The most obvious way to get what items you need is by farming for it.
Farming can be tedious business, and because of this i highly recommend combining multiple farming actions into 1 session.
Based on market prices, or your ability to farm a certain mob, you need to decide what to farm.
* You need scryer reputation
* Your alt needs aldor reputation
* You want to work on your sword skill
* You need cash badly and fast
* The AH value of primal air is huge at the moment
* You need to farm some basilisk meat for the raid tomorrow
* You're working on your cooking skill and need fish or meat
* You have some quests in a certain area that include killing a lot of mobs or a friend that needs certain mobs killed for a quest
* You are trying to collect a certain recipe for your crafting profession
* You (as a hunter) have recently trained a new pet, and it needs levels or loyalty
You see, there's all sorts of activities you can combine to make the farming more worthwhile.
The core business however, is what to farm.
Some examples of items that are commonly in demand (more near the bottom of this post) :
* Arcane dust / Planar Essenses / Prismatic Shards. These are more of a side product while farming however.
* Aldor / Scryer reputation items
* Primal Air, Primal Water, Primal Fire, etc.
* Reputation or Quest items such as: Unidentified plant parts, stranglethorn pages, certain meats, netherwing ore.
* Gems, Ore, Herbs, Leather, etc. But those were already handled fairly well in section 2.
Just pick something randomly, see if it's on the auction house and check the value.
Now, a key figure that many people forget is "when" to farm.
Obviously between 1300-1700 server time, all the farmers will be out and about farming anything that's profitable.
If you can start early, or late at night you'll have less competition, and so more profit.
However, "when to farm" doesn't only relate to the server time. It also requires you to look and compare the auction prices of popular items. Supply & Demand you know?
For example, one day there are 20 Primal Air on the AH for about 30g each.
Another day, there's 5 Primal Air on the AH for about 50g each.
You see what i'm thinking?
I hope you have a stockpile of Primal Air, because it's a good time to sell some when the supply is fairly low and people are busy and about farming for them. They'll get tired of farming, check the AH, and notice your sales there which should be priced just that little bit below the competition. Profit!
Now, when there's 20 Primal Air already on the AH, don't bother listing yours, Just stockpile some extra.
When an item is readily available on the AH it's also a lot less likely that people will be out in the world farming for the item. Not much difference though, perhaps 10-15% but enough to make a difference.
Another thing you could do, is try to influence the AH supply and demand, by buying all the cheap items yourself, and relisting them for the higher price.
Keep in mind that this will require some practice, and involves a lot of risk, time and starting money to do properly. But it can pay off bigtime and can be done with nearly any type of item available from the Auction House.
If do you plan to do this, i recommend starting small, Copper, Iron, Mithril would be good candidates.
One small thing to note however, is that Blizzard has made a statement that your server actually "tracks" how much of a certain item (primal air for example) is available, and regularly adjusts the mob drop chance of these items to create a medium.
Obviously i can't really test this, and many such rumors are just urban legend and supersticion.
An example would be, that if there's 100 primal air available on the AH, that the mob droprate of motes of air would be reduced by about 2%. Not so much that you'd really notice it unless you farm for several hours straight, but enough to reduce the input of primal airs into the economy.
If there's only 1-2 Primal airs on the AH, the server would "increase" the droprate by 2% thus making sure that the farmers will have a very good day indeed.
* Deviate fish : Wailing Caverns (just outside the instance portal works best)
* Copper : Ghostlands works quite well, Dun moroch, and Durotar.
* Iron : I get a lot of my iron from Arathi highlands, with the occassional mithril.
* Mithril : The hinterlands work very nice.
* Thorium : Silithus, especially now that the mobs aren't elite anymore in the hives.
* Adamantite : Nagrand is commonly known to be a good spot, but exactly because of that, it's not. Try Shadowmoon, or netherstorm if you're trying to farm during the more busy hours of the day.
* Primal Air : Nagrand for Engineers, Elemental plateau is rather crowded and doesn't have much spawn points, Shadowmoon valley both north and south side.
* Primal Fire : North side of Blade's edge, Elemental plateau - again rather crowded, Shadowmoon valley. Miners will also get these quite frequently from mining on netherwing ledge in shadowmoon, or mining fel iron.
* Primal Mana : Engineers can fly around Netherstorm, lots drop in Karazhan, herbalists will pick up the occassional one from netherbloom, and there's a great spot southeast in netherstorm as well to farm these.
* Primal Life : Zangarmarsh northeast works "okish", herbalists will get these from just about any plant and can also get them from killing the giants in Skettis (terrokar)`
* Primal Water : Engineers can fly around Zangarmarsh, or if you have decent fishing these can be obtained pretty fast by just fishing "all" pools of special fish in nagrand / terrokar highs. (make sure you get the fish tracking book)
* Primal Shadow : A bit tricky to get now that demons no longer drop them but netherstorm Manaforge Ultis (i think) has a lot of void elementals around it. There's also a number of them southeast and south in hellfire peninsula but their droprate is a lot lower. And if you are an engineer, you can fly around Shadowmoon.
* Primal Earth : These are quite easy to get and very commonly drop from Adamantite ore spots as a miner. Also available from (again) the elemental plateau, as well as the south side of nagrand.
* Aldor rep items : A great place is the west side of shadowmoon, or north side of netherstorm.
* Scryer rep items : Netherstorm has loads of farm spots, and there's a good spot south in shadowmoon. Make sure you check thott as some of these can also drop a recipe for enchanters.
* Medium leather : There's a little hidden grove in the north side of Ashenvale where there are a number of "worgen". They spawn incredibly fast and should be able to provide you with more corpses than you can skin.
* Rugged leather : Winterspring, yeti cave. If you're a miner as well there's the occassional rich thorium here too.
* Knothide leather : Nagrand works quite well. If you can skin the clefthoof bulls you'll also be getting clefthoof meat which can be cooked into strength food, and more importantly "Thick Clefthoof Leather" which is worshipped by all tanking classes and twinks and usually sells quite easily.
* Cobra Scales : These can be farmed near a cave in the north side of shadowmoon, or in the west side of nagrand. Personally i prefer the nagrand spot, you can ignore the birds even though they are "red".
* Small eggs : It's christmas soon, that means eggs will be in demand. The absolute best spot to get these is westfall. There used to be a graveyard with 5 unlimited spawn points next to each other but that one's been nerfed sadly. Another hotspot is still available directly east of Sentinel Hill, but the birds share a spawn cycle with the boars there. Don't let this deter you however, just kill anything that spawns. Ranged class recommended.
* Primal Nether : You can farm those? Well, not so much, but if you're a member of a good guild you can clear Karazhan in 3-4 hours and get 22 heroic badges. 20 badges = 2 nethers. Not amazing profit as you can only do it once a week, but you'd get plenty of void crystals on top of that as well.
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