Hall of Fame-500k Gold Club

The Warcraft Econ Hall of Fame interviews the few elite players that have hit the World of Warcraft gold cap of 999,999 gold 99 silver 99 copper as well as ones who have obtain 500k and 250k. We have with us, Prfct of Quel’Thalas-US, who will be sharing their story with us today.

Please be kind, English was not his first language.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your gaming experience.

I started playing games when I was 8 years old and never stopped since. I’ve played everything from atari/c64-c to 360, that’s just the way it is, I love playing games. My character name is Prfct and my realm is US-Quel’Thalas… I’m from Argentina.
I delayed playing wow altough people told me every now and then that it was great because you have to think twice in Argentina before spending money on a subscription-based game, it’s not something that we have too much of (at least in my case). So I started playing around November/2010 and I hitted 85 on my main (without RAF) the 27th of December.

Do you raid or PvP most? Both? How do you enjoy the game?
I started for the PvE aspect of it, when I did I even didn’t know what raiding was but I enjoyed doing the dungeons and quests. I completed my loremaster achievements and others to see the game lore and enjoyed a lot of it. After that game became quickly boring so I started raiding and doing some PvP(nothing serious).

Why did you choose to collect this amount of gold?
As I stated before I was bored but I didn’t have anything better to play because my xbox red-ringed on me and my computer is crap to play(I play on a laptop). So… while I was doing my quests (for the loremaster achievement) I discovered that there where some resources I was getting that could net me some nice profits (cloths, primals, eternals, etc). After a while I was buying and selling stupid things at ridiculous prices, and I was hooked on gold making.
I just wanted to know how hard could it be to get a small fortune, I saw people around me struggling to get 10k and I had already 25k so I thought… why not going for more?

Anyone or resource you would like to thank?
Well, everyone and everything really… once I learned that there were others going for gold caps I started reading their blogs. I read all of them (every single post) in a 12 hour marathon and got some nice tips from them plus some good laughs on old things that weren’t working anymore and the ocasional life lesson too. All appreciated thank you very much gold bloggers out there.

How did you go about getting to this gold amount? Any creative or original ideas?
First of all I got to these cap by not spending it… it’s really as simple as that. I have only one main and almost no vanity items on him because I really consider them useless (my personal point of view) except for the mammoth mount (the one with repair and shop). So I didn’t spend my money on useless things but I spent it everytime I saw gear I needed, and enchant, a glyph… every gameplay-worthy upgrade I got it, everything else I didn’t.
My main started as a Miner/Engineer Mage (I didn’t know anything about the game) and switched him to Tailoring/Enchanting when I started raiding as I saw more benefits from it, basically I sold netherweave bag all the way to 10k… I stole all the netherweave cloth from the AH and eventually quite monopolized the market at a reasonable price, I was proud of my feat .
Then I started flipping frozen orbs and making low level enchants, later I discovered my server was bad for that kind of business so I switched to cata cheap enchants and when 4.1 came I switched to the maelstrom enchants market. I sold some valor boots like everyone else (When I didn’t need the vps) and I looked for cheaps things on the AH and tried to make a profit… nothing too fancy… I even didn’t used any addons at that point (except for auctioneer-lite).
When patch 4.1 started I had a friend join WoW and I RAF with him another character, a shaman, transmute alchemist/glyph, and a priest, blacksmithing/jewelcrafting. I left both at 75 for professions. And continued playing my main… around midway 4.1 I had 200k and started buying things… LOTS of things. I stopped when I had around 10k left on my main and 6 characters inventories+banks and 2 guild banks full of mats and things I thought I was never gonna use.
When 4.2 was released I thought I had 500k worthy of goods in my bank… I was wrong. I’m now on the 500k mark and still have the 2 guild banks full of things I don’t even know what to use for like stacks of obsidium and elementium ore, embersilk cloths, volatiles, etc.

What is your master list?
I was checking BeanCounter today and I’d have to say my most selled items are enchants. I profitted 413550g from them but I don’t sell only one type I just have almost all of them and post them on the AH when I feel prices are right. Netherweave Bag I think was key in giving me a solid foundation of gold to start to finance my first real investments.

