Thursday, January 15, 2015

The (Un)Fortunate Mechanics of Draenor Goldmaking

How to Make Gold in Draenor

The best part of being one of the best Warcraft goldmakers on the planet is you meet a lot of nice people who usually can call you out on your bullshit.  I hate "yes" people.  Ever been on a date (I know lots of you haven't but go with me here since you might learn something) where you spend the time talking with the person for an hour and you walk away not knowing a thing about them because they just agree with everything you tell them and they basically sit there and can't carry on a conversation?  Some of you would probably say this was the perfect person, I would say this was the last date.  One sided conversations in my world are horrible, when the other person isn't capable of talking on my level, or at least contributing to the conversation, I know they aren't either paying attention, aren't interested or can't comprehend what I'm talking about.

Lately, I've found this to be the case in the WoW gold arena.

The lead up to Draenor release was a thud in retrospect.  Lots of ideas being thrown around, but nobody I knew except for a handful who were in beta so noone could verify anything.  Professions also felt weird at release since they drastically changed them.  Then release happened and everyone was so in love with their garrisons and all the shiny news things to be discovered.  Today, people can't be asked to do more than their cooldowns and their work orders, if they can even keep up with those.  Nobody has the time, and that's reasonable since there's raiding to get done at a breakneck pace.

I heard advice like "Make sure you get Salvage on ALL the toons!" and other extremely time consuming activities.  Do the mine and garden everyday!  Barns are awesome, get one on everyone so you can get Savage Blood!  Ok, this works great if you have like 3 characters.  If you're me (approaching 15 100s) this works like absolute trash.

It looks like transmog of old pieces and flipping recipes is essentially dead in the water.  Of course you could always reprice everything on the auction house to ridiculous prices, but that really is a crappy business model and the last refuge of the non-critically thinking.  The answer is to produce a model for yourself that remains consistent, is immune to crashes and spikes, and is the foundation for successful and stressless revenues.  I run my Warcraft goldmaking like a business because that's my background, so let's get into what I'm doing today and if we might be able to hold a conversation.

Each Character is a Profit Center

You should pay very close attention to your server's overall economy.  Stede remodeled my spreadsheet that Windtraders knew as Godmode.  I called it Godmode because it tells you the health of each profession on your server at a glance.  You should check it out at

Select those professions that are applicable to your server.  The character is going to maximize two professions, and those two professions should be profitable and independent of the rest of your stable.  You should select these professions based on empirical data and not on a whim or because some Twitter-honey tells you that they make a fortune in glyphs.  Each profession accepted on these characters has to keep up with demand, and the only way to analyze demand is through market activity.

So once a week you craft an armor or a weapon, post it, and it either sits there or it sells immediately.  If it doesn't sell for a week, you should scrap it entirely.  If it sells immediately, you should make MORE of that item, right?  Wrong.  Luck and silly purchases often screw with your numbers.  Further, making an item without checking pricing data ahead of time is foolish as well, this is where TUJ comes in.  Posting the item with TSM and just undercutting is also stupid, because TSM doesn't intuitively recognize variable mods on the equipment, so the vast majority of people are posting items just to be "lowest priced!".  This is where your own hard work and research comes in.

Know the Proficiency

I wouldn't post anything without knowing who it's for.  I took the time to actually research what classes would be looking for and into who it actually works for.  Most of the rolls you're going to get on items are absolute trash.  

Let's look at Blacksmithing for example.  For Ret Paladins you're looking for Feverflare, since it's pure Haste/Mastery and going to be best for them in most cases.  Savage is Critical/Multistrike and going to be regarded as crack for Arms/Fury Warriors.  Do you simply post these with no others like it up because TSM queues it as such?  If you do stop reading and go back to grinding old raids for your gold, you're in the wrong sandbox and I'm inviting you to leave.  Otherwise, absolutely, you do not.  Someone who is buying this item is further going to want to probably upgrade it so they can get BIS for their class in Heroic quality.

"But Zerohour, where would we go to get such information on these classes?!"  Ah yes, I'll spoonfeed the babes out there today.  Each article is written by game pros, not some scrub with a blog and a vendetta.  Write down what you find there, if I have to tell you where to look for the magic information I'm not talking to you further, consider this our last date.

Know the History

TUJ doesn't break it down.  Wowuction doesn't recognize it either.  Each mod is simply thrown into a big cluster of the same family.  Truesteel Armguards are treated the same across all variations.  You simply have to watch the Auction House personally to find the prices of items.  Is this a pain in the ass?  Absolutely.  Goldmaking just got a little harder.

