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postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Starting Out 2

Buy low – Sell High

Well that’s pretty obvious isn’t it?
However traditionally, in Warcraft you have been told to achieve this in one market.
It has been a matter of buying low, then waiting..and waiting  for that one market to change.
This works (to an extent) – the problem is EVERYONE WHO PLAYS THE MARKET DOES THIS.

Every other guide  we have read tells you to do this.
In fact later in this guide we will tell you how to do this PROPERLY. Including Inventory costs, storage costs and valuing your players downtime

But items can be changed by characters. Smelting, Milling, Prospecting and Disenchanting – the sub skills or Mining, Inscription, Jewel crafting and Enchanting have the ability to change one ingredient into another.

Regardless of what other guides tell you, turning ore into bars in not necessarily the most profitable route.

What is the mindset of the average player. Well we’ll tell you. It can be summed up.

“I’ll level and grind this week, and at the weekend I’ll group up and do some instances – and put whatever I’ve farmed on the AH because it’ll sell quicker on Friday and Saturday”

That’s it, that’s what the vast majority do. Later we’ll show you how to take advantage of that. After a while you will be able to guess to within a hour or so when is the best time to buy up all the cheap stuff, and when to wait to post your own.

Importantly we show you how other players habits and  the fear of item not selling – can make you a small fortune on a regular basis.

Making 500 gold an hour – well that’s definitely possible. We’ve made far more. But if you are smart you are not farming for gold. You make a wise investment – learn how to store it cheaply and efficiently (we’ll show you how to get a load of cheap storage) then offload at sky high prices into a hungry market.

Gold Guide White Background

Ok, now we are going to go through some steps to get you into a position to make money. Explain the choices you need to make along the way – and explain how these choices will fundamentally alter the way you can effectively make money

First, if you haven’t already, chosen your server go to or similar

Yup these guys know their stuff. Every realm listed, and if you press on the link to a server you are interested in they will break down the quantity of each faction, and show the “load” levels as a percentage of server capacity.

Remember the following :

High load servers = most fluid market

Large imbalance between factions = market opportunities for you if you ever dabble in cross market trading

  • PvP = Low level items more likely to sell, particularly the items with a
    level requirement of 29, 39, 49, 59 and 69. (PvP Toon’s may buy these)
  • PvE = Easier farming,

But on the down side a “mature” and full server status could mean your low level greens may not sell.
(see the sub chapter on professions to see how you can still make loads of money from these items however)

TIP: Don’t pick a PvP server if you don’t want to play in a PvP environment. Likewise don’t pick a PvE if you want to wander around “laying down some serious carnage” on the opposition faction during the normal course of play. Having fun is the most important part. Pick a style you will enjoy.

postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Server Dynamics 4

These are ways to spend small – and sometimes massive – amounts of gold in a permanent way (i.e the gold is not just transferred to a different “real” character, it is removed from circulation from the server altogether.

    Here is a list of a few “Gold sinks”

    Soulbound Gear.  – Warcraft is a game primarily about “improvement”, and much of this improvement comes through upgrading your gear. However, as soon as you put on your “Bind on equip” Champion’s Helmet of the Upturned is worth nothing to any other player. When you upgrade you will get the bare minimum value from an NPC merchant. So you buy an item for 50g from the Auction house..equip it, and the most it’s worth now is 1G 20S to an NPC vendor. The server has reclaimed 48G 80S

    Auction House Cut. – When you auction something there is a levy placed.

  •     15% of the merchant sale value in faction houses.
  •     75% of the merchant sale value in neutral houses.

    However, the merchant sale value is often far less than you will get AND you get this refunded if the product sells. The merchant sale value for Knothide Leather is 12 silver 50 copper, however the
    average auction house price for a successful sale is 66 silver 42 copper.  The percentage you pay is based on what an NPC would give you NOT the price you are likely to get at AH.

    WARNING – Some items (Saronite for example) have decent sales value to NPC’s..and subsequently very high levy’s. We have seen people put Auction’s on for less than they could    get just straight selling to an NPC..risking most of the value in levy if the item doesn’t sell and….

