Seriously, right now! I’m speaking to any “Goblins” that are out there farming. This is going to be a short, but hopefully fiesty post. If you are farming your ore, herbs, leather, elementals, or pretty much anything else – YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!! Ok, now let’s talk about why
Why farming is a bad idea
Farming your own mats is only”worth” it in 2 situations. The first is if you are powerleveling a profession and you’ve hit a roadblock. No mats, whatsoever. I encountered this recently with alchemy. I needed to get out there and farm some primals because I hadn’t seen any netherbloom in about 3 weeks. Seriously, not a single one. Finally getting my DK up to lvl 75 and getting alchemy up to 525 has been quite profitable for me and will continue to be, but it wouldn’t have happened without a quick and painful farming session.
The second time it makes sense to farm is when everyone else is powerleveling their profession. This pretty much only happens for a short time at the beginning of a new expansion. Once more than 50% of the players on your server have their professions maxed, your profit curve will have peaked and it’s all downhill from there. Purchasing your mats from the AH will otherwise always be the better option. Period.
The problem with farming mats is that a) they are limited by current market value and b) they can be turned into something else. Logic will always dictate the price of crafted materials in the following manner: if it is useful, someone will buy it. If someone will buy it, it is reasonable to expect them to pay more than the current cost of the required materials. If they don’t like that, their only other options are to gather the materials themselves and try and find someone to craft it for them (which will either require a bunch of time, or they will need to buy from the AH, which might not even save them much gold) or they need to level the profession themselves, learn the recipe and craft it themselves. Neither one of those options will frequently be appealing to the average player. Thus, useful crafted goods will always hold more value than their mats.
The reason why farming isn’t worth the effort is because of time. Crafting or AH flipping or anything you can do with your mailbox/bank/AH window and trade chat will always take less time than going out into the world to farm something. Unless Blizzard adds some sort of node next to the mailbox, it juts isn’t worth venturing off. I’m sure there will be people that will disagree with me, and if you do, by all means let’s hear your side of it.
But, Kathroman, what if there aren’t any [insert mat that I commonly use in my big "money-making" strategy] available? Isn’t it a good idea to go out and farm some of them then? Nope. You should be doing something else instead. First of all, if you find yourself in this situation frequently, I would suggest stockpiling mats at good prices so you don’t have as many issues. Second, I guarantee you that there is at least 1 other way you can make gold that will still be better than farming. There is no 1 thing that is so exceptionally more profitable than everything else that makes it worth abandoning all else (and your sanity, to boot) in order to keep doing it. There will be something else in another market. I promise you. Feel free to throw some examples out there, I have my “idea-whacking stick”(TM pending) ready and I love a good challenge. Otherwise, just stop farming. Unless you enjoy it, but don’t be misled by false pretenses about it being the most profitable use of your time.
p.s. This post might have sounded a bit “ranty”, but I didn’t want to go through all the trouble of offering some specific examples, so I thought I’d just blow the whole thing up and see where the pieces landed.
p.p.s The TUJ server analysis project I mentioned a few posts back is still moving forward, just working out some kinks with my spreadsheet. I have it set up, but I had to use a workaround to get the data into it, so I have a nice spreadsheet with 3 week old Zuluhed data – not useful. Once I can get it figured out, I will throw together an analysis of US-Aerie Peak-(A), as promised.