Friday, November 23, 2007
The state of WoW gold farming
I'm back in WoW only since a short while, and I haven't done any farming to specifically go after gold, but I already accumulated over 1,000 gold just by doing daily quests and playing around for fun. I also noticed that I don't get any gold seller spam tells or e-mails any more. Only my newb mage got some random invites and when I accepted I got a /group tell advertising some cheat software, not gold. Apparently Blizzard's new tools to prevent gold spam are working. I saw somebody advertising gold in Orgrimmar once or twice in local /say channel, but much less than before. So if I'm swimming in gold without even going after it, and there is less gold spam, is the WoW gold farming industry in decline?
I went and checked some gold selling site, and found that 1,000 gold in WoW cost about $50 nowadays. That is pretty much what I remember from my last survey of that kind in Europe, but at that time in the US gold was much more expensive. Now the price is the same everywhere, thus the US has much cheaper gold than before. Which is kind of logical: if the supply of gold is growing, and the demand sinking, the price has to go down.
I think the daily quest did more to hurt the gold farming industry of WoW than all the previous ban actions together. When TBC came out I didn't think I would ever get 5,000 gold together for one epic flying mount, and in the end it took me several months and a lot of auction house buying and selling to get one of them. But if I'm continueing on the current trend, I'll have a another epic flying mount for my other level 70 character by early 2008, with Wrath of the Lich King still far away, and nothing else really to spend the money on. Two epic flying mounts worth 10,000 gold and not one gold piece of that bought from a gold seller! Having reduced the cost to raid with the alchemy changes, and introduced the daily quests to make gold faster, Blizzard basically flooded the WoW economy with gold. And it is even relatively fun to get, at least more fun than grinding the same mob all day long.
The tricky thing here is that daily quests give a relatively large amount of gold to regular players, but don't help the gold farmers very much. I can make 100 gold a day with the daily quests in less than 2 hours. But a gold farmer can also only get 100 gold out the daily quests, and then he'll need to go back to grinding mobs the old way for the other 22 hours that day.
Although the amount of gold in the economy has gone up a lot, I didn't observe a big inflation in the price of the primals and other resources that the gold farmers usually sell in the auction house. Adamantite ore is still where it was in price half a year ago. Only I can't buy it, prospect it, and sell the gems at a profit any more, because the prospecting chance has gone down, and the sales price of the gems has collapsed. Most rare gems go for around 30 gold now, when before I sold them for over 50 gold. Herb prices have gone up a tiny bit, but only Ragveil has gone up significantly (used for the new Mad Alchemist potion). I'm not sure whether Blizzard has reduced the herb spawn rate, or whether there are gold farmer collecting herbs now 24/7, but I have the impression that my herbalist is finding less of them. I haven't checked the prices of weapons, armor, and other gear, but somebody in guild chat remarked how cheap you could buy epics nowadays. Makes me wonder where all the money goes. Are people already gathering the 10,000+ gold they'll need for whatever new mount the Wrath of the Lich King expansion will offer at level 80?