Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
 
How to spend gold in World of Warcraft

Necessary second part to the previous post on how to make gold, what do you actually do with it once you got it? I already feel rich owning over 20k gold distributed over all my characters, and some traders report making 20k gold *per week*! What do you do with all of that virtual money, assuming you're not selling it for real world cash? Lets look at some categories again!

One category is operating costs. All the costs that accumulate while playing: repairs, consumables, flight costs, training costs, etc. These costs used to be high, especially for raiders, in WoW 1.0 and 2.0. But the game has changed since. Not only is raiding easier now, thus less wipes and less repair costs. But also the mobs in the raid dungeon drop more loot and cash. And the rules for consumables have changed, you can use less of them nowadays, so you spend less money on them. You can do a 4-hour raid on just 2 flasks and a stack of mana potions, and end up with more gold looted from trash and bosses than the consumables and repairs cost you. And even if you just do a handful of daily quests every day for reputation, the earned gold from that easily pays for all of your other expenses, like flight costs and so on.

The second category is bought gear, epics for your main or lower-level twink gear. There are a few world drop epics that are quite expensive, going for several thousand gold. I just bought some nice tanking shoulders for my warrior, because Auctioneer told me they usually sold for over 4k, and the seller had put them up for 3k bid, 5k buyout, and I noticed them when the timer on the auction was already running low. So 3k is currently my record for the most expensive epic I ever bought. But if you search your AH for level 80 epics, you'll find tons of them for around 1k, which is "affordable" if you spend some of your time in game trying to earn gold. Those affordable epics come from crafting. There are a lot of crafters out there, and they are all creating the same materials from recipes with long cooldown: Titansteel, Ebonweave, Spellweave, Moonshroud, Dragon's Eyes, etc. And the only thing you can do with those materials is make epics, which for a crafter is often the preferable path, as the AH is already flooded with those materials and prices are dropping. Plus making epics can get you those last skill points to 450. It doesn't cost you 1k gold to make lets say a Moonshroud Robe, it just costs you 16 days of cooldowns plus a few hundred gold for other materials. The other factor keeping the prices for epics down is again easier raiding. A crafted epic is of similar quality as the epics you can get in Naxxramas-10. If crafted epics were a lot more expensive, people just would decide it was less effort to go on a pickup raid. On the other side the prices for those crafted epics aren't sinking further, because more and more pickup groups for heroics don't even invite people any more if they don't have the kind of stats that those epics give. If you get kicked out of a heroic PuG for having less than 1700 spellpower, you'll be stuck if you don't buy those epics (vicious circle: can't loot epics without raids/heroics, can't get into a raid/heroic group without epics).

The third category is mounts and other vanity items. If you already bought your epic flying mount in TBC, you'll find that there isn't really any must-have mount to buy in WotLK, except for the affordable 1k gold for cold weather flying. There is no even faster flying (or teleporting, as I suggested for the Freezing Jihad) mount to buy for even more money as the epic flyer. What you can do is buy a tundra mammoth or hogger for nearly 20K. And those don't even fly! They are just as fast as the epic ground mount you could already buy in classic WoW. The hogger has one space for a passenger, and the tundra mammoth has two spaces. As added luxury the spaces on the tundra mammoth are taken up by a vendor and repair guy, which you can kick out if you want to transport other players instead. But how often do you really have to transport another player on a ground mount? Except if you dual-box and have an alt under level 60, the use of multi-seat mounts appears to be limited. Both the hogger and the tundra mammoth are more status symbols (Look at how much gold I can waste!) than really useful. And there are other mounts that are cheaper, more useful, and more impressive, like the various drakes you can get as drops or for exalted reputations.

Personally, as I'm not a big fan of conspicous consumption and status symbols, I don't really know what I'm making all that gold for. So I'm using it to finance high risk gambles on the AH (made 8 Darkmoon Cards of the North last night and lost, that is didn't get a single nobles card). Or buy expensive world-drop epics and twink gear for my alts. For me there is a certain fun in the act of making virtual money, I don't necessarily do it just to be able to afford something. And while it could be argued that making gold is too easy in WoW nowadays, on the positive side I'm pretty certain that the gold farmers are suffering. If you can make thousands of gold without too much of a grind, why would you want to buy that gold from a RMT company? So I'm wondering if the current situation isn't planned by Blizzard, as other ways to eliminate RMT have failed.
Comments:
I find myself sitting around 11k and being an owner of a Hogger :)
Made my riches on dragon's eyes for a whlie. Now finding myself on a low population server i make a decent ammount selling cut metas and doing a few dailies every day. As an exlixir spec alch i can provide myself with enough flasks at a very low cost as 1 flask lasts me a whole raid and i proc off them. I can provide my own raid supplies with ease.

Also just a note, the hogger does more then carry 1 passenger. Its 100% immune to fall dmg. i could jump off Mount hyjal down into felwood and would be fine. So it IS a little bit more special then other mounts, maybe still not enough to justify the 16k of mats i spent. But hey i like turning heads.
 
