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World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Beta Competition: How fast can you make 25,000 gold in World of Warcraft? NEW! January-March 2012
Recap of Alpha Competition December 2010

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 25

Ironforge, Auction House - Success came at 24 Hours and 48 minutes of /played time.  That's the time it took in /played time to reach 10,000 World of Warcraft gold coins from scratch with a new level 1 character.  In terms of real-life time, it took about 17 days.  The item that pushed me over the top was the Hanzo Sword, something that just didn't want to sell through the entire competition until it knew it would catch some of the limelight.

I intend to do a recap of the experience in a forthcoming post, plus I want to lay out the plan for the future of these 10,000 World of Warcraft Gold Challenge competitions.

Go to the Inclusive Recap of the Alpha Competition

Saturday, November 27, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 24

Ironforge, Auction House - Success is just a breath away.  As you can see from the graphic, I've only got 350 gold to go.  I made my last purchases (a Brain Hacker for 30g and a Diamond Hammer for 4g, relisted them for 95g and 29g respectively), and logged out for (hopefully) the last time.  I'm going to let my auctions soak until late this evening and see if that pushes me over the 10k gold mark.

I've got about 2000 gold in non-gold assets.  I figure that close to 350 should sell, especially given that this is a weekend and there ought to be more people playing today.  If I log in tonight and I'm not over the threshhold, I'll check to see if I can vendor the rest of my stuff to get there, or if I could lower prices to ridiculously low levels so they'd be snatched up quickly.

I really didn't think early on that I'd be able to get this done in under 25 hours.  Just shows you the power of the Auction House in helping to make World of Warcraft gold.

Total Assets after 24 hours: About 11900 gold

Go to Hour 25 of the Alpha Competition

Thursday, November 25, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 23

Ironforge, Auction House - Trying to scrape toward the finish line is sort of like trying to make the money when you are short-stacked in a poker tournament.  You keep waiting for a great hand so that you can feel like you gave it your best shot if you bust out, but there's also that part of you that nags and begs to just hang on and maybe limp into the money.  Well, I've by-passed some reasonable deals coasting toward 10k in order to limit my risk, which has been very unfulfilling.  I did buy a Nightblade for 100g and relisted it at 175g.  That's a great deal at any other point in a reseller's existence and I'd probably sit on it at a relisting of 300-400g, but, I was up to 9300 liquid gold this hour.  So close I can smell it, yet, my inventory is borderline wretched.  There's an old saying in the used book business, "The bad drives out the good".  Basically, this means that the crap is going to sit on the shelf longer than the good stuff, and if you aren't vigilant, you may end up with a lot of crap sitting on the shelf that you have an innate sense is worth more than it actually is.  Sort of an optical illusion for the business world.  I do believe I am suffering from this phenomenon at this point.

Looking back on my early success in this competition, a big boost came from finding a bunch of stuff priced under vendor value at the very beginning.  I've checked vendor values all throughout the competition, and I think I was exceptionally lucky to find what I did when I did.  This might mean that in future competitions that I'm going to need to spend a little more time mining/herbing out in the wild in order to reliably make my seed money. 

One nice thing about this hour, I found another MVP Belt of Tasseled Lanterns for just 10 gold. Not sure why nobody realizes that this thing sells for 50 gold, quickly.  Might be one of those cases where a gear-slot is hard to find suitable items for.

Total Assets after 23 hours:  About 11500 gold

Go to Hour 24 of the Alpha Competition

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 22

Ironforge, Auction House - I can taste the end game.  I'm up over 7500 liquid gold, though my asset stash is sagging.  I'd envisioned hitting the end of this challenge with 5000-6000 in assets yet to be sold along with the 10k liquid gold, but, I think I'm going to just kinda fall over the finish line with very little in net worth beyond the liquid gold.  I've already noticed that I'm completely unwilling to take on something that looks like it might sit for more than a few days.

I'm really surprised I got to this point as quickly as I did.  Somewhere in the mix I must've had some really decent hours that I wasn't fully accounting for in my end-of-hour estimates.  I definitely have some fatigue in-game and in writing about it.  I sincerely need to find a way to show all of my transactions with a nice spreadsheet rather than trying to pick out the few that stood out during the hour.  But the add-ons I keep trying either seem to be broken of not what I'm looking for.  Really, I just need to access the info that is stored in Auctioneer's Beancounter.  I don't consider it any great accomplishment, but I think there may be a few skeptics out there who say that making 10k gold in under 30 hours of /played time isn't possible.  Having the empirical data would help quiet any doubters.

And again, going to the timing of this challenge:  I really think if you knew the WoW Auction House market well, you could complete this challenge without any sort of obscene luckiness in 15 hours of /played time.  I'd even perhaps believe 10 hours.  Anything less and I'd be a real skeptic (unless someone managed to pull off the conceptual equivalent of a  hyacinth macaw swindle I mentioned a few posts back).

I'm also thinking that people might be more inclined to take up this challenge if we removed the "Random server, Random Faction" from the rules.  Who wants to make 10k gold on a realm you are never going to play on again?  Yeah, it standardizes the challenge a little better, but the challenge is on our honor to begin with, so there isn't much sense to doing it on a fresh server.  It takes some of the romance out of it, but, I'll trade a little bit of romance for 10k in the bank to spend on my main character after the competition is over.

One good thing from this hour:  My Aviary Guardsman's Hauberk collection has finally started to move.  I ended up with 7 of them in my bags.  Have sold 3 this hour of /played time for 38 gold a piece.   Sometimes it just takes holding an item until the market clears.  Which reminds me of another incident this hour:  Saw two Hat of Wintry Doom for 29g a piece.  Didn't want two, so I decided to wait and hope one sold somewhere else and then grab the last one.  I know it is wimpy, but I'm trying to be very thin with taking on inventory this late in the challenge:  I want absolute diversification where possible.  Surprisingly, I was able to do it.  One apparently sold, I grabbed the other one and relisted it at 75g.  We'll see what happens.

Total Assets after 22 hours:  About 11,000 gold

Go to Hour 23 of the Alpha Competition

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 21

Ironforge, Auction House - The Cataclysm re-shaping of the world patch went live today.  I spent an hour on my old realm checking out a few of the drastically changed zones including stranglethorn, darkshore, and the barrens.  Blizzard did a nice job.  I was worried that they were intending to change everything, but really the just gave it a makeover.  One thing that MMORPG developers ought to know by now is that you can't bottle nostalgia, but you can keep old zones intact.  I'd say the zones are intact enough that the nostalgia seekers won't fret, but there is definitely a new edge to them.

