The Warcraft Econ Hall of Fame interviews the few elite players that have hit the World of Warcraft gold cap of 999,999 gold 99 silver 99 copper as well as ones who have obtained 500k and 250k. We have with us, Caidenn of Kargath-US, who will be sharing their story with us today.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your gaming experience.
My character’s name is Caidenn, a Blood, and now transformed Frost, DK on the US server Kargath.
From a gaming perspective, I’ve always been into games, card games, board games, computer games, sports, etc. and am known amongst my friends, and family, as “the most competitive person they’ve ever met”, which is a comment that has been said to me numerous times.
As a teenager, my brother and I often played dungeons and dragons and from a Fantasy perspective, I believe I’ve read 75% of the mainstream Fantasy novels in print, with at least 150 – 200 Fantasy novels read. Thus, the idea that WoW would appeal to me isn’t too far-fetched.
I began playing WoW in Vanilla and through Burning Crusade. I picked up the game because I was living in Bermuda with my wife and needed a way to keep in touch with my brother and him and his friends were playing WoW.
Playing with them and talking over Ventrilo as a group was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed it but over time my computer went down and we moved to Toronto, Canada and my gaming time and desire disappeared and I put the game away.
Recently a work colleague, she was my performance counselee at my previous firm, let me know that she was picking the game up (I’d told her about it) and suggested I give it a go with her. Well, I did and the rest, as they say, is history.
You can learn more about my character and my gold making journey at auctionhouseaccountant.blogspot.com
Do you raid or PvP most? Both? How do you enjoy the game?
I have had moments of each actually. Generally speaking, I have historically done PvE but have really gotten into PvP in the past few months, having hooked up my discipline priest with an unholy DK and hitting the arena.
With the release of ZA / ZG and recently Firelands, I’ve really focused on gearing up my DK tank and putting aside the arena for a while, largely because the person I was doing arena with had a baby and was gone for a while.
This has come to an end a little with the release of Firelands, as my wife gave birth to our second son on patch day! Obviously, this was amazing for the family and put a bit of a slowdown on the gold journey. As well, in the past week or two, I’ve been quite tired with night duties, which has left the nerves a bit frazzled to the point where tanking ZA / ZG in PuGs is no longer enjoyable but actually quite emotionally frustrating.
As a result, I picked up a lot of gear from the AH and ZA / ZG to turn my blood DK into a frost DK and also picked up a full set of the bloodthirsty PvP gear that’s now released.
With my brother recently picking the game up again and rolling a holy paladin, I’m going to 3v3 with him and the in-game friend that had the DK (now a hunter), as well as do dungeons with him healing (or tanking) and me handling DPS duties.
Overall, however, the #1 thing I enjoy about this game, and why I’m doing this interview, is because I thoroughly enjoy making gold! For me gold making is #1 and the other items are behind that, although DPS has returned a love of the actual game play. Seeing recount go up to 14,000 or 15,000 DPS in Firelands makes me quite happy and the idea that when fully geared I can break 20,000 DPS with a frost DK makes me want to focus there – as I’ve told guild mates, too many things I want to do in game and not enough time, which I’ll expand on more later.
Why did you choose to collect this amount of gold?
This is a very interesting question and this website actually plays a large role in why I want to achieve this goal target.
As with anyone out there, I found in playing the game and having higher level characters that I wanted to buy items for my characters, mounts, epic flying, etc. and it all cost gold, gold, GOLD!
At the time, I had jewelcrafting close to maximum and mining as well and was able to make enough to afford pieces that I wanted here and there, but it would leave me with little, to no gold, in the pocketbook.
When reading on “how to make gold in WoW”, one of the sites that I stumbled across was this website in March 2011 and I read every entry in the Hall of Fame, and continue to do so. It was at that point that I texted my friend and said “New goal, 1,000,000 gold!” and I’ve been pushing for it since then.
Some additional resources that I picked up from this site were (a) the blogs of Hall of Fame entries, and (b) the Undermine Journal (TuJ), which has been a huge resource for me. If I recall correctly, the article I read on this website about TuJ indicated that it may lead to the downfall of WoW economies; however, for me it’s done no such thing, instead leading me on a great gold making journey in a number of aspects.
