The tuxedo fits great. I was really, honestly surprised, at how good it feels to wear.
Waylan told me to keep my goggles. “They look good on you, and they hide your eyes. We’ll talk about how to use your eyes to fake people out later. But for now – keep the goggles.”
So I kept the goggles I’d crafted myself, while she wore a fashionable pair of ruby shades as we strolled along the canals around the Trade district. As we walked, Waylan talked and I listened.
Waylan is Cynwise’s factor, her agent in the cities who manages her affairs. There are a lot of factors in the various cities, from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of skills. They call themselves “bank alts,” a title they bear with pride, since they look at their role as supporting the work of the front-line fighters of Azeroth as hugely important. “We are the funds of war, make no mistake about it,” said Waylan.
Factors, sorry — bank alts — provide a necessary service to adventurers, and it’s not just quick access to the various Auction Houses. Their primary purpose is actually to be a postman, managing the flow of goods gathered by adventurers and storing, vendoring, or selling them.
Ultimately, your factor’s goal is seemingly simple: earn more money than your adventurer spends. If you do this for long enough, you acquire a lot of money. That means that you are looking at two variabes you can control — revenue (money you earn) and expenses (money you spend). When you take both into account — everything coming in minus everything going out — you have your net profit. If your net profit is positive, you’re adding money to your bank account. If your expenses exceed your revenue, you’re losing money.
Your bank alt is key to managing all this.
- Bank alts provide a natural curb to your spending habits. If you find you spending too much on your main, you can keep all of your money on your bank alt to curtail impulse spending. If you find your factor speculates too much in the market, you can limit their funds and store it in a guild bank or on your main.
- Bank alts provide additional storage. Your main characters have a lot of soulbound items that just can’t be moved to someone else, so all non-bound items can be stored with another character, either in their bank, in a dedicated guild bank, or in the mail system itself.
- Bank alts remove your adventuring persona from your mercantile self. This is not to say they give you the freedom to act like a dickwad, but rather that you can be totally neutral about your business dealings. Deal with everyone equally, without consideration for their raiding or PvP experience.
- While leveling, bank alts free you from having to have a hearthstone set to a major city. You can set your hearth to the inn in the zone you’re working in and use the mail system to transfer mats out of the zone.
- Bank alts let you be fashionable. You can put together the best outfits you want and never worry about how it will affect their performance.
I’m getting used to this idea of being a factor, er, bank alt. The clothes are definitely easier to wear than all that armor was.