Monday, October 3, 2011

WoW: Orgrimmar - Gold never sleeps pt. 1


So, I am back at this WoW-business. Like the masochist wife crawling back to her violent, abusive husband, I decided to fire up my account and provide Blizzard with another month of hard earned cash. Why? Hell, I don’t know.

WoW and I have had a strange and unexplainable relationship like that for the past two years or so. I’m pretty sure that’s also the reason why so many people are contacted with offers to return whereas I am pretty much left free to go with no words uttered. There is no doubt among Blizzard that I will be back. I always will.

Keeping this in mind it might come as a surprise to you that I don’t really do that much dungeon- or raid-wise. Frankly, I barely PvP anymore. If I have to be brutally honest my last raid was Naxxramas in Wrath and the only two heroics I’ve completed (bothered with) were the troll dungeons. And ironically I knew ZG already from the earlier days. I haven’t even seen the throne of the tides yet.
The reason for this is quite simple. I did my part of raiding in vanilla and especially in TBC. A lot of momentum was lost, however, in Wrath and even though I’ve desperately been trying, none of it has returned in Cata. A lot of it has to do with time. I don’t have much of it. And when I finally do I need to fulfil my social obligations and attend the rest of my hobbies as well. Considering that these cover wargaming, dungeons and dragons, terrain building and playing various other computer games (including writing blogs about them) you’d be surprised how valuable time becomes. Additionally, my new hedgehog moves in with me later this month:

(Isn't he adorable?)


Things in perspective even I wonder why I even bothered selling another part of my soul to Blizzard. But in the end WoW has grown a lot over the years and today there are plenty of opportunities even for those of us who might now have the time to raid.

Besides from the obvious aspect of PvP I am of course talking about an old favourite activity of mine: Making money.

GoldZ>RL nub!
I have an obsession with making, earning and greedily scraping as much gold together as I can possibly get away with. The emphasis is on ‘gold’. Those who know me are likely be perplexed as in real life I’ve never bothered much about money. As long as I’m able to pay the rent and purchase the occasional Warhammer-regiment I’m pretty much happy.

Making gold in WoW has been a longstanding hobby of mine dating all back to farming essences of air in Silithus to the modern playing of the auction house. It has always worked well since I’m a cheapskate at heart and never really saw much idea in spending money on epics that will anyway be devalued in the next patch. Also, being that guy people always poked for loans and funding was kind of fun.
But there is also a feeling of accomplishment to this and in a way I hope Blizzard will some day include additional AH-related achievements. It’s somehow a niche that a lot of players know about but so few truly delve into. From a psychological point of view I assume it appeals to a different mindset than the hardcore raider or pvp’er as pretty much all you do is maintaining your business. Of course a lot of people manage to do all three at an impressive rate.

You can become rich too!
Staying with the psychological aspect of things, mastering the AH for easy profit is something we’ve all likely dreamt about some time. After all there wouldn’t be so many insanely stupid and crappy gold making guides for sale if there wasn’t a demand for it.

I have an issue with a lot of these guides, if you didn’t guess already. Not because of their general premise of selling advice, but because most of them can be summed up as:

- Buy low, sell high. Use auctioneer.
- Old school resources are more valuable than the current ones
- Get to know the economy of your server. Our tricks might not apply to your server.

Call me na├»ve but I frankly don’t believe this is what people expect once they purchase/illegally download gold making guides. After all they just boil down the very obvious. Any idiot can spend ages of time going over their AH and buying things on discount. The slightly less idiot can use auctioneer to do the same. The average player with average IQ can make critical decisions based on reason and experience about what to invest in and what to avoid.
What I think people want is an easy, dirt-cheap solution in which as little effort as possible is required. Which is of course why I am taking so long getting to the point.

If you’re so damn smart then do it yourself!
FINE!

