Saturday, May 2, 2009

Making 5000 Gold for the Epic Flying Mount - Part 1

Recently, Joe from the UK posted a comment under my Comfortably Wealthy article. BTW, Brits FTW :) I am being envied because I managed to hoard 32K gold and he barely has 900 gold, much less an epic flying mount. Well, we can't have that, can we?

There are many players in Joe's situation. There are even lots of level 80's who cannot afford the "5000 gold mount". I see all the time level 80's with the slow flying mount or even riding around on ground mounts. Crazy isn't it? Not really. Each individual is different and everyone has different ways of playing World of Warcraft and each individual has different goals. Not everyone reads gold-making blogs or WoW fan sites. Not everyone is well informed. Also, not everyone has accumulated sufficient experience in order to be self suficient and independently well-off (if not downright wealthy) in this World of Warcraft of ours.

So how does one get around to building the incredible amount of 5000 gold required for an epic flying mount? First of all, the 5000G is a lie! The epic flying skill itself is 5000 gold but when you factor the cost of the normal flying skill plus the mount itself, the amount becomes 6000G. When you also add the infamous Cold Weather Flying skill, you're up to 7000 buckaroos. Scary isn't it? It doesn't have to be.

Now in my case, 5000 or even 20000 gold isn't that big of a deal anymore. I remember fondly the days of Classic WoW when 900 gold for the epic mount was really really hard to get. Those days are long gone. Anyone can make a hefty sum these days.

My Alliance characters are in a special situation. I like to split Alliance and Horde on different servers. My Alliance are the most numerous and I only have one significant Horde character, a shaman. Because my Alliance have been here for a long time, I've had ages in which to accumulate gold. Besides, I share several professions between these characters and sometimes I can make certain items that sell well. Very rarely though. So I won't be talking about how I make gold on my Alliance.

Instead, I'm gonna talk about my (still) level 65 Orc Enhancement Shaman who at his level already has 3000 gold, after having bought the epic ground mount. Yes, I know, it's not much, but this character started on his own on a fresh server, with zero gold in his pocket. Along the way I also picked up a bunch of gear from the AH, including two nice blue maces that cost me about 300 gold. I know for certain that at level 77 he will easily afford that epic flying skill + mount. So how does one manage to save all this money?

As I wrote in a previous post, when I start a fresh character on a new server, I always get 2 gathering professions. I don't care about crafting stuff. Many players new to WoW, probably coming from another MMORPG, imagine that crafting professions are the way to go! In most cases, I would say no. Crafting professions are okay(ish) once you are maximum level and have plenty of gold to "invest" in that profession. If you don't actively pursue a crafting profession, you'll most likely never make a profit. By "actively pursue" I mean spamming trade channel, putting stuff on the AH, buying cheap mats, etc.

Regarding crafting professions, people also believe that these will help you get good gear while you level. Well, I concede, that's partly true. Professions usually do give some nice gear that you can craft for yourself and it will be of some help while you level, especially considering that before you hit Outland, i.e. 1-60, quest rewards are pretty crappy. However, the advantage given by crafting professions is, IMO, not big enough to make it worthwhile to pursue a crafting profession. Think about it: you can make tons of gold by selling raw mats. Whatever leveling gear you need you can simply purchase from the AH since you're already a wealthy bastard. Let others do the hard work for you! Also consider that people who DO level crafting skills, will usually flood the AH with crafted gear, and this gear can very often be bought for ridiculously low prices, sometimes even lower than the price of the mats. Would you like to be the poor crafter who can't even break even? Of course not.

In any case, going for the maximum amount of gold while leveling is best done, in my experience, with 2 gathering professions, unless you like playing the Auction House like there's no tomorrow (but then you're not actively in the field, actually playing the game). I usually go with mining/herbalism because they're the most profitable currently. I will simply sell all the stuff I gather on the AH. Of course, selling these mats for the highest profits is a whole new ballgame and a topic in itself, which I will cover in a future article.

And this is my main strategy for making money while I level. This will bring me the bulk of the sum I will need at level 77 when I will be able to afford that epic flying mount. And just in case you're wondering why not to buy the mount at 70, it's simple: 77 is the new 70. Since at 70 you should jump to Northrend right away, and since you can't fly in Northrend until 77, there simply isn't any point in getting a flying mount at 70, unless you want to hang around Outland for a few more levels.

