Mail sent to a character on the same account as the sending character will arrive immediately

  • Any mail, including those with attachments or money, sent between characters in the same guild will arrive immediately if the guild has the guild mail perk, awarded at guild level 17.

  • Without the guild mail perk, mail sent to a character on a different account from the sending character with items or money attached will take one hour to arrive.

  • Items purchased from the auction house arrive immediately in the buyers mail.

  • Money received from the auction house to the seller of an item takes one hour to arrive.

  • Returned mail arrives immediately

  • Money received from COD sales arrives immediately.

Cash on Delivery (CODs)

When you send mail with items attached, you have the option to require the mail recipient to pay an amount of gold for the items by selecting the COD check-box and entering the cost of the item or items.  You enter one total amount for all the items attached to the mail.

When a mail recipient opens the COD mail and attempts to take any of the attached items they will get a dialogue box asking them if they agree to pay.  If they do, the money will automatically be withdrawn from their gold total and sent to the sender/seller.

CODs are convenient for many uses.  Not only can you buy something from a seller in trade without either person traveling, you also don’t pay any auction house deposits or fees.  You can set up an ongoing deal with a materials farmer to send you everything they farm for a set price, and then not even be online at the same time.  And in conjunction with the guild mail perk, it’s a very convenient way to do business with guild mates since the mail is delivered immediately.

In the past there were issues with CODs being used in gold scams or for other under-handed purposes.  I’d rather not outline the tactics here.  But there have been changes made that make it pretty hard to take advantage with someone using COD.  As a seller you can be assured that you will either receive payment for your items or you will receive the items back within 3 days.  And as a buyer, you need to carefully review what is attached to the mail and what price the seller input before you accept the item — that dialogue box appears for your protection, so use it and don’t just click blindly !

Mail Basics and Using CODs

I think it was on an episode of Call to Auction that the hosts discussed the fact that a lot of players don’t understand how the COD mail system works, and therefore they are afraid to use it.  (By the way, Call to Auction is fantastic — I’m so glad they are back and I really hope they stick around and keep the ‘casts coming).

I’ve noticed this as well.  I don’t generally buy or sell in trade but occasionally I do respond to people selling things there.  And if I suggest a COD more often than not the person doesn’t want to do it.   Even though we’ve been playing the game a long time, some things have changed over time and we forget the details.  So I thought I’d provide a quick overview/review of the mail system basics, including how COD works.

In-Game Mail Basics

The exact size of your mail box “behind the scenes” is unknown outside of Blizzard best I can tell.  However many pieces of mail you have, a maximum of 50 are displayed at a time.  To see messages beyond the first 50, you have to remove (read and delete) some of the first 50 to make room, and re-open or refresh the mail box.

Unlike a lot of mail systems outside the game, you do not retain a copy of mail you send.  (There is no “sent items”).  There is also no way to recover deleted mail.  The system is designed for mail to serve its purpose and be removed promptly thereafter.

Mail Expiration Times

  • Normal mail expires in 30 days, after which the message is deleted
  • Mail with attachments expires in 30 day, after which the items are returned to the sender
  • COD messages expire in 3 days if not paid for, after which the items are returned to the sender
  • Returned messages and items will expire from the original sender’s mail after 30 days and be deleted.  (In other words, they will not bounce back and forth.)

I Hate WoW Achievements

As the title says, I hate WoW achievements.

Why ?

Because I enjoy PvP in WoW. Specifically, in battlegrounds. Yes, I’m sure that’s not hardcore enough for you leet gank groups that cut your teeth on the blood of the damned in Darkfall or blow up Titans in Eve with your tackler or whatever. I enjoy killing things, and WoW lets me do that and rewards me with points so I can buy new pants. It’s a win-win, usually.

I can’t play this week. Why ? Because Blizzard’s version of Children’s Week this week has, as a quest to unlock an achievement, capping flags in several popular battlegrounds.

Note : in a given game of Warsong Gulch or Arathi Basin, not everyone caps a flag. That’s not how the game is designed. It’s designed to be played as a cooperative team endeavor. In fact, everyone can’t cap a flag because only one person can at a time. And don’t even get me started about Eye of the Storm, because (a) the flag is in one spot where you are basically turned to paste anyway and (b) I play Alliance, and Alliance are never allowed to win Eye of the Storm. It’s in the rules. But hey! Someone thought it would be a brilliant idea to make an achievement for taking your little orphan sprog out to the battlegrounds, and spent about 3 minutes writing it up. Awesome.

WOWWOWWhich means, currently, battlegrounds in WoW currently consist of nothing but achievement hustlers, frantically trying to unlock the achievement in the one week open to them before next year so they can get their purple pulsating flying manhood compensator (the flying mount, the fastest in the game, that you get for unlocking all the event-based achievements) trying desperately to outclick other players in clicking a flag, regardless of what actually is going on around him. Or, even worse, the achievement for Warsong Gulch where you have to return a dropped flag. Which results in entire teams camped around their flag in the hope that one foolhardy opponent actually tries to play the game as intended.

