Bank Alts & Guild Banks

Before the introduction of guild banks in patch 2.3, people used individual bank alts, or mules, to keep all of their extra stuff that didn’t fit in their character’s bags or bank.  It wasn’t uncommon for officers and guild leaders to have mules that held guild mats.  Then came the 2.3 Patch.  Now there was a better way to store mats for a guild, and restrict access so that everyone could see it, but not everyone could directly access it.

What I’m about to discuss is by no means innovative, but I feel that if people see the potential of the following information, they’ll use it:

Make a guild for your bank alt, and use its guild bank!

The setup isn’t difficult, and the benefits outweigh the relatively small start up fees.  If you don’t have a bank alt already, roll a new character, and make your way to the nearest major city.  Grab a guild charter and have people sign it (might take a bribe if you can’t find enough guildies to help).  Create the guild, and remove the other people from the roster.  To set up your guild bank, go to the bank, click on the bank vault, and purchase a bank tab.  Your first tab will run you 100g.

Why spend this amount of money?  Well, the more alts you have, the more mats you’ll likely have and/or need.  Let’s take a look at all of the space I have on my bank alt, Shortsword, and what I’m using that space for.

I have several projects in the works at the moment, and I need a ton of space to store the mats.  My mage is a Tailor / Enchanter, and even though she’s currently stuck at level 24 waiting to be leveled, I’ve been saving the mats for when she does.  I have a level 30 Shaman that I level exclusively with my wife’s shaman, and he’s a Miner / Jewelcrafter.  My Warlock is an Herbalist, and will be an Inscriber when 3.0.2 comes out.  I also have 3 70’s with storage problems all their own.  Shortsword solves my storage issue, by offering 4 places to store items:  his bank, his bags, and 2 guild bank tabs.

Shortsword’s bank is holding the most important 300-375 tailoring material, Netherweave Cloth for my mage:

Is 53 stacks of netherweave going to guarantee that I hit 375 instantly?  No, but it’s going to put a massive dent in that leveling process.  Accumulating this much netherweave didn’t really take that long either.  I just sent the cloth to Shortsword from my 70’s if I already had 20 bandages on them.

As for Shortsword’s bags, they’re not as organized.  The only project I am currently using them for is the storage of high level greens to disenchant when I start leveling my mage again.  Also in the bags are quest items from the few quests I’ve done on Shortsword, my extra leather, some items that haven’t been sorted into other places yet, and 2 pieces of the Blackened Defias set for a twink I keep saying I’ll make one of these days. 


The first tab of my guild bank is general storage of mats and patterns.  These include primals, ore, bars, gems, enchanting mats, and food.  If you look closely, you’ll see some reputation items in there as well.  Basically, instead of storing these items on the toon that found them, I put them all in a centralized location, and that way, I always know what I have, without having to check the bags and bank of every other character I have.  I apologize for the mess; this tab could use a little spring cleaning and organization.


Now for a project I’m currently working on, that’s relatively well organized.  This second bank tab cost me 250g.  My warlock, now in level 44, is going to be an inscriber in the expansion.  To be a successful inscriber, you’re going to need a ton of herbs.  Her Herbalism is just over 250, so I’ve got a majority of the Azeroth Herbs already, and I think sometime next weekend, I’ll be in outland grabbing those.  Again, inscribing is going to need a ridiculous amount of herbs, so I need a place to store a ridiculous amount of herbs.

The herbs you see here won’t be nearly enough to level inscribing.  After completing my epic mount quests some time in the next few weeks, I’ll have to travel back and farm even more herbs to make sure that I have more than enough to level Inscription.  If I get too many, then I’ll just make a ton of money on the AH selling lower level herbs to people that are too lazy to farm themselves, or for some reason didn’t take herbalism as their second profession.  My goal is to have enough herbs to hit 375 Inscription the first day the 3.0.2 patch comes out, and park myself in Ironforge selling Inscription related things.

I hope for those of you without personal guild banks, this was useful information.  If you need any other motivation to create one, the 1400 gold wasn’t sent from my other toons, it was made by selling all of the excess stuff I’d be accumulating.  I didn’t realize how many mats I had until I put them in the same place.  I mean, honestly, what was I going to do with 30 primal mana, and 40 primal earth?

– Sam

2 Responses to Bank Alts & Guild Banks

  1. Lyndiana says:

    Let me add a little to your idea. I have enough room on my account (and Boe’s) for this, so it’s not for everyone. I have not only one bank alt who owns two guild bank tabs, but 2 other bank alts who are in that guild (I also send unused higher-level toons into shelf-mode in that guild as well). On each of the 3 bank alts I have purchased at least their first two (cheap) personal bank slots, with 16-slot bags in those. Each alt also has their backpack and 16-slot non-soulbound bags. Two of these alts, instead of 16-slot bags in some slots, have “special” bags, such as herb, enchanting, gem, and leatherworking bags. They can therefore store more stuff of that type, while still using the same amount of available bag spaces. I can make every one of those bags, so it didn’t cost anything extra to have those, and I also used my tailors to make all of the normal bags. So this basically costs me only the time to do it and what I paid for the 2 guild bank slots. Plus, having all these alts in that guild allows me to move mats and money between my 2 accounts almost instantly and for free by transfering them into and out of the guild bank, and gives me comfortably over 700 slots of storage, and depending on how many shelved higher toons I have, over 1000 slots at some times.

    On a side note, one of these toons is responsible for running all of my AH sales, which allows me to regularly cycle and monitor my acutions easily from one toon. For the success of this alt system (and the value of grinding your own mats and making things to sell) I can point to the fact that it’s acquired over 4000 gold, with over 7000 gold between this alt guild and my mains. Not bad for a few level 1 toons. =)

  2. samueltempus says:

    @ Lyndiana

    Great comments. Anyone who has multiple accounts could easily follow the same model you’ve used. Counting my wife’s account, I also have 2 accounts, but we have a roadblock in following that model.

    1.) We do share our accounts occasionally, but for the most part, we’re usually doing something when we need the other’s account.

    2.) We’re using most of our character slots already. I have 7 active characters on my account. I have 3 characters leveled and geared, I’m leveling 3 more, and I have my bank alt as well. The other 3 slots are being used my toons that I hope to level someday, and 1 for the Death Knight.

    Anyone who has the space and resources to do what you’re doing can store things just as efficiently with less cost. However, if you don’t have the necessary character space or professions to make the proper bags, it ends up being cheaper just to eat the gold and buy the first guild bank tab.

    Basically, there’s nothing wrong with either method, it just depends on what’s best for you.

    – Sam

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