Tag Archives: WoW Secrets

All About the Gold Cap

First off, here are the answers to a few of the more regularly asked questions about the cap:

  • The in-game maximum amount of currency that a single toon can have is 214,748 Gold, 36 Silver and 46 Copper.
  • The gold cap is specific to one toon and not to an account. You can exceed the cap by spreading the currency amongst your alts.
  • Mail with gold attached, be it from other players or the AH, cannot be picked up. Attempts to do so will result in the warning message flashing on the screen “At Gold Limit.”
  • No more money, even a single copper, from any source including player-to-player trade or looting a corpse can be attained until some currency is removed from the player that has reached the cap. Most attempts to attain more money via these and other methods will result in the same “At Gold Limit” message.
  • There is no award, title, in-game achievement or special designation for reaching the gold cap. It is simply an achievement, in the most basic and personal sense of the word.
  • Items sold to vendors while at the gold cap do not yield any gold. The gold is lost although the item may be repurchased from the vendor, and you charged. Note: we didn’t test this one ourselves but it stands to reason.
  • The guild bank gold cap is higher than the personal gold cap. We didn’t decipher the exact limit but we presume it is the unsigned integer amount listed below.
  • Should you decide to share the news of having reached the cap with your server population, friends, guildmates or on the WoW forums you will be met with varying forms of only three basic categories of comments: A) “Grats!” B) “Grats! Can you give me/buy me/loan me ____” or C) “You must have no life and play all the time.” It is unwise to respond at all to comments of types B or C.

Now, here are a few facts about the WoW gold cap that you may not have known.

It’s Not Really a ‘Gold Cap’ That We’re Talking About…

Gold, in fact, is not the unit of measurement used in the game’s programming. Rather, the currency is measured by the game in its purest form, Copper. Thus, the term “Gold Cap” is not entirely accurate as it is, technically, a “Copper Cap”.

Why Such a Strange Number?

The existence of a maximum threshold at all is because of the way this aspect of the game is programmed. The most plausible explanation for the cap is that the initial developers of WoW declared the variable (that is, assigned it as an adaptable mathematical value) of copper as ‘int32’, a signed 32-bit integer. This type of assignment allows for a maximum of 31 mathematical characters with one space reserved for positive or negative designation. The designation of a variable as a signed int32 allows for a maximum value of negative or positive 2 to the power of 31 (subtracting one on the positive side of the scale). So int32 allows for a range of –2^31 to 2^31-1. 2^31 is 2,147,483,648-1 which is 2,147,483,647. Look familiar? That’s the actual Copper Cap. Translated back to ‘gold cap’ and allowing for understanding that a player must have less than the maximum it becomes 214,748.36.46. See how that works? So in computational terms, the gold cap is a < signed int32 or < 2^31-1. Complex? Maybe. But still entirely understandable.

Can It Be Fixed?

Can it? Will it? Is it even ‘broken’? Ultimately it is up the Blizzard developers to determine if they are interested in increasing the gold cap. The most plausible, albeit short-sighted, solution would be to make the number an unsigned integer thus allowing for a maximum gold amount of less than 2^32-1 or 4,294,967,295 copper (or 429,496 Gold, 72 Silver and 95 Copper) but, of course, we have no idea what impact this might have on the game’s programming or currency model. It seems like a reasonable solution because you can’t have a negative gold balance (although we know some players who sure try hard enough) so what’s the need for the extra character pos/neg designator anyway? Of course, perhaps the only reason you can’t have a negative gold amount is because of this designation so… who knows? The other possibility is that they assign the variable a different declaration, one with a longer character allowance, but again we can only theorize as to the impact of such a seemingly simple yet potentially drastic change.

In our opinion, we’d rather they didn’t attempt to tackle this problem since the work around is simply sending gold to alts or storing in a privately owned guild bank. Ever have problems on patch day? Notice odd bugs come up after the release of major content? Ever have issues with items or mail? We have. Therefore, we’re not very excited about the prospect of messing with a system that might have far reaching and unpredictable results. Particularly when it comes to results that might adversely impact our virtual wallets.

The Auction House Has its Own Gold Cap

Yes, the AH has its own, unique, gold cap. The maximum amounts for items listed in the AH are:

200,000 Gold for bid
429,496 Gold, 72 Silver, 95 Copper for buyout

However- and this is where it really gets strange- you can’t list both maximums on the same auction. That’s right. While you can list items for 200,000 bid OR items for 429,496.72.95 G buyout, you can’t do so at the same time. You have to lower one or the other or the game does it for you automatically. Also interesting is that where the bid level appears to be a hard, or fixed cap, the buyout is a bit more elusive. So any time you try to list an item above 200,000 G bid the Auction button will simply gray out. Easy enough. But listing items above the buyout max level will do things like automatically adjust your buyout level downwards to various, and mostly unpredictable, levels.

