Deep Dive: How do I make Gold in World of Warcraft?

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!


Deep-Dive: Covenant Tables

Thanks to leveling my alts up through pet battles , I am currently running covenant tables steadily on 12 characters (my main server ones). None of the tables are leveled up to any great extent, none of them are max level at either the campaign or the companions. I use TLDR as my addon of choice, and I also still use venture plan as a UI replacement for the table (it’s so much nicer).

On average, each character receives 1,200-1,600 gold a day. Sometimes it’s over that, sometimes it’s a bit less. 12×1200 gold is 14,400g a day. Times that by 30 days, and you’re earning around 432,000 raw gold a month. That’s more than enough for a token. That doesn’t take into account anything else you can earn that sells, and there’s a lot.

What about all the anima you need to run those missions? Each day I take two characters and I kill the world boss, and I kill the Zerith Mortis boss. This gives 1,000 anima (be sure to pick up the weekly quest for anima from your covenant first). I have found that this is usually enough to get all of my missions done for the week with some to spare, I also set TLDR to ignore expensive anima missions. Since I rotate the characters each day, it doesn’t take much time at all and they all get their kill for the week before re-set. I also have each TLDR set up different depending on the character. For example my main does go after the reputation tokens, but not the equipment. My alts kill the bosses with almost no gear since most of my characters have leveled up with pet battles, so they try to earn gear from the table. Bosses are completely doable no matter what ilevel you’re at. I think my mage has an ilevel of 19.

If you’ve been neglecting your tables – now is the time to be doing them. The only thing I do recommend is spending the 500g to boost your alt covenant level to 40. This gives you 500 anima, and the ability to unlock that table right away (you do also have to be level 60). Aside from that I do not bother leveling up the companions with anything extra, I just allow natural progression through the table missions. Even if you have ZERO alts, that’s 36,000 raw gold a month from your table not including anything else as a reward.

I will also say, I am not sure if this is just me, but necrolord by FAR gives the most gold rewards for my characters. Venthyr gives the least. I’m not sure if this is across the board, but that has been my experience. I have most of my tank classes with necrolord, most of my dps with nightfae, and a handful spread between venthyr and kyrian. I honestly am not much of a min/max person, but you might want to do some research into it if that’s something you’re interested in.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Deep-Dive Guide: Leveling your alts with Dalaran Pet Trainers

A few people have asked me about how I level up my alts with pet battles. I’ve never written a guide because I find it very straight forward, but I guess after 9,000+ pet battles it might not be so straight forward to someone else. I do also have a complete guide on pet flipping, so be sure to check that out if it’s something you’re interested in. Both your character and the carry pet (the one that isn’t 25) will earn experience.

Addons I use: Rematch, tdBattlePetScript

Preparation: Rematch is a pet battle UI overhaul. I create teams, and import strategies that are listed in xu-fu. If you log in with your battlenet account you can even import your own pets so that xu-fu will populate strategies with pets you own.

tdBattlePetScript is a script that lets me bind a key to my pet battle moves so that I don’t have to memorize the strategy. I typically bind it to ‘A’ – so instead of hitting the numbers to perform a pet battle move, I hit ‘A’ over and over.

DISCLAIMER: leveling via pet battles is VERY slow! This is NOT meant to be a fast method of leveling. It is meant to be relaxing, for those who have multiple alts and are bored, or as a semi-afk method of leveling that requires zero attention. You will earn roughly 2% exp per fight for most fights. Most fights take between 1-2 minutes. You do not need pet week up to do any of this.

Step 1: You will need to be able to get to Dalaran. Level 10+ characters can do this through chromie, but if you’re below level 10 you’ll want to bother a mage to put you there, or if you’re a recruit a friend account you can summon your alt (as long as you’re below level 50). Then bind yourself to one of the Inns in the zone. Once you’re there you’ll want to go in behind the Magus Commerce Exchange, between the violet citadel. You’ll see a little pet battle area with an arena type thing. Another disclaimer: There is NOT always a trainer up!! You’ll have to check daily to see if one is there. Only the trainers are repeatable.

