Tobold's Blog
Monday, September 10, 2012
Making money in Guild Wars 2

As Bhagpuss remarks, money in Guild Wars 2 is tight if you play it "normally". Fortunately I am not very much interested in playing games normally. So the alt I made for crafting (and who ended up crafting not very much), is up to 6 gold at level 10, with just 1% of map completion due to not having adventured much beyond the tutorial. So how does one make money in Guild Wars 2?

As Heartless remarked in a comment here, you *can* make money buying items on the auction house and salvaging them, as the materials are worth more than the item. This is due to crafting being mostly a way to make experience points and skill points, and not a way to make money. Nevertheless I do not recommend the salvaging route, because it is somewhat tedious: You first need to find out into how many materials the various items salvage into, and then find the best spread between item price and raw material price. And even then the spread is just a few copper pieces, so you need to salvage hundreds of items before you make even 1 gold. It works, especially with buy orders, but it isn't exactly a get rich quick scheme, and there is a lot of competition.

I found the far better way to make money is exploiting the unthinking undercutters. As Klepsacovic said, the intelligent thing to do is to undercut everybody else by 1 copper, as this guarantees you a quick sale in exchange for an utterly trivial price cut. As Gevlon would say, most people on the auction house are morons & slackers, or to state it in a more politically correct form, they don't care much about virtual currencies and don't treat it as carefully as real money. Thus you can often find somebody undercutting not by 1 copper, but by several silver. So if you see the lowest cost item being 5 silver, and then second-lowest being 10 silver, you can buy the 5 silver item and put it back up at 9.99. Even after AH fees that's an instant 4 silver profit.

Finally I actually made a bit of money by crafting. There are a few masterwork items that sell sufficiently well that they keep a price a few silvers more than their components. But that requires a good knowledge and observation of a specific corner of the market. You need to know which stats are most in demand, and for which slots. Sometimes items for specific slots are needed to skill up, e.g. shoulders, and that automatically floods the market with cheap goods, while the same item for another slot sells for 20 silver and can be crafted for 10.

With everybody on the same auction house, there aren't many opportunities for quick money without much effort or thinking. But with a careful study there is money to be made, even in the deflationary market of Guild Wars 2.

Pretty clever about checking the difference between the 1st and 2nd sell order thing. I usually assume those 200+ items are at the same price-point, so I never looked into it further.

In my case, I have been highly successful by just selling all crafting materials I come across. Indeed, if you 100% the starting zones, you will run across so many Copper Ore nodes (each node = ~55c) and mob drops (Tiny Totems = ~50c apiece) and the like that it becomes a bit absurd that anyone feels cash is tight. Money should only be tight if you are sinking all of it into crafting.

I am level 38 and have ~2g in my pocket and 2000 gems I bought with in-game currency... the equivalent of $25 USD.
The problem with simply undercutting by 1c is that it can be very hard to make *any* sales that route.

The guy selling with the 5 silver undercut got his sale. Will you get your sale with 1c undercut? Especially in a flooded market?

Perhaps it didn't come across in my piece that I like being poor in MMOs. I love to struggle, to scrimp and save and make-do. Having enough money to buy anything you want might be fun in real life but it makes a game very dull.

I tend lose interest when things are easy to get and I can have whatever I want and the only thing I really dislike about the global auction house in GW2 is the near-universal availability of most things you might need. That's easily remedied with a bit of will-power, however. I don't use it to buy anything I could reasonably expect to find by luck while adventuring.

I do use the Trading Post to sell and contrary to reports I've read elsewhere my crafted gear seems to sell just fine. Not the very bottom-end stuff, which I just de-con and re-use, but not the Masterwork and Rare either, which I make one of each of for the discovery and use myself or give to someone who will.

What I'm selling, consistently and quickly, are the Blue quality items made with the basic insignias. Again I'm just selling the ones I make for discovery, but so far they have almost all sold quickly for between twice and four times vendor price, a mark-up that I find quite acceptable. The higher my Leatherworking skill, the faster the items sell, for now at least.
I like being poor in MMOs

I can see the point of such an attitude in a game like World of Warcraft, where being rich isn't terribly useful. But in Guild Wars 2 the gold can be exchanged for gems, and the gems for stuff like bank slots or bag slots or various other items you'd normally have to pay real money for.

Thus while I spent some real money at the start of GW2 for bank slots and the like, in the future I'll use in-game currency for that. Having fun making in-game money and at the same time saving real money sounds like a good deal to me.
That approach will work for a while, that is as long as it takes for the market to stabilize. I mean if I'm putting something on the AH to make a profit, and I'm fine with undercutting the previous guy by 50% for some reason, If the item is sold I'll do it again and again if the sale nets me a profit. If not then why am I putting it there in the first place? The only person who would do that is someone who is low on money, but wants to keep crafting right now and needs gold to buy more mats, and is willing to sell at a loss if it means money now. You will find less and less of these as time goes on.
If the company want to sell lots of virtual gold for real money, they have to make and keep it hard to get for most players.

