Lone StarListen! We’re not just doing this for the money! We’re doing this for a SHIT LOAD of money!”
 – Lone Star (Spaceballs)

This is one of the articles I originally planned to write when I started this here little blog of mine.

One of the things I’ve come to despise over my years playing WoW is people that constantly complain they have no money to train their abilities or to learn the riding skills. Let’s take a look at riding specifically as this is a skill that everyone will need to learn sooner or later (preferable sooner).

  • Apprentice Riding – Requires level 20, costs 4g, grants 60% increased movement speed, mounts cost 1g each
  • Journeyman Riding – Requires level 40, costs 50g, grants 100% increased movement speed, mounts cost 10g each
  • Expert Riding – Requires level 60, costs 250g, grants 150% increased movement speed, mounts cost 50g each, allows you to fly in Outland
  • Flight Master’s License – Requires level 60, costs 250g, allows you to fly in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor etc
  • Cold Weather Flying – Requires level 68, costs 500g, allows you to fly in Northrend
  • Artisan Riding – Requires level 70, costs 5000g, grants 280% increased movement speed, mounts cost 100g each
  • Master Riding – Requires level 80, costs 5000g, grants 310% increased movement speed

Excluding Master Riding, which you don’t really need, by the time you get to level 80 you will have spent 6215g on riding and four mounts; two land mounts (one slow, one fast) and two flying mounts (one slow, one fast).

In reality this is not an exact figure, there are various factors that will mostly help to decrease this cost, though buying yourself additional mounts will naturally nudge it back up.

By the time you hit 58, you should be *at least* Revered (more likely Exalted if you bought a tabard) with your home-city faction (eg Stormwind) so make sure you train your riding in whichever city you have the highest standing. This can give you up to 20% discount on training costs. If you’re in a level 24+ guild you will also have Bartering which gives you a further 10% discount. Combined, you can reduce your costs by up to 30% bringing that initial 6215g figure down to a rather more manageable 4350g.

For arguments sake, let’s pick somewhere in the middle and say your guild isn’t level 24 yet and that you’re highest city reputation is Revered. This gives you 15% discount meaning that you’re looking at 5283g. Add to that your costs to train your class abilities, which for a Paladin is about 240g, and you’re looking at somewhere around a 5500g investment to level your character. To some folks this will seem like a huge amount but it’s really not. So, how do you achieve this? It’s simple and here’s how:

Bags

The first tip is get your bags sorted out. If you’re starting out on a new server, this might come later in the process, but it’s important to think about this. More bag space means fewer trips to the vendor, mail box or auction house. It’s worth investing in a set of bags as soon as you have the gold to spare, the bigger the better. While in the short term this may reduce your gold balance, this investment will be repaid many times over in the long run.

Your Junk Is Someone Else’s Treasure

Grey items should be sold to your nearest vendor. White items have some sort of use by a profession so you should try selling these on the auction house. Green, Blue & (eventually) Purple items carry the highest value and so should, again, go on the Auction House.

Many gold bloggers advocate the creation of a bank character and so do I. Spend 5-10 minutes to create a level 1 character and run them to the nearest capital city. Once there, send anything that you’re going to sell at auction to this character. Doing this means that you only have to leave the area you’re questing in when you want to go and train. At other times, just find a mail box and a vendor and clear your bags.

Generally speaking I stick to the following pattern for selling stuff based on the item quality:

  • White (Common) – List one or two times. If it doesn’t sell, vendor it
  • Green (Uncommon) – List one or two times. If it doesn’t sell, vendor it. Alternatively if you know an enchanter have them disenchant it and sell the mats instead
  • Blue (Rare) – List it three or four times. If it doesn’t sell, treat as above
  • Purple (Epic) – Keep re-listing until it sells, because it most likely will eventually

I generally list common items for 12 hours and everything else for 24 hours. The shorter duration on common items is because you’re more likely to get undercut in these markets.

Professions

Personally, I see little point in picking up a crafting profession much before you get to level 80. If you level at a reasonable pace you will out grow anything you make very quickly so there’s little point making it to begin with. What I do suggest however is to pick up two of the three gathering professions. Which two is up to you but consider this; Mining feeds three professions (Blacksmithing, Engineering & Jewelcrafting),  Herbalism feeds two professions (Alchemy & Inscription) while Skinning only feeds one (Leatherworking). With this in mind, Mining & Herbalism are the obvious choices as they have the largest potential market. However look at your own Auction House, see which has the least representation and go for that.

Mining:
Copper Ore sells for, on average, 48g per stack. Mithril & Thorium ores also sell very well and when you hit Outland you’ll find Fel Iron sell for even more (over 90g per stack) so you should have a steady income stream as you move through progressively higher zones. Also, it’s important to always check the going price of both ore and bars before selling to ensure that you’re getting the most money you can.
Herbalism:
Goldthorn sells for ridiculous prices (185g per stack) while Outland herbs sell for even more (Felweed is currently selling for ~240g per stack!!).
Skinning:
As expected, Skinning shows the lowest prices as it has the smallest audience. Rugged Leather averages 63g per stack with Knothide leather selling for much the same.

I don’t know what it is about Outland, but there generally seems to be more demand than supply for raw materials from those zones. Maybe people just don’t like them, but they’re a gold mine if you do!

Conclusion

Assuming you play on a server with prices close to the US average, that you pick up Mining & Herbalism and that you don’t spend your gold on flashy blue & purple items that other people are selling. – By the time you hit level 80 you should be able to alt over to your banker and mail yourself the gold you need to go and buy epic flight. If not then I’m sorry, there’s little hope of you ever making gold.

In a future post, I’ll discuss what to do about your professions post level 80.

 

*All sale prices quoted are based on the “US Alliance Mean” value as calculated by The Undermine Journal on the day of posting. Prices do vary significantly between servers so may not be wholly accurate for your own server.