Musings on minting money on Malygos…and more

At the risk of offending…that’s a crappy gold making tip.

Ok, so I’m going to irritate some people out there, but screw it.

I appreciate the goldblogosphere’s variety of tips on things one can do to make money…or about specific items that can be farmed, or new things to do – it isn’t all about the money, after all – and if these were offered up as fun alternatives that pay out a little cash, that’d be one thing. But

If the gold per hour sucks, it’s a crappy gold-making tip

What irks me is when the gold blogs suggest activities as something you should “get out there and do” to make money… even though the gold per hour BLOWS.

Seriously. In the past few week, there have been two such posts suggesting that FISHING is a good moneymaker people should be actively engaged in.

Mageshadow at JMTC suggested the Outlands fishing daily because it has an outside chance of dropping Ornate Drinking Stein (about 1 in 70 chance of an alleged value of 1,250g, or 17.5g expected value per quest if you slog at it long enough) or The 2 Ring (1 in 5,000 chance of getting it, expected value per quest: peanut shells)…or something else worth a whole lot of nothing.

(btw…for the Outland fishing daily …do I need to park an alt at Old Man Barlo?…Maybe I missed the memo…anyone have a fast way to Shatt that doesn’t require a mage?)

Capped by Cata today is talking about “fishing being one of the most lucrative ways to make gold.”  srsly?

The only fishing-for-gold that makes any sense right now that I can think of is pwning those firepools in Twilight Highlands…if they’re up and you happen to be flying by while doing something else that isn’t a total waste of time.

[That said, if you’re watching TV while fishing, it ain’t half bad as an activity. But it would NEVER make my top 10 list of good ways to generate gold. Not with the market as it is.]

Cold today suggested a Deepholm spot for Embersilk farming. Embersilk farming? Aack! Stick a needle in my forehead! At least Cold couched it as a decent spot to grab cloth while leveling. You gotta level somewhere. Personally, I’d rather know the best spots for leveling and, independently, the best ways of making money. A clear solution that spans both I have yet to see. Find one place where the two really overlap and THAT would be useful information.

I don’t know about your server, but Embersilk costs less than 40g/stack on mine, which means that you’re not likely to get more than 300g worth of Embersilk out of an hour of mindless griding). By contrast, if I list three jewelcrafting pieces for 24 hours I’ll probably sell one, with a (typical) profit of 1,000g on that sale. That’s (conservatively, now) 2m30s spent grabbing mats and crafting and 30 seconds listing for a 20,000g/hour rate. Do I really want to mess with a 300g/hour “opportunity”?

Sure, the market for high-priced JC items is limited and requires some patience, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to farm Embersilk when there are schlubs out there who will do it for me and list endless amounts for cheap on the AH.

“Where should I farm X?”

I have guildmates that will ask me where to go farm “X” item, where “X” has a market value of 10g and it takes an hour to farm up ten of them.

I tell them, “best place is the AH.” But I know they won’t listen. They don’t like the AH. It’s an overpriced, spooky place for mean price-gougers, and in any event, they want to feel good about taking 2 hours to level up a skill 3 points. I love my guildies, bless their hearts, but some of them are desperately, mulishly ignorant.

So my next move, in a desperate effort to reduce my pain from imagining them farming, is I check my own bank and send them some X if I have them.

Then I weep inside.

That said,I know that Deepholm spot Cold mentioned, and it probably is a great one for leveling, with the fast respawns and assistance on killing mobs. I do believe I lingered there for a while on one of my toons, who spent most of her 80-85 leveling in Deepholm. (The area reminds me of that landing area in Howling Fjord, with the Vrkykul spawning endlessly and get shot down at the fort entrance…dot dot dot = quick leveling….good times).

We’re all probably tired of hearing about opportunity cost. But we clearly need the periodic reminder, since it’s a concept that doesn’t sink easily into gold bloggers’ noggins.

Look, herbing in Uldum for an hour will probably get you over 750g in volatile life alone (I’m guessing 75 or more @10g each), plus a dozen or more stacks of Whiptail worth 800g or more (500g of Blackfallow Ink and 300g of Inferno Ink @50g each) depending on your server.

That’s over 1,500g for doing nothing more sophisticated than flying around and picking Whiptail, then milling and undercutting everyone on the AH.

For more, invest 20 minutes using the inks to make glyphs and craft an Elementium Moebius Band.

