Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unexpected guest post

Okrane S commented this to my previous post, but it's so good that it deserves to be read as a post by those readers too, who don't read the comments. So here it is:

I'm gonna throw in my 2cents in this conversation. The dispute here is not about who is right (because both Gevlon and Nils are right in their respective ways) but which are the right premises to draw these conclusions.

Everyone has a specific and self defined utility function. That is obvious. However, I believe that having money(gold, or wealth in general) is a component of everyone's utility. It might not be in the same proportion but it is still there - dare to contradict me and I'll call you a Buddhist monk.

So, from the statement above, we deduct that everyone is interested in making gold. It's really a decent assumption considering that in game there are fixed expenses any character has to make (training , riding skill) as well as other costs related to progression (repairs, enchants, gems etc). Therefore EVERYONE HAS TO MAKE MONEY.

Now it all boils down to whether you prefer one way of making money or the other. Because, yes, Nils, playing the AH takes time. However it takes less time (but more brains) than say, grinding elementals.

Therefore by the amount of gold owned in respect to the amount of gold needed (needed as in sufficient to cover the costs mentioned above) we distinguish 2 types of players (ofc):
a) those that have enough and
b) those that don't have enough.

Now, among a) we have (imho) 3 categories of players:

a-1) Goblins.
a-2) People that get sufficient gold from quests and selling residual materials gathered while questing. These are usually no lifers who spend their entire day-time in game.
a-3) People who farm like hell to get enough quantities of gold to cover their expenses. I'm talking about the guys who post 1000 stacks of saronite ore on the AH at one time undercutting everyone because of their need for money.

As for the second category:
b-1) People who play a lot but just go making gold whenever there's the need for a new purchase. Usually they have less than 100g on them at one time, and spend all their money on the first thing they like/need on the AH
b-2) People with a limited amount of play (like only during the weekend) who cant spend that much time farming nor analyzing the AH because of their low interest in the game.
b-3) 1g plz : mentally retarded kids.


Let's analyze the utility of these 6 categories.

a-1) obviously their utility is to make gold. no more need said. We'll call this type of utility Gold Positive (Gold+)
a-2) these ppl dont have much utility in gold making as they have enough and with time being no problem they usually dont mind overspending on AH. They are Gold Neutral (Gold=)
a-3) The first type of moron. They value gold time but still find an inefficient way to get it. So Gold+ This is the first category a goblin likes.
b-1) other simple minded people. They are certainly Gold+. "Omg gief 5k for mount". But stupid enough not to spend a minimal amount of time to think about how to make it efficiently. They are the types of people that never rationalize their expenses. They would like having money just to spend it so in the long run end up broke. Goblin likes them.
b-2) These ppl usually play the game to chat at a really slow pace because they cannot afford the time to invest more time in it. So not only are they gold neutral they are Wow neutral as well. So Gold=. They will spend irrationally because of their limits. Not morons but Goblin likes them.
b-3) Obviously the worst case of idiocy. Gold+ (ofc). However these are the guys with no gems or enchants on the quest greens they wear. Not the best buyers but Goblin likes these too because eventually they will buy from him.

a-1) Gold+
a-2) Gold=
a-3) Gold+
b-1) Gold+
b-2) Gold=
b-3) Gold+

As you can see, no Gold- here as stated before the analysis plus a big majority of Gold+ categories.

To sum up. I believe Gevlon is right in the sense that everyone who plays this game, sooner or later wants to make gold in a short amount of time. Nils' point is valid when saying that ppl have different utility functions, however in this game, I believe the majority of players are Gold+.

My comment: I can only add one more group. The really social players who just chat, fish, hunt eggs and never want to raid or seriously 5-man. They are gold-neutral, but also WoW-neutral, as they are ignoring the monsters and just goof around.


Anonymous said...

In WoW, the Gold- characters are the NPC vendors, quest givers, and monsters who have an unlimited supply of gold to spend.

There are Gold+ NPCs too: trainers.

Yaggle said...