In the next part of the article I will talk about a few ideas in which to maximize your gold while leveling.

Making 5000 Gold for the Epic Flying Mount - Part 2


Anonymous said...

hey Darth,

When you do mining/herbalism, is there an add-on that you use that makes both appear in the mini-map? If not, how do you easily find both?


Darth Solo said...

I use Gatherer ( and it memorizes all nodes, whether herbs or ore. There isn't really any way of actively tracking both nodes at the same time, unless Blizzard wants to implement that. So I track nodes the hard way: by switching periodically between herbs/ore. The method is detailed in one of my previous posts:

and basically consists of a macro like so:
/castsequence find herbs, find minerals

which I have assigned to a hotkey. Pressing the hotkey toggles between the two tracking types. It might sound a bummer but I got used to it and now it's second nature to press that key.

TB said...

Having either mining/skinning or herb/skinning eliminates the need for swiching. Also, you have to go out of your way less as you will be gathering leather from mobs you have to kill for quests anyway. I was the poor guy with skinning/LW when I leveled up and looking back I definitly would have done 2 gathering professions, I just didn't know any better and by the time I figured it out I had so much time and money invested in LW I didn't want to throw it all away. I just recently started making money from LW selling armor kits and heavy borean leather but I'm sure it will be a long time before I ever truly break even.

Darth Solo said...

@TB true dat. However, I feel that mining/herbalism is a bit more profitable than replacing one of them with skinning. That's why I endure the constant swapping of tracking forms. In the end, it's not that bad, once you've built up a nice Gatherer database. You can see potential nodes on the minimap/map and when you're close to them you can activate the other form of tracking.

TB said...

Mining / Herb is definitely the most profitable, no question about that. I guess if you have a good database in Gatherer the simplicity point is moot.

As for gathering professions at 80, I'm seriously thinking of dropping skinning. I used to spend about an hour a day farming leather from the gorillas in Sholazar until I figured out I could turn a 30g/item profit (for Icescale Leg Armor) by buying the mats in the AH. I could create 5 times as many products as I was able to grind for in that hour in just a few minutes. I've been thinking that powerleveling jewelcrafting might be a viable alternative that would allow me to use that 2nd profession spot to make some additional gold. I will have to check up on how much it would cost to powerlevel and how quickly I can make that gold back.

Darth Solo said...

Funny that you mention the leg armor. I just had the same realization recently. I would go to Storm Peaks and farm leather with my Death Knight. But in the end I'm not sure it's worth the effort when you can just watch the AH for undercutters and buy Heavy Borean Leather directly, at low prices. On the other hand, I would still go farming with the Death Knight, just for the heck of it, he's so much fun.

Joe said...

One of my guildies has noticed a screamer of a profit maker atmo. For the Borean leather prices on our server has droped quite low now, just over the vendor price by about a gold. Painful.
He's found that for the same 20 stack if he makes some pants he can vendor them for 5 times the amount of the original mats. AH prices for the pants are sadly low. So all the sellers are losing money here, where as he is making a profit compared to them. I've been looking into this, hence why i'll keep my alchemy proff. Although herbs sell quite well, some dont, those ones in particular are good for making buffs when mixed with the higer selling herbs. Now all i have to do is make sure i make a profit from selling the potion instead of the mats. In general though the mats sell for more.

Anonymous said...

Off topic here, but I just wanted to say this is my first read of your blog & I love it! I can't wait to hear more. I'll certainly be keeping tabs on this place & seeing the new stuff when it comes out.

Manym said...

I second the comment by King Harbromm. I came here from WoW Insider. I'm a huge solo player of WoW and I had no idea I wasn't the only one! :P Anyway, you're on my Google Reader now. Thanks for the great post!

Darth Solo said...

Thank you guys! Hope to see you back here often. Unfortunately I never have enough time to post as much as I would like to.

Anonymous said...

I just got my epic flying mount after playing the AH with my accumulated leatherworking mats plus grinding leather and questing. Thinking of dropping LW for herbalism. I think finishing Borean Tundra quests netted me more money faster than grinding, though. Finally - I noticed that lower level types of leather like rugged etc are going for far more than Borean, and those are faster to farm.

BethanyAnne said...