The first aspect is it led me to the gold making blogs of a number of great gold making authorities in WoW and since I started the journey, I’ve read their blogs on a daily basis, authors such as: Faid, Alto, Breevok, Nev, Foo, Flux, Gold Queen, Wes, Cold, Mageshadow, etc. The second aspect is it allows me to know what items are worth, who is selling them and when they’re selling them, which is invaluable.
How did you go about getting to this gold amount? Any creative or original ideas?
It’s funny, many of the hall of fame interviews that I read indicated the same thing, which is I don’t believe I’ve done anything creative or original; instead, I’ve done the same thing that many gold making people are doing day in and day out and I’ve done it consistently over and over and over until my gold pile climbed to where it is today.
A breakdown of my professions and how I make gold with them is as follows:
Up until Firelands, my main source of gold with JC was the rings and necklaces. I’d been pumping those out 3 at a time and selling 3-4 of them per week for great profits. I also did some brilliant inferno rubies, but that was really it.
About a month before Firelands was released, I picked up some shadowspirit diamond cuts as well as 3-4 brilliant inferno cuts and the gold has been flying in since I did that; however, this ties to a few other professions, which we’ll discuss (i.e. the shuffle).
Additionally, there is one item in jewelcrafting that I’ve monopolized over the past 3 months, which is an item that has a rare ingredient that I’ve tried to buy 100% off the auction house using my remote AH on my iPhone and while in game. As a result of controlling the input, which I’ve bought for about 30-40g on average, I’ve sold the output for 187g regularly with approximately 5x sales, at least, per week.
This is an area that likely made me an astronomical percentage of my gold in the past 3 months, specifically, through mysterious fortune cards and Darkmoon cards / decks, as well as some glyphs, though I gave those up somewhat.
Originally, I’d been doing glyphs and it was a battle, it also led to having leftover inferno inks. I then started Darkmoon trinkets and realized they were a great source of gold but what to do with the blackfallow inks? I finally stumbled onto some of Cold’s posts at Cold’s Gold Factory and the Kargath Alliance mysterious fortune king was born. Since then, I’ve likely sold at least 15,000 – 20,000 cards but it’s been A LOT of work as these cards tend to not sell if you’re not barking, which most card sellers know. In making the fortune cards, all of the leftover inferno goes to Darkmoon trinkets and the gold from the trinkets was flowing in large, until Firelands came on.
For now, I’ve given up this area of my professions and will re-examine in a week or two whether I Want to venture back into this market or leave it to others.
Before I move on to my other professions, let me just say this, “I believe every goldmaker should take a tumble in the world of glyphs – it’s like the McDonald’s of WoW”. One of my first jobs growing up was working at McDonald’s and you quickly realize that it instills in you a great work ethic and this does wonders for you in your future careers. To me, glyphs has done the same thing, it laid the foundation for me to be a better auctioneer. There is now zero chance that I would be afraid of an AH bully or not know how to handle the post / cancel / repost cycle. Instead, many of my competitors that haven’t dabbled in the glyph market may instead find me a frustration to them in the game with my level of aggressiveness, which is one of the large reasons that I was able to isolate the item in JC that I talked about.
This was recently picked up so that I could do the full elementium shuffle but it’s turned into so much more than that. While the shuffle is making me amazing returns on my investments, as I blog about, the returns are further heightened when you take it a step further and actually create the enchanting scrolls at high levels and for those that are leveling, which have extremely good profit margins. I’ve been selling quite a few landslide, power torrent, cloak – greater critical strike, gloves mighty strength, peerless stats, etc. in the past two weeks and it’s not a hard market to be in like glyphs is.
I’m really enjoying this market and believe that it will be great for alts as I try to level them and can keep them enchanted to the maximum, with great Jewels, trinkets, etc.
I read on JMTC that some people were anticipating Truegold to climb to 1,000g per bar and this had me excited so I got my alchemist (well at the time he was simply a scribe) to 525 as quick as I could and I was off to work on truegold countdowns as a transmute spec. Additionally, any truegold in the 500 – 550 gold range I bought, as it was trading at an average of 600 gold per a the time. Since Firelands, the price has tumbled to 500 gold on average and I’ve managed to pick up 30-40 bars in the 450-475 gold rage and another 100 or so in the 500 – 525 gold range.
