WoW – Gold is Worthless

I mentioned in the previous post that the WoW Plex-like system just is a poor overall idea because gold is meaningless in WoD.  I want to expand on that a tad and in particular on garrisons.

Garrisons have an investment cost, measured in Garrison Resources, Gold and Time.  The time factor is rather small mind you, an hour per upgrade (minus the character level requirement for the overall garrison).  Garrison resources can be tight to start off, so everyone should use a lumber mill while leveling to stay ahead of the curve.  Gold is a different matter.  The buildings have a build cost (100-500g) and the schematics to build also have a cost (750-1500g).  All told you’re going to sink a fair chunk of change to upgrade all the buildings, say about 8000g.  Unless things have gone really poorly for you, that money should be available already, either from the 90 boost or regular play and leveling rewards.  Still, it’s possible to be set back I suppose, though only for a short period of time.

Within the garrison there are 2 main paths to take in order to turn a profit.

First is the follower missions.  For this, you’ll need a level 3 salvage yard (for big salvage crates), a level 2 bunker (for follower item rewards), a level 3 barrack (for 25 follower limit) and a level 3 inn (for gold rewarding quests).  A UI mod for follower missions is recommended as well, such as Master Plan. The big salvage crates can give about 50g per, the missions from 30-200g each, some missions give gear which sells for 50g and so on.  It takes a while to get rolling but I can make about 500g per day from missions.  And that’s excluding the gathering materials (herbs, ore, leather) that I get.

Second method is from daily quests from small buildings.  You get 3 small buildings in a level 3 garrison.  The profession buildings are all small and give a daily quest if you assign a follower at level 2.  These daily quests require you to make something that has a level 1 skill (if any skill required at all).  There are various levels of rewards mind you… the inscription one is lackluster and so is alchemy.  Jewelcrafting can give you 200g+ per day though.  And since professions in WoD are absolutely meaningless because of profession buildings, you can swap between them daily to collect some money.

To combine both methods, you set yourself up for option 1 (followers) and use the last 2 small buildings for daily quests.  So in about 5 minutes of work, per day, you can make 500-1000g without stepping out of the garrison.

There are more involved methods, certainly.  Gathering professions give a fair chunk of primals in the wild, which can be exchanged (50 of them) for Savage Blood.  The daily fishing gives 4-5 as well.  The level 3 Barn allows trapping of elites for ~15% chance at Savage Blood too.  Selling gathering materials doesn’t seem to turn much profit.  Creating items either as LFR drops i640 gear and follower missions can give you i655 without leaving home.  All this requires selling to other people, the previous methods never leave home.

So, in a game where absolute minimal play can get you 500-1000g per day, it makes you wonder what value 1 WoW dollar actually would have.  10K?  100k?  Most RMT sites sit around $15 for 20k. So let’s say a a WoW dollar would have to go for at least 30k/$15, otherwise RMT won’t get cut out.

And then once you had sold it, what you would actually DO with that gold.  You need a fraction of that for the garrison and then there are only 2 sinks in the game and both relate to the Auction House and vanity gear/pets/mounts.  Those that can be found by other players and those that the game dictates are available for purchase.  The former usually has prices around 10,000g while the latter can be near a million for heavily sought after items.  Odd group that latter one, with slightly different motivations.  The point is, WoW has next to no sinks for the masses.  WoD might have gotten rid of the daily quest money faucet from MoP, but they put in a variant that takes less time and effort and provides more money.

You can’t build a secondary market on top of a non-existent one.  WoW hands out gold by the bucket, the distribution of that gold depends on how many times you ask for more.

7 thoughts on “WoW – Gold is Worthless

      • Eh, not quite true. If you’re raiding, then crafted gear and the ilvl upgrades still sell for a fair bit. Most gear slots on my server sell for 6k – 10k, and the 640->655 upgrade token for 20k, and the 655->670 token for 30k. Mind you, if you had those professions yourself and the appropriate building, you could have gotten a 670 for each profession by now, but with a max of 3 crafted items equipped there’s definitely a limited amount. But if your loot luck has been horrible in Heroic/Mythic, it still could be worth it.


      • True, but they each take Savage Blood to make, which depending on the server and date, can fetch much more than that actual item. Blood sells for about 1K on my server, so it’s better to sell the mats as is, then by the item from the AH, having made about 5k in the process.

        Could be on yours the money works the other way around.


      • But in terms of in-game gold sinks, yes, mostly true. You still spend gold if you want to catch all the followers (changing outposts, gold+apexis for follower contracts, etc.). Otherwise with Garrisons we’re mostly self-sufficient. You can mostly remove any requirement to interact with the AH unless you’re looking for rare drops.


  1. My observations in EverQuest II over the last month, where I have been watching the Krono market, seems to indicate that there would be a limited market for a WoW PLEX-like item. Some people just can’t be bothered to earn gold, otherwise there wouldn’t be an RMT market at all, so the “I can earn a bunch of gold” argument is interesting (and I am going to change a couple of things in my garrison now), but not completely relevant.

    And people who have worked to turn on the gold faucet will likely be interested in buying some subscription items once they have sated their thirst for 100K mounts and what not. There is an amount of gold that would be worth $15 to them I am sure.

    The problem will be that it won’t be a very active market and it may vary wildly between servers.

    In EVE, part of the reason PLEX works is that you can go to Jita, see the buy orders for PLEX, turn around and buy one, and sell it for the ISK right then and there. It can be a near-instant transaction, cash for PLEX for ISK, if you need that ISK right away. Or you can put up a sell order for a bit higher and wait and likely sell it soon enough. The market is very active and there is only one server so you are selling to pretty much the full population of the game.

    In EQ2, and likely in WoW, all you’ll see is some items listed in the AH. There isn’t any real indication if that is the market price and no guarantee at all that you’ll be able to sell for anything close to what you see, much less what you want to get. And WoW has the additional pain in that you have to keep re-listing items every 48 hours. At least in EQ2, where I see the same sellers lingering for days and days trying to sell a Krono for what I wouldn’t consider $15 worth of play, once you list something it stays on the market until you take it off. You can play the patience game easily enough. In WoW the effort to even get the gold will work against the idea, as it did with the guardian cubs.


    • All good points. I was wondering if the WoW version would be single server or not for the same reasons as EQ2. CREDD (Wildstar) worked(-ish) as it was part of the core design but was server based and money had a rather large value due to the way enchants worked. Not sure how Trion’s version is working out.

      I am honestly curious as to the RMT market and if it’s simply exists as an artifact of previous WoW, if it’s the playerbase scale or an actual need. Like what kind of volume do these businesses make? I’d guess even if 1% bought RMT, it’s still 100,000 people right? Sort of like an F2P whale maybe? Hmmm


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