Secret Warcraft #23

How to make a ton of gold doing the
Darkmoon Faire
Exotic Dance

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Secret Warcraft #23:
Darkmoon Faire Gold Guide

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From the desktop of Jonathan Kenins...

Today's technique genuinely ranks as a WoW power secret.

With nothing more than a level 1 alt character and a little gold to bankroll the operation - say about 10g - 20g - you can earn 200 gold, 300 gold, even 500 gold in a day.

My own test run today turned a tidy sum of 640g. See below for details.

Very few players are aware of this technique. And even those who KNOW about it (and try to do it) are mostly not taking full advantage, because they don't know how it works in detail.

Best of all: this is super easy to do, and you can do it at any level.

Now I have to admit that this isn't one of the most entertaining ways to make gold. It's actually rather boring and time consuming.

Luckily, you can do it in the background while you work on something else. In fact, I'm running this technique on two servers right now, as I write this issue of Secret Warcraft... good thing I have 3 computers on my desk :)

I've also been known to do this while I'm raiding on another server.

I'm talking about buying limited supply herbs and motes from the vendors at the Darkmoon Faire. Then selling the goods on the auction house, of course.

Darkmoon Faire for Fun and Profit

You are probably aware of the Darkmoon Faire. It's a week-long special event that happens every month. The location rotates between Alliance territory (outside Goldshire, in Elwynn Forest), Horde territory (outside Thunderbluff, in Mulgore), and the Outlands (outside Shattrath, in Terrokar).

The event has plenty of fun and games, as well as useful treats and buffs. There are card sets to collect and turn in for excellent Trinkets, 2-hour stat buffs given out by a fortune teller, an exotic non-combat pet that few players know about (the Jubling), and the ever popular Tonk combat.

The money-maker is the opportunity to buy large quantities of limited-supply items from the two Exotic Goods vendors. They share a tent at the back of the Faire grounds.

Lhara ("Darkmoon Faire Exotic Goods") sells herbs of all kinds, several types of leather, and a selection of green Bows, Daggers and Staffs of various levels. Standing beside her, Professor Thaddeus Paleo ("Darkmoon Faire Cards and Exotic Goods") sells motes (Mote of Fire, Mote of Air etc.), scrolls (Scroll of Agility III etc.), healing and mana potions. And every now and then, he pops some high-end raw gems (Nightseye, Living Ruby, Noble Topaz).

The main reason most players have no idea what a gold mine this is: if you just walk up to the Vendors' stand and open a trade window, you will almost always see very little for sale. This is because the stuff sells out almost immediately when it pops up, since almost all of it can be sold easily at a profit.

So the big secret that I'm sharing with you now is that the re-spawn rate (how often the limited supply items re-appear for sale) is extremely fast, by comparison with all other limited-supply vendor opportunities in the game.

Normally, limited supply items come up for sale on a 1-hour, 2-hour, 4-hour, or even once-a-day timer. The more valuable and desirable items are always on very long timers. But at the Darkmoon Faire, we're looking at re-spawn timers measured in minutes, not hours, even for some very valuable profit-making items.

Timing Is Everything

To be specific, I have studied the re-spawn patterns for the two most profit-making categories of goods: herbs, and motes.

Here's how it works. For each category of goods (herbs, leather, motes) there is a separate spawn timer. Each time there is a spawn, a whole group of items appears all at once, selected from a loot table.

Take herbs for example. Lhara spawns a batch of herbs every 11 - 20 minutes, mostly in the 14 - 16 minute range. Each spawn includes between 3 and 8 individual items, in quantities ranging from 1 to 4. So you may get a spawn of 2 Fel Lotus, 4 Wild Steelbloom, 3 Earthroot, 2 Terocone and 1 Nightmare Vine. Grab 'em quick!

The complete "loot table" for herbs includes most of the flowers in the game, including Black Lotus, Ghost Mushroom and Mountain Silversage. A few notables are missing (I think, since I've never seen them), including Briarthorn, Dreaming Glory and Felweed. Even the rarest and most valuable herbs, including Fel Lotus and Black Lotus, come up quite frequently.

Similarly, the Professor spawns his batch of motes every 14 - 28 minutes, most often around the 22 - 24 minute mark. This includes 3 or 4 stacks of one or two motes each. All motes are available, in an even distribution, including the most valuable Mote of Fire and Mote of Air.