If you’ve got the professions, you just made 4,800g off 80 minutes’ work (2,000g from glyphs, 300g from Inferno Ink, and 2,500g from a ring or neckpiece). That’s 3,600g per hour if you’ve got the professions, and required very limited time in the AH.

(No, the glyphs won’t all sell overnight – you’ll have to invest little snippets of time over the course of a week or more – but the payoff is there.)

A couple of days ago Gevlon spoke of a 2,000g/hour payoff for skinning TB crocs. I don’t have a high-level skinner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s right.

At any rate, it’s a miles better goldmaking tip than “Outlands fishing quests” and “Embersilk farming” – which as far as gold-making goes, are pretty crappy tips.



  1. How did I not hear about your site yet?

    “expected value per quest: peanut shells”
    “Stick a needle in my forehead!”


    Thank Erorus for getting your site out there, saw you on the Undermine. Adding you to my blogroll brother.

  2. If you really wanted to pass the time with a “chance” to strike it rich, simply flip some of my 1,000 mysterious fortune cards on the AH.

    Now that I’ve used the proceeds from those to make Darkmoon decks and sell my first tsunami deck, I have the capital for the first time to make the best per hour gold rate, which is capitalizing on others!

    “WTS VP Boots”

    “I will pay 3.5k – meet in the AH”


    Boom, sold on the AH in under 24 hours for 5,750…

    I picked up 2 pairs like that in the last 24 hours, while milling herbs for glyphs, fortune cards and Darkmoon Cards…

    My best gold / hour is the “barking” of the cards at night while doing the AH game – I’ve learned much from this blogging community.

  3. @Altolycus – thanks… I only rant on occasion. Maybe I should more often.

    @Clint – yep, that’s the way to do it. Find things that can make you a thousand or more at a time. They won’t necessarily sell fast, but they’ll sell. The key is having capital to do it so that your money isn’t all tied up. After the first 50K or so, I don’t think it really matters…I rarely have that much tied up, too hard to keep tabs on it all and keep it in the AH!

    You’re right on the Darkmoon cards, I’ve been flipping them this week too. Some of those of Stones and of the Winds cards will sometimes get caught up in a flurry of undercutting (so that 5 are all listed under 400g, for example…), but the market price to make each card is 800g+…in circumstances like that I may buy them all and list just a single one at 2000g or something like that. Greedy Bastard move, but whatever. I had one waves card listed at 3500g or something, got a tell from someone wanting to “trade.” Ugh, please. I told them thanks but I just sell the cards, I don’t trade them. It sold within 15 minutes.

  4. Interesting read. You might find my post on the Point of Diminishing returns also interesting, since it touches on similar subject matter (

    Though to defend those advocating these techniques, they’re not all that bad if you’re just starting out. For the seasoned gold maker with plenty of options, these pieces of advice are certainly not worth much. However, if you don’t have a lot of capital to play with, they might help you get on your feet.

    • @Vince -

      Interesting post. I remember seeing Sinshroud’s extensive post on Outlands, but never bothered trying it out. Steady income as it may be, it’s just too much work and too much schlepping.

      Diminishing returns kicks in in just about every WoW market, but if you manage a couple of dozen things, that works out OK. There are also some areas where you don’t really face effective diminishing returns – not if you’re a modest AHer.

      Case in point, I just spent 33 minutes in Uldum and got 4 stacks of elementium, 12 stacks of herbs (mostly whiptail, 68 volatile life, and 5 volatile fire) – plus some random junk and a couple of greens. If I apply 25 minutes of “processing” to that stuff, I’ll probably get 700g+ from the gems, 2000g+ from the Blackfallow turned into glyphs, 300g from Inferno, and ~2,000g from a Moebius band (after Chimera’s Eye and Elementium Bars are factored out). These are just lazy back of the envelope numbers, but that’s roughly 5,000g right there, and I was watching TV at the same time. And this is one of the the activities where diminishing returns doesn’t really kick in – not unless you’re farming in Uldum as a full time job.

      I agree that if you’re starting out, some of these advertised “techniques” are a way to make gold, but bloggers should be encouraging people to level up and get to the point where they can make decent money, not to farm stuff for crumbs per hour to benefit the rest of us :)

      Though I have no objection to finding cheap mats in the AH. >;P

  5. You should check out our podcast at the Warcraft Lounge ( A few episodes back (Episode 11) we ripped a new ahole to anyone who thinks farming for hours is the way to go and we ran some gold per hour experiments to see how the major professions stacked up. (Hint: Herbalism and Mining do NOT do well, and that was when herb prices didn’t suck.)

