Yet More on Gold Farming

Since my last posts on warcraft tips for casual players (here, here and here) blizzard has introduced the concept of game time tokens that can be sold for gold on the AH. A player purchases a token from blizzard for $20. This token buys one month of game time. Said player then lists the token on the AH and it’s sold to the highest bidder. These tokens generally sell (as of this writing) in the 150,000 gold vicinity. In other words, there is now a legal way to buy gold. No more chinese gold sellers spamming their wares in trade chat.

But where’s the fun in that? Sure I could spend $20 for a ton of gold, but did I really earn it? (I understand the concept of “earning” here is ephemeral as the only one really earning is blizzard.)

So I tried an experiment to see if my old-fashioned techniques would still hold. I (1) rolled an alliance character on a full population server (full servers are better these days since fewer people play WoW); (2) chose gathering professions; (3) undercut all AH prices by 20-30%; (4) sold recipes and limited vendor items. This latter part is where the real money is.

Here is a screenshot of the results: by level 12 I have 2804 gold. Remember this is with very casual play and limited time investment; some days I simply listed auctions. I spent about 200 gold on bags so the real number is in the 3000 vicinity.

I did try “investing” in AH items trying to buy low and sell high. As has been my experience it didn’t really work. I made barely a 10% profit. Compare this to 10 silver recipes that sell for 200+ gold. It’s easy “money.”

I’m curious what the classic server economies will be like. Will they allow the sale of game tokens? If so the AHs will resemble current servers as so much “free money” will be floating around. Otherwise it will sure be interesting, as everyone entering the classic game will be starting out with nothing- remember the days when 3 gold was a LOT?

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I L L I D I A N and S T O R M R A G E

Yesterday I was watching TV with my husband- or rather I was re-re-rewatching Game of Thrones while he was buried in his iPad, periodically giving gleeful play by plays of the latest sex scandals plaguing hollywood- when my 6 year old daughter trotted into the room.

Her: Mommy, I just fell in the lava.

Me: Can you talk to the angel? (running back to her body is, as of yet, too complicated)

Her: But I didn’t die.

Me: Oh… [pondering advice. Find the ramp to climb out? is there a ramp? I’ve never fallen in Ironforge lava. But Undercity has ramps and steps to climb out of sludge. Jump? Jump really, really high (slamming the space bar)?]

Uh… I finally said, Just click your hearthstone.

Okay! she said brightly, and trotted off.

My husband looked up from the iPad, blinking. That has to be the strangest conversation I’ve EVER heard.

I laughed because you know what? He’s right. Say what you will about the game, but once within the warm embrace of World of Warcraft, no matter how amateur or deep your involvement, you have migrated to a different dimension with its own lingo.

And don’t knock video games for little kids! My now 18 year old learned to read playing WoW. As a young child she struggled for years with reading. Despite our coaching she could barely sound out words, much less understand what she was struggling to pronounce.

Anyway… I think she was 8 or 9… World of Warcraft entered our house. She was transfixed!  Mesmerized! And absolutely desperate to read those darn quests.

It took a while but within 6 months she was, for the first time in her life, able to read with meaning. By age 10 she could read with complete fluency and tore through books as though they were going out of style. She read through the entire young adult section of one library branch (just as my son read through the entire adult history section) necessitating that we switch to a different library branch.

All my kids learned to read at different ages. My oldest son could read before he could speak, and could read fluently by age 5. We caught him reading Money Magazine over my husband’s shoulder at that tender age of 6.

My two next youngest daughters learned to read around age 5 with fluency. Then the next daughter- she struggled terribly and couldn’t read at all until age 9 or so (Minecraft, not WoW was her inspiration) but once up and running she too burned through books with alarming speed. The next daughter after that struggled, not quite as much as her older sister. She prefers graphic novels and draws her own snarky comics depicting the horrors of math class.

This 6 year old appears to be in the “struggle group.” She developed an aversion to books and refused to let us to read to her.

Recently I decided to renew my subscription to WoW. Not sure why- I mean I’m two expansions behind, don’t have much free time, and I occasionally find the game tedious. But the 6 year old took an instant liking to the game- as her sister before her, she was absolutely mesmerized and desperate to understand what exactly was going on.

