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 obtain 500k and 250k. We have with us, “fluxdada”, who will be sharing their story with us today.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your gaming experience.
I am a blogger who writes about making gold in world of warcraft. I’ve been writing my blog, Power Word: Gold, for just over 6 months. In that time I’ve I’ve learned more about blogging than I ever thought I would and have come to know a ton of fantastic people (readers and bloggers) in the gold-making community.
I have been playing World of Warcraft for around 6 years or so. Before WoW I was mainly a console gamer but MMOs have drawn me in in a way no console game ever could. I believe it’s the community aspect of an MMO that really appeals to me. Even though I consider myself predominantly a solo player just having others around me in a game world makes it feel more alive.
Do you raid or PvP most? Both? How do you enjoy the game?
I did some light raiding in The Burning Crusade and early Wrath of the Lich King and enjoyed it very much but for the most part I’ve been a solo and small-group player. I enjoy leveling and learning about all of the different classes and class mechanics. I currently have (9) level 85 characters and am working on leveling my 10th level 85 (one of every class) on my main server. I thoroughly enjoy 5-man dungeons and am lucky as my wife plays World of Warcraft as well. We are often able to do dungeons together. I times I’ve gotten into PVP but in general I enjoy PVE the most.
Why did you choose to collect this amount of gold?
Honestly It just sort of “snuck up” on me. When I started writing my gold blog I think the most I could ever remember having at one time was 40K. I certainly didn’t let the fact I hadn’t reached a huge gold milestone keep me from blogging about gold-making but as I saw others in the community reach their gold-making goals it made me feel a little “behind the curve”. I never actively had a set gold milestone in mind but over time my enjoyment of the gold-making process just naturally produced an increase in my total gold (imagine that.) I enjoy the act of gold-making and the mental exercise of always finding ways to “make the sale”.
How did you go about getting to this gold amount? Any creative or original ideas?
I am not really the type of gold-maker who has detailed bookkeeping records of how I made every single gold. That said being a blogger (and doing a 2 hour gold-making podcast each week) has helped me at least be aware of what methods have worked best for me in gold making. Below are the major gold-making areas that have worked for me from the last 6 months or so.
Jewelcrafting – Raw Cataclysm Uncommon and Rare gems. A large percentage of my gold has been made by working this one market. Prospecting Obsidium Ore and finding just the right price for the raw gems has been one of my favorite markets for all of Cataclysm. There aren’t many markets where I feel as comfortable as I do selling these gems. While I have a good variety of Rare gem cuts I still tend to lean toward working the raw side of the market for the most part.
Vendor Items – I make a surprising amount of my gold by selling vendor-bought items. While in the past I’ve gone as far as to do “supply runs” of vendors in places like Outlands and “Vanilla” areas like Booty Bay for the most part the majority of my income for NPC items has come from selling vendor pets with the majority of them lately being the 3 sold in Dalaran. With the portals placed back in Dalaran to Stormwind and Ogrimmar I have a good number of my character’s Hearthstones set in Dalaran. The thing I enjoy about the Dalaran pets is the ease of restocking and the high profit margins. These have really picked up in the last month or so. Other pets I tend to keep in stock are the Wintersaber Cubs as well as the pets available at Stormspire in Netherstorm. All of these NPC vendor items are set up in TradeSkillMaster groups and selling them is pretty much an automated process at this point.
Engineering – Although I often hear players say they don’t find Engineering profitable I’ve found that selling engineering items has provided me with a good mount of gold in Cataclysm. The main sellers for me are Handful of Obsidium Bolts and Electrified Ether. I started selling these early on in Cataclysm and the demand and prices has never dropped. I maintain a price of 17-19g each for Handful of Obsidium Bolts and 47-54g each for Electrified Ether. This is one of my markets where I never seem to have sort of steady competition. Because I’ve been working the market so long I know that my items will sell and what prices to sell them for. As an amusing side note one day I picked up around 1000 Handful of Obsidium Bolts (crafting accident?) off the auction house for 2.5g each. I’ve been steadily working them back into the market for the last few months at nothing less than 17g each. Other engineering items that have perked up as of late are Handful of Cobalt Bolts (12-17g each) and Overcharged Capacitors (75-85g each).
What is your master list?
Going off of my MySales Data for the last 4 Months it seems the top of my list (based on total gold made) is:
- Volatile Air
- Inferno Ruby (Raw)
- Delicate Inferno Ruby
- Brilliant Inferno Ruby
- Heavenly Shard
- Twilight Leg Armor
- Scorched Leg Armor
What items are in your Snatch list?
Cheap Obsidium/Elementium Ore (under 30g/stack). For shuffling purposes.
Volatile Life (under 8g each). Used to supply my (4) Transmute-Specced Alchemists daily Living Elements Transmutes.
“Justice Point” boots selling in trade (500g or under). I consistently flip these for 1500-2000g+ still.
How did you learn to do it? Anyone or resource you would like to thank?
The Undermine Journal’s “frontpage” (before they shut down the first time) that listed a large number of gold-making blogs was the first place I found out there was even such a thing as a “gold blog”. I started off (like many people) by reading the blogroll at Just My Two Copper. From there I found Alto’s Goldish Advice, Cold’s Gold Factory and Nerf Faids. I’d have to say my early experiences were most influenced by those three blogs. When I decided to start blogging about gold-making I was thrown into a whole new world of gold-making ideas and (much like the Borg) have tried to “assimilate” as many gold-making tips as I can. Not every strategy is a fit for my own personal gold-making style but I’m fascinated by how others are making their gold.
