Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 19, 2008
WoW gold getting worthless?

I'm always a bit wary of sites offering price comparison for WoW gold, because most of them just offer that comparison to get a cut. But a reader sent me a link to a comparison site, and that site has a graph showing the average price of WoW gold in the last three months. And that chart shows the price of gold in WoW falling rapidly, from $40 to $20 over that period. Is WoW gold getting worthless?

One fundamental reason for WoW gold losing value is the added daily quests of the Shattered Sun Offensive, which allow regular player to make quite a bit of cash every day, thus decreasing demand for bought gold. Another reason is that raiding seems to be in decline, thus less people spending money on repairs and consumables.

I always have some hope that declining prices will actually end up killing RMT. Yes, gold farmers can do daily quests too, but only 25 a day, the rest of the time they still need to farm primals or whatever earns them the most gold. So overall they aren't earning gold much faster now, and if prices keep falling sooner or later farming gold will simply not be profitable any more, not even on Chinese wages.
Plus you get a nice amount of gold from Bosskills. (10 g in SSC/TK) The loss from raiding is lower this way, as soon as parts of the instance go on farm.
HA HA! because only people in CHINA bot or farm, amirite?

That stereotype is further propigated each time it's used. It used to be the same thing with "those good for nothing blacks". Step one: STOP USING IT.

Didn't you do an interview ON YOUR OWN blog about some guy who sells gold and is based in (SHOCK AND AWE, GASP) america?

I don't think Tobold was suggesting that at all Isobelle.
'Not even on Chinese wages' is simply referring to the difference in profitability between an American gold farmer and a Chinese gold farmer due to the substantial difference in minimum wage (which is a fact).
i.e. a Chinese gold farmer may be able to survive selling 1000g for $20, where as an American would need $40 per 1000g to make ends meet

Value of gold is decreasing big time. Can tell by the inflation on the AH, with big increases in the cost of Primals and other trade goods. As people have more easily obtainable money, they are more willing to spend gold to avoid time consuming primal farming. This is why i dont think that gold farmers will go away any time soon.
have to agree with this observation. yes , WOW gold is devalued. dunno what happen when WOLTK launch. maybe the surge of player will increase wow gold again

btw : u definitely better in blogging MMO imho..

thats all

So the situation is this:

You get the same amount of gold for less effort ($$ or time spent farming) but have to pay more for most things, except fixed prices like mounts.

With the obvious exception of the epic mount, which is now much easier to get, in my personal experience the balance between time spent farming and items you get is mostly the same.

Whether or not you spend more time farming than pre-2.4 depends on available farming options. The new daily quests are a nice fallback option for people without farming professions and/or non-dps talent specs.

The only players (and RMT farmers) at a disadvantage are the ones who had large piles of gold sitting around prior to the inflation. The gold sellers noticed this early - at least on my server gold spam increased a lot shortly after 2.4.
Anyone have numbers on how much auction house price inflation is? I'm not very active in WoW any more, but I still do sell Primal Water and Shadowcloth, and run Auctioneer from time to time, and I haven't noticed a big leap in auction house prices for these goods. And as alfay said, some costs like epic mounts are fixed. So I'm not sure how much of the easier gold is balanced by higher cost.
I don't have extensive auctioneer numbers, but on my server(Arathor, EU, Alliance side) I noticed a significant increase in Primal Water prices with 2.4. (I'm selling several of these a day due to the earth-->water transmute). The primal waters used to sell for 16-25g, after 2.4. I've never seen them below 27g and usually they sell for 32-35g. Primal life went from about 10g to about 20g. Primal mana prices fell from 19-20g to 15-17 g for a time (probably due to drops when doing dailies), they seem to be going back up now though.

My general impression is that some items have seen a significant increase in price, but some others that are gathered as you do dailies are a slight bit lower than before. (Runecloth more costly than ever, netherweave sold for less than bandage value).

I think Alfay is right in observing that the main loss for gold farmers and others was in the value of gold farmed pre 2.4. but not used when 2.4. hit. I'm not sure if the inflation is huge all over, but for some farmable wares it is quite significant.
It's hard to find any basic consumable that has risen in price at the same rate as money supply. Auction House prices have shot up for things like twink items. I suspect the difference simply reflects demand: Those with the money max-ed out professions a year ago, got burnt out raiding, and are now prepared to spend thousands of gold twinking out a level 19 character for battlegrounds.

The latest upcoming patch, 2.4.3, adds sexy new bags at 1200g each. So having filled the bath-tub, Blizzard have now decided to take the plug out, and let some of the gold drain out of the system.

My guess is they are experimenting with the gold balance during a quiet time of WoW's life-cycle. If the rapid changes in gold value cause a few farmers to go out of business, so be it. But long term I don't think that they can use gold-supply to kill RMT, without also killing players' intrinsic trust in gold as a currency.
Timski, it's not just Twink items that have increased in price. I can sell low level green items, as in lvl 6 - 15 for 50s to 1g each. When they are Cloth of the Eagle, or Leather of the Monkey, etc, I can usually sell them for a lot more. Lvl 10 Bracers of the Monkey can sell for 2g+ and that's cheap. I frequently see similar items listed for 5g and more.

My lvl 34 BElf Mage has made close to 300g just selling Herbs, Leather, and every single Green item he picks up, while my 60 Troll Rogue still has over 1000g in his bank after buying his Epic.

If you're lucky to get a Twink drop it will sell for a small fortune (but then they always have), but IMO it's crafting Mats and greens that shorten the solo-grind to 70 which have increased in price the most.
Demand is down too I would bet. By now most people have everything they need that gold can get them. Epic mounts, epic crafted gear etc.
On my server, enchanting mats have declined in price with patch 2.4. Primal prices seem to have held rather steady. World drop and crafted blue prices are generally down.

And I haven't exactly measured it, but it seems that raiding costs a lot less, because the gold drops have apparently been increased a lot. So is seems that there is a decline in raiding cost - whether raiding is in decline, I can't say, but raiding seems quite healthy on my server (US-Rexxar).
I guess which materials are expensive depends on the type of server you are on.

I'm on an old, well populated PvE server with lots of raiders, so prices for raid consumables range from high to insane. Primal shadows have also taken quite a jump to 40-50g each because of all the raiders crafting shadow resistance gear for Mother Shahraz.

The next big increase in demand (and thus prices) will be the new arena season. All those shiny new items need to be enchanted and gemmed - and I hear lots of players talking about how much honor they have stored but no one talks about stockpiling enchanting mats ;)

I recently sold some epic gems for 350g each and I expect to sell them for ~400 once the new season hits. Thats a pretty nice return for 15 badges I no longer need.
one can only hope
Tobold, it's also easier for the gold farmers to make money now. So even though gold is worth less, the volume harvested by the farmers is increasing enough to compensate.
The gold farmers are still spamming the LFG channel on my server.
The price has gone down from £23 to £11 per thousand gold from one particular seller, but the amount of spam is at the same level.

Meanwhile, putting 22 slot bags up for sale at 1200 gold each is only going to encourage people to use goldsellers more, surely?
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