Reward of the Week: Hit the Blizzard Store

I’ve been on lots of weight loss diets.  There are some things they all have in common.  One thing they all advise is that when you reach a goal you should reward yourself, but not with a chocolate cake.  In other words, don’t undo all the good work you’ve just done, and more important, don’t reinforce bad habits by equating food with all things good.

The next time you reach a gold goal, big or small, consider treating yourself with a trip to the Blizzard Store.

Blizzard Store

If you are anything like me you avoid overspending real life money on WoW.  It feels a little like cheating to buy all those mounts and pets with real money instead of farming them in-game.  But the advantage of buying something in the store as opposed to splurging on the auction house is that you don’t deplete your hard earned gold doing it.  And linking the purchase to reaching a gold goal does tie the purchase to the hard work you’ve put in inside the game.

If you’ve never used the Blizzard Store, don’t be afraid, it’s really well implemented and easy to use.  You can buy mounts for around $25 US and pets for $10 US.  There are plenty of other items and accessories as well as Diablo and Starcraft items if you are interested in those.  Have a budget going in, stick to it, and then enjoy your success having fun with your new item.  You’ve earned it!


Reward of the Week: Valor Point BoE Items

Valor Point Vendor

Many serious gold earners are also serious altoholics.  Hello, my name is Frinka…  If you have level 85 alts, when you reach gold goal you could reward yourself by buying them valor point BoE items.  Item level 397 bracers are available for 1,250 VP and item level 397 boots are available for 1,650 VP from the valor quartermasters in Stormwind and Orgimar.  Here’s the Wowhead list of what exactly you can get.

VP BoE list from Wowhead

Selling valor BoEs is an easy way for a lot of players who aren’t necessarily serious gold earners to earn gold.  There was a good Gold Capped post on WoW Insider about all the ins and outs of selling BoEs back in December.  If your main has enough valor points to buy some you could reward yourself by simply sending them to your alts instead of selling them to someone else.  If not, you can help out another player and reward yourself at the same time by purchasing a few items in trade or on the auction house.


Reward of the Week: You Can Totally Afford All Those Recipes

I’m not much of a pure recipe collector.  I tend to buy what I need to level and then buy just recipes I’ll definitely make either for myself or to sell.  But after I reached my first gold goal I realized that I could afford to splurge on recipes, and it was fun to have them.  And the more recipes you have, the better the chance you can respond quickly to a money making opportunity on some obscure item should that opportunity arise.

If you decide to treat yourself to some shiny new recipes, be aware that many if not most of the recipes listed on the auction house are available from vendors and are being “flipped” by your gold earning counterparts.  You can decide to either run around and get them all from the vendors or pay a premium price to avoid all that work.  After all, this is a reward, so you’d be justified to take the easy way out.

A few addons will help your recipe collecting a great deal.  The most important one is Ackis Recipe List (ARL), which I wrote a brief guide about here.  This will show you a list of all the recipes you don’t have and let you filter it by a whole bunch of different criteria.  In this case, where you are buying recipes as a gold earning reward, you probably will want to only list those recipes that you can purchase from a vendor or from another player, therefore excluding the BoP ones.  And if you decide to be a bit frugal and go to the vendors instead of the auction house, ARL tells you the exact location for each vendor.

Ackis Recipe List

Another useful addon for recipe buying is Altoholic.  After you install it and open your tradeskill windows on each character, it remembers what recipes you know and displays “could be learned by” and “already known by” information in the tool tip when you mouse over a recipe.

Tool Tip

Even the standard auction house UI has one very nice feature for recipe collecting — the “usable items” filter.  By selecting it you’ll only see recipes listed that you can learn. (on the character you are on — it doesn’t know about your alts like the Altoholic tool tip does.)   So if you want to go nuts you can just select “Recipe” on the left, click “Usable Items” near the middle top, and start buying!

Standard Auction House UI


Reward of the Week: Pimp Your Guild

“It’s better to give than to receive.”  Do you find this to be true?  Sometimes it’s hard to truly feel rewarded by giving something away, but in this case I think most people would.  Consider rewarding yourself for achieving that hard earned gold goal by giving some of that gold to your guild.

By “your guild” I don’t really mean your bank alt, storage, or vanity guild.  I’m thinking more of a guild that your main or other active character plays, raids, PvPs and/or socializes in.  In most cases your “main guild” has helped you achieve your goals via guild perks, etc, so giving back some just makes sense.  But more importantly, you can buy things for the guild that will make it more fun for all members, including yourself.

