Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Different approaches to gold farming

Do you ever read the blog by the Ensidia leader Kungen? I do, because it gives me some giggles and an insight into the somewhat bizarre life he leads in Azeroth. The other week he had a post about a, let’s call it different, way of making your living in game.

Here’s the story: Normally Kungen doesn’t visit Ogrimmar for longer than 5-10 minutes a week to get the consumables he needs for raiding. One night however, he did an experiment and decided to hang around for an hour. Immediately people started to give him gold, without any special reason. Not huge sums, more like 10-50 gold. But all in all it gave him 1000 gold in an hour and a bunch of consumables to go with it. He got all this for doing absolutely nothing except for just being there.

Gevlon’s thoughts
I couldn’t help wondering what the Gold collector number 1, Gevlon, would have thought about it. Actually I don’t think he’d disapprove, at least not entirely.

On one hand you could suspect that the people who gave those gifts to Kungen were true “Moron&Slacker” material, stupid people who thought that they could somehow buy the friendship and respect from the Nihilum guild leader for a few gold coins. They were part of a mindless crowd, not thinking for themselves, not striving for any goal or improvement on their own. The kind of people that give the goblins a good profit.

On the other hand you could also see them as fellow businessmen. Theoretically they could have the same good intention as Gevlon has declared on several occasions; they may want to spend their hard earned gold on a worthy cause. They’d rather sponsor a hard working, successfully progressing guild, than just burn it.

It’s a beautiful thought. But to be honest I don’t think it’s the case. The sums are just too small to be considered as real donations.

A good profit
Reading a blog post by Gevlon I realized that the Kungen method of gold farming wouldn’t get any goblin approval anyway. Why? It’s simply not profitable enough.

“I consider 2-3000G/hour (active playing time without AFK listings) an unlucky session.”

Cheers! That is what I’d call a challenging benchmark!

Dear Gevlon, there have been many occasions when I couldn’t agree with you, especially not when you’re into political socio-economic and moral discussions about real world matters. But nevertheless, I like you a lot, as you know, for being so cocky, so full of self confidence and so annoyingly good at what you’re doing.

Being a successful businessman in isn’t about showing up in Ogrimmar waiting for miracles to happen. It’s about devoting a little bit of effort into planning, monitoring the market, finding the opportunities and then exploring them, heading for volume rather than for occasional one-time-only bargains. It’s an entirely different approach to gold farming than the Kungen way.

Larísa’s gold farming
So how about Larísa? Do I ever farm gold in the game? No. Not really. My current fortune is about 5 k gold, spread over my characters, and if you would believe Gevlon I’m on the verge of poverty, even though I don’t see it quite that way myself. I’ve got the economy I need to pay my repairs, even after nasty wipe nights. I’m never low on consumables and I can easily enchant and gem the gear I obtain. My needs aren’t exactly overwhelming. Who would want a mega big mammoth blocking the whole screen anyway? Not me.

The truth is that I still haven’t been able to see the fun in hanging around scanning the Auction House for business opportunities. I farm in my own, slow way. I think the white wastes of Stormpeak give a more beautiful setting, where I can relax and let my mind drift away, than staring at the big screen of Auctioneer.

Maybe I’ll change my mind one day and give the Gevlon methods a shot. If I’d just be efficient and good enough at it, it may not be the boring time sink that I fear. After all, there are a couple of new tailoring recipes that drop in Ulduar now and I can’t deny that the shiny new belt is attractive. If I somehow could make 3 000 g per hour I would no doubt be able to get that upgrade a lot quicker.

Gold farming according to Kungen on the other hand isn’t an option to more than a handful of players in the world, and I’m really not one of them. Actually I’m not sure I’d want to either. I can’t say that I’d fancy having a cloud of people surrounding me, whispering me, opening trade windows to me whenever I visited a capital. Not even if they paid me 1000 g an hour.

And when you think about it... isn’t it dangerously close to begging?


Anonymous said...

Ahh yes, the lure of the Ah session, i know it far to well!! Ppl used to think all i did was stand in IF talking crap all day, when really i was manipulating the AH, though even on my best day i didnt manage 2-3k per hour!!

Once again my little pink haired fluff ball another awesome post by you!


Klepsacovic said...

I use the traditional method: actually getting gold and materials. Let them play their manipulative games, leeching money where they can, I go do dailies and mine and siphon crystals from the air. Oh sure it's slower, but at least I don't have to log off knowing that I spent my day robbing people in the name of the free market.

Zupa said...

I also don't really find playing the AH or crafting for gold particularly appealing.

I find gold making strategies interesting, however, and love reading up on them.

But when I sit down to play, there are heaps of things I'd prefer to spend my time doing than trying to make more gold. It is a means to an end, but for me, the end does not justify the means.

I can scrape by with enough money for my immediate needs, and have almost if not just as much fun as I would have if I was laden with thousands of gold worth of crafted epics.

