On Gold and Gollums, an overview into the Gold Farming and Selling Industry

Few things (other than the fact that Alliance sucks, consists of a majority of 12 year old boys pretending to be girls and playing female Night Elf rogues and hunters) divide the general public on Blizzard’s WoW more, than the practice of buying and selling gold on the Internet for in-game purposes. Some call it a heinous crime, some simply frown upon it, others see no harm in the practice, and few applaud the ability to make money of virtual goods.

But what’s really behind WoW Gold? Where does it come from, who buys it, and how does – if any – it impact our day to day gameplay in Azeroth?

Let’s begin with the people behind WoW Gold. Who’s farming it, who’s selling it, and who buys it?

Gold in the World of Warcraft is accumulated in a few distinct ways. It drops off humanoid, dragonkin, and undead monsters, it is received as quest rewards, and it can be made by selling items to vendors or on the Auction house. Unlike “real” economies, the amount of gold available to everyone in the game (or one server, for that matter) isn’t fixed. There’s no finite number of coins in circulation, rather every new spawn has a chance to increase the amount of currency available, while vendors, trainers, flight path masters, and such function as money sinks, gabbing currency and effectively destroying it.

Because of this, and due to the fact that even a fully destroyed, all epic, set of clothes rarely costs more than 12g to repair, a frugal player can, and will, increase the amount of money owned slowly but steadily. The trick to accumulate more money than on average is to spend little on items, transport, and repairs, while hitting places with easily to kill mobs whose chance of dropping something good and good (above 30s) amounts of money. In Winterspring alone, I can point out four areas with such mobs.

Another means of acquiring gold is by hitting places that show no competition, drop above average items and gold, and are – especially on PvP servers – non susceptible to interruption by player interaction. Those places are usually found inside instances, yet there are a few places outside, which qualify as well (Darkwhisper Gorge comes to mind).

The menial task of acquiring gold is usually performed by full-shift 24/7 characters whose gear is just good enough to do the deed, yet not expensive/good enough to cost a lot in repairs or to acquire. The common theme of “Chinese Gold Farmers”, while not absolutely correct (as much as it’s an incorrect statement to assume that every Chinese player is a Gold Farmer), describes the situation quite well. Paid often less than $3 an hour, these “Farmers” seek out above described places and attempt to accumulate as many items and gold as possible within their 9 to 12 hour shifts. To reduce downtime, Farmers are often visited by mule characters, which pick up and transport gold and items to the nearest big city. From there, a third character, often on a different account, posts wares on the AH, sells Greys and un-auctionable items, and announces services and goods in local trade channels. This char is the most public and therefore most likely to be banned. Most farmer “workshops” therefore ensure a separation between collectors and announcers.

Batches of Gold, often 10,000g or more, are then moved in-game to mules owned by Gold Sellers. The biggest gold selling provider in the USA is IGE, whose background we’ll investigate in a second. IGE and similar pay between $20 and $60 per 1000g, offering the same amount on their websites for $100 and more. To increase turn-around and revenue income, Gold Sellers also employ a number of techniques to ensure AH prices for easy-but-hassle-to-farm items stay high, anticipating demand (such as the items needed for the War Effort, the Dungeon 2 set, or class quests), and providing not only a higher income for posted items, but also a higher demand for purchased game currency by making some items simply unobtainable, financially.

As mentioned above, most of the gold sales in WoW, EQ2, and Lineage2 are funneled through IGE. IGE itself sells gold at discounted prices in large quantities to other sellers and holds a number of gold sales domains not visibly associated with IGE, so even gold sold by other entities may, very likely, fund IGE. Recently, in January 2006, IGE itself spun off into IGE, the Gold Seller, and RPG Holdings, which functions as a parent company to IGE, Thottbot, Allakhazam, OGaming, and others, making it possible for IGE to purchase and – indirectly – control fan sites without directly attaching the stigma of a gold seller to those assets.

