Greedy Goblin

Monday, July 6, 2009

The first apprentice

As I wrote I got 60 (actually 59) applicants for the goblin moneymaking school. I don't mean 59 letters. I mean 59 applicants considered after screening out "plz help me make gold" letters and dozens of letters from US or non-English-EU reals. Please read the post before apply.

From the 59 at first I excluded those who were already rich (10K+), and wanted more. It's really nice and good luck! However the point of these posts are to teach poor to be rich. There goes 5 letters.

I also excluded those who wanted money to buy mammoth or bike. (22 letters) These people need only one kind of help: a red-hot branding iron that burn "waste" to their butt so they remember it every time they sit down to grind elementals for those useless items.

I promised random roll, but I've cheated a bit: from the surviving 35 mails 14 contained "I'm tailor and that's a crappy job for making money". Since it seemed to be a widespread problem, I rolled from these mails.

The winner is Ydraisa of Argent Dawn EU.

If you have not been selected, don't worry. There will be several more rounds. Having 5K safety money and 1-200G/day income on the top of 280+cold flying and dual spec is the aim with the students. That can be reached quickly.

The first thing in making sure that this gnome lady gets her purse full is fixing tradeskills. (Note: if your character is female, you'll be a she, regardless of your own sex).

Both tradeskills are a big cry for help. The worse is the 294 mining. It's a pretty common error especially on DK-s to have a gathering skill below 375. Tradeskills are made for making money. Gathering skills are purely for this. Poor Ydraisa and other thousands quested all their way up to 80 passing by mining nodes, herbs and dead animals without being able to gather their resources.

Don't ever do that. If you have a gathering skill, level it up to the point that you can gather everything you pass by. Don't quest until you do it. Every node you pass by is a couple of gold that you could have with zero effort.

Ydraisa wanted enchanting instead of mining, yet she did not dropped it back then and leveled enchanting. Instead, she bought all the enchanting scrolls for her gear.

The surprising thing was that she knew the AH prices, had pretty good ideas how to make gold, she just not used them. She told "it annoyed me to no end when I saw a mining node I couldn't pick" yet she did nothing.

I think the keyword to Ydraisa's poorness was "later". I'll level mining later. I'll drop mining and level enchanting later. I'll make cloak that sell for 100G profit and give a skillup ... later. I'll get tailoring specialization later. I'll check the AH for netherweave cloth (for bag) later.

The time for making money is now.

Note: trolls insulting the (in their opinion lack of) achievements of Ydraisa or other apprentices will be deleted. She is not leeching on you. She does not want you to boost her any way. As long as someone is not bothering others can do whatever (s)he wants. There is nothing wrong with being casual. There is everything wrong with being a leech.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gevlon, really enjoying the libertarian approach to WoW, truely uniqe WoW blog you got here:)

I have one question: you seem to realy dislike the idea of having Mamooth or bike, and I2m confused there. Those things cost a lot, a lot more than a regular M&S can get, don't they?

I'm no M&S, my guild is a world top40 Algalon guild, I have 40k+ gold atm, I don't have the mamooth or bike. Yet. After reading your site, I started the AH game and made 6k gold from 70g in one week with my alt, and ı was considering using that alts money from AH trading to buy those vanity items for my main.

So, why do you think gold spent on those items are wasted, if one has enough gold for consumables, repairs and enchants and every other thign required to be a good raider -no, I don't pay to my guild for a spot- what to do with surplus gold?

You sound like a poor guy being jealous of those with luxury cars and big houses. You are not poor guy, so I'm confused.

Bagmaker said...

bags. bags and more bags. did I mention bags? People like alts, and new people play every day. These toons each need four bags, usually Netherweave. You can easily make 100g a day from Netherweave bags alone on my server.

I wish your student luck.

Love the blog and I would be a subscriber but I just have it quick bookmarked and eagerly check every evening after raiding. I wish you wrote twice a day sometimes :).


If you have 50kg+, why not get a bike/MAMOOT? It is pretty. I've never understood your stance on this; I understand not spending all your money on it then being broke. But once you have so much you could never earn money again and have all you needed forever, getting a bike/MAMOOT seems very reasonable.

spinksville said...

Good luck, Ydraisa. (I'll make sure to keep an eye out for the name next time we're storming Stormwind :) )

Midnight said...

It's because Gev finds them entirely wasteful. I agree with you, anon-above-me. I mean, Gevlon's hit the gold cap. On multiple characters, I believe. He has absolutely no reason NOT to buy a mammoth and a bike and a this and a that--of pointless vanity items that show him off as richer than the average M&S.
If one is below the cap, then yeah it's wasteful... you could use that 10k to make WAY more money. But in Gevlon's case, he can't make money, so there's no real reason for him not to do it.

chaoskas said...

