A couple of weeks ago I decided to try something a little different with my play time. I’ve had a low level alt on the US Servers for a while now but I’ve never given the process of leveling the consideration it deserved. This was mostly to do with the fact that because I’m EU based I started with no money at all and really didn’t want to have to buy a WoW Token to obtain any. I wondered how easy it might be to begin playing with nothing, and so the Great Warcraft Gold Experiment was born.
Having played this game for eleven years now, I would like to think that I have at least learned the basics about how this entire process works. A couple of weeks in, things are looking very rosy indeed. The great Warcraft Gold Experiment has been a resounding success. As such, I have decided that this week I won’t just talk about how to make money in World of Warcraft from scratch, but I’ll give you a few general tips as we wait for Legion to drop.
There’s this general background moan from a lot of people I see that proclaims ‘oh but I don’t make money quickly in Warcraft’ which can be true, to a point. Sometimes there has to be some actual effort placed into the equation to elicit a tangible reward. That’s always been the case, right back since the early days of this MMO and it’s not about to change any time soon. The difference between here and now is that if you’re clever, the actual amount of work can indeed be kept to an absolute minimum. And if you are adverse to add-on overuse, you need never even go near an Auction House. Of course, the best cash is to be had doing just that but I digress. Let’s give you five simple and stress free ways to keep your coffers full and your toons in a constant supply of Transmog outfits.
1. Sell Everything that’s Not Nailed Down
This is the oldest and most trusted method in the book. The basic principle is horrendously simple: if you kill a mob anywhere, it will drop stuff, which you can then simply sell to a vendor for CASH. That’s all there is to it. The trick, of course, is which mobs you pick.
Once upon a time you would spend stupid amounts of time in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms during Pandaria because killing the Mogu there meant an awful lot of different things would drop, and ALL of them didn’t have a value to someone. Some you’d sell, some you’d stick on the Auction House and once in a while a shard would drop which, if you were clever, you could exchange for tens of thousands of gold via a mount.
These days, your options for killing things have never been wider, and the amount of stuff you can do with things is pretty much as large as a politician’s ego. Oddly, despite Blizzard’s best efforts to standardize the Profession’s ‘grind’ via Garrisons, old world crafting mats still sell for stupid amounts of money. This includes leather, the preserve of skinners from Booty Bay to Darnassus, and there’s never been a better time to pick up your knife and throw yourself into the fray. Hell, in the great Warcraft Gold Experiment you no longer even need the knife, but should you have one it’s +10 to your skill.
A lot has changed since I started out, and being able to skin in Tanaan at L100 with a skill of 1 still takes a bit of getting used to. Needless to say, if you’re killing an animal that drops stuff to sell, you really ought to be skinning it because there’s a good chance its carcass is worth more in the long run. Trust me, when Legion hits? You’ll want to be maxed. That’s where the real money is in the opening weeks of any Expansion.
2. Legacy Content Makes Money
Hot on the heels of the above comes the understanding that if you choose to kill things within Instances, the value of the things that mobs drop becomes more significant. There may only be a particular number of items per week, but the significance of these for vendoring/selling becomes quite a bit more once you start killing everything, and across more than one Instance.
I’m not talking about stuff that’s relatively current either. Instances such as 25 man Icecrown Citadel and Trial of the Crusader in Northrend offer decent returns for a weekly biff at them, plus there is also the opportunity to pick up Achievements, patterns and rare items. Even making a trip to AQ20 in Silithus, or indeed AQ40, opens up the possibility of BoE Transmog items that will have increasing value to more players once collecting such items for your wardrobe becomes a reality.
This won’t be news to a lot of you, of course, who like me have been doing this religiously for years. However, to those of you who keep complaining that they don’t have any gold? You don’t even have to do a Raid to make cash. Farming 5 mans from Burning Crusade content onwards has the potential to net Transmog sales and stuff that’s just as likely to sell for big bucks in the long run, knowing what Legion has in store. Also? You can earn Reputation in Dungeons and if you want the 25 Tabards reward for your wardrobe, you’ll need to get Exalted with a few factions to make that happen.
