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Free World of Warcraft Gold Guide

Updated on July 25, 2011

Less QQ, More $$

Sick and tired of watching your guildies ride around on those epic mounts in their purple regalia? Bummed because you couldn’t afford that awesome trinket in the auction house? Want to be able to afford the guild bank tabs easily and all on your own? Then, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will go over some of the basic steps to making uber amounts of gold in the widely popular World of Warcraft (aka WoW) online role-playing game. Looking elsewhere for these basic, easy steps can easily lead you to a number of link farms or e-books that promise you more fat loots than you can imagine (for a fee, of course). Why do that when you can get all the answers right here, for FREE?

Seriously, that’s it. No strings attached, no obligation to buy—hell, we’re not even selling anything. Simple and proven strategies for NONE of the price. But, that’s enough—where’s the gold?!?

3 Easy Ways to Earn

There are a few ways to make gold in the World of Warcraft. These same ways can be modified and adjusted slightly, based on the style of play you prefer. We’ll go over these more in-depth throughout the rest of the article.

Grinding vs. Questing: a simple technique where you simply earn gold by completing in-game tasks and selling all the junk you pick up.

Professions: Making and gathering specific items needed/coveted in the game.

Auction House (AH): Selling items to other players, either for a set price or the highest bidder.

Questing & Grinding: Slow and Steady

First, let’s go over grinding and questing, something I affectionately refer to as “let your sword (or spell) do the work.” This is the simplest, although sometimes slowest way to being rich within the World of Warcraft. In the beginning, Quest rewards are small—either somewhat useful pieces of gear that you’ll want to use for your character, or a mere paltry payment in copper or silver. So, questing isn’t the best method for making gold, but there are other advantages.

First, by questing, you gain experience (or XP), which increases your character’s level, skill, and thereby also their earning potential. Questing also gains you rep, or reputation, which helps by making more (and more rewarding) quests available to you from a given faction. Raising your rep through the levels of friendly, honored, revered, and exalted also gives you discounts on good purchased from merchants who are from said faction. Hey, if you did all your questing in Orgrimar and left the undead to their own, it makes sense that you should purchase your skills, ammo, and other needed items in Org. So, while not a surefire way to make money, it can pay off in terms of saving money. This is important, because after all, a copper saved is a copper earned.

An Example of "Grinding"

And Another

Don't Spend it to Make it

While we’re on the subject, let’s remember: you’re trying to make gold, not lose it. Just like in the real world, everything has opportunity costs. Buying that dagger now could mean not being able to afford your enchant later. Horde your money. Yes, even if you play an Alliance character, you will need to horde. Don’t spend it unless you absolutely have to. You’re a hunter and need food for your pet? Find it, cook it, fish it—don’t buy from the butcher. You’re looking for that rare pattern and someone finally put it up on the Auction House? Don’t buy it! Go to a site like ThottBot, find where it drops, go farm it.

But, I digress. Questing isn’t the way to make money. In the later levels, if you have the Burning Crusade expansion, questing can prove to be a lot more lucrative. The rewards are better than anything you’ll see outside of Outlands. The drops sell for more, and there are TONS of quests. So, quest fast and hard early one, but don’t spend too much time. You’re real goal is to level up, so you can go make the real gold.

Grinding is used in a number of ways. It is a way to level up your character simply by repeatedly killing monsters and mobs without completing quests. The path can be painstaking this way. But, the more you kill, the more loot drops, and the better your chances are of getting those greens, blues, and even purples. A specialized form of grinding is called farming. Farming is when you’re not completing a quest, or looking for XP, but you are out killing nonetheless for a specific purpose. The two most typical types are farming for gold or a specific item to drop off an enemy. Farming for gold can be done a few ways.

In the Outlands, there are several areas you will find where the drops are decent. Even vendor trash sells for anywhere between 35 silver and 3 gold. You may find a few areas that are rich with green drops. And, of course, the primal essences always have a nifty price on them, no matter which server you’re on. There are other types of farming, mainly related to professions, which we’ll go over next.

Look, if you have a lot—and, I mean A LOT—of time on your hands, or your mind is just too numb to deal with numbers, grinding/questing/farming is a way to make some gold. There are costs, however. You typically level slower. You have to repair more. And, if you don’t have big bags (I said BAGS), it’s not really worth it.

What's In a Profession?

WoW offers several professions to each character. The game groups them into two subsets: primary and secondary. Each character can learn two primary professions and any or all of the secondary professions. There is another way to categorize the professions, though, and that is by looking at them as gatherer or producer. Some professions allow you to collect items of value to others who have professions in which they produce goods. Let’s go over the professions real quick.

Alchemy: By combining herbs (gathered by herbalists, or sometimes dropped off certain mobs), this profession allows characters to make useful potions and elixirs. At higher levels, the alchemist can also transmute certain items, allowing them to provide very useful and coveted items, such as primal might. They can only do this so often, however, and most recipes require several of the rare material.

Blacksmithing: This profession gives characters the ability to make weapons and armor from ore (provided by miners) and a handful of other micellanious ingrediants. The items you can make usually don’t stack up with your level until the later levels/Outlands, however.

