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The Art of Making Gold


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#1 Dollar

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:32 PM

Hey guys. I started thinking about this subject when a guildie and me started a contest to see who can make the most wow gold. I realize when I make this post that making gold is not difficult. Doing just dailies is probably enough to pay for consumables and repairs even if you don’t have the Netherwing ones. But there is honestly another whole meta game that involves manipulating the Auction House. This post is generally directed towards others who enjoy making wow gold and discussion about it. I think the subject is split up into a few main sections:

I. Farming
II. “Playing” the Auction House
III. Professions
IV. Other

I. Farming
Whether or not you farm can vary with the class you play. The person who I am having this contest with is a resto druid and thus doesn’t farm at all but is still up to about 15k gold. For dps classes it can be more profitable to farm then do dailies if you can concentrate and farm the right things. A couple notes on farming:

1. No mercy. If you have qualms about ninjaing that elemental from a different person then you aren’t cut out for farming. If you want to get things done during prime time on your server you are going to have to want it. Don’t be afraid to tag mobs aggressively.
2. What to farm. This is kind of a big deal. I find farming primals the most profitable. Some good places to farm different primals:
A. Kirin’var Village (Netherstorm) for primal manas. The mobs here respawn extremely fast and the area can probably support upwards of 5 people at a time. If you can’t kill things fast it can be nasty for casters as they spell reflect and mana burn. Wouldn’t recommend this area unless you are a dps class.
B. Skald (Blades Edge Mountains) for primal fires. Usually there are a lot of people here and the respawn rate isn’t great. There are also a lot of mobs that aren’t fire elementals that you will probably have to do this. Can probably support 3 or 4 people. If you can get this area to yourself it can be great.
C. Throne of Elements (Nagrand) for primal fires, primal waters and primal airs. This place is wildly over farmed. The thing that makes this area beastly is the fact that if you get it alone you can probably get 9 or 10 primals an hour if you are very fast. Anytime I happen to be online and bored at 4 AM I head over there and farm the shit out of it while it is empty. If there are a lot of people here, your better off farming elsewhere.
D. The Hand of Gul’dan (Shadowmoon Valley) for primal fires. I am personally not a fan of this area but if the other places are packed it is going to be a better choice.
E. Skettis (Terrokar Forest) for primal waters. This is generally the best all around spot for primal waters in my experience. The only downside is that they are all underwater which slows you down a fair bit. Usually there are few people farming these and the drop rate isn’t that much under the ones in Throne of Elements.
F. I don’t really find farming primal lifes or earths particularly profitable at all. If you specifically need these primals you are far better off farming other ones, selling those and then buying the primals you need.
3. Generally in my experience primals are the best money maker when it comes to farming. But if all the spots are filled with people your better off farming something else. For humanoids I recommend Manaforge Duro in Netherstorm and Eclipse point in Shadowmoon Valley. If you specifically want to farm the Aldor marks, Legion Hold in Shadowmoon Valley is a good place to go.
4. Other stuff: Come prepared with water/food (this should go without saying I guess). It helps a lot if you can stay focused while you are farming. Try to bite back the temptation to alt tab when you are drinking or turn around and start watching TV or you might not be able to get back into it. Turn on some music and concentrate and you will make a lot more money in the same amount of time.

Depending on how crowded these spots are (it all really comes down to that) I can usually make anywhere from 80g (when I have to farm humanoids) to 200g (When I get Throne of Elements to myself) an hour. The key is to not lose focus.

