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12-24-2008 @ 5:33PM
It may be interesting to segment things more. Compare per server, per faction vs things like class and level. Valid points were brought up about WoW being a closed economy, this is certainly true. In this case any of these calculations are only really indicative of changes in the economy itself... meaning... 1 data point tells us pretty much nothing. Once we have about 20 or 30 data points though, we can get cooking. Using the Armory and Armory-viewing sites/utilities it may be entirely possibly to track, or at least sample, the gold earned by players per unit time, as well as take census data. If a character gains 2 levels in about 20 hours of activity, it is pretty safe to assume their gold gain is likely due to quests. If they have a slower level gain (or new instance achievements), you could presume some instancing. If they gain lots of gold but have no level increase, they are likely seeing AH gains. Actually at one point I started offering 'stock' (well, more like a mutual fund) out to a few friends so they could buy in to my AH escapades. I had locked the health potion market up for Superior+ for quite a while on my server. At the time I was regularly bringing in about 50+ gold a day. Weekends were a bonanza as the raiders stocked up. The Alchemy reagents were a great sell on Wednesdays and Thursdays... when all the raider alchs would stock up. At one point I just needed more raw cash to buy out competition, so I offered some friends a buy in. Their gains were proportional to net gain weekly, and I'd pay out on Sundays unless they wanted me to hold it or roll it. I didn't want to complicate things more with interest, but the more people allowed me to roll their profits back into the pool the more I would truncate up on their profit calculations. This was back in the pre-BC days, when the epic mount training cost of 1,000 gold was incredible, and people would groan about shelling out 100 gold to train regular riding at 40.
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