Prices appear that they’re rebounding and I’m hoping that they will climb to at least 650 – 700 gold per bar range shortly and top out around 850 gold when the patterns are released and in full effect. I’m counting on these bars, which I now have around 250 of, to carry me a long way to the next milestone of 500,000 gold.
As well, I use alchemy to transmute both inferno rubies and shadowspirit diamonds, both of which make me large sums of gold.
I believe, effective tonight, I will stop making any more truegold and instead start using the daily cooldown on volatiles, transmuting volatile life to volatile water or air.
Auctioneer / Dealer
I read a great few posts on haggling on Nev’s website – Auction House Addict, which really led me to a lot of gold! It’s amazing what simple patience and a pile of gold can get you. Prior to firelands, when everyone was gearing up for ZA / ZG and VP boots were going for 6,000g / pair, especially Woe Breeder on my server, I was using them to make gold hand over fist. The magic three letters “WTS” always light me up as I know a deal’s in sight. When the magic sentence “WTS VP Boots” would come up, I would immediately message “2,000g” and often enough I would get it for that or less. The person would deliver them to me in the AH, where I was performing the shuffle and I would turn around and post them on the AH for 6,000 gold or 7,000 gold.
To be fair, I would also tell people that didn’t sell to me how they could go about dealing with the boots in such a way to make the gold themselves, as Kammler wrote about in one of his blogs, I also like to teach people how to make gold in game and don’t view them as “competitors” per se. Instead, a lot of the gold makers on my server are on my friends list not just to spy on them but because we chat together all the time in game and even hit some dungeons or raids together. The most memorable instance of this was when I told someone that if they had 72 hours they could simply buy the woe breeder boots and list them for 6,700 gold as opposed to taking the 3,000 gold people were offering. If it worked, I suggested, they simply tip me 500 gold for the great advice. The next day I saw that they’d sold their boots on my iPhone (love that remote AH) and was happy for them but expected nothing. To my surprise, when I logged in town the next day, someone landed their mount in front of me and gave me 500 gold, which was quite nice.
I regularly look to buy my material off of people selling in chat versus people selling on the AH, which can benefit both parties as they get a quicker sale and don’t need to play the post / cancel / repost game. As an example, I picked up 216 inferno rubies for 70 gold / piece yesterday and from the same player, who was obviously shuffling to a large extent, 150 greater celestial essences and 40 heavenly shards, both well below AH pricing but still at a profit for the seller.
The key to buying off of someone in chat at a great discount is to immediately ask them how much they’re selling. When you know the quantity, you then state that you’ll buy 100% of their items for x amount, which is generally 25%, at least, less than what they were barking for. An example would be telling someone you’ll buy all 18 truegold bars for 6,000 gold. Because not many people are carrying large sums of gold on them, offering to buy someone’s stock 100% for a number that seems large (it’s 6,000 gold) really puts pressure on them to say no. They do the math and realize that they’ll have to bark day and night or post / repost day and night to get all 18 bars sold the way the market’s going and so they simply sell you what you need.
What is your master list?
On my blog, I’ve started doing weekly financial analysis, which shows my BigPicture results and MySales results as well. Some of the items highlighted in that analysis are:
Jewelcrafting – inferno rubies (raw as well as brilliant, delicate bold and fragile), jewel crafting necklaces and rings (stopped for now), austere, reverberating, agile shadowspirit diamonds (one other but I can’t recall). My favorite item to sell and the one I have a small monopoly on is Enchanted Tears.
Enchanting - The major scrolls – landslide, power torrent, mighty strength (gloves), greater critical strike (cloak), peerless stats (chest) and one that sells for less but in mass quantities is might stats (chest), which tends to sell for 150 – 175 gold. I also do a lot of disenchanting from the shuffle and when not creating these scrolls I will sell the raw materials at a profit.
Inscription – As stated above, glyphs, Darkmoon trinkets, mysterious fortune cards (I am the king on my server), and I was doing eyeballs and jawbones but have ceased doing anything with this profession, for now.
Alchemy – I use this to supplement the other professions via transmutes as part of the shuffle.
Auction House / Deals – I look to buy VP items at a low price and resell at higher prices, I purchase mass quantities of volatiles when the prices are low and re-sell them for great profits. I also always buy whiptail and elementium ore when at good prices. If I find any other deals, I will try to take advantage of them – this is where I use TuJ and / or the addons that I have.