Upon logging on to the challenge realm, I found another 1200 liquid gold sitting in my Mailbox.  So, I'm 2/3rds of the way there.  Problem is that I don't have enough assets yet to coast into the finish line.  I am going to be logging in frequently tonight though:  I suspect people will be resubscribing in droves which will lead to some odd pricing that I should be able to take advantage of.  Market shocks like patches and new expansion hype can be extremely lucrative for resellers and prices tend to wobble from the highest priced items to the cheapest.  Gold just seems to roll into the coffers because most people aren't at all concerned with gold at high excitement moments like this.

I spent most of this hour putting together last hour's post, and really I'm just on autopilot now.  I found a new add-on that I'm going to tinker with a little to see if I can get it to show all of my buying and selling.

Total Assets at the end of 21 hours: About 10200 gold

Go to Hour 22 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 20

Ironforge, Auction House - For this hour, I decided to do an audit of myself.  When I realized that I had more than 5000 liquid gold, I realized that maybe I've been under-estimating my total assets as I've been working up:  Maybe I'm closer than I thought.  I wrestled with a program that would have allowed me to show all the data BeanCounter has recorded.  It seems to be out of date, so if anyone knows a gnome who could fix it for me, it'd be great for showing exactly what I did during the competition.

As it stands, I took a snapshot in time with a bunch of screenshots.  Tallying everything up, it looks like I have:

Gold = 5537
Assets = 4225 listed, 250 in bags unlisted, 4475 total
Total Assets = 10,012 gold

I just tallied this up and had no idea it would be such a perfect looking tally.  My /played time is 20 hours, 54 minutes at this point and I've reached the 10k asset level.  I've still got some reselling to do, but suddenly coming in under 30 hours looks like it is a possibility.  Some of those items are overpriced and won't sell for what I'm asking, but, conservatively, I wouldn't have any problem saying I have over 9000 gold in assets.

Total Assets after 20 hours (almost 21 hours) : 10,012 gold

Go to Hour 21 of the Alpha Competition

Monday, November 22, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 19

Ironforge, Auction House -  This hour has produced more of the same, nothing groundbreaking.  I got curious about some Khorium Ore (the Titanium Ore equivalent from Burning Crusade) given Auctioneer had it in the "Blue" (meaning it was less than 40% (or thereabouts) of market price).  But I couldn't bring myself to believe that it was worth 35g a piece, so I passed on it. 

I think I'm going to dedicate this competition to Belt of Tasseled Lanterns . Yet again, I found one for 15g that I was able to flip for 60g, and *then* I found another one promptly listed at 17g, which is now sitting at around 60g.  It was my first big success, and it has come back again and again to help me grind through this challenge.

I have decided that 10,000 gold is a good standard challenge.  It is a nice round number.  It's big, but not too big.  And most importantly, there should be some inflation that comes with Cataclysm, which means that 10,000 gold won't be as far into the distance as it is today, just like it is much closer today than it was four years ago.  Plus, I think I might be on pace to do slightly better than the revised 38 hour spot.  All of the sudden I realized I was sitting on over 4000 liquid gold with a pretty decent sized inventory.  If fortune holds for the next two weeks before Cataclysm hits, I think I'll squeeze in under 32 hours of /played time.

For anyone who has seen the television show "Deadliest Catch", you know that there is a real balance that needs to be found for how long you let your crab pots soak.  Let them soak too long on a bad spot, and you'll be wasting a lot of precious time.  Go too short, and you'll be inefficient in having to work twice as hard (if you've found a good spot) as if you'd let it set for twice as long.  The same applies to this gold-making challenge.  Log in too frequently and you are increasing the /played time without letting the bait set long enough or the ocean to churn over its inventory.  And if you don't log in enough, you lose touch with the daily trends in the market, which make it harder to play with commodities.

All else equal, I think if a tortoise (compared with a hare) wanted to complete this challenge in as short a /played time as possible, they could probably do it in 10 hours or less simply by logging in for 5 minutes at a time and scanning for a specific set of can't-miss items.  It'll take them 3 months of real-life time to get there, but I think it could be done.  Great deals come up *all the time*.  And with the Auctioneer search functionality doing 4/5ths of the work for you, it's only a matter of time.  Just look at yet another success from an Epic item flip:  Wapach's Spaulders of Solidarity netted a 300g profit this hour after I fished it off the AH floor for a mere 100g.  You wait for the deals like that to show themselves and you can really minimize your /played time.

Total Assets after 19 hours:  About 7300 gold

Go to Hour 20 of the Alpha Competition

Sunday, November 21, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 18

Ironforge, Auction House -  I found a Spiked Titansteel Helm for 110g that I flipped for 400g.  Other successes this hour include my first Glyph flip - Glyph of Immolate from 3g to 20g, and a couple green jewelcraft items too.  During the next challenge I intend to become more familiar with what might be able to be flipped in the glyph and jewelcraft markets.

Made a mistake this hour by being a little bit lazy with Auctioneer.  Instead of looking up the Small Radiant Shard prices, I relied on Auctioneer's Search function when it said that it found some of them with a 10g or more profit margin.  Problem was that there were a *ton* listed below my purchase price that didn't quite meet the threshold of 10g profit per the Search boundaries.  Not a big mistake, but something to keep an eye out for, especially early on when liquid gold is tight and mistakes are magnified.

I've had a lot of success flipping the following four items:  Swiftthistle, Briarthorn, Mountain Silversage, and Icecap.  All herbs, all with low deposit fees, and each seems to be posted to the AH in incomplete stacks by individuals just looking to get rid of it.  Along with a few other herbs, I keep collecting them and reposting when I have a full stack, usually at 100-200% profit.

At the end of this hour I was turned into a turkey thanks to the holiday event.  Given that the turkey was first choice to be the national bird (until someone decided that an Eagle would be better) of the U.S., and the U.S. was supposed to be (until the 20th century at least) all about unfettered capitalism, I chose to wear my feathers with pride.  Rotund, flightless birds may not make the best national mascots, but if the turkey would have led us down a straighter path of non-interference in our nation's economy, I would have used the Hanzo Sword I can't seem to sell to carve the proponents of the eagle back to their communes.