I would like to make a general comment about making money from questing. I feel that the "daily" quests have risen to unhealthy prominence in WoW. I used to like questing a lot, and I still do, but the dailies.... after you have done the exact same quest 5 or 10 times, how can this be fun any more? And yet, the money from dailies in WoTLK is pretty good, plus the faction rewards from doing all those dailies are good. I mean, for example, Sons of Hodir: 13-16 gold each at lvl 80(correct me if I am wrong) and they are all very fast and easy. the Knights of Ebon Blade ones are very quick and easy, also, for the most part. And there can be no denying they are very popular and a lot of people do them. But are they really enjoying themselves? If these dailies did not exist, people would be forced to do more crafting to make money. Blizzard should have given access to more crafting recipes and got rid of dailies. I know you don't HAVE to do the dailies. But when you can log on for 30 minutes, make 75g plus get some rep and get to loot some mobs, all for just doing 5 dailies, a lot of people are going to end up doing them. I think it's just stupid, all the people doing the same quest 100 times before they lose their minds.
That having been said, I love the "normal" quests that you can only do once with a character and in my opinion, a combination of doing those quests along with crafting and AH work is a very enjoyable way to make money.
A little of this, a little of that. But not the same quest 100 times. Talk about a way to ruin a game.

armagon said...

Maybe I'm overglorifying myself here, but I'd put myself strictly between a1) and a2).

Playing too much, yeah. But not spending much money, just hunting achievements and levelling alts. My gold income covers raid expenses and still grows. Slowly.

I'm not too keen on AH stuff, I'd never try to be a real businessman, I am not. I've just been doing most of the things the Goblin does for years, but when he puts up 20 stacks, I put up 2 and am ok with that. Maybe I'm doing it wrong as I could make 5k per week instead of 1k with just a few minutes more at the AH, but it's not what I find enjoyable.

Miy said...


While your view is interesting about daily quests, you viewing it from the wrong angle.

Daily quests were added into the game to flood and devalue gold within the game economy. This was done for two reasons.

1. To give access to gold easly to those with time but who aren't to numbers smart (This keeps them from becoming gold buyers(.

2. To change the gold balance within the game. With more gold in the game, gold becomes worth less and gold sellers have a slightly harder time operating. (this assumes costs remain relatively low and fixed, e.g. no new 10k mount training cost)

Really when you look at it, most things in WOW are designed around this, it is one of the reasons you dont see rampant inflation in game. Most equipment is BOP, so it can't be farmed to be sold. Alternative and easily found pieces of gear are readily available, creating an even value for most things.

I remember that in FFXI there was a pair of boots that dropped from a level 15 mob worth 300,000 gil. This is the kind of design that gold sellers thrive in. WOW has made gold accessible to stop these people and make the experiance for the rest of us better for it.

On a side note dailies are also a solution to reputation grinds. No one really liked the old sit there and kill 10,000 mobs so your exalted plan.

You say that players should be crafting for gold and more recipes should be introduced. Here is something to chew on.


Crafting creates absolutely no gold withn the WOW economy. Crafting merely redistributes wealth within WOW. All crafting is designed to do is to turn a set of items into something else, that MAY be more valuable to players.

Generally, crafting takes gold out of the economy, in the cost of regents needed that are bought from vendors inorder to make items. The only time that crafting makes gold for the economy is if you could buy something from vendors, create something new and then sell it back to the vendors for more gold then it cost you to make it. I know of no such items in game.

Well anyway thats my two cents. Dailies, although I personally don't bother with them, as they are a waste of my time (I bought my way to exalted with Son's of Hodir) are a great developement by blizzard to stabilize the game economy.


Barrista said...

I'm sorry, but some of these generalities are just ignorant.

I have enough gold (which is a relative term). But I'm not a "no-lifer" nor am I a goblin. As another poster said, I do dailys to pay my repair bills. If I don't feel like doing dailys before a raid? I'll post some flasks/mats/gems on the AH. I don't buy on the AH either unless it is an enchant and I don't necessarily buy the best as the difference is sometimes very small.

And Gevlon, this statement was a bit hypocritical:

The really social players who just chat, fish, hunt eggs and never want to raid or seriously 5-man. They are gold-neutral, but also WoW-neutral, as they are ignoring the monsters and just goof around.I guess you are WoW-neutral too as all you mainly do is play the AH? (don't even try to wiggle out of that one! LOL) PVP fits into not doing 5-mans or raiding and that is all some want to do. I'd say that is not WoW-neutral and a perfectly ligitimate end-game desire. Blizzard has put something for everyone to enjoy in order to increase their profits.