Financially, IGE is very well off. Pre-WoW it purchased two competing gold selling operations, each for an undisclosed amount over $10 million. Its purchases of Thottbot, OGaming, and Allakhazam are rumored to be in a lower, yet still financially very profitable margin to its previous owners.

But who are IGE? Former dot.com fiends, avid Disney fans, and those of us who follow the news, will recognize the name Brock Pierce. A child actor, Pierce made technology headlines as one of the tree founders of DEN, the Digital Entertainment Network. DEN tanked something fierce, something not completely unrelated to the fact that, three days before its IPO, all three of the founders were accused of pedophilia. Pierce moved on to start, and tank, a Data Storage business, and following that, IGE.

So much for the outside. An “outstanding” company, controlling all but a few of the current main fansite targets, spending millions of dollars every month in acquisitions, marketing, and more, financed entirely by the farming and sale of a virtual good, gold.

After waiting in queue for about 34 minutes, let’s check the inside of WoW for signs of farmers. As mentioned previously, pure gold drops off mobs are by far not sufficient to cover the needs of our farmers in terms of daily gold turnaround. To accumulate the needed amounts, rare and otherwise precious items must be farmed and sold to individuals or in the Auction House. This would be an equally futile approach at fair market prices (about 300% above vendor prices). Gold can only be made quickly and in satisfying quantities if the market prices are controlled and artificially increased. To achieve this, farmers depend on the seller community, which – in turn – relies heavily upon two dynamics: control of the market and Auctioneer.

First, control of the market. It might sound hard, but in reality it isn’t. Some farmer groups enjoy the particular edge, illegal (as in “banned by the ToS”) tools give them, others simply use numerical advantages and a level of ruthlessness, to come ahead of regular gamers. To see an example of illegal “hacks” and tools used, I suggest a routine “/who Dire Maul” and to count the number of Hunters around level 48 inside the instance. DM is neither designed to be soloed, nor survivable by a level 48 Hunter in grey and white armor, so Gold Farmers use tools allowing them to teleport, use terrain advantages, and increase movement speed, while avoiding trash mobs and going right for bosses from a safe spot. One such boss is the Ogre King in Dire Maul, which can be soloed quite nicely after installing a program downloadable on the Internet.

Since such a run takes less than fifteen minutes, and Bizzard’s instance timer is conveniently set to allow four instance resets per hour, a farmer can emerge from DM after eight hours of work with enough money and goods to sell and Disenchant into shards, to make his or her quota of 2000g a day.

Secondly, control of AH and general prices. Complicit in this scheme is an unlikely offender – Auctioneer. This addon, loved by everyone who ever set foot into an Auction House in Azeroth, suggests prices based on previous sales. A good move by sellers is often to buy out all quantities of a known demanded item (such as, for example, Twilight Cultist Texts or Twilight Cultist Sets) and repost them at a slightly higher price. Users of Auctioneer, posting their drops, will adjust and attempt to only slightly underbid the gold seller’s price, elevating the overall price range for said goods up a notch or two. By doing this repeatedly, a price six to nine times the “healthy” median can be set and demanded.

It’s time for an example, I think. And I’ll make it quick and painless. Here’s how (given the infrastructure) to turn $200 into $2000 in a few days, no work needed.

Using the $200, purchase 10,000 gold from a farmer. Split the gold evenly into two stacks, selling one on the Internet at going prices, and using the other stack to manipulate the AH. The 5000g you are selling on the Internet should net you close to $500.

Assuming this tutorial happens four weeks before Patch 1.10. From playing on the Player Test Realms (PTR) and reading the forums, you know that Arcanite Bars and Delicate Arcanite Converters are needed to complete part of the Tier .5 (Dungeonset 2) quests. Using your 5,000g, you purchase all of the following from the AH: Thorium Bars, Arcane Crystals, Delicate Arcanite Converters, and Ironweb Spider Silk. You then repost those at a very slightly elevated price (about 10% more than you bought them for). In the coming days your mule will buy all offerings of such goods that fall beneath your current target price, reposting them at target or slightly above the current price. As Auctioneer prices are scanned and adapted, more players will offer their wares slightly (5%) below your price, and buying them is no longer as critical as in the beginning. Your goal, and this take some patience, is to slowly but steadily increase the overall price of all components needed to complete this quest.