I am curious if your advice could change her behavior in a long term. I made the experience, that some people can learn quick but they tend to forget even quicker when the teacher is not around. Good luck with your experiment!

Regarding professions:
When my DK alt left the starting area I head for the mining and herbalism trainer. It took awhile but I did not level further until I had the correct gathering skill. And when I hit 62 I dropped mining and learned Alchemy because dual-gathering was annoying *G*

Catalin said...

Thanks Gevlon. It was nice meeting you last night.

I completely agree with your arguments. Once again, I am pleasantly surprised with the sharp eye and display of analytical prowess -- even though we spent maybe one hour in total, you figured out the causes quite accurately.

Bring it on. I'll be looking for Spinks too next time we raid Thrall :P

Anonymous said...

Good luck with this project, Gevlon, I'm really interested how this will go. But while you didn't roll for an applicant, you didn't have to pick crappy geared gnom ;).

Thunderhorns said...

And it begins.

Hopefully Gevlon is admonishing those people who blow all their coin on a bike only to end up poor again. If you got plenty of money and nowhere to spend it, buy your luxury items. The world's rich do it all the time. They just don't do it so much as to leave themselves broke, at least not the smart ones.

Catalin said...

I think Gevlon said in numerous times, it's not the bike itself or the mammoth. After all it's your gold, you do what you want with it.

However, what he rightfully pointed out is that it's stupid to own a mammoth yet not have enough money to repair your gear, or to buy gems and enchants.

Personally I am not interested in mammoths, gnomes can barely be seen on their striders anyway, no need to be the fly on the mammoth back. But I do enjoy the cheers I get when casting baby spice on the moron sitting on his in the Dalaran pool on top of everyone's fishing boober :P

Everwrath of Silvermoon said...

"These toons each need four bags, usually Netherweave."

Convince them that they NEED to fill their bank bag slots too and you'll more than double your money ;-)

I had a dozen stacks of arcane dust at the end of TBC which wouldn't move on the AH, so I sold imbued bags at a great profit - mostly to Deathknights...

Amithrar said...

I disagree with you on the issue of the Tundra Mammoth. I have one and find it to be quite useful. It isn't something that everyone should buy, but for someone who can afford it with plenty to spare it is something to consider. I have 15k on my main and spend about 15 mins in the morning before work and 15 mins when I get home. The mammoth provides me with the ability to buy reagents and repair wherever I am. While this is not absolutely needed, I *can* stock up and repair in Orgrimmar (and it is cheaper to do so with faction discount) it is convenient to be able to do this wherever I happen to be at the time.
A rich man may buy a house with a heated swimming pool undearneath it and a nice car. While some people may say "this is a waste, you could buy a cheap car and visit a public swimming pool, you will still get to your destination and you can still swim" he finds it more convenient to have his own swimming pool that he can easily visit 24 hours a day and he prefers to drive a nice car because it looks nicer, is more fun to drive, more comfortable inside etc. He buys these things because he can easily afford them and they provide entertainment and convenience to him. This man is still able to eat, still has a roof over his head and is able to do business.
Compare this to someone on a modest income who forgoes holidays, going out with friends etc all to buy that same car. I would not say that the first man is stupid for buying the things he bought but that the second man is. Likewise in WoW I do not think that people who have the Mammoth are idiots. It's people who have the Mammoth purely from grinding months of dailies and then struggle to afford repairs who are idiots.
To a lesser degree I don't consider people with the bike idiots either. Our guilds MT has the bike but always comes to raids repaired, fully flasked with buff food. He claims to have "around 20k" and I believe him. The reason he has the bike is the same reason that I group with guildies, let them get on the Mammoth and run around orgrimmar running and jumping off of buildings spinning in the air: because it's fun.
To quote Bertrand Russell: "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time". Likewise virtual money.
Despite all this I love the Blog and agree with you 99% of the time. Keep up the good work.

Carra said...

Yes, if you pick a gathering skill you have to keep it up to date with your level. If the zones you're in have iron nodes and you can not mine them, it's time to level your mining. Mining was already slow compared to levelling back in vanilla wow. Now, with the super fast leveling, your mining will get behind very, very quickly and you have to do some mining rounds from time to time. If you don't want to do that, you're better of picking another profession. Skinning is easy to keep up with. You can of course always powerlevel mining at level 80 but you'll loose a lot of potential gold and it's just frustrating to see all those mines you can't mine. Not to mention that it's very boring to search for mining nodes in westfall at level 80.

