Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 16, 2006
WoW Journal - 16-June-2006

My apologies to all readers who unanimously advised me to delete my human priest and do a dwarven priest instead, but I will stick to the human. I do believe you that fear ward is awesome. But a dwarf in a dress? I think I've done too much old school roleplaying to be comfortable with a dwarf being a cloth-wearing spellcaster. In fact my very first WoW beta character was a dwarven priest. At that time I was totally unhappy with that class, because coming from D&D I had imagined a priest to be a plate-wearing healer, and had problems playing him as cloth wearer. Not being aware of how to solo a priest using a wand at that time, I discounted priest as being bad to solo, an opinion I reversed since then. But dwarves in cloth still sit uncomfortably with me. Feedback is obviously much less useful than fear ward at level 60, but at least I can argue that for leveling to 60 feedback is more useful. Very few mobs outside raid dungeons fear you, I only remember Overlord Ror and Sian-Rotam being really annoying with it. But spellcasters you meet a lot more often.

On the other racial abilities humans and dwarves are about even. Dwarven stoneform is more useful than human perception. The dwarven +5 to guns is useless for priests, but the +5 to maces humans get isn't much better, my priest is using a staff for better bonuses. Dwarven +10 to cold resistance doesn't become useful before Naxxramas, I prefer the +10% human faction bonus, although that too is more for higher levels. The dwarven treasure finding is fun, but for a priest I'd say the +5% spirit bonus is better. But all in all not a big difference. So it really is more a question of my personal preference to stick with the human.

Yesterday I made it to level 11, doing quests in Elwynn forest. The bag business is still flourishing, and I got my tailoring up to 70. I was lucky to win a 4 silver bid each for two stacks of 20 linen cloth, meanwhile the linen is getting rare and expensive on the auction house. Then I squandered my fortunes by blindly learning all the recipes available at the tailoring trainer. Stupid, many of the low level recipes are for non-magic items that I will never produce, and spending 20 silver on recipes at this low level is just a waste. I spent the rest of the money wisely, somebody had put up a greater magic wand for just 25 silver on the AH. I will only be able to use it at level 13, but at least my firepower for the next 10 levels is already assured and paid for. I wonder if there would be any money in tailoring cloth armor, but at the moment I'm out of linen cloth, so I can't try this.

I'm a bit at a loss to what to take as my second major tradeskill. Currently I have skinning, which is useful to add a small amount of extra loot to each beast kill. But about everybody has skinning, and stacks of light leather sell for less than 3 silver on the auction house. So I wonder if I should just take this small income now, or hoard the light leather for the Ahn'Qiraj war effort event, which I believe starts one month after the server opens. Alliance needs to hand in 180,000 light leather, so prices will rise in the AH. But probably 3 silver now is better than 6 silver in a month, World of Warcraft characters suffer from "personal inflation", where money at earlier levels is much more valuable than the same sum later.

But I could also ditch skinning and take something else. Taking another "producing" tradeskill like alchemy or blacksmithing isn't feasible, as I wouldn't have the relevant gathering skill. Taking herbalism or mining seems to be even less profitable than skinning at the low levels. That would leave enchanting, a classic combination with tailoring, but making money with enchanting is extremely difficult. For reasons unknown to me the normal forces of market capitalism don't apply to enchanting. People expect you to pay 400 gold for a crusader recipe, and then cast crusader for free for everybody who supplies the materials. Thus enchanting is mainly useful for disenchanting your soulbound items, and at the low levels on a young server there isn't money in that either. I think for the moment I'll stick with skinning.

I'm still determined to stay guildless until the right guild comes along, but I'm looking around which guild that might be. Censusplus is useful in that it tells you which guilds are powerful, how many people of them are online, and what classes they are missing. More for fun than for really believing it I started at the top and asked somebody from the most uber Alliance guild for the URL of their website. Hehe, "recruitment is currently closed" says the website, 2 days after the server went live. You're invited to leave an application, but only if you are willing to play every day to reach level 60 in record time, and have solid previous raid experience on other servers. Guess I don't qualify, I'd get kicked out when I go on holidays for three weeks in July. Unsurprisingly it is this guild that has the first level 30 character after 2 days on the server, and a large number of players over level 20 already. I'm looking for a serious, but more casual guild, with a fair zero-sum or similar DKP system for the future, but concentrated on doing instances and playing together on the way to 60 without being in a terrible rush. That pretty much described my first European WoW guild, until the "epic corruption" or "purple fever" (I'm stealing this expression) set in. But as the majority of players on the new server are alts from other servers, I'm not sure whether such guilds still exist. I only see uber raiding guilds, and doomed-to-failure random-invite wannabe-future-raider guilds right now.

