Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Making a million gold before 5.4...with mining?

First off, yes, this post is about how specifically you can make a million gold mining, and as an added bonus we'll be shooting for a goal of hitting that before 5.4 drops. I've been on a little bit of a mining binge recently with my posts, but I think it's going to be my vehicle of choice for the next few weeks on my goldmaking journey, and hopefully y'all can benefit from that (see side note near the bottom for my personal reasons). Many of you reading might not be miners, so I'll get information that's pertinent to you out first, since at its core this post is about selling efficiency, and not "mine route X."

Alright, alright, fine, you twisted my arm. Mine these routes.

Ok, now that that's out of the way. To make consistent money from any profession you need to do it, well, consistently. And making a MILLION gold (on paper) isn't actually all that hard. All you need to do is find some way to generate a positive income of just over 5k/day and you're a millionaire in 6 months; make 11k/day and you're a millionaire in 3 months- about when 5.4 will probably come out. Mining, generally considered one of the least profitable profession, can pretty easily pull in 2-3k per hour and with a few tricks you can double that. Back on the consistency note though, if you're mining every day, you'll be mining up and, in turn selling, a lot of ore, every day. Here's where other professions can benefit: don't put all your eggs in one basket! Mix things up and don't just sell the ore. In fact don't just sell bars, and don't go 50/50. If your goal is rapid movement of any item, convert it into as many other equivalent items as possible and sell everything at or just above market prices. Here's a little spreadsheet I put together trying to explain this all mathy.

The top line is the global median price of each column (Ghost Iron Ore, Ghost Iron Bar, Trillium Bar, and Living Steel - Hover for current prices) according to The Undermine Journal as of writing; hover over the links for current prices. Second line is my personal average of 40 stacks of ore per hour gathered in Valley of the Four Winds. Ignore the third line; just numbers for calculations, and they're rounded anywayssmute,  (and rounded, sorry about that): . The fourth line is the amount of ore needed per smelting or transmute, and adjusted for proc rate: 2 ore to make a bar, 10 bars to make a trillium, and 6 trillium to make a living steel, BUT transmute masters proc on average 18% more (so while it would normally take 120 ore per living steel, since you get 18% trillium * 18% LS extra, you can look at the ore/xmute:LS and see that you only need on average of 86 ore when crafting en masse). "# Craftable" is how many of each column you could craft with one hour of farming. So, for example, with 800 ore you could craft either 47 trillium bars or 9 Living Steel. And finally, DUHN DU DU DUUUUHNNN! the last line is about how much gold you could expect to make from one hour of farming from either conversion. If you farm for an extended period of time, spread things out over these four columns. A good rule of thumb is to post the same gold amount of each item up: so 1000g of Living Steel, 1000g of trillium, 1000g of bars and 1000g of ore, and you should be able to log on in a couple hours to 4k in your mailbox.

My current strategy:
My strategy is to tie the bucket to the light bulb, put the dynamite on the brick,
magnifying glass and flashlight next to the cannon. Cannon. Fired. Done.
But really, my strategy is going to be spending an hour or two (or three) a day mining. I'm always on the lookout for a free living steel cooldown, and am asking around in trade for people looking for ore/bar suppliers. On the AH side, rather than constantly undercutting the market, I'm going to repost somewhere between 20-50 stacks of ghost iron ore and bars once a day, although so far they've been selling almost immediately (haven't 100% decided on size yet; but ore has sold much faster than bars recently, so I'll probably leave 50 stacks of ore up and 20 of bars). I also have a blacksmith, jewelcrafter, and enchanter, so while I would recommend you out there in Azeroth to also convert ore into gems and armor, I already have an inventory of living steel and a few stacks of gems I'll be using for those professions. Another great conversion is cogwheels, which still sell for a huge profit, when they sell. If you ever have extra ore that you can't sell though, the JC/Enchanting shuffle is another great diversification. 

My Tips:
If when reading above you gawked at the idea of gathering 40 stacks in an hour, I won't do a guide, because there are better miners out there, but I will give you a few tips I've gleaned:

1. Be a druid. Instant cast flight form saves 1.5 seconds per node. With 30-50 nodes per lap, that's a minute or two wasted just mounting. You'll be doing lots of laps.
2. Buy Mist-Piercing Goggles from the AH or an engineer friend. You'll get about 10% more nodes. No need to equip these.
3. Kill Korda Torros whenever you're in Kun Lai, for the chance at Foragers Gloves. Honestly, it's not worth spending time camping him. Because that's time you could be mining, but if you're ever up there, go kill him. You DO have to equip these. I however have not been "lucky" enough to have these drop yet.
4. Follow the path of least resistance:
  • Avoid nodes near mobs, killing them wastes at least 5s/mob, and then you can't fly in combat.
  • Avoid aggro from patrols when mining. Again, entering combat wastes time whether you fight or not. 
  • Stay close to the ground. Flying high is pretty and easier to see, but can waste 5-10 seconds per node. (I did this all the time in Cata, and was always wondering why I was getting lapped in Twighlight Highlands)
  • If multiple nodes are available, picture a few imaginary lines connecting them, and mine the shortest line.
5. If another miner is on your tail, skip a node. Let him have that one, and the next three should be all yours.
6. Set some kind of limit- time frame or ore amount- and do that. Distractions happen but the mining groove is a lot of fun when you get into it, and the consistency is money when it comes to professions. :)
7. Finally, learn how to mine well, but once you have a pretty good idea, just go out there and do it. Watch a youtube clip here and there, but don't waste time trying to perfect technique. There's probably not ever going to be a huge shift in profitability without a new patch or expansion.

