Saturday, 8 February 2014

Making Gold in WoW - A Newbies Guide.

When I started playing World of Warcraft last year, I came from a long history of playing Eve Online. A massive part of Eve for me was the manufacturing and mining sides of Eve - I was the stereotypical "carebear" player in Eve. The parts of the game that I found most fun were things like playing the markets, mining space rocks and making large sums of ISK. WoW also has those aspects, albeit a little more involved than Eve's crafting system. However as a new player, I had no idea how to tap into WoW's auctions, crafting and loot systems to make gold in the game. As I have progressed in the game, certain things became apparent, and I am going to do my best to write them from the point of view of the newbie to the game. This list is not going to include every possible way to make money in the game, as that list would be impossibly long and very hard to judge per server. So let's jump into the world of gold making in WoW.

Disclaimer: The following list should be read as going from easiest to hardest all the way down. Please don't take it as the be all and end all of making gold. There are literally thousands of ways to make gold that people have found.

Sell on the Auction House:

The Auction House in WoW is a very powerful way to make gold, and any serious gold maker will spend more time standing in front of the auctioneers in the major cities than they do anywhere else in the game. But that doesn't mean that you have to spend every waking moment checking auctions to make money there. While leveling my first character I made a mistake by selling everything to NPC vendors, and as I realised later I could have made a fair bit more gold from selling green items and blue items, low level crafting mats and other items.

Don't be afraid to put low level green items up on the AH. People starting new characters will often buy green items for their characters to fill slots they don't have BoA heirloom items for. People leveling enchanting will also buy gear to disenchant, or even enchant, if they need something quickly. If you don't plan on leveling your professions right away, you could also sell cloth, cooking ingredients and reagents on the AH. Experiment with what sells on your realm, as results in certain items may vary. For example on my realm cloth is a sure seller, but ingredients are not. And the best part about all of this? Your character doesn't need to be at max level to take advantage of all of these things.

Run Old Instances:

If you don't like crafting, then the absolute best way to make gold on your own is running old raids and dungeons. Now while a max level character is not required to do this, having one that is max level and reasonably geared will make the entire process that much faster. I personally love to run AQ20 whenever I can as the effort required there is minimal, and the rewards from the grey and soulbound items can yield between 200 to 500 gold every run for around 10 mins of my time.

Another big advantage of running old raids and dungeons is the pet, mount and BoE (bind on equip) items you can get. The mounts are nice to have if they drop, and there are some really rare mounts out there that drop from raids. Both pets and BoE items should be sold in the AH (unless you want to keep them of course), to maximize profits. Again you will need to do some experimenting to see what sells on the AH and vendor everything else.

Carrying Others:

Probably the one I know the least about as far as making money off it, but I know of others who make money from carrying people through dungeons and arena PVP. While the dungeon one may not be as interesting with the LFG tool, you can still ask newbies in trade or local if they want to join you when you run old dungeons for a small fee. If you get the PVP bug, people will often pay to get carried through PVP, paying per win. A friend I have in game makes around 100 - 150 gold per win and will easily make 1500 gold in an evening of play.

Gathering Professions:

Now we get into the more involved part of making gold - anything involving professions requires a bit of an investment in time and gold to get started in. With gathering professions however, your gold investment is minimal, and you can sell most of what you gather straight away. The three gathering professions in WoW are Mining, Herbalism and Skinning. Introduced in Mists of Pandaria was the ability to level Mining and Herbalism in Pandaria. For example, you can mine Ghost Iron Ore nodes to get Ghost Iron Nuggets and then ten of these are combined to make a single complete ore. This has made it a lot easier to level both of these professions if you are already at level 90. Skinning is a little more annoying to get to max level as it requires you starting out by killing lower level mobs and skinning them. As your skill gets higher, so will the level of the mobs you need to kill to level it.

Making money from these professions is as easy as filling your bags with the items and selling them on the AH. Do not for any reason vendor these items, as you will make more money on the AH even on a day where prices are down. With mining, you may want to look at smelting the ore into bars, depending on the demand for bars on your server. Raw ores are used by Jewelcrafters, who form a large portion of those who are making large amounts of gold, so demand for raw ore may be higher for your realm depending on the population.

Crafting Professions:

When you become truly serious about making gold, crafting professions are a must. While I'm sure there are people who make gold without using the major crafting professions, at a certain point using those professions makes the whole process of making gold a lot easier. The different professions are as follows:

Jewelcrafting: In my opinion the most important crafting profession for making gold, Jewelcrafting involves making gems to be slotted in gear as well as trinkets, necks and weapons for people to use. Obtaining gems is done by prospecting raw ore, consuming 5 ore each time. The number of gems you get each time is random, but in my experience an average would be two. Combine Jewelcrafting with mining if you are playing around with one character and you will have a good way to make money easily.