And that's exactly why I didn't pick a gathering profession on my deathknight. I couldn't bother to get my gathering skills to 300 at level 58 when I could be levelling and thus having fun instead. If you have the starting capital (which these students clearly don't), powerleveling a creation profession at top level might be the better option.

Good luck with your progress. I have no doubts that she'll be rich in a few weeks time.

Russ said...

I'm looting 1k gold a day on blacksmithing (making blue / epic items). 600-1kg a day on glyphs (busy market that i dont want to care for). I shut down enchanting (didnt look into it enough), but i'm sure you can make well over 1k a day there on scrolls.

I dont have a 400+ LW, so that market is out of the question. I got bored of reselling - takes too long and i have easier money from other methods.

I'm struggling to get a handle on what sells when jewelcrafting or doing alchemy though, anyone got any tips?

Russ said...

Oh, and i could find any huge moneypot in tailoring (too much effort compared to payout) so i'd appreciate help there.

Anonymous said...

Hmm a fellow Argent Dawn player, how exciting.Best of luck Ydraisa you've got the pro showing you what to do

*vlad* said...

Catalin, this whole blog is about sneering at people who can't make money.
Now some people are sneering at you and your inability to make money.
Surprised? You shouldn't be.

Catalin said...

I was expecting all kinds of people to study my character on all facets, and more often than not bitch about this or that. It's a common trait of M&S to look in the neighbor's garden and bitch about his successes than look at their own failures and do something about it.

Don't mind the public eye one bit, but at least hope the trolls will make my wait worth coming with more intelligent remarks.

Yazilliclick said...

Best of luck to Ydraisa. Great opportunity :)

I look forward to following another story from start to finish (and more after) to hopefully learn it on my own. Too bad for being on US servers :(

Yazilliclick said...


Good point about the long term. After there are a couple graduates it may be nice to do a check up on them months down the road and see whether they've managed to keep their earnings or whether they fell back into old habits.

Marc said...

Best of luck on your newest project Gevlon, this project is really interesting. Maybe one day you'll try this one a US server. =)

Thunderhorns said...


I haven't been reading Gevlon's Blog for too long. Found this Blog from Too Many Alts. I found it interesting and have kept on reading because it's amusing. Though I imagine I missed a ton of posts like Gevlon explaing exactly that constitutes an M&S or why he hates the bike and mammoth so much. I know I have no idea why achievement freaks do what they do for things like pets and mounts, but to each his own. I have a bike, but no mammoth. Mammoth doesn't appeal to me save for perhaps the farmer mammoth where you can sell and repair while out and about. That's the ultimate mount for being out and about while questing or farming.

Gevlon's one mad goblin that wants us to believe he isn't social, but it's obvious he is as he loves to social network through a blog and share his opinions for people to debate and discuss. He loves having a forum to discuss his goblin ways.

And now he's actually going to spend time to help some hapless player make money for no other benefit to himself than proving his theories work for even a "poor" person by WoW standards.

It should make for a very amusing Blog. It will give us a chance to see Gevlon practicing the old cliche "A hand up not a hand out".

Outsydr said...

It is rather hard for tailors to make money, seeing how Frostweave Bag materials go for more than the bag itself sometimes. However, I'll have to agree that Netherweave Bags are a fairly reliable source of profit. I buy stacks of Netherweave Cloth for 5g or under. Each stack of cloth + 1 Rune Thread becomes a bag that sells for 9-11g on my server. New characters will often find that this bag is the best value on the AH, so it sells fairly well. With 4-6g profit per bag, it can add up.

I think knowing the market fluctuations for ore will also help. I've noticed the gold farmers unloading their ore on the weekends, driving prices down up to 5g a stack. If she times her auctions correctly for the ore, it'll all add up in the end.

Best of luck Ydraisa.

Eugene said...

In our realm, I find that the spellthreads sell well, both the lvl 80 epics and blues. I buy all mats from the AH. Had quite a panic a few weeks back where iceweb thread prices suddenly soared, but now they normalized again so it's kinda normal.

And of course, cooldown cloths, may they be your spec or not. And Netherweave Bags. Frostweave Bags should be avoided.

All those might depend on the realm though.

I was actually wondering if it would be worth it to invest into Ebonweave, Spellweave, Moonshroud or Glacial Gear to sell on AH. I think I have the capital... It might be too risky, though >_<

Markco said...

I highly suggest that your readers take a look at the "OMG I Can't Make Gold" thread on the JMTC forums.