Know the Needs

It's all great that people are able to make every slot of item nowadays, but which crafted items will people really want since they can only equip three?  And more than likely, they'll upgrade those three slots.  You need to know your customer.

This is where comes in.  You should log in and learn how to use the site for classes other than your own raiding characters, unless you know your class dead to rights already and intend to only gear the same class.  What makes MrRobot so good is that a huge percentage of players are going to go here and use the tools to find where their upgrades are going to come from.  The worst thing you can do is preach to people that some helm is a better choice than a chest, they're going to use what's available to them quickly.

What I did was go through over 30 different specs and create generic characters.  Oh yeah, it allows you to do this, it's a good site!  So let's say I am running a Ret Paladin and I'm wanting to find out which slots of armor/BOEs people are generally going to want.  And let's say I'm a Heroic Raider but the gear dropping in these raids is itemized like absolute shit.  (Spoiler: It is for most classes)  I want to get 3 of the best possible pieces to get an upgraded 670 item, and not have to run around with Crit/Versatility or Crit/Something besides what I want.  Smart raiders are going to explore these options, and lo-and-behold within seconds I have my answer - I need to find a chest, gloves, belt, or helm (Not the actual answer, so hold off on making these) with Haste/Mastery on them.  I then buy the items and upgrade them and have my BIS.

If I'm a goldmaker, and I am, I create a generic character and gear it out with all Heroic items.  I then check to see which items that class/spec are going to want to replace with upgraded BOEs.  I can also do the same for Normal mode raiders hoping to be Heroic, since at this point Mythic raiders are equipping the gear they find rather than go with upgraded BOEs.  What 3 items should I craft and what mods would I want on them?  Make those slots and reroll if necessary.  There is no harm in attempting to double the value of a trash item, you may get something good for another class/spec.  One could also farm the AH looking for these particular items to flip, it's not like they're going to be extremely common.  Based on the crafting model we see right now, this is going to be the case for the remainder of the expansion. 

Know your Server

Something I preach is to know your market/server.  In my case, the server's push is entirely towards raiding.  And not that LFR shit, that's not raiding.  By raiding, I mean Heroic and Mythic raids.  Even Normal mode.  At this time, 214 guilds on my server have cleared at minimum 6/7 Heroic mode through 7/7 Mythic mode.  Quick math would tell you I have thousands of potential customers that are not able to craft on their own and have more gold than time.

Let me introduce you to, in case you've never been there.  Just how shitty is your server?  This site tells you your opportunity.  Next question, when do these people raid?  Your server's forums should tell you if have a mostly Tuesday or Wednesday raiding server.  But the off-nights are the most important.  Most 3 day guilds are going Tuesday through Thursday.  If they start on Wednesday, they go Wednesday, Thursday, and Monday normally.  Find out what times they start, this tells you when you should be posting everything from flasks to enchants/gems.  Prices on busy servers are going to ebb and flow minute by minute, on backwater servers you may only see good prices for an hour before they tank.  This is where you analyze prices hour by hour, or in 30 minute intervals.  TUJ can tell you this information or you can get the data on your own by looking.

There is No One Sized Fits All Solution

I don't have all the answers, that's why I consider myself an entrepreneur in these matters.  You always test things, fail, refine, redo.

If you're looking to get rich quick, I suggest buying gametime tokens and trading them to me in a future patch.  My process is slow and deliberate, methodical and requires patience.  If you want get rich quick, that's fine, I'll pick up your pieces after you give up.

As long as you have the basics down pat, you should be able to build on it.  Go back to the beginning here, every single character with professions you have should be treated as a profit center.  Refine them, research them, understand them, apply them and refine them again.  Greatness stands on the shoulders of giants.


Now that I have dropped a V8 into my 4 banging clunker of a gold machine this expansion, I've produced better results.  I stopped using TSM for the most part because my markets are flat out not TSM friendly and require severe analysis before I post anything.  In fact, I manually post almost everything anymore.  Yeah, Auctioneer for the win!  Here's Tuesday night's results:

I completely sold through everything, making a small fortune in the process.  The week prior I was at half that amount.  The key is to replicate the process and repeat it week in and week out.  Before long I'll be back in GDKP slapping nubs around with their low bids and feasting on tears.

Thanks for stopping in!

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