They seem to have expected some things, though, see adding pets with aquatic damage (gun and ooze) aswell as a resistant cockroach to stop us from cheesing everything with elementals. Yet, a fact their damage output is low combined with shields not checking for racial damage means this mechanic prevents a lot as you mentioned. The last boss has got an ability to remove basic shields so perhaps that was not in oblivion either… unlike the reactive damage. Also, an ability that forces swap altogether with an ability which prevents from being swapped, including critters? I can't say I like it.
Elemental items (Primals, Eternals, etc.) can be a good source of money, because they are always in demand on the AH. See which mobs you will most benefit from farming, then set out for a few hours. In the process you will also most likely collect significant vendor trash, and may get other profitable item drops as well. Note, however, that older elemental drops usually lose profitability compared to newer ones, i.e. Primal Water sold well to level 70 players in BC, but sells far less well to level 80 players in WotLK, because level 80 gear requires Eternal this'n'that.
Get exalted reputation with every faction you can. This relates to the previous two pretty directly. Gaining reputation with most of the factions of Kul Tiras and Zandalar will allow them to sell you high-level gear, while gaining reputation with the Champions of Azeroth faction will grant you levels for your Heart of Azeroth, the neck piece where all of your AP is stored.
The most simple thing is TradeSkillMaster. This AddOn shows you quite an amount of information in the items tooltip. In my opinion, DBRegionMarketAvg the best source. It tells me the price, an item was posted on all EU realms in the last 14 days. Why not DBMarket? DBMarket only shows you the items value from your server in the last 14 days. This value often gets manipulated. Some people start to post an item with a 500g value for 500.000 Gold on the auction house for several weaks. As a consequence, DBMarket is rising towards 500.000 Gold.  If you use DBMarket with 100% and post your item for 500.000 Gold, nobody will buy it.