Step 2: Figure out a strategy for whichever trainer is up. Normally you can just go to xu-fu and do a search on the top right hand corner for the name of whoever is up. The trainers are: Amalia, Bodhi, Sir Galveston, and Tiffany Nelson. There are a few other NPC who might be up but these fights are not repeatable. I am not going to get into what pets you need for what fights, that is something you’ll have to figure out. Use the site, it’s very straight forward and there are multiple strategies for each trainer. There are other NPC in other locations that you can use too, but these are the ones I use. I also stock up on bandages with my charms from mission tables so that I don’t have to leave or wait for mend. If you’re lucky and Amalia is up, her strategy doesn’t use bandages and you can complete it to your hearts content. I love those days.

Step 3: The actual fight. The way xu-fu works is on the left side of the strategy you’ll see “rematch string” click that and it copies to your clipboard. Then in game, right click on your rematch tab where you’re going to make your groups (open the pet window, and bottom right you’ll see teams listed), and import the team. Then back on the xu-fu site, below the rematch string you’ll see TD Script. Click this, and head back in game. Back on your team, right click the actual team listed (where you can see the name of the NPC and the team you’re using) and select ‘write script’ – then paste that script in there. When you start up the fight, you’ll have a key bound (mine is A, I’m not sure any more if that’s default) and to move through the battle you’ll just have to press that one key. It is NOT automatic, you MUST enter a key press.

These scripts are not 100% – sometimes RNG is harsh and you’ll still end up losing, but MOST of the time they’re pretty OK. You’ll want to pay attention to make sure you’re using pets that are meant for those battles, sometimes you need special stats, or a minimum amount of health on the pets, or a specific breed in order to win. This is all explained on the xu-fu site.

Step 4: Profit. That’s all there is to it, very simple. It does take a bit to set it all up, but once you’re done, you’re done. I have hundreds of teams created and my tabs represent each expansion, so I never have to think about what pets to use or what strategy is going to work (unless Blizzard nerfs something, which does happen. If you find your pet battle strategy is no longer working, check out the site and see what has changed). If you’re as bored of Shadowlands as I am, and you want to profit with leveling up some pets AND some characters at the same time, then this method might just be for you.

Or not, that’s OK too. I know it’s pretty niche.

Dungeon Dive: 100 Runs of Sunwell (71-80)

I am nearing the end of the 100 runs of Sunwell (woohoo) and this week we bring in a total of 44,000g and some change. Not the most, not the least, it’s pretty average. About average for items looted, noteworthy items, and raw gold. In fact there was nothing that stood out about this run at all.

That brings our total gold ‘earned’ to 507,000g roughly. It also puts us at 8 hours of work (roughly, it actually takes a bit over half of that, but since you’re locked from dungeons for an hour I round up) putting us at a gph earned of 63,000. Pretty respectable number.

Of course numbers don’t show the true picture, what matters is NOT how much we loot – but how much we sell. I’m playing on a low population server, and sales have been slow and few between but they’ve still be ‘worth’ the time. Last week sales brought me to roughly 18,715 gph earned – and doing the math this week, we’re still hovering around the same number! If I include sales from last week, and the raw gold from 8 sessions, the realistic number for this farm is much closer to: 18,642 gold per hour. Remember I also sell anything with a value of less than 100g (minus craft items and gems) to vendor, so there’s some potential gold I’m throwing away there just because I don’t want to deal with that sort of inventory.

It also bodes well that I do have 63 posted auctions with a value of 562,000g up on the AH. It’s just more of a long play, because that’s how things work on a low population server. You have to have patience. Farming one dungeon once a week for a little pocket change isn’t going to cut it, but you use these methods and combine them with other methods to earn your gold, and before you know it, you have a lot more than you thought you would.

As always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

Dungeon Dive: 100 Runs of Sunwell (61-70)

I skipped last week since I wasn’t feeling up to it, but this week we’re back to our dungeon runs and even though it looks pretty crummy, it is actually the 3rd worst coming in at 28,242g.

