AsCataclysm approaches, players prepare to reinvent themselves. Getting flush with gold is no exception. You’re thinking “this time I’m going to do it right and get rich quick.” Good. Here’s what you’ll need to know to accomplish your goals. These are the top 5 most lucrative techniques for farming gold in Cataclysm:
1. Gathering Professions:
Mining Elementium is a great way to go from rags to richesFarming herbs and mining has been the premiere method of making gold at the beginning of an expansion each and every time dating back to Vanilla WoW. These valuable raw materials will be necessary for the thousands of players who are leveling up production professions and will be in extremely high demand.
It isn’t uncommon for stacks of herbs and bars of metal to go for 10 to 20 times the price that they will fetch later in the same patch. It is virtually impossible to go wrong with this method of farming since it’s easy, has no overhead costs, and is extremely reliable.
Cataclysm is giving additional incentive to use this method of farming because mining and gathering herbs will now give you experience, which is unprecedented and adds a whole new dimension to the leveling game. This isn’t the fastest way to level for sure (around 4000 experience at level 80 from a node in Wintergrasp), but if you choose this route then by the time you hit level 85 it’s entirely possible that you’ll be tens of thousands of gold richer. This method of gold farming is by far the best.
2. Production Professions:
This method is always lucrative, but has some significant drawbacks. If you’re one of the first crafters to max out and begin learning the high end Cataclysm recipes your goods will be in high demand and you’ll make a killing. The only problem is that actually maxing out your crafting skills will cost an arm and a leg.
Typically, at the beginning of an expansion, there is a scarcity of crafting materials due to players hoarding them for personal use and non-gatherers trying to level up their professions. This means that your overhead for leveling and crafting at high levels is going to be massive. When Wrath of the Lich King came out the first Frozen Orbs were going for over 1000g on some servers, now they’re worth 10g if you’re lucky. This is the price you pay for getting your hands on the newest materials first.
The upside to this problem is that when you do max out your production tradeskill you’ll be one of a handful of players to do so and have a virtual monopoly on the market. Professions with high turnover and high demand like Jewelcrafting will be able to sell as fast as they can find raw materials while tacking on astronomical markups. If you’ve got the initial gold to invest in leveling up your tradeskill quickly then you can expect a significant return on that investment.
3. Farming Volatile Elements:
Volatile elements are the new “Primals” of Burning Crusade or “Eternals” of Wrath of the Lich King. They are the high level elemental essences used in crafting and transmutations. This is another type of trade good that has a history of being worthy of farming.
Cataclysm doesn’t appear to have a centralized elemental farming area like the Elemental Plateau in Nagrand or Wintergrasp in Northrend; farming each type of elemental will be its own task.
Volatile fires can be fished from pools in Southwestern Twilight Highlands whereas volatile earth and air drop from killing elemental enemies. You’ll be able to get them through gathering as well, as you could with eternals in Wrath.
4. Daily Quests:
Daily quests have been going downhill in terms of effectiveness for some time now. They are outscaled by the inflation of gold, and more boring and repetitive than most of the other methods of farming, not to mention less lucrative.
Tol Barad Peninsula, the largest Daily Quest hub in Cataclysm
Cataclysm has no shortage of daily quests with hubs available in many of the new zones including Tol Barad’s northern peninsula which seems to exist for that express purpose.
5. Gaming the Market:
As always, if you’re flush with gold and love taking risks there will be many thousands of gold to be made by speculating and manipulating the Auction House. While there’s no hard and fast way to use this method, the best advice is to try to stay on top of changes to the game.
Early in the expansion is typically when there is a rushed release of new recipes, quests, and attunements. If you’re on your game and are frequently checking for the latest information on the game then you’ll be poised to make a killing by speculating. The second a new powerful recipe is released check out the materials. Are they rare? Are they expensive? Do you think there will be a high demand for them? If so, buy them all. The second the recipe is released you’ll be able to re-list those items for multiple times what you paid.
This tactic applies to most of the existing recipes already in-game. Most players don’t pay much attention to what they’ll need in terms of materials at level 85 until they actually hit that level. If you’re ahead of the curve then you’ll be able to spot good deals when you see them and take advantage!