Heya Darth,
One point I would add is that you can import all of wowhead's data into gatherer. Gives you a great database to start with. The page is at:


Anonymous said...

One tip I would like to add is that the epic flyer in Outlands is only 200g. Which helps cusion the initial 5K blow, plus I like the outlands mount for farming because it is smaller and makes hitting nodes much easier than the larger wowlk mounts.

Tikkibaer said...

Alternative to gatherer is GatherMate which also has data that can be imported, but from wowdb

the data file gets updates more often and gathermate can also show fishing nodes.

Using both at the moment, using gatherer for herbing and mining and gathermate for fishing and finding Everfrost Shard

Darth Solo said...

@Anonymous Yes indeed, if you are looking for alternative farming strategies, rugged leather is a good bet. There aren't many people going back to those areas and a high level character will farm very quickly. One of the best spots for rugged leather is the Yeti cave in Winterspring.

@BethanyAnne That is correct. I used the import feature once but since I farm a lot, I've discovered 99% of all nodes anyway. I do recommend that feature for new players, though.

@Anonymous Oh I've been using an Outland mount since I first got it. It's a generic gryphon. I'm not a big mount person. I always disagreed with a buddy who was in love with the Netherdrakes. I thought they were too big and a bit impractical due to this reason.

@Tikkibaer Well there you are. Gatherer is not the only option. The fishing node thing is neat. How does it do with memory efficiency?

Rob Dejournett said...

1) Heavy borean is pretty dang useless. You can make the 78 blues with it, which never sell, but the epic leg armors dont' require it (not the armor kits themselves, the leg armors). One of them is 2 chitin, 2 arctic fur, 1 frozen orb. I have a few stacks of HBL and i'm not even sure what to do with it. Maybe make the blues and DE for shard. (PS - reason the shard prices will always be low is b/c the blues are so easy to make).

2) Ditto rugged leather comment. Also farming strat is surprisingly profitable for DEing the greens.

3) Almost everyone does the herb/skin combo. I'm not saying dont do it, but on our server you can't even give away the skins, or at most you get a gold for heavy leather. Herb/mine is great, and if you have a DK try to get the gatherer enchant on gloves, but *i think* you have to be 70 to use it. Anyway its really simple for me, when there are not alot of hills, i put on herb track, where there are alot of hills, i put on mine track.

4) Making money always involves doing something that 99% of people aren't doing, filling some sort of niche. There are very few perpetual machines (ie go to AH, buy something, make something, sell it), maybe you can get lucky and get the mats cheap, but you have to be patient.

5) JC is insanely expensive or timing consuming, take your pick. At 150 i've invested 200-300 gold. Every skill up is 5-10 gold. At that level you are better off running around and collecting as much ore as you can stomach. You need silver/gold, some bars of common stuff like copper, and ore itself for prospecting. ANyway yeah JC takes forever, best to do it if you are rich already. And i seriously would not expect a profit if you powerlevel it.

Figworth said...

I've had a steady income for a while by doing two things:

1. Buying Eternal Earth, Water, and Shadow when they're cheap, buying some saronite and making Belt Buckles. If you can do this at a profit, do so, because they will always sell.

2. Buying Netherweave under a certain price. 1 stack of netherweave cloth = 1 netherweave bag. People will always take the 10g price of this over the 40g increase, and it only takes about 15 mins of crafting time to make a bunch.

Fishing and Cooking have also become very, very good moneymakers.

Anonymous said...

We're having a problem on my realm where someone with a significant amount of gold went and bought out all of the mats in the auction house on both sides and has been posting them back for say 1g a stack for goldclover. I went to post a full bag of herbs the other day and found 5 pages of herbs at less than 5g a stack. All had the same guy's name attached. No big deal. I went to my full mining bag. 10g a stack for saronite. My miner isnt high enough to go where the titanium is yet so I didn't look at that but titanium bars are going for 5g each. I looked back the next day thinking it would have all been bought out and the prices would be higher but I was wrong. In some cases the prices are lower now. Northrend herbs, with the exception of frost lotus, are selling for less than low level herbs now. How am I ever going to get my epic flyer when it costs more for repairs than I'll make in an auction?

Darth Solo said...

That's ridiculous. I hate it when people knowingly (or unknowingly) make prices crash by posting in an idiotic manner. In your case I would say just wait a while and watch the AH. Eventually prices should go back to realistic values.