II. “Playing” the Auction House
The name of the game here is to buy low, sell high. Instead of spending an hour on dailies, I spend an hour combing the auction house looking for things that are a fair bit cheaper then the average. You really need to have a feel for what things actually cost for this to work. You need to be looking through the Auction House every day and know what is worth what. This section is kind of general and kind of has to be as I can’t really go over the prices of every item for every server. I can provide a couple universal tips though:
A. Don’t nickel and dime. It isn’t worth it to buy something and then resell it for a gold more. You will hardly make any profit after the Auction House cut and if it doesn’t sell the first time you may lose money on the deposit. I usually shoot for at least 15g profits.
B. Check items such as Primals, Shards, Void Crystals, Gems ect and familiarize yourself with their prices. Look for people who undercut by a lot, buy those items and relist at the standard price.
C. Check things like boe blues/epics, Darkmoon Faire cards, ect. You can usually make a hefty profit on things like these when somebody underprices the item. These kinds of items price can fluctuate all across the board. Meaning I can buy an Apexis Crystal Mace for 40g and then turn around and sell it for 150g. The key thing to remember is there isn’t really a set market price for these items, YOU pretty much decide the market price when you post them (unless there are several on the AH at once, of course).
D. Undercutting. You definitely want to undercut people. But you have to be smart about it. Things like gems and shards are not things that people are going to go without. If there is one gem on the auction house, unless the price is outrageous, if a person needs it they will buy it. Nobody goes without gems or enchants in their gear because it is too expensive. So the key is to undercut a tiny bit. You can usually undercut by 5 silver and your item will sell just as fast as if you undercut by 5 gold. So do the market and yourself a favor and don’t make big undercuts as they don’t help anybody (except for the person buying of course!).
E. Don’t use Auctioneer. A mod can not really see the fluctuations in the market like a person can. It constantly undercuts too much and generally wastes your time/memory. You aren’t saving yourself any time by spending 20 minutes scanning and then having it do it automatically. Search the item that you are going to sell and relist it a tiny bit under the lowest price.

III. Professions

If you are out to make gold, there are certain professions that are just better then others. Jewelcrafting is an absolute gold mine. I don’t really have any experience with anything else besides mining. If you have mining and have the patience to mine constantly instead of just farming primals you will probably make more money. If you plan to mine a lot I recommend this addon: http://www.wowace.co...ographer_Routes

It will let you set up routes between mineral nodes in a zone. So spend a few hours finding every node in a zone, set up the addon and then all you have to do is point yourself in the direction of the arrow and it pretty much trivializes mining. If anybody else has any experience with other professions please feel free to share. I’d imagine that alchemy can be profitable as well but, I don’t really actually know.

Since I do know about Jewelcrafting, I’ll share. Basically what you want to do is get one or maybe two good cuts for each kind of gem (except Talasite, pretty much all Talasites suck and don’t sell well at all). Most all Noble Topaz cuts are good, Most all Living Ruby cuts are good. Glowing Nightseye and Royal Nightseye seem to sell the best on my server but it fluctuates between realms, obviously. The only good elune gem is Solid Star but it is quite good. Dawnstones all together usually don’t sell great but the Great Dawnstone, Rigid Dawnstone and Smooth Dawnstone are probably the best. As I said before Talasites are pretty worthless and I wouldn’t waste any money on their patterns if you want to make money. I am not going to talk about the epic gems as for one I don’t have any and for two, at least all the guilds on my server, people are generally using the better ones for their gear and not selling them.

After you have your Jewelcrafting leveled up to 350 (that’s all you need for blue gem cuts, nothing past that is really worth leveling up for except the epic cuts) and you have your cuts it is extremely easy to make money. All you need to really do is buy the uncut gems off the Auction House, recut them and sell. Adamanatite ore can be profitable to buy and prospect usually have it is under 25g a stack. I usually have anywhere from 1-2k gold on the Auction House at a time. It is honestly the easiest way to make money with no effort involved all besides leveling it up that I can think of. I have almost 7k gold, my epic flying mount and I never do anything to make money except for this unless I am bored. It would be awesome if someone could comment on other professions so I could implement them into this post.

IV. Other

There are other ways of making money then manipulation the Auction House, professions and farming. Mainly dailies. Dailies are great if you want to have a steady income of gold with low effort. They are mind numbingly boring after doing them every day for months so I usually just do banish the demons for the darkrune. The darkrune event can be an excellent source of extra money if you can complete it. I regularly do the darkrunes for 3 people in my guild (they give me half of the money of the whatever they sell the item for) and myself. For the blues you can usually get 100g-200g every time you do them. When you get the epics or the badge of tenacity you can get 500g-1000g per item, which is great for 30 minutes in a fun event. I would definitely recommend trying to learn the event and complete it.

Also there is the obvious stuff like looting everything and stuff. NEVER vendor things like netherweave or Marks of Sar’geras or even Light Feathers as you will make more money if you spend 30 seconds putting it up on the Auction House.


I realize that making shit tons of money is in no way necessary but I find it kind of fun to have 7000 gold to spend on whatever the hell I want. I would like to have some “hardcore” discussion on how to make gold because usually that is relegated to raiding/pvp but this is a significant part of the game for me.

