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Preparing for Wrath Day 2: The dying wallet

Allison Robert

Off a question on professions we recently took in Ask A Beta Tester, it occurred to me that it would probably be helpful to provide players with a few ballpark figures on budgetary expectations for Northrend. Blizzard's been pretty frank about its desire to reduce ingame inflation, so it's reasonable to expect a number of compelling demands made on your e-wallet (especially if legions of grasping guild leaders worldwide get their wish and start taxing the living hell out of you). Bottom line? You're going to bleed gold out of your ears unless you exercise some financial restraint. But...whatever. Screaming over the ingame cost of everything keeps me from looking at my real-life stock portfolio. I need a drink.

PROFESSIONS: Your first few minutes on the continent, no matter where you land, are going to be pretty expensive if you train up your tradeskills immediately. Polar22 in the AABT comments provided an extremely helpful link to WarcraftEcon confirming that each major and minor trade skill, with the exception of First Aid, will cost 35g to level to Grand Master. First Aid is more expensive at 50g. So, assuming you train your two major tradeskills in addition to Fishing, Cooking, and First Aid, count on being out 190g in addition to whatever it will cost you to train new recipes. WarcraftEcon estimates the total damage for an average player will clock in around 400-500g for these initial recipes and the Grand Master skill-up. That sounds broadly accurate from my experience in the beta, so plan on toting 500g along if you want all of your professions trained up immediately. The bleed begins!

TRANSPORTATION (FAIR ENOUGH): One of the first things you're likely to notice after a few days in Northrend is that flight paths are notably more expensive than their counterparts in Azeroth and Outland. It's not unusual to see flights cost 2-3g even for short distances, which frankly makes me wonder what percentage of that is being skimmed by the flight masters. Northrend is big, and you'll feel the loss of your flying mount pretty keenly in the early 70's. You should probably budget somewhere in the region of 50-100g for the first few weeks, depending on how much flying you actually do.

: Players' repair costs will vary wildly according to the quality of their gear and what spec they're playing (e.g. melee specs generally take a higher rate of durability damage than ranged specs). Whatever you're paying now at 70, don't expect it to get smaller.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, SALES TAX?: Almost everyone is going to carry some food and drink with them (or, as a healing class, drink) for the inevitable downtime while leveling; you're not going to grind or quest as efficiently versus level 71-74 mobs as you do on Outland mobs you currently outgear. Budget 10-20g for this per day depending on your gear quality (i.e. the odds of you taking a lot of damage before you kill anything).

I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS: Yep, your class trainer's going to soak you too. This obviously isn't something you need to be concerned about immediately stepping into Northrend, but your leveling will go faster as you pick up more quests and get more familiar with the quest hubs and dungeons. I can say without hesitation that the quests you'll be doing in order to reach your next level will pay for training up your class skills without any issues, so I wouldn't bother setting aside any Outland funds for this.

WHY ARE THEY CHARGING 20K GOLD FOR A MOUNT THAT RUNS LIKE A BUNNY RABBIT?: If you're BRK or you've just really got your heart set on a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth, you're going to need a whopping 20,000 gold as soon as you reach Dalaran. Or -- as its purchase price is affected by your reputation with the Kirin Tor -- if you can restrain yourself until you get exalted, you can knock 4,000 gold off the purchase price. Bear in mind that getting exalted for most people is going to be something that happens well into 80 (you can only earn dungeon rep wearing a faction's tabard in level 80 dungeons). However -- assuming you actually use the vendors to empty your packs while you're out farming -- the mammoth will eventually pay for itself. How fast it does is going to depend on much you rely on farming as a source of income.

20,000 GOLD FOR A MOUNT? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR %$(#&% MIND?: The Armored Brown Bear is being sold by the same vendors selling the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth, but fortunately he's a lot cheaper and will only put you out 600g at neutral with the Kirin Tor. Interestingly, he's also the subject of his own achievement. So if you never got lucky with an Amani War Bear, you may want to pick this guy up.

: You will want to make sure you have 1,000g promptly at level 77 to purchase Cold Weather Flying. Trust me, 1,000g is a bargain given the repair costs you've previously shouldered from mindlessly throwing yourself off of various cliffs and then panicking while you spam your Swift Flight Form macro.

HOW DO THESE PEOPLE EVEN STAY IN BUSINESS: Oh, and about the fantastically expensive 8500g (at neutral) port-you-to-Dalaran rings, the Signet of the Kirin Tor and the Band of the Kirin Tor? Don't worry about these; you can't use them until you're 80 anyway. If you haven't already budgeted for them at 70, then a little prudence while leveling (e.g. keep up with your dailies) will probably cover this.

I HAVE JUST ENOUGH MONEY LEFT FOR AN ASPIRIN: Oh, good. Let's say that you, like the author of this article, are an incredible cheapskate prone to raging epileptic fits over the cost of living. As your parents no doubt told you, there are things that you need, and then there are luxuries. I count professions, consumables, repairs, Cold Weather Flying, and a certain amount of flight path taxi service as necessities. Everything else can bite me. Under this sophisticated economic model, I come up with the following budget for Northrend at 70:
  • Profession skill-ups and recipes: 500g
  • Repairs: 50g
  • Flight paths: 25-50g
  • Consumables: 10-20g
And a recommended nest egg for level 77:
  • Cold Weather Flying: 1,000g
LOW END: You'll probably need something in the region of 585-600g to get through your first few days in Northrend comfortably.

HIGH END: A bank of 1620-1650g will get you squared away on most necessities through 77 assuming your quest/daily money covers daily expenses and class skills past 70 (as it should).

ALL HOGS TO THE TROUGH, MILDRED: You want it all? A best-case scenario of exalted with the Kirin Tor will leave you paying 16,000 for a mammoth, 6,800 for a ring, and the aforesaid amounts for necessities, leaving you with a bill of 24,420 (assuming you otherwise break even on flight paths, class skills, repairs, and consumables at 70+). A worst-case scenario of neutral with the Kirin Tor will jack the total to 30,150.

In cases of extreme hardship, you can forego training up your professions and tackle them much later, but that's going to make work on profession-related achievements (most notably a head start on getting Dalaran Cooking Awards) or early access to good crafted gear/trinkets/gems a no-go. Use your best judgment, but with dailies and a certain amount of farming, it should be more than possible to put 600g in your bank between now and Wrath.
Are you ready for the challenges that await you in Northrend? WoW Insider has you covered with our 8-day guide to Preparing for Wrath. Also, check out our feature on AddOns new, old and outdated and Essential AddOns for Wrath written especially with the expansion in mind.

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