Enchanting: Also a good one to use for making gold, enchanting does exactly what it says: you enchant gear to make it better. This can be done either by enchanting the item directly, or applying the enchant to a vellum (an item made with Inscription) to store or sell it. Enchanting is interesting for gold makers, as it allows us to perform something called the shuffle. I will go more into the shuffle later on in this post. The best part about enchanting is that it doesn't rely on any other professions to do what you need to do. Mats for enchanting are obtained by disenchanting gear of green quality or higher. The quality of the mats you obtain will vary depending on the quality and level of the gear. The biggest downside to enchanting is how hard it is to level. To gather the mats yourself will take a fair amount of time, and buying them off the AH becomes very expensive (at least in my experience). The investment here is well worth it when it comes to making gold.

Alchemy: Oh how I love Alchemy. I really wish I had taken Alchemy earlier in WoW. Best used to support your other professions, Alchemy is used to make potions, flasks and elixirs. These are used in both raiding and PVP, and as such are in constant demand from those who do not have a character who makes them. However its most powerful usage is the various Transmute spells you get with it. These abilities allow you to take a number of a common crafting item and make a rare crafting item with them. As an example, you can take ten Ghost Iron Bars and make one rare Trillium Bar. You can then take six Trillium Bars and make one Living Steel Bar. Alchemists make a lot of money by making these items that other professions need to craft their items. If you are going to be serious about gold making - and I mean with multiple characters, at least one should be an Alchemist, and any spare profession slot should be taken up with Alchemy.

Inscription: Do you love writing as much as I do? Then become a scribe today with Inscription! A really strange profession in my opinion, Inscription allows you to make a wide variety of things ranging from glyphs, Darkmoon Faire cards, vellums, weapons, buff scrolls, inscription enchants and Dust of Disappearance. Scribes will use the ability milling on herbs in much the same way a Jewelcrafter will use prospecting on ores to obtain the crafting mats used in the profession. Inscription shines whenever the Darkmoon Faire is on, as they can craft the Darkmoon cards that people will collect for reputation with Darkmoon Faire. I personally don't like inscription (kind of ironic considering how much I love to write), but I can see the appeal of being able to do so much with one profession.

Tailoring: Moving on to the more traditional crafters, Tailors make cloth armour, bags, and an item enhancement called spellthread. Bags are particularly important for making gold, as small to medium bags will be used for new alts, large bags for main characters and profession specific bags for crafters. Tailors can also make cloth armour for mages, warlocks and priests for both PVE and PVP situations. These may not sell on the AH as often on your realm, but advertising availability may net you a few sales face to face. Bags to me seem like the easiest bet to make money however.

Leatherworking: Much like Tailoring, Leatherworking allows you to make armour in both leather and mail, bags, a type of enchant called armour kits and a buffing item called a drum. The bags that can be made are almost all aimed at professions (mining, inscription and leatherworking to be specific). The big things are armours you can make to suit hunters, shamans, monks, rogues and druids as well as the awesome Drums of Rage item that gives you a bloodlust style buff. Combine with Skinning to make that character self contained and you are good to go.

Blacksmithing: The plate armour crafting profession, Blacksmiths can make really good gear (both armour and weapons) for those looking to get into raiding and need a gear boost. You may find your realm has really good sales of these items, or you may find it is dead for this sort of stuff. Also expect to find the demand for items waning as the current content gets older; when people are geared up they are no longer looking to buy that piece that never drops to fill a hole in their set. The beauty of Blacksmithing is the amount of gold you make per item. I've seen pieces go for 15,000 gold or more. If you are keen on being a smith, take mining to go along with it.

Engineering: Last but definitely not least, and my favorite profession, is Engineering. From a gold making point of view, Engineering is probably the hardest to make money with. That's not to say that you can't make money with it, you just have limited options when it comes to what you can sell vs what you can only use yourself. Engineers can make guns, scopes for those guns (they act like an enchant), pets and mounts, and some armour. They also make tinkers gears, which act like a gem that sockets into the cogwheel sockets found on the items they make. There are a couple of other items that sell well such as the Thermal Anvil (a forge and anvil all in one that you can place), the Mist Piercing Goggles for miners and herbalists out there and the 36 slot cooking bag "Advanced Refrigeration Unit". Honestly though, the draw for Engineering comes from all the cool stuff you can do, like having a glider/parachute, walking on water, firing rockets, using rocket boots and having some cool flying mounts. Take it on your main, and do money making on an alt. Trust me, you'll thank me for it.