#2 Mjollnir

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:41 PM

My personal favorite:
Fishing Deviates and selling the Delights. Any class can do it, any level can do it, any spec. Stacks sell for a solid 10g.

#3 Dollar

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:44 PM

My personal favorite:
Fishing Deviates and selling the Delights. Any class can do it, any level can do it, any spec. Stacks sell for a solid 10g.


I have heard of this working well before. When I decide to level up my fishing some day I will probably try it.

#4 Tinkerfizzle

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:47 PM

As far as pure grinding(at least on my server) I found the Blood Elf tier of the area outside Black Temple to be by far the best for farming as a Rogue -- just using blade flurry, in the duration of 15 seconds you can kill 4 to 7 of them. The mobs are level 67-68 mana-type casters, so they're extremely squishy(I chose to grind on the ramp and the outermost ring, where there were no ranged caster or evasion mobs as there are on the upper tiers). The frequency of cloth drops, Scryer signets and Arcane Tomes made it easily 150 to 175 gold per hour, and this was in all Karazhan gear.

Obviously this is really dependent on signet/tome prices, which can vary sometimes, but overall I found the gold intake to be very satisfying from it.

Edit -- I also rarely found this spot to be crowded at all, aside from the odd occasional grinder, or a passing 68/69 clearing to the quest on the upper tier.

#5 Disarbadia

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:56 PM

I've made over five thousand gold in the past ~2 weeks on a new warlock farming nothing but Blood Elf mobs outside BT, different Manaforges and the water elementals under Halaa. I could have made a bit more, but I kept some tomes/signets to get myself exalted with The Scryers.

This was in greens/Frozen Shadoweave, I think I farmed for maybe 7 or so hours a day. I'm sure it would be much faster if my lock had better gear.

Overally, I find (For me, at least) just straight up farming to be the best option. Although this is completely dependent on how much free time you have, and how much of it you're willing to spend sitting on your ass mindlessly killing helpless elves.

#6 ANSeranov

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:56 PM

Having a toon with an epic flying mount and 375 mining, in addition to guildies/friends who are Draenei JCs is HUGE money.

Both my toons have epic flying mounts and I've got ~3k gold sitting around as a Holy Priest. Dailies every day also add up nicely. I usually do 4-5 on each toon every day, for an easy 100g.

Agressively hocking wares is important. I don't make TONS off my enchanting, but it's not trivial as long as I charge a small fee per enchant.
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#7 Saabik

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:06 PM

Sell head/shoulder enchants to twinks for 1k gold :)

#8 Caligula

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:06 PM

I find that there is always a lack of food on the AH on my server. I can't speak for other servers but most food is pretty easy to farm and sells for pretty big money.

I can do a loop around the terrokar basilisks along the rivers and just toss 2 dots on each and they will die. Doing this and just making a contiguous loop around the rivers I can easily farm 3-4 stacks of basilisk meat an hour (sells for 20g a stack). Between that and the grey crap they drop that sells for ~2g a stack, plus greys/greens/blues it's easy to make over 100g an hour. These things are hardly farmed my server and even if there are people there it can easily support 3-4 or more. Also I just keep the in my bank and I keep an eye out for people who are looking for them, often by the hundreds. Kind of hard to find buyers with those but when you do they sell in quantity. These mobs can also be skinned so if you're a skinner you are making tens of gold per hour in leather alone.

I mean it's literally so easy and quick to farm that I can hop on at 7:00 and by 7:15 I can have a stack of basilisk meat for a raid and make a quick 10g in trash drops.

I don't know about the other foods but I'd assume, especially if you have a high population of raiding guilds on your server that this stuff is in high demand.

Other than that, you obviously mentioned Skettis which used to be better for farming when the elementals were on land but it's still pretty quick and you can get 6-8 primal waters per hour or more which go for 20-25g on my server.

#9 Jehane

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:10 PM

I don't particularly like to farm, so most of my farming's on my regular character 'maintenance' schedule. For example, when I do Skettis dailies, I do another circuit or two around the pond for Primal Water and to fish the pools. On my way to do the BEM dailies, I banish demons on the south end and kill every fire elemental I see till I'm done.

When I'm buying items I need, I often overbuy and relist them if I see a bargain, particularly when I see a market drought. I don't mind relisting items a gold or two up if the re-post cost is minimal and it's an item that I regularly consume. Yes, I'm the person who buys and relists all the Pure Death flasks on raid night. Mana potions too. Enjoy.

