Goldmaking while leveling with gathering

How i made 230 000 gold in my leveling journey from 10 to 70 with gathering only!


5/2/20248 min read

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I profoundly dislike questing in wow. As quests are usually essential to getting to max level, I tried to find different ways to get to the level cap. I knew that leveling in the old zones with gathering was pretty decent experience-wise. I wondered how long it would take to go from level 10 to level 70 doing gathering only. So I tested it and here are the results!

Full challenge data :

Time : 24.53 hours

Levels per hour : 2.48

Gold made : 230000g ( Started with 2000 gold )

Gold per hour : 9376

For the full data set, click on the image below

I started at level 10. You can start at this level if you have allied races. I made a highmountain tauren druid. Highmountain taurens have a perk that makes mining faster. Druids have instant travel form which saves time. If you want to play on alliance, I would suggest night elves. Night elves have the shadowmeld ability which gets you out of combat. It’s very useful to survive or simply get out of combat.

The challenge will be split into 3 different leveling periods.

- 10 to 30 ( Ground mount )

- 30 to 60 ( Flying mount )

- 60 to 70 ( Dragonflying )

I did not stop the tracking at level 30. The data will include from level 10 to level 31.2.

Lots of time and gold was wasted due to inexperience. I started with fel iron ore in hellfire peninsula. I thought it would be good, but turns out it’s horrible. Deposits are way too far apart from each other. Even if I had the ability to fly, this would have been slow for experience and nothing special in terms of gold per hour.

In the second session, I went to Stranglethorn vale. Goldthorn was very expensive, but to get the full amount of herbs and ores in classic, you need a certain amount of skill depending on the type of node. I wanted to test everything so I continued and got more skill with the mindset of future sessions from the classic game. The density was higher, which made it good for leveling but bad for goldmaking.

Next step was Val’sharah in legion. This is one of the zones that inspired me to do this challenge. It's a farm I would normally do at level 70 as it is very good gold per hour. Legion mining and herbing have ranks. Each rank improves the amount of herbs/ores gathered. The ranks are quite hard to obtain. Make sure to at least get rank 1. For the other ranks, it's up to you. They are not mandatory to make decent gold but always a nice bonus. I would also suggest getting the legion mining glove enchant and demonsteel stirrups. You can buy them on the auction house.

Ground mount gathering challenge
Ground mount gathering challenge

At level 31.2, I went to Uldum for elementium ore and cinderbloom/whiptail. It was a breath of fresh air to not have to deal with mobs. Flying gave this challenge some wings ( pun intended ) . The gold was great but the nodes were far apart which brought poor results in terms of experience.

Wrath of the lich king was next and it didn’t go well. The mob density is heavy, which made it more about fighting than gathering. There might be other places in wrath of the lich king that has less mobs to fight. In Icecrown, it was very hard to find unguarded ores. I moved back to Val'sharah afterwards. It was better than grounded but far from being as good as the next zone I tried.

I went to Vol'dun in the battle for azeroth expansion. Bfa herbs have very little value, so I did not even try to gather them. You may think the experience would be bad with no herbs, but it was the opposite. It was the best experience per hour of the whole challenge! There is no mobs to engage. The ores have decent value and the density of ores was incredible. Whenever you would be mining, you would know where to go next since you could see another deposit on the minimap.

Just like Legion, BFA mining has ranks. You can immediately unlock the other ranks when you reach a certain mining skill. It will unlock quests at the trainer which rewards you with a higher rank. Higher ranks augments the amount of materials from nodes. It took me around an hour to reach the desired skill and completed all the quests to get the max ranks. Make sure to buy the bfa glove enchant for mining and monel-hardened stirrups!

gathering challenge flying data
gathering challenge flying data

It became clear that being grounded was a huge handicap. You can’t avoid mobs. You can’t reach certain nodes. If you want to do a similar challenge, I would strongly recommend trying to figure out a different way to get from level 10 to level 30. In terms of efficiency, this was both bad for goldmaking and leveling.

