Are dailies making us poorer?

| Monday, April 5, 2010
At first glance, of course not. They give us gold. How could more gold make us poor?

The problem is that gold isn't very useful on its own. What does it do for us? We certainly need some for training and dual spec and repairs, but those are really quite limited. A daily and some vendoring would balance those out.

But don't we need gold for flasks and gems and enchants? Not exactly. Those all require trade mats of some sort. Gold is only needed for the training portion and that is minor. Gold serves only as a lubricant, a way to keep goods flowing, but it is not needed for the actual creation of anything.

Gold is the oil in a car. If your car stops, is your first response to change the oil? Of course not. That would be stupid. You're more likely to check the gas. So then why do we keep changing the oil in WoW?

Dailies drive inflation. It's quite simple, and quite stupid. We have no gold and prices are high, so we do dailies and now we have gold. We buy something and put even more gold into the economy, driving inflation even more. If we had instead farmed a material, sold it, and then purchased what we wanted, we'd have added no gold. But we would have added a trade mat.

What is truly greater wealth, gold or materials? I say materials. Gold has uses, but past vendor luxuries and oiling the economy, it has little actual use. But materials, those make our flasks and armor and enchants and gems.

When you farm gold, you only drive inflation and add little value to the economy. When you farm materials, you actually reduce inflation (AH activities destroy gold) and add value. The new materials help drive the economy as well, since they give people reason to spend gold, by buying materials and buying what is crafted from them.

You will never be rich by grinding dailies. You may have a lot of gold, but will you have wealth? None. Until you spend it. But then your cherished gold is in the hands of someone else. In all transactions there are those who give away gold and those who take gold. If you spend all your time giving away gold, you will spend all your time farming gold to compensate. Instead, find reasons for people to give you their gold. How? Farm something they want. Craft something they want.

There's already a ton of gold out there. Rather than add to it uselessly, take some away in exchange for useful goods and services. Cut some pie. It's delicious.


Gevlon said...

On the one hand it's obvious. On the other hand I always see people farming dailies, so it's not obvious enough.

Mycroft said...

I only do the dailies I enjoy, when I feel like doing them. Having such a large selection of them in WoW means that I can choose to spend time on what I enjoy and avoid some of the more unpleasant aspects of the game ... I ended up finishing off my Sons of Hodir rep with Relics of Ulduar purchased off the AH. :)

And, with their shoulder enchants now being Bind on Account, folks no longer need to grind rep with their Relics of Ulduar for alts, so those who buy the excess Relics off the AH are helping their fellow players at the same time! ;)

Klepsacovic said...

@Gevlon: Is it actually obvious? I don't think so. We buy everything with gold, so it seems logical that getting more gold is good. People aren't usually in the mindset of thinking about macroeconomic issues like inflation and whether there is a large enough supply of materials to buy.

@Mycroft: If you're doing what you enjoy, then in a way everything is 'free', since the only worthwhile profit in a game is fun.

Iapetes said...

Sure, but 1) professions are boring and 2) it's not the only way that players get gold without adding anything of value to the market. Players also get gold simply by killing mobs or bosses.

And similarly there are 'gold dumps' that you kind of ignore, for no discernable reason. 100g of repairs is already halving what you get from a ton of dailies in one day.

Leah said...

dailies are easy. farming requires leveling a gathering profession then researching which materials are needed most, THEN researching the best place/route to gather them, then going to the actual route, then coming back to AH, making sure that you're selling it for a fair (to you as well as the costumer) price, listing it, gathering unsold auctions (there are days when all my auctions sell, but more often then not, I have stuff come back and the more product you list, the more of it comes back), re-listing them.

its a very similar process with crafting.

entrepreneurship is hard, its risky, it can be a pain in a neck, and you cannot sleep through it if you want to at least break even, let alone make profit.

why do so many people prefer to be employees? because there's more of a guarantee of a set income per work hour. Dailies are a salaried job.

most people could care less about their impact on overall market. they just want to afford to satisfy their needs. Blizzard developers are not stupid and I'm sure they took this mentality into consideration when adding dailies to the game.

the opposite side of that coin though is that those who chose the risk of entrepreneurship? make a great deal more profit and can afford a lot more then those who chose an hourly wage.

LifeDeathSoul said...

I would agree with you about dailies causing inflation. But for some people out there who don't raid, or PvP, doing dailies could be their way of enjoying the game. So it may not just be purely cause they want to earn gold.

Klepsacovic said...

@Iapetes: I'm going to talk about that a bit in tomorrow's post.

@Leah: Farming materials doesn't need to be min-maxed. In my experience just about anything can be profitable to gather, so the most important thing is to farm something that you enjoy farming. make the price cheap enough and mats can be sold in effectively unlimited quantities; making it as secure as any real life job in this economy. And you even get to pick your own hours! Crafting is obviously more difficult.

While I think the devs do a good job overall, they have shown in the past that they do not always anticipate the full effects of changes they make. Or perhaps endless dailies to keep up with inflation is working as intended.

@LifeDeathSoul: I wonder how much they affect the economy; I could imagine how someone who just does dailies for the fun of it might also be the type who isn't buying flasks and crafted gear and whatnot. Isolated gold doesn't change the economy.

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