Making gold in WoW is simple. There are several fool proof ways of making gold that will always work. The most obvious one of course being farming.
A surefire way of eventually getting rich is just to spend your time doing stuff that makes gold. If you farm a 20k gold per hour spot for 50 hours total you will be sitting pretty on one million gold.
That being said you have access to a wide variety of ways to make gold. The guys over at The Goblin Goldcast talk about this in their latest episode. They focus mostly on how and why you should compare the Gold per hour of your methods to make sure you are spending your time the most efficient way. They have a couple of good tips and insights into this so I suggest you give it a listen.
That being said I personally don’t think that you should necessarily focus on whatever activity you can do that has the most gold per hour. I’m gonna give a very quick example to illustrate my point.
You can do activity A, which generates 20 000 gold per hour, but you find it extremely boring.
You can do activity B which generates 5 000 gold per hour, but you genuinely enjoy doing it.
In this example you will eventually quit doing A, because no one wants to play games to be bored. So the long term optimal choice is to focus on B because that allows you to enjoy the process of gold-making. And gold-making is a grind just like anything else in an MMO.
They also advocate to very seriously monitor your returns. I personally find that doing that on a very detailed GpH level is boring. I just use the built in Functions in TSM accounting to look at my groups and make sure that my operations more or less guarantee that I’m not selling items at a loss on average.
I strongly believe that you should not be doing things you dont find fun to earn gold. WoW is a game. If you’re not enjoying your time you are doing it wrong.
That being said anything that is profitable in WoW is profitable because some other players are not willing to do what is required to get the item by gameplay means, so they will be buying it off you instead. You are providing convenience in some form.
So what does this all mean?
Figuring out your competitive advantage
The strongest competitive advantage you can have in any area of life is if you enjoy doing something that other people don’t, even if it is beneficial to do. If you have fun, you will persevere and spend more time doing it. This will make you more sucessful.
To find out where you have an edge you should analyze what you enjoy in World of Warcraft and how your playtime looks. This should give you some insights into what kind of strategy is most likely to succeed long term. Anyone can implement my groups and run them for a month and make some gold, but for long term success you need some form of intrinsic motivation.
I’m going to do a rundown of myself and some of the skills and characteristics that define me as a WoW player. You will see that most of my relevant skills and character traits are perfectly suited to making money primarily from crafting and playing the Auction House. I also tailor my gold-making set up to my traits to maximize my success.
Good at math
I am fairly good at math and spreadsheets. Making a model of a profession to figure out which crafts are most profitable is easy, and I find it fun. This skill is put to great use when crafting and I can focus on the best items.
Ok at programming
I know a bit about programming. Not a lot, but enough that picking up TSM was very easy for me. TSM is essentially a framework for making algorithms for selling and buying items. I enjoy doing this and have spent quite a bit of time setting it up. I also enjoy the feeling off having set up elaborate networks of operations.
I enjoy reading
I enjoy reading, so I read a ton of stuff about the game, including patch notes, forums, reddit and blogs. This will sometimes allow me to spot trends and make profits from changes.
Knowledge of economics
This honestly doesn’t really matter much. The biggest thing from economics is just that I know a bit about optimal economic decisions in certain situations, so I don’t get bothered by things like large undercuts (It’s actually a completely sound choice).
I also have some knowledge of risk management so I can minimize the risk of large losses if I do take risk.
Traits (as a WoW player)
As the name of this blog suggests. I won’t spend more time than necessary doing anything. I enjoy automating simple tasks so that I get the pleasure of not doing them (such as in my spreadsheet that automatically downloads prices or by using TSM operations to automate all my buying and selling decisions).
I have a busy real life and I raid casually 1,5-2 nights a week. I want to spend as much as possible of my online time doing things I enjoy. I donæt enjoy farming so that is off the table.
Mass crafting is great as I can click create all and go do something else for 5-30 minutes, or do something on my other monitor.
My limited playtime is also a major reason for why I have two accounts. This means I can play the game on my Main and post and shop while on flight paths, in lulls during raids etc.
The other advantage of the Auction House is that I can do all my crafting when I have time and then post the items on the AH. The items will then sell of while I’m not playing, which is great.
The largest barriers to entry into mass-crafting are capital and risk aversion. I only craft stuff I know why people would buy and I trust my TSM settings, so I don’t really feel I am taking risks.
I also like gambling a bit when it comes to flips. I probably take on more risk than the average WoW player, but less than the most gambly ones.
I always get bored if i just play one character. So i create alts. This is usually great for crafting stuff as there are usually great synergies between different professions. (turning leather into bracers to disenchant for instance). I haven’t had time to indulge this in Legion, but I do have 2 lvl 110s.
Now go figure out yours!
Take some time to think about what you enjoy and try to think about how you could translate that into gold-making. It is the surest way to get long term success in the gold-making game.