First things first.
As we have mentioned before, this is not your normal gold guide. This guide is specifically aimed at manipulating the economy.
We aim to set out (in simple terms) how real world economics are done, then show you how to apply these rules to Warcraft.
Of course, we will provide you with the best profession gold making guide AS WELL, just so you can raise money the “old” way of you want. We also have the best and most up-to-date crafting guide around. So we offer everything other guides offer.
but for us, those “old fashioned” techniques are not really the best way to make money. The proper understanding and manipulation of the market is where the real money will be made.
In the first instance, we are going to introduce some simple concepts.
Gold in Warcraft is made in one of three different ways – These are in most respects the same ways that money can be made in the real world.
1) Resource Acquisition
Whether it be farming, mining, drilling or hunting, all resources have an origin. In the real world, the bricks and wood for every building, the chemicals for every medicine, the meat for every meal. They all have to be sourced.
In Warcraft this is gathering and looting. So all the gathering skills as well as looting adds basic level one resource to the economy.
Every potion in the Auction House starts out with someone gathering the herbs. Every character made weapon similarly.
Of course Warcraft also now and then gives you finished items as loot – This rarely happens in the real world, and if it does it’s akin to looting the battlefield or even finding archaeological items.
2) Adding Value
In the real world, when a craftsman takes raw materials, then pours his own time and experience into turning them into something that is actually “useful” to others he is “Adding Value”
The first lesson you need to learn is that this is rarely the case in Warcraft.
Because people would rather have the raw materials, and use those to level their own character’s profession skills.
There are exceptions of course, but for the most part the total is worth substantially LESS than the sum of its parts.
The reason for this is because as each expansion is added the game becomes “tiered”. Items with a minimum use level of 60 used to be the pinnacle, they aren’t any more, nor is 70 – it’s now 80, and when Cataclysm is released it will be 85.
The vast majority of people on your server are either not leveling a character at all – or leveling an Alt – and they want to do this as cheaply and as efficiently as they can. That means no long visits to the Auction House every level to buy your beautifully crafted weapons and armor. They have leveled up characters before and know that they don’t really need to upgrade that often – and besides they have a main character or guild friends who will supply most of what they need.
This is a vital lesson – 9 times out of 10 – until you start crafting level cap items – crafting LOSES YOU GOLD !
3) Market manipulation
So while there are few opportunities to make money with crafted weapons and armor there are some exceptions. Consumables such as potions, elixirs, some scrolls, ammo (bullets or arrows) DO make money, and need constant replenishment. Also niche items such as riding boots, fancy dresses ( on RPG servers in particular) and quirky engineering items will also make money – along with certain items that are required by other professions (Blacksmith’s make the rods enchanters need to level their profession for example).
However the REAL money is made with ingredients – and it is made by buying and selling at the right time.
Yes you can farm them if you have the skills – and most people do from time to time. But you can “play the market” by first understanding how your servers market works – then using that information to your own advantage.