And when I need more than I have? Id prefer to do something fun that makes me gold as a side effect, like running instances or questing over something that is only about making gold - ie: flipping items on the AH, buying things to DE, crafting things to DE or crafting items to sell on the AH...

It's all a bit boring really, particularly when out there in the world, there be dragons!

Dragons > virtual ebay. simple.

Gevlon said...

These poor morons wanted the attention of the "great" Kungen even for a second. And payed for it, although he offered nothing.

It's funny that Kungen is the No1 celebrity of WoW and I found out that he has a blog, because Larísa linked him. That's weird.

However I already found out how could Kungen make LOT of gold, much faster. The post of tomorrow :-)

Carra said...

I was quite happy if I made ~1000g an hour on the AH. That does include boring stuff like clicking a button x1000. This makes farming not worthwhile. Why would I go farm elementals? In the time it takes me to farm them I could just make ~1000g, buy them and still have a nice profit. To me it basically comes down to "what's the more efficient use of your time?".

Cathy said...

Unlike most people, I enjoy farming. Its relaxing and usually listen to podcasts or youtube while I farm. Listen to good comedian while you farm..that would be my tip:)

I don't need to make tons of gold per hour but admire those that do. Making gold is certainly part of the game and I hate being without it. I was at 30k which I know isn't a huge amount compared to some. The only goal I had was to get the mammoth with the vendors and so thats what I did.

Larísa said...

@Cacknoob: hm... you can access the auctioneer all the way from the bridge? I thought he was out of sight. Got to try that!

@Klepsacovic: as long as you enjoy what you're doing I think you're a winner. The problem is when the game is becoming too much of a boring grind to you. No matter of if it's a AH grind or a farm daily q-s grind.

@Zupa: I'm all up for dragons, really! If I was only interested in doing business I'd probably go for the real life stock market instead.

@Gevlon: read your post, posted today by mistake. (It's easily done). Actually your deal is better, at least the morons will get "something" (a pretty screenshot) in return.

@carra: it all depends on what you think about killing elements. A nuisance or an art form, something you can work on doing better, more efficient, in a different way etc. There are really many ways to make gold. Some quicker. Some more "fun". It's all individual.

@Cathy: yeah, listening to something certainly helps. Twisted Nether is a perfect companion for mindless grinding. Not sure I could grind AH while listening to it though.

Sydera said...

It does seem to ride the line of begging!

In any case, it's not an option for mere mortals like me. Syd stands around in Ironforge for a couple hours a day selling flasks at the AH, and all I get is an occasional /dance.

Ah, anonymity.

Anonymous said...

I scrapped, and scraped for gold my entire WoW career (and real life too). I've been trying to use some of the methods of Gevlon, and other gold making websites. With some limited success.

In all the virtual games I've been in I never had that much currency. I want to give it a try.

Of course I'll never be at Gevlon's level. A few minutes of day of conducting business, is really not bad, plus I hammer out my dailies for gold, and rep. Which is nice. I got my little Gruntling, and soon I'll be exalted with Hodir.

I think in life, like game to have money you have to make more then you spend.

Great Post.

Copernicus said...

It's all about what you find fun. Some people find playing the AH fun, while others don't. I played the AH for a bit, but did not like taking advantage of people, even if they are "morons". Besides, taking over the silk cloth market wasn't all that profitable. :-)

I have about 15k with my two 80s both having epic flying mounts, and I'm quite happy with that.

The goal that I'm working towards is the "Loot 10,000 Gold" achievement. I think I'm sitting at 9,100ish right now. I've already gotten the "Receive 10,000 Gold from Quest Rewards" achievement.

Fitz said...

I don't understand why Klepsacovic and Copernicus assume AH trading is "robbing people" or "taking advantage of morons." That's like saying the people who make a living off Ebay are robbing or taking advantage of people in real life. Think about what you are saying!

Fact of the matter is, I do a little bit of both kinds of gold farming. I have a nifty bag business which I've modeled on gevlon's success in the glyph market. I do a little bit of item prospecting, although it was more of a pre-3.1 patch thing for me. And I do dailies to farm up gold. The thing is, everything I do, I do it for enjoyment. I enjoy challenging the mounted combatants in the Argent Tournament every couple of days. I enjoy flexing my muscle in the bag market.

I don't enjoy farming eternals, so I do dailies instead. If I'm wasting time, I fish in the game. Everyone is entitled to their own way to make money in game. Gevlon just happens to be the king of efficiency in gold making.

Russell Abbott said...

I guarantee you Gevlon will not approve of the people giving Kungen or notice the similarity to his own raiding guild subsidy. Instead, he will call them something along the lines of ghetto-scum moron/slackers, or perhaps idiots.

