Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen my various tweets over the last week and a half chronicling my efforts to earn enough in-game gold to purchase a World of Warcraft Token.
Well, the experiment is over and I did not reach my goal.
However, starting a character (almost) from scratch and getting to level 63 with over 6,000 gold in the bank is no mean feat, especially when it all needed to be done within a 10 day trial of Warlords of Draenor.
I say "almost from scratch" as I did use chest and shoulder pieces of armour from the Heirloom system, as well as two of the swords. The armour provided a 20% experience boost and the swords and armour both automatically level up, making gear hunting fairly unimportant. There are actually two more pieces of armour I could have had, but they require membership in a guild. I think.
That covered the levelling up part, but the money making I did entirely from zero. And the truth is that with more patience and diligence I probably could have made quite a bit more. 6,000 gold really represents the "quick and dirty" approach.
All you really need is to take up the Mining and Skinning professions as soon as practical, then sell all the ore and skins you find on the Auction House with the assistance of an auctioneering addon. I used Auctioneer but Auctionator is also supposed to be good.
There's no real trick to it. As a Human I would visit Stormwind regularly while adventuring and check the Auction House each time. Hit the Scan button that Auctioneer adds and wait for it to collect all the listings. The first few times, preferably over the course of two days or so, just scan the auction house and hold on to your goods.
Once the addon has built up a fairly reliable set of numbers you can go to the Post tab and put all your Copper Ore (or Bars, if you've smelted it - neither seems more or less profitable at low levels) up for auction, telling it to undercut your competitors.
That's where you could stand to make a bit more money. By tweaking the undercut percentage or only selling when you know that prices are high, you can get more for your goods. As I was under a time constraint and also didn't really want to go to too much effort, I mostly just listed it for whatever Auctioneer said and moved on. Time spent dithering on that screen was time I wasn't out levelling up or digging up more things to auction off.
So, why didn't I reach my goal? Well, the current price of a WoW Token is 27,000 gold, or thereabouts. With a full month I expect I could reach that total, but in 10 days with no assistance I'm not sure it can be done.
But gosh, it was fun to try.
I hadn't been playing any MMOs in a while, not until my old Star Wars Galaxies friends decided to hop on one of the server emulators. Since then it's been about all I have played, in just about every spare chunk of time I could find.
But in the last couple of weeks SWG friend number one hasn't even logged in and SWG friend number two is moving to another city for work and won't be playing for at least two months. It's not as much fun when there's nobody to babble at and issues with the emulator are also sucking the fun out of it.
With all the Star Wars excitement around at the moment I tried to finish Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic, but it is so horribly clunky and is really showing its age now. And I already know the big twist because it's Star Wars and I know EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.
Maybe the other Star Wars MMO? Resubscribed, played through the newbie area for Jedi Knights, got fed up, unsubscribed.
Then, at Gamescom, the next World of Warcraft expansion was announced. Legion. They're adding Demon Hunters and cool artifact weapons and a newer kind of garrison thing. And probably other things.
The last time I played WoW was during the Warlords of Draenor beta, when I wrote a thing for Player Attack on the Garrisons that you could read here, if you want. I thought my previous stint outside of betas must have been during Cataclysm as I remembered playing a Worgen. Yet somehow I have a Pandaren? A not very high level one, mind, but I do have one.
Did quite enjoy the couple of weeks I spent in the beta but didn't want to continue a character that would inevitably be wiped, nor did I want to get back into the normal game at the time. So I left!
Warlords of Draenor has been out a long time now and the bugs in the Garrisons should be mostly worked out and I should have ample time to reach the level cap before Legion is released.
Also, WoW Tokens! Theoretically pay for your subscription with in-game gold. I am kinda curious as to the viability of that, particularly for someone who hasn't been playing consistently, or even someone starting over. I may as well be starting over since my highest level character is 80 and flat broke.
Or I could be scientific and start on a fresh server, no handouts from other characters, see if I can afford a WoW Token from scratch. See if I can even be bothered playing that long, unlike SWTOR.
And what class should I try this with? And which race? And why don't any of my friends play WoW anymore?
... and why don't I ever get anything done?
If you've played Star Wars Galaxies in the past couple of years you could be forgiven - barely - for thinking the game is nothing but a World of Warcraft style MMO when it comes to selecting and playing a class in that galaxy far, far away. It hasn't always been so.
What you've experienced is what Sony Online Entertainment dubbed the "New Game Experience", commonly abbreviated as the NGE, introduced in 2005 in a misguided attempt to recapture player interest in the game.
But what came before the NGE? How did players develop their characters before the dark times?
I play a lot of MMOs. Not all at once, of course, but I've generally dabbled in most of the more popular ones.
Rift is the latest of these dalliances and while there's definitely some similarities to other MMOs, it's got enough original concepts to be interesting.
But that's not what I'm here on my blog to talk about. Not at all.
Many MMOs have been recording who was the first player to achieve certain goals in the game or the first to find certain items. Ordinarily I am not someone who ever finds any of these things because I'm either coming into the game late or just not playing it 18 hours a day, as it seems some people will do during the launch of a new MMO.
Until the other day, when I was the first to find... Err, some "rare" bow that really wasn't that useful to my Warrior. But it was announced to everyone that I found it first, which was pretty cool!
What was even cooler was the way in which I found the bow.
A few days prior to my discovery I had stumbled across a Travelling Vendor, Buckley, out in the middle of nowhere in particular. I thought it a little odd and decided to see what he had for sale. I managed to pick up a much nicer shield and some other item I've since forgotten or replaced. All in all, a nice little discovery. I wondered if I'd run into the guy again later, or one of his friends in another zone.
Then, while riding back to town to turn in some quests, a portal opened beside the road. I stopped my mount and waited to see what would happen next.
Out strolled Buckley the Travelling Vendor!
He hailed me and said he recognises an item he sold to me, is it serving me well, etc? Then says he has another stash of items nearby and he'd be happy to offer a discount to his best customer.
So I follow along after him, sort of expecting a trap or a quest or maybe just some new shinies to buy.
We get to where his stash is supposed to be and - surprise! - it's gone. Buckley scurries back and forth trying to work out where it's gone and then requests my patience while he tries to locate his items.
He starts casting some kind of spell, which I figure is the prelude to him finding the treasure and sending me on a quest to retrieve it. I had nothing better to do at the time so I was curious to see where this was leading.
Then suddenly Buckley the Travelling Vendor is gone and in his place is Buckley the Travelling Vendor big-freaking-troll-ogre-thing, who immediately tries to eat me. :-D
After a bit of a battle I emerge victorious, of course, and get to loot him. He had a ring named after him and the rare bow I was the first to find, plus some cash. Score!
Turns out he'll randomly reappear when you're riding through the Gloamwood, both in the "It's a trap!" mode and as a vendor you can buy some random goodies from. So it's a dynamic and repeatable sort of "mini quest".
But that first time is definitely the most fun. :-)