Doing what you enjoy and only what you enjoy in this game is not stupid. It's actually pretty smart since it's your $15 a month. Paying the fee and then doing what others feel you should is truly stupid (play the AH, get the super special flying mount, hunt eggs, etc). The person who begs for gold is not an idiot either. The person who gives it to him is though.

Mike said...

I'm with Barrista. I have enough money to buy enchants or whatever I need, and I never do anything to gather money outside of just regularly playing the game. I haven't done a daily in a year, other than pvp dailies, and I don't grind. There is plenty of money from just running instances as long as you don't suck at it.

I enjoy reading your posts most of the time, but I don't quite get the attitude that money is so important and anyone who doesn't spend all day on the AH is an idiot. You can try to make money and if you have fun doing that, great. I don't like it so much, so I buy enchants when I upgrade my gear, and I always have 1000s of gold just laying around from running instances and what not. Does that make me a moron, or a slacker?

Dorgol said...

Yeah, gonna agree with Barrista and Mike. I don't play the AH. I don't play "hardcore" and "no-life" it (my wife would divorce me if I did).

So lets add:
"A-4) People who have enough money because they aren't stupid with their money. They sell what's worth selling and ignore what's not worth buying. If they need consumables or crafted items, they will buy at market value or (more likely) work with their social connections online to get things at cost. Gold neutral.

Okrane S. said...

Thanks for the attention. I appreciate it.

Always nice to find some interesting debates on your blog :)

Keep it up

Anonymous said...

I think there's another category. let's call it Goblin-lite.

Goblin-lites are those like myself that are capable of generating funds when they need to, are prudent with their spending, and are generally self-sufficient.

What makes us Goblin-lites different from full Goblins?

1) We typically don't run full-time industries like Gelvon does. Either because of time constraints (or disdain for running a full-time industry).

2) We are smart with the AH just like a Goblin.

3) We'll use different techniques to generate gold based on the ecomomy. We might farm, we might craft, we might just play the AH, or usually some combination. The combination typically makes us self-sufficent.

4) Our gold producing usually tails off once we get enough gold to more that cover our needs. For example, I have about 35k gold right now. I have no desire to force the earning of more gold, because there's nothing really to spend it on. (Not gonna pay 4Kg for one runed orb, but will spend 4k on a crafted item made from orbs 2 months from now).

Now some of you die-hard Goblins might call us slackers or stupid, since we don't generate the cash you do, but the reality is we see you and your alts in the AH constantly, and that's not something we want to do. We also don't really need any more gold that what we have. (What can you possibly do with more that 40-50k in game unless you are an obsessive collector.

So.. consider the Goblin-lites. We're out there making gold, and we still have a social life.. :-)

Okrane S. said...

An interesting parallel here would be to compare these categories with real life categories of people.

From the top of my head I'd say:

a-1) Successful Businessmen
a-2) People with large inheritances, like royalty, or movie stars who got a lot of money with little work.
a-3) People with well paid jobs (upper class)

b-1) The average person (low-middle class).
b-2) People with much different goals in life, like artists, greenpeace or red cross volunteers etc
b-3) The unemployed.

Viscount said...

@ Previous commenter

I agree and think their should be another catagory of people, but I don't think its goblin lite or that goblins will have a problem with it.
I would say we are still goblins but have a different saturation level of wealth. Basically how much wealth we need before it is no longer considered reinforcement to do activities to obtain more. Gevlon himself could understand this as he obtained his wealth to saturation (max level) and seeked new challenges. For him the wealth itself wasn't the reinforcement but the challenge of it. I think thats the key difference between various goblins.
I have more money than I need. Basically I have enough for any thing I want to purchase as long as I dont purchase things I see as little value. For example I am not blowing 20k on a mamoth, I could, but I dont see that as improving my game play experience enough to be reinforcing.
I see people in the goblin catagory as the legitimate businessmen, they may not have a business but they know how to find it, sniff out a good deal, manage their money wisely, and can plan ahead.
Anything else is just personal ideology and flavor of a individual goblin. And yes I do think there are bigger goblins than others, so gevlon, you can be my king, just dont expect a tribute beyond respect.