Total Assets after 18 hours: About 6400 gold

Go to Hour 19 of the Alpha Competition

Saturday, November 20, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 17

Ironforge, Auction House - To find a stack of 7 Golden Pearl for 15g was something I wasn't expecting this evening.  Given that one of them goes for almost 100 gold on this realm, that's probably my biggest (and safest) score so far.

This is what I like to see
I was thinking earlier about what the ideal length this challenge ought to be.  Should it be a race to 10k?  It feels like that might be a little bit far.  I want something that players can complete within 24 hours of /played time and within 2 weeks of real time.  Perhaps I ought to create two brackets:  A 5k challenge and a 20k challenge.  But the Golden Pearl find brings up a good concern:  how much do we want "luck" to impact the challenge?  I just lucked into 500 gold profit.  What if I'd found a Parrot Cage (Hyacinth Macaw) for 10g at hour 2?  Do I win when it resells for 10k in hour 3?  Given that this isn't the Olympics or the Super Bowl, I'm not going to get paranoid about things like that.  No money will be paid to the winners, so, if they beat the challenge in Hour 3, good for them.

My main concern is the tedious feeling I've had with looking up toward the 10k goal.  Though, when you shorten the length of the challenge, you increase the impact that "lucky" purchases can have on your success and it becomes less about Auction House acumen and more about landing on the lucky square in the wheel of fortune.  But, to impugn myself, I feel like the majority of my success during this challenge has been the simple luck of finding the stuff listed, usually using Auctioneer as my lighthouse.

I've decided that reputation-grind items are a gold-mine for a reseller.  The 150 Sunfury Signets I purchased at 50s a piece sold for 1g a piece a little earlier.  That's five different reputation-grind markets I've tried, and each has had quick sales.  People want their reputation at exalted and they don't want to spend the time to farm the reputation.  Which makes perfect sense:  In a functioning economy, you do what you do best and trade what you can do for what others can do.

I've also found that Recipes are nice to pick up when they are under 10 gold.  Doesn't even matter whether they are the highly sought-after ones.  There is a contingent of players who like to have as many Recipes scribed as possible and it seems like they will pay well for the privilege.  Remember, for a level 80 player who has been around for a while, putting 30 gold down on the table is like tossing a nickel in a fountain.  And I'm clawing my way to 10k by providing the nickel tossers a nice fountain.

Total Assets at the end of 17 hours: About 6000 gold

Go to Hour 18 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 16

Ironforge, Auction House - Frostweave Cloth has been a fortuitous juggernaut throughout the afternoon.  Granted, I've been logging in way too much today, but it seems like each time I do I find multiple stacks at 7 or 8 gold a piece.  Then, when I log back in, all of them have sold at 13 or 14g.  During the next challenge I'm going to focus on Frostweave (or whatever the top cloth is from Cataclysm) and work to flip it quickly.  This is what I ought to be doing with all Northrend base trade goods.  And I have managed to flip some Cobalt Ore for decent profits.  Titanium Ore is a bit too pricey to assume the risk, especially considering the propensity of botters to target this market.  And Saronite Ore is virtually worthless for a reseller given that it sells so close to smelted vendor value. (Though, I should say that if you are looking long-term with Saronite Ore and compare it with Burning Crusade's Adamantite Ore, if you have the space to stockpile a large quantity of it, I'd say it would be a low risk, high reward (6-12 months down the line) reward.

This is one of the problems inherent in the World of Warcraft economy:  items that have an intrinsic value that are over-supplied.  And really this applies to *a lot* of items.  Green uncommon gear, for example, is often not priced based on the inherent value of the item, rather, it is priced for the time convenience of having to take the time to post it on the Auction House.  Many people just toss the green item to a vendor because of the time cost associated with getting it to the Auction House. Many items, including Saronite Ore, fall into this category.  Given Blizzard's mentality of catering to the lowest common denominator of its player base, it is no wonder that many markets are over-supplied.  I'd much prefer an economy where everything was considered a scarce resource and that individuals actually had to make economic decisions during game play instead of the gluttonous free-for-all that Blizzard has chosen.  Gear *should* mean something.  It should be more valuable than a two-week solution for a gear slot.  And there are a lot of reasons that go into why the game has evolved as it has, and with most discussions that start with many reasons, the ultimate reason becomes profit, which surely isn't a bad thing -- that is, surely isn't a bad thing if you belong to the lowest-common-denominator cohort of players.  Anyway, time to go play Eve Online.  Not that they aren't rife with botters too, but the economy is deep and central to the game itself.

Total Assets After 16 hours:  About 5400 gold

Go to Hour 17 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 15

Ironforge, Auction House - Frostweave Cloth has tremendous liquidity.  If you set your price as the lowest buyout on the board for a stack of 20, you can bet it will be sold within an hour unless you are undercut in that time frame.  I managed to score about 30 stacks of Frostweave between bids and buyouts over the past day with an average stack cost of about 7g.  In a matter of minutes after I'd listed half of them at 13g a stack, they'd sold.  I've been watching the cloth market for the past few days, and I'm not sure why there is such a glut of Runecloth.  I think the answer might be that dungeons drop a lot of cloth, and because it is so much easier to run dungeons now that the dungeon finder has been implemented, I'm just not used to seeing the mass quantity of cloth available.  And when there is too much supply hitting the market, there is only one place for price to go.

I believe that my success during this challenge would have been doubled had I been willing to dabble in the glyph or jewelcraft markets.  Especially with the recent changes to the way that glyphs work (once you learn one, it goes in your "glyph" book forever, sort of like a spell), players have been making fortunes by supplying the realm with all of the glyphs that everyone suddenly wanted to buy so that they could complete their glyph collection.  I think the lesson here for future challenges would be:  know what is hot, and even if it is a boring market to deal in, there's got to be a lot of money for even a reseller to make timely flips on in-demand glyphs. 

I got lucky again this hour and found a Zom's Crackling Bulwark for 85g and a Durable Nerubhide Cape for 65g.  They were relisted for 750g and 200g respectively.  Also, I've found two Belt of Tasseled Lanterns in the past 24 hours for under 20g.  (You might recall that this belt was my first big success at the AH during this challenge).  One has sold for 65g already and the other is listed presently at 80g.