Of course, the strangest part of this revelation is that auctions can be set at levels higher than the maximum amount of gold a player can have. Thus, you could theoretically set an auction for a price that no player could possibly pay and, even if they could, you couldn’t receive. Take a moment and just imagine the pain of selling a 400,000 gold auction and not being able to receive it. Which brings us to our next point…

…did seeing the buyout maximum set off a sense of mathematical déjà vu? It should. The limit mentioned above could also be described as less than 4,294,967,296 which is, as stated earlier, 2 to the 32nd power. 2^32-1 is an unsigned int32 declaration. So Blizzard used a signed integer declaration for the gold cap, but not so for the AH limit. Strange. Does this mean, theoretically at least, that it is possible to have a negative gold amount somehow in the game? We don’t think so but it does raise some legitimate questions.

There may also be an in-game mailbox gold cap but, to be absolutely honest, none of us had the balls to test it out.

Capping the Gold Cap Discussion

So that’s the basics of the gold cap logic. Will the gold cap always remain at this level? Hard to say. It seems reasonable that if players are becoming more and more wealthy with each expansion pack, and items and gold sinks costing more, Blizzard would raise the limit if, indeed, they intend the game to go on for a long time. But seeing as how honor is still capped at 75,000 it may not be something that the development team is too worried about.

Hopefully we’ve not bored anyone to sleep just yet. But if reaching the gold cap is a goal you’re striving to meet it certainly can’t hurt to know more about it. Good luck in your own efforts of reaching it.

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Filed under WoW Economy News, WoW Market Commentary, WoWenomic Theory and Discussion

A.B.C. (Alterac Brings Capital)

A quick trip to the Alterac Mountains can often bring in a fairly hefty sum of gold if you know where to look and what to do while you’re there. Here are the sights and NPCs to visit if you want to know how to conduct a profitable trip to the mountains. We’re willing to bet that you haven’t heard of all of these…

Frost Oil

Deep in the Alterac Mountains, just beyond the Hillsbrad Foothills, high atop a wall guarded by once mighty ogres (seriously, they used to be elite) sits Bro’kin. Bro’kin, a Boooty Bay aligned goblin, is an otherwise unremarkable Alchemy vendor with the exception that he is the only NPC that sells the Frost Oil Recipe. This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail. This quest line is still completed by alts and veteran players alike because part of the chain awards a fairly unique trinket, the Nifty Stopwatch. This old trinket still has use for running long distances when you can’t mount. PVPers will like it for running flags; Bankers will like it for the occasional speedy mailbox/bank/AH run. The oil is also used, albeit a lot less frequently, for the old Dire Maul Tribute run.

The point is that you’ve got a fairly steady demand and a limited supply which means a good potential for profits. Pick up a few copies of this recipe from Bro’kin for less than a gold each and learn one (if you’re an alchemist) and sell the others for as much as you can in the AH. We typically wait until no one else has one posted to post ours and then we price it in the area of 30g each, one at a time.

Note that you’ll have to wait a few minutes before purchasing the recipe again as it is a limited supply item. So what do you do while you wait? Well we’re glad you asked…

Nodes

There are various ore and herb nodes appropriate to the level of the quests and mobs in the zone but the standout winner here is a key component of Frost Oil, Wintersbite. This herb can be picked by herbalists of requisite level and is found only in the snowy mountainous areas of this zone. The nice thing about this herb is that this is the ONLY area in which it grows, so if you have extras after crafting your own Frost Oils they can be sold for pretty high prices.

If you’re an alchemist/herbalist (or are friendly with one) you are now in the business of selling the Frost Oil recipe, the oil itself and the requisite herbs for crafting of the oil. You, essentially, control this tiny market. Savvy traders will even take steps to ensure that the price of the herbs remains formidably high such that even if other players buy the recipe from you they find it unprofitable to craft a bunch of the oils to compete with you. Muhaaaahaaaahaaaaa!

A Bonus Rare Engineering Schematic

But wait, there’s more… Did you notice the little guy in the cage during your Alterac Travels? Rizz Loosebolt is another obscure Alterac vendor, this time of the engineering variety. Like Bro’kin, he is friendly to both factions and sells various trade items but has one recipe in limited supply. This time it is the Ice Deflector Schematic which is a bit of a harder sell (there’s no quest associated with the crafted item) but it does sell to completionist Engineers (many haven’t even heard of this schematic). While you’re talking to Rizz, you might also want to buy out his supply of Gyrochronatoms which usually sell at a hefty markup in the AH to lazy players that don’t bother finding them elsewhere for less.

