Aside from levelling up their character, one of the main concerns for the thousands of players that have jumped into World of Warcraft Classic since its launch will be making money.
Managing your money is of greater significance in Classic than it is in retail WoW – not only does it take more effort to earn gold, you have a greater number of expenses relative to the amount of money you’ll passively generate by playing without taking money into consideration.
The most significant expense is arguably your mount – for most players, riding training and a mount will cost 100 gold at level 40, and for faster mounts at level 60 a massive 1000 gold.
If you hope to minimize the time spent earning that money, as well as the gold you’ll need for a variety of other expenses along the way, here’s a few tips and strategies for earning money in WoW Classic.
As you’re working your way through the levels on your way to 60, there are a few things you should keep in mind that will help you maximize the gold you save along the way.
First things first, make sure you always collect as much loot as you can carry. You might be tempted to ignore the grey or white items you’re not going to use, especially if you’re coming from a retail account where you have plenty of money built up already, but in Classic selling those items to vendors is going to help cover the myriad costs of progressing a character.
When it comes to those costs, however, you also want to keep them to a minimum along the way. Expenses like ability training add up quickly, but you don’t actually need all of them on your journey to max level. Improved ranks for spells you don’t use, or abilities that offer the same utility at rank five as rank one, may not need to be bought until you have a surplus of gold.
Likewise, consider when you really need to make repairs to your armor – are you likely to find a replacement soon? How big a hit are your stats really taking for that broken piece? If you can avoid repairing items that are about to be redundant, you might save a not-insignificant amount over the long haul to 60.
In WoW Classic, Professions play a major role in both making money and providing much-needed items towards the end of the game, so it’s worth picking them up as early as possible regardless of what your intentions are.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to earn extra gold is to pick up some gathering professions as early as possible – any two of Mining, Herbalism, and Skinning.
As far as which to pick, Skinning has the benefit of being able to create your own resources by killing enemies, whereas mining nodes and herbs have to be found, and might be taken by other players. If you’re planning on picking up a crafting profession that will use a particular resource down the line, however - like Blacksmithing or Alchemy - it might be worth selecting Mining or Herbalism respectively.
These will allow you to gather resources without too much extra work while you’re levelling up, which can then be sold. Most things will yield more money sold on the auction house, although for the lower-level items, the slightly lower profit of selling to vendors might be worth it for the immediate cash-in, so it’s worth checking how the prices compare.
Crafting professions definitely give options for making money by creating items or providing services that are very valuable, they also take up a lot of resources. Generally speaking, it will be more efficient to take gathering professions while levelling, and then switch over once you hit level 60 and have built up enough of a bank – especially for professions like Engineering or Enchanting, which are particularly expensive to level up.
It’s not just the major professions you should be considering though. The three secondary professions can all be picked up in addition to your two primary professions, and give you another valuable means of making money – especially with Fishing – or saving money by producing resources yourself rather than buying them.
In World of Warcraft, ‘farming’ is the process of repeatedly killing enemies, ideally in large groups, to ‘farm’ them for experience or loot.
If making money if your goal, then it’s the latter you’re most interested in. Whether it’s out in the world or within a dungeon, pulling groups of enemies, downing them with AOE, and repeating can net you both raw gold and a variety of items to sell.
When it comes to specifics, it’s going to be a case of what works best for you. You can blast through lower-level content alone, or group up to tackle tougher opponents. Some farming strategies aim for uncommon gear drops to sell on the auction house, while others will be more reliable in offering coin and crafting materials like cloth.
Some classes are stronger at farming than others – Mages particularly excel due to their huge range of AOE and kiting tools – and so your class choice will also influence what might be best to farm for you, and whether you group up or go it alone.
With so many potential locations in which to farm, it’s worth trying out a few different approaches without sinking too many hours into them initially to get a sense for what you find easiest, most enjoyable, and most profitable.
Farming is also a very effective levelling strategy if you’re working in content that’s within your level – either world monsters or dungeons with a group – so if you’re all about that endgame then it’s definitely worth considering along the way. For others, it might only come into play when you specifically need to make money for a big payment like a mount.
One of the age-old methods for making money in World of Warcraft is to work the auction house to find profit in buying and selling items. Compared to other methods, however, this requires much more starting money, and involves a risk of losing money if you make the wrong decisions.
There are two main approaches you can take to playing the auction house. The first, classic speculation, involves buying low and selling high – which sounds simple on the surface, but requires an intimate knowledge of the market to make the most of, as selecting the right items involves identifying bargains, understanding where prices might fluctuate, and also buying items with enough demand that you’ll be able to sell them again in a reasonable time.
The second approach is to attempt to monopolize a particular market by buying out all competitors, which then allows you to set a price with a significant profit margin that anyone who wants or needs the item will have no choice but to pay.
Going for a monopoly requires a lot more starting cash, however, and also comes with greater risks. You have to stay on top of the auction house to ensure you’re not being undercut, and if there’s too much supply it might not be realistically possible to maintain your monopoly.
Both of these methods also may not be viable in the early days of WoW Classic, as the market hasn’t had time to settle – there are more players working their way through lower level content, leading to higher supply of items found there, and less demand for higher level items. Players also haven’t had much time to earn gold to spend, and many will be saving for mounts initially.
While particularly savvy traders might spot some unique openings in the opening month of WoW Classic, for most players working the auction house will be a more viable option further down the line once the in-game economy is more stable.
If you want to focus on making money, there are several addons that might prove useful, and the following stand out as being particularly worth considering.
For the gold-conscious player, Auctioneer is an invaluable tool for making sure you maximize your earnings. Not only does it streamline the auction house experience itself, allowing you to easily undercut existing listings, buy at the cheapest rate, and track the market, it also displays the auction price of the items in your bag, allowing you to judge the value of things you pick up while out in the world.
If you have gathering professions, an addon like GatherMate will likely make it much easier to ensure you never miss a herb or a mining node. GatherMate will remember the location of every herb and ore you collect, and display that data on both the mini-map and the world map, to make gathering easier and more efficient.
For those that really want to master the skill of making money in WoW, TradeSkillMaster is the ultimate addon, and incredibly powerful suite of tools covering everything from crafting to auctioning. Being on the complex end of WoW addons, however, it will definitely take some learning for beginners, so it might not be worth diving into unless you really want to collect every copper you can.
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