Let’s see, so far we’ve ‘earned’ 463,000 gold worth of items in a 7h period. That works out to about 66,000 gph (gold per hour) – not too shabby. I know it doesn’t take an hour to run 10 instances of this, but I’m rounding up since you wouldn’t be able to fill that hour with other runs. Now, that number LOOKS pretty on paper, but I’ve been tracking how much gold I’ve actually made from items selling, too.

I’m running this on my low population realm (I’m tempted to run the same on my medium population just to see how we do) – and as you can see, the sales are pretty minimal. Not quite as horrible as shown above, we have sold a few things that are not tracked (before I made a separate character to track the sales) and two very expensive recipes, one for 42k and one for 76k.

This puts our total gold made at around 131,000 gold – bringing our gph to 18,714.

That’s still not too shabby!

Dungeon Dive: 100 Runs of Sunwell (51-60)

I’ve completed my 60th run of Sunwell, and this week earned a potential gold value of 68,237g – higher than last week, but only by about 10k or so. It was mostly recipes that dropped, but I did also get some epic beast mastery pants. Speaking of last week, I mentioned that I moved all of the dungeon run loot to a new character so that I could better track what actually sold. That was immediately after I sold a recipe for 76k – let’s see what we’ve sold since then.

Not a heck of a lot, it turns out. Most of the gold earned has been to the vendor. Anything with a low sale rate or a value of less than 500g went straight to the vendor. I did sell some Crimson Spinel gems, but I don’t end up keeping a lot after these runs. On the AH I have 58 auctions worth a grand total of 198,039g on my low population server.

How much of that will sell? I’m honestly not sure, it’s very random. Some recipes I own are repeats that I posted up when I should have just added one to the AH, and others are just items I was curious about. It’s lovely to get a few unique recipes and even more lovely when they sell, but on my low population servers sales are still far and few between.

Estimated total: 505,783g

Dungeon Dive: 100 runs of Sunwell (11-20)

Last week I wrote about my first 10 runs through Sunwell and how LootAppraiser calculated the recipes and loot I had obtained at a generous 267,948 gold – except then you still have to actually SELL the items. This is week two, nothing has sold, and I’m here to talk about my next 10 runs. This time LootAppraiser only valued the runs at 43,068g even though I looted roughly the same number of items (1083 vs. 1134) and even had more ‘noteworthy’ loot. I’m using region market value avg as my marker for what ‘value’ is in this case.

I once again kept anything that had a sale rate of 0.02 or higher, and anything that was worth 5,000g or more. I do play on a low population realm, so sales are going to be far and few between, but for anyone who thinks you can just run 100 (or more) runs of dungeons and walk away with millions of gold, you’re going to want to think twice. Next week we’ll see how we do for runs 21-30, and maybe we’ll actually sell something, too.

Dungeon Dive (gold edition): 100 runs of Sunwell

You see those YouTube videos all the time, “I ran abc123 dungeon 100 times, and made a billion million gold!” so why not in blog format. I’ve been running Sunwell 10x in a row on a speed geared druid I have to show off the millions of gold you can make.

Except you won’t make millions of gold, because when you loot an item it doesn’t translate into an instant sale. No matter what server you’re on. I’m going to break down these posts into 10 run increments and I’ll keep a tally of what sells / doesn’t sell over the weeks as I write about it. You can see I’m using the region market value avg as my price point, and during my first 10 runs, LootAppraiser thinks I’ve got enough items for 267,948 gold. I did loot one interesting recipe (Vengeance wrap) and a handful of smaller recipes (sunblessed breastplate), but honestly nothing was very fascinating. One week after this run, and nothing has sold. I kept anything with a sale rate of 0.02 or higher, or anything worth 5,000g+ I did make a grand total of 453g in raw gold, but considering it took me 45 minutes to run these 10 dungeons, that’s not exactly something to write home about.

