“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.”
Gold in Legion
The primary purpose of this post is to ask you a question that I hope you’ll answer in the comments. The question is: “Are you slowly making a profit in Legion?”
It is subjective but my sense is that Blizzard has finally designed an economy that is balanced and avoids the need to grind or farm in the game to be able to play the game. A player who plays Legion content: World Quests, LFR, a Dungeon now and then, perhaps go questing in a zone; will make enough gold through rewards and vendor trash to be able to afford to keep up-to-date with their character with AH bought enchants, gems or a handful of consumables.
As I recall, initially in WoW, the only way to make gold was to farm or grind mats. Trade chat to sell stuff was used until they made an Auction House (maybe in Burning Crusade?).
The Sunwell patch offered the first dailies with gold rewards. Wrath of the Lich King followed up with Fishing and Cooking Dailies and the same at the Argent Tournament. This was the only way a player could make gold independantly of working the Auction House.
Cataclysm began increasing the gold rewards of questing. Dailies began to be the way to make gold via the designers, like in Mists of Pandaria. And so on. The gradual transition of the easing of the need to grind or farm to simply play the game was happening; partially, I believe because the there was more of the game itself to play.
Chinese gold sellers were a real thing. Banks of Chinese computers with “players” running the same route in the game farming up a material and selling it to make in-game gold which could be bought illegally with real dollars or yen or marks or pounds. Extremely profitable. And it wasn’t just the Chinese, of course. Where there is money, one can find the exploitation of people.
Warlords of Draenor blew the lid off gold making with it’s garrison. Players could easily make millions of gold over a few months. Suddenly (somehow) TCG card game rewards were being sold in Trade and the Auction House; I know that I bought the Ethereal Soul-Trader, the Dragon Kite and the White Rhino mount and more.
Today, it seems, that players no longer have to “farm to play”. Gone are the days when you’d be kicked from a dungeon or raid if you didn’t have enchanted gear, gems, food, potions and flasks. The fight design has changed from critical fine-tuned bosses that need exact DPS to, now, bosses that don’t hit hard but take forever to kill. No one checks your gear anymore and minimal ilevels are more loose.
Gold Making as a Mini-Game
Making gold can become a mini-game in itself. This is something that I avoid as a trap that would take me away from spending time in Azeroth instead of the Auction House. However, some players love this side game and it can get very sophisticated beyond my understanding. And, the regular player like you and I can make gold too.
The Serious Guys use tools. The Undermine Journal is an automatically updated website that tracks each realm in the world as to prices and predictions in the Auction House. Go ahead, look up your realm and poke around the site. Trade Skill Master is a super powerful addon that can filter items in the Auction House to automatically buy the materials you need to craft bigger items to sell.
The Clever Guys find a niche in the market and try to own it. Those are the guys who buy low and sell high. They “flip” materials to make gold. Once upon a time, it was an Art Form to play the Horde and Alliance Auction Houses off of each other (today the houses are combined). These are the guys who often camp or use their Apps all of the time.
The Profession Guys live to sell flasks, potions, buff foods, buff tokens on Tuesday night. They and the Clever Guys can be jerks and sell single items by the page. It is pretty good gold for them and they’ll tell you so.
The Trade Barkers are selling stuff in the Trade channel. The word “barker” is from the carnival guys at the fair “step right up, everyone is a winner”. They are tough guys and want to engage with you like a used car salesman, driving a bargain. They often sell Glorious plate tmog pieces and even sets. Beware the guys selling TCG pets and toys, they refuse to use the AH and are likely to be disreputable people!
Finally, there is the Common Player like you and me! The AH can be a mysterious place and you worry that you’ll be suckered. Still, with some practice and savvy, we can make some gold too.
My Gold Making Advice
Remember that first paragraph way at the top. I don’t think you actively have to make gold to play this game. It comes to you by playing.
Don’t try to make gold unless there is something that you want to buy. My list has been: first mount at level 40, flying at level 60, Repair Mammoth, Chopper, Sandstone Drake, Tmog/Reforge Yak. Find your goal and go for it, it is satisfying. I was stoked to have the Yak on the first day of Mists of Pandaria.
Be Timely. Early in an expansion, sell materials (herb, ore, cloth) before you invest in your own professions. Know that as each day ticks by in an expansion that the value of materials grow less and less and less.
Be Timely. When Tomb of Sargeras opened, I sold Tome of Talent Change; in stacks of five. A new raid can mean new gold for your coffers.
Be Timely. A new patch can bring new things to cash in on. Raiding with Leashes meant that those pets were hot, hot, hot on the AH.
Be Timely. When everyone was first in Suramar, selling Ancient Mana chunks was big bucks. What are people doing? Where are they playing? What do they need? You are playing the same game, what do you want — find it and sell it.
Use an addon. Even WatcherDev, the head design guy admits that players need an addon. I currently use Auctionator; it does a simple scan of the AH and lets me undercut the market. Other addons can be much more sophisticated and far beyond my own interests.
Want to make gold fast? Empty out your Reagent tab, sell it all. You are just sitting on it anyways. Have a fire sale. The rule is: try to sell an item three times, then know it won’t sell. Even those Lean Shanks and Gamey Bear Ribs that you looted on that quest will sell nicely.
The thought is that you sell raiding things on Reset Day like flasks, pots etc. On the weekend you sell mats, pets, tmog — the volume of the weekend warriors is higher and they have limited time to play.
And if you gotta: farm. Pick your Starlight Rose or Leystone Ore and sell it. Spend your Blood of Sargeras on mats and sell them. Basic gathering mats will sell, I promise! Get the Harvester shoulder enchant or, really, any of those shoulder enchants.
It is best when you have a goal and want something to buy. Otherwise it is endless gold gathering and (for me) quickly boring.
Gold making is a mini-game that a lot of people enjoy. I feel the need for gold is less than ever (who buys gear in the AH these days?). So, I ask: Are you slowly making a profit in Legion?