Blizzard’s massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW) offers players the opportunity to customize their characters in nearly infinite ways. Players who have worked to grind one or more characters to the current maximum level of 80 and be competitive in raids, arenas, and battlegrounds, it takes a lot of gold to purchase materials, enchantments, and other items. Even casual players who want to maximize their profession skills need to purchase raw materials.
While some currencies, such as emblems, are used by individual players to purchase items from specific non-player character (NPC) vendors, the market economy of WoW is primarily a gold economy. Players need gold to purchase raw materials from the auction house, pay other players for professions services, and even repair their gear after a raid.
At level 80, there are many ways for a character to legitimately earn gold to fund their endeavors. While many “gold sellers” offer to sell players in-game gold for real-life cash, this transaction violates the WoW terms of service (ToS) and can result in account termination for both the buyer and the seller. However, there are many ways for players to earn significant amounts of gold while operating within the rules of the game. Some of these methods include:
Playing the auction house market
Leveraging gathering professions
Leveraging creation professions
By mixing and matching the skills of each character, players can generate significant amounts of gold using legitimate methods.
Playing the Auction House Market
The WoW auction house system allows players to buy and sell items across their faction. Many players use the auction house to sell off extra items they don’t need, pick up enhancements for new armor pieces, look for crafting recipes, and so much more. Like the real-life stock market, players can take advantage of supply and demand to buy low, sell high, and make a lot of money in the process.
Players who are successful in auction house transactions look for items that are in high demand and move quickly, such as cloth, enchanting materials, ores and metal bars, and gems. These players consistently watch for items to be posted at relatively low buyout costs, purchase them, then re-list at a higher price. These re-listed items earn the buyer a profit after they sell. Auction add-ons for the WoW interface help these players be more competitive when playing the market.
Leveraging Gathering Professions
Many players who are working on their creation professions purchase raw materials, such as ores and metal bars, cloth, leather, and gems. Players whose characters have gathering professions can take advantage of these needs by gathering materials specifically to sell. Characters with two gathering professions, such as herbalism and skinning, can gather huge amounts of raw materials while questing or running instances, and since they do not have any creation professions to use those materials, all of the materials can be sold. Even cloth, which is dropped by humanoid enemies throughout the game, is widely used by all characters to make bandages, and is a valuable commodity. Some gathering professions also include some skills that can be sold as a service, such as prospecting ore for gems, or smelting titansteel bars.
Leveraging Creation Professions
Because characters can only have two professions, many players have to rely on other players to fully deck out their characters with armor, weapons, enhancements, and other items. Players whose characters have creation professions, such as leatherworking, jewelcrafting, or enchanting can sell created products to other players and earn gold in the process. Players can create items to sell in the auction house, such as enchantment scrolls, cut gems, and armor enhancements. Other players advertise their services in trade chat channels, offering to enchant items for a fee.
WoW has a wide variety of daily quests available for players of all levels, although certain characters with specific reputations and professions can earn significantly more money by focusing on those daily quests. For example, cooking and fishing daily quests are available in Dalaran and Shattrath, certain factions, such as the Kal’uak in Northrend, offer multiple daily quests that reward reputation points as well as gold.
The “gold mine”, so to speak, for daily quest gold earning is in the Argent Tournament zone in Icecrown. Characters who are new to the Argent Tournament zone have four daily quests available to them. Characters who have achieved champion status have an additional four daily quests available do them. Finally, characters who achieve Crusader status with the Argent Crusade have an additional four daily quests available to them. All of these quests reward gold, reputation points, and in the case of Champion and Crusader quests, Champion marks that can be redeemed for other rewards.
Many daily quests can be performed quickly. Players can fit daily quests in between instance runs, while waiting for a raid to start, or while working on other quest lines. The gold earned by the quest rewards and the sale of items gathered during quest runs can add up quickly and fill a character’s coffers.
Players can take advantage of a variety of legitimate mechanisms within the WoW game framework to maximize their gold earnings.