With the impending launch of Shadowlands many goldmakers are in fact coming into their first ever expansion launch. An expansion launch is a magical time, both for the game in general and goldmaking.
Everyone knows gathering is good
The common knowledge is that gathering professions are really good early on in an expansion. This is of course to some degree true, but it does not mean that gathering is the best or only way. In general I find that gathering is not worth it unless you can spend a significant amount of time farming.
The fact that everyone knows this also means that many players will be gathering. In this specific case a contrarian approach by focusing on crafting can work really well.
Not all material prices are high
One of the main reasons I don’t do gathering early on however is the fact that material prices just aren’t that high the first week. The first couple of days very few players are buying materials, as they focus on leveling. After a couple of days prices do start rising though and they eventually hit a peak depending on the material type. If we look at Anchor Weed from the beginning of BfA for instance we can see that it is not really great until almost two weeks after launch. For other materials the price is higher, but you can usually get materials quite cheaply on day two.
Crafting is incredible
Getting the new recipes early on is usually fantastic. Players want to get their hand on the most power they can. This time around the time from launch until m+ and the raid is just two weeks which makes it even better to get crafting early as players will be more desperate to get their ilvl and stats up. It does not look like the final word on ilvl is out yet, but crafting was absolutely off the hook in BfA during week 1 and I expect similar levels of craziness in Shadowlands.
Gear first, then consumables
Gear is the first priority at max level, then consumables. Players who ding 60 will need gear the first two weeks. At this point there isn’t really any hard content out yet, so consumables don’t really matter as much as just generating the biggest ilvl/power advantage they can get before raids open. As such I think gear professions will be better than consumables for the first two weeks, and then we should see consumables really take off.
What will change this time?
I expect things to be different. The short time period until the raid coupled with the new AH added in 8.3 probably means things will be very different. Either way I expect crafting professions to heavily outperform gathering unless you have a lot of time for gathering.