Welcome to this month’s blog carnival! For this month’s topic I wanted to focus on something that in just a few short weeks will be very much on all of our minds…How to Make Gold in Cataclysm. So we put the question out to the experts and got back a top-notch collection of supreme guides and strategies guaranteed to bring in huge gold once Cataclysm finally launches.
Hats off to everyone that sent a submission. And now, without further adieu…
Cataclysm Gold Making Guides
Making Gold with Leather working – great overview of how to specifically use your leather working profession in conjunction with Cataclysm’s changes. Loaded with specifics on power leveling and targeted niche opportunities.
Fishing Gold Tip – interesting ideas on how to not only use fishing to immediately to start bringing in huge gold on day 1, but also make a run at the server first achievements.
Cataclysm Stockpiling Item List – normally you’d be paying $47.00 for a guide this good. Simply an amazing comprehensive list of key items you’ll want to stock up on for Cataclysm.
Targeting New Players – this strategy focuses on the flood of new players and alts coming back to the game. These players will need a very specific list of items. This strategy is focused on targeting this market segment for big profits.
Cataclysm Market Changes and Item Categories – great tips and ideas on potential market changes coming for Cataclysm, specifically inflation and how to deal with it. Also, goes into detail on specific item categories and how to use these to your advantage.
Compilation Gold Strategy – not just 1, but 6 individual gold tips from Essex! Includes a bit on stockpiling, specifics on items, and preparing for market changes.
Gathering Professions for Gold Making – the title says it all, focuses on using gathering professions to bring in huge gold during the first few months of Cataclysm.
Cataclysm Gold Making Strategy Overview – lots of basics covered here. Everything from using professions, server economy, specific product categories and more.
It’s no surprise that there are many huge game changing elements prepared for Cataclysm, but perhaps the most game changing are those not even planned. I’m talking about inflation and it’s about to take the World of Warcraft economy by storm.
What is Inflation?
A rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation is also the erosion in the purchasing power of money – a loss of real value in the internal medium of exchange and unit of account in the economy.
In short, the gold you have accumulated in WotLK is going to actually be worth less, or in other words, buy fewer items / services in Cataclsym. Ex. you bought infinite dust for an average price of 2 gold in WotLK, but are now willing to pay 3 gold in Cata.
Is this a new phenomenon to WoW?
In a word, no. The inflationary cycle has been an ever present fact for each major expansion pack release. They are caused by several factors, but in my opinion in accordance with the monetarist view of inflationary economics, the biggest factor is in the dramatic increase in the money supply. The money supply is increasing for several reasons.
- Quests in Cataclysm will reward more experience and higher valued (vendor) item rewards than those in WotLK
- The end of a given expansion is always marked by a huge saving period. Raiders often stop raiding several weeks, or months, prior to an expansion and there is a general saving trend. Resulting in huge cash reserves that will be rapidly dumped into the economy upon the Cata launch.
Point #2 is particularly interesting, as the last year of Cataclysm has seen perhaps the greatest increase of WoW rich guys in the game’s history. The world first player to hit gold cap was just January 2008. Since that time, but particularly since WotLK released there has been a huge number of players hitting the gold cap, or at the very least, amassing huge sums of gold.
If Blizzard knows this is going to happen why don’t they do something?
The fact of the matter is, they are! And for most expansions they have done a great job of preventing hyper inflation. In the real world governments can help to decrease inflation by increasing spending or taxation. Blizzard is a bit handcuffed in that regard, because they are not direct participants in the WoW economy so they cannot increase their spending and they don’t currently tax players (with the exception of the WoW auction house).
So instead they find ways to sneakily increase player spending right before an expansion. This helps to reduce the money supply in preparation for the expansion. They do this in a variety of ways:
- Implementing changes to make players “want” to spend gold. Ex. the glyph craze of 4.0.1, making Wrathful PvP gear require no rating requirement (players acquire this gear and then buy enchants, gems, etc.)
- Introducing very expensive and desirable items. Ex. the Gigantique bag of 3.0.1 (cost 1,200 gold, a huge sum at the time), late expansion vanity pets
In these ways Blizzard is able to reduce the overall money supply and create a more positive economic environment for natural growth to occur in the expansion.
