Elder Scrolls Online is a series all about adventuring, exploration, and swinging a decent sized axe into the offending skull of a goblin. Up until recently, I was cool with that. I too owned the oversized horned helmet. I even had a pauldron or too sat upon my shoulders. But now that's all passed. I'm the Gordon Gekko of Tamriel.
Making gold in Elder Scrolls Online can be difficult. Quest rewards, early on, don't pony up the metaphorical and it can be hard to find any sizable loot that isn't instantly earmarked for disassembly in the crafting shops.
So how do you make enough gold to buy better gear, and even that elusive 17k horse? Here's a few tips:
Before we do anything, there are a few simple rules to follow. ESO doesn't pack an auction house so all trade has to be social. Guild stores can be hit and miss so make use of the chat channels. Remember to dig out your 'WTS' and 'WTB' abbreviations once more. We're heading back to the East Commons Bazaar territory.
Also remember that Zenimax have packed in a mailing system if you're not in a hub. If you trust guild members send materials and hope for payment - but as a general rule of thumb COD (cash on demand) is your best bet and place the transaction fee on the sale. Now onto the real business.
2). Collect EVERYTHING
Bleakrock Isle is the place to be when it comes to material collecting. The zone has a number of nodes and handy pickables that can be sold to richer, and lazy, high levels.
The most lucrative of these resources has to be iron ore. Sold in its raw state, the mineral is going from 6gp to 10gp depending on who's buying, and a stack of hundred can easily bring you anywhere between 500 to 1000 in profit.
As the economy forms, trade prices can fluctuate wildly, but raw maple, iron ore, and jute are generally in constant demand at 5gp to 10gp, bringing some sweet trades. Be cheeky and ask people to make you offers - sometimes you might get lucky with a monstrous offer, and don't feel bad the prices haven't settled just yet.
3). Craft it
Coming back to my old friend iron ore once more, there's excellent opportunities to raise your artisan skills whilst making out like a bandit. Smelt iron ore down into ingots and sell, sell, sell. Ingots go for slightly cheaper, somewhere around the 4gp mark, but with this comes the chance of gaining honing stones (sold at 50 to 300gp) and precious minerals in the process.
Another easy way to make a quick dime is deconstructing weapons and armour. A light to medium green armour will have a chance of dropping enhancing items that again can be sold for up to 300g. It pays to hold on to everything and check demand.
4). Make friends and customers
To get your burgeoning mercantile empire up and running, you might have to cut a few prices initially. ESO doesn't come with an auction house, and this is a blessed situation in some situations. Hawk your wares in public channels, and make friendly connections with those that answer - most of all haggle!
If you're a trusted and give value for money you'll create a customer base who will come back time and time again for your wares. This repeat custom is vital to growing your cash pile, and even at slightly cut prices a constant stream of income is better than nothing.
5). Guilds, Guilds, Guilds
ESO allows you join up to 5 guilds. At the moment guilds operate as vague trading networks, with the guild store rarely being up to snuff. Try not to auction things on the store and instead hawk your wares in as many mercantile guild channels as possible. Make sure to talk to people and constantly offer wares. The amount of times I have made sales by asking "who needs iron ore?" is innumerable.
Also note, while guild stores need a little work by the developers, they're often the place of criminal deals. Take a look for people selling resources at crazy prices - I picked up 20 honing stones for just 20gp this afternoon. It pays to check.
6). Start to flip product
So by now you should have some cash. A decent amount, but we want more. If you have followed this guide you should have customers, and customers will always want new materials. Spend time searching the chat zones and keep your eye out for deals. If you're currently selling iron ore at 6gp a pop to one customer, and you see someone selling at 3gp a pop - invest! Chances are you can flip it down the line.
This also works out with guilds. Send out a few messages to see what is hot, and see what people are buying and selling. You'll probably find one person wanting to buy honing stones at 300gp, and another that is selling at 150gp. The choice is simple. Indulge.
So with these 6 tips in mind, go forth and trade. Elder Scrolls Online is an excellent game for those wanting to indulge in the art of old-school deals. The auction house's loss is your gain, and damn is it sweet to buy that 17k horse.
Adam Tingle / Adam Tingle is a writer who dreamt he was a dancer. And loved it. But now the dream is over, and the slightly podgy, goofy, fool of a writer is awake. Bother him at @adamtingle.