In an interesting example of WoW synergy, it is worth noting that Frost Oil is a required crafting component of the Ice Deflector and one of the Gyrochronatoms are required for completion of the afore mentioned Nifty Stopwatch quest line.

Something Else to Think About

Did you do your Alterac Valley quests? There are a whole slew of them available in your race’s AV cavern. Quest givers are located about half way down each tunnel. Both factions’ tunnels are located symmetrically on opposite sides of a path between the mountains that make up the border of the Hillsbrad Foothills and the Alterac Mountains. An informal poll amongst friends and family showed that most players, particularly those that started playing within the last two years, have never even heard of these quests. They are easy to do and are often completed along the course of attempting to win the AV battle. In fact, the hardest thing about completing these quests is simply finding the quest givers. So what are you waiting for? That’s some easy XP/gold right there? These quests might prove particularly lucrative to those players attempting to level with PVP as it just becomes an added bonus to what they are already doing.

You’ve now got yourself a little, agreeably unusual but highly profitable, farming circuit from the old world. It may seem counterintuitive to spend time visiting these old areas but we would argue otherwise, because who knows what the availability of these items, vendors, quests and even zones will be after the Cataclysm hits? May as well head out there now while you still can.

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The Top 10 (Murphy’s) Laws of WoW Trading

Sometimes things just don’t go your way as a trader. Sometimes it seems as if the world is against you. We call these situations, the Murphy’s Laws of WoW trading.

10. If you really need a farmable material, and set out to go farm it, you will find lots of other materials but very little of what you are looking for. You will see, however, your guildmates finding lots of your target item in whatever zone they’re in. They will proceed to say things like, “Oh look, more Titanium. I wasn’t even looking for that tonight. LOL!”

9. Flying to that same zone yourself will only ensure that neither of you find any more of the target material.

8. Identifying a new, underserved niche market, that no other player has sold in for months, will always bring competitors who wish to supply that same market at exactly the same time.

7. The one item that is selling for an abnormally high amount on your server and you also have in stock and available for sale at the moment will also be the very item that your guild leader, significant other or best mate will be selling at the same time.

6. If you read that X item is a great investment or selling opportunity on one of the WoW blogs and set out to invest in this item yourself, you will quickly learn that you were the last of many people to read this advice and the opportunity will be long gone.

5. Hoarding an item for sale at a later time will ensure that that item never significantly increases in value. Instead…

4. …The item you decided not to hoard and have little supply of will spike in value.

3. Your farmer will disappear. Inevitably. The likelihood of their mysterious disappearance increases as your dependency on this person for your supply increases.

2. The higher the amount of the deposit on an item, the less likely it is that it will sell in a single sales cycle.

1. The percentage of completion of posting your auctions is proportional to the percent chance that your main competitors will log on. Thus, once you have posted 100% of your auctions, a competitor is 100% sure to log on and undercut you on each auction.

Any of these ever happen to you?

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Filed under Funny Money, Off Topic, WoWenomic Theory and Discussion

Strategic Bidding

Have you ever intended to bid on an item only to realize that because there was already a bid on that item you ended up bidding higher than you wanted to?

By looking at the box at the center of the bottom of the Auction House screen you can see and adjust the amount you are about to bid on an item. It’s a simple tool and easily located but even veteran traders quite often overlook it. Before you bid on anything, take a look at this box and determine if you how much you are about to bid. A bid amount equal to the amount listed on the auctioned item means that you are the first bidder. A bid amount higher than what’s listed on the item means that you are upping another player’s bid. Use this knowledge to your strategic advantage.

Also, if you ever find yourself in a bidding war over the same item with another player -you know, those situations where you bid on something and are outbid seconds later so you bid again and the same thing happens over and over- try bidding a few times using the default amount listed then, after you’ve got your competitor in a routine, bid your maximum amount by typing it into the box directly. The frequent result is that the competitor, having fallen into a groove, will immediately hit the bid button without looking at the amount and get caught paying much more than expected. You might even try bidding over the maximum amount you want to pay in the hopes that your competitor blindly overbids to an extreme. You may not win the bidding battle for the item this time, but by using this trick you can certainly make it a much more costly victory for the competition.

Finally, one other trick with bidding is to always bear in mind that it costs more gold to cancel auctions with bids on them. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re competing with an auction house camper on your sales, and this person places low bids but regular or high buy out amounts, consider bidding the lowest possible amount and making it more painful for the competition to cancel their auctions and repost to undercut you.

