Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WoW Wednesday: Managing Stuff

As you play WoW, you collect gear, but you also collect a lot of stuff, cramming it into your virtual bags as you go along. Everything from weeds to boots to flowers to drinks and so much more. Some of that stuff is useful to you. You can wear it or eat it or drink it or use it to make things with. But a lot of it just isn't. And it doesn't take before you have bags full of things that you just don't need. It's a lot like real life, really. We had a garage sale this past weekend, putting out a lot of the stuff we'd accumulated in our lives, trying to make a buck or two off it. And we did, but we had a good deal left over, some of which we hauled away to charity and some of which we posted on Freecycle. I'll say one thing, though, it's a lot easier to get rid of virtual stuff than real stuff. No right-clicking on an old sofa to sell it to a vendor in real life.

So, back to WoW and organizing stuff. Like managing your time in WoW, managing your stuff can help you enjoy the game more and spend less time figuring out where that thing is that you need and more time doing what you really want to do (kind of like real life). The default in WoW is to throw everything into your bags willy nilly, not organized at all. And there's not an easy way to sort through things. I can't tell you how many times when I first started playing that I got to a quest area and needed to use a specific item and couldn't find it. So annoying! Not only that, but you need to know what to get rid of and what to keep, and what might be worth selling on the Auction House and what can just be sold to a vendor. I have accidentally thrown out things that I needed and vended things that I could have gotten 10 times the gold for on the AH. Also annoying.

Luckily, there are a couple of addons that help. And sorry, there are no addons for real life. If there were, though, I'd totally get them. I use an addon called ArkInventory for managing my stuff. Instead of displaying your bags separately, it displays everything all in one big bag, organized into sections determined by how you configure it. So, I can put all my food in one area, jewelcrafting items in another, ore in another, and equipment somewhere else. I have never lost anything. ArkInventory also organizes your bank this way. Your bank is like the attic or the junk room in your house, where you store stuff you don't need to use that often.

There are other addons out there that I haven't tried, some of which tell you when you have all the materials to make things or what you're lacking, etc. If anyone has opinions on those, please feel free to comment.

Another way I manage my stuff is by periodically going through it and ditching things I don't need. But how to know what to sell where and for what price? For that, I use Auctioneer. I use this addon much more simplistically than I know some people do. You can track all kinds of things via this tool and price things very specifically. Mostly I use it as an easier and faster interface for selling things off. There's an Appraiser tab that shows up when you're at the Auction House and through that one can click on an item and Auctioneer will price it. If you have more than one of the item, with the click of a single button, you can post all those items for sale, even if they have to be posted one at a time and not in stacks of 5 or 10 or 20. That makes it really easy to clean out your bank and your bags. Auctioneer will also make recommendations about whether to post an item to the AH or sell it to a vendor. I've found that you have to take these with a grain of salt. It takes time, for example, to keep reposting an item to the AH, and if it's a common item or something without much of a markup, sometimes it just makes sense to sell it off quickly to a vendor. I've gotten to the point now where I can usually take 10 or 15 minutes and get everything sold off.

Now if only I could be this organized in real life.
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