One option is to just donate some gold to the guild bank straight out.  This money could be used in anyway the GM sees fit — funding repairs, buying supplies, etc.  If you give the gold without specifying how it should be used, you should be prepared to accept the GMs decision even if it’s not how you would spend it.  Think through how you’ll feel and consider what you know about your GM before you proceed.

Another way you could go is to buy items to donate to the guild — raid consumables, enchanting supplies, materials required for an achievement, or even BoE gear that you know people need.  This way you control exactly how the gold is spent.  You could also offer the money for a specific purpose, like buying an additional bank tab.

When you decide to give a gift like this consider how it will be perceived and your relationships with the people involved.  You may want to give anonymously to the degree possible.  And just like in real life, don’t give if you really don’t want to.  Don’t expect anything in return and don’t be resentful when people don’t seem grateful enough.  Give the gift, enjoy the benefits it brings, and feel pride in knowing that your persistence enabled you and the people you play with to have a little more fun.


Reward of the Week: Take a Vacation

Mounts and pets — those are the obvious things that come to mind when you think about how to reward yourself for reaching a gold earning goal.  There are plenty of blogs and websites out there where you can learn all about them, so I want to make an effort in this weekly column to spotlight different reward options.  (At least every other week. I’m just getting started so we’ll see how it goes.)


This week’s reward idea is to simply take a break from the gold earning grind.  Warcraft Street strives to be about having fun.  I’ve written before about the fact that no matter how you approach gold earning, persistence is the key to success.  Letting yourself take a break after you reach a goal is a perfect non-gold reward for all that persistence you just displayed.

During your time off you have the chance to reflect on what is still working, what is broken, and how to adjust.  You can solidify your next objective (write it down).  You can try new things in game like holidays, PvP, etc.  You can visit the darkmoon faire.  Think about getting that old achievement you’ve always wanted.  (For me that’s “Salty”, I’m so close yet so far!)  If you need to you can use the time to look for a new guild/server/faction.  You can play the Mists of Pandaria beta.  You can do an addon refresh — delete them all, start over, and reconfigure your entire UI.  Or you can stop playing WoW altogether for a while.  There are lots of other games out there, and a whole big real world to explore too.  Maybe you want to start blogging….

Most serious gold earning routines require you to log in and do some posting or buying or manufacturing about once per day.  Some more, a few less.  To get an effective vacation, one that is truly rewarding, try to make your break last at least a week, preferably two.   It’s really hard not to just pop onto that alt quickly and check the price of whiptail, but resist the urge!  And at least for me, leveling professions is not really that much of a break — focus on activities that get you out of the auction houses and capital cities.

Now, during the summer/pre-expansion lull, is the perfect time to take a gold earning vacation.  Consider timing your reward break during an in game event like a seasonal holiday or the darkmoon faire if you want to spend some time on those.  The midsummer fire festival runs from Thursday, June 21 to Wednesday, July 4 this year, and the darkmoon faire comes back for a week starting Sunday, July 1.

Me?  I’m taking my own advice.  Next week I’m on a vacation in real life so my gold earning activities will be on hold.  Have you taken or are you planning a gold earning vacation?


Reward of the Week: Turbo-charged Flying Machine

To have fun and keep motivated it’s critical to set goals and reward ourselves.  It’s easy to forget the reward part.  I want Warcraft Street to be different from other gold earning blogs by putting more emphasis on how to spend gold and have fun.  Think of this as my version of Phat Loot Friday.

Some friends of mine took a trip to India one summer during college.  They were traveling on a budget but luckily one of the guys was from India so he guided them to interesting, inexpensive activities that most tourists don’t know about.  One day they spent 15 or 20 minutes arguing over whether to buy first-class or coach train tickets until someone stepped back and realized the difference was around 10 cents in US currency.

I’ve wanted a Turbo-charged Flying Machine forever, but my engineer is an alt and I just don’t often spend a ton of money on mounts or pets for alts.  The other day I saw one on the auction house and it just dawned on me that for me, the 4,800g was sorta similar to the 10 cents.  And just to be sure I quickly checked what the materials would cost for me to craft my own and on my server at present they were more expensive.  So heck, I rewarded myself, and I’m so glad I did.

Turbo-charged Flying Machine
It’s worth noting that the profession mounts like Turbo-charged Flying Machine and Magnificent Flying Carpet aren’t on the current list floating around of non-account-wide mounts in MoP.   It seems like they should be still profession restricted, but who knows?  I’ll try to find out, and post an update, or please post in the comments below if you’ve heard.