Monday, July 13, 2009

WoW gold making 101: An introduction to The System

You've enjoyed the earlier light hearted posts, maybe you've had a laugh or two. And that's good. It's one of the purposes of this blog -- to brighten your day a little.

If I were to pick a motto for this blog, it would be something along the lines of "When fail is strong, come over for a giggle in the Dalaran gardens. I have cookies." And that kind of posts will keep rolling shortly. There are some delicious cookies baking...

However, now is time for something different. Read on, and let me know what do you think about it.

I'm sure many people have leveled Inscription when it was first introduced. I've seen it happen on my server.

And many have built a nice fortune, some say around 30K, some say a bit more, in the "back in the good ol' days." How many are still making good money from it today?

After the initial rush was over, most scribe pioneers spent their 30K on mounts, pets and early Naxx/Ulduar BoE epics, and now are seen crying in trade that Inscription is no longer "the" money maker it once was.

Gevlon from Greedy Goblin saw the opportunity, like everyone else, and grabbed it with both hands. But he went a step further than most. When others craft 100 glyphs and sell maybe 40 - 50 a week, he crafts hundreds of glyphs every other day and sells maybe 4000 a week. He is now at the gold cap (200K), and using this gold to fund high end raiding progression. Yet he doesn't spend more than an hour a week by the AH.

So how he does it? Apart from being a goblin, what makes "his" Inscription profitable where many others fail?

What he did was build a system. And by applying this system he is simply using his gold to make more gold, instead of trading time - a finite resource - for gold.

This is the beauty of a system. It is mostly automated and scales with your buying power, not with the time you put into it.

If I would have to pick 4 words that are the key to wealth, these would be: system, automation, scalability and bulk.

I've had a chance, and I too have grabbed it with both hands. My chance was to study with the master, to pick his brains and ask questions, and learn.

In the gold making 101 series I will be attempting to revealing what I learned in baby steps that anyone can read and follow. You too can learn the system he talks about in his blog, the system he has shown and taught me.

You will not find here tips like "you'll have to craft xxx or yyy because it sells for 3K". This is largely server dependent, and patch dependent. Today's hot seller may be tomorrow's dull that nobody buys.

What you will find in the gold making 101 series is a system that you can easily apply to your server, to the current patch, to any profession and find your own money makers, over and over again.

You may not reach the gold cap, not everybody is a goblin and not everyone needs or wants to reach that, but I can guarantee you will have enough money to have your gear repaired, gemmed and enchanted properly and a bit of a safe deposit for rainy days, without ever needing to go "grind those elementals" ever again.

This may sound like a bold statement, but bear with me for a while, and I will attempt to fulfill it to the best of my abilities.

With this being said, let's start with some basics.

What you need:

- Willingness to install a few addons. The key of a truly useful system is automation. While you will be able to do everything by hand, it will be extremely dull and time consuming. I will tell you which addons I use, where I got them, and exactly how I have them configured.

- A reasonably leveled crafting profession. While you won't need a maxed out profession for this system to work, you won't be able to make most of the good money makers. You could work your way around this by teaming with a high level crafter, for a share of the profits.

- Some start up capital. You will need to buy some materials, ingredients for the items you're going to craft. With a system, your income is proportional to the amount of gold you put into it. I started with 100G capital. In less than a week, by reinvesting most of the profits, I've raised this to 3K worth of materials, and 3K worth of goods listed or ready to be listed in the AH.

- Even more willingness: to spend around 30 minutes by the AH, and around 30 minutes crafting. Per week, not daily.

- A bit of discipline, and ability to follow a basic set of rules.

That's all there is to it, really.

In the next installment of the series we'll be discussing the addons I use for this system, and the exact way I have them configured. We'll then move to describing the system itself, and the steps you can take to apply it to your own profession. In the last installment I will conclude with some tips that, while not strictly needed, can easily add 10% on the top of the profits you could make.

Enjoy the ride.


  1. This looks very interesting and I look forward to get your view on Gevlon's methods. I have always thought that they required at least 15-30 minutes per day but if what you say is correct it seems like I'm doing it wrong.

  2. Whoa! That's what I'd call success. Not only you gained lot of money, you also started teaching people to make. Way to go!

  3. Definitely interested in this.

  4. This is just what I need!

    I've leveled Jewelcrafting to 440 slvl and still I'm not making a lot of money from this.

    Yeah I know what Gevlon says about crafting professions... silly me.

