The attractive initial goal for many players getting into goldmaking is to be able to play the game for free by buying tokens with gold. But how much work is it actually to do that?
The token has wildly different prices between regions. In the US it is currentluy about 200k, and EU has it all th way up at 342 000 gold. This was a recent spike after the DF pre-orders came out, and the price is usually a little lower. Either way this is a fairly substantial amount of gold, and if you want to make it in 30 days, you will have to put in a dedicated goldmaking effort.
If you farm for your token, it’s pretty easy to calculate how much time you need to spend farming. Farming methods generally vary between 15 000 and 30 000 gold per hour. If you want to generate multiple hundreds of thousands in a month, focusing on the current expansion is the best, as those items typically sell faster. At the beginning of an expansion these methods are often the highest in gold per hour, whereas at the end like now, they typically fall on the low end of the spectrum.
You need to farm regularly
If we look at how this breaks down for total hours of farming we see that for NA you are looking at between 7 and 15 hours of farming, and for EU we are at between 11 and 22 hours. This is equally to anywhere from a quarter of an hour up to three quarters of an hour of farming per day to get there.
The bad thing about this is of course that it does not scale at all, so every month, you have to go out and do the same amount of farming. Of course with a longer time frame you can do higher GPH farms without considering how quickly it sells, but by itself this is still quite effortful.
Enter the AH
Now when I did my post on why I don’t farm, I did some interesting math. I came to the conclusion that I made about 297 000 gold per hour crafting and selling ilvl 262 gear. That would mean I could make a token in an hour. Of course you can’t just scale this linearly with how many hours you put in, but even just spending a couple of minutes each day can get you very far along the way. Even with the profit margin decreasing, I am still looking at 90 000 gold per hour at least, which is still 3 times faster than farming on most realms.
What do you do then?
The best approach is to be in multiple crafting markets focused on the end-game. The best markets right now in Shadowlands are gear-focused ones. Item level 262 gear and speed sets do really well. Combine leatherworking and tailoring with cooking for the best single character setup.
You will want to log in every day and check if any items have run out, then you re-craft those. Go for only the top stat variant for each 262 piece, and one each speed piece crafted with a crafter’s mark. Minimizing your inventory is good when you want to buy something specific soon, such as a token, so you have more of your total value in liquid gold.
With this approach you should be making enough gold for a token in 30 days, and be in a position to scale upwards quickly. An initial entry in a market will always cost you gold for a little while before your income starts rolling in, and by continuously reinvesting in new markets you can speed up your sales.