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    Amedis's Avatar Contributor
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    Entensive Guide on Making Money in WoW

    The Economy of an mmorpg has long since been a hard and complex concept for most gamers to grasp. Though all mmorpgs have different methods and tools of manipulating the economy they all have the common denominator that people want to earn more currency in whatever game they are in. This guide will focus on various economy tools and how to achieve greater wealth by manipulating the systems properly.

    How the Economy Works

    The economy is an ever-changing structure that determines worth of items, weapons and services. The main tools to success are based on the fundamentals of real-world bartering, trading and transactions. When integrated into a game’s community the economy works as a means to receive items and services based on the difficulty of obtaining those items or the difficulty of that service.

    We’ll work from example to give you an idea of how the economy warrants the prices of services or items.

    Let’s say you have crafted some Plaid Pants of Nerdiness (gives +5 to mathmatics, -9 to dating). You’re now looking for a price to sell them to another player. That price will be determined on a number of factors that you will receive from the economy around you. These factors can include:


    • The current economy’s price of materials it took to create the pants
    • The difficulty of obtaining the materials
    • The current economy’s price of the pants
    • The rarity of the pants (or the crafting recipe you learned it from)
    • How many pants are currently available to all players?
    • Future availability of the pants


    Taking each of these (and probably many more factors) into consideration would allow you to get a good grasp of your item’s worth. Based on this information you would create your base value and then evaluate your transaction on a seller-to-buyer reaction (ie: if the buyer will pay more for it, offer it for a higher price).

    Since each game has many factors that leads to obtaining the worth of an item it is impossible to make a complete list within this guide. You can rest assured that a good player who manipulates the economy understands the majority of his game’s factors and uses them to his advantage to make the maximum profit for each item they barter into the economy.


    How to Trade

    Ethics

    While you choose your own method of buying and selling this guide will only be focused on one outcome, making money. The reasons and practices I will share will be legitimate means of trading but also getting the most from your trade. Some methods (such as undercutting, or manipulating your price) may seem misleading but its simply business. In the real world you would always try to get the most value for something you are selling, it won’t be any different for the purpose of this guide.

    You can choose to integrate these practices into your own trading and some may not be to your liking. Though my method of dealing with customers is very happy-go-lucky, yours may be to present yourself as a hard-ass. Either way, use whatever method you feel makes you more money and the ethics used in this guide should not be perceived as ‘shady’, it’s simply a practiced means of making money that works.

    Presentation

    Now that you’re more familiar with the economy we’ll go into a basic fundamental aspect of manipulating it that most people don’t do properly. Trading is a simple concept that involves one player giving currency, items or services to another for an exchange of the same. Though everyone has the mental capacity to handle this task I’m dumbfounded at how often people don’t capitalize on their trades by using proper bartering conversation. If you present yourself in the wrong manner you can heavily decrease (or eliminate) your profit margin of the trade. We’ll work off example here since it’s much easier to elaborate using chat dialogue.

    |Bad Barter| Selling Knife of Virginity (+10% chance to avoid sexual encounters)

    - Nogame messages Bad Barter –

    |Nogame| How much do you want for the Knife?
    |Bad Barter| Ummm
    |Bad Barter| 100 gold
    |Nogame| ouch, that’s a little steep for me, I’d go 25 gold but that’s as high as I can go
    |Bad Barter| r0x0r$!

    If I could count how many times I have had variations of this conversation in mmorpgs… Anyways, this is a classic example of how not to sell items. After Nogame asked for a price on the Knife, Bad Barter showed his inexperience of bartering by responding with “ummm”. When you receive a response of “ummm” after prompting the seller for a price it is basically a neon sign that screams the seller doesn’t know the value of the item he is selling. It’s quite possible that this Knife usually sells for 500 gold but since he showed his inexperience in the conversation Nogame could undercut his price because he was not aware of his item’s value. This is how most newbie-found rare drops end up changing hands in mmorpgs.

    By presenting yourself properly when trading you can increase your chances of getting a better deal and increasing your profit margin. I’ll now list a few cardinal rules that I have gone by when trading items in mmorpgs:


    Never buy, sell or trade something you do not know the value of
    Always allow the other party to make the first offer
    Buying in bulk can yield higher profit margin as well as a means of finding a dependable seller for that item (ie: people that sell in bulk often farm that item and will obtain more in time)
    Never scam or cheat your customers, you want them to return and send repeat business your way whenever possible
    Some deals were just not meant to be, if the price isn’t right walk away

    Secrecy

    Trading is kind of like playing Poker. You never want the other party to know what hand you’ve got. The more information the other person knows about you and your trading habits the more he can manipulate the trade in his favor.

