Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gold can’t buy you golden memories

Finally the day came when Gevlon hit the ceiling. No more gold to be earned! The silence at his blog yesterday was dramatic and caused some worries among his followers. Has he put an end to his blogging? Or was this just one day off, a well deserved temporary break? That remains to be seen.

Now, the question arrives: what is he going to do with his 214 748 gold?

Selling or charity
There are some options around. Sell it for real life money, like an illegal farmer? I don’t think so. Even if Gevlon embraces ideas such as that “tax is theft”, I’ve never seen him as an outlaw who advocates that you should do illegal things. He may be greedy, he may not encourage “being nice”, but as far as I know he’s always played according to the written rules. It’s just the unwritten ones that he loves to break. And apart from that I’m not so sure that selling gold actually is very profitable anymore. Since there’s such an abundance of gold in game and there’s a general feeling spreading out that WoW has peaked and slowly, slowly will drop players, the cost for gold probably is going to fall quite a bit.

What else could he do? Throw himself into charity, giving it away? That’s out of the question. He’d rather let it despawn with his character the day he finishes his account than encourage “Moron & Slacking” behaviour supporting them with gold. If he could find someone who really deserves it he’d be happy to give it away, but the problem is that if he’d find such a person, this person would have all the gold they needed anyway, by their own means, since they know how to support themselves.

Buy a raid spot
Could he get some entertainment from it, using the gold as a sort of entrance fee to buy whatever experience he’s looking for. Maybe. Maybe not.

Gevlon has seen content that way before, when he successfully bought himself a spot in a guild that Naxx on farm. So it obviously suits him, and maybe that’s all he’s asking for.

I just can say that it’s not for me. I never ever quit my raiding spot in Adrenaline to buy myself in a further progressed guild. Period. I wouldn’t even do it if I got paid. I’d see the bosses go down quicker and with more ease, but for what enjoyment? If I only want to see them I can watch a YouTube video. Raiding for me isn’t about seeing or looting. It’s about the experience of overcoming challenging together with people you get to know a bit over time. Epic memories will come where you least expect it. And generally I think it isn’t anything you pay for.

Epic concert memory
I’ll tell you a real life story as an example of what I mean. Last Saturday I went to see a rock concert in company with my 15 year old daughter. We were going to see the Swedish group Mando Diao, which had their final gig at home in Stockholm after touring around in Europe for a month. They seemed to be as excited as the audience. There was love in the air.

It had been over 20 years since I last went to a concert without any available seats, but it was as if no time at all had passed. I spent the night in one of the front rows with my daughter and we were dancing, jumping and singing our hearts out. As it ended I was completely squeezed, exhausted and wet with sweat, but I felt happier than I’ve done in a long time. The amazing thing was that even though I stood out in the crowd, to say the least, she wasn’t embarrassed at all in having me around.

This was our night. And it wasn’t over yet. Suddenly, as we were waiting for the audience to start to head for the exits, one of the security guards approached us. She handed over one of the drumsticks to me (the other one had been tossed out in the audience after the last song). She said that she thought I should have it, since it was so rare and nice to see a parent present among all those kids. I stared at it, not quite understanding. “Hurry up”, she added. “Hide it!”. And finally I grabbed it and put it under my shirt, trying not to show it as I made my way towards the wardrobe. My daughter struggled not to shout out what just had happened. She squealed silently to herself and her face was brighter than the spotlights had ever been on the scene.

It was a magical night and we started out our long journey home, our epic loot now safe in the backpack. I knew that neither I, nor her, would ever forget it.

Golden moments not for sale
Now, I have no idea if this band is big enough to carry a market for “things that have once belonged to them”. But let’s say they were. And let’s say that I wouldn’t have joined my daughter at the concert. In stead I would have used my fortune to buy a similar drumstick, wrapping it up and giving it to her. Would it have been the same thing? Definitely not. Of course she would have been grateful, thanking me for this cool and quite unusual gift. But as time passed, her preferences switched. There would be new rock bands to admire and the drum stick would end up in a garage sell since she didn’t have any memories attached to it.

I think it’s the same thing in the game. The most golden moments just aren’t for sale. They come for free, mostly when you least expect it.

And I bet that the biggest pleasure that Gevlon has gotten from his project isn’t the gold itself. Watching the number on the screen can only hold your attention for a few seconds, no matter how insanely big it is. I think running interesting discussions, trying arguments on worthy opponents and getting an opportunity to spread his political views is what has kept him hooked so far.

