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The joys of cat shopping

Jennie Lees

When I first hit level 60, I was poor. Training up a multitude of new skills and working on my equipment left me living life with nary a gold coin in my pocket for weeks, but like many other level 60s, I decided I wanted an epic mount. Although I'm still saving runecloth for a cross-racial mount, for now I've gone the traditional route and upgraded to the next brand of saber, as I'm a night elf.

Getting the epic mount has been the culmination of weeks of half-formed ambition and several days of single-minded determination. Grinding and farming with the sole purpose of cash (although I tried to get reputation along the way) has almost burnt me out on solo play, especially on the night elf in question. However, when I rush across the landscape faster than ever before, running and jumping from the sheer joy of a speed increase, it all seems worth it.

Those readers who have yet to work towards an epic mount may wonder how one manages to amass such a huge amount of gold (800g with the rank 3 discount). It's not hard, but requires constant attention to the task, in my experience -- I didn't let myself buy anything other than repairs, potion refills and reagent restocks while I was saving. Of course, you don't have to be so strict, but everything you buy sets you further back from your goal.

I also confess to employing a mercenary approach to the game, at least for the last two weeks. The Scourge Invasion event and new patch were perfectly timed; prices of the various collectable items (Bone Fragments, Core of Elements etc) skyrocketed at the start of the event, and while they're more sane now, I owe a fair few gold pieces to judicious selling of these items.

Many players swear by the Auctioneer addon, also, which I used to help me price auctions. I occasionally used its bargain-hunting power, too, but with little success. No, most of my cash came the good old-fashioned way; farming and grinding in reasonably lucrative areas for cash, cloth and drops. As an enchanter I often made more money from shards than items (this is where addons like Auctioneer and Enchantrix are invaluable).

This also meant that running lower-level instances was worthwhile; running Deadmines bagged me a lot of shards and a couple of items that sold extremely well to twinks. I have a reasonably short attention span, so I didn't rerun instances to death, but it's certainly a viable route if you can disenchant. My other tradeskill, engineering, proved reasonably lucrative -- making Delicate Arcanite Converters and Gyrochronatoms, for example -- but spending time monitoring the market for these turned out to be boring, overall.

Having taken advantage of the "XP for Gold" system which rewards level 60 players with cash on completion of quests, I thoroughly applaud it. Some quests earned me up to 11g (including vendoring/sharding the reward), and I completed as many quests as possible to get that all-important cash, running instances to do so at some points.

Of course, I'm an impatient person -- while my final auctions were running, I borrowed the final 50g or so from a helpful guildie, meaning that I'm now the brand new owner of a sparkling Swift Frostsaber. My quest for runecloth (to get a horse) continues, but I'm backing off the grinding for now. I may be just another night elf with just another frostsaber, but I'm a happy one.

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