Why these changes won’t be enough for Cataclysm
While Blizzard has made some great changes and helped to reduce the money supply, it’s my opinion that it simply isn’t enough. The main reasoning behind this is simply the sheer volume of super wealthy WoW players. There is a huge, and growing, population of gold top dogs on each server who have the ability to do severe damage to the economy. In addition to the super rich, you have an immense population of players who have simply been saving for far too long.
The glyph craze, wrathful pvp gear, and other 4.0.1 changes helped to get players spending a lot bit, but most of this gold went right back into the hands of the WoW super rich. Unlike with the WotLK launch, most of those changes directly removed currency from the economy by requiring vendor purchases.
What’s going to happen and what to do
The inflationary period will likely not exist long-term in the WoW economy. This is simply because players aren’t going to keep saving. Once the initial period of extreme spending ends, perhaps 12 weeks, prices should drop down into more “normal” levels. However, I would say the first 3 months of the launch will be marked by abnormally high prices, even beyond what we have seen in previous expansions.
Even after the initial inflationary boom there is likely to be a higher than average static inflation that persists throughout the next expansion. The insanely high money supply combined with a substantial increase in the amount of gold from quests should solidify a strong inflationary period after Cata’s launch. That said, it’s not all bad, but it’s important to not buy into the inflationary panic.
- Save your big purchases until after the initial hyper inflation panic has died off
- Virtually any items you can farm / craft / find are going to be their most profitable in the long-term if you can sell them as soon as possible. Don’t wait around thinking you’ll craft or farm something later. If you do it now you’ll make a much higher return over the long-run.
For fear of sounding any more like the fear mongerer Roubini I’ll just leave you with this. Don’t panic! The increased inflationary period will probably persist for a time on most WoW servers, perhaps not all, and for perhaps not as long as I’ve guessed. There are so many potential factors that go into the equation it’s hard to speak in any sort of absolutes. However, without panicking we can prepare ourselves and profit / not lose gold unnecessarily by just being informed.
As always, what are you thoughts? Share your comments below.
The million dollar question…how to make gold in Cataclysm? After 2 years of WotLK there’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to making gold, but virtually all of that expectation and experience will be turned on it’s head come Cataclysm. So, it’s time to take a hard look at how we’re going to change to the new environment of the Cataclysm economy.
How to Make Gold in Cataclysm
Making gold during the first stages of a new expansion is perhaps the easiest it’s ever going to be. There’s a few reasons for this, most centered on the boom of the overall economy.
- More people are playing
- Everyone is gearing up
So, on day one, and really for the first several weeks I am taking a lesson from TBC and WotLK launches and going to power grind herbs and mining nodes. Simple? Yes. Effective? Insanely. Why? Simply put, everyone is gearing up…they need materials to level their professions, improve their gear, and of course raid / battleground.
Special note: Your will be able to use consumables in rated battlegrounds, consider the implications here…it would be like using pots, flasks, etc. in arena. Crazy…most definitely. Hardcore teams will be fully buffed, guaranteed. Meaning a huge increase in the demand for alchemy and herbs.
A great deal of my gold making tactics are centered around the auction house because it’s generally the most time effective, but when Cataclysm hits you can be sure as Ralph Blitzer’s beard is hiding a 34th trapped miner, that mining / herbalism nodes are going to go through the roof. During the Cataclysm launch period (probably up to 12 weeks after) I was pulling close to 1,000 gold per hour herb’ing in a 3 zone circuit.
With the advent of tracking 2 nodes at the same time I can see this potentially reaching 3,500 gold an hour in the launch period for Cataclysm (that number is adjusted for forecasted inflation).
The Step by Step Process
- Level mining and herbalism to 450 prior to Cataclysm’s release
- Level to 85 as quickly as possible, herbing / mining while leveling is okay, but leveling is your primary focus. Remember, you want to focus on getting the ability to fly again, which increases your gathering efficiency 10 fold.
- Track both nodes and develop a gathering route for the top 1-3 herbs / mineral nodes needed.
