How Does Money Work in Wow (Gold)

The key to becoming a good auctioneer in the world of warcraft is taking an understanding of how the different economic components in this fictional world all interact with one another and then apply analytical reasoning to this environment. Many players try to jump into discovering strategies and trying out strategies without understanding how all the pieces fit together. Same goes for pvp and pve, and it's this lack of foundational knowledge which leads to "noob" mistakes that seem perfectly rational at the time. Everyone is at a different point in the process of developing gold making strategies and so I tend to write for the largest audience: those in the middle who grasp the fundamental concepts but fail at organization and implementation. However, it is important to take a step back once in a while and provide valuable starter information.

Let's begin with how money moves in world of warcraft. Players accumulate new wealth (money that has never previously been owned before) by slaying mo nsters and completing quests. Money is lost through purchases from NPC's and repairs/spells. The game is designed so that players will easily gather more money than they spend interacting with the game world. The way that players get rich in world of warcraft is by getting other players to give them excess gold. To earn another player's gold you must offer items or a service which they value and do not want to provide for themselves due to time and/or limitations of access. An example service would be a mage teleporting a group to a major city, a player slaughtering all the monsters in a dungeon for a lower level character, or a blacksmith building a set of armor for pvp. Obviously the more professions you obtain (2 major professions per character is the limit) the more services and opportunities for making gold you posses.

This is why I stress leveling characters in order to increase your options. Keep in mind that max level professions have far more ways to make gold than one which is not maxed out yet. Your professions and character's abilities are how you provide the services, but you must also understand the two ways in which you can offer them to other players: Trade chat and the Auction house. By building an understanding of how both the trade chat and auction house function as well as how other players can impact your dealings on these mediums you will be better equipped to manage how you sell your services.

For me, making gold is the same mindset I have for making money in real life with my blogs: Provide a service people want and they will pay you for it. So how do you take what I've discussed today and apply rational analytical thought to start making gold with your characters? The answer is the same answer to the following question: What services do other players want and can you provide them?

As you answer that question, think back to how the different parts of world of warcraft interact and figure out where the following actors fall into play: the farmers, the crafters, the trade chat sellers, the auction house campers, the noobie levelers, the pvp nuts, the pve nuts, etc. Start asking yourself more and more questions and with each answer you'll slowly be building a business model for your characters.

Here is an example of this at work: What Netherweave Bags Teach Us about the Auction House

11 comments: on "How Does Money Work in Wow (Gold)"

  1. Basically, if you never want to give one gold to another player, you need to have all professions covered and once you have all professions covered, you're set to collect the gold from other players in such an efficient way it'll be pouring in like no maƱana.

  2. But what about paying night elf chicks to dance naked on mail boxes?

  3. When I think about how new people can make money, I tend to ignore people supplying things others can't get.

    Between guildmates and a pathetic desire to have maxed professions regardless of level, utility or reason, the only things that are restricted are those things a new character couldn't offer.

    I suggest to new characters, if you want more money than you are getting, you'll have to spend some time doing things you wouldn't otherwise do. Everyone has things in the game they don't want to deal with, and they spend gold to avoid it. Find something you don't mind, or even find enjoyable, that annoys other people and do it for them.

    For example, go out to look for copper ore, rather than relying on what you stumble across. Or watch the AH for cheaper than average materials and assemble things people need; anyone could do it for themselves, or get a guildmate to do the final assembly, but by putting the effort over time, you can make the item for less than your purchaser could, and you can sell it for a bit more than that for the convenience (you're charging for the effort the purchaser doesn't need to make to collect the ingredients and find an idle guildmate)

    You're looking for things you don't mind doing, because the increased money makes it worth it. That reduces moneymaking schemes to learning the easiest way to do things. If you're farming materials you want to learn the better places where you can easily gather your loot. If you're making hundreds of glyphs, you need to learn how to make them quickly and as painlessly as possible. If you don't care what you make, you look for what you can make easily where the profit outweighs the work, and how to get ingredients cheaper, and sell them for more, or in greater volume.

    When you do the saronite shuffle, you aren't doing anything the original miner, or any other AH customer couldn't have done. They just didn't feel it was worth the effort of learning those professions, or assembling groups of guildies, and the time prospecting, crafting, disenchanting, and selling the results. If it made 10x the money, more people would do it, and the profit margin would either decrease, or you couldn't do as much per day. If it made much less, you might feel it was no longer worth it.

  4. Markco you #$$, don't try to crash my bag market! Lol! Bring it on!

    Well written. I think I will print it out and have my Girlfriend read it to better understand what I am doing.

    Good Work.

  5. So hey when is the new call to auction ep. comming out

  6. We are recording this sunday :D

  7. I think one of the biggest things to point out in the WoW economy is that there is no "used" items besides low low level bags that aren't bound. Once something is consumed, it's gone from the market forever.

    Knowing this can help others understand how a consistent demand is possible and is something that you can fully take advantage of for a profit. That's why item enhancement profs are the best money makers and always will be.

  8. There's a raiding way to make gold too, it's called GDKP, Gold DKP.
    It requires players to bid (publicly) for items in a raid, ToC25 lends itself really well for it.

    Anyway Markco, you might want to dig up some info about it, because it's a win-win system for everyone, undergeared, overgeared, rich & poor players.

    Anyway, nice post today.

  9. I was in a 10man ICC last night and I was bored.
    The reason I like the auction house so much is that it peaks my mental interest in the game.
    The economy and needs of every player and how to make gold from them is more important to me than the chance an item will drop.
    While others would never stay at an auction house and craft for an hour.

  10. I don't pay night elf chicks to dance naked on mail boxes, I run my epic swords through them ... now bloodelf chicks on the other hand ...

  11. You hammered the best tip, leveling more characters for max professions. Just to add a tip, level a DK to get access to two more professions. Going from 55 to 80 is super easy compared to the latter, that's why I am leveling a DK right now. Sitting at 72 trying to get 80 by next week. Then I can spend all the leveling gold on professions leveling.

    -Nakedjay @

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