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Making Gold With Early Professions

New guildmates have asked how to make gold with their early level professions. It is hard to give a quick and good answer in guild chat. Veteran players will happily tell them what they did when leveling up, but that was back in Phase 1 and 2 of WoW Classic. In Phase 5 and 6, the economy and player base are quite different. So the answers to making gold with early professions are also different.

Using several auction house databases I went through easy to get recipes for all professions. Looking at their supply/demand and profit margin. I have come up with a list of recipes you can try to craft and sell for profit. Individual results will vary, but it gives you a starting point for building your own in-game fortune.

Please note this is not a comprehensive guide to making gold with professions in WoW Classic. It skips almost all high end and end game recipes and opportunities those present. This guide is for those still leveling their first character or working on professions for the first time. That said, anyone should be able to make some gold with the options listed below.

All prices and related numbers are based on Pagle-Alliance at the time of this post. Economies vary by server and faction and change over time.

Alchemy | Blacksmithing | Enchanting | Engineering | Leatherworking | Tailoring | Cooking | First Aid

Best Professions for a New Player


Alchemy

Alchemy was by far the most profitable profession in WoW Classic. Lots of players use consumables and they need more every week. Constant demand kept the gold coming in for alchemists with the right recipes. This has died down since AQ40 was released. Loss of players means less demand, and increased herb prices have driven down profit margins. I have personally stopped crafting alchemy items to sell, as it isn’t worth my time. But for a newer player, there are still some good options to make gold with this profession.

Elixir of Fortitude – This health-boosting elixir stacks with a priest’s Fortitude buff. It is popular with tanks and some DPS who want to maximize their survivability. I expect it’ll be more popular in Phase 6 for the Loatheb fight. While not as popular as other raid elixirs it has a better profit margin.

Nature Protection Potion – This offers 800 (on average) less protection than Greater Nature Protection Potion. But it costs raiders next to nothing compared to the Greater version, making it quite popular. Nature protection potions will still see some use in Naxxramas, so demand will remain in Phase 6. While the sale price is low, the profit margin is nice.

Transmute: Arcanite – The most obvious gold maker for most alchemists is transmuting Arcane Crystals into Arcanite Bars. You can sell your transmute every 48 hours to someone for 5-6 gold. Or if you can buy the Arcane Crystal yourself make it closer to 10 gold selling the Arcanite Bar. Less time yelling in a city, too.

Transmute: Water To Air – Most good elemental transmute recipes are either expensive world drops or locked behind rep grinds. Except for this one, which only requires you to complete a quest series in Scholomance (can be done in a single run with a patient group). The Essence of Water is valuable, but the Essence of Air is worth more. Both are used more in Phase 5 and 6 with newer enchants. These transmute is also on a 24-hour cooldown, compared to 48 hours for Arcanite. You’ll need to buy your own Essence of Water and sell the Essence of Air. But once that’s done you’ll be able to rebuy as needed and pocket the difference. Check your own auction house prices, this is potentially a better gold per day option than Arcanite.


Blacksmithing

Yeah… you picked the worst profession for making gold. Even blacksmiths with the rarest recipes see little demand for their abilities this late in the game. Too many raids are too easy to get into and get the loot out of. They can make some nice leveling weapons, but more players use boosting services now.

Back at the start of Classic guilds wanted a blacksmith or two with the right specializations to craft needed items. But that time has passed. If you want to keep blacksmithing that’s fine, but expect it to cost you gold rather than make you any.


Enchanting

Enchanting is not a profession newer players should jump into and expect to do very well with. Most of your abilities can’t be sold at the auction house, so you have to hawk your abilities in town. And most raiding guilds already have a few dedicated enchanters to who they feed new recipes. You aren’t likely to come in and get brand new or rare recipes. And without those recipes, there is a lot less demand for your services.

That said, there are a few items you can make and sell at the auction house. You’ll need to try them out and see how well (and quickly) they sell. Make a few test sales before you go all-in on any one item.

Lesser Mystic Wand – A nice leveling wand with low cost and potentially high return. But with more players using level boosting services actual demand may drop. Make a few and see how quickly they sell.

Greater Mystic Wand – The next wand upgrade. The potential profit margin is lower but still pretty high. Again only make a few and test out the market before you make too many.

Lesser Wizard Oil – Intended for leveling casters, it also has a market with cheap raiders. It is the cheapest of the three wizard oil (+spell damage) options. That said it isn’t as good of a value as Wizard Oil, so actual demand may drop. Test the market before you go all in.

Enchanted Leather – Demand is going up as this is used for new nature and frost resistance gear coming in Phase 6. Preppers are buying early, and more players will have demand when the Phase is announced. That said I expect demand during Phase 6 to drop like a rock. Keep a smaller inventory so you don’t get caught with too many leftovers.

Wizard Oil – The second best +spell damage weapon oil, and easily the best value for raiders on a budget. It is missing the crit from Brilliant Wizard Oil but costs only 30% of the good stuff. There is no gold to be made with Brilliant Wizard Oil due to material cost, but this one has room for profit.


Engineering

Most engineering devices are only useful to other engineers. What items were in higher demand for quests and PvP have also died down, along with some material prices going up. Still, some people are questing and engineering has a few items which will see regular demand.

Unstable Trigger – These are used for an Eastern Plaguelands quest, as well as other engineers being lazy. You’ll have the best results selling in stacks of 8, as that matches up with the quest. Test the market before you craft a lot to see, you want to see how quickly they’ll sell.