Keep an eye on server trends. Right now, with so many guilds on my server entering SSC, I'm selling fishing lures. I also made a fair amount re-selling Primal Shadow when the Subtlety enchant became widely available-- previous to the patch, only 2 or 3 enchanters had it on the server.

Doing these things keeps my cash needs fairly minimal, and I typically only farm or run dailies on a couple days per week.

#10 Malan

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:11 PM

I've made over five thousand gold in the past ~2 weeks on a new warlock farming nothing but Blood Elf mobs outside BT, different Manaforges and the water elementals under Halaa. I could have made a bit more, but I kept some tomes/signets to get myself exalted with The Scryers.


All from putting tomes and signets on the AH? That's it?

#11 Kadaan

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:14 PM

I've been having good luck running circles around Oshu'gun in Nagrand. Primal shadows go for 20g+ on my server, and they also drop silver/cloth unlike most elementals. I think I average just over 4 primals per hour, ~10g in vendor trash and coin drops, ~2 stacks of netherweave, and half a dozen greens. I also have herbalism so I pick up 10-15 felweed and a few dreaming glory along the way too. All in all I think it's somewhere in the range of 150g/hour.

As a mage I preferred Manaforge Ara for farming Scryer rep items. The Bloodwarders are melee so I could grind all day without ever getting hit, just stopping to drink every few minutes.

#12 Dollar

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:22 PM

All from putting tomes and signets on the AH? That's it?


Seven hours a day of farming. Doesn't seem that wild to me.

#13 Diogo

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:23 PM

Well, considering this is a farming topic, I thought I'd ask something that, at least for me, seems to hold true:

- We know that since tBC came out that respawn rates take into account how many people are in the area. I.e., more people, faster respawns. But I've also found that it seems to influence drop rates. That is, faster respawn times means lower drop rates. Anyone else found this?


Case in point: I like to farm primal airs in northern Shadowmoon Valley, and I've found that drop rates (as measures by mobinfo and other addons) fluctuate a lot. That is, generally the drop percentage for motes of air is greater in the mornings, when I am farming by myself and the area hasnt been farmed for a while, then it is at more crowded times. I am talking about percentages here, bit absolute numbers. Anyone esle experience this? I figured blizz would include something like this to counterbalance the effects of faster respawn times for more crowded area...

#14 Brick

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:27 PM

I've been having good luck running circles around Oshu'gun in Nagrand.

I've done this with an affliction warlock doing the bulk of the work. A well-geared affliction lock in conjunction with an appropriately geared resto druid means you never stop moving, and all healing is bolstered 20% because of Fel armor. My entire job is to roll a trinketed lifebloom, occasionally throw on a rejuvenation, and to collect all the loot. No drinking, no stopping, no one's health drops below 90%, and Innervate is required about every 15 minutes (in which a 66SPI weapon gets switched in as part of the macro).

Voidwalkers, air elementals, the humanoids, the wild elekks... they all die. 8 - 10 primals an hour minimum, plus a considerable amount of cash, greens (which are disenchanted) ivory tusks and other goodies an hour. The respawn rate ensures this can be sustained indefinitely, even if 8 mobs are dotted at a given time.

#15 Kullulu

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:28 PM

He's farming 7 hours a day though over two weeks. That's pretty extreme.

I like looking at the auction house over a few weeks, picking the item with the least amount of consistent farmers that has high demand, and making deals with the major players to all have the same price. No undercutting and the ability to create artificial shortages.

#16 Soulshade

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:40 PM

Alot of the areas vary with class. Like, the Hand of Guldan is horrible to farm if you are a pet based class, since pets like to get aced by lava every 5 seconds.

The key to farming for me, is to go out prepared. Know several good spots to farm what you want, and know how many people can be there before you are competing for kills. Like elemental plateau. Anything more than 3 people at one specific elements node, and your kill rate will be pretty miserable.

While I don't approve of cutthroat tactics farming (SWD'ing mobs a lock has dotted, instant-cast pulling mobs as a melee is 2 steps away) I found I can get away with usually out pacing people with a few classes. Like an affliction lock, I could pull 4 fire elementals at a time, aoe fear them, start pulling more. Usually if I was facing 1 or 2 other people for spawns they would leave after 20-30 minutes because they really could not keep up to me killing 4-5for every one of theirs. I prefer to outfarm people rather than harass them, because I know I sure as hell hate it when priests start tagging mobs I just dotted, or another lock starts banishing my mobs/fearing them. Alot of people do it to dissuade you, others will do it just because they enjoy pissing people off. I prefer outpacing people rather than snaking taps, simply because well, you cant get filed for griefing.

