Does the economy need dailies?

| Tuesday, April 6, 2010
To start out; I want to split gold sinks into two types: necessary and luxury. Obviously being a game you could argue that all are luxury. Let's pretend that some things are necessary: repairs, class and profession training, mounts (one of each type) and training, reputation gear, and the AH cuts. Pets, extra mounts, and toys (except the train wrecker) are luxuries. As such, they should not be considered when attempting to balance the economy. Is epic flying a luxury? I will say yes. But if not, then it should be considered a part of the leveling process and should therefore be paid for through quests and vendoring while leveling.

For all of this, take note that I am only talking about farming which adds gold. Mining will help you get gold, but it isn't adding gold to the economy unless you're vendoring it, which you probably are not. All gold is coming from NPCs, since those are the supply of gold to the economy. Quests, dailies (I am separating these from one-time quests), vendoring, and coin drops are the inputs of gold.

When leveling was slow we were usually able to loot enough, vendor enough, and get enough from quest rewards to afford training and repairs. Sometimes we were a bit reckless and died too much or were slow to get bags and had less to vendor, but overall we got gold as we needed it.

Professions are harder to train. Vendoring the crafted results will keep up with training, barely. Of course I just broke my "farming isn't gold supply" claim, since leveling professions are an exception; leveling in general follows different rules than end-game. Enchanting gets screwed up since the greens they'd vendor instead become dusts which cannot be vendored. They could trade enchants for greens to balance their own books, but overall enchanting reduces the gold input to an economy.

Ideally the economy would be balanced for each section of levels; that players in their 30s might benefit from trading with others in their 30s, but no one needs gold from 80s or 60s. Level 30 should support level 30 activity. This isn't the case, as Gevlon points out.

Let us pretend for a moment that leveling is balanced, perfectly balanced. In this hypothetical scenario, a player will reach 80, finish training all their professions, talk to their class trainer a last time, repair their gear, hop on their flying mount, and now they have exactly zero gold. Leveling is self-contained and we can now ignore it and focus entirely on the creation, circulation, and destruction of gold at 80.

Let's go back to our level 80 gold sinks: repairs, reputation gear, and the AH cuts. Repairs can be handled with a few dailies, in the current system. What if we didn't have dailies? What is the rate at which one can pick up coin and vendor trash from purely grinding mobs? If that rate is sufficiently quick to cover repairs without requiring endless grinding, then repairs do not require dailies.

Reputation gear is a one-time cost. It is logical that the gold needed to buy the reputation gear should be acquired in the process of grinding the reputation. If it is a grind based on dailies, then they should give enough for a player to buy the gear from that rep (and no more). If it is based on mob kills, the average kill count should give enough as well. Wearing a tabard and running instances is about the same as mob kills and can be combined into the average.

If mob kills can cover repairs, then that leaves only AH cuts and deposits as the last end-game gold sink. Dailies actually make these worse. An unlimited source of gold promotes careless spending, which means higher prices, which increases the rate of gold loss, making it appear as if dailies are needed. In fact all that happens is they promote inflation, encouraging further grinding to keep up, and continuing the inflation even further. Dailies make us poorer!

I do actually like the idea of daily quests. They can be a more interesting alternative to mob grinding, and that's a good thing. But they give such a high amount of gold that they overcompensate for the gold shortage and just make things worse.

If you needed dailies to afford flying, don't take that as proof that dailies are broken, but that leveling is. If flying is a necessity, then it should be covered while leveling. Only luxuries and repeating costs (repairs and AH) should have to be specifically farmed for.


Iapetes said...

I'm not sure I'd consider the amount of gold Dailies give to be 'high'.

Hana said...

I have never farmed raw materials for gold, and barring a short "I'm feeling really poor and need to make sure I have money for repairs" stretch in TBC, I don't do dailies for cash. Unless there's something specific I want, I don't even play the AH.

I currently have 14k gold on my main, for doing barely anything. Sometimes I'm not even sure where the gold comes from. I'm guessing it's from gold/vendor trash off of mobs she kills in instances and raids. I sell any BoE blues, frostweave cloth, and frozen orbs I get in instances. I sell enchanting mats too even though I'm not an enchanter. It's just excess above and beyond what I need for my personal stash.

