Classic Gold

“Gold is the most important resource in Classic WoW.” – Platinum WoW

Yesterday a video from Classic WoW YouTuber, Platinum WoW, caught my attention and had me asking myself: “Will I be able to be rich in Classic?”

Probably not!

If you read my last post, Player Skill in PvP: Vanilla vs Classic,  you will remember it revolved around the topic of meta-gaming. Just as there exists a meta in PvP and PvE there also exists a meta in that of making gold in World of Warcraft. In the same way that your class and spec determines your role in PvP and PvE, so too does your class and spec determine your role in gold making.

In Classic we can expect the meta of gold making to be similar to that of Retail and Vanilla; within these three categories exist thousands of profit options:

  • Dungeon & Raid solo farming
  • Dungeon & Raid carries.
  • Grinding raw materials.
  • Group farming.

However, the scale of difficulty on these methods will be monumentally more difficult in terms of the potential social aspect, relative power level of your character, and the time commitment required.

Group Farming

Personal Loot, one of the most polarizing topics in World of Warcraft history was not in Vanilla and will not be returning to Classic. Personal loot allows multiple people to tag a mob or boss and have each person receive their rewards independently of the others.

As it pertains to gold, this should be apparent right away that it extraordinarily reduces the RNG battle against time for a certain piece to drop. Would you rather spend five minutes soloing an elite for a 1% chance of the drop you are looking for, or spend one minute soloing that same mob with four other people? The introverted and anti-social among us might pick the first option while everyone else looking to maximize monetary gains no matter what would undoubtedly pick the faster option. The solo option would give you an average case of that piece you want dropping to drop in 100 kills and over 8 hours, while the group option gives you an average case of just over 1.5 hours.

My absolute favorite WoW gold farmer is Youtuber and streamer is Studen Albatroz. A great number of Studen’s videos advocate farming techniques that require groups to make them effective gold farming methods. It is hard to disagree with some of the results he and his viewers have shown.

The most impactful group farm I have done myself was the Skyshard farm for the Reins of the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent, at the end of Warlords of Draenor:

  1. Get a group of four other people, preferably with ranged AoE, to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
  2. Head to southern middle point where several significant packs of Mogu spawn and designate an area for each person to farm.
  3. Set a timer and kill mobs every 90 seconds.
  4. After 90 seconds is complete, quickly mount up and fly around to each others spot and loot the mobs your group members have killed.
  5. Rinse and repeat until you have obtained 10 Skyshards.
  6. Advertise in trade chat that you are selling the mount for your price (50k was my price at the time).
  7. Obtain a group of 4 others, each paying 50k.
  8. Have every member remove all gear.
  9. Use the shards on Alani to make him vulnerable.
  10. Have each group member white melee hit Alani.
  11. Kill and loot your new mount!

This style of gold farming will not be possible in Classic.

In Classic, what you loot is what you get. There are no shared drops, no shared targets, no shared resource nodes. “Group Farming” has now returned to its original state, where if something drops for a group a single person receives the piece. I hope the group your own does not disband once the core group of four friends each of their piece and you are left high and dry with nothing to your name but a wasted eight hours.

One for all and all for one!”

Grinding Raw Materials

In Legion, Blizzard added a functionality to the game that again was intended to promote group play: shared resource nodes. Mining and herbing nodes were now able to be shared by up to 10 people for a short time frame after the first person has gathered the node. As with the Group Farming example, you can imagine how this drastically reduces scarcity and the time commitment required to gather a large quantity of ore and herbs.

With Vanilla, prepare to battle for every node between not just the opposite faction but again with your own faction. Many farmers, one node.

As outlined above in Group Farming, obtaining raw materials like cloth, essences, reagents, etc, will also be individual drops and fought for tooth and nail among you and the world.

Selling Raid & Dungeon Carries

Among all possible gold making options, this is the only option that remains unchanged. One or many players pay a group or raid to carry them through one or several encounters. Sometimes loot is reserved for the paying player(s), sometimes it requires an extra payment. Whether boss kills are tracked on a per player basis will have a major impact on this, think “Link AOTC for invite”, where the value of the kill might be just as meaningful as the loot dropped.

I have a hunch this is something we will see constantly in the chat channels. Tanks and healers selling their services independently, high levels offering to carry groups through low level dungeons, and raid groups carrying players through the latest and greatest raid. If the private servers have replicated mob scaling and tuned them as Vanilla was, expect fast and frequent clears from RFC all the way up to Naxx 40.

Dungeon & Raid Farming

If you are a retail or recent retail player, when was the last time you soloed a dungeon or raid, of any difficulty, for a specific sellable drop or list of sellable drops? Maybe you were instead focused on something BoP like a mount, drop, title, achievement, or transmog. Or maybe you were just bored and wanted a hit of nostalgia…

Let us assume you were in fact hoping for something specific to drop that you could sell on the Auction House for a big chunk of change. Maybe you ran Uldaman 1500 times in just over 112 hours in the hopes of seeing some of the rarest items in the game drop. Running Uldaman that many times in that length time will not be even remotely possible in Classic. There is no +15 character level scaling to make the dungeons easier and the amount of passive and active movement boosting abilities are a shred of what they are now.

This increased difficulty will increase the price of certain dungeon drops, but surely not in a fashion that is linear with the time input.

Tying it All Together

The common theme in the gold farming meta is captured within the goblins most iconic saying, “Time is money, friend.” Lets rearrange and break that down into a more esoteric fashion to better capture the message: “Money? Time and friends.” Making gold in Classic will require time and will require friends.

Will I be able to be rich in Classic? I sure hope so!

Fortunately for me, I am rich in real life. I have time, and I have friends.

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