I like what you're doing Gevlon, very classy :)

duncan said...

@ the Mammoth debate: Does your current amount of income/savings dictate how good the deal you are making is? No. It has no baring what so ever. So if you were to take the amount of gold you have out of it and considered "is it a good deal to buy this mount?" the answer is a resounding "No".

No matter your current level of gold, you cannot justify buying the vanity mounts.

biitti said...

I agree on some comments on the tundra mammoth. I've never regretted buying it. Speeded things up considerably on sarth 3D wipes and the first weeks of ulduar when the repair guy wasn't there. Not nessesary but great convenience all around and not just a vanity mount. and the alternative? extra 16k in my bag collecting dust. good deal imo. But ofcourse you should make sure you got gold for all the other stuff you need... not nice being a poor man on a mammoth.

Bagmaker said...


If the mammoth cost 2 copper surely you could justify buying it; the question is whether the (opportunity) cost of the (gold you spend to buy) the mammoth is worth the utility you gain from it. In some cases, having a pretty mount may well be worth the 15kg, since you aren't going to be doing anything else more useful with the money.

By your logic, spending IRL money on vacations, video games (WoW among them), etc., could never be justified no matter how cheap they were; there are things you can spend your money on that will better help you to make more money. The point is, if you have enough money to keep making money and a good reserve, "vanity" or "fun" items can be worth the price Blizzard sets for them.


I completely agree; people don't really NEED the 4 bags but they *think* they do so they buy them. If I could make them think they NEEDED full bag space in the bank too that would be super. Influencing behavior of the masses of M&S on WoW seems a bit hard though; if you have a way to do this please share :-).

ZacharyPruckowski said...

On the mammoth - The problem with "I want money to buy a mammoth" isn't that mammoths are intrinsically bad, it's that if you're looking to do 80-group-PvE (Heroics or Raids), there are more pressing monetary needs. I hit 80 on my rerolled Shaman yesterday, and I need probably 2k gold to get pre-Heroic/Naxx craftables, and more to buy some Hodir rep, and then epic flight. And once I'm into Heroics/Naxx, I need money to pay repair bills and buy consumables (flask only in my case, since I have 425 cooking) and gems/enchants. Then there's alt-tradeskills (my DK's enchanting is stuck at 250ish). Once I have all that covered (or if I don't plan to raid), a motorcycle or a mammoth becomes a defensible expense.

Gevlon's problem is that "I'm a poor raider and want a mammoth" smacks of a mismanagement of money equal to people on welfare driving sports cars.

Zea said...

@Russ: Every thing about JC sells. You could prospect for a profit. Or just cut gems and resell. Depending on how many goblins are on your server, you should get at least 5g per cut after commissions.

Most gems sell. Some sell in huge quantities. Like solid sky sapphires, purified twilight opals, runed scarlet rubies.

Whitewolf said...

Another easy way to make gold: bullets. Hunters all buy them. Not just the hardcore, but also the M&S (since the most badass M&S weapon is a gun). On Baelgun-EU, one can make 10 Bullet Machines (Thats 10x 2000 bullets) for 240 gold, and sell the bullets for 440. And you only have to mass produce them and sell them at the right time (main raiding days/fridays).

On the mammoth/chopper topic. They do not make sense at all. The mammoth is just the proof, that the people who want to buy them are mostly so pathetic, that they cannot even check their gear in time, so they can repair it in a city, where they get a discount from X faction (kirin tor, etc.), or do not waste the time of their raid.

The chopper is just a big hunk of plastic. It isn't any faster than other mounts, it won't get you ANY type of advantage against other players. It just costs 12-14k gold to produce. A goldsink. Just like the hacked arcade machines in most cities, where the kids blow their money like crazy, just to look cool for 5 minutes. Except that the people who buy the chopper are mature (?) people. But the goal is the same. Failed /flexing

Anonymous said...

Good luck to a fellow Argent Dawner , great realm. I also play on other realms and have noticed that on Argent Dawn quite alot of items are cheaper than normal , so a crafting profession could bring in a better profit.

Kitha said...

Playing Tsuno (Tauren Warrior) i leveled Mining and Blacksmithy...and of course learned the haphazard of the AH. Upon personal experience I started my priest and did two gathering skills until 55-60, skinning and mining. I then of course changed over to Enchanting and Tailoring. Basically using the gathering as a measn to level and make some cash while doing it, before being able to concentrate on crafting. (On Tsuno there is some smithy quests that cost me a lot of mats, a lot of time and the expense of possible profit of the items).

