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Debate on WoW gold's real life value





bogger
There is a debate coming up, on xfire on tuesday the 21st of August.

http://www.xfire.com/cms/xf_debate/

Titled: Virtual Gold & Real Money
The Debate is on Game Economies


I'm interested too by a poll that is on beside it:
How much is 500 gold in WoW worth?
$5
16%
$10
7%
$15
4%
$20
6%
$25
4%
$30
3%
$35
1%
$40
2%
$45
3%
More than $45
11%
Nothing!
42%

Sorry about length
brokenadvice
Ill tell you what. I would love to meet those 11% and sell them a crapload of gold. (of course, the 11% are probably the people selling the gold.)
scotty
I don't know much about it, but Second Life has a real life value associated to the in game money. You don't need the money to play the game but it makes it better I think! The price is also fluctuating like a real stock market.
SlowWalkere
What gold is worth depends a lot on how you look at it...

If you want the market value of 500 gold, then somewhere about $40-50 seems accurate. Before WoW blocked most of the gold spam, that was the advertised price a few sites I just checked listed a similar price. People are buying and people are definitely selling gold at this price... so it seems to be a logical "value" for it.

Instead of putting a price on it, you could value the gold on a more traditional way - labor. There's a limit to how much gold you can make in a given time, and even the most devoted and well trained farmer would be hard pressed to earn more than 1-200 gold per hour. So... 500 gold is worth anywhere from 2.5-5 hours of labor.

Now if you need a lot of gold quick and don't want to spend your time farming it, buying 500 gold is equivalent to paying to save 5 hours of your own time. I think that most of us value our time highly enough, so $10/hour seems like a steal to me

Although I have never bought gold, nor will I, you have to admit that WoW gold does have a value. That value can vary a lot depending on your perspective, but it's definitely more than $5 per 500 gold.

- Walkere
bogger
The problem with putting a value on it based on the labour involved with it is if the supply of WoW gold is unlimited.

Surely that would make it worthless, when you consider that Frih$ are worthless too.

According to:
http://www.wow-gold-price-list.com/

The average price here is $45 dollars, but one must remember that these are companies looking for a profit. I would normally expect a 20%-33% mark up on prices, so that's roughly a value of $35-$40.

You state that 200 gold per hour would be what a specialized farmer could expect.

That equates to $14 per hour. Which would be pretty good for someone who spent around 1000 hours to get to the level of specialisation.

The only problem with this is: How much gold does each n00b start off with?

When you create a new account, how much gold do you get at the start?

*I don't actually play WoW*

EDIT: I'm taking part in the debate, weee!
dwinton
You have no gold to begin with. You have gear worth 4 copper (10000 copper = 1 gold). Gold is really Time * Luck. People who don't feel like investing the time and havn't gotten lucky are willing to pay for gold. I am astonished by the value though. Bear in mind, however, that the people who sell gold tend to have a bunch of people farming gold and pay normal people a much lower price for the gold so they will make over 14 an hour and the farmers will make well below.

Back when I played WoW, I was not a specialized farmer but I managed to get about 300 gold per hour farming a certain area that apparantly no one else figured out was profitable. Most off the farmers I came into contact with used hacks or bots to either clear instances in minutes or run 24 hours a day. Either way, the gold per hour of work should be well over 200
Genesiz
Quote:
Now if you need a lot of gold quick and don't want to spend your time farming it, buying 500 gold is equivalent to paying to save 5 hours of your own time. I think that most of us value our time highly enough, so $10/hour seems like a steal to me


That is so true.

The other thing you have to look at is selling your account. Lets assume you make a new account and spend say $40 for 500 gold. 500 gold when you just start would help you blitz through the levels in a matter of days. You could then sell your account to somebody who doesn't want to spend the time playing the game, and just want to get stuck right in. If you manage to sell your account for say $100, you've just made $50-60 for a few days work.

By the way, how much do accounts sell for.
fbcompany
can u sell accounts on ebay?
Afaceinthematrix
fbcompany wrote:
can u sell accounts on ebay?