    If the other player was selling you an item and he knew precisely how much money you had he could increase the price for the simple fact that he knows you could afford to pay it. You would also find it harder to bring the seller’s price down because he knows its only a cosmetic means of lowering the price, not a necessity (meaning that you just want to lower the price, you don’t have to).

    Secrecy obviously factors into your trade conversations because you only want to give the minimal amount of information to precipitate the trade. This is where altering your presentation may come to your advantage, ie: if you talk like a wheeling dealing trader the other party will assume you have a lot of money, if you present yourself as a person that pinches pennies, they will assume you have less money and that’s a good place to start.

    This also plays into your conversations with friends. While you probably won’t hike up the prices or go for a large profit margin when trading with your friends, you don’t really want them to know your Mr. Moneybags. The more you brag about your wealth the more people tend to ask for it. Keeping things such as this to yourself is one of your greatest weapons as a gamer who manipulates the economy.


    Making Money

    Open Trading

    Open trading is what I refer to transactions that start in the chat channels. Open trading has both positives and negatives and using open trading to your advantage can save you tons of time and make you huge margins of profit.

    The main positive of open trading is the chance for higher profit margins by using your bartering skills to raise the price. You tend to cater more towards impulse buyers (if other means such as Auction Houses are available) and people who have not taken the time to properly research the value of the item you’re offering. These factors can boost your price on the item you are selling well over what people are normally willing to pay.

    The main negative of open trading is the time it takes to do it. Open trading can yield high profit margins but it can also yield 0 buyers. You are really waiting around in a high-traffic chat area spamming your wares hoping that the right buyer walks past and has his trade channel on. This sometimes never happens and results in a waste of your time as a seller.

    The main positive and negative is always the major conflict in open trading. It really comes down to time vs money. Yes, open trading takes time but the more time it takes, the higher profit margin you tend to receive. The less time it takes to finalize your sale for a decent profit margin, the more time you have to find other wares to sell. The trick is to find a happy medium and work in that pocket.

    There are many ways to approach open trading and I’ll rank them in terms of the amount of time it takes because the profit margins tend to be higher.

    Open Trade Channel Auctions

    The best way I’ve seen this handled is to use the trade channel to generate interest in an item and then use your own means (notepad, piece of paper) to record bids of potential buyers. When they express interest in your item simply tell them that the current bid is X and they can bid beyond that.

    This method is only really useful for hard-to-find items that have a high demand. It also requires organization on the seller’s part to properly organize the transaction and the buyer’s bids. This method can take a multiple days to finish up but once completed it could result in a very hefty profit margin.

    Open Trade Channel Single Trades, No Prices

    This refers to offering single items over the chat channel without prices in the message. The reason for only offering single items is to isolate your wares (and give them more attention). Every time you add another item into your trade message you increase the chance of your items being skipped over by those reading trade channel messages.

    There are numerous reasons of why you do not give prices in your channel message. How many times have you seen this occur in a chat channel message:

    Selling Garter Belt of Frigidness (+50% resistance to pickup lines) for 1,200 gold
    1,200 gold? I bought that last week for 600 gold!
    Who the HELL would buy that belt for 1,200 gold?!??!

    I’ll say this once in the most fierce means possible prices can never be too high, they can only be too low. There’s always someone that doesn’t know the value of an item that will pay prices that are far too high just because they are impulse buyers. If the price is “high”, I assure you, there is someone out there that will pay it. The trick is getting them to walk by while you are in the area spamming your item (that’s the hard part).

    When gamers ridicule other people’s prices all they are doing is showing their ignorance for the economy. Usually those gamers don’t have a lot of money anyway because they don’t understand how making money works. Regardless, when you get a person spamming messages like that while you are trying to trade over the chat channels it does nothing but harm your business. Even if the guy is ignorant, people will tend to question your price if he did state that he bought it somewhere else for much cheaper (even if it was a lie).

    The other very important part is that if you give the item price up front, you lose all bartering possibilities. There’s nothing worse than selling an item on the first offer. If a trade happens quickly and painlessly all you can think to yourself is “I could have gotten more for it”. This happens to even the best barterers but the trick is minimizing the frequency in which it happens.

    Open trade channel for single items giving no prices is often useful for items of high to moderate demand and takes a moderate amount of time to find a buyer for any transaction. The more time you spend talking to the buyer, the more information you can use to determine his price tag.

