Monday, August 8, 2011
Gold Advice for a New Friend
We all know how horribly disappointing it can be to run PUGs. You never know if you will get the guild group with 4/5 on vent and running at top speed or the noob group with the tank that just specc'd and (like I had last week) has a mixture of DPS and PvP gear--without a single piece of tank gear at all.
Today I was fortunate to find a super cool group with solid DPS, a great Tank and almost pro Heals. (I was healer btw, lol). The group got along so well that we all exchanged REAL IDs and have friended each other for future runs.
During one bout of down time between runs, Fenrisulfr (Vashj) and I struck up a conversation about gold. This post is dedicated to Fenri with tips for him--but it applies to so many players today that I hope all my readers will enjoy it. (Or should I say both of my readers? lol)
Fenri has about 1,200g to his name. He has a single 85 with no professions. Not "low professions" or "medium professions" but really, 0, nada, zilch for professions. For many reasons, Fenri needs gold. He would like to make enough to support his need for pre-raid gear and buying enchants and gems when he needs them. He is able to play about 5 hours a day (huzzah! for the students!!!) and plays his toon very well--good DPS and solid knowledge of the dungeons we ran. His guild offers little help, often charging for mundane crafting assistance.
Let's all say "boo" to his guild together, shall we?
With this basic understanding of Fenri's situation I will offer short, medium and long term gold tips. As is my style, I invite readers to comment with better ideas, flaws in my logic or tweaks to my suggestions.
The goal for him is to earn 2,500g this week (Tuesday through Monday). Let's see if we can hit the mark. Our budget is 150g investment, roughly 10% of his net worth.
The Foundation: Framework for Success
First and foremost roll up an AH mule. It doesn't matter what class or race, but I found Humans are the easiest to use for this purpose. This is a toon designed to stay in SW and handle all the auctions for all your toons. Ideally, roll a human warrior and run him from the Human starting area in Northshire to Stormwind. He will probably die a few times. Just rez and keep going. I suggest planting this toon in the Dwarven AH since it tends to be less populated and thus less laggy.
Next, equip your mule. Bags are the most important basic tool any of your toons can have. The more bag space the less wasted time running to mailboxes or back to the city to store and sell items. Plus, as you begin to work the AH you will have more sales, more cancels, and more traffic from the mailbox to the bank to the AH. Bigger bags = fewer trips = more gold earning time.
Netherweave bags are usually the best value. According to The Undermine Journal, on Fenri's server these bags are selling for 19.93g right now. This is higher than we want to pay. If our budget is 150g total we don't want to spend ~80g on four bags if we don't have to. Netherweave cloth is selling for 65s each, or 13g per stack. Still higher than we want but much better.
Purchase 4 stacks of Netherweave for 13g each (or less). Visit the Tailoring vendor (Mage District) or any of the other vendors who sell Trade Goods. Buy 4 Rune Thread for 50s each. Now hire a Tailor. My first suggestion here is to see if a guildy will make these bags for free. If not, don't spend more than 1g each to craft, whether you hire a Tailor via /trade chat or in the guild.
Total investment so far should be 58g. We have 92g remaining in our budget.
Next, I suggest training our AH mule in JC and Enchanting. Normally I say leave the profs off this toon but since Fenri has no profs whatsoever these two profs can help us make gold--especially in the early stages of gold earning. This cost is minimal.
Next, find the site The Undermine Journal (TUJ) and set up a login/password. Learn how to use this site. It is the single best source of AH intelligence available. I even have an email alert set up so I get a message in my personal email when one of my auctions have been undercut. Super handy to have for that reason alone--but knowing what the hot sellers are on your server is the real value here.
Finally, there are a few addons that need to be downloaded. I suggest Curse as the source for these but there are others that have the same addons.
The addons that should be downloaded are Auctioneer Suite (for tracking the AH marketplace); MySales (keeping track of the items you sell every day); Gatherer (or similar site to find the places where herbs and ore exists that can be farmed). I use Carbonite for this purpose because I like the map and quest tracker.
For tips using Auctioneer I suggest visiting the home site first, Auctioneer Suite. There is also a good guide at Just My Two Copper called 22 Steps to Using Auctioneer Correctly. Lol, it isn't as intimidating as it sounds.
