Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gold farming IV: Why even the famers are screwed

We're all hurtling headlong into a spiral of rampant inflation. Don't cancel your subscription just yet, though. (Even if you were nerfed in the last patch!)

You see, even though WoW is a masterpiece of a game that's played by 9 million worldwide and counting, and even if there's no end in sight to the game (God willing), the fact remains that gold farmers are selling someone else's property--and virtual property at that. It's the good old "Wanna buy a bridge?" joke, updated to modern standards.

World of Warcraft's economy isn't like a real-world one. Low-level characters with limited time may feel the pressure to buy gold, but the wonderful thing about inflation is that it affects the rich and the poor alike. In other words, to counteract the devaluation of the gold piece (that the farmers themselves caused) they will need to lower the price of their product. In other words, the farmers are essentially driving themselves out of business!

It may be worth the time now to farm while it's worth around 6 cents per gold, but gradually the gold piece's value will degrade as the farmers sell more and more of it. Once it becomes financially unsound, the farmers will up and leave--or, at the very least, seek greener pastures. And seeing as WoW is the 900-pound elephant of the MMORPG scene, I wish the soon-to-be-unemployed farmers luck.

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