30 Aug 2010

Mages Making Money

By most estimates, Cataclysm is two to four months away from release. With it, everything relating to crafting and professions changes again. Some materials will become junk for a time, while others will soar in value. People are also playing less, raiding less, crafting less. Demand seems to be down for materials everywhere. My gut feel is if I’m going to be making money in this expansion, this is the last chance I’ll get to do it.

As such, I’ve been taking a good hard look at my bank contents, my professions and my gathering skills and trying to work out just how to turn it into a healthy amount of gold. There are still a few things I’d like to pick up on my main (like the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth), plus there are a couple of alts I’m planning to level that will need riding skills and so on. I’m trying to lay the groundwork now while there’s little to do so that I’m not having to scrimp and save when the expansion hits.

Trouble is, actually making money as a Mage seems to be a bit of a tall order. I’ve started off by following Jaedia’s guide on setting up an auctioneering alt in order to start clearing through my various bank vaults. As I mainly tend to play on roleplay servers, Wilfred T Fuselage was born to take care of all the junk, surplus reagents and so on that I’ve managed to find on my characters. So far he’s doing a fine job, although getting to grips with the nuances of the auction house seems to be a bit tricky.

My main mage, Shaemus, is a tailor-enchanter. Currently most of his gold is earned through daily quests, as well as going through all the Northrend quests he missed while levelling. Any BoP blues and all greens that he finds get disenchanted and shipped off for selling. BoE blues get a chance at auction before being disenchanted as well. I’m having a bit of a rethink on this strategy, as Dream Shards tend to sell for about 5g each while the item could sell to a vendor for more.

Apart from this, I’m not selling enchanting Scrolls on the auction house at present as the market seems to be particularly fierce. I’m currently looking for tips on how to make this market more playable, but I’m worried that with raiding winding down that people won’t be upgrading their gear as much, which means fewer scrolls being bought.

Tailoring’s a bit of a bugbear for me at the moment – Frostweave bags don’t seem to make any money, while Glacial Bags only become viable if you’re a Moonshroud tailor (Shaemus is Spellweave). Sales on the speciality cloths are sluggish at best. Sometimes I get the feeling the best thing I can do is make a bunch of greens, disenchant them and sell the result.

That said, using skill barkers while I’m in a city helps a huge amount. I’ve managed to turn around a fair bit of gold by making items on demand for people, as it seems they prefer to obtain the materials then hire someone to do the crafting.

My other main contributor is Mendelev, a miner-jewelcrafter. I’m sending him out once or twice a day to go mining around Icecrown. Saronite at the moment gets sent straight to Fuselage for auction. Epic gems also get auctioned uncut – again, I’m nervous about entering the cut gem market even though it could make more money purely because of the competition. I’m also selling my surplus blue quality gems, although some get shipped to my alchemist for transmutation. Green quality gems are currently hanging around doing nothing – they won’t sell at all.

All the titanium that Mendelev mines gets prospected for gems. Eternals that he mines up either get placed on the AH, or go into the transmute queue to become epic gems or more valuable eternals.

Voltimand, my herbalist-alchemist, is currently being used as a transmutation robot. Herbs seem to be pretty flat on the auction house, mainly because no-one’s making flasks any more. As a result, once a day he makes an epic gem or an eternal transmute. He’s making me about 100g a day for five minutes work, but I can’t help but feel he could contribute more.

So this is how things are now, a few days in. I’ve managed to make nearly 3000 gold from the clearout and a few simple things, but I feel like I’m pouring in a ton of effort (and materials) in order to make money. The next challenge is to move on from this and see if it’s possible to move from selling raw materials to finished items safely. I’ll be on the lookout to find more simple tips in order to help with this over the next few days, but if you have any advice then feel free to share!

How about you though? Are you running down your stocks in anticipation of the expansion, or are you still holding on? Are you building up reserves of old-world materials to cater for an avalanche of Worgen and Goblins with professions to level?

Image taken from the Wickham Market Hoard, one of the largest hoards of coins found in the UK.

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13 Responses to Mages Making Money

  1. Radium says:

    Oh man, the first part of the article, it looked like I wrote it myself! It was EXACTLY like me. Only difference is that my Cata main is and will be a Priest, and this 80 of mine has Tailoring – Enchanting as well. I do Loremaster of Northrend to earn extra cash, and do dailies as well.

    The way I made most money is by selling mats of areas right before Outland (when I’m farming Scholo or Strat for example). These mats are all in high demand of leveling enchanters, and thus the price on the AH is fairly high considering the effort I put in to obtain them.

