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GW's Tips for Gold – The WoW Grinding Guide (and Farming, too)


This Page

Gold Guides

  1. Gold Guide
  2. Getting the gold at Low level
  3. Basic Gold Tips
  4. Gathering for Gold
  5. Grinding
  6. Bank Alt
  7. Networking
  8. Limited items
  9. Professions
  10. Auctioneer
  11. Addons
  12. More Gold Tips
  13. Tycoon Review


So Ya Wanna Be a (gold) Farmer?

Earning gold in the World of Warcraft isn’t that big a deal. It’s pretty easy really. You can start with zip, at level 1, and by the time you hit level 70 be able to spend the 6 grand for your Epic Flying Mount (and training.) Heck, do a few things right and you’ll keep yourself in nice gear throughout your leveling. At level 80, with all the cash provided by the Northrend quests and all the farmable stuff there, you should be doing very well, indeed.

When Cataclysm goes live you should have enough of a clue to become even richer.

Grinding, for the purposes of this page, refers to ...

  1. leveling with the help of lots of convenient mobs of the right level. Along with the grinding you will pick up items to sell to the vendors or the Auction House (AH.)
  2. picking a nice spot and mashing mobs until your brain melts. The standard recomendation is to stock up on Mountain Dew, Pizza, and tunes. Put your brain on the shelf and go for it.

Farming is where you park in a certain area and farm mobs, or ore/herbs until your bags are full or your head falls off from the tedium. The mobs in the area might well be far below your level, but the looting is good. Farming only differs from grinding in that grinding is primarily for XP and farming is primarily for loot, but the terms are often interchangable.

For example, if you're level 63 and you're hacking away at the Basilisks in Terokkar Forest, then you're grinding, since you're getting XP. If you 80 then you're farming, since there's no XP to be had. Why the Basilisks? They drop good skins, eyes (for rep,) meat (which cooks up into a food wanted by casters,) and the occasional item.

Generally, unless you are going for skins and/or meat, humanoid mobs are the best to farm since they drop items, cloth, vendor junk, and cash. Skip the beasts. That said, some beasts are nice to farm.

If you're looking for rep with some faction and the mobs you have to kill to get that rep drop interesting stuff, so much the better. A good example are the various Blood Elves in outland, which drop the signets for Aldor/Scryer rep.

Aside from the boredom factor farming is quite a good way to make a decent amount of gold. It's also an Ok way to kill time waiting for your dungeon/pvp/raid queue to pop.


Basic Tips for the Farming session:

  • Stock up on your favorite drinks, munchies, and tunes.
  • Get the biggest bags you can afford and empty them of anything you don't need.
  • Make sure your banker is ready to receive your mails.
  • A mount makes the farming easier and a flying mount is even better (these are also good for sneaking up on other farmers, of the other faction, and ganking them.)
  • Get a map of your looting routes (the gathererer addon provides one, Tycoon has a better one, or use your own)
  • Start a farmin'!


Where to go

Pretty much every zone in the World of Warcraft has a least a couple of areas that are good for farming somethng. Almost all the zones have herbs, ores, beasties (for skinning) and so on.

You can either check your local AH and see which items are lacking in supply (or have too much supply) and act accordingly, or just go "over there" and get to work.

  • All of your secondary starting areas are good for low level herbs and skins. These might sell for a few gold a stack and beginning crafters need this stuff. Prices might not be so hot at any given time, but unless the market is totally flooded the stuff will sell well. You can also just hold on to it for a few days until prices rise.

  • The same areas, except Teldrassil, are good for copper ore.

  • Any concentration of humanoids is good for pickpocketing, cloth farming, and picking up some minor cash from the kills. Of course, skinning beasties can add up to some nice gold.

  • Elementals, of any sort, will drop elemental items, such as motes of fire, breath of air, crystallized this and that, and so on. These items are used by crafters. Find a bunch of elementals and go to town. It's even more fun in PvP areas, such as Wintergrasp.

  • In the Outlands the Blood Elf mobs and Fel mobs drop reputation items (marks and signets, fel armaments and arcane tomes, and the like) which sell very nicely. Northrend has lots of rep items to collect in the higher level areas. Sell these items in stacks or ten or multiples of ten. I like to use 10, 20, or 30 depending on how many I have on hand.

  • Any critter that drops meat that can be made into a buffing food is a good one to farm.