Recipe: Goblin Rocket Fuel – Requires Goblin Engineering specialization. This is an alchemy recipe you create from vendor purchased materials. Alchemists will buy the recipe as it is needed for some of their own creations. It has a stupid high-profit margin, and give you buy the materials from any engineer vendor (or a repair bot) you can make as many as you want when you want. Just be careful not to flood the market, only sell 1-2 at a time.

Plans: Inlaid Mithril Cylinder – Requires Gnomish Engineering specialization. This is a blacksmithing plan you create from vendor purchased materials. Blacksmiths don’t actually need it for their own creations. It is used in engineering crafting, so an engineer needs a blacksmith to make it for them. As a result, it doesn’t sell as well as the Goblin recipe, but worth making a few and trying your luck at the auction house.

Deadly Scope – Scopes are mostly used by hunters as an enchantment for their range weapon. The Deadly model is used between levels 30-40. You don’t see a lot of sales, but when you do they’ll offer great profit.

Sniper Scope – This is not something you’ll be able to jump into early on. It is learned from a world drop recipe that costs a good bit of gold to buy. But it is a good investment when you have some spare coin. It is the most common bought scope for hunters and even some melee classes. Every time a hunter gets a new weapon from level 40-60 and while raiding one of these is needed. Demand is solid as long as hunters are raiding, and it has a great profit margin. You’ll get your investment back after ~25 sales.


Leatherworking

Leatherworking has some pieces which can sell for a decent profit. Your best bets are those requiring a world drop recipe. That means an investment in getting the recipe, but that reduces your competition. There is also the question of how much demand is out there. As more players boost through dungeons the less they care about armor upgrades along the way.

Take a look at these items and see what they are selling for at your auction house. If you see a good profit margin make one and see how it goes. Remember you pay a fee each time you list an item. Keep your listings to 8 hours and if something isn’t selling stop throwing money at it.

Dark Leather Tunic

Dark Leather Shoulders

Barbaric Gloves

Dusky Leather Leggings

Dusky Belt

Nightscape Tunic

Nightscape Shoulders


Tailoring

Like the other professions used to make your own gear there aren’t many sellable goods from tailoring. Too many crafters and not enough demand. You’ll likely find even desired items require several auction house listing to sell. The fees from that ruin your profit margin.

If you want to try out a market check out Runecloth Bags. But their prices fluctuate during the week, so be sure when you do list them it is for a profit.

Mooncloth – Your most reliable gold maker, but it is on a 4-day cooldown. Making the profit per day the worst between tailoring, leatherworking, and alchemy cooldowns. Still, gold is gold so take what you can get. Unlike Arcanite transmutes if someone offers ~10 gold for your cooldown you should consider selling it. The cost of Felcloth is significant, so you may be better off selling the cooldown than buying mats and selling the Mooncloth yourself.


Cooking

Everyone can learn cooking, which greatly takes away from its gold making potential. But there is one recipe I’ve found you can craft for profit. But your market is try-hard raiders, so don’t expect to sell a lot quicker.

Dragonbreath Chili – Provided Small Flame Sacs are at a decent price there is good profit potential with this one item. Melee DPS and tanks can use it as a second food buff and get some AoE damage in raids. It wasn’t popular before Phase 5 because of the high fire resistance of Molten Core and Blackwing Lair mobs. But it works great in AQ40 and will work well in Naxx.


First Aid

You’re not going to make gold selling bandages to other players. But if you can get Silk Cloth at a low enough price you can make some vendor bandages.

Heavy Silk Bandage or Silk Bandage – These vendors for 2 silver per silk cloth used. If you can get silk cloth for less than 2 silver then you have an easy, if small profit. This is also the best way to turn your own excess silk into something useful once done with it.


Best Professions for a New Player

These are the professions I would recommend to a new player, given the state of the game in Phase 5 and 6. They won’t make you rich, but they can offer you some extra gold.

Dual Gathering – Herbalism & Skinning

Gathering professions that work well together. The gathering is akin to farming, it takes low skill and knowledge but requires more time. Pick up what you see and learn what to sell to a vendor and what is worth listing on the auction house.

I like herbalism over mining for a few reasons. One, you can’t run both of their radars on your minimap at the same time. Two, herbalism only requires one click to gather everything. Three, herbs will be in demand longer than ore will when we approach the end of the game. Also, have you seen the prices for higher-level herbs?

Skinning is essentially picking up money others leave behind. Heavy and rugged hides can sell well on the auction house. Otherwise, you’ll mostly be selling to vendors whatever you skin. But again it is more than you would have had otherwise.

Alchemy If You Must Craft Something

If you’re itching to craft items then go alchemy. Plenty of useful recipes available from the trainer and easy to get recipes. The only raid dropped recipe is not a top seller. Don’t stress about getting flask recipes. Raiding guilds already have those in-house and they aren’t worth the investment at this point.

Herbalism syncs nicely as your second profession. I would not recommend going with two crafting professions if a newer player with limited resources.

Avoid Enchanting, It Isn’t Helpful

Most people I know with enchanting want to be helpful to their guild. But as a new player, you are not going to be the go-to guy/gal for enchants. Someone else is already known as the guild enchanter, with a lot of the rare and raid recipes. Don’t expect any guild to give a new player any AQ40 recipes, especially if it is the first one they’ve seen.

If you want to be helpful to your guild join their raids and activities and be a good mate. And pick a different profession that allows you to be more self-sufficient.

Or Don’t Bother With Professions At All

At least while you’re leveling and getting geared up to raid, maybe don’t spend time and resources on professions. You can always work on them later and will be in a better position to do so quickly.

Your priorities should be getting to level 60 (enjoying the experience along the way), getting raid attuned, getting some pre-raid gear, and buying an epic mount. Developing your professions should be after those initial priorities.

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