An Interview With Derek 'Zuggy' Hales

Derek Hales agreed to sit down with Just My Two Copper and talk about his amazing gold making ebook: Zuggy’s Gold Mastery Guide.

Here is the interview that followed:

JMTC: Hello Derek! Thank you for agreeing to this interview, my readers have been asking me to look into gold guides for them and we all really appreciate you doing this.

Derek: It’s my pleasure, Markco. Thanks for the opportunity.

JMTC: Well Derek, the first question I have for you is this: Were you really a gold seller at one point in the game? How much gold could you make per week then and how much can you make now?

Derek: Sadly I have to admit, yes. Early in my World of Warcraft career I worked as a free lance farmer, supplying several gold selling companies. I was an active farmer through about half of the Burning Crusade, when I finally went clean.

Total gold per week is something that’s gone through massive shifts with each expansion. During classic World of Warcraft I averaged 4,300 gold per week with a one week high of 9,000g. During The Burning Crusade I averaged 8,400 gold week with a one week high of 18,500g. And during the Wrath of the Lich King thus far I’ve been averaging 16,800g a week with a week high of 39,200g.

JMTC: That's impressive, do you focus on farming, the auction house, or the conversion of items through the use of professions? Perhaps you do a little bit of everything?

Derek: When it comes to farming I’m definitely of the eclectic mindset. I would estimate my time breakdown for each respective category looks something like this; where each specific gold making methodology directly influences the other 2 sections.
Farming – 20%
Auction House – 40%
Professions – 40%

JMTC: How do you teach through your guide? We all know it’s an ebook, but do you use any video, maps, images, or narrations to help your readers?

Derek: My primary teaching method goes something like this…

  1. Explain fundamentals of strategy in question
  2. Quick hypothetical example using above fundamentals
  3. Complete example using a real scenario I’ve experienced. This section includes various charts, images, diagrams, maps, and other resources to further reinforce the base fundamentals expressed in step 1.

I’m a big believer in the “learning by doing” mindset. I use examples and scenarios so that my members can learn to think and adapt to their server’s economy. It wouldn’t be a very good guide if all I did was list a ton of items to farm…

I want to explain why I do what I do, how I do it, and how my member’s can take this information and implement it on their specific server’s setting.

JMTC: That's an approach I think most gold guides would never even think about attempting. How long did it take to write the guide?

Derek: My guide has been a labor of love for many years. The initial version of my guide took 3 months to compile my strategies and to conduct research and testing. Since then I’ve continued to release new versions of the guide, updating for major content patches and of course all expansions.

I’d estimate I’ve put 500 writing hours (and infinitely more research hours) into my gold farming system’s development.

JMTC: I’ve noticed that you frequently update your site at with new WOTLK content. Have you kept your guide updated as well? If so, did anything change drastically as far as making gold in WOTLK as compared to BC?

As with any expansion you can expect major changes, and this was particularly true for WotLK. There were tons of changes in the expansion, many more than even I anticipated. It took me 6 weeks of research and testing and 2 weeks of writing to complete the WotLK update for my guide.

With the exception of a few brief basics virtually 100% of the guide was updated to reflect the new information in the expansion. I continue to make new updates as needed, releasing a new version for each large content patch.

JMTC: What interests you in the game besides making gold? Have you done any raiding or pvp?

I pretty much do it all. During classic WoW I was a hardcore raider, spending way more time than I’d care to admit here as a part of a top 20 US raiding guild. During The Burning Crusade I pulled a complete 180 and went hardcore PvP, taking my 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 teams to as high as top 50 globally on the world arena rankings.

Today I consider myself a much more casual player. Currently I’m focused on leading my guild through the 25 man content as a restoration shaman and casually playing arena / battlegrounds with friends.

I’m also a full time college student attending Kansas State University.

JMTC: That’s pretty cool stuff, college was the best eight years of my life (JK) so enjoy it man! Those were all the major questions I had, is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers regarding your gold guide, perhaps what makes it better than the dozens of other guides online?

Derek: All I can say is this…you can buy a guide out there that covers some basic information, maybe enlightens you to few farming techniques you weren’t aware of, and maybe it’ll work for a few months, but if you want a guide that’s going to last the long haul then there isn’t a product out there that can compete with my guide.

No other guide author out there maintains the type of presence I do in the game, nor has the dedication and commitment to 100% customer satisfaction. No other guide offers the type of one on one service that each and every one of my member receives. No other guide offers the type of expendiant updates I do (…trust me, I’ve seen these other alleged “WotLK Updated Gold Guide”).

I’m just like your readers…I’m a gamer, I love to play WoW and I love to teach people how to take their gold farming abilities to a level they never thought possible. These big corporate driven gold guides can’t hold a candle to the personable one on one training I offer each and every one of my members.

JMTC: Well thank you so much for doing this interview, hopefully this information is precisely what my readers are looking for and I’m sure they’d love to hear back from you in the future.

Derek: I hope so, Markco. Thanks again for inviting me along for this interview, it’s been a real pleasure.

If you are interested in Zuggy’s Gold Mastery Guide, you can learn more here.

7 comments: on "An Interview With Derek 'Zuggy' Hales"

  1. Do you think this is worth the $47 for it?

    Did you get to actually look at the guide?

    Can you get JMTC readers a discount? :O

  2. I will discuss some kind of discount with Derek, but for now I'll address your excellent question:

    Is it worth $47?

    If you fall into this category it is NOT worth buying:

    1. You make 300-800+ gold per day now with the auction house regardless of how much effort you put in.
    2. You farm 600-1000 gold per hour from killing mobs/changing mats and converting materials through professions.
    3. You have multiple characters that are your bank alts and store materials waiting to be sold when the auction house market is favorable.

    Basically if you are close to making lots of gold in wow, don't get the guide because you'll probably figure the stuff out on your own. If you feel lost and need someone to hold your hand, then it's worth it.

  3. Oh I'm sorry I dind't answer your second question, yes I saw the guide and loved it. I really enjoyed some of the ideas he fleshed out and it's great how he lets you 'discover' some of it on your own.

    As I said before, if you are struggling with making gold then get the guide, otherwise you're probably better off figuring stuff out on your own.

  4. I don't have problems making gold, I make more than enough to buy anything I want and yet i'm considering buying the guide because:

    1. Enough gold is never enough.
    2. I'd like to flesh out what i'm doing to make gold, I make plenty through trade goods on the Auction House but i'm trying to figure out more ideas to expand.

  5. Bitwise: Alright well if you do have any questions please feel free to email both myself and Derek. I can assure you that he's just as quick as I am to respond to user questions and using both of us as a resource will surely help.

  6. How much money are you making per sale Markco? The link you provided is an affiliate link

  7. I get a small commission per sale. I can't go into details obviously but let's just say I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon :)

    Seriously though I only support the best gold making guides/leveling guides and sometimes those are free. for instance is a free alliance leveling guide that knocks the socks off some of the ones that cost money and I have promoted it in multiple posts.

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