Over time, others, non farmers, will follow suit and sell their wares at your price. You have reached your goal. Not only will your farmed and purchased items sell for a heck of a lot more, increasing the gold pool you have on your mules for sale on the Internet, others also demand these prices, making it more likely for buyers to cave in and purchase online gold.

But wait, there is more. As the enterprising gold seller, you purchase gold and sometimes items from gold farmers. Gold farmers are not only used to, but plan for capacity ahead of time in the event of, being kicked off the game. Why not abuse this a bit? Clearly not as attached to their toons as a regular player, your farmers only need a little financial incentive. Promise bonuses to those farmers who manage to artificially deplete the AH and common supply of a needed good. In our case, a $500 bonus to a farming group for squatting a mob drop, mines, or precious herbs would suffice.

If you were out in Winterspring, heading for that Rich Thorium Deposit, and someone blinked past you (likely a rogue or hunter), moving faster on foot than your Epic horse could take you, only to mine the mine and move on to the next one, you were the “victim” of such a bonus. A combination of minesweeper (a tool sold by a french company, which monitors server-client events and blinks its operator’s char to any Rich Thorium Mine that just popped up in the area) and teleport hacks made it possible.

There is no denying it. Such practices do harm a server’s economy. Artificially inflated AH prices, hacks used to squat mines or camp spawns, those are tangible damages done. But how about the intangible ones? Have you ever been attacked and instantly cut down by a rogue dual-wielding The Butcher and some Epic Dagger, wondering how a level 27 could afford the money or make it into Scarlet Monastery? The answer are gold farmers, both as a means to finance the purchase and as a way to get those drops into the AH. A carefully rafted balance between risk, effort, and reward is upset, making the best equipped players not those who spent time and effort, but those who spent $100 on eBay or with IGE.

Still think buying WoW gold isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be?

22 Comments so far

  1. pierce1215 (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

    That was the best explaination of the process I’ve ever read, and I thank you for the time you had to put into it.

    my only quibble – i’m alliance, 26 and a woman. for realz, as they say in the parlance of our times.

    i’m on thunderhorn and the prices are way out of control. while i use auctionerr, i’m more concerned in getting a sale than making a buck, so i check the suggested price and go at least 5% less, often much more. there ain’t much one – and i really mean one – person can do to fix it, so we all need to not be willing to pay and sell at rediculous prices.

    finally, i don’t understand the buying gold mentality. i just don’t get it. it’s a game, one that i enjoy and think of when i’m not playing it. hell, i have an emotional attachment to my pet. but i’m not going to pay EVEN MORE money to play.

    /end


  2. Triko (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 6:38 am

    I think Jonas deserves a MBA from Blizzard U! Great write up! However, I honestly think that gold farming has only a small effect on the economy of any WoW server. What about non-farming players that are capable of gathering rare resources and selling them at ludicrous prices? For example, mats for Major Healing Potions on my server sell for at least 20g a stack. So the Sansam and Silversage needed to produce 20 pots is around 40g. An alchemist would need to sell each stack of pots for 10g to break even. Of course, sellers want to make a profit. So the price of a stack of 5 Major Healing pots on my server is 20g! So what is one to do to afford items many would think necessary to play this game?


  3. Nico (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 8:51 am

    Very interesting post. I have only been playing since February but I was just spammed by a gold farmer for the first time the other day. I had no idea that gold-farming in WoW was such big business! :/


  4. dave (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 9:44 am

    The flaw in your theory of price fixing is that it depends on one person holding on to the mats and money for an extended period. In the farming industry, one character may be played by numerous people, each of which has a daily quota. When the character holding the goods is passed to the next player, that person is likely to liquidate the goods for a fast buck so that they can make their quota without any work.

