Mikata, fellow guildie, feral-tree extraordinare, recent bear convert, and author of Resto-Melee along with everyone’s favorite Angry Healer and author of I Like Bubbles, Ambrosyne, have evidently dubbed me the guild’s Sugar Daddy. I suppose handing out large sums of gold to a few select guildies might have something to do with that.
My new title got me thinking though. When does helping others actually hurt?
The Sugar Daddy
I haven’t made it really well known to my guild that I have a glyph business, but I haven’t made it a secret either. The ones that know are primarily the ones that hang out in vent which isn’t many considering the number of guildies we currently have. And I don’t believe many guildies read my blog so I’m not too worried about letting the “secret” out. What has had me concerned was letting them know what I have done with my earnings.
A few weeks back I decided to help out the two main tanks in my guild, both of which are officers. In fact one’s the GM. I decided I’d purchase mats to craft both of them the craftable belt and boots that drop from Ulduar. (Seriously, I don’t know the name of my own gear what makes you think I’ll know a tank’s gear?) Obviously the largest expense for those recipes was the Runed Orbs. Each of them takes 6 for a total of 24 at an average of 800 gold a pop! (Thank goodness the price has dropped since then…) So just on the orbs I spent 19,200 gold roughly. I didn’t keep track then and I don’t know now how much total I spent on materials, nor do I even care. What’s important is I did it.
…Paved With Good Intentions
You’ll always find an exception, but generally I like to believe that the average person wants to help others in need. I know it’s a big part of why I enjoyed being an officer. But there’s a big difference between providing help and giving handouts.
One might say that I gave the tanks in my guild a handout. They didn’t have to do anything for it. But I say I helped out the tanks in my guild and I did it for two reasons neither which was completely unselfish.
One reason was to be friendly. It never hurts to suck up to the GM, right? Mach was pretty excited and happy, offering to buy me a drink if I ever get out his way. I may have said something about him being an expensive date and expected him to put out, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that.
The other reason, and definitely the stronger of the two, was I’ll admit a little more selfish. I wanted Ulduar progression. We were doing great in Ulduar-10, but I felt that this gear was going to make it ever so slightly better and anything that makes my healing job easier is a good investment. It wasn’t a handout because both tanks are excellent at tanking, already geared, and do their homework when it comes to knowing their class.
But the path to hell is paved with good intentions and sometimes it bites you in the ass.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Several weeks back I received a whisper from a guy proclaiming to be my nemesis. He wanted to know if we could strike up a deal. To be honest, I had no idea who he was, but apparently I was undercutting him several times one weekend and he was undercutting me soon after. I didn’t notice because I was dealing with hundreds of different glyphs where he was dealing with dozens. But after whispering me that first time, he’s occasionally struck up a conversation when I’m on.
The other day he started asking me if I used any auction add-ons. I told him Auctioneer and hesistated to tell him about Quick Auctions 2. In fact, I didn’t at first. He then told me he used to use it back in vanilla WoW and had used it back then. Evidently he had cancelled his account and hasn’t played for a very long time. Now he’s back and playing a mage making gold on the AH as he goes. He was averaging 400-500 gold/day and I think was struggling to really break out and make his mark.
After some random conversation and talking about the competition it was becoming obvious he was a little frustrated at the time it takes to post and repost and even hinted at leaving the market in the near future. I think he probably noticed I can usually log in, cancel, and repost glyphs in about 15 minutes. If it wasn’t for the damn mailbox I could do it faster.
Anyway, I felt bad for the guy. Let’s be honest, he wasn’t much of a threat to me because he doesn’t know all of the glyphs, he admitted to finding out about Books of Glyph Mastery just recently, and had no idea about trading inks in Dalaran until I told him. I did that because he had asked if I outbid him on some lotus, but I told him I only buy Adder’s Tongue, Lichbloom, and Icethorn. He wanted to know how I made other glyphs then. That’s when I started spilling a few secrets.
But now he’s becoming a little bit more of a competitor that will probably start eating into my profits. And now that it apparently has come back to bite me will I be willing to help out the next guy out?
Doing More Harm Than Good
The answer is more than likely. Some of you might be laughing at me since I just helped someone become a potential threat to myself and wondering why would I help create another competitor that’s only going to hurt me more? It sure as hell isn’t the goblin way to do things! That way tells me I should have let the guy quietly leave the market and have one less competitor. But I’m not a goblin.
I took someone that didn’t know something and pointed him in the right direction. I told him about Quick Auctions 2. He loves it! He can’t believe how easy it is to do auctions now. He watches the competition like a hawk and it’s kind of funny, but he made his first 1k in a day just recently and I couldn’t be happier for him.
There’s a difference between helping someone and giving them a handout. I helped this guy. He’s doing the rest on his own. He’s telling me about lower level epics he’s flipping for huge profits, something I’ve never been comfortable doing. If I had told him about QA2, trading inks, advantages of only milling the three herbs I mentioned, and he kept asking about the same things all the time, then that does more harm than good. That’s a player who’s more interested in someone telling them what to do all the time and doing nothing for themselves. Those people I have a problem with.
The Secret’s Out
At this point I’m not too worried about my guildies knowing what I do with my gold. I’m not going to broadcast it and the ones that do read my blog I’m sure won’t necessarily be announcing it either. But regardless I think I’m old enough to say “No” if necessary. It’s not like I will give gold to random people I don’t know; especially the ones that will take it and never run dailies again, spend it on vanity mounts/pets, and other frivolous items while not being gemmed, enchanted, or coming to raids prepared.
If someone’s already doing all that they can, I have no problem helping out with the little extra, pointing them in the right direction, or giving advice. It’s those that once they get a little and then fully expect to receive more, with no effort on their part, that turn our help into something harmful.