World of Warcraft and the “real” value of money.

By Peter, May 25, 2009 21:14



For the people that do not know exactly what World of Warcraft is I can explain this in a few characters. It’s a MMORPG. And these characters stand for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. OK Massive I can understand, more than 12 million people worldwide are playing this game. Multiplayer is for sure, you’re not alone Online. And OK you play a role, but don’t we all in real life? World of Warcraft (WOW) is sometimes compared with Second Life. They both are MMORPG and another thing they have in common is: MONEY.

And that’s where the link to the real world is a fact. Although everyone knows that the balance on your bank-account in real life can be used for buying things in real life, a huge balance on you WOW bank account gives you a good feeling also. Money can be earned by completing tasks and by selling the loot that is taken from killed characters. The selling of goods can be done by selling it to a vendor (everywhere in the game) or by selling it (for a much higher price) on an auction in the Auction House. And that’s where I come in.money1

I succeeded so far to reach level 38 (80 is maximum) and that means that you have to be a little bit afraid of me. I have my own horse and for some money I can fly from one side of the WOWorld to the other. But fighting huge monsters and completing difficult tasks lies a little bit behind me. Not that I do not have the time at the moment to play, oh no. But I discovered that I could earn my money faster and much more convenient in another way. Buying and selling in the Auction House!

With a few little add on programs I scan the whole marketplace and find out what the ‘normal’ prices of the goods that change hands in the auction are. And after that I search for the bargains. People who have no knowledge of these ‘normal’ prices sell their goods most of the time at prices that are much too low, although their profit is much higher than selling it to a vendor. Also taking into account the fact that during the weekends the demand exceeds the supply (and that (as in normal economy) rises the price-level), you can earn money very fast. Copper, Silver and Gold, these are the local currencies.
A few times a day I check the auction. I only buy and trade in commodities, raw materials so to say. I choose only those materials that can be used for multiple purposes (high demands). I also try to be the cheapest when I put my goods on the auction, just to get my money fast. Since february I did not come out of the auction house anymore. Although I do not solve any quests anymore, I still enjoy World of Warcraft and I am willing to pay that € 13 (real money!!) every month.

money2Question remains: if you do not conquer any villains and therefore do not need to buy any new weapons or armor, where is that money for? I don’t really know, but I know that real money and virtual money bank balances do not differ much! But again where is all that money for? I do not have the exact answer to that question, but in real life (for my real money) I cannot answer it either. I am sure that I am not the only one that struggle this ‘question’. Am I?


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