I'm in no hurry to reach level 60, I already got a level 60 priest on my old server. He is currently parked in front of Molten Core, and on a waiting list for tonights MC raid, which given the fact that priests are rare in the guild alliance still gives me a solid chance for an invite tonight. Maybe the variety of play styles I'm craving, from 5-man groups to raids, can't be achieved with a single character. I'm looking forward both to tonights possible MC raid and my new priests first Deadmines run with equal anticipation.
My experience is that enchanting is *extremely* useful as a cash-generating skill, but also very time-consuming. Whilst many people will refuse to pay any money for enchantments, enough people will pay a reasonable fee (say 1 gold profit for most 250-275 enchants) that you can rack up cash fairly quickly, particularly since once someone's buyng one enchant off you, it's usually possible to sell them another three or four at the same time ("You know, whilst we're doing this, you could significantly up your armour with a cloak enchantment - and you might be interested in this +7 Stamina to Bracers enchantment too...").

I suspect that the higher-level enchantments are less useful as money generators than the "utility" 5-10 gold mid-level enchants, as people will tend to buy the latter multiple times. I've yet to be bothered to buy Crusader or grind furbolgs, so I'm not sure.

But it is *very* time-intensive - whilst you're selling enchantments, you're not doing anything else. Unlike every other profession, it's a people-focussed skill - however, that means that unlike every other profession, how much money you make can be modified by factors like business skill and general sales technique. Which, for a small business owner IRL, is handy.

(Top tip - don't deal with individuals if you can deal with guilds. A couple of guild enchanting contracts will be time-consuming but very, very, very profitable.)
For gathering skills, herbalism is surprisingly useful- at low levels, you're going to be finding a ton of swiftthistle from mageroyal and briarthorn. While it probably doesn't seem like a good idea now, once the power-gamers start nearing 60, the rogues are going to want that for thistle tea, and they'll be willing to pay through the nose for it. 10g per stack, easily, once the market matures, and you'll usually average about 2 every 3 briarthorn gathers (I get mine during my standard run into Ashenvale each night for gromsblood- another great seller as well). Even if you don't want it long term, you can switch over until about 20, and then maybe take enchanting, leaving you with a good nest egg for later (assuming you're going to level slowly, by the time you hit 40 there may be active raiding guilds without the time to hunt down semi-rare drops from low-level plants who will basically finance your mount for you).
Thanks for all the advice, these tips would work all very well on older servers. In fact my level 60 is making a killing with herb gathering, e.g. Dreamfoil is up to 80 silver apiece, and you can pick up to 3 with a single click, netting you 2 g 40 s, which isn't half bad.

But my current problem is making money on a server which is today 3 days old, and the highest level character being level 30. There just is no market for level 250-275 enchants or 10 g a stack herbs, and there won't be for many weeks to come. I need to offer goods that appeal to poor, low-level characters. If I took up enchanting the only money maker would probably be wands right now. And herbs I don't think I could sell at all for the moment.
Well, I meant more as an investment strategy. Holding gold is a bad idea, but holding trade goods that are gathered by low-level characters but primarily used by high level ones is a good one.

For the immediate stuff, where folks don't have much to spend, you should stop thinking "highly appealing" and go for low margin, high volume stuff. When money's tight in game, most folks go without, regardless of appeal, especially now that everyone's aware of the crunch for money at level 40- you need something that's cheap to manufacture or acquire in large quantities, and has a nearly bottomless demand.

Coolest idea I've seen yet for moneymaking- someone on my server seems to have been grinding fishing, as one of the low-level sales alts (how can you tell the professional farmer from the amateur? Almost always, the pro spams his wares with his level 60, because reputation doesn't matter for him, just the end of shift take. The amateur uses a level 1 alt, for deniability.). He's started advertising cooking starter kits- 1-75 (possibly higher now) for sale.
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