She can now read and spell a number of emotes- you know, /sleep, /dance, /sit- meticulously typing them out at the keyboard. She listens intently as we read the quests, copies down server names (imagine I L L I D I A N and S T O R M R A G E penciled in cute little girl handwriting) and has learn to navigate the maps. She began asking about other words outside the game. How do you spell “look?” What does c-l-i-c-k spell? She no longer has that aversion to books, spelling, or even her homework. Yesterday she was pestering me midday to hit the books- usually homework with her is a last minute, teeth pulling enterprise.

So if your kids love video games, don’t panic. Look for games that are language heavy, require map navigation, and make sure to have a little faith. As far as my WoW subscription, can you say CLASSIC SERVERS??? I’ll gladly hand over my non-existent paycheck for that.

More Warcraft Tricks and Tips

As usual, any advice I give on World of Warcraft is aimed at casual players without much time to invest in the game, yet who want to earn a lot of gold and level with relative ease.  What I am about to describe is a unique way of leveling that I sometimes call the pacifist approach.  I got the idea after reading about a guy who leveled one character only by picking herbs.  He claimed not to have killed a single mob (I’m not sure how this is possible, since mobs are always guarding herb spawns) and not to have completed a single quest. The “pacifist approach” works best when you have multiple toons on the same server,and you cycle through them.

First, role a character on a medium to high population server.  You must be on a server that has a healthy Auction House. Alliance AHs are more active than horde, so I recommend playing alliance.  You don’t want to be on a full server because there will be too much competition for the herbs and ore.  You don’t want to be on a low population server, because no one will buy your stuff.

If you’re in the USA, pick an Oceanic server for reasons that will be explained.

Personally, I avoid PVP servers because I’m always wasting time getting killed.  The higher level you go, the more brutal and obnoxious other players are.  So again if you don’t have a lot of time for the game, avoid PVP servers.  They stress me out.

Now that you have your alliance character on a medium to high Oceanic server, quest to level 10.  This shouldn’t take long.  Log out in an inn or capital city when you’re done for the day, as this will accrue rested XP.  Rested XP is very important to the pacifist method, as shall be revealed.

While you are leveling to 10, the moment you have enough copper, get trained in herbalism and mining (buy a mining pick). You must select these two professions for gold earning and XP purposes (you earn XP from each spawn you pick or mine).  As you quest to 10, pick herbs and mine.

As soon as you hit level 10, get trained in cooking and fishing.  This is where the plan begins.  Stay logged in at a capital city and do the fishing and cooking dailies each day.  Never log out outside the capital city (or if you do, log out in an inn).  These two daily quests should take no more than 10 minutes a day.

Once your rested XP has stacked up significantly or maxed out (which it does at 1 1/2 levels), venture out into the world and find a remote triple spawn point.  Some parts of the world are more crowded than others, so try to find an area, and a place in that area, without much traffic (so, for example, avoid spawn points by the road).  Triple spawn points are common, usually consisting of two ore and an herb.  Look for an herb that sells for more than typical on the AH.  Briarthorn, goldthorn, and fool’s cap are good examples of this.

Now, you are going to camp out this triple spawn point while you either alternate between the other toons on the server (doing the same thing), or while you are doing something else on the computer.  Herbs and ore respawn every 3-7 minutes (I don’t know this for a fact, but it’s been my impression).  So every few minutes log back in, pick the herb, mine the ore, and log out. Defend yourself if attacked, but don’t kill anything in offense.  You will earn the equivalent of 6 mobs each time you do this (since you’re on rested XP).  Of course, make sure you are in an area where the herbs and ore are actually giving you a good amount of XP.  If you’re not getting much XP from the herbs, move to a higher level area.

Once you’ve gone through your rested XP, return to the capital city, put your wares on the AH at 10-30% below the lowest price, and start the process over again.  Do the cooking and fishing quests each day while rested XP stacks up, venture out, camp out the triple spawn site, return to capital city.  You will be amazed by how quickly you level by doing next to nothing and investing very little time.  You can level multiple toons on a server by cycling through them.  They don’t have to be on the same server, but if they are, you can consolidate your gold, which you should be earning in large quantities from all those herbs and the ore.

At the end of each day return to an inn or capital city to rack up more rested XP.  Never remain camped out overnight.

As for why people in the USA should pick oceanic servers: the daily quests will reset during daylight hours, so if you happened to have skipped the fishing and cooking quests from the day before, you can do the quests twice in one “day,” morning and night.  Also, I’ve found that players on Oceanic servers are less disgusting, rude, and stupid than those on USA servers, which is an added plus.

For anyone who is interested, here are my two previous posts, 1 and 2, on gold farming for casual players.