Jan 23rd 2008 10:49AM The proliferation of gold has indeed affected (though maybe not devastated) the in-game economy of wow. What's interesting to me, though, is not that there has been inflation, but that prices have inflated differently for different goods, which in turn changes the game experience for different types of players.
While the price of primals and other crafting mats has definitely gone up, the cost of repairing, flying, purchasing mounts, has not gone up (gone down in terms of real wages). What's the effect on the gamer? For a casual like me, not a huge effect, and might even benefit me, even though I have never bought gold. My primals are selling great from the influx of gold, which means I have plenty of funds to cover the non-inflated cost of my kara wipes.
Who does it hurt? The hardcore gamers. They are the ones who buy the most consumables, enchants, gems and other such items which are highly susceptible to inflation. If they plan to buy such consumables, gold buying in the economy simply increases the hours of farming necessary for each hour of raiding. Unless, of course, it is the hardcores who are buying the gold.