Tag Archives: Farming

A.B.C. (Alterac Brings Capital)

A quick trip to the Alterac Mountains can often bring in a fairly hefty sum of gold if you know where to look and what to do while you’re there. Here are the sights and NPCs to visit if you want to know how to conduct a profitable trip to the mountains. We’re willing to bet that you haven’t heard of all of these…

Frost Oil

Deep in the Alterac Mountains, just beyond the Hillsbrad Foothills, high atop a wall guarded by once mighty ogres (seriously, they used to be elite) sits Bro’kin. Bro’kin, a Boooty Bay aligned goblin, is an otherwise unremarkable Alchemy vendor with the exception that he is the only NPC that sells the Frost Oil Recipe. This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail. This quest line is still completed by alts and veteran players alike because part of the chain awards a fairly unique trinket, the Nifty Stopwatch. This old trinket still has use for running long distances when you can’t mount. PVPers will like it for running flags; Bankers will like it for the occasional speedy mailbox/bank/AH run. The oil is also used, albeit a lot less frequently, for the old Dire Maul Tribute run.

The point is that you’ve got a fairly steady demand and a limited supply which means a good potential for profits. Pick up a few copies of this recipe from Bro’kin for less than a gold each and learn one (if you’re an alchemist) and sell the others for as much as you can in the AH. We typically wait until no one else has one posted to post ours and then we price it in the area of 30g each, one at a time.

Note that you’ll have to wait a few minutes before purchasing the recipe again as it is a limited supply item. So what do you do while you wait? Well we’re glad you asked…

Nodes

There are various ore and herb nodes appropriate to the level of the quests and mobs in the zone but the standout winner here is a key component of Frost Oil, Wintersbite. This herb can be picked by herbalists of requisite level and is found only in the snowy mountainous areas of this zone. The nice thing about this herb is that this is the ONLY area in which it grows, so if you have extras after crafting your own Frost Oils they can be sold for pretty high prices.

If you’re an alchemist/herbalist (or are friendly with one) you are now in the business of selling the Frost Oil recipe, the oil itself and the requisite herbs for crafting of the oil. You, essentially, control this tiny market. Savvy traders will even take steps to ensure that the price of the herbs remains formidably high such that even if other players buy the recipe from you they find it unprofitable to craft a bunch of the oils to compete with you. Muhaaaahaaaahaaaaa!

A Bonus Rare Engineering Schematic

But wait, there’s more… Did you notice the little guy in the cage during your Alterac Travels? Rizz Loosebolt is another obscure Alterac vendor, this time of the engineering variety. Like Bro’kin, he is friendly to both factions and sells various trade items but has one recipe in limited supply. This time it is the Ice Deflector Schematic which is a bit of a harder sell (there’s no quest associated with the crafted item) but it does sell to completionist Engineers (many haven’t even heard of this schematic). While you’re talking to Rizz, you might also want to buy out his supply of Gyrochronatoms which usually sell at a hefty markup in the AH to lazy players that don’t bother finding them elsewhere for less.

In an interesting example of WoW synergy, it is worth noting that Frost Oil is a required crafting component of the Ice Deflector and one of the Gyrochronatoms are required for completion of the afore mentioned Nifty Stopwatch quest line.

Something Else to Think About

Did you do your Alterac Valley quests? There are a whole slew of them available in your race’s AV cavern. Quest givers are located about half way down each tunnel. Both factions’ tunnels are located symmetrically on opposite sides of a path between the mountains that make up the border of the Hillsbrad Foothills and the Alterac Mountains. An informal poll amongst friends and family showed that most players, particularly those that started playing within the last two years, have never even heard of these quests. They are easy to do and are often completed along the course of attempting to win the AV battle. In fact, the hardest thing about completing these quests is simply finding the quest givers. So what are you waiting for? That’s some easy XP/gold right there? These quests might prove particularly lucrative to those players attempting to level with PVP as it just becomes an added bonus to what they are already doing.

You’ve now got yourself a little, agreeably unusual but highly profitable, farming circuit from the old world. It may seem counterintuitive to spend time visiting these old areas but we would argue otherwise, because who knows what the availability of these items, vendors, quests and even zones will be after the Cataclysm hits? May as well head out there now while you still can.

