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Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm a very unimpressive gold-maker. (Oh, and 750k)

That's what 750k liquid in my guild bank looks like.  Fascinating.

So here I am, 75% of the way to the one million mark. Three quarter's of the way through! Woo!  

Requisite Self-Indulgent Milestone Reflection
Ah yes, it follows all milestones.  The self-indulgent discussion of reaching said milestone.  Well, let's get this over with!

What's really been on my mind lately is whether or not my blog and my views are an asset to the gold-making community.  Don't get me wrong, I'll keep writing because I enjoy doing it, but basically let me put it this way:

In a previous post I compared a person who has very little liquid gold but knows the AH like the back of their hand to the person who has a million gold from doing dailies every day but couldn't work the AH if their life depended on it.  Is one of them more gold-savvy than the other?

My implication at the time was that you don't need a lot of liquid assets to be considered a gold-maker, you just need the knowledge and skills, while on the other hand having a lot of gold doesn't necessarily mean you're a great gold-maker.

Lately, what's been on my mind, is what category I may fall into.  Now, I'm doing this bar vertically because it looks a lot better on the blog that way and I'm quite vain about my blog's appearance, not because I'm implying top is better than bottom.

Now allow me to explain this chart and all information contained within it.  Basically, I believe that there are several stages that someone goes through when they begin to care about gold. Most all of us probably started out at the base level of this chart, not really caring much about gold. As we learn more about gold making and progress through the mini-game that is amassing a fortune we move up through the chart.

Now, not everyone will hit every mark. Most of us probably never begged for gold. Many of us will never hit the Risky Business mark, which I will define in a moment. But I believe that, from my point of view, this chart is a good representation of phases of gold making a player may go through.

What are these phases exactly?  Let's start at the bottom and work our way up.

Why would I care about how much gold I have? - Pretty self explanatory of course.  Many people came from games like Diablo 2 where gold was pretty much the most worthless currency imaginable and the real dealing was done in SoJs and runes. Some people had never played an MMO in their lives.  The bottom line is, with each new game, you never really know how much of an impact currency will actually have on your play-style.  Even when we saw we needed gold to buy things, many probably didn't make the decision to go after this gold, they just decided to live with what they acquired normally.

Trade Beggars - Probably one of the phases fewest will go through.  This player knows he needs gold and knows he wants to get more of it but doesn't know how to apply his effort in a useful way, instead harassing the denizens of Stormwind and Orgrimmar to fund his purchases.  It's interesting, though, how many blog readers at one point were within this category.  Often, when someone asks me if I can spare some gold, I follow the "Give a man a fish/teach a man to fish" idea and instead point them towards gold bloggers. Trade Beggars want gold. Readers of gold blogs want gold.  There's likely a bit of overlap, if not much!

The Daily Grind - This was something I participated in in Burning Crusade, as most did.  The Isle of Quel'Danas gave amazing profits and there were added bonus greens and cloth and all sorts of things.  This person is likely not much more knowledgeable than the Trade Beggar, but is spending their time making guaranteed income from Daily Quests instead of begging other players.  Often players can amass large fortunes just from doing this day in and day out and be quite happy doing it. More power to them! But that's not necessarily for everyone.

The Farmers - We all know that guy on our server who is gold-capped and all he did was fly in little Sholazar circles for a year.  For those with the patience to do this, this can be a great way to make gold. I personally view this as slightly more savvy than the Daily Grind. While both are doing the same repetitive activity, the Farmer must change their tactics based on market trends, and may have a bit more of a handle on the way the particular thing they farm fares on the AH.

The Trend Followers - Most of us probably have a friend or guildie in this group; this is the guy who read about the Obsidium Shuffle on WoW Insider and eagerly chomped through the ore. Suddenly a player went from having 2k to his name to having 50k.  He can read blogs and follow trends easily, often reading blogs written by The Theorycrafters, and might know why this particular trend makes money.  But when this market falls through, they aren't savvy enough to easily adapt, and must instead turn to others for the next big thing.

The Dedicated Few - Do you have an Enchanter? Do you only have an Enchanter?  That's the situation I envision for The  Dedicated Few.  This person can only hit a few markets, or at least, they think they can only hit a few markets.  They make the best of limited resources and dedicate themselves solely to very few markets.  They probably don't know the  best way to get their materials and they may just sell whatever's profitable that day with no attention to trends, but they will turn a profit through slow dedication to their chosen field.

