Hall of Fame – 1 Million Gold Cap Club: Breja of Duskwood-US

Cataclysm Gold Cap

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, Ermorden of Scarlet Crusade-US, who will be sharing their story with us today.

“I believe success is preparation, because opportunity is going to knock on your door sooner or later but are you prepared to answer that?”  – Actor, Omar Epps

Please tell us a little about yourself and your gaming experience

Greetings fellow gold makers!  I am Breja of Sen’jin on the Duskwood US Server.  I have been playing World of Warcraft for 5 years now, but only engaged in gold making for the last 18 months.  I began playing video games back when arcades had such new hits as Super Mario Bros., Tempest, Pac Man, and other great quarter eating machines.  As I grew up, so did the industry surrounding video games.  I owned the Atari 800, Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, and PlayStation and was drawn to sports games and single player adventure games.

I began playing computer games after college with such titles as Age of Empires, Warcraft II, and Neverwinter Nights.  I then moved onto playing Diablo II for about 6 years, along with starting a family, before I finally picked up World of Warcraft in 2007.  Back in 2003, A few friends had shown me the MMO that they were playing, called Everquest, but I was just not interested in playing “that type” of game (meaning any MMORPG’s).  I was a huge fan of Warcraft II and its expansions, so I followed the news surrounding World of Warcraft for a few years before I finally purchased it in February of 2007.  This was an exciting time, as the Burning Crusade expansion had just been released and new servers were being opened.  I joined Duskwood to follow some friends to play here.  My initial experience was that of fascination with the idea of such a large virtual world with so many other people interacting with each other within this environment.  I was hooked within the first week of playing my Tauren Warrior and have been playing ever since.

Do you raid or PvP? How do you enjoy the game?

I began playing WoW from the only perspective on gaming that I had at the time, as a single player questing campaign.  Eventually, I joined a friends and family guild and began to run dungeons, raid, and PvP with them.  , I really enjoy raiding and running dungeons with guild mates the most out of all the activities in WoW.  I love the experience of coordinating a group of people to overcome challenges in defeating a boss.  It’s the fellowship and fun that we share in conquering PvE content that appeals most to me.

When not raiding, I enjoy crafting and utilizing my professions to make gold.  I love finding items cheap and turning them into other items that I can sell for profit on the auction house.  I will explain more about this in the questions ahead.

What motivated you to collect this amount of gold?

It all began with me wanting to have extra gold to set aside for a rainy day, after I found myself broke from purchasing epic flying on my second character.  That idea evolved into setting a goal to collect 300,000 gold prior to the release of Cataclysm; so that when this expansion hit, I could purchase whatever I wanted from the auction house for my raiding needs.  I reached that goal a few months prior to Cataclysm’s release.  I used most of that gold to get all my professions leveled to 525, leaving me with a small amount left over.  I realized that I enjoyed having “big” numbers of gold, but had not set a specific goal or plan for doing this.

At the time I was looking to restart my gold business on my server, I was listening to the “Auction House Junkies – episode 9” where one topic of discussion was about “Do you need to be gold capped to be credible?”  The idea from other bloggers at this time was that only people who make large amounts of gold have the experience to draw from in being able to tell others about how to make gold.  Wes and Cold made a compelling argument that gold capped is just a number, and it’s the experience that a person receives through the process of gold making that is important.  Even though I had less than 100,000 gold at the time, I felt that I knew as much about making gold as anyone out there.  I decided to put my knowledge to the test and set a goal to make one million gold.  Setting a goal is never enough, you need to create a plan to reach your goal and commit yourself to doing what it takes to reach your goal.  I decided to focus on what I know best, utilizing my profession and researching patch changes.  Doing what I love in game, within the confines of my plan, helped to carry me during those days in which I did not “feel” like working towards my goals.  There are several paths to reaching gold capped, but if you do not use the one that excites you, you will at some point abandon your plan before you reach your goal.

How did you learn to do it?

Only few months into the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, a friend rode up to me on his new mechano hog.  I was amazed that he made that much gold so quickly and asked him how he did it.  He explained that he made “stuff” and placed them on the auction house.  He suggested that I do some research on the internet to find out what other people are doing.  I began frequenting forums and various websites of people explaining what they do to earn gold in the game.  I became a voracious learner of other people’s methods and tested many of those ideas out to find strategies that worked for me.