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Synthetic Fur Coming into Fashion

As widely reported and recently confirmed on the PTRs, Arctic Fur will be tradable for 10 Heavy Borean Leather from a vendor in the professions region of Dalaran. This change will have several economic effects, the most significant of which will be the normalization in price of Arctic Fur with 10 Borean Leather.

Farming Arctic Fur, as most skinners know, can be a frustrating experience for the profit-minded WoW trader. A quick search of the item on the WoW official forums shows that the vast majority of posts related to Arctic Fur are complaints on abysmal drop rates. Blizzard has responded to the wall of skinning QQ by implementing a change that will allow a conversion of other, lower level, leatherworking profession items into the harder to attain Fur. This type of change is not entirely unprecedented in the game, the most recent example of which would be the implementation of the Abyssal Shatter ability for Enchanters. Unlike that ability however, the Arctic Fur conversion process will be useable by anyone, not just players that require the item for his or her professional crafting uses. This means that any enterprising and astute trader will be able to profit from any amount of price disparity by simply keeping a close watch on when the price of Arctic Fur rises significantly above that of 10 Borean Leather. Assuming there is no limited restock or cooldown of some sort (which, at present on the PTRs, there isn’t) it will be easy to rig the market to produce this profitable result. The vendor trade profit potential will be short lived, however, as eventually even casual traders will catch on to the change and the markets will stabilize.

On the larger scale, we wonder if this profession item trading ability is a sign of things to come in WoW. Blizzard mentioned at Blizzcon this year that they were going to make rare reagents available through guild membership so, it would appear anyway, that they are moving away from players struggling with attaining these types of items for crafting purposes. This will ultimately completely redefine these key trading markets and we can’t help but wonder what the long term economic effects will be. If the intent was to make the more rare crafting items easier to attain, why not simply increase the drop rate? The purpose of changes similar to this one must be that Blizzard is trying to redefine these markets.

When it is all said and done, it would be reasonable to expect that the longer term results of this change are going to be a constant equalization between the prices is of equivalent amounts of Borean Leather (in all of its forms) and Arctic Fur. If this should prove to be the case, expect to see a sharp rise in the price of Borean Leather and a modest decrease in the going rate of Arctic Fur in the wake of patch 3.3. There may be some opportunity for procuring inexpensive Borean Leather now, before this change is widely known, for either reposting when the price spikes or conversion to Arctic Fur when the change first hits and the prices are still high.

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Titanium Dropping in Price

The WoWenomics team was discussing Titanium Ore recently and all team members agreed that the prices are down from their peak just a few weeks ago. Whereas typical prices for a stack of ore were reported as being in the area of 350 gold or more, we searched ten auction houses across five servers last night and found stacks available for buyouts at sub-300 levels on seven of the ten auction houses. We cannot say definitively how much prices are dropping since we have not been statistically recording the prices across servers but, anecdotally at least, it would appear that the ore, and goods and services related to the ore, are currently on the decline.

The reasons for the drop in price of Titanium are probably a combination of:

  • Increased supply– Titanium Ore has been so profitable for so many weeks that many more players are jumping into the farming for resale market, causing a certain amount of over-supply.
  • Decreased demand– As epic gem prices drop and stabilize perhaps Jewelcrafters are finding high ore prices intolerable.

In fact, one interesting correlation that we noted in our research was that of the seven servers that showed lower ore prices, every single one showed decreased epic gem prices. Prices for uncut gems on these servers were typically within the area of 140-150 gold. It may be that epic gem prices can be used as an early indicator of the direction of Titanium Ore. If you are in the ore market, either buying or selling, you might want to also look into the prices of epic gems to determine your optimal pricing and/or farming strategy before you set out on your daily quest for profits.

It is impossible to say if the observed decline in Titanium prices is here to stay of if this is just part of the cyclic nature of the WoW economy but, for the time being at least, we are rating Titanium Ore as a sell.

