Today I’m going back to the roots, and the number one question on woweconomy. How do I make gold?
Obviously my entire blog is dedicated to answering this question in detail. It would still be nice to go through the question on a generic level.
The economic framework
Gold making is very easy to understand on it’s most basic level. The main way you turn a profit is by providing some sort of value to other players!
Provide value to other players
This is a very simple concept. People are generally always willing to pay for something they find valuable. Your job as a gold maker is to find ways you can provide items or services they find valuable. In WoW this is actually incredibly easy as we will see.
So what do players find valuable?
This is obviously the next question we need to answer. WoW is a game that is about constantly improving your character. You can generally improve your characters along two different axes
You can improve their power
You can improve their looks
People want to do the big deeps, and they want to look cool while they’re doing it. If you can help them get access to the items that make them look cool or kill stuff faster then they will pay you!
All items (disregard shop items) in WoW can be obtained from playing the game in some way. Obviously players could go out and acquire the items they wanted themselves, but this is not always practical. Farming a rare BoP recipe would take a lot of time and they might be better off just buying the finished craft in stead. Leveling a new profession takes time and it requires a lot of work just for two transmog recipes.
Players are more than willing to pay a guaranteed premium today so they do not have to spend the time or contend with the RNG involved in obtaining the item by themselves. This is why a lot of markets are profitable.
Let’s look at some applied examples and how you add value.
Farming: The act of creating the input items people need
Here we look at farming as the act of going out in to the game world to acquire the items people need. This can be rare gear, crafting materials like ore and herbs or something else. By interacting with the world you are literally creating these items out of thin air. You can now sell them to people who need them for their crafting operations, or for themselves.
The value is extremely obvious as you literally create the item. There was nothing there before you hit the node or killde the mob.
Crafting: Turning materials into useful finished items
Crafting professions turn materials that do not have any value outside of crafting uses and turns them into items you can use to increase your power or look cool. You provide value by creating useful finished items. Using TSM you can leverage your professions to a truly epic degree giving you the ability to provide a ton of value to other players.
Obviously the value is higher for items that are either rare or very powerful. An example of an item with high value due to the scarcity is the Vial of the Sands. On the other hand enchants are great as they are extremely powerful for end game content.
Flipping: Making the market more liquid and evening supply
Flipping is the last of the main gold making methods that is focused on items. It is perhaps not too easy to see how you provide value here. In general you are taking advantage of differences in valuation for an item. Material flipping is a market that will show how you provide value though. You help even out the supply. You buy materials when they are abundant and cheap and repost them when the price is higher and the supply is lower. This helps average the supply over time and you bring the price closer to average at all times. This helps the market by making sure there is always items available at reasonable prices.
Services: Providing access to gameplay content that is hard to reach
The most well known service in the game is of course various forms of boosting. If you are great at the game you can get people to pay you to take them through content that would otherwise be outside their skill level. You provide value by helping them experience parts of the game they would never see, or by meeting gameplay requirements they would never meet on their own.
Crafting: You take useless input materials and turn them into items people can use
Flipping: you provide liquidity. You help absorb oversupply and spread the stock out in time . This evens the prices
Putting this to work
This post has been on the theoretical plane. If you want help figuring out what kind of markets you can enter head over to my Total Legion Gold guide. It is still highly relevant! Get in on the Legion markets while they’re still good!