I am constantly reading or listening to other people to find ideas in gold making that I may need to add to my current gold making routine.  Markets change frequently, so it is important to keep informed to help me make the best possible decisions for making gold.

Is there anyone or a resource you would like to thank that contributed to your success?

Speaking of resources that have helped to shape my gold making decisions, I would like to thank the vast gold making community that has developed over the last 2 years.  When I began researching how to make gold, I frequented the JMTC forums and learned a lot from the many posters involved in that community.  I still peek in on the “Consortium” forums where many great topics are currently being discussed.  I continue to follow Warcraft Econ for gold related news and to see who else has made the Hall of Fame to read their story.  I follow several gold making blogs, too many to list, but be assured that every one of you has had a lasting impact with the great information you provide for your readers.

I am a big fan of podcasts, and my first gold making podcast that I still look forward to is Euripides’s “Call to Auction” podcast.  I would also like to thank Flux, from the “Power Word: Gold” podcast for nurturing a gold making community, which encourages people to share gold making ideas that are current.

What were some of your early mistakes? How would you do things differently if you had to go back and redo them?

Everyone can look back and see things that they could have done better.  When I began utilizing the auction house for gold making, I believe that I frequently undervalued the items that I posted.  I often thought I needed the fast sale and would undercut by 20-50%.  After studying gold makers, I found that people buy items for a variety of reasons.  The theory of “supply and demand” has helped me to understand how to value items that I am placing on the auction house.  It took me a while to understand that I can price certain items much higher than minimum auction house listings and it will still sell.

The other early mistake I made was in not understanding the value of time.  I spent a lot of my early days grinding mobs and gathering raw materials to sell.  Looking back, if I spent more time researching the items I was grinding or gathering on the auction house, I could have saved so much more time by farming the auction house, which is what I do now.

How did you go about getting to this gold amount? Any creative or original ideas?

Seeds of Gold Making – There are several gold makers that have reached a million gold faster than I have by using a variety of methods.  For me, I have a passion for professions and decided that this is how I would focus my gold making endeavors.  I took advice a long time ago from the “Call to Auction” podcast to research all professions and find where the synergy exists to put them to their best gold making potential.

I have all ten characters on my realm with maxed professions, covering them all.  Prior to the release of Cataclysm, I made a point to get every profession maxed and the characters to level 75 to take advantage of each profession through level 525.  After looking at what was being developed through professions in the Cataclysm beta, I decided to carry 2 jewelcrafters and 6 alchemists, all transmute specialized.

Maximizing My Research on Professions – Regardless of what you decide to do in making gold, I believe that it is important to take the time to research what method of gold making you want to use.  The time spent looking at patch notes, listening to others, or participating in the gold making community can help you save time, gold and frustration.  I have utilized the 2 jewel crafting dailies to allow me to gain recipes faster this expansion to gain a greater a share of the gem market.  I had continued to spend the 1-5 minutes each day to get jewel crafting tokens to take advantage of the epic gem market.  It turns out that this market is not what I had hoped for on my server, but those excess tokens have allowed me to have a store of Chimera’s Eye that other jewelcrafters have been buying from me in bunches.  There is always a way to make something positive happen, even when your speculations do not pay off as you intended.

Transmute alchemy for me was going to be king in Cataclysm, which lead to my decision to carry six of them.  I knew that Transmute Volatiles, Pyrium Bar, and Truegold were all going to share a cool down, so it was necessary to carry multiple alchemists to take advantage of this ability every day.  Volatiles are used in most of the useful Cataclysm recipes for all other professions.  I wanted to take advantage of volatile procs in the various zones to produce a continuous flow of volatiles into the market.  At times, Pyrium was less expensive to create through transmutation than to smelt directly from pyrite ore.  It was good to have this option available if I was out of volatiles or needed pyrium for Truegold on another alt.  Truegold was where the gold profits were at on my realm.  I could utilize my other alchemists and buying materials under my purchasing value on the auction house to gain a large supply of Truegold that I have been able to sell consistently this entire expansion.