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Pirate’s Booty

September 19th is international Talk Like a Pirate Day and in celebration Blizzard is holding a corresponding in-game event, Pirates’ Day. WoW profit seekers will find some, limited, opportunity to profit that we will discuss below.

First off, the basics:

  • The event lasts a single day. There is no requirement to participate or perform any sort of activity.
  • There is one achievement associated with the event, it is categorized as a World Event achievement, but has no impact on the world events meta-achievement.
  • The majority of activities will take place in and around Booty Bay in Stranglethorn Vale.
  • There is no title to be attained this time around. Sorry to all you out there.

The major opportunity for profit comes in the form of players that want to get into the pirate spirit and dress up in pirate regalia. Just My Two Copper points out that the best, most profitable, opportunity to do so will probably be the crafting and distribution of the Admiral’s Hat. The tailoring pattern to craft this item is purchased from Cowardly Crosby, an NPC near Booty Bay. No reputation with any faction is required for purchase but the recipe is a limited item, sold in single quantities and on a conservative two-hour respawn timer. It is our opinion that JMTC is correct in their assessment that the limited supply of the recipe will drive the asking price of both the recipe and the crafted result to peak prices during the event. As they also note, the materials required to craft the item could spike in price. In our opinion, it his here that the opportunity for profit truly shines. While the hat and recipe will certainly be limited in supply, the Long Elegant Feathers (of which you need 6) will be much more limited in supply. Of further benefit the supply of the hat pattern will be extremely limited if you don’t have it but the feathers themselves are quite easy to come by… provided you know where to look. The post from JMTC has a nice video outlining a farming technique for attaining the feathers. Here are our assessments of where to go to farm these potentially profitable items and some additional reasons to farm these specific locations.

For the Horde

The Horde actually has it a bit easier on this one in that their target mobs have a slightly higher drop rate. The area is The Hinterlands and Hillsbrad Foothills. The target mobs are the various Razorbeak hippogryphs found all around The Hinterlands. The two useless ‘guards’ to The Hinterlands at the start of the trail in Northeast Hillsbrad Foothils also drop the feathers. The listed drop rate is approximately 40% but our experience was slightly less than that. While in the area, keep an eye out for farming opportunities, as the area is rife with herbs that sell quite well. Note that the mobs here are friendly to alliance players and thus cannot be killed by even the most traitorous Alliance members.

Also, since you’re in the area, be sure to visit the secret path to The Western Plaguelands called Plaguemist Ravine. Starting just North of Shindigger’s Camp, this narrow, mob-free path harks to the old school style of WoW development when hidden paths and locations were the norm. Many newer players are unaware of its existence.

Another place you should most certainly visit since you’re so nearby is the NPC George Candarte just East of the entrance to The Hinterlands (East of the aforementioned two useless Gryphons). See, Ol’ George sells the Leatherworking pattern for Green Leather Armor which can resell quite well in the AH. This limited recipe is on a 20 minute respawn timer and is the only NPC in the game that will sell it to The Horde. The NPC is Horde allied and thus cannot be bought from by Alliance players. If you are an Alliance player and you’ve decided to come check out this zone anyway, just go ahead and kill the NPC because –and let’s be honest here– you’re Alliance and that’s exactly the kind of s**t you like to pull.

For the Alliance

WoWhead lists several Alliance options for farming the feathers but not all are equal. For starters, the mob they list in Hillsbrad Foothills is literally a single mob. With a drop rate in the area of 35%, that’s a long time spawn-camping a single mob for infinitesimal returns (but hey, you can kill Ol’ George over and over as he respawns faster).

The other options are to kill Witherbark Hideskinners, again in the Hinterlands, or to head out to Feralas or or Azshara in search of less friendly Hippogryphs. We prefer to do this because the Hideskinners have the lowest drop rate of all the options (around 10%) so the farming can take longer. Our preference is Azshara because it provides a few other options along the way.

The target for Alliance is Thunderhead Hippogryphs in Azshara. These mobs can be targeted by both factions and PVP-server players would do well to note that there is a Horde camp nearby, Valormok. It’s easy to tell when you’re getting close, however, since the farming area is downwind of the camp and you can smell the stench of Tauren as you near the camp.