What items are in your Snatch list?
I don’t buy items since the 4.1 shopping spree but around that time I bought lots of Azshara’s Veil, lots of elementium ore, lots of obsidium ore, some pyrium ore, lots and lots of celestials and heavenly shards + some cheap hypnotic, lots of expensive volatile fire that I still have and some stacks of the other ones as well (quite a lot of volatile air that I thought no one was giving it the importance it had).

How did you learn to do it?
Every server is its own world, I learned that lesson fast when I tried to apply some tips that didn’t go too well. So I learned by reading everything I could about the auction house and then did trial and error. I think making wow in gold is dedication, if you stay on the AH looking for things and reposting when undercutted you’re gonna see profits no matter what… the true good feeling though comes when you know you were the first to introduce a succesful item and you reap big profits without competence or when you receive and email harrassing you from other players who want to sell their goods.

What addons, if any, do you use to help you make gold and why are they needed?
At first I didn’t even knew what an addon was, then I started using Auctioneer. After some time I got Postal and later when I started doing glyphs I discovered it was insanely impossible to market them without TradeMaster. I really think that addon is a must… it makes your life so much easier once you have it all set up that it feels almost like cheating, at least at first.

Are you still going for more gold? If so, do you have a new goal? Are you close?
No, I’m not going for more, I’m gonna stop here… I’m just gonna sell everything I have left. I think I may be around 750k if I sell everything right now at cost price. The point is there’s no use to reach 1 million except for some kind of personal goal and I don’t really feel like it. As I said before making money in the AH when you have already so much is just a matter of buying out and waiting for the right time to sell or sell the right things at the right time. It’s really simple and I’m already bored of the AH cat & mouse game + the game doesn’t entertain me like it did before… I’m really having problems finding good players to raid on my server and some good friends already left the game because they are bored :(

Do many people know you have this amount of gold?
My friends know, they thing it’s cool and that I have some kind of freak-nerd superpower because I don’t really spend too much time online. I login around three times a day to repost things and later at night to raid, and that’s it. I’m doing it less and less everyday as my stock slowly goes down… I’m not incentivated enough.

Did you spend your gold on fun things? What have you bought? What things would you like to buy?
I don’t find mounts or pets fun… what I find fun is beating the content and raid-progression. I’m a gamer at heart. I love to have the new staff, the best enchants, the cool reforges and those kind of things, so my focus on making money was to finance my raiding, my (now-deserted) guild and everything that could help me gamewise. I don’t really care about gold sinks altough I like achievements and once in a while I considered buying some expensive things for those but I later decided I was gonna do that only when I got every other achievement in the game (thing I now know I’ll never do because I’m seriously considering quitting it).

If you were the professor of a gold making 101 college class, what would be some things you would talk about?
Start small, don’t spend and WAIT. You have to wait you know… you have to wait for the perfect moment to jump into the market. You have to focus and be on control, not desperate. Always stack raw materials and not cut gems made enchants, raw materials will be worth double when next expansion comes… old cutted gems and enchants will be useless if next patch introduces something better.

Do you have any good farming strategies or spots?
I never farmed anything, period. I got raw mats from questing doing the loremaster achievement. Everything else I bought when it was cheap in the AH and turned a profit later… farming bores me completely and defeats the whole purpose of having fun playing (in my case). Maybe I farmed the AH!
If I had to do it I think I’d go with Volatile Air… I don’t know if it’s even feasible but I’d do that or 378 epics with a hunter/shaman (yes, i’d level a hunter or shaman to farm epics in firelands if that’s what it took to make gold but I don’t think it’s necesary)… I’d do that because at least i’d be farming rep too and I wouldn’t feel it’s useless for my character, I respect him.

What was the best deal you ever came across?
* 1 stack of 20 truegolds at 300g each 3 days before 4.2 * Countless volcano cards in the 3.5/6k range that i flipped for 12k * An infinite number of frozen orbs at 5g/15g that I could flip to Eternal Fires/Eternal Shadows and sell for 50g * Lot’s of abyssal crystals at 2g/20g that you I shattered for dust and cosmic essence and sold
There are lots and lots of opportunities to profit in this game, those are only some.