The Dabblers - I believe most people will go through this phase at some point; whether they are just starting out, or a favorite market has taken a hit and they want to see how best to diversify. This is the person who doesn't invest heavily in any one area, but may sell some bags, some glyphs, some flasks, a few cut gems, some raid food, and any cloth they pick up while playing.  They don't have a market they call "their market," they just sell a little of this and a little of that and turn a decent profit doing so.

Causal Marketeers -  This is a term I adopted for how I treated the glyph market pre-Glyphmas.  It was my first real foray into seriously participating in a market and I was very wet behind the ears when it came to the AH.  I didn't know a lot of AH tactics; I would keep five of each glyph in stock, I was able to follow a guide to set up Quick Auctions 3, and I posted a lot.  I didn't know who undercut me, I didn't know how often. I didn't know the best way to deal with crashes in the market, I didn't know when best to buy supplies.  I just blindly crafted and sold glyphs.  The Casual Marketeer has a market in their eye that they want to be theirs, but they fumble through their attempts to use it to turn a profit. In the end they probably do okay, but they do not excel, and likely will move on, or expand, into other markets.

The Theorycrafters - These are the guys who come up with the trends that the Trend Followers latch onto. They come to the interwebs armed with spreadsheets, data samples, and enough math to make me vomit.  Or theyr'e that person who spends hours scouring profession lists, old quests, and Wowhead finding some obscure item to sell or some unique way to supply your profession.  These guys are awesome, enough said.

Single Market Hardcores - There is a player on my server that sells one thing, and one thing only.  He sells blacksmithing rods for enchanters.  I bet he knows more than I could ever fathom about market trends for people leveling enchanting and when to sell rods, when to buy the ore to craft them, etc. etc.  If you put him in unfamiliar AH territory he will probably be lost and confused, but he will outsell you any day on enchanting rods.  The Single Market Hardcores are those who only hit one or two markets, but they've been doing it for so long, and have devoted themselves so much to this market, that it has become enough to sustain all the gold making they could want or need.

Full AH Coverage - This is the person who does it all and does it well.  They hit pretty much every profession niche.  They are simultaneously selling gems, flasks, potions, cloth, PvP gear, glyphs, all while flipping BoE epics and sipping a cup of tea.  They likely spend a lot more time stocking their AH, but at the end, they see a great return for their dedication to diversification.

Risky Business - This is another phase not many will likely find themselves in. I've tried not to identify people by name in case some might take offense or something, but there is a perfect example of this type of gold maker I cannot fail to mention.  In this JMTC Q&A Meeting Catharsis discusses his plan for Pyrite Ore in preparation for epic gems.  (It's at about the 52 minute mark.) I'm not sure if he's still going with this plan, but basically he was investing over half a million gold in Pyrite Ore in anticipation of epic gems being prospected, with the idea he will double his gold investment.  In order to be able to move the stock he anticipates getting he intends to transfer to three different raiding servers simultaneously.  So, basically, he's putting massive amounts of gold and extreme planning into one massive gold-making plan.  If he is wrong he may find himself down half a million gold. (Granted, he'd totally make most of it back via belt buckles, but that's another issue.)  Basically, Risky Business is when people are going through massive efforts to make gold, and if something goes wrong, they can find themselves with egg all over their face. If everything goes well they will find themselves with massive profit.  That is risky business, as it is the essence of risk.

That was a lot of information, Faid. WTF did you tell me that crap for?
Basically I've been thinking about where I fall within this chart.  I believe the closest I come to any of the above descriptions is that I'm a Dabbler or still finding myself sometimes being a Casual Marketeer. I hit many markets on my server, but none am I wholly devoted to.  I turn my profits quite a bit but never really pay attention to how the market fluctuations impact my gold making.  I am, quite frankly, a casual gold maker.

Many out there will claim to be "gold gurus," and the more I've thought about it the more I realize I'm not one of these people.  I think I have some damn good ideas, some of them rather original, and I think I have a pretty good understanding of the Auction House.

However, I do not feel I have achieved an ultimate status in any way.  I've trudged through this 750,000 gold little by little.  I've not done anything amazing or particularly impressive, I've done the same thing countless people have already done before me.  (Then again, it's near impossible to find a completely unique and original idea, but that's another post altogether.) 

