I am by no means a gold farmer, nor do I endorse them in any way. Personally, I hate gold farmers in every way possible. However, when it comes to making gold for what I want or what I need, I can easily make 600-1,800 gold in an hour. I have frequently made as much as 2,400 gold in one hour. A few factors come into play that I will discuss later on. I decided to write this article after getting tired of the constant gold spammers and friends hitting me up for loans. After a good laugh, I decided to be part of the solution instead of just ignoring the problem. I talked to a few friends and decided to let others in on how easily they too can gather gold instead of buying it or some half-truth e-guide to making gold. Even though this article relates to gathering herbs for profit, anyone can take their profession and make gold with it. In addition, you may ask why herbs and not potions? This is and has always been a WoW phenomenon. Herbs have always sold for more gold than potions.
First off, not every character makes a great herb picker. The single best herb picker is the Druid. Why, you may ask? Because Druids have the ability to pick herbs while still in flight form. They do not need to dismount before they pick an herb, and sometimes this can mean the difference between getting that herb picked or someone else getting it.
Second, one must be prepared. To prepare for maximum herb picking capacity, I suggest getting a minimum of five 20-slot herb satchels. Three of these bags should be in your bank while the other two are equipped while gathering. The amount of herbs gathered within an hour can vary from one full bag to two. The reason I suggest the three bags for your bank is that if you keep a stock of herbs, you do not have to herb on days that you just do not feel like it. I keep one bag for personal usage for making raid potions, one bag for quick sell, and one bag of BC herbs. Yes, most BC herbs still sell at very high prices. Finally, I suggest a mod called, "Gatherer." While the mod is not necessary, it can make gathering for any profession a whole lot easier and less time consuming.
While picking herbs is by no means difficult, creating a habit or system can lower your frustrations. Over my many years with WoW, I have formed my own system for gathering. The best times for picking the herbs may vary slightly from realm to realm, but for the most part, follow the same settings. During the school year, the best times for gathering the herbs are before school lets out for the day. In addition, because most guilds raid after dinner, you can easily pick back up after 6 PM. I try to avoid gathering on the weekend or at least try to get going before 10 AM, or after 10 PM. I found that almost every herb picker tries to gather their haul on the weekends. I have also noticed a pattern in the secondary drop off herbs in relation to WotLK. Your secondary drop is going to be either the crystal life or the frost lotus. I found that if the life drops in the morning, the lotus tend to drop in the evening, and vice versa. This is of great importance due to the value of the lotus. The frost lotus can sell for 40 to 80 gold each, not per stack. And, in one hour, you can gather six to twenty making you 240 to 1,800 gold (at 40 gold each) per hour just on lotus. The rest of the herbs sell in general 20-35 gold per stack. (19 slots x 20 gold = 380 gold. (Making 380 + 240 = 620 gold minimum, per hour.)
How you choose to work a zone can be as equally important as choosing your time to herb. Out of habit, most people tend to work a zone in a clockwise fashion. Most do not even realize that they do it. I choose to work in a counter-clockwise fashion. This seems to work to my advantage. While several people working in one direction tend to fight for the same herb spawn, I rarely have any competition at all. Moreover, by the time I reach their work point, those herbs are starting to respawn. Each realm within WoW has its own format for gathering. The original WoW world realm is linear. You start at one end of a zone and go to the end. BC is more circular. You not only circle the zone, but the entire realm is circular in nature except two that have their own placing. WotLK is triangular in gathering respects. Top center, far left and far right of the realm is where you are going to make your money. Go ahead and pick anything you come across along the line to the next spot, but the money is at the points of the triangle. Make sure to have your mod, "gatherer' running. A wonderful tool that allows you to see the shortest route between each herb and tracks the route you just came from. You will have to touch each herb you come across at least once for it to populate, but in the end, it is worth it. In addition, if you have friends and guild mates that use that same mod, each time they touch a spawn, your generator report is updated and vice versa. Take the time to learn its use to increase your productivity and to shorten the time it takes to gather.
Probably the single most important aspect to making your money is going to be the Auction House. The first thing you need to do is learn how to check current prices before setting your own. You do not want to over or under price you herbs. I have found that by lowering the price of a single stack of herbs by only a factor of 10%, I will still sell 98% of my herbs listed within thirty minutes. The second thing you need to learn is how NOT to flood the market. I have found that three stacks of each herb I wish to sell is sufficient at any given time. Furthermore, since most of my herbs sell within thirty minutes, I can easily place more on the AH as needed. The days that you place your herbs on the market can greatly affect not only how many you sell but the pricing as well. I have found that Friday afternoon, Monday morning, and Wednesday afternoon tend to be my best days to sell every type of herb. Rarely, you will find someone trying to cut your prices by 10 gold or more per stack...let them. While it can be quite irritating, you will find the market self corrects quickly.
Like I stated before, I am not a gold farmer; but you can see by the math, a minimum of 600 per hour gathering herbs is very feasible. That is even with all of my real life interferences and distractions. Now, go out and make as much gold as you want as often as you want so that when you get the gold spams and whispers starting you can make sure to laugh and ignore them. I have tried to make this gold guide as simple as possible and I truly hope it helps you make as much gold as you wish. Keep in mind that Cataclysm due out; so, I also suggest hording at least one full bag of WotLK herbs. The rush for leveling professions that utilize herbs will make them even more valuable. Remember, do not sweat the small stuff like missing an herb to someone else, and enjoy the days that yield you 2,400 gold. Keep smiling, keep picking, and enjoy those golden herbs.