To see if the spawn has occured, you have to keep opening and closing the vendor trade window. You don't see the new stuff until you re-open the trade window after the re-spawn occurs.

My routine is to keep track of the re-spawn times for each of these categories (since they are the main gold makers). Then I concentrate my efforts on checking the vendors repeatedly, around the time the next re-spawn is due. If I'm paying attention, I can get a large share of everything of value that comes up for sale, even if there's a lot of competition.

Here's an example of how I keep track:

10:18 Lhara herbs
10:26 Professor motes
10:31 Professor gems
10:41 Lhara herbs
10:48 Professor motes

And so on.

Hot or Not

The other big part of this technique is to make sure you know what's worth buying, and what you should avoid.

Below is a complete list of what comes up for sale on these two vendors, in their major categories. I've listed the vendor's price (without reputation discounts), maximum quantity that will spawn at any one time, and the typical price you can sell for in the auction house.

You can buy practically anything you see and make a profit. But the big winners to focus on are obvious: Fel Lotus, Black Lotus, Ghost Mushroom, Thick Clefthoof Leather, Enchanted Leather, and all the Motes. Best of all are the rare gems, Nightseye, Noble Topaz, and Living Ruby, but they appear only a couple of times a day.

Items to avoid include most of the leathers, Khadgar's Whisker, Liferoot, and the "Lesser" and "Super" level potions (the "Superiors" are good buys).

Herbs to buy:

  • Fel Lotus, 4g (2): sells for 25g - 30g
  • Nightmare Vine, 50s (1): sells for 1.5g - 2g
  • Black Lotus, 40s (2): sells for 9g - 12g
  • Netherbloom, 40s (2): sells for 1.5g - 2.5g
  • Ancient Lichen, 30s (2): sells for 1g - 2g
  • Ragveil, 24s (3): sells for 60s - 80s
  • Terocone, 20s (3): sells for 1g
  • Ghost Mushroom, 15s (4): sells for 1.5g - 2.5g
  • Mountain Silversage, 6s (2): sells for 80s - 1g
  • Golden Sansam, 4s (3): sells for 1g
  • Dreamfoil, 4s (3): sells for 70s - 1g
  • Wild Steelbloom, 2s (4): sells for 40s - 70s
  • Kingsblood, 1s20 (4): sells for 8s - 15s

Herbs to avoid:

  • Mana Thistle, 1g (2): sells for 1g
  • Khadgar's Whisker, 7s: sells for 5s
  • Liferoot, 3s (4): sells for 3s - 6s
  • Bruiseweed, 1s (4): hard to sell
  • Mageroyal, 80c (4): hard to sell
  • Earthroot, 80c (4): hard to sell

Leathers to buy:

  • Thick Clefthoof Leather, 30s (3): sells for 3g - 4g
  • Enchanted Leather, 20s (2): sells for 5g - 8g

Leathers to avoid:

  • Heavy Knothide Leather, 2.5g (2): sells for 2.5g
  • Knothide Leather, 50s (3): sells for 30s - 50s
  • Rugged Leather, 20s (4)
  • Thick Leather, 12s (4)
  • Heavy Leather, 6s (4)
  • Medium Leather, 2s (5)

Note about leather: the auction house deposits for leather are quite high, so you stand to lose significant gold if your items don't sell. Mostly not worth the risk, in my opinion.

Motes to buy:

  • Mote of Earth, 16s (2): sells for 25s - 40s
  • Mote of Fire, 16s (2): sells for 2g - 3g
  • Mote of Water, 16s (2): sells for --> 1.5g+
  • Mote of Life, 16s (2): sells for --> 90s
  • Mote of Mana, 16s (2): sells for --> 1.5g
  • Mote of Air, 16s (2): sells for
  • Mote of Shadow, 16s (2): sells for

Gems to buy:

  • Nightseye, 12g (1): sells for 35g - 45g
  • Living Ruby, 12g (1): sells for 45g - 50g
  • Noble Topaz, 12g (1): sells for 35g - 50g


I won't take up space with a full list of the Scrolls available from the Professor. You can buy and sell ALL of them for profit, but it can be a bit of a nightmare to manage the inventory and auction process, since there are so many. I only recommend trading in scrolls if you are on a relatively low budget (the scroll prices are all in the 1.5s - 6s range), and you are willing to put in a significant effort to jump-start your gold-making efforts.