    Auctions

    Though not all games have auctions you should be well versed in profiting from the auction house as some of its fundamentals can affect your evaluation skills. If your game does not have an Auction house you can always visit GameAmp to find out-of-game auctions (such as these Guild Wars Auctions).

    The main advantage from Auctions is the time it takes to make a transaction with a chance for a large profit margin. The few disadvantages to the Auction House are that it usually costs money to post an auction and auctions always have a time limit. In other words it’s always a pain to have a high-demand item that’s duration came to a close though the bidding could have elevated past the final bid price.

    There are a handful of universal tips when creating auctions that can be of use. Since many auction systems differ, some of these tips will not apply to your game but once again, learning them can often strengthen other skills used in bartering:


    Always know the capabilities of the auction system before you post an auction on it (ie: can you cancel your auctions, how does delivery occur, how much does it charge you to post an auction, etc)
    If you are able to type the title of your item, make it specific, exciting and not too spammy
    Always check the auction house for the item you are about to post, find out its going cost as well its rarity
    If the item you are about to post is too common, you may want to reconsider posting it
    On high priced items you may want to evaluate similar items on the auction house for a few days to see their price shifts or if they have a common seller that tends to undercuts new sellers with the same wares
    Posting too many of the same item at once can allow a single seller undercut all your wares and cause you to pay wasted posting fees
    If you find an item on the auction house you would like to buy or trade you can always contact the seller directly to negotiate another offer

    In some games the prices it costs to post auctions are so steep that the profit margin decreases too heavily to warrant posting in auctions house. At that point using open channel trading and out-of-game auctions may be your best bet to profitable selling.

    Crafting for Profit

    Most games have some form of crafting system that allows each player to create wares to sell to other players. Some of those games do not have auction houses and most trading is handled through open channel trading. Sometimes these games place a huge emphasis on player-driven-economy and that makes crafting a very valuable hobby.

    Profiting from crafting usually takes the a few factors into consideration:


    • The current economy’s price of materials it took to create the item
    • The difficulty of obtaining the materials
    • The current economy’s price of the item
    • The rarity of the item (or the crafting recipe you learned it from)
    • How many of that item is currently available to all players?
    • Future availability of the item


    In any good crafting system the trek up to the highest tier takes a great deal of time and money. Time to gather the materials and money to craft them (or buy them) into items that raise your crafting skill.

    While you can employ any of the methods used above to sell your wares I will give you a few pointers on how to gather them.

    Once you’ve found a recipe that turns a nice, consistent profit, you’ll want to capitalize on it and make some money. By doing so it means that you will eventually lower your profit margin because you are introducing more of that item into the market and thus lowering its rarity. Either way you’ll need to collect a lot of materials to craft your item. If your item is indeed valuable it probably means the materials are valuable as well and buying valuable materials from the auction house or open channels can really lower your profit margin. What you need is a few friends to help you farm.

    I’ve often employed this technique once I’ve found a good crafting recipe that makes me some money. I’ll go farming for materials in whatever place I can find them. When farming I introduce myself to anyone who occupies the area for more than 15 minutes. I tell them that I’m farming for X item and if they find any I’ll buy them for X gold. I may sweeten the pot by saying “the more you find, the more I’ll pay”. After a few days of this I never have to farm there again because I will have enough “employees” farming materials for me below the economy’s current price and using it to craft sellable items. Then I move on to another area to farm new materials and repeat the process.

    This tactic not only works for crafting but it also works by simply selling those materials to buyers for more money then what you paid for them. It’s simple, if you can pay 5 gold per material that you bought off your farmer and easily sell them for 8 gold somewhere else, you make a sizable profit and you didn’t have to take the time to find that item. The more people you have farming for you, the more money you make.

    When crafting for profit just remember to stay in-tune with the economy’s prices and the recipe’s rarity. Though you may get 1,000 gold now for an item you crafted, if 10 people find that recipe tomorrow the economy may be flooded with it and your price just dropped down to 300 gold per item. Always remember every time you sell a single item you reduce the worth of it because you reduce the rarity.

    Getting in Fast: Perception

    Ironically enough the most of the richest players on your server after 12 months will be determined in the first 8 weeks of play. The players who advance quickly through the game and find rare items or crafting recipes are the players that get to introduce the items into the economy. When you introduce items into the economy you get to set the price high and if you know what you’re doing you stand to make a sizable profit off of that fact. These players made a lot of money because they acted fast. They did not let that crafting recipe go to waste as it sat in their backpack, they found materials, crafted it and sold it for a pretty penny.

