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Role Playing (Games) The Almighty Buck

World of Warcraft Gold Market Soaring 78

Gamespot has an article discussing the realities of Virtual World economics as they pertain to the real world. World of Warcraft is used as an example throughout, and they quote some staggering statistics that remove any last shred of hope that Blizzard's bluster may be having an effect on the gold market. From the article: "Sukow discovered that the top seller of WOW gold made more than $23,000 in April, just on WOW gold. And that wasn't even a good month--in January and February the number-one seller took home more than $44,000 each month."
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World of Warcraft Gold Market Soaring

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  • Re:Side effects (Score:5, Informative)

    by matric ( 841988 ) on Saturday May 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#12461477)
    Blizzard had been saying that money would not be as important ...

    Money really isn't that important in WoW and Blizzard has accomplished a very good job in allowing the market for lower-level items to flourish (That is, it is easy for a low level player to sell their drops and make cash). There are very few top-tier items that you can buy, the rest are drops from which you must be a part of the group/kill. Nevertheless, there are still people who will pay 500+ gold for an item that is probably +5% better than what you could get yourself with a moderate amount of effort.

    That said, money isn't irrelevant. At level 60, you still need cash in order to buy consumables, repair your equipment, and even save up for that pink elephant. IMO, the volume in the gold selling market is a testament to the lengths people will go in order to be 'King of the Hill' (IE, buy that item that is 5% better).

  • Re:Side effects (Score:5, Informative)

    by Androclese ( 627848 ) on Saturday May 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#12461478)
    Getting Gold is not at all difficult, what drives the market are the following 2 things:

    - The Auction House, an in-game "eBay like" construct, lets you sell and buy items. For anybody with an eBay addiction, or for those that that want to upgraded their items for that incremental increase in power, this place place will suck your gold dry.

    - If you want a Mount (Horse, etc) at L40 when it first becomes available, then you need to collect 90 Gold (minimum). If you want a Superior Mount at L60, thewn you need 900 Gold. These are the two *must have* you-are-an-outcast-if-you-do-not-have-it items in the game.

    I am sure the argument can be made for other minor thing, but these are the main 2 reasons the market for Gold is so high.

    That, and just like in Life, Money means Power to a lot of people, and they will do whatever it takes to possess it, even if it's only digital.
  • solutions? (Score:2, Informative)

    by astralpop ( 856161 ) on Saturday May 07, 2005 @01:30PM (#12462865)
    There is really no way to eliminate this type of behavior. One poster commented about stopping currency transfers between players. People would then begin trading in items. Much like the "stone of jordan" in Diablo 2. It has happened in other games as well. The most they can do is too monitor large sums of money or several smaller sums of money over small time frames. It is done in the real world. I believe the US Federal Governemt tracks any money transfer over 10,000. Another poster mentioned using a reward system to turn other players in. That is not something you want to begin. That only turns your player base against each other. Using the same greed that promotes gold selling.
  • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @12:31AM (#12473767)
    Today's Funny is yesteryear's Insightful -- my UO guild got taken for several thousand gold by just that sort of scam back in the day (when I was 16 and nobody would listen to me saying "Hey, guys, why are we giving him a key to our guild house again? Can't he just HAND us the money if he wants to give it over?")
  • Re:Wha-huh? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rpillala ( 583965 ) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:48AM (#12476662)

    Which is all the more ironic since an inexperienced player at level 60 is basically worthless in the endgame content. The only thing I can think would go easily is ganking people of way lower level where skill isn't as much a factor. Although I have seen the pvp go wrong for some of those eBay level 60s.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!