You can spend it at a vendor NPC, trade, mail it to other player characters, pay for a flight from the flight master, bid with it for an item at the Auction House, use it as a deposit to auction at the Auction House, or just save it.
You can get money by looting dead mobs, completing quests, selling items to vendor NPCs, via trade or mail from other player characters, or by selling an item at the Auction House. If you use money to put a deposit down for auctioning an item, you lose the deposit if it doesn't sell or if you cancel the auction, but any failed bids are returned via mail.
The accumulation of wealth within World of Warcraft is almost as complex a science as it is in the real world, and thousands of words have been written on how to do it.
Types of coins
- Copper coins – Also known as copper pieces or c.
- Silver coins – Also known as silver pieces or s.
- Gold coins – Also known as gold pieces or g.
"Coin" as a term can also refer to the currency of World of Warcraft, though its use is mostly limited to questgivers giving out monetary rewards to players.
NOTE: You can never have more than 99 — if you get to 100, it will automatically change to 1 in the silver column. The same is true when you get to 99 99, if you add another copper then it will automatically change to 1. There is no conversion rate for gold coins, so you may have more than 99 99 99.
The amount of money on a server is not constant. From a technical point of view, money can be "created" (ie, added to the player economy) and "destroyed" (removed from the player economy).
Money is "created" when:
- A player loots money from a mob or chest.
- A player sells an item to a vendor.
- A player completes a quest with a monetary reward.
- A character joins that realm or moves to that realm via transfer.
- A player at the maximum level completes a quest with an experience reward component. The experience would be converted to money at 6 per experience point, and so a quest that would normally grant 10,000 exp would instead give the player 6.
- A player gets Justice Points or Honor points that exceed the maximum allowed amount, and therefore is converted to money.
Money is "destroyed" when:
- A player buys an item from a vendor or a skill from a trainer or takes a taxi flight.
- A player pays a deposit / cut to the Auction House.
- A player pays for repairs.
- A player pays to reset their talents.
- A player completes a quest that has a monetary requirement (not so common).
- A player deletes a character (or otherwise stops using it).
Money is also traded between players in exchange for items and services, but this does not itself affect the amount of money in circulation.
While leveling a character from 1 to level cap, a player naturally "creates" hundreds of gold, though much of it is "destroyed/spent" by repair costs, training costs and personal spending.
Since a character starts with no money, it is clear that a perfectly new server has no money in circulation. As the server ages, money will be "created" at a greater rate, as players kill mobs (monsters) that drop more money and do quest with larger rewards.
However, the amount of money "destroyed" also increases with age. Players obtain better gear which has higher repair cost. More players raid which means more total repairs, as raiding increases the average players chance of death. Older servers also see an increased significant one-time destruction's of money as people buy increased riding skills and expensive mounts.
There is also economic deflation on many realms since gold farmers and bots have a dramatic effect on the local realm economy by selling items at reduced price on the Auction House. This is equally annoying to players as it means their own item value decreases over time. The launch of the Burning Crusade patch had a predictable effect on the economy, as many level 70 players now have gold reserves in excess of 10,000 where before few players would have seen more than 1 or 2 thousand after quite some time at level 60. Auction house prices have soared as a result, and Twink items are even higher in price than usual. Another effect of the patch was that the market became flooded with "high"-level (level 60) items such as Brilliant Chromatic Scale which was already declining in price on certain realms pre-TBC (reportedly decreasing from 100g per scale to 5g per scale on some of the more economically manic realms.) These items are now worth much less than they were pre-TBC which has meant players who weren't able to sell them before the expansion lost quite a lot of gold. Of course, the average wealth isn't affected by auction-house transactions, but a lot of players have been put out by the fluctuating prices.
The WoW economy will always fluctuate, and large events such as the Burning Crusade launch will have a knock-on effect. The best advice to any player worried about an economic decline on their realm is not to buy any gold from gold sellers, as this will have a worse effect on the economy. Also, make sure you price your auctions based on market-value and not just a hopeful stab-in-the-dark guess.
Although it is technically against the ToS to affect other's gameplay in a negative way (including the economy), it's generally accepted that under-pricing doesn't count as it doesn't affect the average wealth of players on your realm. It's also generally accepted that underpricing is very annoying, since other players will find it difficult to sell items at the correct price, and it may even lower the value of the item you're selling. Slight underpricing (up to around 10% of market value off) is acceptable, however. Although little is known about the actual average WoW player's wealth, there is much speculation about it and wherever you look you'll find a different figure. Blizzard has yet to publish anything regarding the economic status of any of the servers in any country.
As of Patch 4.0.1, the gold cap is 999,999 99 99.
Before that, the most money a single character could carry was 214,748 36 47 (or 231-1), because Blizzard stores a player's money as a signed 32-bit integer. Screenshots of players reaching the gold limit have been taken on both American and German servers.
As of Legion, however, the gold cap has been raised to 9,999,999 99 99.
In the past, all coinage was in gold. After three wars, silver and copper have come into use. Platinum coinage has not come to use yet. The Defias Brotherhood enjoys marring Stormwind minted coins creating "cross-eyed coins” which is a sign of treason to the throne. Some coins that are not minted any longer are worth more to some people.