Tag Archives: WoW Gold Tip- Rare

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 This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail.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

Buying and reselling BoE gear is a well-known and widely accepted way of making gold in WoW. It is beneficial to remember this old trick as we all sometimes have a habit of getting caught up in our own worlds of crafting and profit margins.

Because many players will not take the time to strategically analyze and compare their existing gear to the various items found while questing or scanning the AH, the traditional logic has always been that purple, or epic quality, items will sell for more. This is true even when the upgrade on a blue (rare) item might be the better improvement for the specific class or spec in question. Purple sells better than blue simply because many players have become trained to respond to this color system in a somewhat Pavlovian approach to gearing.

Similarly, players also respond to item levels of gear. It wasn’t until the release of patch 3.2 that players were able to display the item level of gear but after that change, many took advantage of the new interface option, and now the decision of ‘is it an upgrade’ has taken a new turn. Whereas it used to simply be ‘purple is better’ many player now also refer to the item level so we’ve now got several tiers of epic and upgrades. That’s actually a bit of a misnomer because we’ve always had these tiers; they just weren’t as accessible to the common player.

The lesson here is that you should always enable the ability to display item level in your interface, even if you’re capable of making your own decisions on upgrades. The reasons to do so are:

  • It can help you better decide on suitable targets and buy and sell prices for resale.
  • Assist in negotiations on price “Man, I’m not paying X for that item, it’s only ilevel 200.”
  • It can help you develop a more effective marketing approach to selling BoE items, “Ulduar 25 hard mode equivalent bracers for sale.”

Further Reading:

We’ve previously explained how to enable item levels for your interface in our article on selecting profitable quest rewards.
WoWWiki has a fantastic, if somewhat outdated, article on the hidden formula and mechanics of item level. (Pro tip: Gear resellers, be sure to give that WotLK chart at the very bottom of the page a careful look for marketing ideas.)

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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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Remember the Frost

As we progress through the end-game and high-end crafting it is common to overlook some of the items that we crafted along the way. One particular set of items that many crafters neglect is Frost Resistance Gear. These items still sell well in the auction house and, in many cases, are not stocked at all by crafters. This presents an opportunity for the savvy craftsman in that there is still a demand for the goods but an often limited supply.

While the utility of frost resistance gear is debatable the fact that players still buy it is not. It still sells- at lower but still profitable prices- and you’d be overlooking a gold making opportunity if you didn’t stock the at least one of each item in the AH. Many players stopped making frost resistance gear a few months after WotLK was released and the market for these items became heavily saturated and prices dropped. The market, at the time, was over supplied while demand also dwindled as guilds progressed beyond Naxxramas. Currently, however, demand remains constant while many suppliers don’t even bother crafting the items. Since the price of the crafting materials of the gear has dropped sharply post-patch 3.2, the gear is once again profitable to craft and sell. Put another way, why drop your Frozen Orb in the AH for 30-40 gold when you can add a few eternals and a couple of base materials to craft a resist piece and charge quadruple that amount or more?

Frost resistance gear is not a huge seller and it is not something to go into direct competition with other traders over, but it is an area of crafting that still has demand and market. You may also find it helpful, for your own crafting and playing endeavors, to understand how resistance works. Be sure, if you are capable of crafting such gear, that there is at least one of each frost resist item in your professional capacity stocked in the AH at all times. Play around with pricing and charge the maximum amount that you can sell the items for when you don’t have competition.

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Profiting from Server Down Time

The WoW alert system is showing that there will be some additional down time this morning in the form of rolling restarts for some servers and an extra four hours of maintenance for many other realms. This is a fantastic opportunity for profit for the opportunistic WoW trader. We’ve previously pointed out some of the ways to make gold from these types of situations. Highlights of opportunities include:

  • Less competition- Less players able to log on means less players posting in the AH.
  • Weaker competition- Your main competitors may not be able to log in. Use this opportunity to gank the AH and jack up the prices. If this is the case, consider posting for shorter durations under the assumption that the competition will return when technical issues are resolved.
  • Expiring auctions- The ‘Monday night effect’ occurs on other days as auctions are due to expire. Look for underpriced bid items and pick the low hanging fruit.
  • New content opportunities- As extended and unscheduled maintenance is almost always attributed to new content releases, prepare for the needs of players running that content. Initially expect to sell healing/mana potions, flasks and other consumables and eventually start selling enchantments, enchanting materials, item enhancements and gems and glyphs. This is a classic seller’s market.
  • Overcut- Yes, we made that word up. But the concept is simple. If the above point is true and some items are going to sell out quickly than there is opportunity to be had by selling at the top price of a market. If you expect an item to sell out (i.e. there are only several listed of an item that usually moves quickly) don’t for them to sell out and then post yours. Simply price your item at a higher price under the assumption that when the others sell out yours will be the only option left. Fantastic opportunities for this type of market manipulation are currently high-end cloth, select flasks, and our favorite, raw epic gems. Several realm’s auction houses scanned this morning showed only 3-5 raw epic gems in stock instead of the normal 10-20.
  • It’s not you, it’s me- In the event that you’re the one experiencing technical issues and unable to log on, ideally you’ve already posted some items in the AH with high prices in anticipation of the downtime. Either way, take this time to brush up on your trading skills by looking through our archives or visiting some of the real world business and trading sites listed on our resources page. In fact, we’ll suggest a few fun articles…

Here are a few favorite real-world business articles from the past few days for your downtime reading pleasure:

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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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