Viscount said...

By above poster I ment the anonymous. I got beaten to being the next poster.

Monkeytree said...

I'd be an a2 - I get enough gold from just enjoying an instance run now and then, and doing whatever else I feel like in the game. Of all the worries I have in life, having enough gold in wow is not one of them. I've always got enough gold for general expenses, and I cut a few corners when I have to. The only reason I would bother putting in effort to make more gold is if I decided I wanted to do some serious raiding and squeeze out that last 2% performance in my gear, which is expensive to do.

Jormundgard said...

Okrane S gives no estimation of each group's population, and his portrayal of Group A2 is way out of context. Doing 10 dailies can't take up more than an hour (two if you are socializing), and earns you on the order of 150g a day. And at the moment, most of these dailies are done for other purposes (achievements, item access, cosmetics). At 1000 g/week, this is far more gold than most people need to enjoy the game.

Add a gathering profession, and you probably make about 50g/day if you make one stack during idle traveling. Do a few instances (adding another hour or two) and you will statistically make a profit off BoEs and orbs and such. Just using my WoW stats, that apparently adds up to about 50g-100g a day.

For a 2-3 hour investment each week, we all make an enormous amount of money. And this isn't real money. It does not have much use beyond repairs and enchants. Most other purchases beyond that are either cosmetic or easily replaced for free (via raiding or whatever). Unless your goal is to make money, there just isn't much justification in focusing on it, or doing it well.

These may not be the retards spamming Trade, or posting ridiculous AH buyouts, but I would suspect that group A2 is by far the dominant group of WoW players at the moment, because for people trying to get the most out of the game, it's the most logical decision.

Ngita said...

I would have to with a4, as a catagory as expressed by others. Guild repairs+a alchy alt so a hour of herbing a week combined wih my self enchanting and i am done, add in 200-300g a week from selling uldaar 10 boe's and I am in profit. No dailies needed.

Quite a few raiders I know are probably some combo of a1-a3. Jump into a market early and hard, make 50k-100k-200k and then coast for a year or two.

Ngita said...

I would have to with a4, as a catagory as expressed by others. Guild repairs+a alchy alt so a hour of herbing a week combined wih my self enchanting and i am done, add in 200-300g a week from selling uldaar 10 boe's and I am in profit. No dailies needed.

Quite a few raiders I know are probably some combo of a1-a3. Jump into a market early and hard, make 50k-100k-200k and then coast for a year or two.

Barrista said...


I went through your real life comparison and have to say it's just as poorly "analyzed" as the WoW comparison. I fit nowhere in there. And actually, groups A1 and A2 are very similar. Look at Bill Gates. He's become so wealthy that he is giving his money away. And isn't that the same as what gev is doing by joining this new guild? He's finding a charity a support.

david said...

@ Barrista

Gevlon to Bill Gates analogy is completely off. He is not "donating" or giving charitable contributions to this new guild. He is "buying" his raid position. That was the contract.

Okrane S. said...

Or maybe you just think of yourself as not belonging to any of those.
Describe, please, the category you think you best fit in irl.

About the in-game category you belong to, from what you describe its clear to me that you belong in a-2).
In its desciption I said they are "usually" no lifers that spend lots of time in game. This doesnt always have to be the case.

When categorizing human beings imo, the only way to come up with only a small number of classes is to make gross approximations.

As for Bill Gates, he is clearly a-1) and no the a-1 and a-2 are not similar because of a completely different attitude towards money. a-1 knows better than anyone the value of money, whereas a-2 are usually completely ignorant.

I would like to see your in-game and irl categories.

Artorin said...

I don't see myself in anyone of those categories. I use gold in the game to maximize my characters (of which I have a lot) I'm capable of making large amounts of gold on the AH, but this to me isn't fun and is more of a tool. I hate repeating quests and do so as little as possible. The only daily I do regularly is the JC daily because of how insane it is for making gold. One quest = 100g that I can repeat.

As far as buying overpriced stuff on the AH... I don't. I'm more of that guy out in the woods who builds his own furniture, house and hunts his own food. I have every profession maxed out on atleast on of my characters and generally have enough gathered materials through leveling and questing that I don't have to spend money on the AH. But then I can also turn around and make a huge profit selling glyphs, ammo boxes, flasks, enchanted scrolls etc.