Mostly it helps to know the limits to your toon. For instance, I know I can solo up to 8 fire elementals at pretty much the same time, but that I will have to eat/drink after. Versus pulling 4-5 and coming out with 70% life/mana. I only pull my max when competing, no point wasting food/water if you don't have to. Also knowing the respawn rate is nice, you can keep going in an infinite loop killing as they spawn. I usually pull at about as fast as they spawn, and when I start to get bored, I will see just how many I can kill at once just to stay amused. But Affliction locks are pretty much retarded with how well they can farm. With kill pacing you can stay above 70% life/mana without food/drink indefinatly.

For Aldor/Scyer drops I usually go to Netherstorm. The Forge camps north of Stormspire are pretty squishy, Wrathbringers die in several seconds. Spawns are weird though since Wrathbringers come out of the portal, and can come 1 to 6 at a time. I ended up fighting 16 mobs in chain succession one day because what I thought was a single freshly spawned mob, was really 4-5, plus a couple pathers, plus every fear lead to more aggro'd.

Scryer, I go to the first Manaforge, and kill the miners to the east of it, all really squishy, and quick to kill, just watch out for 68 elite that sometimes paths through, and the single Captain that can use Spellbreaker.

I tend to farm humanoids, since on my server every elemental area has 5-6 people at it at all times. Skettis is fairly empty at like 5 am server, and thats about it.

#17 Caniki

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:45 PM

I've made boatloads of money fishing, and there is never any competition. I fish mostly in Skettis for the Crawdads and Golden Darters, but also stop by the Elemental Plateau to quickly fish up a Primal Water or two. If all of the Pure Water pools are up, I can easily get 4 primals in 10 minutes.

I've also made a good deal of money just by selling the netherweave that drops when grinding Mag'har and Consortium rep mobs in Nagrand and Netherstorm.

#18 Chunkymonky

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:05 PM

For me Mining > all other ways of making money

i can log in and and fly around pick up 2-300 ore in about 2 hours and sell it . ive made enuff gold to buy 3 epic lvl flying mounts

#19 Complex

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:18 PM

If you are a the kind of guy that doesn't mind 3-4 hours of solid farming per day, then you can really hit the jack-pot if you're an alchemist/ herber. Sometime during august over 2 weeks I'd go out for 4 hour herb farming sessions, collecting as much of each herb I could find - trying to keep the amount even, with the exception of felweed stacking (will come onto this in a minute).
I'd return from my farming session at 5 o'clock and make every kind of potion used in raiding, elixirs, mana pots, flasks (sometimes bought a load of fel lotus from AH). I'd have around 400g worth of pure herbs, make them into pots which are typically priced 15% higher than the equivalent herb price, and with a ~15-20% proc rate I'd easily rack up 600-720g a day using this method, and upwards of 1200g on Sundays, this being prime raid day.

However after Flasks of Pure Death/ Blinding Light were annouced, fel lotus prices rocketed and certain herb/ pots prices decreased alot, making the 4 hours of solid farming not really worth it any more, and I was recieving more herbs than I could sell pots worth. So I dropped herbing and kept alchemy because of having every discovery and the ability to buy off AH and still benefit from procs.

I took up JCing as my next profession, hearing that you could make money without farming if you had the gold to invest into ore/ designs (which I did), took my about 700g to level to 355 or so and I just went and bought 1 design of each, excluding living ruby where I bought +8agi and +18 healing and dawnstone where I bought +8crit and later +8 defence. Now I just log on for 15 minutes, buy 500-600g worth of ore, prospect, cut gems and sell them. I make between minus 100g and plus 250g every day, with the average being around 150g, without having my arse leave IF.

#20 Tinkerfizzle

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:28 PM

All from putting tomes and signets on the AH? That's it?

This is how I made my mount gold as well from around 600 to 5k -- it took three solid days of grinding; the only real special boost I got from it was a 300 gold Jewelcrafting recipe, but overall I think the gold per hour was absolutely consistent throughout.




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