Actually, that was what you requested last year. You asked the companies to remove the boring part (grinding) from the game and make the game consist of only the fun part. If everything in the game is only fun, why would you pay a company to play the game for you? They only listened to you. :-)
 
*Plus making epics can get you those last skill points to 450. It doesn't cost you 1k gold to make lets say a Moonshroud Robe, it just costs you 16 days of cooldowns plus a few hundred gold for other materials.*

That's the wrong way of looking at it. It does cost you 1000g. You could have sold the mats you get from cooldowns for that amount of gold.

*Personally, as I'm not a big fan of conspicous consumption and status symbols, I don't really know what I'm making all that gold for.*

Yes, status symbols show who's smart enough to get a lot of gold and dumb enough to waste it.
Personnally, I spent 8k gold on the darkmoon nobles deck. And for the rest, just keep on gathering gold. Some fun in acquiring a big stack of gold :)
 
I don't disagree that the expensive passenger mounts can be seen as status symbols, but personally I find that they do make a very nice difference when questing together - I like the "no, not that way, left! left!" over Ventrilo. Of course these are gold sinks, but to me that's a win win - trading is fun, but trading is more fun if I can muster a want that my virtual gold can satisfy ;)
 
I enjoy the AH metagame and have consequently ended up with a stockpile of 50k gold but no idea what to do with it. I've already maxed out professions and equipped my three 80's with crafted epics and my gameplay is mostly pvp (Wintergrasp especially) so there's no real money drains. I can see the benefits of having a vehicle mount but not convinced it's worth 20k so I'm currently in a 'wait and see' mode, maybe Blizzard will add something a bit more interesting in later patches.
 
Blacksmithing and mining have earned me enough gold to finally get my first epic flyer. It took about a week to gather up enough gold. Prior to that much of the gold I earned went to enchants/gems/gear for myself and my 80 pally. When my Titansteel destroyer sold for 1899g I finally had enough. I did have to leave this item up on the AH for about 3 days before it was purchased. I undercut the price from the normal of 2500g, and then someone undercut me to 1500g. 1500g is under the cost of mats...either way now that I have my epic mount I have stopped mining and blacksmithing as I don't know what I'll do with the extra gold should I earn it. It is funny because I wanted the epic flyer just so I could farm ore quicker.
 
Save your gold for when player owned houses and Lumberjacking / Carpentry are introduced.

...you know it has to happen; how long can an MMO expand vertically? There has to be more horizontal growth, and nothing does that better than player housing =)
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
About teleportation: the Kirin Tor rings cost about $8k gold and give you a 60-min CD teleport to Dalaran. I set my hearthstone to Howling Fjord, since many of the JC dailies can be completed there. So it takes me less than 5 minutes to login and do my JC daily, by making use of both "hearthstones".

I bought a $20k mammoth at the beginning of WotLK and found it helpful to transport my friend, as we were leveling together. I don't use it nearly as much now since hitting 77. But it is still a free repair bot and reagent vendor at the graveyard or entrance of Naxx.

Another category related to twinking is to get 440+ professions on all of your alts. Then you become a vertically integrated corporation with the ability to supply all your needs between your different characters.
 
"Both the hogger and the tundra mammoth are more status symbols (Look at how much gold I can waste!)"

Hey! Orc biker babes are the new trend in Orgrimmar on my server! Now just to find more orc biker babes, I haven't seen any but me yet...

We got 3 Mechano-Hogs in the guild atm, and the GM is saving up for one as well. Half the fun of a mount that can carry passengers is, well, when people ask for a ride.

Not to mention the fact people have been asking for ways to let lowbies hitch a ride on am epic mount (first I saw this was 3 years ago), and here they are.
 
because Auctioneer told me they usually sold for over 4k, and the seller had put them up for 3k bid, 5k buyout

this can be a bit misleading. Some people throw up a single piece of silk cloth for 10000g buyout, just to screw up auctioneer. Auctioneer even throws up the highest and lowest, but all it takes is splitting a stack of silk cloth to 20 individual units to fool auctioneer into thinking "that's the going rate". Especially with more rare items (crafted epics), you may have scanned the AH last week when the one for sale was posted at 5k, then when it didn't sell, he reposted it at 4k, and it looks like you have a really good deal in front of you.

Mostly, you should take a good look at how much the mats cost, and whether it's a piece of armor that's WORTH that much gold (the price of epic flying for an alt!), and don;t rely blindly on Auctioneer's evaluations.
 
Mostly, you should take a good look at how much the mats cost, and whether it's a piece of armor that's WORTH that much gold (the price of epic flying for an alt!), and don;t rely blindly on Auctioneer's evaluations.

I'm using extended Auctioneer stats, which not just put out the average, but also the median, which is harder to mislead. And as I said, it was a world drop epic, not a crafted one, so you simply can't look at "how much the mats cost". It's a slot for which no crafted epics exist, so there is not even a comparison.
 
Good place to spend money is 1 lvl bank alt as guild leader with 6 tabs guild bank, It's HUGE warehouse. Total cost isnt low: 9350 gold, but its 588 extra slots + normal bag slots ofc.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Guild_bank
 
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