As I approach my goal I realize that I am not an impressive gold maker, I am a player with an impressive amount of gold.

Some day I would like to venture into Full AH Coverage, but as I am not a risk taker or a big investor this is not the time for me to do so.  Some day I may take massive risks, but that will not be when I'm nearing my goal.  At the end of the day, the more I think about it, the more I realize I'm not really that impressive of a gold-maker at all.


  1. I think I'm probably in the same boat as you are - yes, I hit glyphs hard but I don't own the market or anything & now I'm moving into the cut rares JC market but again, I don't have full coverage of cuts or list everytime. I sell all sorts of things so I definitely have 'The Dabbler' in my system although I call it my butterfly brain :)

    I wouldn't say you are an unimpressive gold maker though, no matter how one gets there, having 750k gold is still a heck of an achievement & I don't think it really matters whether you did it with patience (daily grinders/farmers), genius (theorycrafters), balls (risk takers) or flair (casual/dabbling), the fact is, you still have more gold than the vast majority of players & you have knowledge to pass on.

    What you also have is a great writing style, a different approach than most & the patience to make all those videos :) I'd definitely miss you if you decided to stop blogging.

  2. As long as you keep writing and making videos I'll keep reading and watching.

    Some gold bloggers have "it" and some don't. The "it" factor is hard to fake. Some have "it" naturally and other gain "it" through hard word and practice. "It" is a vibe.

    You my friend definitely have "it" and your readers/viewers know this.

    Keep chasing the fun!

  3. Congratulations on reaching 750k gold!

    While I do agree with you that you dont need to have the liquid gold to know what your talking about, It does help prove that your methords work.

    If 2 people wanted to give me a gold tip, 1 was capped and was had 10k, I would want to listen to the gold capped players tip.

    I would probably class myself as a Casual full AH marketeer, In quite a lot of markets all the time but not dominating them, Maybe with a little dash of risky business as I do occasionally invest large amounts of gold [tcg mounts, Mass Darkmoon cards, Shadowmourne loot] etc.

    Very nice read, I would say your blog is one of the more valuble assest in the gold making blogosphere.

    More knowledge, more power

    xoxo anaalius

  4. Congrats on 750k!

    I have been most things on your list at one time or another, except the why do care. Never trade begged, tho i did privately beg from my friend in the beginning.

    I actually started out as full coverage, cuz my friend (and early gold mentor)convinced me it was the best way to learn the AH. though he gave me a small loan on gold, he heavily emphasized the importance of learning to make my own. (and spoon fed me tons of advice so I didn't fail too much early on)

  5. Great Job Faid! Grats on the milestone.

    Wether you are "unimpressive" or not, we all enjoy your gold making videos and unique commentary.

    Keep up the good work!

    PS: Full Coverage or Bust

  6. Congrats Faid!

    Not unimpressive at all. There's alot of markets and items that you know about that is news to many people (including myself). Don't even get me started on the quality of posts or the videos you put out. Or the cross factions you do. Or the solo farms that you do. Or your high personal integrity that you have.

    Anyways, enough of that. I am trying to figure out where I am on your list...

    I think it changes week to week in my book. Sometimes I amass each market, other times I drop to one or two. And at times, I even beg. To the Blizzard AH gods that items will sell (not sure if that counts or not).....

  7. I 100% disagree with you when you say you aren't an impressive gold maker. I think that us gold bloggers spend so much time reading each other's blogs and conversing with each other that we get a VERY distorted view of what it means to be an impressive gold maker.

    We often forget that the average player has no where near the levels of gold we do. I'd say that anyone who is capable of coming up with a reasonable plan to make 100,000 gold or more in Warcraft is an excellent gold maker who is far, far, far ahead of the average player.

    I honestly don't think you have to be at gold cap or at either "Full AH Coverage" or "Risky Business" to think of yourself as a great gold maker. You said yourself that you think, "... I have some damn good ideas, some of them rather original, and I think I have a pretty good understanding of the Auction House."

    That is way more than the average player can say. You are an excellent gold maker and, IMHO, you shouldn't be afraid to admit it.

  8. You're right, you aren't a Theorycrafter or crazy full AH poster. I think I would lose respect for you if you said you were.

    BUT! That's not why I read your blog, your twitter, watch your videos, or respond to you.