As an example, I was just trying to sell some VP Bracers for 20,000 gold but the highest offer I received was 13,500 gold so I decided to hold off for now and will attack the trade channel again tomorrow. Do I want VP gear to up my DPS, yes. Do I want 20,000 gold more – YES! At the levels I’m playing, JP will do quite nicely.
What items are in your Snatch list?
Sirens are the first thing I look for; Whiptail under 2g; Elementium ore under 2g; pyrite ore under 6g; volatile earth, air, water, fire and life; Truegold; Maelstrom crystals; heavenly shards; greater / lesser celestial essences; hardened elementium bars, wow did I sell a lot of these; epic level 85 items; rare level 85 items and more.
How did you learn to do it? Anyone or resource you would like to thank?
As I’ve tried to highlight above, this website and TuJ have been instrumental to me, as have the writings of Nev, Cold, Wes, Alto, Breevok, Flux, Faid, Foo, the Gold Queen, Kammler and more!
What addons, if any, do you use to help you make gold and why are they needed?
I was, am, and always will be an addon junkie, having even signed up for a Premium curse account to ensure that they run smoothly and I can find more.
Why do I use addons religiously? For the same reason that I use Excel and many other programs to automate my day to day work activities at work to reduce the amount of manual labour I need to perform.
There were certain tasks that had been performed in my office by my predecessor for 3 to 4 hours per day, which is a significant portion of your work week. After working on this for six months, my colleagues and I came up with automation techniques to reduce the requirement down to approximately 15 minutes per day or 30 minutes every 3 days when there wasn’t enough time to do it. That allows me 3 hours and 45 minutes to focus on adding value to my employer and to increase my skill set in other areas.
I have hundreds of auctions on the AH at any point in time with 75,000 to 125,000 gold in potential earnings. How would I do this in under 2 minutes if I weren’t using addons? The answer is I wouldn’t be able to. In a time starved world, I would be focusing on doing auctions one a time versus simply scrolling my mouse wheel up and down to post / cancel hundreds of auctions.
As well, if I didn’t use addons, how would I know that the disgusting oozeling that came out of a mysterious satchel was worth 8,000 gold? I wouldn’t have and would have sold it for far less gold than I received.
Bottom line is addons do two things for me, being they increase my efficiency as well as my accuracy.
Some key ones that I use for the AH / gold making are: trade skill master (TSM), Auctioneer, Big Picture, My Sales, Panda (love this one), Enchantrix, Altoholic, Postal, Bagnon, etc.
Are you still going for more gold? If so, do you have a new goal? Are you close?
I am indeed going for more gold but may have to begin to reprioritize my gold making / WoW. Alto had a post recently about WoW addiction, and while it may seem silly to some, I am definitely the kind of person that gets a little too serious about my pursuits to the detriment of other areas of their life.
Last year I was competing in an Ironman triathlon and now I’m at the point where I don’t even exercise and potentially neglect time that I should be spending with my wife and two boys. While I try to not play while they’re up, it can result in me playing too late and then not having energy the next day for working out, family time, etc.
To that end, I’m going to work with my wife to determine how I best approach the game as I still very much want to get to 1,000,000 gold but also regain the level of fitness I had (#2) (okay, I want to have the beach body again) and to be a great husband and father (#1) and put the WoW in a solid #3 spot on that hierarchy and even lower when you factor in work / learning.
I believe that with my current stockpile of materials I should be well on my way to 500,000 gold (I do have those 250 truegold bars waiting to be sold) as well as 2 bank tabs of pyrite ore that I might just process for the jewels and volatile earths.
Once everything is sold, I believe that would put me between 500,000 and 600,000, at least based on the Big Picture data and then it would be hard work and Blizzard to push me to 1,000,000 gold.
Why Blizzard, well because epic gems are supposed to be coming and I believe they may also move to add increased quality trinkets to inscription or even higher end (epic) glyphs as glyph sellers are in a glut because glyphs are now permanently earned. Also, with epic gems, I believe jewel crafters should also get epic ring / necklace abilities to compete with the patterns of BS, Tailors, LW, etc.
Do many people know you have this amount of gold?
