World of Warcraft: Gold Guide for the Launch of Mists of Pandaria

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World of Warcraft gold guides are a dime a dozen. So why should you read ours? It's specifically tailored for the end of Cataclysm and preparation for Mists of Pandaria. What's more, it's aimed not only at full pros but also at trading beginners: over the course of our six-part series, we'll explain the most important gold tactics of the pros and all the necessary add-ons. With this you will rake in a considerable gold cushion in the next few weeks and make a lot of money at the start of MoP. Today: Part 1, Part 2 from 13 August.

WoW players need gold! Not just a few lousy bucks for potions or buff food, but the real fat cash. Just imagine it: You're walking along the beach in Mists of Pandaria, dressed in the most expensive and powerful Epics, fresh from the auction house. At your side, your trusty race mammoth with your obedient servants to take care of the repairs, and in your luggage, you have the noblest and rarest profession recipes of the new continent. As one of the first, you'll have the right equipment for heroic instances and new raids, and who knows, maybe your prosperity will advance you so fast that you'll even get the achievement as the first level-90 character of the server. You would indeed be the hero of World of Warcraft.

Gold can't buy you everything in WoW, sure. No friends, no raid spot, no guild. Well, good. Guilds lately, yeah. But gold makes life massively easier. You can buy materials for your professions directly from the auction house without having to farm them laboriously. Instead of waiting forever for enough bravery points or loot in the raid, you simply buy the equipment for certain slots from the auction house. It's a well-known fact that new add-ons come with lots of new, expensive pets and mounts, and in MoP, there are even some particularly fancy ones. For many players, these aren't worth the gold, but hey: riding into battle on a mighty, glowing Asian battle dragon is a bit more impressive than riding a shaggy yak.

The basics: How to earn your first gold in WoW
One thing up front: this is not a half-assed feel-good gold guide. We're not going to tell you that you can become a WoW mogul in no time at all by spending half an hour a week. If you want to get rich, you have to work. If you just want to earn a few extra bucks, you'll find various tips in this series of articles, which you can of course also use to fill your coffers from time to time. But then you'll miss the opportunity to be the envy of all your fellow players. Your choice.

There are different ways to get gold, some exciting, some boring, some immensely lucrative, others just bring in a little extra cash. However, every method of earning gold can be broken down to one of the following basic variations: Farming, Refining, Trading.

Farming in WoW
Glow silk cloth can be found in Shadowmoon Vale, among other places. 
Among other places, you can find Glow Silk in Shadowmoon Vale.
Source: PC Games
"Farming" is when a player collects ores, leather, and herbs, or kills enemies to collect their loot. The goods thus obtained can be processed or sold off in the auction house. For the sake of simplicity, we will also refer to the income from instance visits and from leveling or questing as farm income in this guide. After all, the same principle applies there: you go somewhere, break something, and collect something. In Cataclysm, farming, like farming professions, is not very profitable on most servers. The time investment is simply too high for the return, so we only recommend players with very little gold or a lot of time to farm their materials themselves. This will not change until World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
Farming Tip: Glowsilk material is expensive on most servers and is always needed. The easiest place to farm it is with the ogres and ettins in the Shadow Highlands, above the smite post (see map) or with the troggs on the Needlerock Quarry in Deepholm. Throw in a Potion of Treasure Finding before the adventure to get extra loot in the form of small boxes. Glut silk cloth is also very often found in these.

Refining items through professions
The best way to earn gold in terms of time and revenue is the following: You buy raw materials from the auction house, use your professions to transform them into other goods in one or more steps, and then sell your new products. Alright, again you need to know a few things about the market on your server, browse the auction house and do a bit of math. But the effort is much less than with pure trading. On the other hand - and this is the gigantic sticking point - refining goods through professions is much more time-consuming, after all the production of goods costs time. On the other hand, the profits are predictable and very secure.
The refinement tip: There are always large and small variants of enchantment essences; three of the small ones can be combined - even without enchantment art - into one large one and one large one can be disassembled into three small ones. Now, in the auction house, three small ones often cost much more than one large one. Your luck: Buy some Large Celestial, Cosmic or Eternal Essences, make small ones out of them and sell them at a profit. There's really no easier way to refine things.

The traders for the Ghost Dye recipe can be found in Feralas.
Source: PC Games
In pure trading, you buy an item from a player, NPC, or the auction house and try to get rid of it for a profit. All without upgrading or processing the item. Some players even make this their main occupation in WoW. These players are commonly called brokers, as they work similarly to stock traders. Pure trading is the most difficult form of earning gold: for this you need to know the market exactly, you need to know how much your trading item is usually worth, how much competition you have and sometimes you also need patience, because not every trading item can be sold in a few hours. We're not going to lie to you: Broken is the most profitable form of trading if you can master it, but it's also the riskiest.
Trading tip: The two merchants Bronk (Horde) and Logannas (Alliance) in Feralas sell the Alchemy recipe for Ghost Dye for 90 Silver each. You can get rid of it in the auction house for 100 to 500 gold, depending on the server. Attention: The recipe is limited and only appears once every 20 minutes. It's best to place a twink there and log in from time to time to buy it and send it to your trading twink.