    Paying the House cut for a successful auction.

    Yes, if you are successful then the House will give you back the levy. but then a cut of the sale price. Your sale price.

  •   5% at a faction house
  •   15% at a neutral house



Mounts and vanity items

    This is where the server takes Gold off you in great big chunks. Epic Flying Mount training is 5000g. That’s a LOT of gold, and that gold goes straight to the server and is “lost” to the economy. Every mount, vanity item, talent respec and paid flight costs gold. And that gold is lost to the server.

    Ok so money is made, and money is “Lost”.

So why are we telling you this ?

Because this ebb and flow is where you make the money.  Players are always saving and spending.
Gold is always moving – and in very large amounts. This means :

  There is waste (and where there is waste – there is opportunity)

  There are changes (and where there are changes there is opportunity)

And finally…..

  There is IGNORANCE ( guessed it)..where there is ignorance,       there is opportunity

A volatile and flowing market is a mass of opportunity. A stagnant market offers none.

You generate wealth.

    Yes you (well your character) generates wealth. Just by doing what you do, you make gold. Every kill makes gold, every loot, every lovely find of a green (or sometimes blue) item adds the potential for a tidy sum of gold.
    You are a value stream. Here’s our point “Every player is a value stream, but only a tiny fraction understand the value they are creating” So…

You can use other people’s time to MAKE GOLD FOR YOU!

    There are three player-controlled markets in Warcraft –  Alliance, Horde and Neutral. They are never in balance – and the balance from faction to faction, item to item changes all of the time

    That is to say. On all servers there is an imbalance between the activity in the Auction Houses between the three markets. The prices are different on almost every item all of the time

    Even within one faction, the prices vary wildly over time. Friday markets are very different from Sunday night Monday Morning markets. High level instance loot rarely turns up in any quantity midday Wednesday afternoon during the working week..but at 2:00 am Saturday or Sunday morning there is often a lot more, and some competition in the market will be driving the prices down !

    During holiday times (especially in the Winter) The markets pick up hugely. People want to play  – they may  not however want to grind for materials – often characters will pay over the odds just to get the equipment or materials they need to level up a profession or go raiding with.

     In an ideal world you would be the supplier of these items. Making a nice stack of gold in the process. To do this you would have to have prepared well in advance, and have the stock of items ready to go to market.

So to sum up – pick a server with the game-play style you like. Check out a couple of servers with both Alliance and Horde characters, get to the auction house and see how busy it is. Make a note of how much a few items cost at each factions auction house and compare. If there is a healthy trade at both auction houses, and a noticeable difference in prices – you are on to a winner.

postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Server Dynamics 3

Time for some specifics   

1) Each Warcraft server is a closed economy.

    Your Warcraft server is a UNIQUE economy. That is to say that no two servers will have exactly the same price structures. Therefore we are unable to make statements such as “Buy Copper Ore at 80 silver per stack of 20 and sell at 1G 30 silver per stack.

         The exact movements in your server economy are UNIQUE. For the most part they are set by the users themselves (You !)

    You might now think that this is a bad thing. Questions such as

     “Well what is a good price to buy or sell then ?”

probably spring to mind.

    Let us reassure you that this is in fact a VERY good thing, and here’s why…

Very few people are going to take the effort to understand the subtleties of the economy like YOU are !
We will make understanding your economy SIMPLE, QUICK and FUN.
This knowledge will give you a real EDGE !
With this edge you will MAKE GOLD !

Advanced Gold Guide Banner

2) Understanding the economy.

    In simple terms Gold is generated on your server every time you loot a mob. The loot and the gold are “created”. The value is added to the server economy then and there. Keep the gold. sell the loot to an NPC trader, and there’s the value realized in buying potential to you.

    Say you have a level 80 character. He can generate Gold just by killing and looting at a pretty good rate. Without using the Auction House at all! 
    You can generate 10’s of gold PER HOUR (this is by far the worst and slowest way of making gold, but it still adds quite a bit to the economy as you can see)

At this level the gold creation is controlled by the server. Blizzard (The World of Warcraft designers) have quite a bit of say over these inputs.

