Announcing the World of Warcraft Gold Survey 2015

Take the 2015 Gold Survey

It’s time again for the (somewhat) annual gold survey! Due to the launch of Warlords of Draenor in November of last year, I decided to skip the 2014 survey, which makes this the fourth survey in five years!

The survey is now live and runs through the 4th of December, closing at 23:59 Eastern.

For more information, the F.A.Q., and links to past results, check out my primer on the World of Warcraft Gold Survey.

This year’s survey is nearly identical to the 2013 survey, only updated the resources question to reflect changes in sites and blogs.

Hopefully with everyone’s help we can break the 2012 record of 11,344 responses!

The key to getting reliable results in this survey is to reach as many players as possible from the variety that play World of Warcraft. To that end, please share this survey with any players you know that may not frequent places where this survey is posted. Any Tweets, shares, etc. are also more than welcomed to help get this survey to as many players as possible.

Results will be posted here on the blog, and made available where appropriate on the various sites that post (or where I post) the survey.

Thanks for participating in this year’s survey!

Regrets of Expansions Past

So as I was rooting around my various alts, I finally got up the courage to visit my bank alt. Now, as I have been gone for many months there was of course no mail waiting for me, which meant that my bank alt’s bags are unusually clear. I lost a lot of inventory, but maybe a fresh start is easier.

However, it definitely would have been nice to start with more than 240k gold. I mean it’s a lot more than what players new to the gold making game start out with, but it’s still a relative pittance compared to what I once had.

Where did all my gold go you may ask. Well, part of it was splurging on gear and mounts and such in days past, but a lot of it was gone in poor investments. Back at the end of Cataclysm I made some investments that turned out poorly, and that has kind of soured my attitude on tactics for preparing for the next expansion. Ever since then, I’ve done nothing to prepare.


Basically I spent a lot of gold investing in guilds and in ink.

Shortly after I dropped some serious gold on Level 25 guilds, changes were announced that made them much less valuable, and so I lost hundreds of thousands of gold. It was literally like the next day, I was so pissed.

I actually ended up selling off most of the ink, that or using it at the launch of Mists of Pandaria. I can’t really remember now. I just know that I now have this pretty much empty guild bank that I paid too much for with several tabs designed to hold ink. Notice that the ink is still in stacks of 20 because they only stacked to that when I made this stockpile.

I also have some Rare quality pets stored, and those sell fairly well, I think I’m making double on what I paid for them if my memory is serving me correctly.

Hopefully I can slowly sell off all this junk I have collected, and start making some new inventory, even though we’re entering the slow days of the expansion.

It Would Almost be Easier to Start Fresh

So last night I fired up World of Warcraft for the first time in many months. Between school and then leaving my desktop in a storage unit over the summer, I haven’t really had a chance to play, nor an urge until last night.

I must admit that any time I come back from such a long absence I feel quite overwhelmed. I wasn’t exactly that involved in the game before I left either, so it feels like I haven’t played since before Warlords of Draenor hit.

There’s a lot to catch up on. It would almost be easier to start fresh, take one of my multitudes of alts and level them through the Draenor content.


Oh, and I also still have that free level 90 boost to use. I’m always so indecisive so I never used it.

I also only have about 250k in gold left according to my titan panel, and my understanding is that the gold game is much different now. So that’s something else I’ll have to take slowly.

I started the Navy and Tanaan quest line, but I’m really tempted to just reroll a character and start levelling, which is weird because I usually hate levelling.

I’m still in a guild I’m surprised to learn, but even before I left I was just kind of there, didn’t really feel a part of it. So a guild change may be in order as well.

Let’s see how this all goes…

World of Warcraft back over 10 Million Subscribers

This week Activision-Blizzard had something called an Earnings Call, and while I won’t pretend to understand exactly what that is (other than an opportunity to gloat about how well they’re doing), there’s one interesting tidbit of information that stuck out to me: World of Warcraft has over 10 million subscribers again.

This reminded me of a post I wrote back in July of 2013, A Look at World of Warcraft Subscription Numbers, where, in response to a post on another blog, I discussed the latest subscription numbers and the trends. It’s not very often I take the time to look back at predictions I made on this blog, which is probably a good thing for my confidence because boy was I wrong in that post.

