Being Broke and Rich at the Same Time

A lot of gold makers seem to come across this problem when they reach major milestones, they can’t spend any gold below that milestone. It’s like Schrodinger’s cat, they’re both rich and poor at the same time. Alright, so that comparison is a bit stupid, so sue me.

I’m finding myself in this predicament right now. My new guild wants me to push to get my brand spanking new monk ready to raid as soon as possible, and towards the end I coughed up the gold for, among other things, the 522 crafted healing leather helm. It brought me down below 500k gold for the first time in, well, since I first hit 500k gold I think.

It’s not the first time I’ve brought myself down below a bench mark. After I reached one million gold I peaked at about 1.2 million gold before various purchases and poor investments brought me down to around the 600k gold mark. Since Mists of Pandaria launched I’ve been hovering around the 600k – 700k gold range, making gold steadily but also spending fair amounts of it (the new JC mounts anyone?).

It think the biggest issue lately has been apathy (something I’ve mentioned a lot in this blog it seems), since last January or so I’ve just been coasting, not really doing much in World of Warcraft. I really need to start working properly on gold making now that I’m playing again, but I just haven’t had time in the last few weeks. After Friday though I’m done my placement so will have loads of time, I’ll hopefully be able to pay more attention to gold making.

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.


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  1. Reckles

    Ouch, but yah, if you aren’t gearing up alts quickly or getting mount achieves, grinding gold is just a fun pasttime. Question for you though, Eric. I tend to keep my gold balance pretty low (about 100k, all I need) and keep most of my wealth in inventory. Coming from econ theory, this would protect against the ridiculous wow inflation, but I don’t see anyone doing this. With everyone talking about their gold balance, (even with your amazing survey, thanks for that!) it’s hard to know player’s true wealth. If you don’t mind me asking, how much would you guesstimate you have in items on the auction house and on banking toons/bank vaults, outside of your gold balance?

    All the best,
    Reckles, Fury Warrior, Tanaris-US
    WTBGold.blogspot.com – My Gold Blog
    youtube.com/oneminuteraiding – OneMinuteRaiding Guides

    1. Eric Dekker

      Well that’s a bit tricky, especially since I don’t have an add-on that tracks it right now. Apparently I have 150k worth of auction up, but I have so much crap in my banks right now my “value” might be double that, or more, or less. I really don’t know.

      Honestly it probably makes sense to keep as much of it invested as possible to avoid loosing value due to inflation. But, I think there’s two reasons people don’t. First, they like having that big number, saying you have a million gold is more concrete than a million worth of items. Second, I think some players find it hard to find enough safe investments to bring their gold levels that low.

  2. ArchaicR

    I was just having this conversation with a friend (a currently on break WoW player.) Ever since I broke 1 million I always feel like it’s the new 0 gold mark. Recently did some investing (and spending on an alt) that dropped me under and I felt uneasy until I got back over… will feel even better once (if) investments pay off.

    @Reckles, I know myself I have (at current AH values) between 600-800k on the AH at any given time, plus my gold, and the misc. stuff floating on bank alts. I feel I should have more inventory, especially raw mats, but like I said above, I have mental issues spending to much for some reason.

  3. R

    I’ve had that issue myself… got above 2M on my primary server a while back, that became something of a ceiling for me (when I get above that, I’ll buy a mount, pet, piece of gear, stock up on mats, etc) to get below. Currently sitting at just under 1.9M, I’m comfy.

    Then I realize that all I’d need is for a couple of 999K mounts to come up on the BMAH and I’m broke.

    So, yeah. Rich and poor at the same time. Speaking of the BMAH, has anyone done any sort of research on whether the BMAH is actually working to remove gold from the horders? I’ve spent, maybe, 300K since it came out… probably less than they’d like.

    In terms of stockpiled mats, I have a lot… tons of Living Steel bars (lots of xmute-specced alchs, can’t use/sell them as quickly as I can make them), thousands of Ghost Iron bars and ore (used to have tens of thousands but I’ve stopped buying any that aren’t significantly below my max price cap to cut down on mailbox flipping), thousands of bolts of cloth…

    On just my main server I probably have 300-400K in base mats sitting around doing nothing. I’m not expecting prices to go up or anything, I just like having a stockpile to slowly work through as I need mats for various things. It’s not like I really need more gold… and when AH markets occasionally void, I can often sell at a decent premium until others notice and start listing again.

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