Anyway I play the ecomony when I need to but mostly I play WoW the way I want to which doesn't involve standing in the AH for longer then is needed.

KimmoKM said...

I think there is a group of a.2 that most definately are gold+: More "hardcore" part of a-2. They, like a2, play a lot and even without gathering professions (which, due lack of in-game benefits, such players are unlikely to have) they make a lot of gold (500-1000g a day typically) from running dungeons, doing daily quests on multiple characters and so on.

However, they also really spend it. Going after achievements, you can charge very high from reputation items, non-combat pets, materials used for powerlevelling professions, BoE-epics and so on. Having possibly tens of thousands of spare gold, there is no much point going to farm by yourselves when you can buy the items from AH. And they have gold to pay.

So the thing goes like this: Some player gets an item and sells it in AH for a low/normal price. A goblin buys it and resells it for high price. Being a small market or demand is very high, that achievement whore -player buyouts all items he needs.

I'll put a few examples:

- Sulfuron Ingnots used to make Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. There is a lot of casuals running through Molten Core and many might put this to AH without realising its true value. If someone really wants Sulfuras, he might very well pay a thousand gold each ingnot.
- Non-combat pets. There are players who want to have every single non-combat pet available. There probably also is morons who put them for sale for a low price. Some players might be ready to easily pay hundreds on a pet they might never use, just for having it.
- Reputation items. If a goblin manages to stockpile basilisk eyes (used to raise Aldor-reputation when you're Scyer) casuals put to AH, there is a good business opportunity too. At least I would be ready to pay several tens of thousands of gold to change Shattrath-faction but I most definately am not going to farm basilisks in Terokkar for this.
- Optimal items like stormjewels (epic gems). These players want to be perfect. They don't care about price of BoE-epics, glyphs or gems that would be an upgrade to them. They just want to be closer to perfect, now. It is very possible to find a business to satisfy those needs.

Anyway, you get the point. These players play so much that they have immense amounts of gold despite they don't really do business (though they sell whatever they get clever) because they don't need to (unless they want to get to gold cap or something like that, which probably classified them as a goblin). They, however, open small markets for very high profit. I, for example, have well over 200k gold earned since start of achievement system, and I am ready to use it.

Hatch said...

Just chiming in that I'm another goblin-lite. I use just enough business strategy to cover my expenses with the minimal amount of time and effort required. So I don't have a 3-character strong inscription business, but I do play the AH a little bit and use a few tricks (like Gevlon's famous crystallized fire trick) to keep myself more than well-financed. I tend to have about 10k gold at any one time, while spending prudently and buying anything I think is necessary to achieve my in-game goals, such as gems, consumables/ingredients for raiding, enchanting mats, riding skills, dual specs, respecs, glyphs, etc., etc.

Goblin Sugar Free said...

I Like to play the AH too, but I included myself as a Goblin Lite too.

I make around 500g per night, but I use diferent strategies to earn some money.

1 - Selling Netherweave Bags - I buy all stacks of Netherweave Cloth under 5g and turn into bags - sell those bags for 11g on my server - if someone cuts me, I buy and dominate the prime time shift market. In a week I can sell 200 bags (6g profit in each one)

2 - Selling specialized bags - farming for 28 soul bag, enchanting bags and the other is easy because Outland is like a desert in raid nights - farm is easy and they sell for about 100 to 200g (sell around 15 per week), no costs, only the farm, but after WOTLK I can buy the craft itens from AH for low prices.

3 - Farming non-combat rare pets - I like to farm the Azure Whelpling - I can sell one of these per week (if I got lucky enough to drop one) for around 1.5g. Also the mobs are all elites, so they have a higher chance to drop greens and blues - I also skin them and can make a lot of money from the Leather.

4 - Monitor the Auctions - Watch all the bids that I can bid and resell - is amazing how a lot of people only worries about Buyout prices when list a item.

5 - Buy itens from desperate people in trade chat - this strategy is awesome in the weekends nights, preety much a undervaluated market by now on my server.

I tried several other strategies, but those above proved to be the best ones.

Keep the good job.

candy said...

You forgot long-time players who just easily make gold but don't spend all day doing it.