I would like to thank all those in the gold-making community who share their time and effort writing gold-making blogs. I’d also like to thank all those who read my own blog and offer encouragement and share their own gold-making wisdom with me.
What addons, if any, do you use to help you make gold and why are they needed?
Auctioneer – The “grand daddy” of all gold-making addons. I use this for all my AH scan data as well as the “Appraiser” tab for quickly listing items in my bags I may not otherwise know I have available to auction.
Auctionator – My new favorite addon for posting one-off items due to it’s ability to quickly choose which of the current auctions to undercut. Also indispensable for it’s shopping lists feature which I use for monitoring gem markets as well as important tasks like knowing which of the “Justice Point” boots are available at the time, etc.
TradeSkillMaster – An absolutely indespensable part of my efforts to save time via automating many of my markets. I use TSM groups for listing all my glyphs as well as vendor items. TSM is worth it alone for it’s ability to scan and purchase herbs used in crafting glyphs.
Altoholic – Used when resupplying vendor items as well as coordinating mats across multiple characters. When you have 10 characters with 20 max-level professions it pays to know which particular materials are on which particular character. Couldn’t live without it.
Are you still going for more gold? If so, do you have a new goal? Are you close?
I’m more of a “tortoise” rather than a “hare” when it comes to gold-making. The act of making gold is my fascination. What makes markets tick. How to find just the right angle or discover a new market on my server. I believe my gold balance will continue to climb as I tend to work in such as way that I don’t have many large expenditures etc. That said I could see myself hitting 500K in a few months. I’m not actively pushing for it though.
Do many people know you have this amount of gold?
Not on my server. I generally don’t talk to anyone on my server about my gold. As far as outside the game I haven’t made my gold totals public up until this point have. I think part of it was feeling inadequate as I saw readers of my blog and other bloggers reaching much higher gold milestones than myself. As someone who blogs about making gold I guess I felt a bit of pressure to “prove myself” by having some huge amount of gold. I have since gotten over my initial trepidation about talking about my gold totals. While I don’t think I’ll worry bringing it up again (at least not until I feel I’ve reached another significant milestone) at least I don’t feel ashamed or defensive anymore when someone asks me how much gold I have.
Did you spend your gold on fun things? What have you bought? What things would you like to buy?
My wife let me know that to celebrate my 250K I needed to buy her a chopper. Besides that I’m still fairly frugal with my gold. I still think items like Vial of the Sands are just too expensive. Perhaps I’ll feel different if/when I reach 500K.
If you were the professor of a gold making 101 college class, what would be some things you would talk about?
It takes time to make gold. While markets may go up and down you need to put in the time at the auction house to learn how to make gold. Once you’ve put in your time and you have your own gold-making system in place you will be prepared to capitalize on sea changes in markets brought about by patches, new content, hotfixes etc.
How about an advanced gold making class?
Building your crafting alts is never a waste of time or resources. While it is not a necessity to know everything about every market having your crafting alts set with maxed professions will allow you to take the fullest advantage of new tips, tricks and techniques you learn from around the gold-making community. Being diversified in this way will also cushion you a bit from stark changes brought into markets due to patches, hotfixes or market shifts.
Do you have good farming strategies or spots?
Sethria’s Roost in Mt. Hyjal (pre-Firelands daily phasing) is my favorite spot for farming Blackened Dragonscales. I purposefully didn’t do Firelands dailies on one of my skinners just so I could keep this spot accessible.
Deepholm is my choice for farming Elementium and Obsisium Ore when prices spike above my threshold. I also farm herbs in Deepholm when Volatile Life prices spike above my threshold.
What was the best deal you ever came across?
I picked up Sylvanas’ Music Box for 6k in trade chat. I was able to flip it for 25K a few weeks later.
Do you remember any of your worst deals?
Picking up the Enchant Bracer Major Strength early on in Cataclysm for 10K. One of my biggest regrets to this day. This one mistake has shaped my gold-making since. I am much more careful to research high-risk gold-making techniques like this before attempting them. “Measure twice. Cut once.” and “Look before you leap.” are both maxims I live by now.
What are your future plans with WoW?
As long as I find enjoyable things to do in the game I plan to continue playing. With 10 high level characters and 30 possible talent specs to choose from there is always something new to try. (My latest endeavor has been to learn to play a Retribution Paladin. So far I’ve had limited success.)
Luckily for me gold-making is an activity that provides endless amounts of enjoyment and new experiences . As long as there is gold in the game I’ll continue to keep working to make it.
What are you predictions for the future WoW economy?
I believe a big growth-market for the game will be the players who are coming back to World of Warcraft. I’ve had good success selling items that these returning player’s need such as level 77-80 green Cataclysm items as well as mid-level Cataclysm enchants. While much of the talk about WoW revolves around end-game raiding (especially now with a new raid tier just released with Patch 4.2) I believe the population of returning players most likely outweighs the number of raiders.
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?
The great thing about a fantasy world like World of Warcraft is that we get to play out our fantasies. This includes monetary fantasies of “being rich” and “successful”. Unfortunately Blizzard hasn’t yet figured out a way for us to pay real-life bills with in-game gold. Until that day I’ll have to just be happy with the fact that in at least one aspect of my life (albeit a virtual one) I’m “well-off” so to speak. (Plus I always have a job in World of Warcraft.)
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for Warcraft Econ. Do you have any last words?
I just wanted to thank all those in the gold-making community who have supported me as a person and a blogger. It has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had and look forward to continuing to learn and share all I can about making gold in World of Warcraft.