(As a quick personal side note, the reason I've been mining recently is because I've been jumping back and forth between a couple different computers IRL. I had been pushing hard on the AH getting my glypher set up, but configuring all the addons and customizations I've done from my transmog ventures onto the two different computers multiples times (cause hardrives crashed, like ya do) just kinda burnt me out for a while. So, I decided to sell down my inventory so that I don't have to repost 1500 items multiple times a day. It was just too much. In short, I'm sticking with my current strategy with crafting but transitioning to only the upper tier xmogs. Should be the same gold amount up on the AH but just with fewer items, and therefore less time spent auctioning, and more time spent either blogging or with my family).

We all want to make gold, and while a million is fairly arbitrary, it's a nice fun big number. To hit that number just make 5k-10k a day, you'll be a millionaire in 3-6 months. Mining that much ore takes between 1-3 hours a day, which isn't hard but takes practice (3 hours is a lot though, use your other professions to help). Selling off that much ore can require diversification though; convert your ore into bars, trillium, and living steel, and you should be able to sell off 80 stacks per day. If not, and competition is high, use Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Enchanting or Engineering to whittle down your excess ore and bars. Other professions can use this idea just as well: just because Haunted Steel Headguard is the most profitable, doesn't mean you should craft 4 of them if you have an excess of Haunting Spirits, spread out your crafts over a few patterns while prices are high. Either way, diversification is great for the market and keeps competition flowing, and your income flowing more rapidly than it would otherwise. Even if you don't make a million, assuming you spend some gold along the way on gear or mounts or (shudder) companion pets, you'll still be a much wealthier player and more knowledgeable gold maker. It all comes back to my previous post of just of just getting out there and doing it.

Until Next Time:
Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

Coming Up: 
As I'm transitioning to higher tier xmog, I'm starting to move away from AH flipping and trying to farm up my own Glorious/Lofty sets, which has peaked my interest in the expected value of the various runs listed in Power Word: Gold's great instance farming guide. (i.e Glorious Legplates have a median price of 60k, and a 0.01 drop chance of mobs in Dire Maul. That means, from that one piece of gear, each mob is worth 6 gold when you kill them, and a 50-100 mob dungeon is worth 3k/hour. From ONE piece of gear.) To see the results of that when I'm done, FOLLOW me on Twitter  or subscribe here on Blogger.


  1. Don't forget to have an Ancient Pandaren Mining Pick in your bags. It doesn't proc free gems often, but it does proc free gems nonetheless.

  2. Very nice Reckles. I might learn a thing or two from these posts.

  3. Mining near any mogu construsts might not be downtime as they can drop all sorts of goodies. Just a theory at this point.

  4. Also worth having in your bag is the Ancient Pandaren Mining Pick (Allows you to find gems while mining in Pandaria. Does not need to be equipped.)

    Not worth camping it, but took me 30s to get when I went into the cave.

    Don't expect to be getting tons of gems... but you do get some. Nice bonus.

  5. Great tip, guys, on the mining pick. It was so hard to get early on, in the xpac, I just forgot about it, honestly. Now that things have calmed down, the Mining Pick (http://www.wowhead.com/item=85777/ancient-pandaren-mining-pick#comments) should be more easy to farm, in fact, when I headed to the cave, there was one waiting for me. :D

    Korda was up too, but of course, he's still being a jerk. Maybe kill #53 will be my lucky one.

  6. 800 ore per hour seems optimistic... that's more like my top 20% of farming hours.

    1. while i do not completly disagree with you i will say this.. i play on aerie peak (not the highest pop, but not low either). in the 15 min time period it takes to expand the tillers farm i gathered 260 ore, with competition (3 others i saw).

      Granted i got lucky with several Rich veins, as well as Bountiful bags procs, but i think 800/hour is not that difficult to do. Especially if you acyually just mine for an hour straight.

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  8. 3.59 the G.I ore ! :(
    it's more 0.53 on my server.

    1. Oh jeez, that's awful. Great for jewelcrafters I guess but terrible for miners. As far as the post is concerned thanks for pointing this out, I've updated it and added wowhead links so you have dynamic pricing links. Hopefully that will help people make better decisions. :)


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