Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Stockpiling and Starting Capital

In the World of Warcraft, fortunes are made on patches and new expansions. Each new expansion and patch brings the opportunity for you to get gold-capped. Will you be the next in Mists of Pandaria? Now is the time to prepare! This series is about preparing for the next great gold rush in WoW: Mists of Pandaria!

So we've talked about building up a stable of Alts to use in our gold-making enterprise and what sorts of professions (part 1, part 2) we might want to use on those Alts to maximize our gold production. This week, we look at what to stockpile and how much starting capital to keep on hand for the early expansion push.

Stockpiling and Inflation
The purpose of stockpiling is really to fight inflation. Inflation works like this: over time, products and materials become more expensive. This process is accelerated as more money enters the Warcraft economy from non-player sources such as Bind-on-Equip loot drops, daily quests, vendor buy-backs and plain old questing rewards.

In other words, a stack of Elementium Ore might cost 50 gold. In Mists of Pandaria, that same stack of Elementium Ore might cost 70 gold. Or put another way, it takes 50 gold to buy a stack now, but 70 gold after Mists launches. Your gold is now worth "less" relative to the amount of Ore you can purchase. Stockpiling is a way to hedge our bets against inflation. If we convert 50 gold into a stack of Elementium Ore now, we can hold that ore and sell it for 70 gold later. If Elementium Ore rises in price, as in our example, we've increased the "value" of our gold.

Of course, some items won't actually increase in value, but rather decrease. Consumables for Cataclysm Content (current flasks/potions) are likely to decrease in value, especially at the start of Mists. While some items will return to a profitable state, it will be at a much lower demand, meaning you'll sell some, but not as much as you do now.

So what should we stockpile? Well, what's going to be more profitable in Mists than it currently is? Here are some thoughts:

Monk-Related Stuff
Anything that Monks might be interested in as they level should see a nice surge in prices as people start to roll Monks. Low-level PVP items for people twinking or leveling that way will be safe bets. Agility-based gear, especially for harder to fill slots like necks and rings will rise in price. The Cataclysm-level green gear (you know, the stuff that drops from the Cataclysm zones, but can be equipped as low as level 77) will be worth a pretty penny as people rush to level 90 with their new Monks.

Profession Leveling Materials
Check a place like WoW Professions for suggested leveling paths for the production professions. Where are the bottlenecks? Find those areas where supply will be short for someone leveling their profession and sell those materials on the Auction House at a high premium. Many people won't bother being patient, instead paying a premium to clear those bottlenecks. Also consider where the choke-points are for the Cataclysm level skill-ups. Finding enough Savage Leather to max my leatherworker was a pain. The problem will get worse once more people leave the 80-85 zones for good with Mists.

Wrath and Burning Crusade era enchanting mats and raw materials (ore, herbs, leather) are also safe bets initially, tho prices may drop a bit as the monk-leveling crowd moves through those zones.

With the addition of Pet Battles, and nearly all pets becoming tradeable, pets will see a surge in value. This is perhaps the safest of all the investments, especially if you can secure some of the rarer pets, because people will want to use them for their pet battle teams. Watching for deals on these now and reselling post-launch should net you a nice profit.

Starting Capital
Of course, you don't want to spend all of your liquid gold on stockpiles. Materials for leveling your professions in the first few weeks will be expensive. If you have enough gold to be able to afford the early leveling process, you'll have a head start on selling the new enchants, gems, glyphs, etc. Without enough capital, you'll be caught on the outside looking in, watching as others make sales at obscene prices to the launch-rush crowd.

It wouldn't be surprising to me if it cost 40,000 - 50,000 gold to level a profession like Jewelcrafting at launch. Any profession that relies on farmed materials (Jewelcrafting [Ore], Alchemy/Inscription [Herbs], Leatherworking [Leather]) will have higher starting costs than say Enchanting or Tailoring as gear drops and cloth can be farmed by everyone in dungeons and while questing. You'll be better off saving enough gold to level one profession to max than multiple professions to the halfway point.

The Wildcard
There's a potential wildcard in play here, however. It was recently datamined that there will be a "Black Market" auction house. According to WoW Interface (which attended the press tour), this auction house will sell rare items to players via NPC auction. This could be the largest gold-sink we've seen to date in Warcraft, as players will be able to convert some of their fortunes into gear and other power upgrades, but instead of giving that money to another player, it will leave the economy completely. As money leaves the economy, our gold will actually become worth more. Watch in the coming weeks for more information from the Beta about this feature.

Next Week
We wrap up our series talking about our starting strategy for the Mists of Pandaria launch sometime this summer.

Read the entire series!
  • Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Alts
  • Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Professions (Part 1 and Part 2)

3 comments: on "Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Stockpiling and Starting Capital"

  1. Are you better off buying mats to level your profession? It sounds like you are with your 40-50K price tag. I was planning to farm like a madman the first few days, use half the farmed mats for leveling and sell the rest. Is this a bad idea?

  2. I think I can see already see the Cataclysm materials dropping through the floor I've been especially watching the price of Hypnotic Dust and it is stable at 50-80s each while infinite dust is more like 5-10g each.

    At the moment I am levelling alts as quickly and efficiently as I can as well as deciding on my professions.

    For me I am going to stockpile leather because everyone else hates doing it.

  3. @Anonymous: Generally speaking, I prefer to purchase the materials for my professions to level because it's more cost-effective than farming them myself. I have to waste time flying, gathering, mailing and then using them to level my profession. The materials I gather have a value equal to the lowest cost on the Auction House, so it still "costs" effectively the same. I just choose to convert gold for materials rather than my time since time is almost always more valuable to me.

    @Shaft: I'm investing in leather as well. The other materials I'll be gathering some things, as there's always at least some demand for the processed items, but my hunch is that we'll see less demand overall for Cataclysm-era gems/enchants than we did for Wrath since they're only usable for 5 levels versus 20+ levels as the Wrath stuff works for both Burning Crusade (60-70) and Wrath (70-80) content.

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