    Make your money selling a specific item then move on right before the market gets flooded by people selling the same thing. If done properly you can constantly stay ahead of the curve and continue setting the economy’s value of each item.

    Patches are Opportunities

    Acting fast doesn’t always fall into the realm of crafting items or being the first to find new items on your server, sometimes patch notes can reveal the most obvious means of turning a profit.

    Patch notes often say things such as “increased the drop rate of this item” and “decreased the drop rate of this item”. Every time you see “increased the drop rate” or “decreased the drop rate” you know that the economy is about to shift as soon as that patch hits. Knowing this ahead of time can allow you to be the first to buy up items that will be harder to find or sell off items that won’t be as valuable (because their drop rates will be increased). Trust me, not all people read the patch notes carefully and you’ll be able to turn a profit of their unawareness of the coming changes.

    A slightly less obvious patch note would be the “Item X will now be found in so and so dungeon”. If “item X” has slightly better stats then whatever items you sell or is currently on the market it may be a good idea to clean out your inventory of that item. If it’s not too hard to find “item X” then you may be holding on to things that won’t be able to sell after that patch goes live.

    If the patch notes EVER say anything about new recipes and what materials it will require to make them, it may be a good idea to invest some money into those materials as they may become very valuable after that recipe is found. In addition it may be good to focus on finding that recipe once the patch is released and fully capitalize off your quick thinking.

    Raids are Opportunities

    Raids can also become opportunities if you know what is involved with killing certain foes. If your server starts to shift heavily towards raiding you may see a demand for items that were previously not as important. If a raid boss (with good loot) requires a certain kind of damage resistance (ie: fire, water, earth) there’s a good chance that when the bulk of your server starts to fight him on a regular basis they will look for items that protect from that type of damage. If you had the foresight to see it coming you stand to make a fortune by selling your items to raiding groups. If you’re the guy who sells resistance potions exclusively to guilds that raid that boss daily you could be rich in a week.


    Full Economy Manipulation

    This method is not easily obtainable and requires a huge amount of overhead to get started however it offers the most significant profit margin. This method is also not as easy to pull off in games that have randomly generated items but is quite possible in games with set item names such as WoW or EQ2.

    Have you ever been to the auction house and all the extremely rare items happen to have the same seller? Or have you ever glanced at the popular chat channels and you saw the same seller selling new, rare weapons each day and you thought to yourself “How the hell does he find all that stuff?” The reason is simple, he bought it all.

    As I’ve stated many times throughout this guide when you introduce items into the economy you can set their price because you are the sole provider of that item. It’s harder to set the price when other sellers are offering the same item through auctions and chat channels. So if you have all the money, you simply buy out the competition by paying their price for their items. You then create your own price (often a higher price) and sell them less frequently; you become the centralized source for that item. By doing this and creating a cache of rare items you will become known for your ability to obtain such items and people will seek you out to find what you’ve got in stock.

    The players with this level of economy manipulation will always be the richest players on a server and every server has one (and if yours doesn’t maybe you should step up to the plate). Though it is hard to legitimately pull this method off, it can be done and it’s well worth trying if you’ve got a strong understanding about your game’s economy.

    Conclusion

    A player driven economy means just that, players determine the costs of the items and services in that economy. It’s rare to see players who completely understand the economy and even rarer to see players that act on the opportunities that arise within it. Though you may not intend to become the richest person on your server it’s good to understand how to make money when it is needed.
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  2. #2
    pwner's Avatar Active Member
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    Good job again on jsut posting sum1 elses work geez make it 1 fourm with dif link
    ~~~~HOW DO YOU LIKE THESE CAPSSSSSSS~~~~

  3. #3
    Amedis's Avatar Contributor
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    I wish I knew what you just said ...

    I am not taking credit for creating this guide, but simply sharing it with others. I dont expect people to go 'HEY GOOD GUIDE MAN!', but rather a thanks for posting it if it helped them. This is a guide I found usful, and so I posted it, simple as that.
    Vote for MMOwned everyday at these two sites!
    Vote Here and Vote Here
    Give Reputation For Helpful Posts!

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    delandeth's Avatar Member
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    woohoo

    i'm (kind of) a nublet, so i needed that, thank you very very much for posting this!!!!!!!!!!

    (already made 200g from the full economy manipulation thingy...)

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