Also, consider buying scrolls at the Darkmoon Faire to help your leveling characters. You can easily lay in a stock that will carry you from month to month between Faire events. Like stat foods (see Secret Warcraft #24), the buffs you get from scrolls can be a BIG time saver when you are leveling and questing.

Step By Step

Working the Darkmoon Faire vendors is a simple operation to set up.

First, find out when the Darkmoon Faire is in season. You will see NPC's wandering in the major cities with a quest that sends you to the Faire when it's on, but you can plan ahead by checking the Events Calendar at the official Blizzard World of Warcraft website:

Next, create an alt character that you can leave parked permanently at the Faire. This takes no time at all for the Goldshire and Thunderbluff events. Just make a level 1 Human or a level 1 Tauren, and run them straight to the fair. No need to bother with any leveling at all.

Now send your chosen alt some seed money and a couple of cheap bags. I recommend sending 20g if you can afford it, but you can do something useful with as little as 5g. For bags, just get a couple of 8-slot or 10-slot bags on the auction house, they will be less than 50s each. Your alts can pick up this stuff at the mailbox outside the Inn in Goldshire, or at a mailbox inside Thunderbluff.

And then get to work! Park your alt in front of the Exotic Goods vendor tent, and start querying Lhara and the Professor. Make note of the spawn times once you see it happen.

Bonus tip: if you aren't constantly checking the vendors, you may miss the spawn event, because other players will snap up the desirable items and you'll never see them. However, you will normally be able to see that it has happened, because there will be some left-over (undesirable) items from the latest spawn. If there weren't any Liferoots or Earthroots last time you checked, and now there are... the spawn has just passed.

You will soon have the spawn timer pattern sorted out, following the details I have given you above. Now just make sure you keep checking each vendor at the right times, buy the good stuff, mail it to your auction house banker character(s), and watch the gold flow in :)

Be sure to act fast with that right-click when you see the best items pop up. They tend to sell within moments of spawning. Consider yourself very lucky if you don't have several competitors standing around ready to buy.

The usual principles of smart auction house selling apply. Know your prices, use AH selling best practices (limit quantities, make your lots stand out from the competition), and be patient if current prices are lower than they should be.

Another bonus tip: (this applies anytime you are working with vendors, anywhere in the game)... if you haven't set up with enough bag space, and you find yourself looking at a Fel Lotus but no room in your inventory to buy it: just sell something (anything!) to the vendor, then immediately buy the item you want. You will have plenty of time later (as long as you DON'T logout first) to clear some bag space, and use the "buyback" tab on the Vendor window to get the item you sold back. There is no price penalty for doing this, you'll buy the item back for exactly the same price you sold it to the vendor.

There you go, you now have detailed knowledge that 99.9% of Warcraft players have no clue about. Use it! I highly recommend making the Darkmoon Faire part of your regular WoW routine, unless you have a level 70 and you are doing daily quests, primal and mat farming to raise gold.

The best approach is to do this kind of vendor camping while you are busy doing something else. While you can easily make 200 gold or more in a day, that actual hourly rate is likely going to average out at only about 20g per hour.

For reference, here's what I got in two 4-hour shifts from one server today (auction house profit shown in brackets):

  • 8 Fel Lotus (160g)
  • 14 Black Lotus (84g)
  • 13 Ragveil (6g)
  • 28 Ghost Mushroom (42g)
  • 34 Wild Steelbloom (17g)
  • 10 Mountain Silversage (9g)
  • 8 Nightmare Vine (8g)
  • 28 Golden Sansam (25g)
  • 31 Dreamfoil (22g)
  • 7 Netherbloom (11g)
  • 15 Terocone (12g)
  • 13 Ancient Lichen (13g)
  • 15 Mote of Fire (30g)
  • 9 Mote of Air (16g)
  • 12 Mote of Water (20g)
  • 12 Mote of Shadow (18g)
  • 10 Mote of Mana (13g)
  • 5 Mote of Life (5g)
  • 8 Mote of Earth (2g)
  • 12 Thick Clefthoof Leather (30g)
  • 5 Enchanted Leather (22g)
  • 1 Living Ruby (30g)
  • 1 Nightseye (25g)
  • 1 Noble Topaz (25g)

That adds up to 640 gold in one day. Try that for seven days in a row!


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