  • Fishing can be a decent money maker, expecially since the 3.0 patch added the Acievement system. There are various cooking achievements now, so cooking, and the fish needed for cooking, are much more popular than before and the fish you catch sell well.

Specific types of critters, as mentioned above, will drop specific types of loot.

  • Humanoids are great for cloth, cash, and items. They also seem to drop more green items than other mobs will. You can use, sell, or disenchant these (and use/sell the parts.)

  • Beasts are great for skins. They also drop meat for your cooking (or the other guy's cooking) and bits such as the large fang.

  • Spiders drop various kinds of silk, used in crafting, and parts used for cooking, plus vendor goop.

  • Dragon whelps seem to have a better drop for nicer items than many mobs.

  • The Arakokra (Outlands) drop feathers for rep as well as other stuff and can be pickpocketed.

  • Outland Blood Elves drop rep items (Sorry, but player blood elves don't drop anything.)

  • As mentioned above the various elementals will drop crafting bits appropriate to their type, eg: fire elementals drop mores of fire or (in Northrend) crystalized fire. Void walker type things will drop shadow bits. Herbs will sometimes drop life bits.

  • If you're looking for a specific item check out Search on your item and see what drops it, then sort that list to show the thing(s) that drop it most often.

  • Skinnable Cataclysm mobs drops Savage leather (and scraps,) which sells nicely, and the usual bits and pieces. Green item drops sell, too.

  • Volatile elements drop from various things in the Cataclysm zones.

  • Embersilk cloth has a fairly low drop rate, compared to other cloth types, but sells nicely when you get a stack.


Farming for Rare and Epic Drops

Ummm... yuck. Ok, you farm a group of mobs for ten hours looking for that epic drop. And it drops. You sell it for 1,000 gold. You could have made more, a lot more, just by doing your daily quests. At level 80/85 doing your dailies for ten hours will have netted you at least 2k gold plus drops plus rep. At 70 it will still be well over 1k gold plus drops and rep and you'll have more fun doing it.

So no, farming specifically for epics (or blues) isn't such a hot idea, but if you find it interesting then go for it. It's like gambling, you just might hit that jackpot.

Take notes as you level and explore areas. Eventally you will have a list of areas to farm that will be your own. (Tycoon can help with this.) If one area is too crowded just move to the next. Speaking of crowds, weekends are the worst and weekday mornings are the best. Just like shopping at the mall.

While mindless and dull the farming/grinding routine is still a good way to make a reliable steady gold gain. You can easily make several gold an hour at very low levels and upwards of 200 an hour (or more) at high levels. All you need is an area that works for you and has little enough competition that you can repeatedly fill your bags with loot.


If you are a Rogue you can also pickpocket humanoids for additional cash and the occasional item, potions, and lockboxes. In the Cataclysm zones a "Rogue's Draught" drops, every now and then, which is a pretty nice healing potion.

Put your Pickpocket skill in a macro with your opening attack (or sap) and the Pickpocketing becomes automatic. In the long run you will pick up a lot of extra gold this way. Here's an example macro:

This particular macro assumes you're a subtlety Rogue, if you aren't just delete the Premditation part of the macro. Next, replace Cheap Shot with Ambush or whatever you use as an opener.

  • enter the following into the new macro text box

      #showtooltip Cheap Shot
      /cast Premeditation
      /cast Pick Pocket
      /cast Cheap Shot

    This macro will pickpocket your opponent first, then attack. It's free cash, so go for it. If the mob cannot be pickpocketed (such as Basilisks) the attack will still happen.

  • Another macro which makes pocket picking easier, if you're just doing that and not attacking, is this one:
  • /cast Sap
    /cast Pick Pocket

Stun them and pickpocket. This pretty much eliminates the chance that the mobs will catch you with your hands in their pockets.

Using a Glyph of Sap and/or a Glyph of Pickpocket will make this a bit easier.

Now get to work.


Faster and Better Gold Farming

The basic tips on these pages will get you enough gold to buy the stuff you need. To buy the stuff you want you may need more, a lot more. That's why we recommend gold guides. There's a ton of info in them that will make you a ton more gold.

The Tycoon addon will do a lot of the research work for you. Want to know what's selling well so that you can run over and grab some? Tycoon will tell you. Want to know what you should buy out and resell? Tycoon will tell you. It makes the job of accumulating massive amounts of gold much easier. Get yours here.


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