    They can decide what loot tables a certain mob will have, how often the mob re-spawns, and how much an NPC vendor would pay for the items.

    However, Warcraft has an Auction system. Any item that is not “gray” will probably sell at the AH for more than an NPC vendor will give you for it.

    Have you spotted the problem ?

    The problem is INFLATION !

    You are adding all this wealth to the economy, killing mobs, using a gathering trade, crafting items..and everyone else is doing this too !

    Most of your weapons and armour is either quest reward, or bought from another real player via the auction house.

    Very little is given to NPC’s that you can see..sure the odd equipment repair or restock of bullets and arrows.
    The rest is just moving the money from one real player to the next, and as you play the overall figure of Gold on the server is growing ALL THE TIME.

    Blizzard know this, so they put in  “Gold Sinks”

postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Server Dynamics

Ok, first things first. Have a look at the picture below. It’s just an alphabetical list of servers. Notice anything. ?
Slap yourself on the back if you noticed that they are all at LEAST moderately full.

Now back in 2004 there were a lot less servers, and many of those had population labels of “Low” or “Recommended” and while you still do get some of these, they are rare.


What this list doesn’t tell you is the faction balance between Alliance and Horde on these servers.  There are links in this guide to show you how to find that. You don’t want to be on a very one sided server. Money making will be hard. A “slightly” one sided server is a fantastic money maker.

But our point here is, servers are fuller. And they are full of high level characters and their toon’s. There are very few brand new players compared with the mass of level 80’s and the ‘toons of level 80’s

Because of this:-
What you may have learned or read about making money in WoW is probably based on the immature (and naive) WoW markets of the past.

So what ? I hear you say.

You need to know…

  • How full the server is
  • The ratio of high level players to low level players (We call this “Maturity”) and…
  • The ratio of low level players that are actually “toons” (this changes the market dynamics a great deal)
  • The balance between Horde and Alliance players

Ideally you would like to know the relative professions. Gathering and Crafting. There is often an imbalance, especially on servers that are  out of balance in other ways

Finally, choose PvP or PvE (RPG doesn’t really matter)

Bear in mind that your choice of PvP or PvE makes a MASSIVE difference!

A full server will have a fast moving economy. Assuming an even mix of races and levels, this means you will have competition in sales, and choice in purchases. This is a buyers market.  A low server population, coupled with the right goods to sell will be a sellers market. There will be demand for your well thought out items, and high level materials and reagents will sell for top dollar (but…you will need more patience..more on this in “Inventory Costs” later)

Gathering is far easier on PvE servers, also the market for top gear is slightly reduced, and the top level items themselves are worth a little less.

Players tend to go out slightly better equipped on PvP servers – It’s not just the mob’s they are worried about, ganking and player killing happens – of course it’s supposed to, so people upgrade weapons and armor a little more often.

In general prices will be slightly higher on PvP servers, but as most things are bought and sold between players this does not matter as much as you might think. The big exceptions are of course the training and high level mounts.

The  ratio to between level 80 players (and their ‘toons) and genuine low level players, (Those that are still levelling)  fundamentally changes the market.

There is little or no point grinding  certain low  level ingredients and reagents to use in your crafting professions thinking these items will sell for profit on a mature server.
No one wants to buy them.
On mature servers the ‘Toons will normally level using green equipment. They do it efficiently, they know where to quest and where to grind. Blues are often seen as an expensive extravagance and certainly are not actually needed to level up.
The only Blues that sell below the highest level are those mint items used for PvP

This is where the basics of understanding your server come in. A PvP server will often have a market for “BiS” items at many levels. “BiS” stands for “Best in slot” and is the item that  – at any particular level is the best stat wise for a particular race and type. On PvP servers these items are in demand and can be crafted

Blizzard are adding the ability to “stop” XP progression – as many people want to enjoy low level instances as they were meant to be played. A possible opportunity in the future for  certain very well specced low level items to again be in vogue