Another approach I would consider is to go for a very high density of nodes regardless of the price of the materials. When you look at the alt army potential, experience gained correlates with goldmaking. Having more characters results in making more gold which means gaining experience also means gaining gold! While this challenge isn't that fast for leveling, it can bring some nice variety for leveling characters.

legion mining consumables
legion mining consumables

There was a pretty big change at that moment. It doesn't seem like much but not having to fight any mobs was so satisfying. When you start with ground mount, you are constantly harassed by mobs. With the stirrups, you never have to touch the land. If you ever doubt this challenge, I strongly suggest that you go to vol'dun and level from 40 to 60. You'll get a level roughly every 12 to 15 minutes!

I went from level 42 to level 60 in Vol’dun. It took me 4.15 hours for an average of 4.34 levels per hour. You can actually do this farm at level 70 and get over 15000 gold per hour. Just make sure to check the prices of monelite and storm silver ore. ( They were at about 12 gold during my time there )

bfa mining consumables
bfa mining consumables
dynamic flying challenge data
dynamic flying challenge data

Dragonflight was so much slower experience-wise. One level in Dragonflight takes as long as 3 levels before Dragonflight. You can see the drastic drop in levels per hour. However, gold-wise, it was incredible. I was extremely lucky with the timing. It was the start of patch 10.2. This is where most of the awakened elements massively increased in price. If I was to redo this today, I would lose at least 40% of the gold from Dragonflight.

It was much harder to talk to my chat while dynamic flying. It requires much more concentration. Some people will love it while others will hate it. I personally liked it a lot. I've been gathering for many years and it was a nice change of pace.

The list below is what I suggest doing with your knowledge. Keep in mind that this build might not be the most optimal after Dragonflight. Always check the prices on the auction house to know what stat to go for.

Priority #1 : Get mounted flying with “mining process” and “botany”

Priority #2 : Reduce your overload cooldown by spending points within the “mastering the elements” tree. The overload ability is a massive part of the goldmaking.

Priority #3 : Get as much perception as you can. Perception gives you a chance to get more rousing elements than usual.

Priority #4 :Get finesse and deftness. They give very little extra gold. In the future, if the price of ores and herbs go up, finesse could be good. Deftness is technically good for leveling faster.

Priority #5: Skill doesn't matter too much so it should be last in my opinion. Skill increases your chance to get higher quality materials.

Bonus tips for Dragonflight gathering

Bonus tip #1 : Get ilvl 346 profession tools with perception. You can also enchant your tools with the rank 2 perception enchant for cheap. Also get ilvl 346 accessories.
Bonus tip #2 : Watch a tutorial on dynamic flying and vigor management. It may take a while to get used to dynamic flight.
Bonus tip #3 : Check the auction house prices to understand what to prioritize. If a certain rousing is very high in price, it should be prioritized for overloading.
Bonus tip #4 : Always keep track of your overload abilities as they are very lucrative. Bonus tip #5 : Primal razorstones rank 2 are very cheap. Can be a nice consumable to use. Flasks are not worth it.


I use “Gathermate2” for easy tracking of node locations. I like “auctionator” for posting my goods quickly and at the best price. “Farmhud” can be a good addon for gathering as well. I used “loot appraiser” for getting a rough idea of the value of my goods. Keep in mind that “loot appraiser” requires tsm to work!

Final thoughts

This challenge shined from 30 to 60. If I do this challenge again, I’ll try to find an alternate way to level from 10 to 30. In the war within, you'll be able to get dynamic flying at level 15. This could become a very popular way to level in my opinion.

Some clarification of the data. I calculated the gold from the sales in the mailbox to get a rough estimate of the gold per hour. Not everything sold instantly. When calculating the data, there was always a delay between the day it was farmed versus the day the reagents sold. For that reason, I would estimate the gold per hour from 30 to 60 being higher and the gold per hour from 60 to 70 to be lower.

I am currently doing a similar challenge on my stream. This time, I'm only doing from level 60 to 70. I want to prioritize the use of the heirlooms. I will be leveling 4 characters at the same time from 60 to 70 with the 6 heirlooms set bonus ( rested experience will be consumed 60% slower ). One at a time, I will consume the rested experience on each character. The auction house will only be used at the end so we can see exactly what I collect.

If you would like to see this, make sure to check out my twitch and my youtube. I stream on both platforms at the same time. Happy gathering!

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