The farming area is the extreme Northwest portion of the zone along the cliff overlooking the river that flows from Winterspring. While in the area, if you can farm it, keep an eye out for Dreamfoil and (one of our old favorites) Tin Ore. If you haven’t previously quested in this zone you may also wish to pick up the Encoded Fragments quest before you start farming since you can easily finish it while farming.

While here, you also want to look for the rare spawn, Antilos, a Gryphon that often spawns in this very spot. Also of interest, there is a neat fortuneteller’s table (replete with crystal ball) at the extreme northwest portion of the cliff closest to the waterfall. Although there’s no NPC at the table, someone should have predicted the fortune of the fishermen from the boat in the water far below. The boat appears abandoned but closer investigation reveals a few dilapidated underwater traps with skeletons nearby. Kind of reminds me of my own experience with the sport.

For Everyone

The Hippogryphs you are targeting in this exercise don’t always have loot on them. This harks back to the old days of WoW, before every mob gave you a little something and epics were handed out like candy. And yes, we used to have to trudge ten miles in the snow to get to raids. With no mounts even!

It should also be noted that there are superior pirate hats out there, but our understanding is that to attain one you have to be at least partly insane in the membrane.

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Fast Frenzyheart Farming

Sometimes you just want to kill stuff.  We understand.  For all the in-depth auction house trading strategy, WoWenomic theory and complex profession manipulation there are times when you just feel like crushing some skulls.  The Fast Frenzyheart Farming method is a simple remedy for this feeling with the added benefit of being efficient and profitable.

Requiements:

  • Allied with The Oracles.  Sorry, Frenzyheart Tribe allied players cannot do this trick.
  • Ability to withstand or escape 5 to 10 thousand incoming points of damage.

Technique:

In the semi-random rotation of Oracle daily quests within Sholazar Basin there is a quest that requires you to kill 50 of the Frenzyheart attackers and provides you with a few crystals to assist in making this happen.  The quest, Mastery of the Crystals, involves picking up the crystals and using the magic they hold to quickly kill off the Frenzyheart Ravagers in the opposing camp.  You don’t need the crystals to kill them but their use will very much speed up the process.  If you do use the crystals to do the deed, however, the bodies of the mobs cannot be looted.  But if you tap each mob, even doing as little as a single point of damage to it, you can get the kill credit and the resulting lootable corpse.

Our favorite way to do this is to get the largest possible group of mobs together at once, pop all three crystals and then use any kind of AoE ability to hit the mobs before they die.  This usually kills about 30 mobs in a single attempt if you choose the right location.  That perfect location is the Sholazar coordinates of 22, 79 (or the circle of Frenzyheart Ravagers) just Northwest of the camp in the Southern corner of the map.  The mobs at this location are already grouped, relatively low in health, respawn in under two minutes and drop enough loot to make this venture both fun and profitable.  After an hour or so of killing these mobs in this fashion we usually have a full stack of healing potions, about 10 mana potions, almost a full bag of scrolls and about 100 gold.

 The quest does not have to be turned in after hitting the requirement so just keep killing and looting until your bags are full.  Provided you always tap the mobs, and can survive their concentrated aggro, it is easy money.  One of our team members actually pointed this trick out to us in a recent discussion about alchemy.  He said that he never buys healing potions from other players.  He simply keeps this quest in his log and the crystals in the bank and kills these guys for a few hours whenever he needs to stock up.

If you’re unable to hit all the targets because your class has no form of AoE remember that anything will do here.  Exploding corpses or pets, damage causing auras or our personal favorite AoE hack will work as well.  Just be sure to bandage up and loot the corpses before they respawn as the timer is quite short.  Of course, it is this short respawn time that makes this method of farming so profitable.

Go forth and farm (and vent some frustration on the dog men).

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My First Gold- Harnessing Big Profit from a Low-Level Zone

My First Gold is a regular column dedicated to helping players level 20 and lower to start building their WoWenomic empire. Following these tips should help new players (and alts) expand their WoW wallets to afford training, trade skills and have a few gold left in their pockets. Higher-level players may find benefit in these tips as well, but every tip herein is intended to be within the capabilities of a player below the 21st level.