    In addition, prices are far more likely to be raised by the non-farmer. Think about it – the non-farmer wants to make a tidy profit but has no timelines. A farmer needs a profit *NOW*, so they will price items a little lower than the rest of the realm. They aren’t going to hold on to that Krol Blade or the Arcane Crystals until they find someone to pay the highest price. They will price it to sell before the shift is over.


  5. arc_legion (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 10:17 am

    Decent article. So far, prices haven’t gotten so out of control that I can’t afford them, but then I’m on a relatively fresh server (Drak’thul) and prices aren’t that inflated.

    The thing I’ve noticed though, is that while prices of rare and epic items get jakked, that gradually spreads out, jakking the rest of the market, too. I don’t make 2000 gold a day, but with effort I can get damn close to 100, even before level 30.

    What scares me though, is the possibility that it will deter new players, which is a significant and damning impact on WoW and Blizzard.


  6. Joe (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 10:19 am

    I think all the people who posted really missed the point of his article. You should all re-read it and actually pay attention to what he says about the market. Farmers make the market work in completely the wrong way. Some of their tactics include RAISING the supply and through manipulation, also RAISING the price. Normally, an increase in supply, the the same demand, means a decrease in price. Now, add to this the fact that by selling gold, more people can afford and therefore demand these BoE epics. Now the farmer has increased supply, demand, and price, and can rake in a great profit.

    As for the guy holding on to stuff, he was just illustrating how a single person can impact the market. This person doesn’t have any deadlines or anything and can comfortably sit around wait for their manipulation of the market to take effect.

    Gold farming really needs to go, period.


  7. Montauhk (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 10:22 am

    Anyone have any links to articles about gold selling that are written but someone who can really speak on the issue, like an economist? This is really a lot of conjecture, and the only real problem I see here is the use of Hacks. “Artificially inflated” is an oxymoron. What does that even mean? Supply and Demand are artificial? Prices are what they are. You either pay them and they go up, or you don’t and they go down. Economies are self correcting systems, supply and demand is an organic process. There doesn’t seem to be much a problem here either, as you stated the only problem is injecting new money into the system, lowering its value. The main method that gold farmers use to make money is getting rare drops and selling them on the AH. This method is Zero-sum. Nothing enters the system or leaves the system. The extra cash generated is likely negligble compared to the income from the sale of these items, and most of that income inbalance is eliminated through things like the costs of upgrades for tier .5. If you want to talk about real inflation, I MIGHT buy equipment stat inflation, with so many people able to buy epics and blues the ‘value’ of having them is lessened, but even that has major holes as most of the best stuff is BoP, which no amount of gold can buy (yes there are holes in this arguement too but, whatever).


  8. Derelict (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 11:01 am

    Not one of the better articles I’ve read on gold farming … it’s actually a simplistic view, full of conjecture, and makes points exactly opposite of some other articles in the same vein.

    In many cases, the gold farmers *deflate* prices. A concrete example of this was that, when the market was flooded with certain books and other items from the Dire Maul teleport hacks, the prices of those items went DOWN from hundreds of gold, to an average of five gold.

    Now, that does hurt the economy. The folks who get the item legitimately are now looking at a far lesser profit from it than previously … very annoying and disheartening.

    The other points made were not about gold farmers. They were about folks using hacks. This is not limited to gold farmers, and should be dealt with as a separate topic. Folks using hacks should be caught and banned (and have been, each patch).

    The farmers usually do not spend a lot of time manipulating the AH system. There have been several lengthy (and well-received) articles outlining their tactics. They’re in it for the quick-sell; meeting their quotas. They’re shift workers who can’t trust “the next guy” that plays their character next shift. It’s just not common to see gold farmers (i.e. shift workers) embroiled in long-term schemes.