I’ve been making a lot of gold in WoW. I don’t have screenshots in which I reach the gold cap. Neither can I claim making 16k gold in an hour. I’m just a regular gamer who likes his gold and along the way I found some great ways to do so. I’d love to share my experience with you guys and try and make a short, compact and easy to approach guide about how I manage on a mid-populated server. I don’t have any fancy photos or setup. This is just me talking.

Maynard’s Gold Guide – “Hey, if I were as rich as you, I could afford some manners!”

A)  Get to know your server!
THERE I SAID IT! HAHA!
I use this reminder as the meta-perspective throughout everything I do. That means, if I consider utilizing a certain strategy to make money through the Auction House, it’s a good idea to at least check it out to see if it sells for anything. Buying the recipe for primal might in Outland and selling it for 300g on the AH might seem viable, but not if 100 people besides you thought of the same.
In general, knowing your server has become progressively easier with the advent of Auctioneer.

B) I use these Add-ons.
Before going to war, chose your weapons.  These are simple and efficient.

Auctioneer (http://auctioneeraddon.com/) This tool is so basic and requires very little setup compared to earlier times. There are extremely many guides to this add on so I won’t even bother trying. In a nutshell you simply install it and scan your AH as much as possible.
I never did much in buy-reselling, but once you have a decent data-population (I suggest one week at least) you can set out and make an attempt. Just remember to think carefully about your investments.

Tradeskill Master (http://consortium.stormspire.net/consortium-quality-guides/1625-guide-trade-skill-master-addon.html) If you haven’t heard of this add on you should become acquainted immediately. If your trade is based around mass production (such as glyphs or gems) this is pretty much invaluable. The two biggest strengths are undoubtedly the ability to scan for items you’ve been undercut on (and from there cancel and repost them for 1 copper less) and the improved crafting. The latter consists of a quaint search function that lets you pick out what items you wish to craft and then scans the AH for the cheapest way to achieve the required materials. That also includes work-arounds, such as buying Cataclysm herbs in order to trade ink.
You can easily build an AH database from TSM and thus omit Auctioneer entirely. I, however, prefer to utilize TSM purely for crafting and posting, relying on my Auctioneer-prices.

The link contains a very good and pedagogical guide to setting up the add on (Thank you, Zoxy).

Postal (Found on Curse) A tiny but handy add on that let’s you easily empty your mailbox with a single click. If you deal in glyphs or gems you really want this.

TomTom (Found on Curse) Doesn’t do much in itself but if you intend to do the limited-supply runs in Outland this will really come in handy.

Bagnon (Found on Curse) Changes your bag interface into one huge bag.

C) The procedure
I’ve always found that focusing on a niche is a great idea. Below I present some of the areas I’ve embarked upon, hoping it can inspire.

Enchanting Mats: This is usually a great market as long as auctioneer has at least a week’s worth of data. With auctioneer comes the possibility of searching for disenchantable items for profit (found under the ‘Search’ header) and as long as you know what you’re doing there might be potential here.
Some professions are able to craft items for cheap materials which can then be disenchanted for profit. This seems to be extremely server dependent and more and more people say it isn’t as viable as it used to be.

Vendoring: Won’t make you rich, but an old trick and sure way to make a tiny bit of profit. You simply search through Auctioneer for items you can purchase and vendor for more. Some people are that stupid so don’t underestimate the option. On great days I’ve made up to 50g.

Crafting for the needs of the people: There are plenty of consumers out there and some items are ever in demand. I’ve found this especially true for glyphs, gems, enchants and alchemical products. Again, it’s best to decide upon a niche and focus on it initially. A lot of people are saying that Glyph-making has again become viable, but Tradeskillmaster really is the best way of getting a definitive answer.  I’ve found that glyphs and gems seem to do really well, especially if you’re able to mass produce (as in, craft 2 of each) and keep them posted cheaply through TSM.