For my part, I know the cloud of fame that hangs over server-best guilds can be pretty thick, and I can only imagine it for the world-best. I suspect the donations are sort of like hometown sports team loyalty, and the thus the donations. Kind of a keep-up-the-good-work-slugger thing. Living vicariously through your local champion. New Yorkers would probably do it to star pitchers if they didn't get paid (a lot) for playing.

Russell Abbott said...

Told you. Morons AND idiots.

Copernicus said...

@Fitz: To me, new players are what keeps this game alive and growing. High prices for regular items can be a huge negative that I'm not willing to contribute to.

I remember when I was a new player trying to buy things off the Auction House. 20s was a huge amount of money back then. It wasn't until much later that I learned to take two gathering skills so I can make some money. Also that the crafting skills are really pretty useless while you're leveling.

My two oldest sons are both starting to play WoW. I've told them several times that they should take gathering skills so they can make some money, yet they both have taken leatherworking, blacksmithing and alchemy on various characters because "I want to make stuff I can use!" Their first character is doomed to be poor because they want to actually play the GAME.

Right before WotLK came out, someone bought up all the green armor and weapons in the AH and put them all back up for 12g+ each. Level 6 items that used to be had for 10s or so were now posted for 12g. This lasted for months. I don't know if the guy quit or moved servers, but things have somewhat come back to normal, however, prices on most post level 40 gear are now double what they used to be.

I really don't see how this helps the game, and it made me feel dirty after realizing what I had been contributing to.

Khaelie said...

my own gold farming is very similar to your own... i do my dailies when i feel like it, i mine when i see it on the map, and i sell stuff on the AH when my own bank is running out of room. i almost never have below 3000 gold or above 10000 gold, so by Gelvon's standards I am also living in poverty. but i always have what i need for consumables, repairs and enchants. and beyond that, i get to play the game and enjoy it.

Larísa said...

@Sydera: A dance? From people who admire Sydera the Blogger? Not bad!

@Highlantancylife: Yeah, that thumb rule makes sense. I guess that my quite simple habits (no mammoth cravings) lessens my need to go and gamble AH at some greater extent.

@Copernicus: I never thought of working against that achievment goal. To me it's something that just happens to you. But I guess it's an incentive as good as any.

Like you I think we should treat new players nicely. But there are other ways to do it than to avoid making money at AH. That scam thing was disgusting though. I sincerely hope noone fell for it.

@Fitz: I think you're right. Enjoyment is the key. If you don't enjoy AH at all it's a stupid thing to do much of it, even if it gives you more gold. And I don't feel bad either about making money at AH, it's just that I don't enjoy it.

@Russell Abbott: I guess I've been going too little to sports events the last 25 years. To me it looks pretty silly.

@Khaelie: Anything above 10 k seems kind of pointless to me. Unless gold farming really is the game you play and you think you beat the game when you cap... Then that is your real motivator ofc.

Fitz said...

@ Copernicus

Thanks for expounding a bit more. I concur with Larisa that the "scammer" on your server did something really awful to your low-level AH economy in the hopes that established players would throw away gold for convenience while leveling alts. But that's an isolated problem that sounds like it is going away.

As for level 40 items doubling in price, I think part of that is the natural inflation of item costs driven by established players leveling alts with more money to spend now that Northrend gives 10-13 gold per quest rather than the 2-3 gold of Outland. I have not played the game long enough to know this for certain, but it seems like the influx of gold would make even the lower level items go up in a price a bit just based on the sheer economics of more cash in the economy.

One final point...you don't NEED anything off the AH to enjoy the game as a new player. If there's a couple of quests where you need an item you cannot make yourself, you don't have to do the quest. Thankfully 98% of low-level quests seem to be doable independently by killing boars or traveling about. As long as you are having fun, who cares if your first toons are poor? I started with a Holy Priest who stayed Holy throughout leveling, which now looks like sadism in retrospect. She also leveled with Tailoring and Enchanting, with the latter being the most expensive profession to level with little benefits provided along the way. She was poor until she hit max level at 80, and that's OK with me in retrospect because I was having fun without caring about the AH or anything else.

Klepsacovic said...

@Fitz: They're leeches. They get gold while producing nothing. Buying low and selling high is not productive, it merely exploits a gap in the market. It's not even investing, since while that produces nothing it does assist production.

Maybe we're just not understanding each other. I have absolutely nothing against crafters who buy cheap mats and turn them into expensive items. That is productive, that is adding value.

Fitz said...

@ Klepsacovic: No I think we're on a similar wavelength, just differing belief on certain AH activities. I think we both agree that what happened on Copernicus's server was crummy. And we obviously both agree that crafting with cheap mats is good AH business. We simply differ on what Gevlon calls "prospecting," that is, to buy low and sell high. the only time I purposefully did this was before 3.1 because of herb prices and the inscription explosion. If I'd had herbalists leveled at the time, I would've stockpiled by actually gathering rather than buying. It's not a great way to spend time or make money in my opinion, but "leeching" will always be present in a free market economy of goods with an established market price.