Low Population Realms - A Whole New World
If you’re a player on a low population realm, you’ve probably already noticed that making money isn’t as easy as other players make it out to be. You’ve tried your hand at flipping transmog items, craftable BoEs or even Mysterious Fortune Cards, and none of it has turned a noticable profit.
All of this is simply because on low population realms, different rules apply than on higher population realms., and sadly, what could make you ten thousands of gold a day on a high population realm, could turn into an endless relisting fee on your small realm.
I decided to write this for those of you who want to know how to overcome these issues, and still make money regardless of the population of your server. I have played on EU-Sarschield Legion for a number of years now, and the realm itself is the second least active realm out of all the English speaking EU realms. There are about 260 level 90 Alliance characters who are my primary market. I don’t claim to be an expert, and everything I type is based on what I’ve observed on my own realm. Regardless, I hope this article will help you in raking in some gold on your own server!
Differences Between a High Population Realm and a Low Population Realm
Why do these differences exist? The biggest reason is simple and obvious; there are less potential buyers for your product.
“What’s the big deal?” You might say, “that also means I’ll have less competition,” and while that’s definitely true, it also means that for some niche products your list of buyers is practically nill. Since Transmogging was introduced, I’ve seen maybe 10 people looking for Transmog items. Not quite the fat stacks of money you would’ve imagined reading most goldblogs in the last couple of months.
Another reason, that’s a little more subtle, is that low population realms typically do not attract new players.
People playing on one have probably been there for years. There will ofcourse be a few new players every once in a while, but the majority of them will be friends of current players.
The effect this has on the market is that it reduces the potential buyers of niche objects even more. There will be a higher percentage of players that already have the rare drop that you’re looking to sell, provided it drops in old content, of course.
Now obviously, you can still score big if you find a BoE mount or something like that, but it will take a lot more time to find a buyer, sometimes weeks or even months.
This leads me into my next topic, which is:
Making money on a small realm takes a lot of effort, and you might not even make as much as you’d like to. This is an unfortunate truth that you will have to learn to acccept. There are less people on your realm, which means there there is less money going around in your economy, and less of it will end up in your pocket because of it.
Another thing you’ll have to keep in mind is how many people will need a product on any given day.
Let’s take something like gems, an item that you know people will need everyday.
Now let’s say you’re on a high population realm, and everyday 50-100 people will need one or more gems, depending on realm size. That’s probably more than you can supply in a day anyway, so it’s not a very big deal if you miss out on some of those sales. Now imagine that instead of 50-100, there are only about 4 or 5 people looking to buy gems everyday, maybe less on a bad day, and suddenly it becomes a lot more important that you make sure you always have the lowest price for an item. It can potentially only take one undercut to prevent you from selling any of that type of item that day.
Making Money Using Professions
Alright, enough doom and gloom! Let’s focus on what you can do on a low population realm to make money.
The answer is actually quite simple: you’ll want to focus on selling items that everybody needs, like gems and enchanting materials. That’s why, in my opinion, the ore shuffle is once again the safest way to make money. Not only are you unlikely to ever lose money on it unless something incredibly weird happens to the price of ores, but the shuffle will only become more profitable as the expansion goes on, and more gem slots appear in gear.
Nevertheless, my advice is to have more on the auction house than gems and enchanting mats alone, and that’s why I’ll talk about every profession seperately, and what I feel their worth is, as well as my experience with them.
First off, let’s talk about gathering. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can make a lot of money with these professions. The fact that there’s less people also means that you will almost never run into a bot, and you will often find yourself without any competition for nodes. The best part is that it’s incredibly hard to run out of buyers for these items as they’re used in almost every profession.
As for the other professions, here’s a list, and what my experience with each is, and any advice I may have.
This is one of the professions that I’d say is vital to anyone that wants to make money on a small realm. As of me writing this, flasks are not yet profitable to make for me as a Transmutation master, but I have no doubt that that will improve as the price of Golden Lotus declines.
