The expansion has not ended, not even close to doing so, but when talking about numbers with people the other day when someone complained "I can't make any gold" and we tried to explain how easy it is to make gold this expansion it made me wonder, where is everyone with gold.
This expansion more than ever before has proved to me that while we all play the same game, we are not all playing the same game.
What I mean by that is I see the wide range of people in my guild alone, one small sampling of the world we play in. There are people that were always broke that are still always broke. There are people that would have problems with gold that get by just fine now without really trying. There are people that always made gold that now no longer even try because they do not need it. And there are people that used to love making gold that now sleep in a castle built from gold with an ear to ear smile on a daily basis from how they are raking it in hand over fist. And then there are various people in between those examples I gave.
We said to the person that while the garrisons no longer gives the massive gold influx they did at the start of the expansion they are still constant money making machines. With the right set of buildings you can maximize your intake and even without all the perfect gold making buildings you can still do quite well for yourself.
Side note: Salvage yard (level 3) for crates. Jewel Crafting building (level 3 with worker) for daily. Bunker/Mill (level 3) do the daily for the weapon upgrade, sell all upgrades. Inn/taven (level 3) for the treasure hunter missions and recruiting treasure hunters. Trading Post (any level really) to trade extra garrison resources for materials. Mine and Garden (level 3 if you wish) to sell mats, not as lucrative any longer, but still something. And then make sure to do any and all missions all the time. Each time you do a mission it allows others to pop up. Think of all gear missions, follower upgrade item missions, etc, as gold missions as all that stuff sells. Remember, gold missions are not just from gold missions, it is from any mission that gives you something you can vendor. And with that, even after it has been heavily nerfed, you could still make upwards of 10K a month even if you only log in a two or three times a week, per character. Does not sound like a lot, but for such little effort, it really is money for nothing.
When it comes to the types I mentioned I fit into the one were I always made gold and no longer try. Basically because I do not have to. Garrisons have made me lazy using the outline I mentioned above. Not just partly lazy. Completely and totally lazy. I used to make gold the old fashioned way, I earned it, now I just sit around and collect it. Yeap, 100% lazy now and I admit it.
When I talk about earning gold, for example, in cataclysm I would buy ore for 40 gold or less per stack from the auction house, or farm it if I were in the mood, I would then prospect it all, cut the good gems into whatever sold well and then turned all the others into rings and necks, passed them to my enchanter to disenchant, and then cut and vendor off any remaining gems.
The enchanting materials sold for a very high number at the start and the crated lesser gems vendored for 9 gold a pop. This basically meant that for each 40 gold I spent I would get, at least, 54 gold in the worst case, which never really happened, and at best around 600 gold. If I spent an hour processing I could easily make upwards of 20K gold on a bad day.
That is what I mean working for gold, but it could be anything, even something as simple as selling gear you craft or putting up glyphs for sale or potions and flask. You were working for your gold. I used to do things like that all the time when I needed some gold and I made good gold doing it, but now I basically just bounce from garrison to garrison and click on a few things like in a facebook game and collect gold for doing so.
Note: That no longer works. The medium gems no longer have a market, the enchanting materials don't either. Not to mention they hard nerfed the cut gem vendor prices to near nothing, which was the key to making money with this scheme.
The thing is, even becoming flat out lazy, and admittedly so, I have more gold than I ever had before. Sure, I could have quadruple the gold I do now if I actively tried to make gold this expansion, but in my mind once you have a couple of million, you really do not need more gold do you?
But all that is beside the point, as I said, while we all play the same game, we are not playing the same game. Just as I changed, many others have as well. There were people that never had gold that now do, people that used to make decent gold that somehow can't (as mainstays like crafting materials are now worthless over all) and then people that somehow still can not make gold even with the cash machine as their home base in warlords. Why is that so I might ask, and answer at the end, if you will indulge me.
So I tried to remember what it looked like for me at the end of every expansion I played in gold wise. It is entirely possible I could be remembering some things slightly off but I will try to be as accurate as I can. There are some things I do recall, which help me remember where I was at when the time came.
