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The world of Guild Wars isn't any different from real life. If you spend more than you earn, you'll be broke in no time. Upgrading your armor, creating different armor sets for different uses, and keeping a flexible set of weapons for various builds can become very expensive. The following are a few tips to give beginners some ideas how to start collecting gold. These are just some few basic principles, and countless variations exist.
Note: Be aware that ArenaNet, the makers of Guild Wars, constantly monitor the economy of the game in order to balance it. If a method of income is being overused by players and deemed too "powerful" by ArenaNet, they will eventually take counter-measures to weaken it (i.e. "nerf" it).
Methods of earning gold
The drops that you collect from killing foes in PvE gameplay should be sufficient to cover your typical PvE expenses.
However, when you go for the high-end "perfect" and "green" weapons and "prestige" armor, that is when you will see prices skyrocket. Be aware that many of these weapons, armor and items were put into the game specifically as a "gold sink" for the wealthy players. In most cases there are alternative items that have equivalent stats, but are much cheaper. Go for the cheap alternative. For example, a perfect sword pommel of Fortitude (+30 health) can cost thousands of gold, while a pommel that only provides +28 health will only cost a small fraction of that. Be sure that you have done your homework and know your options before spending huge sums of gold on an item.
Farming means that you do not kill foes as a side-effect of playing the game "normally", but specifically for the purpose of collecting loot. A variation of farming is chest farming. For further details and tips, see: Farm
- Warning: The use of farming bots is a violation of the User Agreement and the Rules of Conduct, and, if spotted by a game master, will result in an account mark or a ban.
The farmed loot can be sold to merchants or traders, given to a collector in exchange for items, or traded to fellow players if it is a high demand or valuable item. See the following sections for further detail.
- Note: When you identify an unidentified item, the price offered by the merchant will increase by at least 1 gold. You should always identify Blue, Gold or Green items before selling them to a merchant. If the unidentified price of a white item exceeds 15 gold, then it is worthwhile identifying it.
Also when farming there is a Drop Rate which simply means for the more people (or henchmen) in your party the amount of items allotted to each player decreases. If you solo farm there is a higher chance of getting a certain item than if you farm with henchmen or friends.
- Note: Money making from farming has been nerfed with the introduction of Hard Mode, because drop rates are now determined by party size. See April 19th 2007 updates for details. However, Skill Tomes, scrolls, dyes, rare materials (including Globs of Ectoplasm and Obsidian Shards), gemstones, gold items, green items, and Special event items are excluded from the new loot scaling system, so those who wish to make profit from those items can still do so.
Merchanting revolves around buying low and selling high. This is most easily done with Green items, since their prices cannot be easily "looked up" on a Trader in the way that Crafting materials or Runes can. Merchanting requires you to have a good idea of what a price range for a specific item is. If you see any items being sold that you don't particularly need, but at a bargain price, don't be afraid to take up their offer. With a lot of knowledge and a little luck, you can often re-sell items for a premium this way.
Chestrunning is running with a party to find high-end chests. This requires some running experience and some money to buy the keys. The most popular chestrunning area is the Fissure of Woe, which need obsidian keys for 1250 gold each. There are however less expensive chest runs such as the Shiverpeak Chests located in Witman's Folly (which is south of Droknar's Forge and north of Port Sledge). Because shiverpeak keys cost only 600 gold they are used as a good way to obtain titles such as Treasure Hunter, which requires a certain number of high-end chests to be opened by a character.
Trading with other players
When Trading, other players will usually offer you better prices than vendors when you are buying or selling goods. This means you can often save a lot of money by trading with a fellow player compared to vendors. Although, this is not always the case with rare or high demand items. Sometimes, (usually inexperienced) players will attempt to sell these items for far more than prices from other players or vendors. It pays to shop around.
On the downside, trading can be quite a hassle. Depending on the rarity of the item you want to buy/sell, it may take quite some time of advertising and price negotiating until you've found somebody who is willing to buy/sell at a price that you deem reasonable.
If you belong to a guild or an alliance, it is sometimes advisable to try and sell there, rather than in a public place. People are more likely to pay attention to your sale and will be less likely to scam you with too low a price.
- Warning: "Spamming" adverts in chat, especially the public channel instead of the designated trade channel, is not only annoying for fellow players, but also a violation of the Rules of Conduct, and may result in an account mark.