And they won't want any players to be able to amass huge sums easily, although they won't mind if some players get by without real money purchases.

In WoW you can make lots of gold playing the auction houses, because gold isn't really worth any significant amount. That will never be possible in GW if the makers are competent.
You've got Gevlon completely wrong. the 1c undercutters are the M&S. He undercuts them by 20-50% and takes the entire market.
I have a problem with the money issue. Let me say firstly that I am a millionaire in WoW. I can make money if I want to but the draw of GW2 is that you are supposed to play the game how you please without being forced or compelled into doing activities you dislike.

I don't want to play the AH - bored of that in WoW. I don't want to go farming - bored of that in WoW. Furthermore it seems that raw mats are pretty scarce on my server (rarely see ore) and relatively speaking I wouldn't make much selling them despite their apparent scarcity.

Anyway, I didn't realise how poorly the game had been paying me (for just "playing") until I had to buy the first upgrade from my trainer and discovered that I couldn't afford it! That forced me into selling lots of items I had saved for my crafting.

Paying for the upgrade cleaned me out but then I encountered another problem - the financial penalty for death versus what I was earning.

Each time I died it appeared as though I was not only suffering from repair costs but also the cost of teleporting to a waypoint. These costs seemed high in relation to what I was earning. The death penalty in WoW seems proportionally far smaller in relation to the quest rewards and vendor/AH value of items from the mobs.

I noticed this issue when attempting some of these bosses out in the world. Some of them took a number of deaths to learn. I had to learn their tactics but I was often transformed into something else and given a new set of skills that I had no practice/experience of using. Sometimes I was transformed for the first time mid combat so I had to read tool tips whilst being three-shot by the boss...seriously?!

I quite like going through this process in other games of dying and gradually figuring out the tactics but in GW2 you are being drained of a finite resource at a rate far higher than you can earn it - unless you want to be forced into doing something you dislike.

Am I missing something here? I am guessing this is to encourage you to purchase the real money repair and res kits? I also assumed that the scarcity of raw mats was to encourage me to buy the crafting booster.

To be honest I prefer Warcrafts model of paying monthly and effectively getting repairs, transport and bankslots for free. Then I can enjoy attempting challenges that I am bit too low for rather than worrying about the costs if I die and having to play it safe instead.
I'm not rolling in cash, but I've not had any particular trouble keeping my head above water so far (level 40, 1g 15ish), despite not attempting to sell anything I've crafted on the trade post, using most mats I've gathered myself, taking cooking, and dying plenty.

Possibly it's harder at higher level? I guess not buying any mats off the Trading Post helps? Maybe it's I'm not using waypoints to get around as a first preference, and instead taking the scenic route quite often?

I had to wait a bit to get the level 11 trait book, but the level 40 one I actually bought 10 levels early because I suck at math...oopsie :)

The one thing I *know* will give you pockets to let, is salvaging everything. I think that's well known though. Anybody still doing that needs to stop right now, and instead vendor everything blue and above you're not going to use, and stick with only salvaging whites.

If you need a low impact way to a little more on top, at the moment I'd try a 'one for the trading post, one for me' policy on any Unidentified Dyes you find, and maybe getting some +Magic Find %age food (lemon bars were 1c over vendor last I looked).



No, I too don't much like the 'for this mission you must use an entirely new and unfamiliar set of powers we just handed you' mechanic generally, and I don't like GW2's implementation of it any more than any other.
I haven't played the game, but I've a slight suspicion that some players are sinking a ton of in-game resources in crafting, then wondering why they have nothing left.
No it seems to be pretty similar to every other MMORPG where the rate at which you acquire materials leads to your crafting falling behind your character level.

Before long you find that the items you are crafting are of little use to your character.

This is assuming that you don't take a lot of time off to go farming as opposed to "playing" the "game". Caveat: I do understand that for some people "farming" is the "game", but not for me.

So if you are levelling professions you are always short of resources to "sink" into crafting. You certainly aren't sinking "too much" into crafting because you are always behind the curve!

I'd probably recommend not levelling any professions and simply selling all the mats you come across. I opted to level professions because I have/had no idea if they provide you with profession bonuses at max level that, like those in WoW, would be considered "mandatory" lest you want to be barred from joining good groups.
I would honestly consider, for money making, just run CoF explore path 1 over and over. With the rares you find and salvage, the exotics you can sale at over 2 gold, money you loot off bodies, money you get form completing the dungeon, and the tokens you can trade for even more rares to salvage, you end up making a whole lot of money.
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