Back to the initial question – what to do with all that gold? I asked myself what I would do if that wallet was in my little dirty gnome paws, and I really had a hard time to think of things to spend it on. The only thing I could think of right away was to buy my alt an epic flying mount. Yeah, I know some of you think it’s a waste of money, but since she’s a herbalist and will spend some time farming when she’s sitting out raids or looking for a group, it would come quite handy. The slow flying feels a bit uncomfortable, not to say tedious.

But what to do with the other 209 748 g? I have no idea. It will be interesting to see if Gevlon has.


krizzlybear said...

Ignore that character, and max out the gold on another. It works with levels, why not gold?

krizzlybear said...

Oh, and funny story. There's this song from an anime series I like, the series' title is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The name of the song is God Knows.

I was looking up that song on youtube one day, and I discovered this other band that had a song of the same name. I listened through the entire video, and happened to like it. That band? Mando Diao.

Larísa, you have awesome taste in music. You're so hip!

Kiryn said...

I've never gotten above 40k gold myself, because I can't STAND to fly at regular speed and all of my many, many alts must have epic flying. I'll be buying epic flying for my 5th character soon, because my hunter just hit 70 -- and my warlock is close behind at 67 -- I don't think it's a waste of money at all.

Oh, and I will often pay for my best friends to get their epic flying too, because hey, as a scribe, the auction house sends money to my mailbox if I just look at it sideways.

Green Armadillo said...

I think you've got the right philosophy. There's an interesting interview link up on Massively with the company that's serving as SOE's brokerage for player to player character/item/gold sales in EQ2 and Vanguard. Like it or not, and I don't really, that model is probably going to become the dominant one simply because there's money in it for the publishers.

Perhaps it's not all bad. If your account were stolen and unrecoverable, wouldn't you at least consider buying a new mage, if that were an option, so that you could keep playing with the guild that you love instead of spending the next few months leveling one solo and running PUG's to get enough gear that you won't be holding your friends back?

However, the consequence of that kind of a model is that the experiences that you've had playing Larisa become more valuable than Larisa herself. Someone else could obtain the character, like your drum stick, but they would never be able to get your memories and experiences getting her where she is today. Likewise, I don't have my beta Death Knight anymore, since the servers were wiped, but I have the memory (and the blogposts) of the experiences I had playing her.

Perhaps we focus too much on the material side of our digital lives?

Anonymous said...

First, let me just say I now feel very small because I was so excited when I earned my first 10k gold last week. 40K??? Are you guys playing 24/7/365. 213K, seriously, WTH? How is that even possible.

Anonymous said...

Well, he has beaten the game.. the game he plays.

All the rest has the attraction of achievement chasing.

But I agree with your sentiments.. and the words going through my head were "Epic Loot"... which is of course what you called it 1 paragraph later.

Having completed Naxx25 with my guild 2 weeks ago, and Naxx 10 with my mates this weekend, I would have to say Naxx 10 was the big exciting achievement...

Why... The guild could probably farm Naxx25 with their eyes closed.

My 10 group of mates had to fight (and release, run and fight again) for each kill...

I was very happy to prove the Uber-Hunter wrong... we weren't epic fail, we were all win!

And the game hasn't ended for me...

Klepsacovic said...

This reminds me of an idea I had a while back of a Blizzard employee for each faction who would have control over part of the AH cut and could do anything which would encourage interesting gameplay. One idea was to hire people to guard valuable areas, such as quest hubs, rare resources, that sort of thing; while the other leader might pay to recapture it.

With enough gold I think you could buy some pretty epic memories, such as every member of one faction taking complete control of an enemy city for days or weeks.

Or declare that you've won and quit. I think I like that last one.

Anonymous said...

I guess the money making thing is not his purposes on the game nor his blog.

He'll take a break, reconsider continue or not.
The thing I likes about his blog is about the thinkings, rather than "how much Gevlon made this week" nor "The newest way of making gold"

The same for BRK, while he's not in WoW anymore, we still keep watching.

I really curious how he'll handle it, for such a intelligent person. Hope he'll continue his thought on things though...

Carra said...

"Charity". I laughed when i read that. Charity in WoW? Noone needs gold in this game like one needs food & water to stay alive. It's a luxury one can do without. And giving gold to beggars just invites them to beg even more.

