A proposed cure for the economy in WoW

Professions
There's been some discussion over on WoW Insider of the WoW economy, inflation and the growing divide between the in-game poor, middle class and rich. The article, "Gold Capped: Warcraft needs a new gold sink, and it needs it yesterday", obviously, suggested the need for new gold sinks in-game. Some commenters suggested, among other things, taxes, increased auction house cuts and repair costs, and lower gold caps for characters, guilds and even accounts.

I realize that it is not a new idea; but, really consider the following:

What if we could have all the gathering professions and two crafting professions?

What effects would this have on various players and the WoW economy as a whole? How would this affect you, the way you play, and your characters' finances?
I'm beat poor and think these ideas are godawful. Don't feel like elaborating at the moment though.
09/21/2011 07:14 PMPosted by Samonnier
taxes, increased auction house cuts and repair costs, and lower gold caps for characters, guilds and even accounts.


Why should a financially successful player in WoW be punished? WoW isn't real life, don't drag reality into it.
The super rich don't spend any time gathering. It's a horrible investment of time. It'd be a worst investment of time if gathered stuff became more plentiful.

Making gathering available to all would increase the amount of mats on the AH, improving profits greatly for those who use them, decreasing profits greatly for those trying to sell them.

I don't see an equivalent increase in AH competition from gatherers suddenly having crafting professions. There'd be some to be sure, but the logistics and stuff is a much greater barrier of entry.

So kinda rich get richer, poor get poorer.

The new gem system may be interesting to the player economy. It could be a huge redistribution of wealth since a lot of people raid and if it'd take a full season for a set of red gems, you can bet there will be demand to buy them.
09/21/2011 07:39 PMPosted by Jotunheimr
taxes, increased auction house cuts and repair costs, and lower gold caps for characters, guilds and even accounts.


Why should a financially successful player in WoW be punished? WoW isn't real life, don't drag reality into it.


This! I'm successful. I want to buy pretty mounts and fancy pets since I can afford them. What I don't want is for people that lack my time in game to be punished and unable to afford their repair bills.

Give the rich something to buy, don't force the poor to use all their gold simply to exist.
What if we could have all the gathering professions and two crafting professions?

What effects would this have on various players and the WoW economy as a whole? How would this affect you, the way you play, and your characters' finances?


Personally, I happen to be one of those players that has more gold than I'll ever need for the simple fact that I enjoy making it but don't spend it frivolously. Don't get me wrong, I have spent more than five times what I currently have over the six years I've been playing this game (gold sinks being the primary culprits, but I have bought high priced AH recipes and gear as well), but I always set goals and stick to them. And while there have been times that I have worked the AH diligently to make as much gold as possible in as short a time span as possible, I do not anymore, because I do not feel I have to. I still play the AH, but not to the extent I used to.

To your specific question:

- I would delete several characters because the only reason I leveled them in the first place is for professions; having all gathering on all characters would free up a number of profession slots that I would use for things other than gathering.

- I would also never buy anything off the AH again. Even now, I do not buy much off the AH, but when I want to save time I do it. With all my characters having all gathering professions I would have materials would be coming out of every orifice of every character. So the chance that I would need something that I don't have at a specific moment in time would be greatly reduced.
09/21/2011 07:14 PMPosted by Samonnier
There's been some discussion over on WoW Insider of the WoW economy, inflation and the growing divide between the in-game poor, middle class and rich.


The rich got rich by putting in time, whether it be leveling alts with max professions or taking the time to understand how professions work in accordance with the auction house.

The middle class are either missing time or the knowledge.

The poor have neither time nor knowledge.
09/21/2011 08:04 PMPosted by Mustachelol
The rich got rich by putting in time, whether it be leveling alts with max professions or taking the time to understand how professions work in accordance with the auction house.


Couldn't say it better... I am one of the "super-rich" mentioned by some in the WoW insider article. Gold is NOT hard to come by...I truly believe in the adage Knowledge is Power, Use your google-fu, learn short-cuts learn profession synergy. My Girl Friend who plays as well has over 50k gold while having 3 teens at home and working a Full time evening shift. Why ? Because she asked me how to do things.... I'm not saying I know it all, BUT I was able to point her in the right direction.

As for your suggestions, I have a multitude of alts 2 of which are gatherers simply because I couldn't be bothered to switch the professions, all I would change would be to take my level 75 Bank alt and load her up with the gathering professions and go raid or PvP centric on the toons Professions. No Real change to my mode of operation.

On a related note, were Bllizz to allow that, you would have a game comprised of 50% farmers because it would kill the economy that they take time and care to balance. If you wish to equate it to Real life, that'd be like telling every Millionaire in the world that their main source of raw material will now be as common as dirt, you would have everyone rushing out to get a hold of the resource but no one bothering to produce the finished product because there's no money in it. Wealth = time/cost. (my time is whats valuable to me, I want to make as much money in as little time as I can, if I can't make money by producing things I'll move on and find something else.)
QFT
The problem is every time they add a gold sink or even talk about adding a gold sink, people start carping on how they really need cosmetic x and how they cant afford the gold. Guess what if they made a gold sink that players with less gold are not going to desire the rich won't want it either.
The economy is not broken. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

If there is a "divide" it's only because the "poor" are too lazy to learn how to sell stuff on the AH. Instead of complaining that tailoring costs so much to level, why not learn mining instead, and AH your cloth. Then you can afford glyphs and just about anything else you will need.