    I’m not really stocking on any mats, for now I sell all my mats on AH, because gold, well, you can ALWAYS use that no matter what. When Cata ships I’m thinking about sellign all my cloth while leveling and not using it to level Tailoring-Enchanting. Right after an expansion the prices sky-rocket, and thus I prefer to make loads of gold then to have my Profession at 525 asap.

  2. Ali says:

    This may seem silly, but if you have a low level DK hanging around, do some quick runs of Stocks for wool and green/blue drops. I have gotten several very nice blue twink drops that have sold for quite a bit. Wool on the horde servers I’ve been on are easily 15-25g a stack. It is a bit more work for my horde toons to get to Stormwind, for Alliance it should be a piece of cake to rack up some gold. This may be more of a project for someone completely new to a server without professions, but if you are just sitting around anyways, it is easy to do and quick.

    • Gazimoff says:

      That’s a nice tip, thanks! I’ll give it a go on my Deathknight and let you kow how I get on. You might have finally found a use for him :)

      • Ali says:

        Also forgot to add, that low level greens on my server are ridiculously overpriced. Anywhere from 5g-20g a pop.

        I don’t recall you mentioning having a high level scribe, but there is the rituals of the new moon offhand (a frill item) that is crafted by a few inks and a few eternal shadows. Costs me about 15g-30g to make them and I regularly sell them for 250-300 gold. The main way I got the word out was to do a tongue in cheek snarky advert on trade chat and more often than not one or two people would buy one after I had posted. If I hadn’t advertised in trade not as many people will buy because it isn’t a well known item.

  3. Hexlol says:

    I’m very casual at this money-making game, but i’m trying to stock up some gold for Cata aswell.
    I spend most of my time now on BGs and I got 3 alchemy toons (one being a transmute master) , so yeah, I have been selling gems for a while now. So it’s about 5 gems per day, on average.
    And since there’s not a single piece of loot to buy with badges nowadays I spend all my frosts on Primordial Saronites too.
    My server is low pop, and i assume it’ll be terrible to lvl up professions there, so i’m preparing for very high prices at AH.

    • Gazimoff says:

      I think I’m lucky in that most of the ones I play on are medium pop, and that my characters are fairly self-sufficient when working together. I agree with you though – most of the time badges are spent on Primordial Saronite. Although most other people have the same idea now – I’ve seen it go for 400g each on my server.

      • Hexlol says:

        Yup, same there. I’m on Kalecgos-US , goes at about 500ish.
        But i’m terrible at making money, so i go like “WOW 500!” ….

  4. Moravec says:

    Hi Gaz,
    For tips on how to make the scroll market a bit easier to manage, I wrote a couple of posts recently about using the addon EnchantShop, which should help you break into that. Part one here and Part 2 here.
    There are plenty of tips out there on making gold, and suggest you take a look at the JMTC forums.
    Best of luck
    Moravec recently posted..Question Time!My Profile

  5. Nina says:

    I do a lot of lower level materials flipping – I get on early in the morning, scan through the enchants, minerals and herbs, buy up anything that’s under 50% of market value (handy GoingPrice) and hold onto it. I’ll stock up on materials over the week then post about 150 auctions on Friday afternoon. Steady 25-50% growth on investment, now that I’ve learned the things that are always underpriced on my server and learned not to get too heavily invested in any one commodity.

  6. Shamantha says:

    I’m currently going through all my banks as well. This is the time to clear out what I won’t be needing and what won’t sell come Cata time. I’m also thinking about trying to gather a bunch of starter profession mats as many people will leveling a new goblin/worgen with professions, I’m sure.

    • Gazimoff says:

      True. I think it’s also time to plan what alts you’re going to roll and what professions they’ll have so that you can start stockpiling materials for them. Last thing you want is having to pay through the nose and spend all the money you’ve managed to earn.

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  8. Shadow says:

    hey man, my realm was doing real good with selling gems of all varieties and whatnot. i had the same as you.(Miner/JC & Herb/Alch.) I made alot of gold AH all gems, i also would use most saronite to make titanium bars(Xmute master if u didn’t know makes this pretty valuable.) and sell them on AH every now and then. I’d also transmute for other people who wanted to pay for the bars i made them or what i prospected for them. the common quality gems were kinda difficult to sell but after two or three times of putting them in the AH they sold quite well. helps to only put them on in stacks of 5 or 10. Of course, this was a few months ago when i had all this gold, but i think it still might work, depending on your realm. i won’t be making gold like that anymore, i erased those two 80s cuz i didn’t even play them anymore, but oh well. i can try my best still. haha. hope you get a good handle on the financials man.(don’t use titanium powder for cuts, sell it. )