Deep-Dive: Restocking with TSM

Disclaimer: TSM does not guarantee you sales, and it does not automate anything. Every action requires manual input. As one wise person said: “TSM helps you execute a strategy for gold making. TSM is not the strategy. – Gumdrops 2022”

One of the most useful tools that TSM offers (in my opinion) is the ability to restock crafted goods based on variables that you set. This is going to be a very basic introduction to doing that – it can get a LOT more complicated. I’m a fan of starting with things on the base level and then learning and building your operations from there so don’t be afraid to play around. Before getting started I would also suggest you go into the TSM settings and make sure the crafting tooltips are enabled.

First, you’ll want to make some groups. We already know that I love organization, so my crafting groups are organized by specific tradeskill->current content stuff-> old content stuff. You can organize this any way you want. The default restock operations are all you technically need to get started.

This will restock a minimum of one item, a maximum of three, with 100g profit. Now, that’s not always going to be what you want so let’s get a little more complicated. TSM lets you use ‘If-functions’ and there’s a wonderful article written by BilisOnyxia on how they work. One of the common values I like to use is DBRegionSaleRate. I don’t necessarily want to restock something that is REALLY slow to sell (or perhaps never sells). If I want to only craft items that have a profit of at least 50g, and have a DBRegionSaleRate greater than 0.3 I would write my restock operation in the ‘min profit amount’ section to read: ifgt(DBRegionSaleRate, 0.3, 50g) – you can adjust these values for your own use on your own servers. Remember to reference those awesome if-functions that you read about earlier.

When you have a restock operation that you like, assign it to the group you want (you might want different operations for say, alchemy compared to inscription) and then open your craft window. Click TSM groups, highlight the stuff you want to restock, and of course click restock selected groups. What you SHOULD see next is the crafting queue fill up like I’ve got showing in the very first screenshot. You will then want to make sure you have someone selected in the ‘gathering’ tab of the crafting UI and you may also want to fiddle with the ‘sources’ section.

You’ll have also populated the tasklist of steps you need to take to complete your restock. /tsm tasklist if you happen to have closed this or it didn’t open. This list is based on your sources in the gathering tab, so if you’re not sure why it’s making you do ABC thing, check there first to make sure you have the order the way you expected.

As you craft that task list will update, and so will the queue in your crafting UI. Put them for sale, and you’re done!

A few things to keep in mind – if you want your restocking to be accurate, do your AH/Mail stuff first and then restock after. TSM needs to ‘see’ that stuff to know what has sold / hasn’t sold. Otherwise you might end up crafting 10 more of something that you already had 10 of. Another thing that often comes up is the crafting price of something is WAY off base. There can be a few reasons for this, but that’s why we enable crafting tooltips. This lets you see what the exact item is that might be throwing off costs. Perhaps someone put a single enchanting item for sale for 1,000,000 gold on the AH and now TSM thinks it’s going to cost you that much because you’re referencing it. Sometimes you won’t have a crafting value for an item, so it won’t restock. A common solution for this is to check and make sure your vendor sold items have a value attached to them. After certain updates TSM loses that data, just open the vendor who sells it and they should repopulate. Now let’s say you want to manually adjust the price of an item. For example you want a specific ore valued at 1g and nothing else. To change the price of a material, open your craft UI, reports, materials, and search for the item. Then manually adjust it to read 1g (or whatever string you want to use).

Remember that there is a LOT of support for TSM out there, and no one way of doing anything. If you’re not sure how something is going to work for you, create a new profile and play around with operations. Don’t mindlessly post things without LOOKING at what you’re doing. That’s an easy way to lose gold. If you have a question check out TSM support, check out the WoW Economy & TSM discord, and check out reddit. There are people who are willing to help – but the more specific you are, the better. If you come in asking vague questions, the vague answers you’ll get back might be frustrating.

Deep Dive – Flipping Pets

An easy entry level market to get into when it comes to making gold (and by easy, I mean relatively hands off) is selling battle pets. These items have a few things going for them – low auction house fees (1s per pet), and the ability to swap them easily between servers. There are tons of ways to profit from this method but here’s the details on mine. Before we get into it I have to note that selling pets is a SLOW market. You need a large stock to see a few sales each day. Some pets also sell better than others. Learning what pets are desirable would be considered your homework.