This is monumentally retarded, and here’s why.

  • You don’t force people into PvP who don’t enjoy it. My god, this is basic MMO Design 101. Blizzard usually plays in the big leagues, and then goes and makes a junior varsity mistake like this that makes me wonder if the adult designers went on holiday this month. PvP is an entirely different playstyle. You incentivize it, you reward it, you don’t make it a requirement, and you especially don’t make it a requirement for achievement playstyles who are collecting achievements instead of, you know, doing PvP.
  • You don’t make single player achievements that screw over other players. I literally wonder if the designer who made this achievement ever set foot in a battleground, so disruptive is it to gameplay. This incentivizes players – who, thanks to the point above, are there even though they have no interest in the actual gameplay – to screw over their teammates and be the first to win the CLICK CLICK CLICKY contest to unlock their precious little dingy achievement unlocked window so they can stop trying to screw over their presumptive allies and go back to doing what they enjoy. This is not good design. This is not even bad design. This is incompetent design. Anything that rewards players for pissing off other players is incompetent design.

I know. It’s only for a week. At least they didn’t include my favorite BG for wow gold (though it seems awfully hard to queue for lately!) I should stop being a whiny …whatever the insult is for someone who just wants to kill people and right now wants nothing more than to kill his own presumptive allies (and lest we forget – I play Alliance. I *already* have a burning, unslaked desire to kill night elves) because Blizzard decided it’d be funny to direct the locust swarm of achievement whores through the wilds of PvP.

Wow : Cash Flow Positive Leveling

This is very relevant to me personally at the moment because like a lot of players I’m trying to level two more characters to level cap before Mists goes live.  Some aspects of leveling a new character are very different when it’s your first character versus your tenth.  But I firmly believe that in either case, one thing is always true : Leveling (even fast) does not have to cost you gold — you can make money while you level.


In fact, some ways to make gold are just plain less painful to do when you can multi-task and earn XP or profession skill at the same time.  Here are my key recommendations :

  1. Whatever you do in WoW, always have fun.
  2. If this isn’t your very first character (and for most I’m sure it’s not), send yourself a small gold stake to start.  You don’t need a lot, just enough to be able to train and repair whenever you want without thinking about gold.  1000g is plenty.  And send yourself or buy a few bags, of course.
  3. Use a simple addon  to track your incoming and outgoing gold.
  4. Use an addon  from the Auctioneer Suite to display vendor sell values in tooltips, and choose quest rewards accordingly.
  5. Don’t spend gold on gear.
  6. Choose primary professions to level with and don’t be afraid to change them later.  Many of the best professions to have at level cap are not the best ones to level with.  On top of that, power leveling most non-gathering professions when you are at level cap is pretty easy.
  7. Level secondary professions as you level.  The profession dailies in Shattrath, Dalaran, and the Cataclysm ones give good XP, gold, and the Cataclysm ones even give skill points for fishing and cooking.
  8. Exception to #5 — ignore Archeology until you have a flying mount.
  9. Go to the Faire! The Darkmoon Faire profession quests give good XP, gold, and +5 skill points each week the faire is open for each primary and secondary professions.
  10. Watch out for skills falling behind your level.  Now that the XP required to level has been reduced, it’s easy to get behind and find your skinner unable to skin your kills as you quest at level.  Don’t let that happen to you.
  11. Take time to gather and sell low level materials.  This goes for herbs, ore, and leather if you have those professions, and dropped items like cloth. Use these items in your main gold making business if you can.

There are no absolutely right or wrong choices for class, race, professions, or leveling method.  The first point above applies here, choose something you find fun.  What has worked for me lately is to take herbalism on all my levelers, because I’m a scribe.  I funnel those materials into my main business.  For a second profession I either choose another gathering profession (mining or skinning) or a profession with a profitable cooldown like alchemy, which just happens to go well with herbalism.  (Alchemy is trivial to power level, but the materials required aren’t always available on every auction house.)

Another choice would be to level a profession that has some kind of timed gates to getting recipes, like jewel crafting or inscription.  These profession force you to do quests or research once per day to get all the “stuff”, so it makes them harder to level later, but still not impossible.

“But wait” you say, “I just want to power level to cap then I’ll worry about gold.”  It may be true the absolutely fastest way to level is to ignore gold, and if you really want and need to do that, ok.  But most people just don’t level as fast as possible, even if they say they will.  You can level just as fast or faster than most and still make money easily.  In addition, if you ignore gold while you level you are missing the opportunity forever.  So look out for losing gold while you level — you don’t have to.