    There *is* a group of folks who manipulate the AH economy. They’re usually just folks who do it to “win the game” (i.e. amass the most gold). I’m not saying that NO gold farmers do it, but it’s a known phenomenon with many MMORPGs (all the way back to UO / DSO), well before gold was being farmed :)

    D


  9. 10pound (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 11:09 am

    WOW, I am impressed with your research. Thank you for this article, it left me wanting more.


  10. Gold Farming Rox (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

    GOLD FARMERS FTW


  11. Jonas M Luster (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

    The flaw in your theory of price fixing is that it depends on one person holding on to the mats and money for an extended period. In the farming industry, one character may be played by numerous people, each of which has a daily quota. When the character holding the goods is passed to the next player, that person is likely to liquidate the goods for a fast buck so that they can make their quota without any work.

    You are referencing one article I’ve seen float around the ‘net a bit. While that article has a lot of truth to it, it neglects to mention the one thing I was trying to stress in mine – there isn’t such a thing as a farmer-buyer economy. Rather in between the farmer and buyer comes a second group of people, the seller. Sellers do NOT pass chars back and forth, most employ regular L60 players for not too bad a salary to work the AH and push wares, and – at worst – have chars being played by three, four, salaried, non-competing employees.

    While your statement holds true for farmers trying to maximize gold (which then will be sold to the sellers), it doesn’t for the sellers.

    Think about it – the non-farmer wants to make a tidy profit but has no timelines. A farmer needs a profit *NOW*, so they will price items a little lower than the rest of the realm.

    Again, the differentiation between the farmer and the seller is an important one I cannot stress enough.

    They aren’t going to hold on to that Krol Blade or the Arcane Crystals until they find someone to pay the highest price. They will price it to sell before the shift is over.

    At least the farmers, sellers, and mules I’ve spoken to, have a clear idea what an Arcane Crystal is worth, or a Krol Blade. Few sellers wouldn’t take a Krol in exchange of the equivalent of about 100g from a farmer, or buy a stack of Arcanite for a credit of some gold. To make a bigger profit in gold, which can be sold for a mor fixed price to the seller, farmers try, usually in the final 3rd of their shifts, to empty their inventory. Exactly for the reasons you (and the gold farming article you might reference) mention, however, most farmers “cave” and sell their left over items to sellers before handing over a shift. Why? Because 150g in the hand is better than the next in shift stealing it.

    This is really a lot of conjecture, and the only real problem I see here is the use of Hacks.

    Two people in a row accusing me of conjecture (A statement, opinion, or conclusion based on guesswork) seem to be of the same mindset (using the same terminology, even), so I’ll address both…

    Prices are what they are. You either pay them and they go up, or you don’t and they go down. Economies are self correcting systems, supply and demand is an organic process.

    Economies do not function around unlimited supply and limited demand. If both wares and gold are in an unlimited suppy, demand is based on the availability of the latter to the individual, more than the price of the former. Price-jacking overall doesn’t inflate an economy, because money is available in an unlimited quality. The VALUE of a virtual good (gold) in the real world, however fluctuates with demand. Only by creating an economy of big numbers can a gold seller make good numbers in the real world.

    The farmers usually do not spend a lot of time manipulating the AH system. There have been several lengthy (and well-received) articles outlining their tactics. They’re in it for the quick-sell; meeting their quotas. They’re shift workers who can’t trust “the next guy” that plays their character next shift. It’s just not common to see gold farmers (i.e. shift workers) embroiled in long-term schemes.

    Again, I would implore you to see the above. There is a difference between a farmer and a seller. The latter has a much bigger interest in raising AH prices. IGE, to name one, doesn’t farm. No one on IGEs payroll ever will. IGE buys gold from farmers.

    Lastly, HOW do I know all that? Is it conjecture, some semi-facts sucked from a dreambottle via a purple straw? Would you believe me I once was part of the gold selling empire myself?


  12. Dave (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

    Ok, so you make a distinction between farmer and seller, but then lump them together as one in your condemnation. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to jump on others for making the same grouping.