Given that my liquid gold reserve has pushed above 1500g, I've been looking for a few investment-type items.  Things that may need to sit a few days before the sell, and things that may only have a 30-40% return.  No sense in holding gold until I'm ready to cash out, so, I bought up all the Relic of Ulduar up to 75% of present market value and relisted them at 120%.  All I need is one player who is eager to complete their Sons of Hodir reputation grind.

Total Assets after 15 hours:  About 5200 gold

Go to Hour 16 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 14

Ironforge, Auction House - Found a Combustion Bracers on the AH for 65 gold.  It was promptly relisted for 400 gold.  I had success with the inventory of Mark of Kil'jaeden and Unidentified Plant Parts, so I picked up a bunch of Sunfury Signets at 50s a piece with the intent to sell at 1g a piece.  The great thing about the faction items are being able to stack 200 of them.  I almost wish that 200 was the standard stack size on everything, though I certainly understand why it isn't.  20 is a solid and simple standardizing number.  For the players who choose not to use an add-on like Auctioneer, it is a lot easier to compare prices when there are relatively uniformed quantities.

I've found myself dallying a lot recently in the AH.  I prod slowly through markets I shouldn't prod, and I log in too frequently to see if items have sold.  In the end, it is costing me /played time, which is unfortunate.  I really wanted to beat this challenge by coming in under 30 hours of /played time, but at nearly the halfway point time-wise, I just don't think it is going to happen.  I do believe that it is a reasonable bet that I will have 10,000 gold worth of assets at that point, I just won't have them liquidated.  Right now I'm projecting about hour 38 as my arrival at the 10k point.  And while 263 gold per hour is nothing to sneeze at, I really think an enterprising individual who knows the market backwards, forwards, and sideways ought to be able to trade in excess of 500 gold per hour during this challenge.  Some of that depends on the population size of the realm and some of it depends on how cutthroat the competition is, but there really is a lot of gold to be made if you know what you are doing.  I feel like I'm relying on Auctioneer to make most of my money for me without really understanding the where/why/how and when of it all.

It's really a shame I haven't been dabbling in the Eternal market, but this realm seems to have weird pricing for Eternals.  Eternal Fire is consistently below 20g and Frozen Orb (which can be traded for eternals) are consistently at or below 15g.  On my old realm, Eternal Fire was usually around 30g and Orbs rarely dropped below 20g.  It's possible that a botter or heavy-duty farmer has crashed he Eternal Fire market on their own, or, it may just be the end-of-expansion dip and prices were actually higher a few weeks before I arrived. 

Some other successes from this hour include a Book of Glyph Mastery that I flipped from 20g to 120g.  Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to make that deal, but I never said this was brain science either.  Heck, half the items in the auction house could be flipped for profit at any given time.  You push hard enough, maybe one day you buy out the entire auction house.  Which, of course, sounds like a devilishly amazing new challenge.  I wonder if anyone has some statistics on how much it would cost to buy out the auction house.

Let's see, there are usually about 20,000-25,000 items listed.  For argument's sake, let's say the average price of a listing is 20g.  I have no idea if that's accurate.  So, would 400,000 gold be all that it would take to completely buy out the Auction House? Seems like it *should* take a lot more.

Total Assets at the end of 14 hours:  About  4400 gold

Go to Hour 15 of the Alpha Competition

Friday, November 19, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 13

Ironforge, Auction House - Upon checking the mailbox this morning, it was the first time my liquid gold total eclipsed 1000 gold.  This means that I've got another 3000 gold, roughly, tied up in items.  And speaking of items, 2 of the Runed Mana Bands have sold already at 60g a piece, which means that buying 6 of them at 20g will end up being a great deal.

I was fortunate to win about 15 of the Northrend herb auctions I mentioned at the end of the last entry.  I wonder if I'd not been so greedy with setting my bid if I would have managed to win a lot more.  As it stands, it should be a decent 200-250 gold profit based on the purchase price.  Again, there is a lot of gold to be made putting in bids, and, conversely, a lot of gold to be lost by not setting a proper buyout.

I found about 15 Arcane Crystal individually priced at about 3g per.  Snatched them and have resold half already at 9g.  (And by half I mean roughly half, given 15 isn't divisible by 2).  This was a 75% to 200% play.  I'd had my eye on the Arcane Crystal market for a few days and noticed that there just weren't that many of them.  Also, the Arcanite Bar market seemed a bit inflated, so I figured I'd stand a good chance at selling at double market price.

Total Assets at the end of 13 hours:  About 4000 gold

Go to Hour 14 of the Alpha Competition

Thursday, November 18, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 12

Ironforge, Auction House - So, here's the deal:  Do you buy 6 Runed Mana Band at 20g a piece?  It's a risk, but I'll tell you why I did it.  A few days ago, this same seller was selling 2 of them for 20g a piece.  I purchased them and each sold for 50 or 60 gold.  Will this person make more?  Probably.  But the cost of components are probably 35g-40g, so, he probably isn't buying them directly off the AH, which means he's farming them, which means that there is going to be some lag time (hopefully) until he posts again.  Or, perhaps he is just dumping his inventory in preparation of Cataclysm expansion.

Blues continue to sell here and there, I'm still picking up vendor items when they are 2g or more to run them to a merchant, and of the couple purples I have listed, Glowing Brightwood Staff sold quickly at 200g for 100g profit.  I found a bunch of very inexpensive Unidentified Plant Parts and Mark of Kil'Jaeden to test whether faction items from previous expansions have value.  And, for fun, I found a Howling Blade for 2g which has been relisted for 50g.

The challenge is feeling tedious at this point.  Given it is such a short-term goal, it's hard to push too hard into any one market.  It seems that the smart strategy is to keep wide diversification and not let gold get locked up in any one market.  Unfortunately, I've broken this rule given that the most attractive items from the beginning have been pieces of equipment.  So, you could say that I'm overly invested in gear.  But, of the possible areas to be over-invested, gear is probably the safest, especially when I'm looking to buy below 50% of market value and sell at 100% of market value.  In past experience (and in other games), I've looked more at what an item is intrinsically worth:  How much would someone realistically pay for this item if there was only one of them.  When you start to think this way, the profit margins can get HUGE.  However, the item usually needs to sit on the shelf for a long time before a willing and able buyer comes to meet your crazy price.  The WoW economy offers less opportunity for the crazy priced item given that the best items in the game usually can't be traded, and in situations where they can be traded, it is rare that an item is considered so desirable that it would warrant an outrageous price.