More importantly though, I have found that Trillium bars sell quite well. In fact, if the price of a stack of Ghost Iron Ore is less than the price of one Trillium Bar, you’re already making a profit.
I’d say Blacksmithing is very safe to skip over. Crafted PvP gear may have been able to be profitable in the first few weeks as everyone was desperately trying to increase their item level, but now that that initial rush has died down somewhat has become hard to get rid of.
Belt Buckles are needed by everyone, but not regularly enough for me to justify using this profession.
Another profession that you’ll need to get. Not only is it necessary for the shuffle, it also provides you with a Sha Crystal on a daily cooldown, which you can either sell raw, or if you have Enchanting on a character that you’re also doing dailies with, use them to create enchants that are reputation locked. This is once again a very slim market though, and I’d advise against it.
The big thing about Engineering in this expansion is that they have two mounts to make. In my personal opinion, this is once again one of the things that can make you a lot of money on a higher population server. On a Low Population server though, I don’t think this one’s worth all the trouble you’d have to go through to find a buyer.
Darkmoon decks, you’ve probably heard about them. Everyone’s been making a lot of money on these on the big servers, but right now, I have only sold one of these cards to a very desperate person on the last day of the previous Darkmoon Faire. It’s a bit of a gamble right now, but if this is a bubble, it’s about to burst any minute. However, I feel that the amount of potential profit to be made off of the Cards is worth the risk right now, but it’s important that you try to finish your decks before the next Faire ends, a Trinket will be easier to sell than a deck that turns into a Trinket a month later.
Glyphs are another story entirely. I had expected to make a lot of money on these, specifically on Monk glyphs. Unfortunately, this blew up in my face, and I don’t think I’ve sold more than five Glyphs in the last three weeks. This might be different per server though.
I’d say Inscription is worth using right now, and you can always fall back on the Shoulder Enchants if everything else doesn’t work.
Jewelcrafting is absolutely necessary if you plan to make any money as it is part of the shuffle. Pick this up ASAP.
You may have heard that you can make a lot of money selling the iLvL 450 jewelery, this may be true for larger servers, but I have found this to be untrue on my own server, and I’d advice to steer clear of these.
I find Leatherworking to be largely not worth it. Just like Blacksmithing, it only creates one item enhancement. It’s safe to skip this one.
Tailoring can either be completely worth it, or completely useless to you, depending on wether or not you learn it on the character that you do your dailies with. The reason for this is that the pattern for Royal Satchel, the new 28 slot bag, is available only once you are revered with The August Celestials.
If you don’t have this profession on your main, I’d steer clear of it.
A small market also means that it’s relatively easy to reset it if the price for an item drops to an amount you’re not happy with. For some items there simply won’t be any on the Auction House when you post yours. You can use this to your advantage, but remember to not go overboard on how you set your price. This also applies in the other direction, if a market is reset, someone might underprice an item when they list it, and you can pick up some cheap items with little effort.
Another thing that doesn’t just apply to small servers, but is a fantastic way to reduce your spending, is to find someone who’s willing to mine/herb for you. They may not be willing to deal with the Auction House, and you can offer them a guaranteed sale for whatever they gather. Just ask around in Trade for miners/herbalists looking to make some money, you never know how much money you could save. I currently have two people supplying me with ore, I give 60 gold a stack to one, and 50 gold a stack to the other.
Try to be as diverse in what you have to offer as possible, but sell your gems uncut. Jewelcrafters need them for their daily cooldown, and cut gems often sell for less money than the uncut version on my server.
With these tips, I have no doubt in my mind that you can make money on your server as well, the most important part is to stay safe, and to not base your income around niche items that will not sell on small servers. So unless you have a buyer in advance, don’t risk gold on something that you might not be able to sell for a profit.
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope it will benefit you in the goal that you’ve set for yourself, whether that’s ten thousand, or a million gold!
This Article Was a Guest Post Submitted By: Korlon of Sarschield Legion – EU