Cooking: Cooking is a secondary skill, and its name is just as it implies. Characters with this skill can cook meat dropped off of mobs and monsters or fish gathered by fishers. The food can be used to heal the character or gain temporary buffs,

Enchanting: The enchanting profession allows characters to disenchant green, blue, purple, or other magical items, breaking it down into enchanting components, which can be used for placing enchants (permanent bonuses) and a handful of other items. One major downside is that the enchant materials can only come from disenchanting other items, which may or may not prove worth more to sell in the long run.

Engineering: The engineer uses a number of ingredients, mainly ores (gathered mostly by miners), in order to create a number of useful devices. The engineer can make scopes for weapons, improving their effectiveness, teleporting gear, and even little gizmos that just help make characters unique and more fun to play. A number of the devices made by the engineering profession, however, require you to be an engineer to use or where them.

First Aid: Characters who undertake this secondary profession can make and use bandages, which can be used to heal themselves or others.

Fishing: One of the secondary skills, characters can equip themselves with a fishing rod and mosey on out to a nearby shore to…well, go fishing. Fishing provides characters with fish, wish can be cooked or with chests containing useful items.

Herbalism: One of the gathering professions, herbalism provides its practitioners with little dots on the map to help locating various herbs in the game, which only they can pick. These herbs are mostly used by alchemists, although some recipes of other professions require them as well.

Jewelcrafting: Jewelcrafting was adding in with the Burning Crusade expansion. It allows characters to convert mineral bars and gems into rings, necklaces, and trinkets. Later on, jewelcrafters can also make gems that can be placed in characters’ socketed weapons and armor. Prospecting is learned by jewelcrafters, and it allows them to take 5 pieces of ore to gain a gem. Considering gems can be rare, this can prove quite useful.

Leatherworking: Characters who choose this profession can make armor from leather (usually provided by leatherworkers). A handful of other mundane or useful items can be made as well, including a ball, small bag, and a riding crop (to make your mount go faster. Like blacksmithing, leatherworking can be somewhat useful, but typically doesn’t start to pay off until later levels.

Mining: Miners, like herbalists, get the advantage of beacons on the mini-map to show them where the ore deposits only they can gather are. Since a lot of professions rely on mining, if you’re in a heavily trafficked area, the deposit may be gone by the time you get there, so it’s not recommended to go too far out of the way to get these deposits. Miners can also change ore into bars, which is what engineers, blacksmiths, and other professions typically need.

Skinning: The skinning profession teaches characters how to properly skin the leather from most beasts in the game. This leather is predominately used by leatherworkers, although tailors and other producing professions utilize it to a degree as well.

Tailoring: Used mostly by mages, warlocks, and priests—the only classes who can only wear the weakest of armors (aka, cloth). This skill also allows characters to make bags, which are very useful in the game, and often very lucrative.

Professions & Gold: The Bottom Line

Making gold with your character’s professions is easy. Don’t make anything. Yup, that’s right. Instead, choose two gathering skills. A good combination would be mining and skinning or herbing and skinning. Herbing and mining do not make a good combination, because both require you to be able to find/track the source, and you can only track one at a time. Enchanting materials can sell for good gold, especially at higher levels, but to be able to disenchant the higher level items, you need to increase your skill. At around skill rank 50, the only way to do this is to start enchanting things, which takes up the materials you would otherwise be selling and takes precious gold to train in new recipes.

Mining is honestly one of the better professions, because so many other professions require the ore and bars only miners can provide. Even in a relatively flooded market, miners still typically make pretty good amounts of gold. The reasons for this are simple. Many players are lazy and would rather pay gold to get needed items. Also, the amount of materials needed to raise the levels of productive professions is obscene.

Funny WoW Commercial

Quest to What?!?

Auction House: Or, How to Make Other Players Work for You

The World of Warcraft RPG really took center stage with its strong fan base and its Auction House. The Auction House function allows you to place items you have found or made up for bid. You have to have a minimum bid. You can choose a Buyout Bid. You choose time limits such as 12, 24, and 48 hours.

Some players go to the AH looking for deals. Most players use the AH to find items they need. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to realize that setting no maximum bid/buyout price can be detrimental to your auction. Many players, although they may pay more, choose a buyout, because they know what they are getting and for what price. Bidding on an item, and having to wait to see if you win or need to re-bid can be an annoying process. So, rule number 1, set a buyout.

Rule number 2: cheat. Well, it’s not exactly cheating. There are third party applications out there, like Auctioneer. This program will help sort through the auction house, show you what items are selling for, what they have historically sold for, and even show you what items sell to a vendor for. The last part of this is helpful if your bags are full and you need to scrap something, or if you’re choosing a quest reward that will just end up selling to a vendor.

Rule 3: Know your auction house. While a third party plug-in may tell you what to sell an item for, it doesn’t show you when or what to sell. Most servers are busiest on the weekend. This is good and bad. It can make for bidding war, each person who places an item on the auction house undercutting the previous until items aren’t selling for half of what they’re normally worth. At the same time, items put up for auctions can sell rather quickly. Know what an item should go for. If a stack of light feathers normally sells for 6g and today people are selling it for 2g, give it a few days (if you have the space), and sell yours on another day. Know what people are buying. If there are a lot of leatherworkers, you can tell by how many times you see leather and leather items up for auction. Pay close attention to these little details, and it’s easy to make a fortune.


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