Friday, July 15, 2011

500k - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Official gold-making start: Shattering Patch (4.0.3) - Nov. 23rd, 2010
Money at that time: 90k

Mode: Casual gold-making
500k objective reached on : July 14th, 2011

Time elapsed: 234 days

That would be an average of 1752g/day.
For someone who hasn't logged on every single day in that period, it's better than a kick in the teeth, I guess.
But compared to the pro gold-makers, I'm not even cutting it close.

If you've read my Disclaimer, you should already know that I am not a top-notch gold-maker and have no aspiration to be one.
I'm the kind to be discreet about it, reach my objective, get my gold-maker's badge and slip out of the class.
This is for my personal satisfaction, not yours.

The very important detail to know about my gold-making is that I am casual about it.
I do other things than gold-making (but everything I do has a gold-making slant), I don't always go for the max money I could get about everything because I worry about other things.
Many greens I could have flipped instead of disenchanting them, many gems I could have cut and posted to get the most money out of them, many mats I could have sold instead of making pieces of gear out of them.

My main focus in this expansion is to help out my guild with guild achievements.

I am in a 10-man raiding guild and because I cannot raid with my friends (conflicting schedules) I am a Social member of the guild.
I have no charge or duty or even obligation to the guild.
But because my friends are in there, I want to do my own thing and help them at the same time.
So the focus has been on guild achievements and finding ways to make the most money out of it at the same time.
It's interesting, it's challenging, it requires OCD and bot-like behavior.
And if there wasn't those little achievement counters for how many items disenchanted, how many herbs farmed, it would have been really tough on me to work without concrete objectives.

I have no doubt in my mind that if I was in hardcore gold-making mode, I would well be on my way of  reaching for 1 mil.
I could go balls-out, but I would rather not - I have to keep it varied, keep my mind fresh, and try to keep as much sanity as I can (which in my case is already a tough thing to do in everyday life).
My friends are already a bit overwhelmed by my constant gold talk and I take that as a cue that maybe I might still be overdoing it a tad much.

So here's a recap of what happened in the last 500k gained (technically, the last 410k gained).

The Good - Things I did right

Worked on Guild Achievements
Because of that, I didn't worry that much about gold-making.
I only had to make sure that I got at least a little profit out of everything.
I'll probably write a quick post on that shortly to explain what I've done.

Hit-and-run auctioneering
I don't stick to Hot markets.
In fact, I try not to stick to any market unless I have to (like getting rid of hundreds of glyphs I've crafted for some reason).
When the competition tags you as a potential threat, logs in when you log on another toon than your bank alt, sends you in-game mail, to me it's time to jump ship and move along.
There's an abundance of forgotten markets to exploit and not a lot of people supplying the AH with those items that you can buy and flip.
Sometimes will require 30 min of farming, sometimes will require you to do a bit of research.
That way, I don't have to worry that much about undercutters.
Funny thing is when I jump-start a dead market and start making money, I will have the market mostly to myself until other gold-makers pick up the scent and come shit on my parade.
I move away before they ruin everything.
And I have seen it be repeated again and again: they'll flood the market and grossly overprice it and they won't be selling much and will leave the market 2-3 months later, leaving it open for me to jump-start back again.

Leveled an Engineer
Apart from a Blacksmith (which I will be leveling sometime this year), an Engineer was something I didn't have in my plethora of toons.
And boy did that pay off !
Some markets of this profession were wide open for someone to start selling items as other people were also trying to level Engineers.
Tubes, Bolts, parts, Repair Bots, Pets : contrary to mad rumors and popular belief, there is indeed a lot of gold to be made with Engineering.
(I have Faid to thank for being such a proud advocate of making profit with this tradeskill - I have been converted and now I am a believer !)

Invested in Pets
Especially cross-faction.
The moment we got the datamined info that new achievements were in the works for companions pets, I transferred a ton of gold on my Horde toons and checked daily for cheaply priced pets - Neutral AH too.
The raptor hatchlings that are easy to get for Hordies are also something to keep an eye on, if you play Alliance.
Had a full bank tab of them.
Started to "work" the market the day after the info had been out on MMO-Champion and got people used to slightly higher prices than usual.
Cross-faction Argent Tournament pets all sold before the patch hit. (I suppose it was people that had the gold for them.)
Hatchlings and "correct-faction" AT pets started to sell after the patch hit. (I suppose it was people that didn't have a lot of gold to buy pets.)
I even barked about them, lowered prices by 50g sometimes and claiming there was a "sale" : during prime time I got sales 1 to 5 mins after each bark. (Barked at 1 hour intervals - don't want to get on people's Ignore lists.)

