Tag Archives: WoW Gold Making Tips

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 This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail.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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The Bulk Test

It is sometimes difficult to spot a good deal in the auction house. Sure, there are those times when something is obviously under priced but there are many other occasions of items at ambiguously attractive prices that we are just not 100% sure about. The problem is greatly exacerbated when the item for sale is outside of our normal trading niche. Another factor is that we are human- As much as we’d like to pretend that we are entirely analytic and cold calculating traders, we are still all humans and can make mistakes based on emotions or other impairment.

One way to help avoid such mistakes (aside from not taking large positions when you’re drunk) is to conduct what we call The Bulk Test. Before you press the buy button, ask yourself, “Would I buy this in bulk?” If you’re willing to purchase one or a few of an item, would you be willing to do the same deal with hundreds or thousands of them? Putting aside the issue of actual demand, if the very idea of this item at this price in bulk quantity makes you balk then you’re probably not getting that good of a deal. If, on the other hand, you find yourself saying, “I wish I could get thousands of these at this price,” then you’ve more than likely just found yourself a good opportunity.

Sometimes you’ll still make mistakes but this simple way of looking at opportunities can help us make better trading decisions. We are not sure why looking at an item from the bulk perspective can give traders a clearer understanding of value- Our suspicion is that the mind plays tricks on us by suggesting, “Well, if I’m wrong it is only a few gold lost” whereas with bulk quantity this is no longer a factor. But perhaps it would be best to leave those sorts of discussions to those that bloggers more apt at studying the psychology of WoW gamers.

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Cheap Eats

Look, everyone loves a tasty, high-quality meal. It’s always nice to head out for a fine steak and a glass of wine but sometimes the situation calls for a quick burger instead. PUGs, PVE questing and Battlegrounds are fine examples of this- certainly not steak time, but still no reason to go to battle hungry. But don’t go to the expense of burning your best food for PUGs, BGs or a few lowly mobs, save that stuff for raids and more difficult encounters. If all you want is to have a food buff (particularly the stamina component for use in battlegrounds) just purchase or cook up some of the cheaper versions of your favorite foods.

Flexibility is key when finding ‘Cheap Eats’. Even if you’ve got your heart set on +Spell Power food, be willing to accept +Spirit, Crit or Haste instead. No matter what way you still get the Stamina buff and a little something extra to boost your other stats. Also, as long as we’re talking about flexibility, don’t forget to look in the AH for the uncooked version of the food you’re after as well.

Keep in mind that a large part of keeping these foods cheap to craft is attaining spices as inexpensively as possible. While not all lower level foods will require the spices, it helps to constantly keep an eye on this item in the AH for deals. We find at least once a week some idiot will post a stack of Northern Spices for less than half the going rate. Even if we don’t need them at that particular moment we’ll scoop them up for later use or simply repost them higher. It’s easy money.

Finally, the profit-minded WoW trader will be interested to learn that there is often a significant disparity between the prices of this lower-tier uncooked and cooked food. Look at this difference as an opportunity to conduct some profitable market corrections. Develop an understanding of both the base costs of preparing the cooked food and the timing of the sale cycle for the food and use this knowledge to exploit the market.

Here is a short list of a few of our favorite lower-tier (and often very inexpensive) cooked Northrend foods:

  • Cuttlesteak– Many WoW fishermen pick up Cuttlefish while doing one of their daily fishing quests. Since the material is utterly useless beyond cooking into steak of feeding to hunter pets, it often gets dumped in the AH at near vendor sale prices.
  • Baked Manta Ray– This one is great because it grants a buff that is beneficial to both casters and melee (haste) and does not require spices.
  • Grilled Sculpin– Another one that requires no spices to craft. Nice boost to AP. Watch the market closely, however, as the fish required to craft the item are also a key component of Fish Feast so sometimes it is better to sell the raw fish than to cook into this item.
  • Blackened Worg Steak– What’s that you say? The buff is useless? Not at all… pop one of these prior to your Wintergrasp farming runs and never be surprised by a gank-seeking enemy again. Of course, maybe you’re the ganker in which case this might prove even more useful for finding new targets.
  • Pickled Fangtooth– The raw fish required to craft this item are often vastly oversupplied and extremely cheap on the AH. Pick them up and cook them up and keep your mana up. Again, no spices required at all.
  • Snapper Extreme– Requires 3 raw fish AND spices but the fish are extremely oversupplied to such an extent that the crafting cost is often little more than the cost of the spices and your time invested.
  • Worm Delight– Another ‘no spice’ recipe with a buff that can benefit all classes and builds (Crit). This one used to be more expensive until more players started regularly killing worms for the Sons of Hodir. These days a savvy trader can find the raw materials on the AH at a much lower cost fairly regularly.