What is your rule of thumb for starters with professions? Gathering until a certain level? I had my wife do gathering on her mage until we hit 55, and started Tailoring to get to Netherweave bag. 9Started at 55 due to leveling and still able to make the bags as soon as we reach Outlands tomorrow or so).

Anonymous said...

Good luck to the apprentice! I'll be following the journey right here.

Gibbiex said...

I honestly think a smart goblin can take any profession situation and turn it into gold. The basis is there. Now do you want to do it? I don't do it because I'm lazy, and I have many many toons. If i worked their profs to the max every single day I'd never have time to actually level or raid.

Anyway! Tailoring is a huge money sink in NR, but I'm with the others, the #1 money maker is netherweave bags. The math is simple too = one stack of netherweave, one rune thread = 1 bag. You can also make the inbueds but those are hard b/c the silk cost is often high, low amount, and its a pain in the ass to farm.

Now the other trick is where to get the cloth. Sure you can go to the AH and buy it, and that's fine. But if you want 100% profit, go to somewhere like the Isle of QS and farm your heart out of the mobs there, all the humanoids are 70 and drop good amounts of cloth. Also the other great place is shadowmoon valley where the bloodelves are, west of the alliance keep. Sorry I'm at work and don't have time to figure out what exactly that place is called. I almost never advocate farming, but when I do it I get 100 gold in just cloth alone. Go to the isle of QS, do the dailies, you typically come off with 100g in cloth, 50g in greys and greens, and 50g in quest rewards at 80, in an hour.

Sure you can make just as much doing icecrown dailies or something else, but its fun for me.

Rhii said...

Good luck Ydraisa! I'll be following along to see how it all goes. :) Hope you wind up a wealthy gnome.

Gibbiex said...

Oh also regarding DKs, you can take a gathering prof, and you really aren't losing out on that much time. What I did was level 1-300 at level 62 with fast mount (you can do it at 58). I skipped 300-375 until 70 and epic flight, and leveled that within an hour or two (mining). Same thing with NR, its just so insanely quicker to do the gathering when you have flight. I really doubt the time efficiency is much worse than skipping nodes while leveling, since you can gather at 10x rate when you have flight.

Anonymous said...

"Gevlon's one mad goblin that wants us to believe he isn't social, but it's obvious he is as he loves to social network through a blog and share his opinions for people to debate and discuss. He loves having a forum to discuss his goblin ways."

I'm not too sure about this comment.

While this tutoring could be read as a social action by a social person, I think that this is the chance to put another notch on the belt of a high-achieving goblin.

And I think the blog could be read as a place for Gevlin to bait trolls, particularity some of the social commentary.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, keep up the good work Gevlin :)

Michael said...

Hi Gevlon,

Since I've discovered this blog two weeks ago, I have really took an interest in using the AH as a passive source of income.

I have a question for those who sell glyphs as their main source of income. How did you guys deal with those who would undercut you repeatedly over and over?

By default I take the lowest AH price and undercut it by 20%. I don't mind lowering my profit margins, but I can only check in on my auctions once an afternoon where I would repost the auctions with a 10% undercut.

Seeing as I have just entered the market for glyphs, I was just wondering what are some of the strategies you employ when dealing with those whom undercut by 2 or 3 silvers at a time.

P.S. Good luck Ydraisa

Sean Mars said...

you can go onto us realsm if you go on their account with a simple change in the file from us to

Zupa said...

Great idea, great experiement.

I look forward to reading about your progress.

Anonymous said...

The trick to inscription is to use it a lot. Make two of every glyph that won't give you negative profit a day. Then people that undercut you in a few glyphs won't matter in the big picture.

bubu said...

@Michael, i am in the bag selling and i always get undercut but i sell bags at the same price.The ones that undercut me sell and then my bags sell. I always have 30+ bags on AH and sell about 20 each day with a profit of 4-5 g per bags if i buy cloth from AH and even more when i am in the mood for farming, so dont undercut the lowest prices, keep them a bit over the lowest ones. They will sell eventualy.

Arioch said...

In defense of the motorcycle and traveler's tundra mammoth - these are multi-person vehicles.

We have 2 motorcycles in our guild (I have one and so does my husband) and they are invaluable for times when a low-level guildie needs to get from point A to point B quickly.

We also run in groups for events such as Midsummer and made use of the motorcycles to transport guildies with lag issues that were unable to keep up with us on their mounts.

While I had to pay cost for the vendor mats for the motorcycle, I watched the market for the other parts for months and purchased the metals, furs, etc at rock-bottom prices.