    Your gold/hour numbers for farming should be even lower…you can hear the result of our experiments when Jasmine was 9-10g/herb and adjust accordingly. (It’s 3-4g now)

    Anyway, people are clueless about the Gold per hour concept and fail to apply it to all the activities they can do. Shit, even Archaeology is more profitable than fishing because I manage to sell those stupid Hieroglyphs to suckers for 500-800g. And I get more than one per hour assuming I’m really focusing on Kalimdor.

    Also, in terms of gold per hour, making glyphs might take 15 minutes, but if it you spend the next 3 hours undercutting people, then you spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on your activity. Most people only count the first 15 minutes as “time spent”. Not ot mention, new scribes are completely screwed because they can’t get all the glyphs thanks to the books of glyph mastery which cost 300-500 gold and you need FIFTY-FOUR of them. (Over 16,000 gold in startup costs!)

    Regardless, you can only explain the concept of opportunity cost so many times before you feel like a Jr. College Econ professor. And still…people don’t get that their actual real world TIME is worth something.

    Normally I would get pretty vocal about how people are clueless and whatnot, until I remember I actually need someone to do the material farming for me and quite frankly, since I have no intention of doing it, I’m glad those people exist.

    You can find us on iTunes (search Warcraft Lounge) or just check out WoWInsider’s Weekly podcast roundup. It’s alphebetical and predictably, we’re near the bottom. Between my cohost and myself, we have over one million gold so we’re doing something effective.

  6. There are some days when I read down my blogroll & I wonder who follows all this ‘advice’ & then other days, I’m amazed at where everyone gets their info & ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ type thoughts. I’m also a ‘lurker extraordinaire’ on forums & blogs because I’m too much of a wuss to get off the fence & come out with stuff like this but I do agree with you on this one (back on the fence, not necessarily just posts highlighted but others too, sometimes, even my own!)

    I think a good kick in the pants is needed in the blogosphere sometimes – to remind us that we’re not a closed circle, writing for ourselves but for novice goblins too. I’m just a small voice in my own little corner of the nether but I do try to give good tips & I hope, most of the time, my readers think so too.

  7. I got the best gold tip from my kids who both earn some where between 500 and 1000 per hour every time they log on with me… they FARM my guild banks ” its just like the AH only free”. Dad I want a hog thing like Hunnts :). I just leveled up and need some new gear…..ugh

  8. ^^ lol@kuzwa. Your post makes me glad I don’t let mine play. :)

    Glad I noticed this blog on my cruise thru Undermine, trying to pass the time on patch day. Nice rant! Was a fun read. Made me chuckle. ;-)

  9. Wow what a great Rant!

  10. LOL! Awesome rant!

  11. Farming is only profitable in 1 scenario: if the item can’t be purchased from the AH. And even then, it is only really profitable if there also isn’t anything else that IS on the Ah that can earn you more, which is extremely unlikely to happen.

    Farmed materials don’t magically increase in value if you intend on using them by some other profession, they are still only worth whatever their current market value is. Nothing will realistically lose value immediately through the crafting process, so the mats are almost always more profitable when obtained through the AH. There are very few exceptions.

    Keep on ranting – if you start saying something that doesn’t make sense, we’ll let you know, but in this case, you are bang on.

  12. I’ve added WoWMidas to the World Of Warcraft Gold Blog Directory over at Power Word: Gold.

    Look forward to future posts!

  13. “At any rate, it’s a miles better goldmaking tip than “Outlands fishing quests” and “Embersilk farming” – which as far as gold-making goes, are pretty crappy tips.”

    No that was an excellent tip, I leveled a priest from 82 to 84.5 in a few hours in that location, and with bags of embersilk to show for it. Just about every mob dropped it and the XP off each mob was really, really high (like 6k per easy to kill mob at 82). The lowest price on AH for embersilk on AH is 40g a stack, but usually only a few stacks at that price or even at 50g, so whenever there is a run on it, it gets up to 60-70g or more per stack and that happens often (at least a few times per week). Unless your toon is a gatherer, it would be difficult to find a better way to make a good combination of gold and XP between 80 and 84.

    I agree with you on the matter of fishing being a waste of time for ppl like us.

    Also, I agree with Kathroman, farming is simply not worthwhile. I only do it when I’m leveling characters, in which case I’m looking for the best combination of gold and XP for the time spent.

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