No they don’t. There are a number of people in game that are fellow gold makers and they’re people that I’ve had great discussions with in-game.
Other than that, my brother knows how much gold I have and anyone that reads my blog, which numbers in the 2-3 person range.
Did you spend your gold on fun things? What have you bought? What things would you like to buy?
As many of the recent blog articles point out, saving money is making money and I believe in this firmly in the game. To that end, I don’t buy what I don’t need.
With that said, I have bought epic items for my characters when they hit level 85, such as chest pieces, belt, etc. but not much more than that and I tend to try to buy the materials at a discount, or pull them out of my guild bank, and have someone craft them for me directly. In doing some of these transactions, I’ve even struck up agreements with the crafters and had them become crafters for me in partnership so that we can both profit.
When I get to 1,000,000 gold (or potentially at 500,000 gold) I will buy a vial of the sands for each of my brother and I, possibly one of those travelling tundra mounts for each of us, all the epic gear our main chars can need and then I’ll hunker down and start playing the game again.
I would love to see a vanity item that clearly says to the people in the game that the person who owns it has a lot of gold. As some people have suggested, I would love to see us be able to buy titles that come with something symbolic, such as a gold crown, bling rings, whatever it may be that says “I have a lot of gold!”
If you were the professor of a gold making 101 college class, what would be some things you would talk about?
I would talk about the things that I recently talked about in one of my articles that was based on Peking Duck, Gold Making and You. Essentially, I note that what I’ve seen from this Chinese food dish that I eat with my wife and her family is that the cooks do not waste a single item in the duck, from the soup that is made with the duck carcass, to the chopped duck lettuce wraps, etc. the entire duck is used.
As well, my wife is someone that has taught me the value of consistency. She wakes up at the exact same time every day and has been waking herself up to get ready for school or work since she was 6 or 7 years old as her parents worked at least 12 hours / day running their business 6 days per week. From her and her family, I’ve learned a solid in-game and out-of-game work ethic that has you continue to do your routine over and over and over. In doing that, you will make gold and you will make it fast but you have to be disciplined.
Further, you have to know what you want. I’ve slowed down in my gold making in the past 1-2 weeks because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed FL Trash runs, trying out DPS on my DK, etc. and that’s eaten into time that I would otherwise have been crafting, prospecting, milling, etc. However, given that it’s a game everyone needs a break and needs to enjoy what they’re doing.
For the people that are starting out, focus on the basis, which to me are JC, Enchanting and Alchemy (the shuffle for those who do it) as it’s the easiest way to make gold in a reasonable time frame and isn’t difficult to learn.
This level is all about the basics and the basics are that if you sell an item for more than you buy it for then you’ll make gold. What we’ll teach you is to know how much items cost, what you should buy and how much you should buy them for. Then, we’d teach you how to sell them, for how much and when.
How about an advanced gold making class?
In an advanced class we would work on selling in trade chat, buying in trade chat and flipping the items, using all of the various addons to make your life easier. Knowing your competitors and how that knowledge can increase your gold making and more.
But again, I don’t really believe that I’m a person that can teach an advanced gold making class as I am not an “advanced gold maker”. What I am, is someone that can read a lot of information and synthesize that information and put it into use. This is something that I put into practice in my everyday life as a chartered accountant and in the game. I learn quickly and apply that knowledge to move ahead and add value. To that end, I would recommend Warcraft Econ and TuJ and that the student read every single item on both of those sites to become familiar with how to make gold and to put as much of it into practice as they can.
Do you have good farming strategies or spots?
I don’t have time to farm so I don’t farm. That said, I recently had my brother start playing the game and given that I have given him 15,000 gold already for mounts, epic flying etc. him and I have an agreement that he will farm ore and herbs extensively for me as he levels his characters to 85 and provide me with the ore and herbs at nil cost, which should help in the gold making journey. He also knows that when we hit our targets, he’ll be a large beneficiary of what we have!
What was the best deal you ever came across?
I still think the best deals I came across are the ones that we talked about above, which were the purchase of the valor boots regularly for 2,000 gold to be sold for 6,000 gold on average.
