The Call to Arms for Fun(?) and Profit
Yeah, I dont know if “fun” is the right word here. More like mind-numbingly boring and/or frustrating. But profit? Oh yes.
If you don’t mind hopping blindly into the queue to heal or tank for a group of miserable, ungrateful sods, then the Call to Arms has a lot to offer you. I’ve been running about five a day whenever the tank slot is highlighted (I gave up on the healing one; it’s almost never up) and the following is evidence, albeit mostly anecdotal, of the profitability of the Call to Arms feature.
First, arm yourself with the Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide, available from the Darkmoon Faire. Bosses in heroics have a chance (a small chance) to drop Darkmoon Artifacts, which can sell for hundreds or thousands on the auction house. You could also turn them in for tickets if you like collecting mounts or minipets.
Next, spend your justice points. Going in to a heroic with a full compliment of justice points is wasteful. See the end for advice on how to spend them for max profit.
And finally, understand how the Call to Arms feature works. The CtA for your specific role (let’s say tank) has to be up when you queue. Duh. Then it gets kind of tricky. I have heard that if you lose a member of your group and then invite someone in to fill that spot WITHOUT using the dungeon finder, you will lose your satchel. The satchel is the big key to profitability here. If for any reason you lose eligibility for the satchel, it’s almost not worth it to continue the instance unless you’re at the last boss anyway. Be careful. If you have the lead, don’t give it up, and do not invite a guildie or a friend in to your group no matter how cutely they pout.
Consider running the older heroics instead of the new Hour of Twilight heroics. They’re easier, groups will tend to be over geared, and they will go faster on average. Faster dungeons means more dungeons run in a given time, equaling more profit.
Every boss has potential to make you money. Don’t skip bosses if you can help it. Each boss drop item is worth on average about 20 gold to a vendor, so be sure to greed roll instead of pass on loot.
Loot everything. Take five extra seconds after killing trash to loot the corpses. Aside from a little bit of coin, you’re looking for cloth. Embersilk stacks can sell really well, and you have a chance at BoE blues and even epics.
End bosses will drop Chaos Orbs. You cannot need them, but if you win the green roll you just won a good chunk of change.
Bosses may also drop Darkmoon Faire artifacts, which can and should be needed.
Always always always roll disenchant on loot if you have the options, UNLESS it is a BoE blue or epic item. Enchanting materials generally sell far better than the vendor price of the item, and BoE gear will sell better on average (especially epics) than most enchanting mats.
Finish the instance! This whole strategy is kind of moot if you bail out before you finish the dungeon. You don’t get the satchel for good intentions, so suck it up and soldier on and finish the damned thing. Then you can bail and whine about how awful the group was. Conversely, don’t spend hours wiping with a bad PuG. The cost of repairing your gear will eventually creep in to your profits. Personally I have a solid “bailout point” where if my gear is solidly yellow then I politely wish the group luck and leave. No point in spending 200 gold in repairs for a 100 gold paycheck at the end, huh?
You’ve slogged through the entire dungeon, killed every living boss in sight, and got your satchel. Bid your farewells and hit the auction house, because this is where the money comes pouring in. Let’s take a look at what you might have gained during all this (aside from a serious blow to your sanity, ha ha…) and tally up the profit. Numbers are rounded up or averaged.
42 gold for just completing the instance
60 gold on average from the Satchel
10 gold give or take just from looting mobs and bosses
So far we have 112 gold, give or take, just for queuing up and finishing the dungeon. Now let’s tack on some bonuses…
60 gold on average for winning a Chaos Orb (price is approximate for my server’s economy, yours may differ)
150 gold on average for winning a Malestrom Crystal from disenchanting.
90 gold on average for winning a Heavenly Shard from disenchanting
100 gold on average for winning a Greater Celestial Essence from disenchanting
100 to 500 gold for winning any of the Faire artifacts, not counting the rarest one (Treatise) which can sell for thousands I hear
20 gold on average for vendoring any of the boss drops you might win, multiplied by how many you won and sold
60 gold for a stack of Embersilk
100-1000 gold ballpark for winning any BoE blue drops
1000-5000 gold ballpark for winning any epic drops (mostly in the Twilight heroics)
And that’s all stuff you might win randomly just as you move through the dungeon. Next we’ll look at what kind of bonus that little satchel can give you…
Satchels have a chance to contain some very rare, often priceless stuff. Usually, though, they will contain between 50-90 gold and a random gem or a few potions. Sometimes they will contain a BoE minipet, and in my experience those can sell really well. So:
20 gold for an Amberjewel
50 gold for a Demonseye
8 gold for a Dream Emerald
60 gold for an Ember Topaz
300 gold for an Inferno Ruby
9 gold for an Ocean Sapphire
10-40 gold for elixirs and potions
150-200 gold for potions
And any number of minipets, some of which can be quite rare and thus valuable on the auction house. In my experience…
50 gold for a Cockroach
200 gold for the raptor hatchlings
7,000 to 10,000 ballpark for any of the whelplings
Now obviously you wont get all of this in just one run. To make any real profit from the Call to Arms feature you have to actually run it diligently, every time it pops up. Persistence pays off here. This isn’t a get rich quick type scheme, but if you’re putting the effort in you can expect to see the turn around pretty soon. I made 15,000 gold in about a week just by running about 5 dungeons a day and auctioning the rewards. A typical run might look like this:
42 gold for completing the dungeon
60 gold from the Satchel
10 gold from looting mobs
60 gold for a Chaos Orb
150 gold for a Malestrom Crystal
40 gold or so from vendoring random greens
60 gold for a stack of Embersilk
50 gold for a jewel in the satchel
That’s a total of 472 gold on average for a run. Then you have to figure in what it costs you to repair at the end of each run, and add on any bonuses you might get such as a rare pet in the satchel or a BoE drop.
All those justice points you amassed…if you’re like me and have nothing left to purchase from the vendors, then you can turn those points in to gold in a number of ways. My favorite: buy the BoE epic bracers and sell them. They go for around 1000 to 2000 gold on my server, and they sell pretty quick. You can also exchange them for enchanting materials to sell, but in my experience the point-to-gold ratio is not as high as selling the bracers.