The other thing that makes pieces of gear unique in World of Warcraft is that they are an "end"(player chooses to wear the gear) or a "beginning"(player chooses to disenchant the item).  Because of the enchanting profession, they often have value above the "vendor" value simply because of disenchanting.  It can be a little added insurance in dealing in that market.

I have about 600 gold worth of bids in at about 50% market price on various Northrend herbs.  Will be a very nice bump if I get them, and should let me explore those markets more if I get a chance to see how fast things are moving in it.

Total Assets at the end of 12 hours:  About 3500 gold

Go to Hour 13 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 11

Ironforge, Auction House - When looking for items to resell, you'll often see a situation where there are two of the same item listed at a good price.  Most of the time this is a good thing and occurs because someone posted an auction at a very low price, then someone else came along, frowned, and undercut him.  In a competition like this gold challenge, you'd probably rather see a variety of resalable items, but you can't just walk away except that I found a spot where maybe I should have: Aviary Guardsman's Hauberk .  A few days ago I purchased 3 of these for roughly 15g a piece.  Sold one for about 35g, but now there are no fewer than 5 of them priced at between 15 and 20 gold.  If I was truly brave, I would buy them all out.  However, I just don't know that I can move that many in the time-frame I want.  And who knows how many are still lurking in bags out there.  The added dilemma is that this item requires a very high deposit, so even taking the 2-3 gold profit if I undercut them isn't as simple as it looks.  What I'm going to hope for is that the market clear itself on its own (though I'm not sure there is enough demand) or, and this goes to the glut, price should come down even further.  Given that the item already has a 9g vendor tag, if the price dips anywhere below 15g, I'll just snatch them myself and store them away knowing that the most loss I'm going to take on any of them would be 5 or 6 gold.  Then, once the market has cleared itself, I can go back to posting in the range it ought to sell for:  35-45 gold. 

And, speaking of multiple items of the rare-ish variety, I found another Signet of Edward the Odd , this time priced at 150g.  And again it was a must-buy, even though my original signet still hasn't sold.  The price is now below 500g.  My guess is that this weekend I'll get a nibble, and now that I've got two of them, I'm going to go even lower just to make sure one of them moves.  Maybe I'm overestimating the desirability of this item, but it seems like it is the perfect ring for a Hunter, Rogue, or Feral Druid.  And it even fits with one of my theories of World of Warcraft:  players love procs.  And to have a ring that procs isn't all that common.

I think I might try tampering with the Goldclover market.  I've been watching the high-end herb market hoping to pick one that looked enticing, and it *seems* like Goldclover on this realm is being supplied erratically.  Sometimes there will be many stacks at about 75% of market price, sometimes there will only be a few at 120% of market price.  I probably don't have the liquid gold yet to go all out, but I'm going to try to acquire 10 or 15 stacks at the lower price and see if the window continues to open up toward the 120% zone.  If it does, I'll get more aggressive with it.  This is another of the big risks of the Auction House though:  Is there a botter out there (or just someone with a Goldclover picking obsession) who is going to pop onto the scene and set the market price.  If there was no such thing as botting (and for those who might not know what botting is, it is simply a program that will play your character for you.  Among the things it can do tirelessly well is gather herbs/ores), it'd be much, much simpler to predict supply.  Unfortunately, the big x factor is whether there are aggressive botters working on your realm.  And given the need for gold-sellers to maintain their stocks of gold, you can bet there are.  It's just a matter of whether they are exploiting the specific niche you are trying to capitalize on.

On my old server, the Saronite Ore and Titanium Ore market was dominated by one player for weeks with thousands upon thousands of stacks of Saronite and hundreds of stacks of Titanium.  He'd list Saronite ore several gold *below* its smelting value (meaning that all someone had to do was buy the ore, smelt it, and make a couple gold per stack smelted).  It's one of the unfortunate problems with the World of Warcraft economy, but, the way I've looked at it is like this:  it's just a variable that needs to be accounted for.  Unless Blizzard gets a lot stricter about botting (in other words, spend more money to stop it reliably faster), it's just going to be a reality of the marketplace.

Total Assets at the end of 11 hours:  About 3100 gold

Go to Hour 12 of the Alpha Competition

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 10

Ironforge, Auction House - The dismay of realizing that the Elemental invasion occurs in Ironforge as well as Stormwind makes me think that I really did pick the wrong time to try this challenge.  What I ought to be doing with my WoW account right now is leveling a few alts given that it is ridiculously easy to kill mobs with the changes since the 4.0 patch.  But, I get bored quickly with grinding, so I guess I'm stuck with despawning auctioneers, one-shot deaths from level 80 bad guys, and a sinking feeling that this challenge isn't going to be completed within the 30 hour time-frame that I'd hoped for.

I'm in one of those moods where I feel like I might just ride the tram between Ironforge and Stormwind all night and admire all the determined faces of the many different people of this world. Someone in the trade channel said that they were suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.   I asked why.  He said he'd seen an Orc changing his gear in Booty Bay.  And it was like a thousand lonely Alliance members felt the dull warmth of understanding swell up inside of us as we filled the trade channel with consolation to this fallen angel.  In some strange way it made me feel better about my plight, like somehow I could go on living.

And with that inspiration, I found a Glowing Brightwood Staff for 100g.  Not a great price, but I should be able to work 100g profit out of it within a week. Won a  Burning Skull Pendant on bid for 6 gold.  Just shows that putting in a bid, no matter how low, sometimes pays off.  Also shows that you should never, ever rely on bidding to get the price you want for your auctions.  Buyout is the only way to go.  This doesn't mean that you can't set a bid price somewhere below the buyout to tantalize the buyer looking for a deal -- just don't take the risk of setting it too low.  Makes me wonder what the AH would be like if they had proxy bidding like eBay does.  This would simply mean that you'd input the highest price you'd be willing to pay for an item, and the auction house would automatically "bid" for you up to that price.  So you might get it for a much lower price if nobody else was interested in it.  The nice thing about buyouts, again, is that it only takes one buyer to find your buyout.  In a bidding war, you need at least two interested buyers to push the price up.