    You were the first gold blogger I really paid attention to. I found your videos on youtube quite by accident and suddenly I found myself watching every single one. Then I went to your blog and started reading up on that. I went from farming herbs for darkmoon cards to try and think about how I diversify.

    Then I found Flux from PowerWord: Gold and have been reading his site religiously. Now! 75% of my time I am using principles I've learned throughout the past 2 months to increase my gold by over 1000%.

    I pay attention to you because I can relate. You aren't doing spradsheets or theorycrafting. You make sense to me!

    Sorry, long winded. Thought I'd let you know how much I appreciate the effort!

  9. Love your descriptions of different types of ways to make gold, may I direct readers here?

    I'm feeling a little 'trudgy' myself at the moment, too, so really empathise with you there.

  10. I'm impressed with your original ideas, I often wished that I'd thought of them myself.
    Your videos are brilliant, you have a voice that is easy on the ears.

    Go for Gold Faid.

  11. Congratulations on reaching 750k! It is always a great feeling when you achieve milestones along the way to your goals. I loved your scale of gold making. It struck me when you mentioned the Isle of Quel'denas. It was at that same time that I did the daily grind to purchase my first epic flying (7 epic flyers now).

    With excellent gold blogs, like this one, its been a great growing experience for me.

    Thanks for another great post and grats again!

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  13. I do enjoy your hierarchical ladder, was an interesting breakdown of sorts.

    I didn't realize what I did was considered risky business though! I've always considered myself fairly risk adverse. I suppose it makes a great point though. Where you place me and where I place myself on the ladder are completely different as we have entirely different perspectives.

    Certainly as well, given the time I've spent with you at the JMTC meetings I think you honestly do sell yourself short (and trust me, I'm generally far more critical than most). You can keep up with the theorycrafting discussions,you show a modicum of originality, and raiding certainly gives you a better feel for WoW and the a large portion of the customers out there.

    You've posted many times, and you are somewhat right; the raw gold total isn't directly tied to one's actual "gold-making ability". I honestly feel that rationale certainly applies to blogging and gold-making too.

    Certainly you do an amazing job with your blog, and are among the very few I peruse regularly. So regardless of how high up the totem pole you think you are in terms of gold-making, at least realize that you are one of the better bloggers out there!

    (accidentally posted it under my real name, eep! Failed first try at blogger usage ><)

  14. I guess the question is: Who are you trying to impress? I think from the rest of the comments you can probably see that you have impressed your audience. From a blogger's perspective - who else is there to impress?

    In other news, I enjoyed contemplating your chart, and relating it back to my own journey through WoW. One point I will make about "risky business" is that it is all a question of perspective. As pointed out, 500K might seem like an incredibly risky investment to some, but the person doing it might not see it that way at all. An investment is an investment. I think that scale can sometimes skew things towards seeming riskier than they really are.

    I do respect that mentality, though, of being able to hold nothing back and have complete faith in your numbers. It's an approach I've been adopting more and more myself. The thing I've noticed is that the more risk you take, the less risky they all seem.

    Finally, it looks like there will be a few of us pushing for the cap in 4.2 - good luck!

  15. Yeah, I'm a dabbler, but on a much, much smaller scale to you, Faid. I struggled to get up to 75k over the first few months of Cata, not putting much effort into using my professions to the best of their advantage due to my casual playstyle and just learning the ropes over a long period of time - lots of blog reading, forum interaction and just dabbling here and there to try and find what works and what doesn't, with a lot of trial and error and returned mail.

    But I guess I'm somewhat of a casual marketeer, too, in that I do diversify and have invested in various markets and areas in the hopes of making profit come 4.2. So long as the cooldown on Truegold isn't removed, I'll be a pretty happy half-goblin.

    It's good to dabble when you are a casual player, but sometimes it gets frustrating to go around in circles trying to find what works and what doesn't.

    Making spreadsheets is cool - I really enjoy that. But when it comes to accurate theorycrafting and actually utilising professions in a powerful way to optimise what little time you have in-game, learn trends, follow various markets, and turn a steady profit - not all of us have what it takes to be good at that stuff!

    At least we try. :)

    Great post. And I totally identify with the whole keeping your blog pretty thing. I can't abide poor layout and sloppiness in anything I dabble in. ;)


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