Monday, November 22, 2010

Exploiting in game holidays for profit and pleasure

So I've not been raiding much recent.

It's not due to any one thing, it's just a wicked combo. Between settling into a new house, being a parent, holding down a full time job, AND having to deal with the dwindling raider motivation / pre-expansion lull, I just don't find myself standing over a dead boss or dying on trash. That's ok, it happens. Once the expansion comes out I'll get all excited and I'm sure the decent into madness will occur once again.

One thing I have not slowed down on is playing the auction house. Surprisingly right now is a great time to be making money. Of course you have to understand the ebb and flow of the market if you want to be successful and there are many avenues to travel in order to achieve that. As a general rule, right now raiding supplies (pots, flasks, gems, enchants) are down. You can still turn a profit with these items but the profit margin is slightly lower. Markets that include valuable items spanning from level 1-85 are still consistently profitable. A great example of this would be the glyph market. But there is another market to exploit......seasonal Holidays!

There are several ways to use an in game event for profit. Some are reliant on your class type or profession. The crux to be successful here is proper planning and utilization of your class / professions. Below are some examples of what I've done in the past to turn a schilling or two.

Pilgrims Bounty
  • Iron Chef Orgrimmar - Regardless of this event basically handing you cooking 350, some people will not want to bother. That is where you come in as a short order cook! My advice is to keep mats on hand (everyone likes fresh food) and be ready to whip up whatever people need. I don't make a huge amount of money this way, but I always have my ear to the ground in the event that someone asks. How much can you make? Well, I suggest selling them in quantities of 5 for 10G. It may seem like a lot but remind them that they will get 6G (at lvl 80) when they turn the quest in. So for essentially 4G they are getting the quests done without having to level cooking, go to the city, and buy / craft the food.
  • Meals on Mounts - Exploitation? I like to think I provide a valuable service to the wow community at large. Sure I a turn a little quid here and there, and so can you. Here's the skinny; you will be muling food reagents from city to city and selling them at a huge mark up. First, find a toon that has the highest amount of mobility. Ideally you want to have a mage who can port themselves to all the major cities for nothing. If you don't have a mage (as sadly I don't) you can still hedge your mobility. If you have a scribe use some scrolls of recall in combination with your hearth to be able to go to any city every 15 minutes. Same goes for the Kirin Tor signet. All else fails, just hoof it. UC, TB, and ORG are the cities you'll be traveling too and they are fairly well connected. Take your mule and empty out everything in your bags, you want max space for this job. Start in any city and purchase a large amount of either the Mulgore Sweet Potato, Tangy Southfury Cranberries, and Ripe Trisfal Pumpkin. I think I usually have buy 30 stacks or so. When you begin to run low on a particular reagent head over to that city - and don't forget to advertise whenever you do relocate. The profit on these items is huge and you are catering to those people that are lazy, just want the achievement fast, or came up short and need a few more stacks. I typically sell a 1S stack of reagent for 5G which is roughly a 500% ROI. There are many nuances to this method and your potential profit is only limited by how lazy people are (which is nearly limitless btw) and how great of a salesperson you are. Now you have the basic outline of the strategy, go out and make it your own. Hell I'm not going to give away ALL my trade secrets.
Feast of Winter Veil
  • Making People Unnaked - Leather workers and Tailors get a rare chance to make some special items during winter veil and you can use this to your advantage. Now to get said advantage you have to understand the holiday. All tailors and leather workers will be getting the patterns so how can you differentiate yourself? By being prepared and striking while the iron is hot. A few weeks beforehand prepare by either farming the mats or purchasing them (if they are cheap enough). For the boots you'll need 1 copper bar, 1 bolt of wool, and 4 rugged leather. For the chest you'll need 4 bolts of runecloth and 1 bolt of wool. As you can see the mats are not particularly difficult to procure however once the event starts they will disappear from the AH in a heartbeat. When selling the items make sure to hug the AH often to cancel / repost (to ensure your product is going to be purchased) and advertise a few in trade. Sometimes people will see you posting in trade and think it's a better deal than on the AH. If they bother to check the AH and find those prices cheaper, it's still your product they are buying.
  • Deeprock Baby - While not a terribly fantastic way to make money, it's still a legitimate system. Deeprock Salt is a quest item for Hero of the Day which is one method to obtaining Preserved Holly. It can be farmed from various mobs, including locations in Molten Core, Tanaris, and Arathi Highlands. Remember to farm early to avoid competition and to get a jump on early posting.
Children's Week
  • The Cake is a Lie - Except if it tells you it can make you rich. Because can. I've been doing this method for a few years now, sometimes partnered up with a buddy and sometimes solo. The idea is to peddle Delicious Chocolate Cakes (which is a dropped recipe and requires a certain cooking level) via the AH and over trade channels. If you can strike when the iron is hot, you can make upwards of 100G per cake! That isn't too bad for literally a few minutes of time. Remember if no one is advertising cakes in trade, ask for slightly higher than you auctions are. That way someone either takes the bait and pays you the high price or runs to the AH and buys yours. Beware, this can create bidding wars with other potentials cake barons, which can end up driving the profitability of the cakes down. Use caution and be prepared.
  • The Mats are Also Not a Lie - When making cakes you will notice that the floor will drop rather quickly on the market. Such is life. However with that comes the emergence of another group of people - those willing to buy mats. Be ready for them. A good idea is to watch the AH for the month preceding Children's Week. If you see cheap Mageroyal, buy it up! It's also worth farming some as well. You want to make sure you have enough to make your actual cakes and have some raw mats to post as well. Post these in stacks of 3 for a large profit and watch the gold fly in. The eggs are also ridiculously easy to obtain as well. If you are horde just port to Silvermoon and walk out the front gate. Run around there and slaughter all the non-hostile dragonhawks to collect your eggs. Even a short time farming can yield upwards of 60 eggs. Post these in stacks of 8 and make some scrilla.
Merc Work
  • Several of the remaining holidays do not include anything that you craft, sell or generally peddle. There are still however opportunities to make some cash. Any holiday that has a boss is generally farmable. As a tank (or healer) you have an advantage as you are heavily desired for these groups. A great example right now is the world event bosses from the elementals. I recommend advertising on your local trade channel but be warned - anytime you venture into that channel it can spell disaster. If someone starts to be an ass to you for offering your tanking services for a charge, just ignore them. Say something like "TANK for HIRE! LFG for (whatever boss). 10G a run" or something like that. Stay calm and stick to your plan. The calmer you are the more likely people are to actually agree to pay you. Once you get the feel for this, you can crank out some runs with a quickness and earn some nice bank along the way. With the addition of the LFD tool and the ability to warp right to the boss this has never been easier. Other examples of holiday bosses include;
    • Love is in the Air - Apothecary Hummel
    • Midsummer Fire Festival - Lord Ahune
    • Brewfest - Coren Direbrew
    • Hallow's End - The Headless Horseman
  • Another bit of mercenary work you can do involves School of Hard Knocks during Children's Week. For strictly PVE players, this is the bane of their achievement whoring existence. If you happened to be extremely skilled at PVP, offer your services to someone.....for a price. Some players need some help to muscle through those requirements, others just need someone to explain HOW to accomplish them and maybe help them out a bit. Regardless if you have a skill and can provide a service, make your move to get paid.
Well there you have it, my list of some techniques I use in game. This is by no means an all inclusive list and all methods are mearly suggestions. If you can think of a tweak or better way, by all means roll with it. Making gold in WoW is all about being as opportunistic as you possibly can at all times. What is your favorite quick sell?

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