There was also the time that someone had about 100 chimaeron eyes on sale for 90 gold when they were selling for 200 gold. Unfortunately, after I bought them all, the price of the market for these items moved down significantly but is still above the price of 90 gold. Oh yes, did I mention that all the jewelry that I was selling for great sums of money each had four chimaeron eyes in the recipie.
Do you remember any of your worst deals?
My worst deals are always a mistake that I make as a result of posting too quickly on the remote auction house.
The first one was stacks of volatile earth that I sold at a stack price instead of a per item price. This one hurt significantly.
The second was one that crushed me early in my gold making journey and as a result I almost gave up gold making I was so upset! I must have mishit the bid price on a hurricane deck when they were selling for 8,000 gold and I sold a deck for 2,000 gold. At this time almost all of my gold was invested into my stockpiles and I didn’t have much liquid gold at all, if any. After a day or two of crying into my pillow, okay it wasn’t that bad, I was back at it and determined not to make the same mistake.
The thing about me and the profession that I’ve had is that I tend to always remember when I make mistakes and focus on them too heavily. I must get better at putting these mistakes behind me, but they have made me stronger and more focused to not make them again.
What are your future plans with WoW?
I want to get some pretty epic PvE DPS gear for my DK as I don’t like tanking on him anymore and also get heavily geared up for PvP with my brother and friend on a 3v3 team (Hunter, DK and Paladin).
From a tanking perspective, which I enjoy, I would like to roll a Warrior when I have enough heirloom pieces and have him get to 85 as soon as I can to take be a stronger tank than I am on my DK so we’ll see how that goes. On the warrior, I will do engineering as a good tanking profession and for fun. For the second profession, I have no clue as to what I will do at the moment, but gold making may take a back seat to professional needs on that one so it may be a blacksmith or whatever the elitist jerks min/max profession requirements are.
What are you predictions for the future WoW economy?
I think that the future WoW economy will have epic gems but how they come about I am completely uncertain of. I do have two tabs of pyrite ore and will consider not prospecting them in the hopes that they are how epic gems are generated through prospecting. For some reason, I also had the weird suspicion that epic gems would potentially come from fire prisms or could potentially even be chimaeron eyes but we’ll see how that goes.
The economy will continue to grow at a significant pace as there is so much more information out there for gold makers and the professions and prices that are available allow anyone to make significant amounts of gold; therefore, I expect that this gold will continue to go back into the economy for all of us to gain by in the foreseeable future.
Please tell us a little bit about how you handle your real life finances. What are the differences and similarities with how you do things in WoW?
My wife and I are both Chartered Accountants up here in Canada and based on that we both strongly believe in being in a financially sound position. To that end, my wife has an absurdly detailed budget that she’s created to keep track of our household finances on a rolling 12 month basis, which she compares to actual spending based on mint.com and other programs to highlight where we’re spending too much money and on what we’re spending it on, which is typically myself spending too much money on coffee.
As well, we try to focus on needs versus wants, which is an example of why I’m willing to sell the valor point bracers for 20,000 gold because, while I want the valor point bracers, I don’t need them. What I need, based on my decision / goals, is to hit the 1,000,000 gold cap. To do that, I have to be willing to give up on some wants.
The gold game, to me, is an extension of the real world. I try to use what I would in the real world to get ahead in the gold game and to teach me to get ahead in the real world. Currently, in real life we’re saving up for the purchase of a new home so I don’t have significant sums of money to invest on the open market; therefore, I have put my energies to making gold in the game as a means of illustrating to myself that I have an ability to be disciplined, do thorough research and apply that knowledge in a means to grow the value of what I’m starting with.
In my opinion, plenty of the gold bloggers, auction house masters would make excellent investment analysts based on their discipline, research, desires to automate, etc., which are skills that you need to make solid investment decisions. Once we purchase our new home and sell the one we’re living in, I will be taking some of the excess capital and investing in the real world in much the manner I do the game, and I believe I will be as successful in that endeavor as I am in WoW.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for Warcraft Econ. Do you have any last words?
Thanks for being here and helping me get started on this gold making journey and thanks for listening to my ramblings. I feel quite humbled to be able to go from a mere reader of your hall of fame posts 3-1/2 months ago to a poster on the website, even if it is at the bottom ranking of the Hall of Fame!
Until our next interview, which will be much shorter time-frame than the last, all the best on your gold making journey my friends.