Value of Having All Professions – The value of having every profession available has been immense.  I strongly believe that having many options in every aspect of utilizing your professions is a key component to successful gold making.  If a raw material cannot be used for profit in one profession, it is possible that the same item could create profit in another profession.  Having options helps to minimize your risks associated with an item and maximize your profits.  While several other gold makers have mentioned being stuck in a rut on their gold making techniques, I have been consistently able to generate profit every week.  When someone moves into a market I currently have items listed, I can decide to fight for the market or leave it for a while to work another market.  For example, I produced a number of tailoring spell threads and bags, but when I got undercut, I would hold my stock and move to the gem market.  I never got hung up on selling one specific item.  For me, I can hold an item and be patient to sell it at a price I want to list it for on the auction house.  By being a participant in your auction house, you can learn the patterns of your server’s market and the players involved.  This has helped me to know when the best times to post for sales and when to buy items, as well as, the patience to let an aspect of the market play itself out.

What is your master list?

This list has changed several times over the last 18 months of gold making, based on the value of items I have at the time of posting:

Last 6 months of Wrath expansion: all cuts of epic gems, eternal belt buckles, flasks and potions, spell threads, and enchanting materials.

Going into Cataclysm, I had a stockpile of items that I quickly sold out of in the first 4 months: Burning Crusade ores and herbs, tons of Netherweave bags and profession bags from BC, Wrath level profession bags, Frostweave bags, and Eternals.

I leveled a miner/herbalist early in Cataclysm from 80-85 only through gathering and sold everything on the auction house, after I used items to level some professions.  Herbs, Ores, Volatiles, Bars, Embersilk Cloth, all went for very high prices for first 6 months of Cataclysm.

Currently, I have been selling the following consistently: Cut Red, Orange, Yellow, and Purple gems; Flintlocke’s Woodchucker; Pyrite Ore (paid 60 g a stack, selling for 170g or more); Hardened Elementium Bars; Volatile Air and Volatile Water; engineering pets; ilvl 377 PvP gear from tailor, jewel crafter, and blacksmith; Spell threads; all forms of tailoring bags; Truegold; Pyrium bars; arcanite bars; and all forms of enchanting materials.

What items are on your shopping list?

As you would expect, my shopping list is mostly for raw materials that I can use towards crafting.  I do also tend to look at the crafted item as well, because it lets me know if it is still worth my time to craft an item, or that I can flip the item later.  I use Auctionator for buying, so I list the item by partial words to scan all forms of it on the auction house.  For example, I search “elementium” to see the current prices of ores, bars, hardened elementium, and crafted elementium items.

Elementium

Obsidium

Pyrite

Volatile

Embersilk

Netherweave

Jasper / Hessonite / Alicite / Nightstone

All specialty cloth (for making bags)

All cataclysm herbs

All BC ores and herbs

All Wrath ores and herbs

What addons, if any, do you use to help you make gold and why are they needed?

I use Auctionator to buy and sell items on the auction house.  I know that there are other addons out there that make a more efficient use of time, but I prefer to get a current picture of what is out there and control my own pricing on the items that I post.

I use Skillet and Lil Sparky’s Workshop to help me craft items and see the current value of items that I scan on the auction house.  I have looked at other crafting addons, but I feel most comfortable with this set up at this time.  I do want to continue to look at other addons, and will change if I find it more comfortable to use.

I use Panda to help with prospecting, disenchanting, and milling on my characters.  I like the interface and how it shows current auction house values of what is being broken down.

I like to use Altoholic to help locate item that I have on other toons that I can them mail to the appropriate toon for crafting.

Finally, I use Postal to help me with mailing items and opening mail.

Are you still going for more gold?  If so, do you have a new goal? Are you close?

I am going for more gold, but not how I originally intended.  I wanted to go for the 2 million gold and was at 1.3 million, but life changes have gotten in the way.  Mainly, I have a new job that will require more of my time, but also my guild has fallen apart on our server and the few of us that are left want to find a stronger raiding community.  We have no decisions as of this writing where we are transferring to.  I think I will begin fresh on that new server and try to again reach 1 million gold with testing out different ideas from the gold making community.  Whether I make another million gold or not, I know that I have reached this achievement and I am happy for the experience that it gave to me.  It is an exciting time for me to be moving into a new phase of my life and WoW seems to be moving that direction with me.