I'm pretty sure you can. I have never played WoW so I wouldn't really know myself, but I'm pretty sure I remember hearing a friend of mine talk about that one time, and he was amazed that people would actually spend money on it.

And I'm also amazed that people would spend that much of their own money on non-tangible game currency!
Genesiz
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
And I'm also amazed that people would spend that much of their own money on non-tangible game currency


If you type WoW accounts in a google search, you get loads of websites selling WoW accounts and WoW gold for stupid amounts of money. If no-one bought the accounts/gold, there wouldn't be any websites selling them. It's mainly people selling level 70 accounts, to people who don't want to have to play through all the lower (and slightly more boring) levels.

fbcompany wrote:
can u sell accounts on ebay?


I've never actually looked on there, but i'm sure if you did, there would be some. How much they sell for i wouldn't like to guess Question
whitehole
I made a decent amount of cash last year by buying and selling gold for WoW. People will buy virtual items for pretty much any mmo. Many console games use the same idea and have items you can buy online for cash. EQ2 has a site where you can buy and sell items for cash which is sanctioned by the game designers. It's a billion dollar a year industry. It's really not that different from buying something for any other hobby except it violates rules of the game contract. I understand that some players don't like it because it gives people that spend money an unfair edge. I also understand that players would rather spend their time playing the game than doing countless boring hours of killing and trading etc just to get gold for various uses in the game.

I doubt it will ever go away. It's a huge industry expecially since most of the people working are getting like 3k a year to generate 8k+ profits. Most of the work happens in asia where the cost of living is low and most of the selling happens in europe and america where you can get great profits.

I hope this sheds some light on things if anyone's really interested.
TomGrey
7-11 stores cost more than Wal Mart, but those who pay value ... their time.

Those who want to have level 70 characters, but not "earn" them, will buy them. Others will think this is fine, others will resent it.

It's not a "right or wrong" question. WoW, like sports, is just a game.

Winning isn't everything.

It's the only thing.

Not.
Coclus
brokenadvice wrote:
Ill tell you what. I would love to meet those 11% and sell them a crapload of gold. (of course, the 11% are probably the people selling the gold.)

Very Happy you are definitely right..
XeononyX
I think the fact that you have to pay to play per month and then turning around and pay for gold is an insane thing to do. There are equally enjoyable games that cost no money and if you choose so you can obtain "premium" currency by paying for it or doing free offers promoting the game and such. I imagine it is an enjoyable and addictive game, that is the exact reason that I do not play it.
bogger
@ XeononyX

I don't intend to be rude nor a backseat moderator, BUT

I intended this topic to be about the economic consequences of such a move, not about whether it's addictive, of course it's a addictive

Also it's enjoyable, so you don't play it? Surely one would NOT do something if it wasn't enjoyable
thadnation
bogger wrote:
@ XeononyX

I don't intend to be rude nor a backseat moderator, BUT

I intended this topic to be about the economic consequences of such a move, not about whether it's addictive, of course it's a addictive

Also it's enjoyable, so you don't play it? Surely one would NOT do something if it wasn't enjoyable


The economic consequence? There really isn't one and I don't think there ever will be one. As long as lazy people are around to cheat the game, there will be a market. Besides, people with enough cash to purchase stupid commodities like advanced accounts probably have too much cash anyway.
joostvane
For me the value is $15 / 4%.

I can easily make 1000G/day and I wish I could sell it for a good price, but thats certianly no go. There are these chinese people out there that do it for just too less.
Tadtoad
I used to play on chinese servers until I quit, and after the release of TBC here it was about $4.4 for 2000G-4000G depending on the server. It may have changed now but...whatever
harismushtaq
I think that the real value are the materials and consumable products made out of them. Currency is just a monetory concept with lots of mishandling, fraud and politics involved in it. The concept of gold as a standard was good in this sense that it is a natural stadardisation than a monetory one. We can take any other thing as standard but it should be in terms of some naturally valuable thing rather than printed paper.
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