If you want to make money on one character, my recommendation is take Mining and Jewelcrafting. Gems are always in need as people upgrade armour, gear alts or start playing. You can mine your own ore so there is no real outlay of gold going out, meaning you can sell gems for slightly cheaper than those who buy ore off of the AH and still make reasonable gold.

If you have the option of a couple of alts, take Mining and Herbalism on one alt, so you can gather on it. Then take Jewelcrafting and Enchanting together (I'll explain this later). Then Alchemy and Inscription or Tailoring depending on what you feel will sell better - I prefer Tailoring as Bags are a fantastic market. After that it's just a matter of taking one of the remaining professions and Alchemy until you are happy with what you have (either in number of characters, or money coming in).

The Shuffle:

The mysterious Shuffle I keep mentioning, is an advanced gold making technique that involves using Jewelcrafting and Enchanting to turn ore into more gold than you would have gotten from the ore on the AH. No seriously. There are also versions of this that use Alchemy to add even more profit by transmuting uncommon gems into rare gems.

The basic flow chart of the Shuffle starts with ore. In Mists of Pandaria, Ghost Iron Ore seems to be the best option, although Kyparite ore is a very good alternative. You would prospect that ore into gems. A portion of those gems are sold, either cut or uncut on the AH. Alongside that you craft the rest of the gems into jewellery that can be sold if they sell well (ie: better profit then what comes after). If they do not, then you disenchant them. These enchanting mats are then either sold, or used to make enchants that are then sold. It's pretty simple right?

The hardest part of the shuffle is obtaining enough ore to make it all worthwhile. Most people who do the Shuffle buy their ore of the AH from people who farm it. Some people take advantage of this by setting up a deal with one of the people doing this for a constant supply of ore at a set price per stack. Others (like myself) like farming the ore themselves, although they are rare and usually just starting out in gold making.

All that's left after this is to work out what market works best on your realm. If the market is flooded with Enchanting mats, then you may want to focus more on the Jewelcrafting side of the Shuffle. If your realm is swimming in gems, then the Enchanting side is best. You may find it more profitable to sell raw gems rather than cut them, or it might be better to sell the enchants than the mats for enchanting. Experimentation is key here to find exactly what works for you on your realm. Whatever you find works, stick with it, and take advantage of whatever markets seem to be best at the time. Be prepared for competition and to bail if the market for your items fails and prices get too low to still be profitable.

To truly be profitable in the Shuffle requires a sizable investment in time. Getting addons such as TradeSkillMaster (TSM), finding guides on how to set them up and working out what markets work best for you will take time. Don't be afraid to make this investment. It will pay off in the long run when you are swimming around in gold coins.


There are so many more ways to make gold than the ones I have mentioned here, and finding a way to make gold is almost as fun as finding the best way to down a boss. The average WoW player won't attempt something as hardcore as the Shuffle when trying to make gold, but making gold from old raids and instances can in some cases be even more fun to do. If you really do get into gold making, find guides on the various addons that are at your disposal to help you make gold. It will pay off.

As always...


1 comment:

  1. All very valid ways of making a good profit in game!
    Personally having always been an enchanter and a miner I made most of my gold farming ore or smashing through old raids.
    It wasnt until years into my gameplay when I finally had multiple characters at max level with every profession under my belt that I switched to the very time consuming SHUFFLE and my god it was amazing, i went from maybe just maybe making a couple of thousand gold a day from hour and hours of farming to planting myself infront of the auction house with my JC/Chanter for hours on end.
    Best thing about it was yes it took a couple of hours to prep all the mats to sell but once they were posted i could simply log onto an alt and enjoy other types of gameplay, then logging back over every couple of hours to see how things were going I would find myself making thousands of gold for a couple of hours of trivial cutting/enchanting.
    To the point where I was making upwards of 10k while I slept and able to help out my friends by just giving away the excess gold I had.
    Tetris was lucky enough to be one of my guild mates and getting the free gold to help buy heirlooms and such just to help him progress that little bit faster.
    It got to the point that I mainly played the game to rape the ingame market and make tons of gold.

    NOTE: Be careful spending so much time infront of the auction house and simply giving away your gold as my account was CLOSED permanently for "Selling ingame currency" and "exploiting the economy" so stay safe and only inflate the prices when needed!
    Slash Out