The question comes up daily in the World of Warcraft econ discord: “How do I make gold” – and there’s lots of different answers, but this video by Atheist Pope explains it in a pretty clear way, so we tend to link it a lot. The great thing about Warcraft is that there is no one way to make gold. There are many ways. When I first started, I focused on just one of the bubbles above, farming raw gold (remember this was back in BFA days, when we were saving up for the Bruto mount, before multiboxing changes, and before the vendor flip nerfs that came at the end of the expansion). As I got better and more proficient in that one method, I expanded. Now I do a little bit of almost everything (I don’t sell instance runs).
The first thing anyone who wants to make gold has to do is to pick a method. I highly suggest picking something you actually enjoy doing because that’s going to make it easier to stick with. For example, I do not enjoy gathering. I do very little of it. The most gathering I do is fishing for the Strange Goop.
I love crafting. I spend a lot of time doing it, and I invest most of my gold making time to restocking my profession characters, working on their factions, obtaining new recipes, and anything that can enhance their progress.
I also enjoy BOE farming, but I do this only occasionally.
AH flipping is another past time I really enjoy, but it takes time to learn the markets, it takes time to learn the value of things on your server, and it requires a bit of gold to get started. Once you spend some time learning these things, it does get easier. I had my rags to riches challenge over the earlier part of the year that went surprisingly well, because of the knowledge I’d already gained.
What most people tend to want when they ask “how do I make gold” is to know exactly what they should do to get the most gold for the least amount of time invested. The thing is, that isn’t easy to answer. It depends on so many factors – and it changes and evolves. The thing to remember is that if there was ONE single thing that was better than EVERYTHING else, all the gold makers out there would just do that one single thing, and chances are it would not be the best any more. Diversify. Find that one thing that works for you, continue to do that thing until it doesn’t work, then branch out.
Garrison gold making isn’t (IMO) as profitable these days, especially when there were covenant tables all expansion (those are being nerfed on the 15th, please don’t try to start them up now) and they are a serious character / time investment. Getting your garrison off the ground with an army of characters is also a costly adventure unless you’re already established. That’s not to say you can’t make gold from it, but I personally think it would be at the very bottom of the list of opportunities.
I also feel like this video leaves some valid forms of gold making out – like vendor flips. Vendor flips are where you buy craft materials for cheap on the AH, make something with them a billion times (like necklaces) and then sell them to a vendor for a profit. In Shadowlands there have been a few items used for vendor flips, and a lot of goblins have charts where you can input prices and see what the gold per hour would be for you. Here’s some of those charts below (I know it’s the end of Shadowlands, this post should have come a few months ago, but it is what it is).
Don’t be afraid to experiment and use resources that are available out there. Join some communities and get involved. Even just lurking in the econ discord might show you a farm/method/item that you hadn’t even though about, or get you thinking about a particular farm that you hadn’t before.
RNG is great, but it’s hit or miss when it comes to gold. When I’m making gold I want to be able to guarantee a certain amount earned, and then I can use that to make more gold. I spend maybe an hour or so a day doing my gold making routines. I do my covenant tables every day, I restock my professions (I have 4 characters on horde on one server, and 4 characters alliance on another), and farming a few static farms once a day for pets / items to sell. The rest of my time is spent doing whatever happens to capture my fancy for the day. Making gold doesn’t have to be an all day every day ordeal – but if it is, you WILL make more gold. I freely admit that the amount of gold you can / do make is absolutely capped by how much time you dedicate to it. I’m very comfortable for the time vs. effort I put in, but I also know if I had unlimited time I could make so much more.
Not sure where to start? Pick something, try it out. Like it? Keep going. Don’t? Try something else. Find that thing that you personally enjoy, and make that yours.
As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!