As I leveled up my first character to level 60 I saw that I was vendoring a lot of Quest Items as well as green loot to make cash. In addition I also vendored a lot of tradeskill items that would have been beneficial to my future alts that may have related professions. As I progressed through the game it became clear that I needed to create a system for myself so I wouldn’t waste the items I found throughout my leveling. Hence, smart muling.
The concept of smart muling isn’t having one mule that carries all your stuff, its having many mules that carry specific items. I’m sure most people have a similar system but in World of Warcraft smart muling really pays off because of the economy and ease of re-rolling.
This guide is part 1 of a 3 part guide which includes Smart Muling, Smart Tradeskilling and Smart Alt Progression. Each guide builds upon foundations and recommendations made in the previous guide.
Create your mules relatively soon after you create your main playable character and name your mules accordingly. You’ll need one mule for the Auction House, one mule for smith goods, one mule for herb goods, one mule for recipes, etc. I like to name my mules logically. If you’re going to make your first mule to hold your mining supplies, name him something like ‘smithgoods’ or ‘miningstuff’. This will save you frustration when things start to get complex later on.
You’ll also want to pick your mule’s race wisely. Since you shouldn’t be playing these characters, its best to get them as close to the Auction House as possible upon creation. Currently there is only one auction house for each faction, so if you’re playing Alliance, your best bet may be Human, Dwarf or Gnome (easy access to IF with little or no danger involved in the travel). For horde, perhaps a Troll or an Orc would be the best bet? Make your mule’s class a class with higher hit points (warrior), since that initial run to the Auction House can often be a pain.
How it all Works
Now that you’ve gotten your brave mule to his destination next to the Auction House and preferably a mailbox you clear his pack of all items other then his Hearthstone. Then you simply logoff your mule and you’re good to go.
Since most people will already have a main character they play with, it’s time to hit the Auction House to buy 5 bags (or make some if you’re a tailor). I prefer to only buy 10 slotters for my mule since its much more cost-effective then 12 or 14’s. You’ll eventually have a tailor anyway that will be able to solve that problem.
Once the bags are bought send them to the mule in the mail, also give the mule 1 gold so he can send mail to you’re your other mules or guildies. The mules must always have money to send mail and 1 gold is more then they’ll need for a long time.
Your mule now has 56 slots in his inventory and another 40 slots in the bank (after purchasing a 10s slot in the deposit box). He’s more than ready to start accepting email donations of all the stuff you’ll be finding with your main character.
What to Mule
Everything! Any items that are white, green or blue, you’ll want to send to your mule. The trick is finding out what items go to what mule. For this reason I also made a mule called ‘Trophygoods’ that is kind of a half-way house for items until I find out which tradeskill they are related to. The point is, you don’t want to waste anything that can possibly be used in any tradeskill or quest. This ensures that you a quicker leveling process when you try to level another character or a new tradeskill.
Auction Housing with your Mule
The most beneficial aspect of smart muling is your easy access to the Auction House. This is widely because of your Auction House mule that was specifically created to hold your green and blue (and hopefully) purple items. This mule should be given more than 1 gold, he should have around 10gold at any given time. This mule will be your main income as you quest through the game.
You see, the Auction House mule will be the only character you have, that posts items on the Auction House, hence, he’ll be getting all the money you win off of your auctions. Your Auction House mule will eventually dwarf (no pun intended) the amount of gold your main has. If you’re big on tradeskilling for money, you can always see some money from that, however, you should send those items to your Auction House mule as well seeing that he’s logged in the hub of the economy.
Keep in mind that your Auction House mule is also logged out next to the Auction House. This means that you don’t have to use your main to check for new auctions, you can just log off your main, log on your mule and quickly have access to viewing the auctions in the Auction House which eliminates a huge amount of travel time if you’re a big fanatic of the Auction House.
Purchasing More Bag Slots (or … NOT)
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t intend on paying 20, 50 or 100 gold on bag slots in my deposit box. Even though 20g truly isn’t a lot of gold at the higher levels, it’s just something I’d rather save then spend. If you’re allowed to have 10 characters on one server, then the extra bag slots are kind of redundant, especially if they cost a lot of gold.
If you’ve hit the point where 10-14 slots in your inventory is worth 20g to you, then maybe you should buy another slot in your deposit box. I’ll just create another mule.
Though specific muling is a common concept in many games, the addition of the Auction House and mailing items really makes it useful. In World of Warcraft travel time is the biggest detriment to the leveling process and eliminating the Auction House from your travels (while still having easy access to it) can speed up your leveling process greatly.