Sunday, August 1, 2010

Incidental Farming

I don’t know if you know Markco of Just My Two Copper. He’s a ‘gold blogger’. He tells people how to make lots and lots of WoW gold. I thought it was most strange when Markco asked me to write for the Carnival for I am epically bad at making gold. When I expressed this, Markco suggested I write about how I DO make gold.
It seems like my blogging time keeps getting pushed further and further down the priority list, so I didn’t write the article in time for the Carnival. I’m going to publish it here instead.
I don’t consider myself lazy, nor unintelligent, but making gold in WoW is not something I thrive at.
I’ve tried buying low and selling high. I trusted my addons, and spent a bunch of gold on items to ‘flip’. That left me with a whole mess of worthless materials that I eventually sold at a loss.
I’ve tried using my professions. My Paladin in a JC/Miner. Most of the I look at the Auction House on Altar of Storms, the uncut gems are selling for about the same as the cut gems. My alts are Miner/Skinner, Miner/Enchanter, and Skinner/Leatherworker. I like having a gathering profession so I can pick up mats while I’m leveling. Honors was double production at the beginning of Wrath and it about sucked my coffers dry trying to level up both Jewelcrafting and Engineering. The alts professions haven’t worked much better. Leatherworking Leg Armors and Enchanting Scrolls sell for about the cost of materials. At the time the ‘Saronite Shuffle’ was a major money maker, my Enchanter was still Alliance while my Jewelcrafter was Horde. I’ve found that people I read about who make gazillions via professions are nearly always Inscription, and work the Glyph market like a real business. No thank you.
I guess that’s part of my problem with making gold. When I’m buying mats on this alt to send to that alt to send to this other alt to finally send back to the first alt to sell, it feels like I’m playing a Spreadsheet. That starts to feel like work, and I want WoW to get me AWAY from the stresses of my workday, not bring them back.
So how do I make gold? I do what I call incidental farming. While I'm waiting for a queue to pop (Daily Battleground, Daily Heroic Dungeon, Arenas), I fly around Icecrown and Shalozar and mine Saronite and Titanium when I find it. When the queue pops, I jump into my game or dungeon. In this way, I get to farm, but it doesn't 'feel' like farming. I'm not farming just to farm. I'm farming as a way of passing the time while I wait for what I really want to do.
I also do my incidental farming is when I'm waiting for our raid to form up. I'm in a raid group, so I can't do much else so I fly around and mine. Wintergrasp presents another opportunity. I head over with about 10 minutes left to go and do some mining, or even fishing. I got yelled at one time for fishing during Wintergrasp (it had JUST started), so I don't do that much anymore, plus Honors is the only one with max fishing.
Lately, I'm been making gold incidental farming while working on my Explorer title. I decided to get Explorer as a way to see Azeroth one last time before the Cataclysm. As I ride around, I'll grab the minerals I run across. This has worked out really well, especially when I get gems from the Thorium veins.
Once I have some materials from my incidental farming, I send them to my bank alt. He runs to the Auction House, opens up the Appraiser tab in Auctioneer and hits refresh. Then I hit post at whatever the refresh price was.
After he posts the materials, I'll have him do a vendor search. I'm risk adverse after the debacle with buy low/sell high, but Vendor Search in Auctioneer finds stuff on the Auction House that is listed for less than a vendor would pay you for it. In truth I started doing this mainly to make sure that nothing I just posted is on the list, but Auctioneer has a nice warning before you post. If I see anything with a 'buy' price below vendor, I'll buy it and vendor it. Usually it's Icy Scales, and uncut 'blue level' gems.
This incidental farming gives me enough gold to make my repair bills and buy the gems and enchants I need for any upgrades I get. I make gold very slowly, only a couple of hundred gold each day I play, sometimes less. But it adds up over time.
Once I get Explorer out of the way, I’m going to start working on doing the Argent Tournament dailies on my Warrior. That should increase my income a good bit. My goal is buy epic flying on my Warrior, and possibly get him a motorcycle before Cataclysm. I’d also like to go into Cataclysm with a nice war chest of gold. My original idea was 100k, but I know I won’t have anywhere near that. If I have 20k, having bought those two items, I think I’ll be doing well.
With having mining on all 3 possible mains (Warrior/Paladin/Hunter) I will be able to make some good gold during the initial leveling rush. I remember Cobalt Ore going for a 100g per stack in the early days of Wrath. My goblin (Shaman or Mage, leaning Mage so I can make a Dwarf Shaman) will be an alchemist so I’ll finally have a flower picker.


Ngita said...


Its possible the markets you tried on your AH are just saturated. Their is no money in enchanting on my main server but I have been leveling a ancient alt as a enchanter on Horde and just making stupid amounts of gold, ie 20-40g profit selling scrolls I am getting skill ups off.

Ardent Defender said...

I'm not playing WoW much these days so just thinking of how i actually made gold was almost stretch of memory to remember since its been months. However most the way i made money was just doing normal stuff going about my life daily. I guess some was incidental.

