Where Did the Farmers Go?

If you go on the JMTC Wow Gold Forum you will find people with gold in more than 6 figures... and they haven't been playing all that long either. Although blizzard took steps to reduce the effectiveness of farming, they actually increased the amount of gold circulating within the economy tenfold with this expansion. From daily questing to leveling people now have been given fun new ways to make more gold than they will require for repairs and other minor expenses. The overall effect on the game has been simple: people purchasing expensive items on the auction house or on vendors. If the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth had existed in vanilla or even burning crusade it would of been very rare to see anyone with the mount. With the onset of easy to get gold outside of farming for hours, players can just save up from their dailies and eventually get their vendor toting mounts or gasoline chugging motorcycles.

Blizzard created this system of providing large amounts of gold because of farming concerns. Now farmers can still run around for hours making money but the margin of gold they get compared to someone who just does their dailies and calls it quits is far smaller than it was in burning crusade. With mobs dropping very specific drops per mob type and few boe epics/blues in their loot tables there just isn't much to actually farm at one time. When relics of ulduar were big you could farm seething revenants for insane profits, but now they are about as good as any level 80 clothy you farm with the tailoring specialization.

The only prevelant farmers left in the game are mining/herbing ones, using the fancy fly under the world hack that reminds me of noclipping from doom II. These farmers are awesome because they use the auction house to sell all their goods and at amazing prices for milling.

Eventhough farming was greatly reduced during wotlk the past few weeks I have seen an incredible drop in the number of materials normally farmed by the farmers appearing on the auction house. I can only assume that many have been banned or moved on to other methods of making gold.

Some players (including yourself I assume) have discovered just how to grab up all that excess gold that people have been aqcuiring this expansion with... cough... the auction house! I have to wonder though, how many farmers have learned to use the auction house? What if someone like myself were to start selling gold to gold companies? Hell I can pump out a good 10k gold profit a day with ease if I use all the tools at my disposal... what's that? $20 a day? Now imagine if I played all day farming my mats and then started crafting items for even more profit. That kind of salary would be amazing in some of the poorer countries that setup gold farming companies. The only thing holding back this kind of farmer is the shifting nature of the auction house: their profits would not always be gauranteed with some days being better or worse than others. Businesses don't like to operate that way and it would take an owner willing to gamble on the skills of his farmers to make this happen.

Would you be able to make 10k gold a day if you played let's say 10 hours a day using both the auction house and farming? You'd have to diversify like crazy and make use of every market in the game, but it can certainly be done and consistently at that.

21 comments: on "Where Did the Farmers Go?"

  1. Those fly-under-the-world miners/herbers are still found by checking combat-logs or nametags (if you have that option active, you see their tag sticking through the environment)
    When I find them, I report them and some time later, they're banned ... (why doesn't blizzard just give me a banhammer to mine around with, it'll save time)

  2. I know that I couldn't, simply because I don't have your understanding of the AH, Markco.

    There are markets that I don't touch (or only barely touch). There are markets that I was in and left because we have some very vicious and powerful people in them that don't like competition (one completely crashed a market once because I dared to undercut him by 5c).

    And while I farm about two hours a day every other day (herbs and mining) without hacks, I don't want to spend my entire day doing that.

    Hell, I'd spent a few days farming cobalt to level my blacksmith with (there was -none- in the AH) and ended up with some spare. Go figure, when I decided to dump my extras, the AH was flooded with it, which just goes to show that I still don't understand the WoW economy as much as I like.


  3. I am sorry I must be a noob I don't know what a fly-under-the-world miner is?

    I use gatherer, I assume that's ok.

  4. I agree that the saronite farmers were back for a while until they noticed that demand is pretty low lately. I think herb farmers are still out there since prices have continued to drop.

    Rumor has it that farmers are forming co-ops and hitting both crafting and gathering areas which may be a reason for what we are seeing. If so this will be a significant change to their approach as they capitalize on both sides of the market and go independent mode.

    Of course this is just speculation and I tend to look at the darker side of things. This is one issue that I would be more than happy to be wrong about.

  5. Tbh,

    I think its because of the shift to battle.net this new portal forces to using a better encrypted protocol for communication with blizzard servers. As a results many bots etc dont work anymore, so my guess would be that this is de cause of the decline in farmers...

  6. So, what, you're a farmer now for gold selling companies? Hey man, anything to make a buck, eh?

  7. Why on earth would I work 10 hours a day for 20 bucks lol

  8. Don't shoot me, but I swear what I read your post is this : "my gold guide is outdated crap and it doesn't sell anymore. Please, gold selling companies, contact me, I want a job".

  9. You could make 10k a day easily if you were allowed to work on multiple servers.

    To make 10k a day on a single server is going to be very hard, especially on an underpopulated server with few raiding guilds to buy your consumables.

  10. "AH bots" are already common, they use things like saronite shuffle to produce gems, dust and shards and then spam trade for abyss and produce scrolls from the enchant mats. With presence between 10-02 servertime all the days they earn quite some money per day. Saw one of these cancelhappy goldseller that did 45k sales in pure gemsales on a single day in a weekend.