P.S. (free bonus tourist info): If you happen to be visiting the New York area sometime, be sure to check out Luger’s steak house (linked above). There are a lot of great joints in the city but this place is a bit out of the way so many tourists miss it. This New Yorker favorite has got a fantastic authentic Brooklyn atmosphere and serves up one of the finest steaks you’ll ever taste. Even the burgers here are great (and relatively cheap). This is not a paid advertisement, just us telling you where you can find a great meal during your visit. Not that we would complain if you invited us to come along for a bite mind you (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).

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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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Long Term Value of the Haunted Memento

One of the more unique items we’ve come across in WoW is the Haunted Memento. This item, a fairly common drop from certain mobs during the scourge invasion event leading up to the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, allows for your character to be followed around by a shadowy phantom.

The Haunted Memento can be traded with other players and even thrown to others (thereby haunting someone else). It is in this tradable nature of the item that we begin to see the WoWenomic value of holding on to these Mementos long term. Assuming that there are no future opportunities to attain one, they can only go up in value. Already they are regularly selling in the Auction House for 800 or more whereas they sold for less than 200 during the actual event. Should you decide to pick a few of these up for resale at some point in the future (perhaps, for example, well into the release of Cataclysm) they should fetch a hefty sum on the market. Of course, as we mentioned, buying and holding these also assumes Blizzard will not make them more readily available at another time so trade at your own risk.

If you’re going to get into the Haunted Memento market you will want to be aware that it is a unique item. If you are storing them long term, you’ll have to get creative in how you do so. One suggestion is to mail them between characters and, if necessary, even level one alts as there is no level requirement to having one.

At any rate, conduct a few scans for this item on your server’s AH and see if you can’t pick a couple up at a reasonable price and store them away for sale some point in the future. Currently, we try to purchase them at prices lower than 400 gold and resell them in the realm of 1,000. The best deal we’ve found was 100 gold but such deals are rare. You might also try your luck advertising for these items in the /trade channel but do so sparingly as the market is fairly small and a savvy trader will want to steer clear of any otherwise avoidable competition.

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Strategic Bidding

Have you ever intended to bid on an item only to realize that because there was already a bid on that item you ended up bidding higher than you wanted to?

By looking at the box at the center of the bottom of the Auction House screen you can see and adjust the amount you are about to bid on an item. It’s a simple tool and easily located but even veteran traders quite often overlook it. Before you bid on anything, take a look at this box and determine if you how much you are about to bid. A bid amount equal to the amount listed on the auctioned item means that you are the first bidder. A bid amount higher than what’s listed on the item means that you are upping another player’s bid. Use this knowledge to your strategic advantage.

Also, if you ever find yourself in a bidding war over the same item with another player -you know, those situations where you bid on something and are outbid seconds later so you bid again and the same thing happens over and over- try bidding a few times using the default amount listed then, after you’ve got your competitor in a routine, bid your maximum amount by typing it into the box directly. The frequent result is that the competitor, having fallen into a groove, will immediately hit the bid button without looking at the amount and get caught paying much more than expected. You might even try bidding over the maximum amount you want to pay in the hopes that your competitor blindly overbids to an extreme. You may not win the bidding battle for the item this time, but by using this trick you can certainly make it a much more costly victory for the competition.

Finally, one other trick with bidding is to always bear in mind that it costs more gold to cancel auctions with bids on them. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re competing with an auction house camper on your sales, and this person places low bids but regular or high buy out amounts, consider bidding the lowest possible amount and making it more painful for the competition to cancel their auctions and repost to undercut you.

Use the bidding feature to your advantage. It may not be the silver bullet of WoW riches but it is certainly a nice weapon to have in your arsenal of Auction House PVP.

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