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