    Though I've always been reluctant to use too much addons, I'll make that sacrifice if it means saving time and effort (as a casual player, time-efficiency playing WoW is very important for me).

    BTW, gratz for the initiative!

  5. Just started to figure out the fine details of goblin marketing. I have had some success and am looking forward to learning more!

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  7. Rod, am I right when I assume that you haven't read much of what Gevlon has written? It's possible that she may have exxagerated a little but after reading most of Gevlon's blog I can tell you that this is far from impossible.

  8. I look forward to reading the teaching posts! Thanks for doing it.

  9. Rod, I do hope you will stick around long enough to read the other parts of the series. Then decide if it's something you can use.

    However if you think it is really that important that it takes exactly 60 minutes, or 71, or 53 you may have missed the point and this is probably not for you.

  10. Gevlon may dissemble a bit about time. AFK time while crafting doesn't count, e.g. But he obviously has a great system. I'll look forward to reading about details here.

    Especially since the reading will be from a tailor, if I recall correctly, and since I've been trying to apply the goblin's lessons to a tailor alt on a new server with minor success. His blog inspired me to scale up quite a bit.

    Inscription may also be interesting reading, if it's addressed here. Gevlon claims it's uniquely suited to moneymaking amongst professions, but I fell behind on discovery research long ago, between not playing my inscriptionist alt or either of my herbing alts. And now there are the books. If there's a clear guide here about how to make money with it, I may take the time to learn those recipes.

    Either way, the one post I read at the Greedy Goblin about the details of these mass auctions put my brain to sleep. Nothing was crystal clear to me except that there was a lot of automation and that it sounded intimidating.

    So I look forward very much to reading exactly how it works here. :)

  11. Automation as you mentioned is key here. 3rd phase goblins fail to make it to stage 4 till they achieve a level of automation where they can handle 4000 auctions a week.

  12. Good work Ydraisa! Looking forward to read your further posts :)

  13. im sure it can be done...
    The only problem im seeing so far is the latency in posting 1000 auctions at the same time... But i can always go do something else while i wait for it to finish....

  14. Due to Ydraisa's initial posts I started my bag business the other day. Just reached lv58, got into Outlands and my hands on the Netherweave bag ... After using some initial money -way less than 100g- I purchased netherweave cloth and sew some bags.

    They were sold within the next 15 minutes when I was crafting the next set.

    When I logged out after about 40 minutes, I left some 30 bags into the AH, netherweave cloth depleted and about as many bags sold with 3-5g profit on each.

    So the system works, no doubt about it. Looking forward to find some fine tuning tips on your blog Ydraisa!

    Good luck!

  15. I'm curious to see what your advice is about automation. I was clearing about 10K a week in profits on my server when I was really trying from inscription auctions, but it took me about an hour and half a day to buy materials, craft, list, replenish, occasionally cancel and relist, etc...and that was with the help of auctioneer scripting.

    I'm semi-retired from the AH mini-game at the moment for lack of things to spend money on, but eager to see where there's room to refine my technique for when I pick it back up again.

  16. I'm enjoying your style and look forward to learning. Thank you.

  17. "However if you think it is really that important that it takes exactly 60 minutes, or 71, or 53 you may have missed the point and this is probably not for you."

    I can't wait to see more details. What I am curious is how much time is spent in-game for the week on making gold. Perhaps if Ydraisa can keep track of this and let us know. This includes crafting/running around/AH posting/mailbox/etc...

    This does not mean I missed the point. My available free time to get into WoW is at a premium, and time spent making gold/AH/crafting is time not spent raiding or doing what I play the game for. If I can only log on 3 days a week, outside of raids my game time is limited.

    So consider this a request to keep a running clock for a week on your goold making activities. Maybe keep track of each day so we can see the spike in time during your peak hours.

    Chances are you have this log already if you've been reading Gevlon's blog.


  18. Automation is the big thing.

    I recently jumped into the glyph market big time. At first it took a lot of my time. I was doing too little too often. Moving to bulk streamlines the process and you end up spending less time doing it.

    One example is when I was recrafting just the glyphs that sold I was also just buying the mats I needed as I needed them. Not only was I paying weekday prices, I was also taking extra trips to the AH to get mats.

    I went from buying the inks to buying the herbs. Then I moved to buying them in bulk on the weekend and started using snatch lists. Auto buying everytime I see it under a set price. Now im looking for a herb farmer but I have a good stock of mats (2.3 guild bank tabs full of them).