Now that we have an AH mule with bags and Jewelcrafting and Enchanting, and our addons are installed, we are ready to look at short term, medium and long term gold tips.
Short Term Tips
First, let's make some gold right away to prime the pump. I normally don't encourage farming but for Fenri it makes sense.
You need to acquire a Potion of Treasure Finding. Either buy one in the AH or ask in /g chat if anyone has one they will sell you (cheaper) or even give away. According to TUJ these sell for around 110g on Vashj. You might be able to get one on bid cheaper, or if not, you will end up being a bit over budget. Don't worry, you will make it up.
Here is a video on using the Potion of Treasure Finding in Deepholm, farming Troggs. However, the best guide I have found on a blog regarding PoTF is over at Nerf Faids, located here.
According to Faid she was able to accumulate 142 Embersilk Cloth, 7 Green items, 19 Tiny Treasure Chests and various vendor goods. According to TUJ the Embersilk is worth roughly 76g per stack on Vashj. Thus, just on the cloth you could earn about 450g farming. The vendor stuff is worth another 10-15 gold and the Greens should be held until you can Disenchant (DE) them. You want the dusts and essences you can get from them, for both resale and for making other items.
The real value here is the 19 Tiny Treasure Chests. These have (according to Wowhead) a 78% chance to drop another 4-11 Embersilk Cloth and a 10% chance for 1-5 Volatiles, Elementium or Pyrite Ore. Using the average number for each (right in the middle) and then average item drop rate, each Tiny Treasure Chest should be valued at roughly 35g according to the prices on your server. If you were able to get 19 in an hour that's another 680g just from the chests.
Added all together (450 + 10 + 680) and reduced by 1/3 for the "your results may vary" precaution and an hour of farming in Deepholm (use Faid's map) should give you approximately 750g--for a 110g investment in a potion. Net profit is 650g/hr. Not a super duper total but still fairly decent, and conservative enough that you will most likely exceed that mark. Hell, if your net worth right now is 1,200g and you can increase it by 50% in an hour you might consider that a FANTASTIC result....
A second short term tip requires Disenchanting (DE). Fenri runs dungeons quite a bit. Any time he has the ability to select DE for a drop, Green or Blue, select it--except on a BoE Blue item. Those might sell ok in the AH but the BoE Greens usually don't. The BoP Blues should be DE'd into Heavenly Shards, and the Greens into Celestial Essence, Hypnotic Dust or Shards.
Listing the Greens in the AH is usually a crap shoot--plus the listing fee is substantial in most cases. They might sell, they might not. On the other hand, Hypnotic Dust is selling for 4.2g each, Heavenly Shards are 110g each, Small Heavenly Shards are 54g each and Celestial Essences are 80g or 18g for the Lesser ones.
These Enchanting materials sell faster than Greens and the listing fee is small. Or, keep them and turn them into scrolls for sale or enchants for yourself.
Here is a final short term tip. Using Auctioneer's search function, do a "Vendor Sales" search. This will identify all the items for sale in the AH that are listed there BELOW the amount for which you could sell the same item to a vendor. Yes, people really do that. If you find Relic of Ulduar (for example) selling for 1s each (and sometimes you do find them for this cheap) buy them and vendor them for 2s each--double your cost.
Sometimes a "vendor sales" search returns no items, and that's fine--it took you a few seconds to look. If you find something that can earn you a profit then jump on it. No speculation here--it is pure profit.
Medium Range Tips
Now we will talk about professions.
The AH mule already has JC and Enchanting. For your main, Fenrisulfr, I suggest getting Herbalism and Mining. Skinning has value but based on the prices on Vashj, it appears Herb and Mining are superior to Skinning. Also, you can set your minimap to locate both types of nodes, thus hunting for them is more precise.
Now go level these profs. Yes, it sucks to tick up those skills one point at a time. Yes, there are lowbies who are farming these nodes too. Yes, it totally gets frustrating to keep looking and looking. The reward, however, is worth it.
To effectively level these professions you will use your gathering addon (Gatherer or Carbonite, for example) and the Wow Professions website. The website will give you complete maps with paths to follow for the various types of Ore and Herbs. The addon will keep track of where you found previous nodes and plot them on your map so you will eventually be able to dispense with the guide maps and just use your own map and its history.
