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WoW ClassicAug 28, 2019 2:00 pm CT

The beginner’s guide to grubbing, slaughtering and ruthless AH speculation for gold in WoW Classic

So you’re looking at WoW Classic and want to get back in there to play the old school World of Warcraft experience you remember fondly, but it’s been thirteen years since patch 1.12 and you may be a bit rusty on how much things cost. How are you going to pay for all the ranks of your abilities, training weapons — that’s right, if your Priest wants to equip that sweet dagger, you’re going to have to pay a trainer to do it — and more? It all takes cold, hard coin.

If you want to make gold to pay for all this stuff, plus save up for that level 40 mount which has a price tag 80g and that far-off level 60 Epic mount for 900g — and go ahead, the fainting couch is right here — then there are some rules to live by.

The Auction House is for selling

You are going to be tempted to do stuff like buy gear on the Auction House. Do not do this. It is a trap that will only serve to benefit other players. If you can possibly do without spending money on crafting materials, cooking ingredients, or gear then do everything in your power to spend nothing on the AH. When you go to the Auction House, it should be with bags bulging full of materials and drops for other players to buy from you. Those Barbaric Cloth Robes? Don’t equip them, no matter how fetching they look — you’ll outgrow them in a few levels and transmog is a fever dream four expansions in the future likely never to taint WoW Classic.

Sell everything. Even with the cut the AH takes, you’ll likely make more money unloading your Light Leather and Copper Ore on the AH than vendoring it, and random world greens (and the occasional blue) will almost certainly benefit your pocketbook more than wearing them for a few levels and then vendoring them. If you can, hold on to all Bind on Equip items for your next trip to the AH. There’s no shame in returning to a bank and depositing all of your intended auction gear, or even rolling up that Dwarf or Orc alt and running her to the Auction House to serve forever as your Auction mule. Mail everything to her, and auction at your leisure.

Just remember to invest in some bags for her, because if you leave stuff in the mail too long it’ll bounce back. That’s always a hassle, and if you forget to get it out of the mail once it bounces? It’ll just poof away and you’re out that money.

Do not fear the vendor trash

One of the reasons your bags will end up so full — and one of the reasons I also recommend you make that auction mule alt a tailor — is vendor trash. You’ll want to hold on to at least some cloth and funnel it to a tailoring alt — or your main if they’re a tailor — because bags are expensive, hard to get a hold of and crucial for making as much money as possible. The more bag space you have, the more stuff you can vendor, and vendoring grey and white items is both reasonable amounts of gold. It’s less than the Auction House, but it can be a steady stream that can pay for things like weapon and ability training, if you’re careful and lucky.

Also, a lot of times you’ll get a quest reward that is — at best — a marginal upgrade or not even an upgrade at all. Instead of cursing your fate, vendor that bad boy. That’s extra silver in your pocket, and you’re going to need it. Do quests even if they don’t have any upgrades for you. As you level up the money from vendored quest rewards will climb up from a few silver to an actual gold, maybe even two!

The reason you want a tailoring alt and/or tailoring as a profession is so you can craft your own bags with materials that drop from the mobs you’re fighting as you level. This also means you can put more bags in the bank as you go, making it easier for your auction mule to make big trips and be more efficient without huge cash outlay. If you’re mailing mats to your alt anyway, they make a very efficient crafter.

How to handle crafting

Crafting is simultaneously expensive in terms of opportunity cost — it costs you materials and time, which is materials you’re not selling on the AH and time you’re not using leveling up or gathering things to sell — and really lucrative. This is if you successfully target the most in-demand items.

If you have a tailor making bags for you, they can also make bags for everyone else, and the Auction House is a good place to sell these bags. If there’s a particularly hard to find item that’s in demand and you can supply that demand — let’s say the Green Iron mail set — the the Auction House can take on new life for you. It comes down to spending as little money as possible on items while selling them for the most, which means being patient and not just trying to dump every item you craft on the AH. Easy leveling stuff is likely not going to sell for enough for it to be worth your time compared to just offloading materials, so be smart.

Be careful on training

If you’re planning to level as a Protection Warrior or a Hunter always staying way out of melee you don’t necessarily have to train Polearms at level 20. You can wait until you either actually get a Polearm that’s a huge upgrade, or just plain never train any 2h weapons if you’re not planning on using them. Similarly, if you’re leveling as a Feral Druid, and you can save a little money by not training Wrath for a couple of levels until you’re flush, consider it.

This is always a bit of a gamble — it can turn out you’re being too conservative and you really needed that ability you tried to save money by not training — but at the same time, my Arms Warrior hasn’t trained Shield Block or Mocking Blow yet because he doesn’t even have a shield. If you’re absolutely not going to use an ability or weapon type, why spend the gold on it? You have expenses.

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Do quests

Seriously, do as many quests as you can stand. Not only will they have quest rewards you can vendor, they usually reward some money as well. It can all add up. You’ll find yourself broke after a round of training, head out into a zone to knock out some quests, and then find yourself flush again after you turn them all in. It’s not enough to make you rich by itself, but considering you’ll be doing all the other stuff listed above it’s a nice supplement. Between questing and vendoring you should be able to support the training you’ll need without dipping into your gold reserve and can get a mount within a few levels of level 40, if you’re lucky and get some in-demand items for the Auction House.

That’s the basics for making gold in WoW Classic. Remember to pay attention to gathering professions — a Mining/Skinning main feeding materials to a couple of Auction Mules/Crafting alts can work out well, since there’s no real need for them to go out and adventure to advance their crafting skills beyond bare level requirements to learn skills.

And of course, if you have any tips for strategies I may have forgotten, the comments await you.

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