    So now when I make inks, I do them for the whole week. I can walk away and get lunch. When I make glyphs, I do stacks for the week instead of individual ones every night.

    I posted this to show you how the process changes. How you can scale up and not increase the time needed.

    I bet once you have the system figured out, its easy to add a few more mats to the snatch list and a few more items to the craft queue. that adds very little time.

  19. Hey great job Yd. I am looking forward to reading this. Always good to help people out and especially new and old people alike.

  20. Currently I am having a big problem with automation, in the sense that I am taking far too long to list the glyphs. I am usually pumping 4 glyphs of each kind of sellable glyphs (glyphs which I define as at least 50s more than the cost to make them). At about 500 listing mark, my fingers start to ache.....

    I'm also curious as to how you guys keep track on what to sell. On an excel sheet?

  21. @Wildgale
    I think you will benifit greatly from her listing of add-ons (soon to come). I wouldn't be able to do my insciption business if it wasn't for AucAdvanced, Bagnon, LilSparky's Workshop and Postal.

    In addition to those, there are a whole bunch of others that can make things even faster.
    In the case of inscription, Enchantrix for milling (part of AucAdvanced Suite), Skillet for sorting recipies according to data provided by LilSparky's Workshop and Ackis Recipe List to help me ensure that I have all the designs I want.

    I never use any tools outside of the game though there are times I wish it was allowed to use an auto-clicker program to recieve the mail, Postal is just not enough when you get 700 mails every other day.
    If anyone has a legal solution to the 50 mail limit, do let me know.

  22. I am using mainly macros to get my milling done, as well as mass cancel of auctions. I am also using Auctioneer for batch posting. It's the sorting of the glyphs in my bags that is giving me fits. It's like seeing multicolored squares mosiac :)

  23. Bagnon lets you see how many of each item you have, there's a whole herd of similar addons designed to monitor items on your alts.

    You can see this number in the tooltip, which you can either access by finding the glyph in your inventory (Bad, you shouldn't have to do this) or simply by holding the cursor over the produced item icon in your tradeskill window.

    This allows you to completely ignore the order (or lack of thereof) in your inventory.

  24. To sort and move your glyphs around in your bag, I would use Bank Sort. I keep my bags well sorted. With that said, I never go to my bags to get a glyph. I just like it to look clean.

    Quick Auction is great for glyphs. I use auctioneer for all my other auctions, but the glyph market is a bit different. Most stuff has a market price, glyphs don't. With auctioneer I found myself tweaking the batch posting over and over. With QA you tell it to post 2 as low as 5G and as much as 70G and how much to undercut by.

    Now I do use auctioneer after I used QA to post everything to manipulate the market. Buy out some glyphs and repost, or to post over cut auctions where needed. Not that its needed, but some days I have more time.

  25. I'm excited to read your take on the goblin methods of industry and production Yd. I have followed Gev's blog for some time now and it looks like I'll have one more blog to waste my time at work reading.


  26. @Wildgale
    a mod i just started playing with called bankstack will sort stuff, i was hoping i could use it to sort my messy guild bank tabs but... it does put all the colors togeher, also nice for making nice full stacks of herbs when i got several partials...
    as for milling
    /cast Milling
    /use (northrend herb)
    /use (another Northrend herb)...

    Bound that to my one key and hit 64000 on bejewled while hitting my 1 every so often....

  27. Yes, I am using that macro as well, together with /cast Prospecting and /cast Disenchant

    The problem with that macro however, is that if you have partial stacks not in multiple of 5 in your first slot (or any bag slot that is preceding your stacks of herbs, it will always return an error REQUIRE 5 (Insert northrend herb)

  28. Did you try any of the sorting addons suggested by KevMar and Anonymous?

  29. So whats up, any new posts coming soon Ydraisa!?

  30. You seem to be able to write well. And seem to have a decent understanding. If thats the case, you probably wouldnt even need help from gevlon. Since you can just read his past post and understand his system

  31. Thank you everyone for the kind and insightful comments.

    New Gold Making 101 parts are in the making, as well as two new posts in the "fun" series, yet not as soon as I wished. My son had some serious health issues and I had little energy and even less desire to play or write in the past days.

    I think part 2 should be ready to be published by the end of this week.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience.

  32. No problem, just post it as soon as you can. The next part seems very interesting and I can't really express how much I look forward to the next part. Well, good luck and hopefully you're son will get better soon.