  11. Don't worry the guide is selling as good as it ever has, and thanks to Gevlon I had my third best week from his advertisements. Now please stay on topic!

  12. I also would appreciate an explanation of "fly-undfly-under-the-world miner."

    I've assumed that the farmers are parts of large teams which could have specialists in each market including, of course, bank-alts. Hopefully they are finding business more and more difficult. The best thing would be if demand for their ultimate product dried up: People, stop buying wow gold outside of the game!

    I've been working the inscription market a bit and have a constant supply of adder's tongue and icethorn at really low prices (sometimes under 10g per stack on the AH). Most of these, as well as frost lotus and cryst. life are posted by the same character who I've assumed is a farmer. I tried contacting them and have gotten no response.

  13. How do you tell if it is an AH bot? There is one enchantment scroll seller that is online like 18 hours a day and undercuts within a few minutes of any competitions posting. He/she changes his name every week or so but always uses a name starting with K. I can't tell if I'm competing with an unemployed person that never sleeps or a bot.

  14. Given access to enough raw materials, my server was good for 6-8K per day in net profits. Given the extra time to farm my own mats or nursemaid my auctions, it would likely have been possible to double those numbers. A second keycloned account to mill and prospect would have made it even easier.

    While today's tycoons are able to take advantage of the cheap materials from the farmbots, that comes to a screeching halt once the farmers decide to stop selling. A group of teleport farmers with their own crafters and cancelbots could easily take over a server's economy.

    The cancelbots already make it impossible for most players to sell anything before being undercut. I'm seeing more and more 24/7 bankers with seemingly endless stockpiles and ridiculously low thresholds and instant undercuts, so I fear this is already happening.

  15. fly-under-the-world miner = a hacked WoW program that would enable the user to fly under the ground, sans mount, at a 500% speed bonus.

  16. Michael Ryan said... December 9, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Profiting through the AH is more complex and requires greater human capital to evaluate and analyze the data.

    Sure, some farms have gotten more innovative and use AH bots, like an anon commenter mentioned, but true farming for gold works because it can be automated.

    The most efficient farms are dozens of computers being operated by only a couple of people. In these set ups very little human skill is needed, so they can hire the lowest paid workers and maximize the profit.

  17. The goldsellers are already in the AH selling crafted items. I recently discovered my main competition in JC in the AH is Chinese, and he camps continuously there from about 4PM to 1AM. Doing the cancel/repost thing every 15 minutes or so. I'm assuming he's a gold farmer.

    And he's not the only one. Other ever-present AH toons have also tried to talk to me in Chinese.

    Now, I don't have anything against Chinese people, and haven't really complained about him because it would be hypocritical. I buy ore and herbs from other toons who are also probably gold farmers. This is through direct player to player trade, not through the AH.

    So live by the sword, die by the sword. Find a way to compete, although it's definitely difficult to compete with folks who value their time less than I do.

  18. Goldfarmers always use a lvl 1, change name every now and then, but there is never more than the last letter that change and never a new guild so easy to identify, harder to get blizzard to remove them

  19. @ anon above me. Im pretty sure your thinking about gold sellers, not farmers. As most of the times I have bought gold I always meet a Lvl 1 im SW somewhere.

  20. Thats kind of funny Marcko. You want to get into gold selling now? You'll make about $3.5 per k, and at 10k a day make $35. Pretty good money in today's economy, right? The bots doing it, work less, and have one guy watching 10 accounts, they make about 500 gold an hour. So one guy, makes 5x what you make.

    But yes, it's a viable way to make money, if you can steadily make 1k an hour. It is how people make money these days. This type of business has been around since EQ and UO were the new guys on the block.

  21. I've actually contemplated selling gold to players on my server. I wouldn't advertise online, but if I met someone begging for 1g for repairs maybe I'd throw up the offer and a paypal transaction?

    I really got to thinking this when I saw spam about 1k gold for $7. Well if I could sell at that price I'd be able to make $7-14 a day. Keep in mind I only play the AH, or farm for about an hour per day. I make about 1-2k per day. That's $14 an hour - NOT WORTH IT FOR ME.

    I actually think I encounted a farmer this morning before I left for work. A "Chinese" sounding name, spamming everything in the world through trade. I also noticed the same name undercutting a few items I had for sale by a few gold. He was even selling a cat. The silver tabby you can pick up outside of Stormwind for 39 silver. I asked him if I could buy it and he told me 800g. He said it was a super rare drop only .001%. I had some fun with him before I left. I told him all I had was 349g. This lead to a counter-offer of 650g. I told him I got a guildie to lend me some, and I now had 500g. He accepted. He then came to meet me, where I teleported from city to city on my mage making him chase me. Finally he met me back where he had started. I told him the money was on an alt. I came back a few minutes later and let him know that just outside Stormwind these sell for 39silver. He was pissed and I think swore in Chinese at me.

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