Total Assets at the end of 10 hours:  About 2800 gold

Go To Hour 11 of the Alpha Competition

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 9

Stormwind City, Auction House - A great strategy for winning items below typical market cost is to sort the Auction House according to Time Ending Soonest.  I was able to win 100g worth of items this way before I logged off last night for about 20 gold outlay.

This hour was quiet except for the Elemental Invasion that is preceding the Cataclysm expansion.  When the script begins in Stormwind, all of the auctioneers despawn, so I had to take 15 minutes and ride the tram to Ironforge.  I'd actually prefer to be in Ironforge because I've always thought it had the best atmosphere of the Alliance cities.  Unfortunately, the long run to the mailbox from the auctioneers makes it a sub-prime location.  But, it'll have to do for now.

I moved a little into commodities this hour.  Managed to flip about 15 stacks of Frostweave Cloth from 7g50s to 13g50s.  Also found someone who dumped a bunch of cheap odds-and-ends into the Herb market.  Will probably just move them as partial stacks given I haven't found much problem on this server with selling partial stacks of items at market price.

I'm sitting on about 600 liquid gold at the moment and waiting to pounce on something that looks appetizing.  This is almost enough to meddle seriously in a low-end commodities market, and with the breadth of items that I currently have listed, it may not be that big a risk.  The biggest problem right now is that everyone is occupied with waiting for Cataclysm instead of doing stuff with their characters.  The Blue-flip market is going much slower than it would in mid-expansion, though I probably wouldn't be finding the deals that I am either.

Total assets at the end of 9 hours:  About 2300 gold 

Go To Hour 10 of the Alpha Competition

Monday, November 15, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 8

Stormwind City, Auction House - All of the sudden it has gotten hard to breathe in the Auction House.  It feels like every time my gold count goes up, it drops back even further as I add new purchases to the inventory that haven't sold.  I'm currently riding below 100 gold liquid, which puts significant limits on flipping anything except individual items that are very underpriced.

I managed to find another good level 80 epic ring: Signet of the Accord .  Got it for 150 buyout and relisted it at 450 buyout.  It is a tanking ring, so I think it will be a little harder to sell than the Signet of Edward the Odd, but it still *should* sell at that price, or, if I get desperate, around 300.

Top Assets after 8 hours
More Assets
More Assets
Some other successes from this hour include nearly 200 Relic of Ulduar at half market price.  These things are an absolute gold mine on my old server, and they certainly are on this new one too.  When people need the Sons of Hodir faction, they plunk down a lot of gold for a lot of relics in order to complete it.  I wonder if some of the faction items from Burning Crusade still sell well for those looking to complete Exalted faction quests.  Will have to be a market I explore in the future given how frequently people dump the Relic of Ulduar cheaply and in large quantity.  I saw a few Fel Armament at well below market price, but didn't budge for having less than 15 gold liquid at that moment.

A couple other nice finds were a stack of Truesilver Bar for 20g that I flipped for 95g and two stacks of Void Crystal for under 20g a stack that should fetch at least double and probably triple based on AH prices.

Total Assets after 8 hours:  About 2000 gold

Go to Hour 9 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 7

Stormwind City, Auction House - This hour started with a bang and ended with a whimper.  A Signet of Edward the Odd revealed itself on the AH for the tantalizing price of 115g.  I snatched it and relisted it at 799, though 12 hours later there haven't been any bites on it.  It is worrisome that we are so close to the expansion hitting.  Players just don't want to spend good gold on items that will be able to be replaced by dungeon blues in a month.  Though, I'm counting on a few wanting to have a polished character to level with, and that ring will always be worth it at 115g.  I just may need to lower the price below 500 to see it move.  It is the first of my true "assets I'm going to let sit for a while".

I also managed to win one of the Brain Hacker on bid for 60 gold.  Part of the problem in flipping purple items with low absolute profit margin is that the posting deposit to list on the Auction House is relatively high.  I forget what the exact deposit was on the Hacker, but I remember thinking that it'd need to sell at the 100g within 2 or 3 weeks before I was taking a loss on it.

My dilemma right now seems to be that I still don't have enough capital to move into the commodities markets with any force.  In order to corner a specific market for a few days, I need a lot of capital backing the original investment.  Spreading myself more broadly is viable, but it takes longer, and I am trying to complete this challenge as quickly as possible.

I've been having continued success with flipping blue items for 200-300% profit.  Once I have more capital, I'll begin to look for blues that I can flip with only 50-100% profit, but for now, I continue to look for items that are significantly underpriced.

The whimper at the end of this session came when I realized I was down below 50 liquid gold.  I've made a lot of blue-item purchases and pushed into markets I'm not very clear with on liquidity.  The stack of primal shadow I was concerned with in my last hour's post still hasn't sold, plus I have a few stacks of gold bars and other odds and ends that just may not move even in a mid-expansion market.

Total Assets at the end of 7 hours:  About 1500 gold (nearly half of which is the assumption that I'll get 700 or more for Signet of Edward the odd)

Go To Hour 8 of the Alpha Competition

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 6

Stormwind City, Auction House - This hour was trudging along until I found two Runed Mana Band at well below market price:  11g a piece.  The first one already sold for 59g and I've got the second one posted at 89g.  The same person who was selling these really cheap items also had 5 necklaces of some sort, but I chose not to buy them even though they were quite low compared to standard pricing.  5 was a few too many, even though I am starting to get to the point where I can feel more comfortable sitting on items for a longer period of time.  I considered buying one or two and letting others buy out this seller, but there is always a chance that this player is one of those folk who find it fun to craft items and sell them below the cost of their components.  This is always a risk you run when you are dealing in crafted items:  that someone out there just really loves to make XYZ widget and farms the necessary components to do so, even if they'd make more gold by just selling those raw materials into the market.  Never underestimate the desire of some people to have fun in World of Warcraft.

The other good find for this segment of time was The Black Knight for 20 gold.  I currently have it posted at around 75g.  One flier I took was on a stack of Primal Shadow for 20 gold.  I have no idea how Burning Crusade tradeskill items like this one sell, but Auctioneer said it was well below market value, so I thought I'd test the waters and see how long it takes to sell at 45g.  I'm thinking I maybe should have broken them down into stacks of 5 or 2 or even 1.