Use the bidding feature to your advantage. It may not be the silver bullet of WoW riches but it is certainly a nice weapon to have in your arsenal of Auction House PVP.

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Auction House Sorting

Ever accidentally hit a bar along the top of the unmodified auction house and mess up the sorting? It helps to know that the default AH view is by rarity. Use this knowledge to correct the issue. An even more powerful use would be to sort your searches by an order that is more appropriate to your needs. Perhaps you want to view items by price or, even better, time left. Sorting items by time left within the category or search phrase you’ve already typed in lets you find those rare opportunities where other players have underpriced their bid level. Snipe these low priced goods up by bidding just before a patch day and you’ll get the occasional amazing deal. Even better, check out how profitable your sales become when you make a habit of sorting by time left and bidding on desired materials just before you log off. You’ll find that you snag a few amazing deals every week. It’s surprising how few players perform this simple AH trick.

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Three Interesting Bugs Introduced in Patch 3.2 (Including the ‘Free’ Honor Dance)

We take a break from our regularly scheduled focus week posts to bring attention to a few issues that readers have pointed out to us or we have observed ourselves in the wake of the implementation of patch 3.2. Call them bugs or game design elements, either way they have the potential to alter your play or gold making styles. Have you observed any of the following during your sessions?

1. Auction House Page Problems

The Issue:

Users of the unmodified auction house are reporting that the auction house page tabs (those small arrows on the top right section of the AH interface) are sometimes inactive (or grayed out) when they should otherwise be available. We have tested and observed this phenomenon ourselves. The issue occurs after having searched for an item and scrolled through multiple pages. On a subsequent search of a different item that does not have as many pages of inventory, the arrows are no longer usable. Worse, and more confusingly, we observed instances where, upon searching through multiple pages of an item, the subsequent search turned up the “No items found” message if the window was not closed and reopened or the user did not manually flip the inventory page back to page one.

The Workaround:

Simply close the AH interface after a search of an item in which you scrolled through multiple pages of inventory then reopen the window by talking to the AH NPC again to ‘refresh’ the interface. Note that, in most cases, your old search term will still be in the search text box so amend as appropriate.

2. The Flying Mount Gimli Glider

The Issue:

Some users and WoWenomics team members have reported having landing issues when attempting to land upon or near lootable nodes. The description most used is that of experiencing a ‘gliding’ effect when trying to land their flying mounts as though the player were expected to perform a deadstick landing. The issue seems to be particularly applicable to nodes on or very near steep terrain and appears to not be exclusive to only node farming but also other precarious landing situations.

The Workaround:

Give yourself a bit of landing room and attempt land just prior to the target location. If there is not sufficient ‘runway space’ fly just above the target and manually dismount so as to fall directly upon the target.

3. The BG ‘Free’ Honor Dance

The Issue:

It has been widely reported that some players are exploiting the newly extended honorable kill range in conjunction with the recently implemented honor bonus for node defense in applicable battlegrounds. The issue is that there are some locations, particularly the blacksmith location in Arathi Basin, from which a defender can be within range of every honorable kill on the map while at the same time benefiting from bonus honor awarded from being within range of the flag. Thus, certain players that do the least in the BG (and AFKers in particular) are now able to hide strategically and go make a sandwich and end up with more honor, and honorable kills, than active participants in the same battleground.

The Workaround:

There’s really no fix for this as this is the byproduct of recently implemented game mechanics and not necessarily a bug. That said, it is reasonable to expect that Blizzard will be examining the issue fairly soon and coming up with a fix. So, should you wish to benefit from this mechanic, now is an excellent time to work on HK location based and cumulative achievements bearing in mind that, in doing so, you are kind of taking advantage and perhaps even being a turd. On the other hand, some players may be inclined to actually learn how to defend and *gasp* call out the incs.

One other interesting edition from 3.2 that may or may not affect your gameplay gold making is that Blizzard has implemented a “Not all of your mail could be delivered. Please delete some to make room” message for when your mailbox is full. It’s not a necessary change but is certainly helpful to those that may not have noticed missing mail or don’t otherwise have helpful mailbox add-ons enabled.

Have you experienced these or similar bugs?