In the 2013 post I predicted, in one model, WoW would hit 652k subscribers in the first quarter of 2015. Assuming the 2014 Q4 subscription numbers hold fairly steady for 2015 Q1, which is a reasonable assumption, that means that my first model had a relative error of 1,434%.


Historic World of Warcraft Subscribers

You can see after the 34th quarter where my predictions started to deviate from the actual data.

The huge spike at the 2014 Q4 marks when Warlords of Draenor dropped, and apparently over 2 million people subscribed to WoW for it.

I’m very glad I was wrong, it means World of Warcraft will be around for a long while yet, but it’s interesting to follow up on my predictions and see how poorly I did. Maybe I’ll check in on this issue again in a few years and see where we stand then.

WoW Insider is Dead, Long Live Blizzard Watch

So unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week or so, you’ve undoubtedly heard that AOL shut down WoW Insider. The news was not taken well, and even got WoW Insider trending on Twitter.

Good news is that a lot of the crew that brought us WoW Insider has started a new site, Blizzard Watch, they’re off to a good start, and I suggest you check them out if you haven’t already.

The launch of their new site (feature some but not all of the previous WoW Insider staff) has garnered a lot of attention, initially crashing their new servers. Since launch, 2472 patrons have pitched in to contribute $12,880 per month (as of 2015-02-05T19:00), and while I’m surprised if they keep this support up indefinitely, it’s a good start and shows how much the community cares about where they get their Blizzard and World of Warcraft news. Even Google Now noticed how popular it was with old WoW Insider readers

Google notices Blizzard Watch

The final shut down of WoW Insider has come, as I understand it, after several budget cuts which meant WoW Insider had to cut down on the staff and content (which is why we no longer saw class columns on the site). Funding a blog is no easy task, pretty much every blogger I know runs at a deficit, despite ads on the site. I’ve mentioned in the past (The State of Blogging) that this blog costs me more than it earns, and I’m fine with that because I enjoy blogging. I know a lot of bloggers share in this sentiment as well, very few of us are in it for the money (or the lack thereof).

As you may have noticed this blog falls into periods of neglect on and off where I don’t feel like writing (usually because I’m not playing World of Warcraft), so I appreciate how difficult it must be for these writers to keep at it so long. Add to that the pressure of needing to keep to deadlines set by other people, and financial pressure, I definitely tip my hat to these writers.

So keep an eye on Blizzard Watch (@BlizzardWatch on Twitter), I’m sure we’ll continue to get great things for them.

P.S. If you want to help support your favourite sites but can’t contribute directly, please consider adding them to your ad blocker’s white list.

Garrisons May not be the End of the World

As promised when I posted that I was in the Beta, I’ve been doing some snooping around to see what’s what and give us a peak at what to expect come November. The only request I got was to explore garrisons, which is great because that was what I was planning on doing anyways! So I’ve been poking around the beta between classes and down time (understandably, the beta sees a lot of maintenance and down time) and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this garrison thing.

I’ve got good news folks, I don’t think the sky is falling.

It seems that garrisons will be more augmenting a characters profession rather than substituting them, and possibly filling in some holes if you don’t have access to a particular profession. The way it’s headed now though, a player isn’t going to be able to dominate the Auction House with just one character using the garrison.

On the beta if you create a character on the Level 100 realms you get to skip right to the “give me my garrison” part with no effort, and they basically just throw a bunch of levels, blueprints, followers, and supplies at you to get started.

I think I introduced everyone to my facourite Ford, right?

This weekend I plan on moving my monk over to a levelling realm so I can find out how long it’s going to take to get your garrison started, I’ll let you know how that goes.

The garrison, at level three, offers three different sizes of plots to build on, assuming you have the blue prints, in addition to a few extra plots that only hold certain buildings.

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An Interesting Development

So there was an interesting announcement out of Blizzard yesterday, apparently they’re going to be releasing some names that have been parked with old characters. Specifically any characters that have not logged into the game since 13 November 2008 will have their names forfeited letting anyone snap them up once 6.0.2 hits live.

I know that reclaiming old names isn’t something new, you can already petition to have unused names released on a case by case basis. I’m not sure what the current requirements are, but I’m guessing the character in question will have to be thoroughly abandoned before a Game Master will give its name to you.