    At least the farmers, sellers, and mules I’ve spoken to, have a clear idea what an Arcane Crystal is worth, or a Krol Blade. Few sellers wouldn’t take a Krol in exchange of the equivalent of about 100g from a farmer, or buy a stack of Arcanite for a credit of some gold. To make a bigger profit in gold, which can be sold for a mor fixed price to the seller, farmers try, usually in the final 3rd of their shifts, to empty their inventory. Exactly for the reasons you (and the gold farming article you might reference) mention, however, most farmers “cave” and sell their left over items to sellers before handing over a shift. Why? Because 150g in the hand is better than the next in shift stealing it.

    I’m not sure how this is refuting me. My point is that the business person will sell for below the market price, thereby deflating the price. It sounds like you agree with this, but then accuse them of inflating prices.

    All in all, this just sounds like a description and condemnation of the process without offering any proof of how it negatively impacts the world.


  13. Cremmer (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    [quote]All in all, this just sounds like a description and condemnation of the process without offering any proof of how it negatively impacts the world.[/quote]

    don’t you get it man? he says that the gold seller wants prices to be high so that more people come buy from him with real money in the real world.

    this negatively impacts others who can not afford things and maybe are not miners or alchemists and rely on guilds or ah to buy arcanite.

    you read like someone i knew at ige. are you trying to defend gold selling by calling jonas who i know has talked to farmers a lot contrived? it might be interesting to see which ip addresses you and the others who defend gold selling as harmless come from.


  14. Zigbee (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

    What I find extremely interesting about the WoW economy, is that the cost of materials is always more than the cost of manufactured goods. You cannot in any way make a profit by buying leather on the AH and selling your leatherworking creations. The value of leather is so much higher because it can be used in so many ways…the moment you package it into something specific it loses flexibility and thus value. I guess this stems from the vast majority of people capable of using the goods to create items…we don’t have centralized companies handling difficult manufacturing processes that the lay person couldn’t possibly reproduce.


  15. snivlem (unregistered) on May 13th, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

    Very good read.

    I don’t know if it’s been said, but it’s a little funny (ha ha) that the google ads on this page all pertain to WoW gold. :)


  16. Anonymous (unregistered) on May 14th, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

    Where are your citations?


  17. Jonas M Luster (unregistered) on May 14th, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

    Citations for? Original content? Lack of quotes? Citations?


  18. Ian Welsh (unregistered) on May 16th, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

    “Prices are what they are. You either pay them and they go up, or you don’t and they go down. Economies are self correcting systems, supply and demand is an organic process.”

    Not even true in the real world. I wish people who had taken Economics 101 would realize that there are a lot of other courses offered by Economics departments and that 101 almost always radically simplifies concepts.

    There is a ton of real world literature on what happens when people corner a market (or withold supply significantly) and what happens then. To simplify myself, it it’s something people want badly enough, and can’t substite away from, the price can shoot up.

    Such games happen all the time in real markets, and are one of the ways you can make a pile of money, very very fast.

    Of course, blow it and you can lose your shirt.


  19. Ferotove of Spinebreaker (unregistered) on May 17th, 2006 @ 10:03 am

    “Prices are what they are. You either pay them and they go up, or you don’t and they go down. Economies are self correcting systems, supply and demand is an organic process.”

    The guy before me rebuttled this but I am going to go a bit further by giving it a real life example.

    The supply of oil has gone up, thats right gone up, they (as in the oil companies) are inflated the price based on fears even though the supply is greater.

    Even though the supply is ever increasing the demand reamins the same, and people are willing to pay more.

    People keep arguing that this isnt how famers work, well they are just playing wrong, there may be other methods in which they work, but this is most certainly one of them.

    I have friends who arnt farmers in the illegal sense (they dont buy and sell gold) but between them they were buying out a particular item at the lower price, farming that same item and dictating the price, they all got their epic mounts that way.

    A real life example of that would be when a new video game console releases, or concert tickets go on sale, people buy in bulk and sell at a higher price.