Thriving on the laziness of the people: This used to be the old mantra back in the days before flying mounts were available in Azeroth. During those times, gathering ores and herbs from vanilla areas was often way more profitable than farming their modern counterparts. Why? Because people couldn’t be assed to get on their old grounded mount. This meant that things such as Goldthorn and Dreamfoil would sell for ludicrous amounts.
With the advent of Cataclysm this effect has somewhat diminished but not entirely evaporated. We just needed to accommodate.

In general we can talk of to groups of “Laziness items”. The Sloth-items (or ‘Slothies’ among friends) and Vanity-items (which would be Vanies).

Slothies consist of items that can be more or less necessary in order to level a profession. This could potentially be the recipe for the philosopher’s stone, which is sold in Tanaris or the recipe for transmuting Primal Might, which is sold in Shattrath. Both are distant places for anyone without access to quick means of transportation. You’d be amazed how much people would pay through their nose at the AH just to spare the journey.

The market for Vanies is much wider. In the broad sense it appeals mostly to perfectionists who can’t be assed checking wowhead and other sites for the items they need, but would much rather just pay and arm and a leg. These are the people keen on obtaining every cooking recipe in the game or getting as many vanity pets as possible. And you can exploit this since some of these items are sold very exclusively.

“BUT MAYNARD!” I hear some of you cry “You’re talking trash now! How should we know which items are good Slothies and Vanies???”
Fear not, I say. You can either do the research yourself through WoWhead or http://www.wowprofessions.com/

OR

You can take the quick and dirty way and read these topics:
(In general I recommend staying in touch with the Consortium site. It’s really good and people are very friendly and professional in there).
The Outland Run (Thank you Sinshroud)
http://consortium.stormspire.net/consortium-quality-guides/1603-sinshrouds-guide-outlands-limited-supply-lucrative-market.html

A quick run through the Outland in which you will obtain a LOT of recipes for all professions. I usually buy these for 3-7g’ish a piece and sell them for around 50-75 each.

If you’re a lazy bastard (can’t blame you!) why not use TomTom and make the coordinates ingame for the vendors? (Thank you, Sterling)



Same deal as Outland. I’ve found that the shirts, hats and animal companions sell particularly well. Getting to Dalaran can be a drag, so there might be serious money to be had here. On my server the violet hat sells for 300g each (guess we really have a lot of men without hats…)

The Kalimdor Run (Horde only, Thank you Kujadk)

This run covers those recipes in Kalimdor that people won’t bother travelling for. I’ve had much luck selling those from Feralas, Tanaris, Silithus and Moonglade.


I don’t play that much alliance so not sure how much potential this has. It’s easily done, though.


It’s easy and quick to do if you have a couple of minutes.


If you’re able to turn dense stones into dense grinding stones en masse this option can reward you with some very valuable vanity recipes. It requires the Darkmoon Faire, though.


Auctioneer comes with an interesting feature called snatch which lets you keep a lookout for specific, valuable items. These are often rare items that are no longer unobtainable or extremely rare in the game. It happens that some people stumble on them and sell them way cheaper than their true value. This list shows what you should add to the snatch list. Make sure to check out the other links as well.

Personally I got the schematics for the sniper scope for 80g and sold it for 7000. It’s worth it.

D) Learning from the pros
If you’re really into more reading I suggest Sinshroud’s own guide (I’m a big fan of Sin, OKAY??) which can be found here:
http://consortium.stormspire.net/consortium-quality-guides/2835-gold-gentleman%92s-primer-%5Bsaate-net-guide%5D.html

When all said and done…
I’m in no way the Rockefeller of WoW. But I manage nicely and I think it’s worth noticing that I do so despite my precious little amount of time. It’s all thanks to these guides that I hope some of you out there can benefit from. So much credit goes to the talented authors who wrote them.

What I hoped to achieve with this blog was to bring some new advice and some ideas besides reselling. I’ve tried out most of them and must admit my experience so far has been great. In the end we all find our niches and ways and hopefully so will you. Even then, be prepared to do some switching around. Just like real life flexibility awards.

Till next time : )

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