So start planning for Legion today! Use your great Warcraft Gold Experiment to kill many Pepe’s with one stone! (Editor’s note: No Pepe’s were harmed in the making of this article)
3. Get Lucky
This one is going to involve the use of an Auction House addon and a basic understanding of your server’s economy, and as such won’t be for everybody. However, when this one works? BOY does it work.
Flashback to last weekend when I was farming in Stranglethorn on my highest leveled US alt when possibly one of the rarest vanity pets in-game dropped into my lap. It was UTTERLY unexpected, and once I’d stopped squealing with delight, there was much checking of website prices to work out how much I could make from it. In the end, I sold it to somebody on another server (see Point 4) and that gave me a lovely nest-egg to start making further gold. You see, the thing with the great Warcraft Gold Experiment is that it doesn’t matter where I make the money, because once you know how to shuffle cash, that’s never the problem.
I will reiterate that Transmog items may end up being the best way to get lucky long term because of the enormous number of 1-60 rare spawns in Azeroth that drop armor that is only on their loot tables. Some of these items are so rare in fact that you could see a four or five figure sum on the right server just for sticking them in Trade. If you really do detest the Auction House, you could do a lot worse than a quick post in the Trade channel, especially during busy times during evenings and weekends. If I can sell a parrot for 25,000g via Twitter, anything is possible. And I’ll now wait to be told I was too cheap and could have made an extra 5k gold. C’est la vie.
4. Do the Pet Cage Shuffle
This is possibly the most impressive way to make fast, easy gold on any server, anywhere. However, it requires you having something to sell to begin with (see my parrot above) or to at least have some gold that you can use to procure the right items.
The principle is simple: only certain vanity pets can be caged and sold, but once learned, you can cage them on any character on any server in your region, regardless of faction. That means I can buy a cheap Living Sandling on Server A and then learn it before going to Server B, re-caging it and then reselling it at a higher price. It is simple economics, and it allows for players with the ability to play markets effectively to pretty much clean up. Blizzard has recently changed the rules regarding how much gold you can transfer on server migration but that’s largely academic if you buy into vanity pets and then just move your character.This remains the best way, in my opinion, to make long term cash, though there will be those that argue it’s only one of many approaches to the problem.
With the glut of vanity pets that has emerged in Warlords of Draenor, I sense a lot of people will be hoarding certain items for resale in Legion, especially considering the number of potentially new players that may arrive in the next few months on the back of MOVIE HYPE. Mostly, leveling at least one pet to 25 will give you access to possibly greater rewards in time because maxed pets undoubtedly sell for more over time. Trust me, that is a market that’s not going away any time soon.
5. The Whole Kit and Kaboodle
Finally, if you are the kind of person who enjoys box sets, ensembles, and buying huge bulk packs of anything, this one is for you, because believe it or not there are still niches on most servers being left shamelessly unexploited. You just gotta find them. Perhaps in your great Warcraft Gold Experiment it will be about offering a complete kit to level a trade skill to maximum. Perhaps with Transmog changes just around the corner you can pull out a complete set of co-ordinated low level armor. However you want to do it, selling a pre-made package can net some decent gold.
On the flip side, buying in bulk and flipping and/or crafting stuff for a profit is the oldest gold-making trick in the book. As more people come back to the game, you will always be able to sell upgrade armor items, enchants and gems… you name it, there’s a market for resale. The key is making sure you pick a market that’s not overly saturated, and you work for your cash. Because of all the methods detailed, this one requires thought and some kind of rudimentary organization. It’s not just about killing stuff and selling what drops. So if you like your gold in process and effort? This one’s for you.
You may note that I’ve not mentioned the single biggest money maker in the game at all in this post. When Garrisons vanish (and that might be sooner than you think) all of their lovely gold-producing awesome goes with them, but all of these methods will remain as safe and efficient alternatives. So, if you are relying on Draenor right now to keep you in food and consumables, it might be time for a rethink. The great Warcraft Gold Experiment will rumble on wherever there’s the will for industry and some coppers to flip.
Make sure you keep yourself ahead of the Goblins.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Column, Economy, MMORPG, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday