Albeit only in WoW, unfortunately. But look, they threw me a party! A million gold is a pretty big milestone for me. I’ve not really ‘played’ the Auction House with any degree of consistency or seriousness since all the way back to Wrath of the Lich King, where we had a huge range of consumables able to be sold such as the now missing permanent scribe shoulder enchants, leatherworking leg patches.

I’d love to know what the inflationary equivalent of it would be — but back in the Wrath days I think I earned a maximum of perhaps 40-50k in gold. Less than half a single WoW token by today’s standards. Still- it felt like a lot at the time.

Between then and now when I’ve played, I’ve bought the odd WoW token if I particularly needed gold. General play is enough to keep up with raid consumables and repairs generally, but if I wanted to upgrade a particular set of Heirloom gear then I might grab a token.

Not this time though!

I started out with 48k gold to my name from what I had left over and levelling to max and whatever other incidental dailies I might’ve done to that point. As you can see in the top right there, I installed Trade Skill Master (TSM) on November 30th.

Early December is fairly flat as I kept buying a supply of materials, not only for my Mage to sell enchants, but also to level crafting on my alts — I brought Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Alchemy to max level over this period as well.

Not to mention also keeping supplied with raid consumables, including providing feasts for the guild.

Near the end of the month — I felt I had a pretty good understanding of the costs and profits to be had in my chosen specialty areas, so I splurged heavily in order to build a healthy supply of materials bought at low cost. For my server-cluster, mornings and weekends primarily became the best times to buy.

One of those low points — the one just before the December 31st marker — was down to 2k gold on hand. Rest was tied up in materials and crafted goods at that point.

Other than crafting — I got lucky with a single world-drop BoE over this period, and sold that I believe around the December 19th jump. But this is balanced by the fact that I also bought one — a 190 cloth belt, when I just couldn’t for the life of me replace it from dungeon running.

Otherwise what I’ve learnt mostly from the experience?

  • 5 million for the Bronto/AH mount was not nearly so out of reach as I believed — and now regret heavily not putting the effort in earlier. This was a million in (basically) a month with next to no starting capital. I could be the owner of a Bronto mount right now.
  • Balancing that point out: Making money this rapidly on the AH requires far more handholding than I’m generally inclined to do, nor would even be able to do outside of Holidays. Now that I’ve made my first million I’m trying to settle into a more passive role on the AH and will have to see what sort of income this can bring in.
  • It’s stressful — even after learning the market behaviour — having so much of your gold value locked into goods! The significant ‘backwards’ steps in gold-on-hand was always a worry to me, even though on a more rational level I understood perfectly that even within the context of a highly volatile start-of-expansion market my exposure was limited and any losses would be short-term.

Short of another Bronto-style mount coming along though, there probably isn’t much need in holding this amount of gold unless you’re interested in buying yourself Mythic+ high key runs or the like, which I’m not.

I also have no interest in reversing my previous token behaviour to one of buying tokens for gold, either. But this did show me that one could easily buy a token a month and still make a heft profit. Certainly with active management of AH listings, at least.

Trying out the post version of fire-and-forget though, you could certainly still manage it. People a heck of a lot more casual with the AH than I’ve been over the past month do it all the time. I’m just less sure how much of a margin it would suck out of your overall earnings and whether it might feel a bit like treading water.

I know for at least a few who pay by gold for their play tokens that it seems to be this way, and some amount of effort goes into simply making sure they have earned enough gold for that next token before it expires. I can’t imagine that’s a great feeling.

It’s possible I’ll ‘stop’ at this point, particularly if the return on passive posting isn’t feeling good vs. the time spent on crafting the goods in the first place. I’m happy having proven to myself it’s possible… At least until that next ‘big’ mount comes along. But I struggle to imagine Blizzard being in any hurry to add another mount with Auction House capability, and I equally struggle to imagine any other facility I’d be interested in enough to pay such a high asking price for.


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

10 Comments

Nogamara · January 7, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Congrats! I think I’m at around 905k currently after buying mats for my Rank 4 Legendary, without even trying. I hate playing the AH, but if you fiddle around with alts and WQs for enough months… the 100ks keep on rolling in (very slowly, but steady). Also I never bought the Transmog Yak or any mount over 30-50k, that also helps.

    Naithin · January 7, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks! :D

    I never bought the transmog mount either, although I did buy the original repair mount back when it’s cost was still a big deal. Transmog wasn’t important enough for me to go after and the Bronto just seemed a million lightyears out from being achievable.. But here we are! Ah well.

    I hear you though on the WQ’s etc, I hear too campaign table missions were good for a long while.

    My problem (re: Gold) was that I think for the most part, asides from start of an expanion, I play to raid and that’s it. I will do the absolute minimum required to keep up with my own consumables or other quest requirements that have raid benefit, but otherwise.. Eh.

Asmiroth · January 7, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Congrats! It’s a big milestone.

I play on a high pop server and there is always at least 2 brontos in Oribos. I used to play the AH way back when, and sadly burned out on it. I’ve not paid a sub fee since the token came out, so thats good.

    Naithin · January 7, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks! I could definitely see why you’d burn out on it though. I’m feeling essentially ‘done’ with it already after just a month — although to be fair; at least part of that is the recognition the time I was putting into it just isn’t feasible going forward too.

    Brontos I see around fairly commonly too, but it’d be super nice not to have to rely on other people to provide them. Especially since some owners have taken to making a game out of them. Waiting for people to come up, running away, or dismounting the vendors, etc. xD

      Asmiroth · January 8, 2021 at 5:21 am

      Exactly, the level of effort. My server right now is managed almost entirely by bots/scripts. Like 30 slot bags are posted for dirt cheap, in a stack of over 1000. When I post herbs (through TSM mind you), they sell before I can click “post” on the next item. You need a sniping agent for that to work.

      Brontos are an interesting topic for another time :)

Krikket · January 7, 2021 at 6:38 pm

I actually enjoy farming, so turning that into having WoW pay for itself was a no-brained for me. Unfortunately, right now I have to balance my gold-making with doing my part to farm up mats for our guild crafters to use to level legendary crafting, so I’m moving up far more slowly in SL than I usually do early in an expac.

I’ll likely return to things like selling previous expac greens for transmog & a few other side hustles sometime after 9.1, but if I’m actively playing, I can usually maintain subbing with gold without too much difficulty.

… of course that does mean I’ll never be a millionaire!

    Naithin · January 8, 2021 at 3:54 am

    Ahh. Our guild has taken that a little more casually. People for the most part buying the individual items if needed. Few have started crafting bits here and there, but no concerted effort on the part of the guild to fund individual’s skills.

    I tried my hand at tailoring legendaries for a bit, but quickly exited that market. Too many people willing to sell below cost — even in the higher tiers!

    Might revisit if it ever balances out. xD

Solarayo · January 8, 2021 at 7:19 am

Jealous!! I just got seriously back into WoW and have a mount/pet addiction. Need moar gold, dammit 😆

    Naithin · January 8, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Haha. I think 1mil would be a good place to be for one caring about pets; mounts I’m not sure but I imagine it’s just a drop in the bucket for any real number of those?

    I’ve found myself in a bit of an odd position in any case, because there really isn’t anything I can buy that I want to buy with this… I feel a bit like a Dragon just preferring to sit atop the hoard. ;)

      Solarayo · January 8, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      And I have a hoard of dragons and no gold, haha.

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