We are not big fans of farming (at any level)- we find it to be impractical as compared to other gold-making strategies unless you can group up several tasks at once for maximum efficiency. Today we’ll explore just such a grouping opportunity that can allow even a low-level character to make a couple of hundred gold in an hour while only having to deal with mobs lower then level 10.

Cake and Ingredients

It is rare that a lower-level player has the opportunity to sell an item to a player at the level cap. Yet the Children’s Week meta-achievement provides just this sort of opportunity.

As we mentioned last week in our Hot Item of the Week feature, Delicious Chocolate Cake is a required item as part of the Bad Example component. In that post, commenter and fellow WoW blogger Glinda pointed out the profit potential of supplying the other junk foods required for the achievement. This, in itself, is great advice since at least one of these items is sold in the cities on both Alliance and Horde sides. So it’s simply a matter of picking them up and putting them in the AH. Keep in mind that you should first check the AH price of the items prior to attempting to purchase them from a vendor for resale to be sure that you can still make money on the trade (prices are much lower now, half-way through the event, then they were at the start).

Another way for a player under level 21 to make gold this week is by supplying some of the materials required to make the aforementioned cake. The ingredients for the cake are as follows:

8 Simple Flour– sold by vendors (cooking)
4 Ice Cold Milk– sold by vendors (various)
4 Mild Spices– sold by vendors (cooking)
8 Small Eggs– looted from certain low level mobs
1 Flask of Port– sold by vendors (inn keepers and bartenders)
3 Mageroyal– looted by herbalists (at least 50 skill required)

A Closer Look at Profit Potential

While there is certainly opportunity and a small profit to be had by going to various vendors and selling these ingredients in the AH for a small margin, the big opportunity for lower-level characters comes in the form of farming Small Eggs and Mageroyal. Both of these items are easily gathered by almost all players but often a high-level player will not want to bother with going out to get them. Thus, an aspiring lower-level player can go farm them, while picking up some experience points and perhaps some gear, and resell them in the AH for a nice sum.

A list of all the locations from which you can find Mageroyal spawns is listed here.

A list of all the mobs that drop the Small Eggs can also be found on WoWhead.com via the link posted above. Ideally, choose the mobs with the highest listed drop rates.

Note that when you’re selling the ingredients and other achievement materials you don’t want to flood the auction house and push the market lower. List five or six at a time at most and re-post as needed.

A Unique Strategy to Maximize Your Profit

Our particular favorite place to get small eggs is Azuremyst Isle, the Draenei starting zone. An Alliance area, this zone is much easier to access to those on the alliance side but still reachable by Horde as well. There are several mobs in the zone that will drop the eggs that we’re after (with the further benefit of a comparatively high drop rate). These mobs are fairly well spread throughout the zone but this gives us ample opportunity to farm a few other items along the way.

First, for Alliance toons, note that one of the unique benefits of this zone is that there are no less than five ‘drop quests’ available from mobs within the area. All of these are quick and easy to do as they involve no effort beyond killing a few low-level mobs (all of which you’ll encounter as you search for your egg mobs) and take a minimum investment of time.

Of the mobs that drop these quest items, one of them is the Blood Elf Bandit. This mob should be searched for and killed every time you see him as he drops a highly profitable item, the Blood Elf Bandit Mask. This head-slot item has an extremely low level requirement (5), does not bind on equip, has no armor type requirement and looks pretty darn cool to boot. We regularly sell them for 40 gold each (confirmed on two different servers) in the AH. The drop rate is about 10% so you may have to kill a few mobs before you get one. As the target is stealthed, you might want to refer one of these maps for spawn points. Further, using a macro such as ‘/tar blood elf bandit’ will help you locate him if you’re having trouble.

Remember that, as with the eggs and herbs, you don’t want to flood the market if you pick up more than one mask so you can keep the price high. List one at a time and maximize your profits. You may also want to develop a bid and ask strategy for the item in the rare but possible event that someone else on your server is also farming the mask.

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