At the end of BC. I did not even have a mount, because I did not having riding. I could not afford it. Yeah, don't judge, lol. I was not much of a player back then. Noob would be an understatement. I quit before the end of BC and did not return until wrath was out of a couple of months.
At the end of wrath. My main was around 40K gold and my bank alt was more than that, my alts had some gold, but not much at all. If my alts had at much as 4K I think that would be over estimating.
At the end of cataclysm. I think my main was sitting at the 200K range and I had at least 2 alts over 100K. Most of my characters were sitting around roughly 20K-25K with the exception of my least played characters. One I recall spot on, because it spent 10K gold near the end, was my rogue who started the legendary quest line then never really did much after he started it. When he started he had 11K on him, so I spent nearly every cent I had starting it and he was my lowest max level, gold wise. A few max level alts on other servers were sitting at 20K and one was in the 60K range. So over all I would say my average character had at least 20K, if I had to judge looking back. Of course my main and bank alt being the only major outsiders to that average.
At the end of mists. I had many characters over 100K, multiple hunters, my Dk, my priest, my shaman, my mage, and more. My lesser played characters were not as lucky, my rogue never quite made it back up to far, I am sure he ended mists at 24K because I joked thinking he was the only max level I had who I would not be able to instantly upgrade the entire garrison with, as doing all upgrades would cost 36K. Over all I passed 1M for a single server in mists for the first time. I believe when warlords started, because I spent some cash, I was just shy of 1M on that server, something like 988K. I'd say my average characters had roughly 50K if I played it even once in a while and all my more played characters had at least 80K while the newest max level ones had considerably less. This was also the expansion of the alt for me as I had more max level characters in it than any other.
Now warlords is not over, but where I stand now, and what started this conversation, was when I said, I noticed that most of my characters, except the newest ones to hit 100, are all sitting at, at least, 160K. I have multiple characters with over 400K sitting on them too. Even my rogue, who never had money and was always behind since he started the dagger quest that almost made him broke, is sitting at 180K just from being one of the earlier characters I got to 100 so he really had a lot of the early garrison income. Even some alts on other servers are over that average 160K mark. Most characters I log into, at most, once per week. So I am not making any effort to make gold and I have been freely spending it too, and I still have more than doubled what I came into the expansion with and we still have 6-8 months to go. I don't know where I will end but I would say it is safe to guess my average max level character will be over 200K by then if I keep up at this rate.
So lets break this down to average numbers, removing the top (mostly my main and banker) and bottom numbers for the expansion averages. And not even counting BC when I could not even ride around on a mount.
Now I am just one player, so you can not judge from me. But it actually looks somewhat reasonable in terms of increase per expansion. Cata I had 5 times the amount I did in wrath. Mists I had 2 1/2 over cata, but i also had more characters than I ever had before, more than double, so that really works out to 5 times too when you consider I did double the max level characters. And mists to warlords it is 4 times as much. But remember, I am only estimating, I could easily be somewhere around 250K which once again would be 5 times the amount I had in mists.
So looking at it that way, percentage wise, inflation is not really worse than it has ever been. It is actually pretty steady, for me at least. Albeit I could have made a lot more money if I made an effort to this expansion, but the fact remains, with what I did decide to do, the game steadily advanced at the same pace it always does.
So looking at it that way, how has the garrison gold influx affected your numbers?
Are you in a better position, worse position, how has it treated you, and you can't just look at the numbers. Until I thought of it like this I thought I was making bank this expansion but now I see I am just moving at the standard pace I always have been. I am not getting rich, I am just increasing at the same steady rate I always have been.
I will have to look at it again when the expansion ends and see where I really end at, but inflation doesn't seem as bad now, to me, looking at it this way. It is just steadily increasing at the same rate it always has. So maybe the people who have changed how much they have in terms of gold have changed the way they played and that is why the broke people are still broke even if there is a lot of gold to be made, they did not change. They were never the type that made gold to begin with. So maybe they do have 5 times as much as they used to, but that 5 times as much still does not buy what they wanted just like it did not buy what they wanted before.