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge
Near the end of the sixth hour, I did a full inventory of assets.  I had 366 gold and about 525 gold in assets, which puts me at roughly 900 gold through the first 20% of my estimated alotted time of 30 hours /played.  I'd say that this puts me ahead of schedule, even if it is only 9% of what I'll need to finish simply because it should get easier to make gold up til about the 1000-1500 liquid gold level, at which point gold-making should plateau and it will be just a matter of smartly grinding the way up to 10,000.

Total Assets at the end of 6 hours:  About 890 gold

Go to Hour 7 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 5

Stormwind City, Auction House - The great excitement from this hour came when a level 80 undead mage bounced into the auction house and killed the auctioneers.  This happened during a scan, so I /frowned and logged out.  Really made me angry that the Stormwind guards weren't able to dispatch the filthy horde.  They have one job and that's to protect the citizens of Stormwind from evil-doers such as that mage.  If they weren't too busy giving directions to young alliance adventurers, this sort of economic disaster could have been avoided.  To think that Stormwind was without a marketplace for the several minutes it took to find suitable replacement auctioneers is unconscionable.

Anyway. The big decision during this hour of /played time was whether to buy a Brain Hacker for 100 gold.  At the time, I had about 200 liquid gold plus another 100-200 locked in physical assets.  The price is probably right at 100 gold to buy and hold with the expectation it would sell at 200 gold within one week, but, I decided it just wasn't worth the risk.  Reason was two-fold:  First, I don't have experience in playing melee at the mid-50's level.  Seems like it would be a great weapon, but hard to say how desirable it really is.  Second, the opportunity cost of holding that item right now could be enormous if something better comes along.  It doesn't feel like a slam dunk at 100 gold.  If it was 50, yeah, I'd snatch it and then relist at 100.

The great thing about this decision came a few hours later when I logged in for another scan and saw that a second Brain Hacker had been listed at 85 gold buyout.  So, instead of just having to sell my item, I would have had to wait for someone else to sell their Hacker first.  The other great thing about this situation is that I have a bid in on the original Brain Hacker for 24 gold with less than 12h left.  In my experience, there is a reasonable chance I'll win it, which in itself could have been the reason why I would have passed on the 100 gold buyout.  If I'd had closer to 500-600 liquid gold, I'd seriously consider buying out both Hackers, but it is just too tight right now to put that much gold into one duplicate asset.

Speaking of bids compared with buyouts, it is amazing what will slip through on a bid.  People just don't want to play old-style eBay with the Auction House.  They want their item *NOW*, and many many pairs of eyes look right past an obscenely low bid price.  I managed to score a Deviate Scale Belt for 5.50g on bid, which I've marked up to 30g.  Even with the risk of it being a player-crafted item, you can't miss on a staple twink belt for multiple classes.

Other successes during this hour include finding 3 Scarlet Ruby for 20 gold (total).  These resold quickly for 30 a piece, which netted a near 70 gold profit.  The other flip worth mentioning was a stack of Silver Ore that I got for 25g and sold for 55g.

It looks like someone else on my realm has been cleaning out the below-Vendor auctions, which is just fine given that I'm nearing the range where it is barely worth clicking the button to examine them.

Total Assets at the end of 5 hours:  About 500 gold

Go to Hour 6 of the Alpha Competition

Saturday, November 13, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 4

Stormwind City, Auction House - It takes 10-12 minutes to do a scan, check the mail, use the Search function in Auctioneer to look for Vendor items and Resale items, look for items based on category (I'm partial to herbs and ores right now), post what I've bought for resale, and log out.  That means I get 5 to 6 cycles per hour of /played time.  The best thing about World of Warcraft, gold making in World of Warcraft I should say, is how quick you can turn an item around and have it out there for someone else to buy.  The only place you really see this sort of thing in real life is on a stock exchange, but the market is so fluid at a stock exchange that there is rarely much short-term profit margin.

During this hour, I dipped my feet a bit more into commodities.  I purchased 2 and a half stacks of Sungrass at roughly one gold per Sungrass.  I quickly resold them at 1.50g, and I probably could have posted at 2g a piece, but, again, I just don't have enough baseline gold at this point to really maximize my expected return.  This poses an interesting psychological problem:  What happens in a few days time when I see Sungrass selling at 1.50g and think it is a good deal to buy up and post at 2g?  Do I let the breadth of my sales win out over a specific instance of maybe selling too low?  Or, do I treat the purchase as objectively as possible -- if there is profit to be made, make it.

My biggest score during this hour came late with the purchase of 470 Relic of Ulduar at about 20s a piece.  I quickly reposted and doubled my purchase price by the next time I logged in.  This is another situation where I certainly could have gotten more if I'd let them sit at a higher price, but I need the gold now.  I also noticed that the person who purchased them from me flipped them up to about 50% higher than where I posted them.  And I'm sure they will sell, it just might take a few real life days to do so.

Total Assets at the end of 4 hours: About 300 gold

Go to Hour 5 of the Alpha Competition

Friday, November 12, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 3

Stormwind City, Auction House - The first great score came at roughly 2 hours 40 minutes of /played time.  I had run a few quick Auction House scans and came up with a few items to resell -- some low level Green gear, a few under priced herbs like swiftthistle and dreamfoil, and a few decent vendor items (one high level green piece netted 8 gold profit alone on simply running it across the square to the vendor).  But the big one came when I found Belt of Tasseled Lanterns on sale for 19 gold.  I did a quick check at Allakhazam's pricing data and sure enough, I ought to be able to get 100-150 gold for it.  Even though it cost me most of my liquid gold, it was a risk I knew I had to take.  The margin was too high, and it's just the sort of item that a level 80 hunter or possibly shaman would easily plunk a hundred gold on.

When I logged back in after a few hours, it had sold for my posting price of 99 gold, which at that point nearly tripled my highest previous gold total.  I still need to be cautious at this point, but all of the sudden running an item from the mailbox to the vendor for 10s profit doesn't seem as good a deal as it did an hour of /played time ago.  Finding that belt early on could prove to save hours of time given I just jumped through one of the steepest parts of the gold accumulation curve.  Another decent score during this time frame was finding a Belt of Valor for 5 gold and quickly reselling it for 19 gold.

