By all means, go to the world bosses if you enjoy the fights (Jormag and Tequatl are a lot of fun), or if you need to pick up pieces for a legendary precursor quest. But I quizzed people the last few times I turned up to some of those fights, and a disturbingly large number of them said that they were doing the tours for the money. A yellow and three greens for 20 minutes work is terrible money. Especially when you can't even autoattack and afk while the HP sponge drops down, since so many cause you to drop targets, or put up AEs that'll kill you, or move around, etc. It's to those people that I'd like to point out some more profitable things you could be doing with a few minutes to spare, that aren't as mind-numbing as Silverwastes Chest-farming or as dependent on finding a group as meta-events or dungeons.
Node farmsYes, it seems kind of silly to log on to an MMORPG just to be a potato farmer, but node farms pop once a day, less than 30 seconds from a waypoint. In literally less than three minutes, you can earn what you would have gotten from the Inquest Golem in twenty.
- Potatoes (10-15 x 2, selling for 2-3s each). Go slightly south of Loreclaw Waypoint ([&BMcDAAA=]). Also slightly north of Akk Waypoint ([&BEIAAAA=]), jumping up some platforms.
- Flax (15x seeds, selling for 6-7s. Occasionally a flax fibre or two selling for 15s). This one requires at least the first level of Gliding mastery. Go to Jaka Itzel Waypoint in Verdant Brink, jump off the north side and fall/float to the bottom.
There is a second Flax farm in Tangled Depths, slightly northwest of the Ogre camp, but it's not always available depending on metaevent progress.
- Passion Fruits/Flowers (3x flowers, selling at 60s each. 20x fruits, selling at 2s each)
Start at Pearl Islet Waypoint ([&BNUGAAA=]). Work your way north to the next nearest waypoint, swinging east and west to harvest every Passiflora and especially every Blooming Passiflora node. You can only harvest three Blooming nodes per day, but each is guaranteed to give you a Passion Flower selling for 50-70s. If your server is doing particularly well at WvW, you might get a few extra harvests out of the blooms as well.
- Spinach (10-12, selling for 1-2s). This one's not as good since spinach goes cheaper than potatoes, but it's still less than 30 seconds from Provern Shore waypoint ([&BOQAAAA=], climb up the hills to the northwest), and there tend to be 2-3 soft wood nodes within sight. Since soft wood is currently selling quickly at 4s each, each node is 12-16s.
- Elder Wood. Go slightly west of Pagga's Waypoint ([&BKYCAAA=]) for a stand of five cypress trees. The area is also typically very dense with other nodes worth picking up, like omnomberries and ghost peppers. There's another stand of cypress slightly west of Waywarde Waypoint ([&BPgCAAA=]), but the waypoint is often contested.
- Platinum (~10 per node, selling for 3s each). Go to the Old Sledge Waypoint ([&BNQCAAA=]), run north and swing left at the platform where the Inquest Golem spawns. Underwater is a Rich Platinum node. Then go north from Flamefrog Waypoint ([&BMwBAAA=]) and into the cave at the river. Another cave East-North-East of Rustbowl Waypoint ([&BB4CAAA=]) for a third. There are a bunch of other rich nodes, but those three are the fastest.
- Iron (~10 per node, selling for 3s each). Go through the passage to the northwest of Oldgate Waypoint ([&BF4BAAA=]). Another just south of Gallowfields Waypoint ([&BGMAAAA=]), south of Snowhawk Landing Waypoint ([&BL8AAAA=]), West-North of Demetra Waypoint ([&BKsAAAA=]), etc...there's a lot of Iron around, but each rich node is still worth around 30s. Those ones can be reached in less than 2 minutes, though chances are you'll be stuck in combat at the end.
There are a few other spots you can go to and things to do, but these aren't as profitable or quick as the above.
- Coarse sand. From XX:40 to XX:00 every hour, there's a dust storm in Dry Top. Go to the Vinebridge waypoint ([&BIYHAAA=]) and head east, then back and forward south and north killing Dust Mites. Every one drops 1-5 Silky Sand, and every 10 sand gives you a chance at a Coarse Sand (as well as Zephyrite Lockpicks, geodes, crests, etc). Back in the first few days after the HoT launch this was crazy good money. These days the price has crashed to a more reasonable 10-12s per (you can get about 10-12 in a single storm), meaning you only get 1g for 20 mins work. Still better than World Bosses, but probably not great once the novelty has worn off.
- Soft Wood. The legendary precursors have caused the price of soft wood to spike hard recently, with each log going for 4-5s. At that price, there are actually some pretty profitable routes around Gendarren Fields, Brisban Wilds, Harathi Hinterlands, etc. that focus specifically on areas with soft wood nodes.
- Clams/Pearls. Just throwing this one in here for filler, really. Like the spinach node farm above, this isn't tremendously profitable, but it's still quick and you can pick up some soft wood, iron, and herbs along the way. Go to Mrot Boru Waypoint ([&BHUAAAA=]) and swim along the bottom of the river to the north for a bunch of clams and pearls.
- Some world bosses. Southsun Cove's Karka Queen (Camp Karka Waypoint ([&BNcGAAA=]) among others) in particular is fast, easy, and gives some of the biggest rewards. Even the pre-quests for her are fast and rewarding, and you can always just do the Passion Flower/Fruit farming I mentioned above if you turn up too early. Frozen Maw (near Krennak's Homestead Waypoint at [&BMIDAAA=]) is the only world boss that you actually can sit on a ledge and plink with autoattack while afk to cook dinner and still get Gold, so he gets a mention. Tequatl...Tequatl gives great rewards, but it's a long event, and you have to turn up to Splintered Coast Waypoint ([&BNABAAA=]) 10 minutes early in order to have a hope of getting into a winning map. If you have no shame, you can zone in at the prerequisite ten-minute-early mark and begin touring the zone for gathering nodes. If the map is well-organised enough to win, people will be shouting to the zone about the progress - just teleport back when the second "BACK" is shouted to cap off the event. You lose the smaller dragon chests for low participation, but still get the Exotic one and the main chest on top of the 3-4g you collected from hard wood and platinum.
- Silverwastes Breach (go to Hidden Depths waypoint at [&BKwHAAA=]), Ogre Wars (go to Ogre Road Waypoint at [&BE8BAAA=]), and the various Orr Bosses (Dwayna, Lyssa, Balthazar, Eye, Arah, etc). These are things to watch out for on the Open World tab of the LFG tool. Each is faster than a world boss (well, some of the Orr events drag on, especially if the zerg wants to farm them), and gives equal or better loot. The Breach (or a "95%" map) in particular gives 3 rares, 5 champ bags, and a Key of Greater Nightmare that can be redeemed for another rare and assorted goodies, for less than 5 minutes work. The biggest thing these events provide, though, is a little variety.
If the only thing you were after was gold and you had the soul of a robot, non-stop Silverwastes Chest Farming is probably still the most lucrative thing to be doing. It's just that to me, it's so dull that it doesn't seem like playing a game - I'd rather just put in some overtime at work and buy the gold with cash-bought gems. Maybe to you these node farms and spots are similar, or will be after a short while, but I'm still having fun with them as a short semi-daily thing for when I have 15 minutes free but not an hour.