I just make it a point to sell what loot/vendor trash I get, and it's more than enough to cover the cost of raid repairs, flasks, and buff food. I guess the daily random heroic tosses in a little gold too.

And that should be enough for any day-to-day care for any 80.

Klepsacovic said...

@Iapetes: What would be high? They certainly give more gold than you'd get from grinding random mobs, since they effectively are the mobs plus quest gold. Keep in mind that everything is relative. Remember before level-capped quests gave gold, how 100g was a big deal? A handful of tournament dailies can give that, not even counting looting along the way.

Dailies are less gold/hour than other activities, but they're also gold creation, while most activities are gold exchanges. That makes 100 or 150g/hour high.

@Hana: I'll mark you as a "no".

Ngita said...

Is a flying mount a necessity? Note several of my alts dont fly any further then Dalaran to ICC in any given week.

My first character did not get a 40% mount till 52, gold was that tight in the first month of wow. My main didnt get a epic flying mount till nearly a year @ 70. But somehow I survived, by taxi and patience. So is a epic flying mount a necessity?

Part of the issue is mounts are seen as a luxury item for a gold sinks, so of course purchasing that first mount is costly.

Now does the economy need dailies? I have never done dailies for gold. I have done dailies for rep, dailies for fishing goodies and for honor. If they removed the gold reward from every single daily it would not affect my doing daily's. Note their was a thread recently where people endorded their love of the goodie bag reward for fishing and icc weeklies.

Perhaps look back to why dailies where introduced in the first place. So that people did not have to grind mobs, so that the inequality between pure dps and healers and tanks who had to grind at 1 mob every 40 seconds was lessened.

SlikRX said...

Since I'm not in an active guild, any raiding I do is via Pugs. This normally results in fairly high repair bills.

The gold I get from those runs and the handful of Heroics I run doesn't even come close to funding what I'm trying to do. (if I were willing to grind more Heroics, I probably would, but I despise that)

This leaves me with the dailies.

Now, if I chose to grind them out strictly for max gold, I can end up with a rather large surplus (I have a Runed Ring of Kirin Tor to prove that)

But in the end, I think the ease of gold aquisition is another means to allow more casual players to be able to participate, even when they have limited time.

If I had to grind for 4 or 5 hours a week, just to pay for a single wipe fest raid, I would give up. I play WoW to have fun, not to have a second job...

LifeDeathSoul said...

dang! ngita beat me to the point about flying being a necessity. It is possible to get by without flying. In Wrath, it is possible to fly in Northrend without having cold weather flying too.

About grinding mobs to get back your repair costs... uhm I don't think it's feasible unless you are a leather or cloth class. I've done some testing in IC on my dk, grinding the mobs in Valley of lost heroes. The durability cost of Aoe grinding the packs there come up to about 1.5g per pack. Problem is that my average picking from a pack is about 1.5g only. This is done with a Tanking set, with 536 Defense skill.

Klepsacovic said...

@Ngita: A great deal of the quest content in Storm Peaks and Icecrown require flying mounts. And Ulduar. While you could be summoned everywhere, a player should be able to get around on their own.

If dailies were introduced to help non-DPS with grinding, then they would seem to no longer be needed. Tanking specs can be superior to DPS for certain mobs types, and healers are far better than they used to be. Imperfect, but nothing 1000g can't fix, permanently.

@SlikRX: Bad PUG wipes too much, so you are pushed into grinding dailies, which is less painful than grinding mobs. It would seem that repair costs and bad PUGs are the problem.

@LifeDeathSoul: As SlikRX was evidence of, repair costs need work. Particularly the cost for taking hits, as that unfairly hurts tanks.

Ngita said...

Bad pugs cost you money, Good pugs earn you money, quite a bit actually.
Alt no 4:) 0.43 daily quests per day, very slack on quests past dragonblight as I dinged 80 from the first 3 zones. I could say this character has never brought a mount but I did craft a carpet through tailoring.

Since 80 it has accumulated 8k gold essentially from raiding and heroics minus the cost of repairs.

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