Just because the "poor" are too lazy to learn how to make gold does not mean the economy is broken. This is not like RL where you have factors like unemployment at play. Anyone in WoW can make gold just by mining, skinning, picking flowers, disenchanting greens, or dozens of other methods.

Fluox
http://www.how-to-warcraft.com


What if we could have all the gathering professions and two crafting professions?



It would destroy the in game economy.

Inflation would be mad crazy.

People would not be able to make money from tradeskills, since everyone would just make those things themselves.

Volatile life would cost a billion, while the other volatiles would crash and become worthless (since everyone would have transmute mastery alchemy, then do living elements themselves.)

You need to think it through more.

---------------

The most healthy thing for the economy would be to have MORE items people want to buy with gold; Rather than having a ten dollar pet for relief in Japan, there should be a mini pet that costs X amount of gold (without needing to get it as a rare drop, etc.) Or have a mini pet that costs 10 bucks for Japan relief OR X amount of gold (player's choice.)

The problem the Wow creator's have is thinking about gold sinks too much, while not thinking about making things players WANT to spend gold on. I spent all this time on fireland's dailies, to then only really be able to buy a pair of boots/ring/1 trinket ALL which I ALREADY had epics for (while never doing instances or raiding!) What about my other epic empty slots? Why not let me buy a weapon from them, even if it costs a couple thousand gold? What about the helm slot? Etc. Why not more mini-pets, more mounts for gold?
This! I'm successful. I want to buy pretty mounts and fancy pets since I can afford them. What I don't want is for people that lack my time in game to be punished and unable to afford their repair bills.

Give the rich something to buy, don't force the poor to use all their gold simply to exist.


^this

I get bored making gold, so I"ll never be rich. But i'm very good at making gold so never get poor.

A new gold sink would be awesome. I hit a point in gold where I know I can afford everything I'll need. Proff matts, gear for alts etc. And then I just maintain that level of gold unless there is something worth saving up to by.

I'm very good at making gold, I'm just not one of those people who will grind out 100k just to have 100k. Give me something worth buying and I'll spend the time making the gold for it:) And the people who sit on 100k+ will have something to blow that gold on. It's generally *why* they have that much...just waiting for something worth buying.

I was seriously surprised there were no new 5k-20k vendor mounts. Those let people show off how rich they were, while at the same time getting gold off the server. And gave the non-rich a reason to grind out dailies with an actual goal in mind for that gold.
I was on my most recent alt this morning and realized that at least some of the "poorness" is self-inflicted. I have a level 54 worgen warrior with skinning and mining as his professions. That being said his only REAL income is from quests and rewards he cannot use:

- all gathered materials are either sent to a bank alt for direct sale (the proceeds of which go to my main not the alt) or are sent to alts for creating items that are usually disenchanted by my enchanter alt
- all BoE drops go to my enchanter alt for disenchantment, the resulting materials are then typically sent to my bank alt for sale and again those proceeds end up in my main's bank account not my warrior
- yes my warrior has heirlooms but I have gotten plenty of items at all levels that could have been equipped had I not had the heirlooms.

and yet with all the profits from professions and drops going to other characters, my warrior has gotten all the training for his class and professions and riding and now has over 150g, which is more than enough for future training, repairs, and any other necessities that might come up.

I will admit that a handful of items created from materials do end up on this character (armor from blacksmith alt and the occasional enchant), but none of it is what I would consider necessary. My point is the same....

I think that one of the biggest issues among the "poor" in this game is their lack of self-restraint; they see a new shiny and think "ooo I gotta have that." and then spend their meager pile of gold only to have that gear quickly replaced or they get bored with the mount or pet and move on to something else.

And I agree with the sentiment above - gold sinks need to appeal to all or they will appeal to none. But that means that the "poor" who cannot afford it will want it anyway which keeps them poor. And this above all else is probably why Blizzard has decided against adding more gold sinks.
I agree with the OP.

In fact, I'd like to take it one step further: get rid of the gap between the well-geared and poorly-geared! Why should raiders get the better gear, while those who don't have the time or inclination to raid be stuck with lesser gear???

After all, isn't WoW all about equality and making sure everyone has the same stuff, regardless of the effort or time they spend in the game?

The next step would be to normalize output. All dps should put out 20K dps regardless of which buttons they push. Not one bit more, and certainly not one bit less.
I started looking at the professions forum about a month and a half ago. At that time, I had about 4k gold spread across 4 high level toons and one bank alt. I average about 7 hours a week max of game time total. When I log the next time, I will have about 70k of gold.