In the past on my normal server, when I fiddled with the reselling market, my general policy was to buy Blue (Rare) items at 10 gold and under and mark them up to 45 gold.  Of course, that's a very general rule, but it seemed that this was a pattern that worked for a lot of blue items.  In this gold-making challenge, I'm going to be especially careful not to price the same way I would if I had infinite resources.  I need items to turn over quickly.  I don't want to get stuck in a situation where I've got ten great items posted at prices that should sell over a one-week time frame and miss out on an item I could buy for 500 and flip for 1500 in a 24 hour time frame.  It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.  And *especially* with this being the very end of an expansion, I expect to see some bizarre pricing in the Auction House.  For example, a few days before I started this challenge, I found a Shadowblade on my home server for 50 gold which I quickly flipped for 500 gold profit.

Total Assets at the end of 3 hours:  About 170 gold

Go to Hour 4 of the Alpha Competition

Thursday, November 11, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 2

World of Warcraft.  Gold and the pursuit of 10,000 pieces of it. (Somewhere outside of Goldshire)  Upon logging back in, I had some good fortune with finding Copper nodes by running the ridge that runs east/west and parallel to the main path through the zone, looping down to Jarod's Landing, then back up to the Fargodeep Mine.  Within forty minutes I had nearly 3 stacks of Copper ore which, given my experience, should net about 10 gold, which will be enough not to have to leave the city again.  I set the auctions at the auction house, did a quick get-all scan with Auctioneer to start building some realm data on prices, and logged out.

After a few hours, I logged back in to find 11 gold waiting for me in the mailbox.  I was finally in business.

The first thing I did was run another get-all scan (this type of scan is much faster than the full scan and does basically the same thing).  You can access it in Auctioneer by clicking on the button that looks like a fast-forward symbol (>>) on the standard auction house tab.  It takes about 2 minutes to run, though if you have a slower computer it can take somewhat longer.  Still not nearly as long as running a full scan.

After that scan completed, I went to the "Search" tab of the Auctioneer program and performed a search for Vendor items to sell.  Auctioneer looks for items that are being sold on the Auction House that can be sold to a vendor for more than the current sales price.  As good fortune would have it,  someone was selling about 20 Living Ruby for 50 silver a piece below vendor price.  These along with a medley of other items that have 5-15 silver profit associated with them brought my gold total up to 23.

Finally it was time to look for some items to flip.  Given that I still have a very small amount of gold,  I wanted to be very cautious here and not get invested in just one or two items.  So, the plan was simple:  look for low-level uncommon (Green) items that were below 50s a piece and relist them for 4 or 5 gold a piece.  I focused on items that had Int/Sta, Agi/Sta, or Str/Sta on them as these are always the ones I seem to look for when I'm leveling a new character.  I found 4 of them that fit my criteria, posted them, and logged out.

Total Assets at the end of 2 hours : About 30 gold

Go To Hour 3 of the Alpha Competition

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Hour 1

I chose to start as a Human Rogue.  I plowed to level 5 by doing the quests in the start zone and grinding on the humanoids.  Because it is *really hard* to die now at low levels compared with a few years ago, it goes very very quickly from 1 through 5.  At level 5 I ran to Stormwind City and trained mining with the plan being to mine a few stacks of copper ore as my seed money before making the Auction House my permanent gold-making enterprise.  The plan seemed to be working well until I noticed that there was a level 61 Death Knight galloping around Elwyn Forest mining copper.  At this point I was just past the 1 hour /played time and decided to call it a day.

There were a couple mistakes I made that I will remedy next time:  Firstly, I forgot to train Eviscerate and Stealth.  One of my prime targets for Copper Ore will be the Fargodeep mine.  The next mistake I made was failing to get herbalism as a starter too.  The new interface allows for both mining and herbalism to be tracked simultaneously.  The final mistake was not choosing to make the Goldshire Inn (or the inn at Stormwind) my home before running back out into Elwyn Forest.  Small things, but the small things like this add up.

Total Assets at the end of 1 hour:  About 2 Silver

Go to Hour 2 of the Alpha Competition

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: Alpha Competition - Prelude 1

Given that this is the first time I'm going to attempt this challenge, it's hard to estimate exactly how long it will take to reach the 10,000 gold plateau. The real trouble with playing the Auction House game right now is that we are about three weeks away from the launch of Cataclysm, which means the market for many items is very quiet.  When a market is sputtering, it can allow more room for profit margin at the cost of having to hold inventory longer to find a willing buyer. It's not the ideal situation, but, I expect a lot of the reselling profit will come from semi-unique items (rares and epics) instead of widespread commodity (herbs, ores, etc) trading and manipulation.

My goal for this first attempt at 10,000 gold is to reach it at 30 hours of /played time and no more than 30 days of real life time.  I think it can be done a lot faster under the right conditions, but, seeing as this is a trial run, I'm not going to get too greedy with my goal.  As for my trading knowledge, it is fair, not great.  I've dabbled some in the reselling market over the years, but never pushed hard in it.  Part of speeding up the 10k arrival time will be knowing exactly what to look for, knowing exactly where the liquidity in the market seeps, and keeping up to date with weekly trends.  Refined usage of the Auctioneer add-on will also be enormously helpful in picking out profit from markets I'm not accustomed to dealing in.

I think the biggest challenge in this game will be staying closer to liquidity than I normally would with a high level character.  This means that a rare pet that could be bought and resold for 500 gold profit might not be appropriate in this challenge given the slow-moving nature of vanity items.  If the price is right, the risk may still be worth taking, but there always needs to be a balance between profit margin and profit margin that can be realized in a short period of time.  In other words, it would have been great if the captain of the Titanic could have stunned the eastern seaboard by putting her into New York City port a day ahead of schedule, but, in doing so, you've probably increased the risk of catastrophe.  That isn't to say that I don't want to take risks -- they just need to be taken in the context of the challenge.
Go To Hour 1 of the Alpha Competition

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rules for World of Warcraft Gold Challenge

World of Warcraft Gold Challenge: How fast can you make 10,000 gold from scratch?

1) Create level 1 character on Random server, Random faction.
2) Use only Auctioneer and Postal Add-ons
3) No trading with other players. No donations. All activity must go through the Auction House (or through farming).
4) Tradeskills are permitted.
5) To win the challenge, reach 10,000 liquid gold.
6) Take note of in-game time by using the /played command. Also take note of how long it takes you in real life. All else equal, 10k made in 15 days is much more impressive than 10k made in a month.

Good Luck!
Go To the Alpha Competition Beginning, Hour 0