“Power-Leveling Professions” or “Money is Time, Friend”
A lot of gold making blogs out there will tell you to capitalize on the need for this generation of instant gratification to get what they want with minimal effort, even if the path they takes ends up costing them a lot more than the fair market price of the item. Examples include buying rare companion pets from from vendors in Netherstorm, and selling them for 200-400% their normal price, or buying that rare recipe that spawns once every half hour on that vendor, and auctioning it for 10 times the normal price. This makes sense to me. There is gold to be made at the expense of other people’s laziness, and their unwillingness to put in some extra effort that will save them currency in the long-term.
But then there are those times when I power-level my professions, irrespective of the cost of materials, because for me, hitting the profession level cap is far more important than saving the few thousand gold I will save by farming the materials myself. And therein lies the tradeoff. I make a lot of gold at the auction house, I am very good at it. Even in the inflated market of Cataclysm, I can net between 7-10K from the AH on a weekly basis, so money is no object to me in-game. As such, if I have a choice between spending that money that is just lying around, or investing hours upon hours, flying around, tapping nodes for those precious minerals one pickaxe-striking-node-animation at a time, I will always go for the former.
Am I a Lazy Gamer?
Does that make me lazy? I am generally not a lazy person, and given my nearly masochistic impulsion to pursue the most mentally debilitating of achievements in-game, I am certainly not a lazy gamer. When I started raiding on the new toon, my DPS was just about the tanks. This wasn’t acceptable to me. So I read up online, I theory-crafted, I painstakingly tweaked each and every little statistic, and gemmed, enchanted and reforged my heart out. I am now in the top four DPS’ers in the raid. Most importantly, I am not a lazy person in life.
The point I am trying to make is fairly pedestrian in nature: just because someone is buying your good at several times the market price may not be because they are lazy or ill-informed. It may simply be because they value their time over their money, because the ratio for the sheer amount of time invested farming, just to save those precious few thousand gold coins simply does not make sense to them. The process still ended up taking over two hours to get from skill 197 to 423, where I called it a night because I was moments away from a nosebleed! If I had to gather, say, the 320 units of Cobalt Ore alone, I could have spent somewhere between 5-10 hours farming. And that only got me skill points between 350 and 415. As far as I am concerned, paying 2-3 times the average market value for said ore, for me, is well worth the investment.
As someone who has played the auction house to his advantage since the game was in its infant stages, this is the first time I have gone all out, and spent “whatever it takes” amounts of in-game currency to power-level my professions, effectively filling the pockets of enterprising auction-house entrepreneurs. I have to admit, it feels pretty good to have enough gold to be able to blaze right past the arduous farming lane, and onto the endgame of a given profession, because let’s face it. The game is designed so you benefit (both personally and financially) when your profession is at the max-level, and not by selling copper scale pants all day. It is an interesting new perspective, one that gives me cause for pause (that should be a meme) and reevaluate how I view the market.
And then the goblin in me rears his green head, and asks, how can we use this new revelation to our advantage!