First, I’ve set myself up on a high/full population server where pets are pretty cheap because there’s tons of players. I use this server to purchase pets. I then scribe them, and bring them over to the two low population servers that I actually play on. I use a handful of addons to help make things easier. I use:

  • BattlePetCageMatch (used to cage pets, you can create all sorts of profiles and conditions to caging)
  • Rematch (used for actual pet battles, I get strategies from xu-fu listed below)
  • Rematch – TSM Pet Values (not required, but lets me see pet values from the journal UI)
  • tdBattlePetScript (used for actual pet battles, it’s a script that will run a fight with human input for each stage)
  • TradeskillMaster (used to actually put my pets for sale on the AH)

I also use Xu-Fu for pet battle strategies and to learn which pets might be used in popular fights.

I created a new profile in TSM and simply called it pets. Under general options, I have ‘filter group item list based on the following price source’ set to DBRegionMarketAvg. You can type /tsm sources to see what other pricing you can use for TSM, but the reason I use this is because it’s fairly static and will help me make sure that I buy pets for one price on one server and that price will remain close to the same on another server without having to manually check every purchase.

In my case, I don’t really worry too much about the price of pets, because while some people are sniping/flipping/buying the most expensive and sought after ones, I am doing the opposite. I buy all pets that display as 20% dbregionmarketavg or lower by typing /battle pets into the ‘search the auction house’ filter.

Some are a few silver, some a few gold. I look for specifics that are used in pet battles (I am an avid pet collector myself, so I have a pretty lengthily list) and I keep some variables in mind like ‘where does this pet come from’ so that I’m not purchasing pets that are going to continue to plummet. I also keep the server I’m transferring TO in mind – is there a lack of M+ being run, do some of these pets come from there, that sort of thing.

I then take these pets over to my home servers, and I level them up to 25. I do this for a few reasons but the base reason is because I don’t particularly enjoy shadowlands, and this is a really easy way for me to level my alts. It’s not fast, but it is easy.

Back in TSM, I have groups set up – one group for level 1 pets, and 1 group for level 25 pets. You can do this a few ways, you can manually add the pets you’ve purchased that are in your bags, or you can import pet strings. If you don’t know how to make groups in TSM there are tons of videos and instructions out there. Since this is a post about pet flipping and not the functions of TSM, I’ll save that for another time.

In the TSM operations tab I create a new operation for level 25 pets – and you can set your numbers at whatever you want, but ideally, you want to be earning MORE than you’ve paid for the pets – mine is set to 500g + 50% DBRegionMarketAvg as my minimum price. That means the least amount of gold I’ll accept for a pet when someone else has one listed (ie: I’m undercutting) is 500g plus 50% of the dbregionmarketavg. Since I buy my pets at 20% that’s a profit, plus I slap on the 500g for the pet being level 25. I adjust these values for maximum and normal price. Remember, NORMAL price is the price you will use when there are NO OTHER PETS that match for sale.

While I do these pet battles I also tend to get those little tokens that change the rarity of a pet, and using them can increase the value. Let’s take ikky, for example, a very popular pet to sell. The base pet is uncommon, using one of these tokens and boosting it to rare will up the value and the stats.

Once I’ve got an operation set up and assigned to my groups, it’s time to cage pets and put them for sale. I recently started using BattlePetCageMatch for this – the addon is fantastic. You can set options for caging, like only caging between a specific level, if you have more than one, and other nifty options.

I don’t like to do cancel scans, so I put my pets up for 12h at a time. I check them twice a day and just leave them to do their thing. There is of course competition out there, that’s just the nature of the game.

This method is NOT one you want to use to make hundreds of millions in gold – but it is fairly easy to get into and will give you a handful of gold here and there for what I consider to be very little effort. You could certainly expand on your pet flipping empire by looking for amazing deals, transferring the most expensive pets, branching into TCG pets, and using trade chat to find potential buyers instead of relying solely on the auction house. Whatever method you choose, I hope I’ve helped give you a little bit of information towards starting. Go out there and make some gold!