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Filed under WoW Community News, WoW Economy News

The Top Ten Types of WoW Gold Makers

  1. The Opportunist: Willing to adjust strategy based on perceived market needs and predicted trends. Runs around looting bodies while teammates are dying in PVP because, “they just despawn so damned fast.” Known to reprice items in the AH to “more realistic” levels. Will go to the most remote regions in the land to get that one “ultra rare item”… and then sell it. Sells white items on the AH because “people are lazy, man.” His best ‘friends’ are his best customers. Has the Auctioneer add-on installed, but thinks of it more as a religion than a mod. Loathes AH fees and deposits. Can become emotionally unstable when undercut.
  2. The Farmer: Dual gathering specs. Mastered the art of flying in circles. Has routes planned out in advance and is willing to fervently debate the efficiency of these routes with anyone foolish enough to do so. Does very little actual ‘playing’ of the game. Despises other farmers and immediately assumes they are from China. Is known to say things like, “That’s my node,” or “stay out of my zone” and mean it.
  3. The Master Craftsman: Crafting specced, sometimes even dual crafting specced. Can answer questions like, “What mats do I need to craft X?” without even opening her tradeskill window. Bank is filled with crafting materials, even stuff that’s been obsolete for years because “you never know when you’ll need it.”
  4. The Daily Grinder: Money making efforts focus almost exclusively on daily quests. Has extensive opinions on which quests to group together in order to maximize profits from rewards. Thinks it is ridiculous that they can’t be friendly with both the Oracles and the Frenzyheart. Willing to help you with a dungeon, raid or quest after he finishes “just one last daily”. Is partial towards (is partial towards…is partial towards…is partial towards…is partial towards) repetitive game play elements. Thinks the Isle of Quel’Danas was the best content Blizzard ever created.
  5. The Deadbeat: Always broke and always ‘needs’ a new BoE item or enchantment. Willing to pay you next month (with interest) for 1,000 gold today. Says things like “I never borrow money, I really hate to do this…” while hitting you up for another 1,000 gold. Never, ever, repays loans and has maccro’d the phrase, “Oh man, I’m so sorry. I forgot all about that. How about I pay you next week?” Thinks that borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is a legitimate, and often overlooked, system of wealth generation. Wonders why there is not an in-game credit card system.
  6. The Ninja: Ninjas the most profitable loot from runs. Only question he asks on guild applications is how soon he can make withdrawals from the guild bank. Scams other players on his level 1 soon-to-be-deleted alt. Switches servers and/or toon names regularly to protect identity. Believes that if he ninjas something of high value it is the group member’s faults for letting him be the Loot Master. Wonders why everyone is “crying over pixels”. Thinks running an in-game casino is entirely within the ToS…or at least should be.
  7. The Dungeon Master: Solos old school dungeons at least once a day. Knows the strats for most heroic runs. Mumbles things like “Sheep the X” in his sleep. Sells valor bracers whenever possible. Regularly runs both regular and heroic daily instances- jumps with glee when they are the same instance. Thinks the guy that famously lost it [Strong language and NSFW] in the Onyxia raid was acting pretty reasonably. Loathes repair bills, noobs and PUGs. Could run Scarlet Monastary in his sleep, sometimes does.
  8. The Stripper: A female toon willing to dance for tips or gifts. Uses Outfitter or Blizzard’s equipment manager only to switch between clothed and naked modes. Will often say that you look “handsome and strong,” and that she thinks you “have a big sword.” Almost always a lower level to enhance the “please help me, I can’t afford to buy my skills” effect. Begs for run-throughs and boosts, but prefers you just pay for a dance. Is willing to go with you to the tram tunnel for additional fees. Thinks the implementation of Blood Elves was solely so that the Horde could have hotties as well. Uses terms like ‘MUAH’, ‘Rawr’, ‘<3 U’ and is prone to frequent /hugs. Does very little actual playing of the game and has a large fan base of pubescent teen boys. Is almost always a G.I.R.L (Guy in Real Life).
  9. The Mercenary: Provides services such as portals, enchantments, lock boxes opened… for a tip. Known to add those that don’t tip to friends list so that they can forever keep an eye on them and harass them about their cheapness whenever possible. Provides runs for lower levels and alts for gold. Knows the Stockades, Zul’Farrak and Deadmines like the back of his plated fist. Is almost always a melee DPS class. Has the term “Don’t die nub” maccro’d and key bound. Gets paid up front.
  10. The Barterer: Will trade his Titansteel cooldown for a stack of buff food, for an enchanted vellum, for an orb, for a few eternals, for an Abyss Crystal, for a stack of flasks, for an epic BoE item, for a rare non-combat pet, for… Rarely, if ever, actually cashes in. Often too broke for consumables or food, but is willing to pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.

🙂 So… which one are you?

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Filed under Funny Money, Off Topic, Uncategorized, WoW Market Commentary