Fiannor, Inc.

gold   Shortly after I leveled my hunter in WOTLK, it dawned on me that I was spending a lot of gold to buy things I needed from other people. People who made these things. People like me.  I could make these things too if only I weren’t so cruelly limited to two major professions! But if I had a few alts, they could make stuff for my main, and I would not only save gold but would likely also get filthy rich!

Well, it turns out that was not such a unique idea. And sadly, I did not get filthy rich. But I’ve been thinking about this lately as I struggle to profession level my 10th and 11th professions — after which I will lack only Blacksmithing in my Grand Conglomeration Scheme. But what are the effects of becoming more or less economically self-sufficient in this game? I am not an economist, so no great insights, but here are some of my random observations:

  • Just blindly throwing crafted stuff on the AH and hitting some preset undercut pricing is not a winning strategy. There are tons of excellent forums, blogs, and tools out there to help you make gold by selling stuff on the AH. I read a lot of them, and there are some excellent tips in them, but I discovered that I am just not that interested in spending the time and gold necessary to be wildly successful. What I finally settled on as a compromise is to concentrate on making a bit of gold once a month or so by concentrating on making and selling hot items while they are hot, then backing off until the next month. The rest of the time I make items for myself or my guild, and do a little gathering and shuffling to make a small profit on a few items. Oh, and by the way, I also had to learn, with few exceptions, that most items you make while leveling are not usually worth selling on the AH. Better to just not waste the time and gold trying, and go ahead and vendor or DE
  • I would be lost without the Profession Leveling Guides 1-600 at WoW-Professions.com. Awesome site. I don’t always follow the guides completely, but I did power level my Jewelcrafter from 1 to 525 in Cata in about a week using this guide. And it only took that long because after leveling to 500 in a day and a half, I was at the mercy of cooldowns for the remaining 25 skill points.
  • In spite of the fact that I am not willing to spend the time to get really wealthy, I find I do have a lot more gold than I did before I started leveling professions. Some of it is because of selling stuff, but a lot of it is also just savings because I don’t have to pay AH prices for most consumables and some gear/mounts/etc. I cannot remember the last time I had to buy a raid flask or a water walking potion, for example.
  • Early on, I discovered I absolutely had to have a bank alt. It’s just not efficient to have your profession alts running back and forth to get to someplace with an AH and bank. Similarly, my bank alt pretty much has to own a one-person guild and spend the gold necessary to max out guild bank tabs to the guild level. This setup made a huge difference in my leveling and crafting operations — most all mats are in one place, and my banker can run to the AH to buy up a few items if necessary to complete some craft projects, vendor off a few items, monitor items for sale in the AH, mail gold to a needy alt, etc.
  • Another essential tool is Trade Skill Master — an extremely powerful add-on with several plugins. It takes awhile to set it up for your particular style of economic play, but it is well worth it. There are tons of forums, tutorials, and how-to’s out there to help you. Just get it. It will take your profession leveling and goldmaking to an entirely new level.
  • I can’t help but wonder what macro effect it has on a server’s economy to have some percentage of players largely self-sufficient. Does it make consumables cheaper or more expensive? Does it create niche markets for mats that fill a tough leveling spot for profession levelers (items like Cobalt Ore, Hypnotic Dust, Volatile Air)? Does it change the overall character of the economy on a server that has a very high percentage of self-sufficient players?  How about a server with a very low percentage of such players? I’m telling you, there’s a Master’s Thesis there for someone, if not en entire PhD Dissertation!

Anyway, as I mentioned, no great insights here. I am intrigued by the possible link between my approach to making and spending money in WoW and in RL — any observations from anyone else on this?

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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