- Warning: While trading with other players, watch out for scammers! Also, refrain from any behaviour that might be considered scamming, as scamming is also a violation of the Rules of Conduct, and may result in an account mark or ban.
Most weapons and armor offered by collectors are very cheap if you compare the value of the collectable drops stats against the price of an equal item bought from a fellow player or by crafting the item yourself. This means you can save a lot of money if you use a "cheap" collector reward item instead of crafting or buying an equal one.
Collector reward items are sometimes of greater value than the combined sum of the tradable items themselves. For example, a Stone Summit Badge will sell for 8 gold to a merchant. However, trading in 5 of them (40 gold) to the collector Ornhelm Brightaxe in Droknar's Forge will net a collector item worth 150 gold, giving a profit of 110 gold or +14 per badge. Always consider the value of a collector's reward items as well as the value of the collectables themselves before selling them to a merchant.
You can also make some money by selling collector reward items directly to fellow players. Even if someone pays 100 gold each for five collector items, the collector reward they receive for the 500 gold spent could be equivalent to a crafted or unique item costing thousands of gold. It pays to learn which items are most desired and what the market price for them is.
- Warning: Trading a collector reward item hiding its nature is considered scamming, because collector reward items cannot be salvaged. Scamming is a violation of the Rules of Conduct, and may result in an account mark or ban.
Also, artisans, material crafters, provide a method of adding value (literally) to materials. Very often you can sell a rare crafting material for a higher price than the sum of values of the input materials plus the fee for the artisan. Be sure to consider the alternative however, as it costs gold to salvage items, you may sometimes be better off selling the item to a merchant directly. You might be spending more money creating rare crafting materials than you make in the long run.
Running is a job that requires some experience, but it can be a good source of income.
Note: Remember that "running" was nerfed by ArenaNet in Guild Wars: Factions to reduce the increasing amount of scams runners would pull, and to force players to play the game through on their own, instead of unlocking towns before they should be according to the storyline. This was done by simply adding locked gates at the entrance to each town. Some areas are blocked off in Guild Wars: Nightfall but not as many as Guild Wars: Factions and not as strictly.
For further details and tips, see: Run
Begging is usually a nuisance to other players, and is generally considered as an ineffective way to make money. It's often easier and less time consuming to just leave town, kill a few monsters, and sell the drops than to sit in town and constantly beg whilst annoying others.
Ferrying a person (also known as a Taxi) is another form of the aforementioned running; except it's only possible if the player ferrying has unlocked the mission or town they are ferrying to. It is more common in Nightfall and Factions than in Prophecies.
Ferrying is commonly found in Factions in House Zu Heltzer or Cavalon, where only the guild owning said town can freely access the Elite Missions Urgoz's Warren and The Deep. Ferrying is also commonly found in Nightfall, where low level characters want a ferry to the mission Consulate Docks just off of Kamadan, as Consulate Docks has max armor.
- A common mistake made by new players is to market low-level loot items. In most cases these are considered 'worthless' by the rest of the community. By selling to the merchant you'll save time, inventory space and only make a little less money than by selling to another player.
- The most valuable types of loot are unaffected by scaling, so adventure with as few party members as possible to increase your chances of getting drops.
- Selling green items to other players can also generate an income. Players buy them because they are a good way to get a weapon with good mods and interesting skins. It pays to keep an eye out on the trade-chat to see just which items are popular and which ones aren't. Otherwise, you may spend some time chasing after items that other people are just not interested in.
- It is also worth considering what people may pay for crafting materials in bulk, especially if the price is lower than the cost of 10 at a Material Trader, but higher than the price you receive from selling 10 to a Material Trader. For example, if 400 iron ingots are required for a full set of 15k Kurzick Warrior Armor, it is not worth the time and money to gather that amount of material and buy it from the trader. You will have little success charging a player the same price per item for a bulk lot as what you would charge for a few pieces of crafting material. If you are in need of a great deal of crafting material, negotiate a bulk price that is still above the merchant price, but several gold below what you would pay individually.
- Use a build for Farming.
- Consider doing the missions and quests on your own rather then getting runners for them. You will earn a lot more money and experience.
- If you are considering running as a way of earning gold, make sure you have a full or semi-full party. As a result, you will earn money from multiple people from just one run. However there are certain rules of etiquette to be followed if you are a runner. See Run for details.