Now I know this isn't a huge amount of gold compare to some people; however, it does show how easy it is to actually make gold if you spend a little time and effort learning and using other people's experience.

Granted, I have not spent alot of gold in that time, but I am accomplishing what I want, to get to the point where I can buy whatever I want, whenever I want.

The point is, that there shouldn't be a huge gap between the "middle class" and the "poor". In the article on WoWInsider, this was the point of the need for some type of fix to the economy. The "rich" are always going to have a lot more than others, they put the time and effort into making gold. No one should be punished for that.

The gap between the poor and the middle class is the problem and needs to be addressed. A gold sink may do that, but a huge gold sink is going to tempt people to buy gold to spend on whatever the gold sink is. Any type of adjustment to necessary spending, i.e. repair, water, food, regents, will hurt the poor too.

As for the original OP's suggestion, how can increasing the amount of crafting professions that a toon can have solve anything. All that would mean to me, or anyone who actually makes alot of gold is that they don't have to spend as much time at the mailbox or logging in on another toon. People make gold by having multiple toons maxed out in professions so that they have synergy and cut cost, allowing for max profits on the AH. All this would accomplish is having more efficient rich players.
Please link the original article, so I can pick apart its logic and make any 'suggestions for improvement' irrelevant. I reject the idea that there is an issue in the first place.

Presuming there is a growing divide. What does it matter?

Even the poorest players can make enough gold* to glyph, enchant/gem/kit their PVP and/or PVE gear, pay for repairs and buy flasks/food for raids. (*Hyjal dailes are easily 250g per day, 1st random dungeon per day is 140g, etc.)

What else do you NEED gold for, really?

Getting the best and newest BoE's? Nope, not necessary. That one item that is 1 tier lower is really perfectly ok outside anything but a hardcore raiding guild.

Buying all the vanity pets? Nope, not necessary.

etc.

It is flat out not necessary for everyone to have access to everything in the game at the exact same time and if you want access to everything you need to plan/invest/spend time to get it.

If you want 'everything', then learn to make/save more gold, just like thousands or even of other players do.
09/21/2011 07:14 PMPosted by Samonnier
What if we could have all the gathering professions and two crafting professions?


This would have the effect of making everything worthless but it really wouldn't help the economy. Those with money will keep it and those without it will not get any more. Sure they'll be able to buy crafted epics for a couple hundred gold off the Auction House but they won't be able to buy raid drops as they would still be in the 10s of thousands of gold.

Basically all this does is increase the gap between the haves and have nots. If you think I am wrong, I would like to point you to the failed United Soviet Socialist Republic or the current economy in China. Socialism is a good ideal but so far it has failed in practice. Why? Because people are inherently greedy and will take advantage of others as soon as they can. Don't like those examples? It doesn't work in a pure capitalistic economy either. While there isn't a truly unregulated economy based on capitalism in the world, the United States comes close. It also has an ever widening gap between poor and rich.

Luckily there are no class or neighborhood restrictions in World of Warcraft. Everyone has a chance to make gold in the game. Every character starts with the same benefits to make gold. The difference between rich and poor is how you apply those benefits.

The problem with WoW's economy is never going to be fixed because of the nature of the game. Well of all MMO or social games in general. The only way to restrict an economy is to restrict the resources allowed into the economy. This means less ore, herbs, and other materials. However in a game, you want to make it available to new players. New players won't hang around if there isn't any copper, peacebloom or linen cloth. So you try to regulate it by giving it uses and then trying to leech gold with gold sinks.

For everyone that buys a Gold Sink (Mammoth, Motorcycle and Vial of Sands are good examples) there are probably 100 people who do not. Many don't even if they have the gold. They are able to suppress their inherent greed.

That being said, 4.3 does have two new gold sinks that will appeal to both the greed and vanity that is inherit in every human being. These are Vault Storage and Transmogrification. They will remove hundreds of millions of gold from the economy. However they will do nothing to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. Any measure implemented to do so will ultimately be the death of the game. The previously rich will cancel their subscriptions and the previously poor will not have learned how to make money or maintain it so they are no longer poor.
09/22/2011 10:45 AMPosted by Sorelai
Luckily there are no class or neighborhood restrictions in World of Warcraft. Everyone has a chance to make gold in the game. Every character starts with the same benefits to make gold. The difference between rich and poor is how you apply those benefits.
Agree completely.

The ONLY real difference between players is the amount of time they play and how they use that time.

Try as you might, because you cannot regulate how much time is invested, or enforce that players always make smart economic choices with that time, the system can NEVER be 'fair'.

Side Note: Because PVP players rely on gold to augment their gear, and the PVP system really has no gold direct rewards(or does it?), I could agree with giving some reasonable amount of gold for finishing PVP activities (gold for Arena/BG/RBG wins, some fractional amount of gold for losses)
The issue is the wide range of funds available to different players. You've got some with 500k or a million or more, but there are also a ton of players with just a couple thousand gold, or less.

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