Thanks for the story, I enjoyed reading it. And I think everyone has to find out one day that money can't buy you love. The beatles already figured this out 45 years ago:

*Say you don't need no diamond ring
And I'll be satisfied
Tell me that you want those kind of things that money just can't buy
Cause I don't care too much for money
For money can't buy me love*

Larísa said...

@Krizzlybear: I guess you eventually grow tired of grinding gold through running a glyph industry. Seriously, if Gevlon even returns, I expect him to do some other kind of experimenting... If he returns... I'm not all sure about that.
And yes, MD are awesome! Check out some more of their stuff... God Knows is a quite old tune, but they played it at the concert in a bit different shape. The audience sang along all the way...

@Kiyn: 40 k g and five epic flying mounts... omg... You're obviously running a factory there... A miniature Gevlon.

@Green Armadillo: honestly, if someone stole the account and I couldn't recover Larísa I don't think I'd buy a new character. I think it would mean the end of my WoW playing adventure. But I think you're right about that many players are focusing too much on the material side. It IS just pixels. The epic memories, which is what we bring with us when we leave Azeroth, is something else.

@Daniel: if you focus all of your online time on running a glyph- and bagfactory and playing AH I think it's quite doable, as Gevlon has showed. But is it fun? Maybe to others, but not to me. I'd grow bored instantly. Thats why I haven't got half as much money as you have...

@Gnomeaggedon: oh you're absolutely right. Sometimes the most epic experiences are the ones that won't impress on anyone else. So what? You know. And you have those memories under your shirt, just like I had the drumstick...

@Klepsacovic: it's an interesting thought, but considering the gold sellers... no thank's... Maybe at special servers then for people who are PvP minded and like to screw up things for other players...

@Zekta Chan: well, if he leaves blogging he's always welcome to throw out his thoughts in this blog as a commenter. That's how he started, under his name Ghostboci...

@Carra: actually I had that song ringing in my head when I wrote this post... Just never came around to quote it, thanks!

*vlad* said...

Buying epic flyers is never a waste of money. Flying at normal speed is incredibly tedious, and a waste of time.

Captain The First said...

Looking at my own wow investment portfolio I am not surprised he capped when he did.

Money has gotten a lot easier... I play the game and spend about 30 mins or so a day on my auctions and with almost no effort manage to rake in almost enough gold for an epic flyer every month or so.

Looking back to the last few months I bought 3 epic flyers a feat I couldn't even imagine pre-wrath.

On the bright side I spend my gold be it on completely useless stuff but I spend enough to not have it pile up so badly :P

Anonymous said...


for anyone who concerning Gevlon, he had just had a new post, about continue blogging or not...

I hope he'll find a good guild.
But I can't really agree what he said on
"This case I made a mistake by focusing on making gold in a game that does not need/support that."

Anyway, take a look there if you're curious

Fitz said...

Gevlon has indeed broken the silence, and it appears his break was not just a single day of rest. the blogging community would be worse off without him, so I do hope he finds a raiding guild to allow Gevlon to have a different angle on making gold to write about.

It seems like he and his girlfriend enjoy the game, but are extremists when it comes to putting up with M&S. This mindset and his anti-social views on Azeroth will likely never allow him to enjoy the game the same way most of us do.

Here's a thought...can you imagine Gevlon being the bank power behind ensidia? Probably too powerful of a guild, but I think he would definitely be challenged by such a top-end Euro guild.

Goeffrey said...


You are being overly selective with your Beatles quotes. My retort:

Money don't get everything it's true.
What it don't get I can't use.
So gimme money (that's what I want)
A little money (that's what I want)
That's what I want, ye-ye-yeh,
That's what I want.

Your lovin' give me a thrill
But your lovin' don't pay my bill.
Now gimme money (that's what I want)
That's what I want (that's what I want)
That's what I want, ye-ye-yeh,
That's what I want.

Larísa said...

@Vlad: I think it depends on what you're intending to do with your alt. But if you're a gatherer I guess it's not too much of a waste.

@Captain the First: I really wish I could make myself put 30 min at AH every day. For some reason I feel a resistance. Even so I can't say that I'm short of money. But I don't buy things such as the Kirin Tor ring or a mega big mammoth... Don't feel the need either.

@Zektha Chan: yeah, I noticed. I hope he'll find a guild. I'll really miss him as a blogger if he quits.

@Fitz: I don't think he'd be that bad off in a hardcore raiding guilds. I'm pretty sure there are some like minded people who would like him as a member - not for his money but for his skill as a raider.

@Goeffrey: Cheers!