Friday, October 16, 2009

The Arduous Trail to 80 – Gold, Skills & Mounts

Today I would like to focus on how to acquire all the loot and skills you’ll need on your trek to that pedestal otherwise known as level 80. There are a lot of great times awaiting you at end game, but there are also a lot of associated costs lurking behind all the shiny new content. Artisan and cold weather flying, dual spec’ing, gemming and enchanting your gear are the major setbacks you will be facing at the end of your road. Since you’ll be acquiring new gear rather quickly, those last two costs will be repetitive for some time.

Begging for gold is oft times one of the most “heard” spam on the general or trade channels. Yes, folks, beggars aren’t confined to the entrance of your local corner store out there in meatspace, they are also found “spanging” on these channels. If you’re not a hobo in the real world (and I should hope you’re not if you play WoW,) don’t try to be one online. You will be looked upon with just as much derision and contempt as those lonely souls shivering on the streets.

My advice: Get a job!!!

Fortunately for you, Blizzard was kind enough (or cruel enough, depending on how you feel) to include professions in WoW. These can be extremely useful in funding all of your adventures in Azeroth and beyond if you choose wisely. At level five, they are opened up to you to make your selections.

You may cry out in distress, “There are so many!!! How could I ever decide which to choose?!”

Easy there fuzzy little man-peach, you have found a kind and welcoming place…

Crafting versus Gathering

I’m sure that you are itching to start hammering away on a piece of copper or bronze at the forge or to start stitching up a fine new wardrobe, but hold on for a second. Ask yourself this: How is a crafting skill going to benefit me at low levels? Really, it’s not going to do much for you as you will need to buy the materials to craft the items which will get expensive quickly. The other option is to farm for them extensively, a boring and time consuming process.

In my experience, crafting is vastly more beneficial once you hit 80. Granted it is nice to not have to spend a lot of time once you hit 80 leveling trade skills, but in my opinion it is no different than grinding out quests or farming to build up gold.

If you choose two gathering skills, you will have more raw materials to dump on the auction house to amass your wealth. Personally, my first jaunt up the level ladder I chose Mining and Skinning. This allowed me to hit up all the ore nodes I saw as well as skin all the mobs I killed. With stacks of leather and ore ranging from a couple of gold to upwards of 20 or more a stack, I found it was extremely lucrative to sell all that I gathered. You’d be surprised at how fast you accumulate materials just while questing.

The other gathering profession I would recommend is Herbalism. I haven’t done this starting fresh, but while leveling up Alchemy I found that the prices of low level herbs were far greater than expected. Peaceblossom on my server (Icecrown) at that time were selling for around five gold per stack. The less frequent drops of Earthroot were selling for one gold each! I know that may not seem like much to veterans of the game, but for new players without the bankrolls of alts backing them, it is a quick and easy source of income.

Look at the auction house to find out what the selling price of ore and herbs are, and select the profession that looks as though it would be more profitable. You can’t really have both Mining and Herbalism as you can only have one “Find Mineral/Herb” selected on your minimap at once.

I would suggest using the Gatherer addon to assist you in finding nodes. Link:

The Vendor is Your Friend!


While questing you are going to be seeing a lot of gray items known as vendor trash dropping off mobs. Don’t make the mistake I did and ignore those items! Even though they don’t sell for much, dumping a few bagfuls to the vendor will definitely add up over time.

To avoid filling your bags too quickly, I would advise using some of the gold gained through selling of materials to purchase some bags. I would recommend buying Netherweave Bags. They are a relatively cheap 16 slot bag that will help alleviate the worries of inventory management. Alternatively, you can buy the materials (Bolt of Netherweave x 4, Rune Thread x 1) for the bags and ask for a tailor to craft your items. Remember to tip your crafters!


Some items that drop will have white names. These items are usable in the different skills available to players such as cooking and first aid. They will vary in price, so you’ll the find most worth coming from the items that can be cooked and the cloth that drops from mobs. You can use the cloth drops to level first aid or sell it on the auction house for others to use. Depending on the type of cloth, it can go pretty quickly there.


There will also be times that mobs will drop uncommon items whose name will show up as green. Unless these are beneficial to your character, you have the choice to vendor the items, find a friendly enchanter who would be willing to disenchant your items or sell them on the auction house. This all depends on how much time you are willing to spend. Obviously selling them to a vendor will be the quickest and you’ll have the coins in your hands right away. Finding an enchanter is going to take a bit more time (plus a tip,) but you’ll then be able to sell the disenchants on the auction house. You can always sell the item itself on the auction house, but that can take a lot of time and luck sometimes.


If fortune doth truly shine upon the brave adventurer, you will see a blue rare item drop. These can be worth a lot of money depending on what it is. If you do find a mob with a rare, take the time to do a little research to see what it may be worth. Check the auction house to see if there are any already listed, go to sites like to check to see what their suggested buyout price is or hawk your wares on the trade channel to see if anyone bites.

He Who Quests Shall Be Rewarded

In addition to the warm, fuzzy feeling (I play Alliance, so your feelings may vary) you get for helping out your fellow citizens of Azeroth, quests are sometimes rewarded with items and gold. This will be a pretty big source of income throughout your travels.

Sadly, you will not be able to use all of the items that these benefactors bestow on your for completing their tasks. Some will just not fit your class and others simply won’t be an upgrade. Since the gear obtained from quests is soulbound, you will not be able to have it disenchanted. In these cases the rule of thumb I follow is to select the piece of gear that can be sold to the vendor at the highest price and not look back. Plate and two-handed weapons are going to be the big money. In the lower levels, it may not be that much, but it scales with your level fairly well.

In conclusion

The last piece of advice I have is to be wary when purchasing gear upgrades on the auction house. A lot of times you’ll find an item that looks like it would be a great fit to your gear only to end up replacing it a few quests later. Again, the only thing that is really going to save you from yourself is to do some research to find the best gear for your class and level.


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