- Don't spend too much money on your armor or weapons until you have a reliable way of making money. When you need new armor (which should be very rarely), use collector rewards. When you decide to purchase specialized armor, upgrade the most essential parts first. For example, upgrade chest and legs in Ascalon, the rest in Yak's Bend and so on.
- Before spending all the money you have on a gold max-damage weapon with interesting mods, consider using a crafted/collector-weapon with the same or similar stats. It won't increase your personal "bling-factor", but it will have the same functionality and won't drain your wallet.
- Be friendly to people. If you do, they may possibly give you an item at a discount, or help you out. Don't spam the chat with something like "free <item> please". Everybody wants free items. When selling items, even if it is an expensive, perfect or unique green, don't use aggressive language like "NO NOOBS" or "Serious Buyers Only". This gives the impression of inflexibility and puts people off. If you are selling a rare weapon, many people who have no intention of purchasing it will want to see it; this is a given.
- Make as much room in your inventory as you can. If you fill your inventory, each item you leave on the ground is one less item you can sell to a merchant later. Salvaging items may help mitigate this but requires space for the resulting crafting materials. If you are running low on space, prioritize by picking up items that stack (like collector items, valuable crafting/salvage material) and high value items.
- Identify all items (see notes below) before selling them. If it doesn't have a value listed, it is unidentified, regardless of whether it has the word "unidentified" in its description. An unidentified item will have a lower value to a merchant than an identified one, and more often then not, the extra value will make up for the cost of the identification kit, especially if identified as Improved sale value. Gold and purple items have a high intrinsic value, shown especially after identifying (and will also very often have mods that your fellow players might be interested in buying); blue weapons are often overlooked but have the highest chance to be identified as Improved sale value (sell to merchant) or Highly Salvageable (salvage, sell for parts), both of which are mods that'll put money in your pocket; even mundane (white name text) items and salvage armor may increase in value after identifying them, especially later on in the campaign. Basically, you will be making a profit if the average price increase is more than the cost of identifying the item (which works out to 4 gold per identify for a normal Identification Kit).
- Note: The average increase in a white items' value after identifying them is roughly 25%. If the unidentified value of a white items is 16 gold then, on average, you should break even when you identify them.
- Note: however, that there are other players out there who will gladly pay handsomely for unidentified gold items to increase their Wisdom rank, and yet other players might be very interested in buying unidentified pieces of gold monster-armor for the sake of unlocking runes. It pays to be flexible in considering your options.
- Items that have traders should be looked to see where the highest price can be found, either from a trader, merchant, or another player. Due to traders basing their prices off of supply and demand, a merchant may give you a higher price on occasion. This includes dye, runes, crafting materials, and gold scrolls.
- When selling items that are found at the trader to other players or buying it from them, make sure to check the trader price first. The price you ask for (or get) should be between the trader's selling price (high end) and the trader's buying price (low end). It makes no sense for anyone to sell their items to other players at a value less than what the trader already guarantees them, and it also makes no sense to buy items from other players at a value higher than what is already available at trader. Note that sometimes traders DO run out of stock and their price becomes no longer a factor.
- After you identify a salvage item (an armor drop from a monster), do not immediately salvage the rune off of the item until you check the trader price. This can usually give you an extra few hundred gold. For example, a Warden's Armguard of Superior Vigor is a no-brainer. Superior Vigor runes are very expensive. In this case you salvage the rune. But, a Warden's Armguard of Superior Illusion is worth 200-400 gold if sold to the merchant, while the rune of Superior Illusion is worth 25 gold at the best of times. There is a chance that the armor will survive the salvage if you identified it first. A recent change to the mechanics of salvaging will not allow the armor to survive before being identified. You should always check Rune trader prices first to make sure you couldn't get more money selling it there.
- Use in-game item auction sites to find out the market value of the item you want to buy or sell. For more information, read the article on price checks.
- If storage situation allows it, store items such as runes, materials and weapons for your future characters or heroes. It makes a lot of difference if your new character has everything at hand instead of buying it at merchants to whom you already sold it before (and sunk a little gold in doing so).
- If you have certain items, it can pay off not to sell to a trader straight away, but wait a few days/weeks. Especially overlooked items (such as Steel Ingots or Deldrimor Steel Ingots) can fluctuate in price, giving a nice bonus. Mind you : prices can drop as well, so advantage is not guaranteed. (for experienced players : you can compare the traders with the stock exchange market in real life. Good traders can make a profit on money only, by buying the right items)