The people that know me well in Warcraft will tell you I’m good at making gold. Very good. Every expansion, if I feel like making the effort, I find ways to make staggering amounts of gold. In the past, over various expansions, it’s been through gems, rare crafted items, enchant mats, transmutes, herbs, whatever niche I see before anyone else. Now it’s easier than ever for almost anyone to make gold in-game. Yet I keep being told how hard it is…
Take this as solid fact: with minimum effort, you should be averaging 1,000g a day per alt via your garrison missions. That means, if you follow my advice and do nothing else, two alts can cover your monthly subs. (In the US and EU at any rate, give the WoW token rate of around 60k)
It’s not much of a secret, but the ‘secret’ of it in having the right garrison and followers. Yes, you’ll have to put in the time and effort to get there, but it’s do-able in a few weeks of dailies. (This naturally assumes that you have the Warlords of Draenor expansion).
To start with, as soon as possible, you need a level 100 character*, a level 3 garrison and a level 3 inn. A level 3 shipyard is a good idea too, but can be a time sink.
*(Ideally with i675 gear or better (maybe a factor and easy to achieve via Timewalk and baneful items))
You can get rare missions – like the Blingtron I got tonight – without having an inn, but really you want that level 3 inn to maximise your returns on your garrison investments.
Next, as soon as you can – without throwing gold at it – get at least 13 followers levelled up and geared. This is important. Ultimately you want 25 epic followers with i675 and a good mix of talents but as a minimum – to kick in extra treasure missions – you need 3 at i675 and 10 at i645.
Using the Inn options and reroll tokens, you need to get a balance of traits of roughly this proportion:
10-14 or so Treasure Hunters (they stack up on gold missions)
6 or so Scavengers (for garrison resources)
4 or so Greasemonkey if you do a lot of Shipyard missions
Once you get to this stage, you’ll unlock a lot more gold, rare and epic reward missions. These include:
2g now, sold for hundreds at first
Cinder Pup (battle pet)
5g to 25g now, rising to thousands
Coalfist Gronnling (mount)
3-4,000g on average
Elixir of the Rapid Mind (xp boost)
3-5,000g, prices fluctuate
Huge Ogre Cache (garrison resources)
1-3,000g, prices fluctuate
Bulging Barrel of Oil (shipyard oil)
2-3,000g, prices fluctuate
Champion’s Honor (honor, conquest points)
8-15,000g, I hold out for 10k or more, they sell.
Medallion of the Legion (reputation boost)
3-6,000g, prices fluctuate but will ultimately devaluate over time.
Frozen Arms of a Hero (follower iLevel boost)
(Does give a clue to the value of i675 followers when people will pay so much to boost them).
Void-shrouded satchel (contains the Touch of the Void heirloom)
Nothing to 500g to 1,000g plus
(Curious this as the item is BoE, can’t go on AH, but the heirloom inside is obviously BoP. The first ones sold for several thousand gold, then 1k, then 500g. People still ask 500g-1000g, but they are common now. I just give them to guildies and still have a dozen left.
(The prices are a snapshot across a high-population Horder server (Draenor) and a low population Alliance server (Aerie Peak), as at 14th December 2015). As I’ve seen in the past, prices are roughly similar regardless of the faction, server population numbers or languages.
The Level 3 Shipyard
Rinse and repeat with your shipyard, if you have time. I’ve had a few big gold missions from the shipyard, mostly 2,000g, 4,000g. I have one coming up now that, if it succeeds, rewards an amazing 8,000g! It did need the coincidence of a treasure map, doubling the gold in missions in the area and two dwarven ships each also adding 100% to the pot.
It is only 68% chance, I must admit, so I may lose two ships, but I want to try, say I’ve done it. I can get the success chance a lot higher if I use a different ship but I lose one Dwarven bonus. A risky gamble. Shuffling I got it to be a 6,000g mission with 84% chance, plus a second 75% mission with a 2,100g reward.
So, 8,100g in a day and less chance of losing ships. On that note, I read shipyard missions have been changed such the you no longer lose ships at 90% or above. Having lost two ships on a 99% mission in the past I, for one, am glad of the improvement.
According to Icy Veins, the optimum shipyard comprises:
2 Destroyers (including one with a Murloc Crew Icon Murloc Crew);
The Awakener (count as both a Carrier and a Destroyer).
You want a few of these to be Dwarven/Goblin crews as each one adds 100% to the gold reward of a mission, the rest human, ideally (or Murlock if you are lucky). It can be a huge drain on resources, especially oil to get and keep the optimum team, and for most it’s just not worth the effort. Still if you want to know:
Dwarven/Goblin crews: increases gold by 100%
Human/Undead Crew: increases success chance on missions
Pandaren Crew: increases success chance on long missions
Murloc Crew: Counters Land Objective
The bad, and the ugly:
Draenic crew: counters Dense Fog
Orc crew: counters Icy Water
Night Elf/Blood Elf Crew: reduces mission time by 50%
Worgen/Tauren Crew: increases the xp for all ships by 50%
Gnomish/Troll Crew: salvages naval equipment (saves you Garrison Resources)
Failing a mission you really want – like heirloom rings and epic gear chests – is a pain, but overall most of the races you are better off without.
Add-ons and extras
I find the Masterplan add-on particularly good at present.
‘Garrison Mission Manager’ is ok too.
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Making, shaking and moving gold in Warcraft with battlepets
Dated, now, but shows the point. A few years ago I wrote Warcraft: How to make 64,000g levelling fishing! This was back in Cataclysm when volatile fire was worth a lot. Yet it’s still a valid post, for a different reason and for another old expansion: MoP. If you fish pools or even generally in the Pandaria rivers you have a small chance to catch Tiny Carp in various colours. As you’ll see from the above link about selling pets, these can sell for huge amounts to pet collectors. The average is perhaps 15,000g each, but 40, 60,000g each in not unknown.
This last note was from years ago when the game was getting to me. I basically gave away, or at least tried to give away a million gold. It was funny because hardly anyone believed me and only a few took the money – when they said in /trade I’d just given then 10k each for nothing they got shouted down as trolls :)
It’s funny for another reason, I was earning so much gold a day it broke the (new) achievements tab. Remember, this was back in patch 3.0.2, in Wrath of the Lich King. If you go to the page and look at the screen save, ‘Gold earned from auctions’ is negative at -1780075035. Similarly, ‘Total gold acquired’ is -1684866717. It also shows nearly 100,000 auctions and an average gold per day – on one alt – of 5,514g.
That’s something for you to get your head around next time you see someone claim they can’t make gold in the game. Even 5 and 6 expansions back it was possible – legitimately – to make hundreds of thousands gold a month. Now? You barely have to try!