Yes, crafting while just buying materials is better at expansion launches

So I keep getting some variation of the question “will you be buying materials on the AH to level professions at launch?” about Wrath. My answer is always yes.

Stylistic reasons

Number one is of course that I dislike farming. That being said if it was actually so much better than crafting or flipping that it would give a substantially higher Gold per hour I’m sure I would consider it, but that has almost never been the case.

Early dynamics

Everyone knows that materials are expensive early in an expansion. What they don’t consider is the fact that finished items are also usually very inflated. Just thinking about the principles involved should help explain why. Finished items are a lot more useful than the base materials. Only players looking to power level professions or craft for a profit will buy materials. Everyone who wants to do end-game content will want to buy enchants, gear, gems etc. In general also the dominating factor in terms of material prices are the people buying for a profit. Just one player looking to sell darkmoon decks will be lookint go buy more herbs than even 50 players looking to hit max level inscription.

Material prices can’t inflate enough to make crafting unprofitable

I honestly think this is true. The main inflationary behavior for material prices are players crafting for a profit. This completely dominates demand for materials. And these players won’t buy at the current price if they can’t make a profit, which quickly lowers the price of materials.

Real life tested

I’ve done goldmaking just buying materials in a huge number of expansion launches, including BfA, Shadowlands and TBC recently. In every last one of these, crafting with materials bought on the AH has been monstrously profitable, particularly early on. You should absolutely not underestimate the extreme willingness to pay for finished items at ridiculous markups early on.

The typical graphs

So I made up a graph to show you what I’ve seen. So what we typically see is that material and finished item prices follow roughly the relationship below. They are a little low on day 1-3, then demand kicks in and we see a big rise. After that it’s a gradual way down for both, but typically finished items go down faster than materials. We can see profits as high as 2-5x crafting consistently early on, and then long term it stabilizes around 15-50% for most items.

Go farm for me please

Honestly I hope that most of you don’t heed my advice. The more farmers there are relative to crafters the more profit I’ll make. Unless you have incredible amounts of time to farm, or absolutely love it I’d suggest going heavy into crafting. Literally every get rich quick story I’ve ever seen in WoW with professions involved going absolutely ham around an expansion launch.

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