Sold WotLK items
After the Wrath backdraft happened once Cataclysm hit, everyone's banks were cleaned and empty and no supplies from Northrend were going on the AH.
Specifically ores, epic gems, Infinite Dust, Greater Cosmic Essences and Dragon's Eyes.
I didn't even need to stimulate the markets because I wasn't the only one who took the hint.
To this day, Wrath epic gems are still valuable (min. over 30g, cheapest being Eye of Zul), Scarlet Rubies are about as pricey, everyone needs Wrath enchanting mats, Titanium Powder can sometimes sell better than the ore or bars and I seem to be one of the handful of people that still does the Dalaran Jewelcrafting Daily quest (exchange the Token for a Dragon's Eye - sell for min. 110g).

The Bad - Things that didn't quite work out

Tried to reset Enchanting markets
Specifically the Cataclysm markets - the current "high-end" as it is.
A few months ago I tried to buy everyone's cheap scrolls and repost a handful of them at the price that they are actually worth - according to the price that the mats were going for.
My mistake was to underestimate how many scrolls people had stockpiled for a rainy magical day where someone would buy everything cheaply on the AH.
Unfortunately, some people did not get the gist of what I was trying to do and were still going by what their Auctioneer data was telling them.
After collecting stacks upon stacks of scrolls, I saw no end to my ingeeeeenious plan as the masses posted more and more scrolls for 3-5g and no one wanted to buy over 50g per scroll (and that was still waaaay down of their actual worth).
The only luck I got so far was when 4.2 hit and cloak enchants were big - I got some money out of that, but not as much as I had invested in that scheme.

But ultimately, the problem was not the enchanters' selling behavior : it was the way that enchanting was configured for Cataclysm.
My theory : when scrolls were introduced in Wrath, it was not every enchanter that was aware of them and so not a lot of people used them, therefore there was not a lot of them sitting in the AH.
But everyone knew of the scrolls come Cataclysm and instead of enchanting their gear, people used the mats on scrolls and a flood of scrolls were littering the AH for months.
At least that's how it felt on my end.

Flipped Heavenly Shards
Patch 4.2 : Heavenly Shards were going for 200-300g each.
Stroke of luck : someone posted 60 of them for 100g each.
Bought them all and flipped them for 200g.
They sat there for 48 hours as the market went down to 65g each and stayed there for a whole week.
As of yesterday the market is crawling up at 115g each and I am still waiting for some miracle to bring them higher so I can make the profit I was expecting.

Worked on Guild Achievements
Because of that, I didn't make as much gold as I could have had.
But gold-making was #2 on my priority list.
Derp derp.

The Ugly - The things that happened because I was guild achieving/gold-making
  • Still haven't been in raids
  • Only got to clear 5-man Heroics just before 4.2
  • Been around the new Azeroth with Archeology, but haven't spent the time to go through the new questing - and I AM a Lore Geek. That's a lot to put on the side. (I got Lore Blue Balls. Aaaaaand I'll just leave it at that.)
  • Started a gold blog. That was the worst.

A Regret

Still haven't maxed out all of my crafting potential with my alts.
They're all at 525, but most of them are just sitting there.
If I had plenty of time (and probably tentacles), I would try to look into that.

So what are you going to do now ?

The 500k mark is not something that feels really important to me because I haven't been seriously 100% gold-making on the road to that landmark.
It's really weird - when I started this blog I thought that I would be overwhelmed with a feeling of accomplishment when I'd be here.
But no, I still have stuff to do, so it's back to work for me.

I've got around 500 glyphs to get rid of. (TradeSkillMaster is a godsend for that. Seriously.)
I'm still not done with all the guild achievements.
Got 4k items left to disenchant.
Got 30k creatures to skin - I've got a pre-Heroic geared DK that's all set up to abuse the heck of the Blackout quest with stacks of Potions of Treasure Finding (and movies to watch at the same time).
Got 12k fish to... fish.
Then get my Alchemist to learn the Recipe: Vial of the Sands.

And finish Cataclysm questing on all my alts.
And do revamped Azeroth questing on my main.

And then I'll be thinking about seriously working towards 1 million gold.


  1. Congrats! Would you like to do an interview with us?

  2. Nah not necessary until I reach 1 mil - Besides I think I wrote most of the info in the post anyways =P

  3. Great post, really good.

    I am no where in the league of 500K (only 100K) and a mil well pfft another life time. (However given I had less than 10K to my name pre 4.1 I'm happy and spending shock to those hard-core goblins.)

    I really like the guild achievement angle, personally I try and gather my own mats for that reason and making as many flasks as I can manage.