The date they chose is the release date for Wrath of the Lich King (yeah, that came out over six years ago now) so basically if a character hasn’t been played since The Burning Crusade, that name is now up for grabs. It’s a good date in my opinion, I mean if you haven’t played a character since then, it’s thoroughly been forgotten. Plus, the character isn’t being deleted, it’s just loosing it’s name. They’ve also given us plenty of warning, so if you are particularly attached to a name you haven’t used in six years, you can still save it.

Originally I didn’t think this would free up many names, but then I remembered that this game came out in 2004 (wow), and now I’ve had to revise that. This is going to free up a lot of names, especially the simpler and more generic names. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them get snatched up again though, I know several people are planning on swooping up as many names as they can when they’re released.

The Godmother over at Alt:ernative Chat speculated that this may be a draw for old players with lapsed subscriptions, but I don’t agree. People who haven’t played in six years aren’t very likely to care about character names, and I don’t think this will bring them back.

No, I think this is just a logistical issue, Blizzard is running out of names. Think about it, especially since we’re no longer allowed to use characters outside the Latin alphabet, there’s only so many possible names. I think this is simply so new characters can be added to old servers.

Still, good move by Blizzard, I’m sure there’s a lot of people excited about this.

Warlords of Draenor and the World of Warcraft Gold Survey

So I realized something this week, the release of WoD is going to clash with my annual gold survey. The release is set for November 13th, and I know I usually have the survey right before this, but 6.0 is going to land before that, and that’s going to screw up some of the numbers possibly. It might also mean that I get less responses to the survey. Could also mean I get more responses since interest in World of Warcraft will be at an all time high.

I guess I have four options:

  • Run the survey at the beginning of November per usual
  • Run it in October
  • Run it in December
  • Skip it this year

I really don’t want to skip it, but delaying it or running it early isn’t ideal either. And I don’t know what the pre-WoD madness is going to do to the data. This is going to require some thought, but I guess I’ll have to decide soon.

Apparently I’m in the Beta

So I got home at the end of the summer to find out I was selected for the Warlords of Draenor Beta. Cool. Wish they had sent an email though. Not that I would have had the time to play any sooner.


So after a few false starts (lots of maintenance) I finally fired up the beta to find…myself overwhelmed. Keep in mind that I haven’t played really since summer of 2013, school and all that.

The first order of business was to check out that whole ore thing.There was like 400 of the new ore on the Auction House. And there wasn’t a buy out option. So, on that note, if anyone has any of the stuff laying around, I’m going to be trying to get my hands on some to do some number crunching, so if you want to help, drop me a line.

Next I went to check out these garrisons everyone has been raving about. Luckily when you start a character on a level 100 realm on the beta is plops you right there, nice and easy.


I probably laughed harder than I should have at “Garrison Ford” but it was late, everything is funnier past midnight.

By the looks of it they’re not all set up yet because right now Ford (the garrison supplier, not the drunken crack smoking tumour riddled mayor of Toronto) lets you cheat and just throws your first couple of upgrades at you, and gives you a bunch of free stuff.


I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest, this garrison is a lot more complicated than my farm back in Pandaria. I decided to not take a crack at it yet, I’m going to get some sleep now, and then poke around this whole beta thing this weekend.

Anyone have any suggestions or requests?

Europe Bound

It seems I’ve been doing more life updates than actual WoW posts here lately. Probably because I’ve stopped playing. Again.

So I’ve mentioned this on Twitter already, but I figured I’d mention it here as well.

I’m going to be working in Belfast (Northern Ireland) this summer! Also going to be spending ~week in the Netherlands, visiting family.

Been kinda hectic getting all the paperwork done, and I still have to drive down to Toronto to get my finger prints and all that done for my Visa. This was all short notice so hopefully all the paperwork can be completed in time.

I’ll probably be tweeting a lot on the trip (@Xsinthis) but I’ve also got a Tumblr account now (The Teetotaller Engineer) where I’ll probably be posting a lot. I’ll have to set up a system of tags or something for my trip so people can track my original content. Right now my Tumblr is pretty much all reblogs. Feel free to follow me.

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