Do you remember any of your worst deals?
Well I stacked around 4k volatile fires at 14g each and now they are around 8g, that’s a bad deal. But I’m not desperate and I’m using them for crafts and truegold… what I have left I’ll probably send to my ‘don’t touch till next expansion bank’ and wait to profit if I’m still around.
At one time I started crafting Abyssal Bags and selling them for 250g thinking I was profiting only to find out after I sold around 10 too quickly that I was bleeding money like a retard.
And countless mistakes when I was a lowlevel and discovering the game… like selling iridescent pearls or black pearls for 50s… things like that =/

What are your future plans with WoW?
I’m gonna try to find a good raiding guild and stick to it… I NEED progression, if I don’t progress I get bored very quickly. If I don’t find it I’ll probably leave, yeah that’s it… I’m leaving.

What are you predictions for the future WoW economy?
What I find funny is that everyone is trying to make gold THIS expansion but I think that the best way to profit from wow right now is to stack cataclysm raw mats for NEXT expansion. Why? Easy… I was leveling a paladin and I got from 80 to 85 doing hyjal quests, dungeons quests and 1/2 of twilight highlands. After that I mailed my mage 10 stacks of embersilk cloth… think about that, now embersilk cloth is about 1.2g in my server (expensive I know) but think about how expensive it will be next expansion when experience needed to level in cataclysm is nerfed.
Think too about this expansion level gap, it’s only 5 levels. Everyone will breeze through content to the new expansion and won’t have mats to level their professions. Think about how many embersilk cloths you need to level tailoring and how many I made leveling my paladin with heirlooms… that’s right I could make 2 1/2 embersilk bags with that… worth how many skill points? Not many. It’s gonna be like that with everything… zephyrite and every other gem price will skyrocket because everyone will be farming new content and cataclysm will be the new hard to get mats (like illusion dust/greater eternal/runecloth/wool). At least that’s what I think… if I were here for the long run I would store a guild bank full of cata mats right now to sell halfway through the next expansion… you can’t go wrong doing that.

Please tell us a little bit about how you handle your real life finances. What are the differences and similarities with how you do things in WoW?
Well, I don’t have real life finances. I live in Argentina and it’s quite difficult economically speaking, I try my best to go by, day by day. I spent some time in USA (around 2000) and I spent some time a few years ago in Europe… I went to both places without almost any money and came back home with some to get me through one or two years of life as I enjoy it (playing games)… so I think I CAN make money if I want and I made money in situations I needed it but it’s not a priority right now.
I’m studying programming and design of videogames (I’m in my first year) and looking forward for making a life of what I love (not making games, PLAYING games). AH is just one more aspect of it (play the players, economic PVP).

What are your thoughts on the real money auction house that will be implemented in Diablo 3? How will you take advantage of this new change?
Well when I saw the news there were tears of joy rolling through my face… well maybe not that much. But think about it, think what it means for people like me who loves to play but can’t get by on life without people thinking about it as a hobby and not a job. If I could have profited from my WoW playtime (without resourcing to doing things that are out of the game or could lead to the lose of my account) I’d have done that with a smile on my face and without thinking it twice. If I could have afforded as much as one of my university subjects by playing wow it would have been great and I’d probably not be considering leaving right now.
So yes, I’m gonna play Diablo 3 and I’m gonna enjoy the AH auction aspect of it because maybe not for USA players but for latin american players (if implemented at launch) two or five dollars it’s a lot of money and I can see in this feature in the future. Gaming is becoming something different and if it removes the need from gamers to split their time between job and gaming then I’m all for it. People will still have normal jobs but people like me who love to play like nothing else can make a profit from their time, maybe it’ll not be like a full time job but it’ll be profit for doing what you love.
All things start that way, Stephen King started earning little money from publications and teaching to get by and see where he’s now and how we benefitted from it and his books, lots of musicians have started from garage bands to sign with great big companies and make it big and, of course, don’t forget sports like football who took people off the streets and gave them meaning. So, why can’t gaming have the same revenue?

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for Warcraft Econ. Do you have any last words? Changes will come whether people like them or not… this auction house thing is inevitable and IT WILL WORK. You can’t fight everything in life, you have to choose to ignore it or adapt to it. It’s how life is, they are giving you a choice and you must choose. Eventually virtual goods will have the value of toys because that’s what a bunch of pixels are… toys. And if people buys toys to play with and have fun they will buy virtual goods for the exact same reason. I really enjoyed writing this interview, it helped me clear my head around some facts I had to work around.

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