    What it does lower the price of is BoE epics, because these items cant be handled in bulk, so farmers just sell them at market price, problem is they are sold for LESS since they cant horde the item to increase the value.


  20. Hunter Crowell (unregistered) on May 19th, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

    Here is something you can all try instead of buy gold, for those of you who are against it anyway.

    Ok, this is what I have been doing to make consistent gold on the auction house. I made over 30 gold today. It will probably not last long once the word gets out.

    In Arathi Highlands there is a location called Stromgarde Keep (if you use cosmosui the coords are : 26,58). Now, this area is half controlled by the alliance and half controlled by reds that attack on sight. But if you are careful you can avoid the reds. The entire arathi highlands zone is level 30-35 mobs but the keep is level 35+ elite mobs so you want to avoid fighting if you can.

    Anyway, to make it simple to keep going back here, I go to Refuge Pointe at 45,47 on the map.There is a griffon guy there. This point hooks up directly to the griffon master in IronForge where the AH is. So after getting the griffon point established I can fly from Ironforge to refuge pointe and back again.

    Now, like I said there is level 30+ mobs in this zone, but the nice thing is, there is a patrol that moves along the road that heads south from refuge pointe and follows the road all the way to Stromgarde Keep. So the road is usually cleared of reds for you. Just keep an eye out for them . If you are over level 30 though, you can probably handle it on your own.
    So, you basically want to take the road south out of refuge pointe and once you hit the road where you can go east or west you want to go west. Follow that road until you get to a road between two lakes. That is Stromgarde Keep. (you should see it on your map now.) You take that road into Stromgarde Keep.

    ***This is the tricky part. People might be fighting the reds in here, so just watch out for their battles. When you first enter the Keep, you are in a courtyard. Hug the wall that is on your right hand side (the west wall), that is the Alliance side of the keep. Now, the very first right that you can make once you enter the courtyard, you take that… you will know you are in the right spot because you will see a bunch of green guards. Basically now, you want to take the road all the way back and then to the right, and follow the walls. Eventually you will see an opening in the wall with a walkway over the entrance you originally came in. Take that walkway(bridge) over to the other side, It will still be green. Now once you are across, hang a right and another right.
    You are looking for the NPC vendor named Deneb Walker.
    Hope you brought some money with you. Anyway, he is the vendor that sells the Expert first aid book. Thats fine and dandy and all… I mean it costs a gold piece. But you can sell it on the auction house for at least 1.5 gp and often 2 gp. But I didn’t send you all the way here for that stupid book. No, you are here to buy the two other books he sells. The one that only costs you 22 sp and 50 sp. The manual for mageweave bandage and the manual for the heavy silk bandage. Now remember that 22sp and 50 sp you just spent. Well, those books sell on my auction house for ********* 1.9-2.2gp EACH ************* YOU HEARD ME!!!! EACH. I have put up 5 of each book today for 1.9 buyout that I paid 22 sp and 50 sp for. I sold each one of them. (in fact, the heavy silk ones sell better and they are only 22 sp each) I also bought 5 books for the first aid for a gp each, and sold them for 1.9 gp. After all those sold, I went back and bought even more. These things are selling. Now, I don’t know what they are selling for on your server, but just take a look on the auction house for the books (under the name field you can enter MANUAL and click on RECIPE and then click SEARCH. See what your auction price is for these items) This is a gold mine.

    Because first aid is one of those skills that every single character can have because it is a secondary skill, every one buys these things.


  21. betterthanyou (unregistered) on May 19th, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

    I can buy gold online WAY faster than you can farm it. Get a job in real life – FTW. I have the same BoP epics you do, and reputation, etc. I just don’t wast hours and hours per week farming gold and mats for enchants, consumables, and repair bills.


  22. betterthanyou (unregistered) on May 19th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    Yes, I’m ruining the economy. Yes, I’m spending real life $$$ for imaginary currency in an online world. Yes, I’m cheating. But my real life is better for it, because I don’t waste so much time farming.



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