Instead of waiting around for dungeon queues I always was out and about just tapping mining nodes, doing dailies if i felt like it, some argent tourney dailies here and there, craft a few things that was profitable and sell some glyphs when I did. Other stuff was normal stuff just having fun like running a old dungeon and selling the stuff high that others barely farmed. Rest was enchanting mats here and there, flying going somehere pic a few herb leafs to sell in outland and northrend that were profitable. Overall everything added up just doing normal things i liked to do including fishing.

But its been months since i played WoW so have no idea how the pre cataclysm economy have changed since.

Hell I don't play WoW these days but i know i've got over 100K sitting in my WoW character account and its gaining no interest siting there. Though I did Tank, the ability to have and generate a income source was always important to be. Buying lots of fluff never was. Having the gold for more important things was. But good to know have play money whenever return to play with. However thats how I made a bit of my own gold.

Duht said...

I operate like you do. I've been playing since vanilla, and I have never ever gotten into the auction house game. I'm the same away about other aspects of the game. I couldn't care less about gathering achievements and wish I could shut that functionality off, or at least that there was an option so I didn't get the annoying announce.

These are metagames that I have no interest in. I make enough gold passively to cover repairs, gemming, and enchanting new gear. That's all I need.

I've only ever regretted my disinterest in making money when I level an alt and see ilvl 264 gear on the AH for 10k gold. Somehow, I manage to get over it.

Markco said...

Great article, I have three gold tips for your miners:

Smelt cobalt ore into bars and resell as stacks of 20.
Smelt saronite ore to bars and resell individually with maybe four to eight up at a time.
Make titansteel by either supplying your own mats or buying them. Try to buy your mats on saturday mornings.

These three should make you a good 100 gold or more per day no problem and can definitately be done while waiting for a raid to start.

Some links you may find useful:

Forreststump said...

"End of expansion" = people leveling alts: 1) out of boredom, 2) wanting to switch classes in upcoming xpac, 3) wanting to get have more professions covered, or 4) [insert your reason here. As such, there are a LOT of quests that require items that can be crafted by any number of professions.

For example, the "Horde Badlands Quest Kit" consists of: frost oil x1 (alchemy), gyrochronatom x1 (engineering), healing potion x1 (alchemy), lesser invisibility potion x1 (alchemy), patterned bronze bracers x1 (blacksmithing). You could also include gatherable buzzard wings (x4) and *possibly* blue pearls (x9, though I don't know if they are lootable in the Vile Reef of STV if you don't have the quest).

There are dozens of others, and people are more than willing to pay some gold for quick XP to expedite the leveling process.

Will said...

Also, look at what gems are commonly used, for both Rare and Epic cuts, and figure out what the normal price of those is. Then add the raw gems into Auctioneer on the snatch search tab, and put the price 20-30% down from the price they usually sell for. And just do a scanall / snatch 1x a day, and then cut / post. You can often find some serious deals on gems, even if the normal price is about equal to the cut price.

Cold said...

Incidental Farming. Great term there. Couldn't think of a good title for it, when I wrote about it on Random Queues and Resource Farming.

Add this approach into your style for better results.

Anonymous said...

I really like it. And I want to let you know that I hope you will never stop posting.

Anonymous said...

“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” I hope you will find the way to put your great ideas into action.

Chanah said...

It's strange, I just started playing WoW, and I've pretty much followed the same strategy. I do craft a few niche items - I'm an alchemist and my server is very low pop, so often end up farming the mats myself. And I like to fish, which can bring in a fair amount of steady cash. I'm level 68, and have managed to save 11,000 of the gold I've made (yes, I have a weakness for spending on enchants and upgrades, but have you ever tried gearing a boomkin? the enchant madness has to stop, though). My fellow guildies keep telling me to get to 80 as quickly as I can because of the money-making opportunities, but most of them have less than 100 gold - yikes! I'm going to send them here to read this.

The one other thing I do is to look for limited supply recipes. Because I'm new, I was forever getting lost doing quests, but I'd always check all the vendors wherever I landed - have found a few things that sell nicely. Nothing like the prices some bloggers get, but it's a good 60-120 gold per day, sometimes more.

I haven't done anything earth-shattering either, except I do spend some time farming (it's the only way to get half my mats!), and also buying things on the AH that are auctioning for below vendor price and sometimes re-selling (bad, you can't give away epics on my server), or vendoring them for a gold or five profit.

In other words, it can be done without being a guru - I make about 300 - 350 gold per day on average. I doubt I'll ever hit the gold cap, but I'll be able to afford epic flying at 70 easily, as well as ggems, enchnats, consumables that I can't make myself and the like.

I don't want to devote my life to making WoW gold, but I do like to be comfortable.

Anolaana said...

I personally smelt Cobalt Ore (economy is mad here), which turns enough to cover my raiding expenses. I use my honour to help cover gems from time to time. I also do my dalies which turn over a nice amount as well. The high amounts of 'buy now' raiders and profession level-ers allow me to turn profit even when there are heavy saturations.