Do many people know you have this amount of gold?

A few friends that are left in my old guild know of this and a few people who have followed me on twitter, @brejapriest.  It was fun when my friends would open up trade and ask me to put all my gold in there to trade.  I would and when we accepted trade, we both got the message “at gold limit.”  This is hilarious and I suggest that you do this at least once with a real friend in game.

Did you spend your gold on fun things? What have you bought? What things would you like to buy?

I am currently spending my gold on mounts and pets for my main raiding toon.  I have also bought several items for friends and given gold to them as well.  I am buying high ilvl items for my raiding toon as well.

I kept joking with my friends that I need a million gold to buy the new mount that Blizzard will give as a gold sink.  It’s going to be Horde Zepplin with full bar and vendors for all members of my guild to be able to use.  It comes complete with my own monkey in a fedora piloting the zeppelin, because fedoras are cool.

If you were the professor of a gold making 101 college class, what would be some things you would talk about?

I would start with the basic tools all good students need to succeed.  They would be taught how to research data and examine the usefulness of the information being provided.  There are a ton of tools in game and on the internet to help you make decisions, but you need to learn what the information means to you.  I would also include a lesson on how to develop goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.  It is difficult to succeed in anything in life without having a clear goal and a plan of action.

How about an advanced gold making class?

In the advanced gold making class, we would start examining several microeconomic concepts.  The Quantity Theory of Money would examine why gold has a different value for people within the game and why items have differing values on several servers.  The Elasticity theory would help us to examine what happens to goods placed on the auction house and why people will buy items that shift in value; and also why some items never sell when the prices move up or down.  Finally, the theories of supply and demand are a must to understanding why people will make their decision to purchase items or to sell them in the server’s marketplace.

Do you have any good farming strategies or spots? If you don’t farm, please suggest something to farm if you had to pick the best items and locations.

When I do farm, I prefer to combine my farming efforts to save me some time.  I prefer to farm for herbs and ores on the same toon in Twilight Highlands and in Deepholm for the obsidium and elementium ores, Twilight Jasmine, and Heartblossoms.  I also like to drink a Potion of Treasure Finding and grind out the Twilight mobs between Victory Point and Crushblow for the tiny treasure chests and loads of embersilk cloth.

What are your future plans with WoW?

Currently, I plan on finding a new guild and server to call home.  I then plan to prepare for Mists of Pandaria by researching beta changes and acting accordingly with my new toons.  I love this game and plan on continuing to play this for some time to come.  I will only take a break to play Diablo III, when it is released.

What are you predictions for the future WoW economy?

I think that Blizzard finally plans to bring the wow economy under a closer examination than they have in the past.  I know that they have recently been looking to add a professions designer to their development team.  My hope is that this person is given the opportunity to closely examine the professions and overhaul them.  There are points in the leveling process that are still major choking points.  Also, value of items introduced must been scrutinized more closely, Obsidium shuffle at the beginning of Cataclysm anyone?  Blizzard spent the entire expansion trying to fix the value of uncut gems and the impact easy shuffling has made on the economy.  I hope to see more exciting changes to the professions with customization of gear or providing more fun attributes to all professions.  I plan to spend time looking into the professions specifically and seeing what is done over time to add variety, while maintaining accessibility to players.

What are your favorite artists, songs, movies, shows, or streams to watch while you are making gold?

I love to listen to podcasts while I am making gold.  It is fun for me to pop on my iTunes and listen to Convert to Raid, All Things Azeroth, Auction House Junkies, Call to Auction, Group Quest, Horde for Life, The Instance, Legendary, The Mana Cooler, The Obscurecast, Power Word: Gold, Rawrcast, Twisted Nether Blogcast, WoW Insider, among many others.  When grinding mobs, I like to listen to music because it keeps me constantly moving and makes the grind more fun to do.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for Warcraft Econ. Do you have any last words?

First, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to build the communities involved in gold making.  All of you have valuable information and a passion that shines through your efforts.  It is people like you who create the atmosphere for people like me to prosper, and for that I thank you.

I would like to thank each of you readers for taking the time to read my story.  Enjoy the journey and when you set a goal, keep working towards it.  Hard work and perseverance will overcome many obstacles.  See you around Azeroth!