By and large the lower the Herb or Ore the lower its cost. However, there are some real "gems" of a deal to be found.
Mageroyal is going for 1.4g each (29g per stack). Blindweed is 40g per stack. Sungrass is going for 56g per stack and Briarthorn (a level 15 Herb) is going for 120g per stack. By the time you get to Outland, Ragveil is 100g/stack and Terocone is 200g/stack. Northrend Herbs like Fire Leaf and Talandra's Rose are also going for 100g to 150g per stack.
Ore is no different.
Gold (72g/stack) and Truesilver (65g/stack) show good profit potential. Outland Ore is pricey too--Fel Iron (55g/stack) and Khorium (500g/stack). Northrend Ore like Cobalt (95g/stack) and Titanium (180g/stack) are the big winners.
There are two factors driving the prices of these items.
First, they are used by many professions to make other things. Herbs are used by Alchemists for Potions and Elixers or by Scribes to mill and make inks for Glyphs. Ore is used by Blacksmiths to make bars, used to make Armor or used by Engineers for their toys and stuff. Ore is also prospected by JCs for gems.
Demand varies according to things like how many new characters are leveling professions or what night of the week it is--raid nights mean Potions and Elixirs go up in price.
Second, because the new Cataclysm zones are so popular fewer and fewer players are actually leveling in WoLK and TBC zones. Fewer are farming mats there too. That means lower supplyl
Steady demand + lower supply = higher AH prices.
I suggest selling the Herbs in the AH. The Ore, however, may be more valuable if you prospect it for the gems it produces. You will need to check the Ore type and what it Prospects into so you can tell if the gems have more value than the Ore. According to TUJ Thorium Ore, for example, is worth 23g per stack as Ore but the DE value is ~43g/stack.
You will have to work a bit to get the JC level high enough to prospect this Ore but if you follow the advice over at Wow-Professions you can slowly level this tradeskill as you are farming.
Another Medium tip involves playing the AH for deals. After you have done database searches for a few days (per the instructions) you can look for underpriced items relative to their real value, buy them and relist them for a profit. Usually, raw goods like Medium Leather or Thick Leather can be found cheap, especially on the weekend, and relisted at a profit, usually mid week.
Long Term Tips
For longer term gold making strategies you need to consider several things like time, access to professions and needs.
How long you want to spend pursuing gold is an important factor. If you spend an hour a day on gold and you only have two hours to play you might find it untenable to continue down that path. Or if you have 5 hours per day and spend 1 hour on gold that might be an effective balance.
Your needs are important too. With only one character at 85 Fenri's need for gear, repairs and potions is literally 1/7 mine--to get all 7 of my L85s up to raid levels is a very expensive prospect both in terms of time and actual cost of upgrades.
Access to professions is the most important factor. If you have a guild where you can count on "using" someone else's profs--even for a fee--then your options on what to sell are greatly enhanced.
I'll give you an example from my stable of toons.
My AH mule buys 100 stacks of Elementium Ore for ~60g/stack, or about 6,000g. I mail 80 stacks to my JC and 20 to my Blacksmith.
My Blacksmith makes bars and combines them with Volatiles (from storage, usually not purchased) to make Bloodthirsty armor. From 20 stacks of Ore he can make 200 bars. He crafts Bloodthirsty Chest (15 bars), Helm (15 bars) and Shoulders (12 bars) (also Vol Fire but he has 1000s of them). These 200 bars will be used to make 5 Chest, 5 Helm and 4 Shoulders.
At 60g per stack, the bars are 6g each. The Vol Fire were about 10g when I bought them. The Chest and Helm are therefore 240g materials cost per unit and the Shoulders are 192g materials cost. My minimum sales price for the Chest is 325g (85g profit); for the Helm is 395g (150g profit); and for the Shoulders is 275g (35g profit). Over the course of a week I will sell all these items.
My minimum profit from my Blacksmith on the Bloodthirsty gear is (425g + 750g + 140g) 1,315g. Often, it is double that. The time it took to buy the Ore, make the bars and then make the gear is usually about 15 minutes. Gross sales for Blacksmithing are 4,700g.
My JC prospects the 80 stacks of Ore and gets gems. JC becomes my second profession used.
Posted by Kammler at 9:06 PM