- Be specifically on the look out for the “rare” type nodes used in flasks, fireleaf was insanely profitable before it was removed from the recipe. Also be on the lookout for mineral nodes in similar recipes.
- Watch the price differences between herbs / mineral nodes. If one is selling better than the other you should focus on that. Some zones may be better or herbs, others for mining, just be aware of the price gaps and change your gathering routes accordingly.
It’s a simple tactic, but one you shouldn’t overlook. Just like the business world first-movers get the advantage. If you’re going to make it to 85 pretty quick you ought to reap some of the benefits!
With Cataclysm right around the corner it’s high time we start really thinking about what we need to do to prepare. A lot of things are going to change…a lot. A new expansion brings in a host of new items, which will impact demand of existing item markets. However, the supply side of the equation is also dramatically impacted, opening the door to new item markets in Cataclsym that might not be as strong currently. Enough talk though, let’s get down to it.
1. Liquidation Extravaganza
The first step, and perhaps the most important, is simply getting rid of your old items. A great quantity of items that you have been selling now on the auction house for huge profits are going to see huge hits in their profit potential. Each day we draw nearer to Cataclsym (which is still rumored to launch 11/2) we’re going to see the prices of items begin to deflate, it’s already started in certain item markets. If you have large quantities of items that are going to be affected then you need to take steps now to sell them for the maximum price you can get out of them.
Now, you must ask yourself the simple question…is this item going to gain or lose value in the expansion? A good rule of thumb for deciding if an item is going to lose value is to simply see if that item is going to have a direct and upgradable replace in the expansion.
Here’s a few items that are generally going to see decreases (because they are going to be replaced) in their value.
- Epic gems
- High end armor / weapons
- Raid Drops (crafting mats, rep stuff, etc.)
- Reputation based items
2. Stockpiling Potential Cash Cows
With as many changes as expansions bring to WoW it’s quite difficult to tell 100% what’s going to go up or down in price, but what we can do at this point is make calculated risk / reward purchases. For example, certain item markets started to crash in price after the Cataclysm announcement, some where crashing even before that. In some cases items have decreased dramatically. 6 months ago Eternal Water were selling for 12-15g on my server, 3 months ago 5-8g, today they are 1-2g, and they show no sign up of going back up. Now, there’s no assurance that this item will be worth any more in Cataclsym, but what we can be assure of is that the supply will rapidly dry up resulting in the potential for the price to go back up to higher levels.
Here’s what we are really looking for items
- Items that are dirt cheap and have lost a lot of their original price
- Items that used in crafting or other “static” type activities
- Items which will have a dramatically lower supply
Any items that are used in crafting profession, especially the more common crafted items, are great to look for. Especially those whose supply is going to diminish with the expansion. Enchanting materials are also generally good investments.
3. Assured Static Valuable Items
Just because the expansion is coming out doesn’t mean that everything is going to drop in price. We can already start semi-stock piling a few items that are likely to increase as demand will remain the same, while the supply will likely decrease. Here’s a few items you’ll want to check out.
- Pets – especially those that are vendorable are a great investment, they can almost always be sold for more than they cost. Even more, there is always the chance that they will be removed forever from the game. Pets are always desired by players and are a great auction house item. If you have already check out the recent vendorale pet guide we put out a few days ago.
- Bags – 16 slot bags, like the netherweave bag, will be a good buy. Players of all levels always want 16 slot bags because they are offer the most slots for the most reasonable amount of gold.
- Cloth – as we get closer to the Cataclysm release date a lot of players will be dumping basic items they’ve had stockpiled for super cheap amounts. Cloth, especially netherweave cloth, will be one you want to be on the watch for.
- Profession Items – any profession items that are used to go from around 375 – 475 from WotLK will be a great buys because they are going to see a huge drop in supply, but still be moderately demanded for people leveling up new professions
As with any gold making strategy the most important factor in your success will be your ability to deal with risk management. Each time you buy an item to sell on the auction house you are taking a risk, some risk is good, but you need to manage the overall level of risk / reward relationship in order to ensure you don’t lose gold on poor investments…while also maximizing your profits on moderately risky investments.