For certain, there are goals to achieve in gold grinding. Everyone wants to have that gold cap number. 1 million dollars! er... gold!
Years ago, I recommended to Warcraftecon that they put up a Hall of Fame and an interview (I still have the email chain saved on my Yahoo account) for people who hit the magic digits. Back then it was 214,736g and change. Today that's a really solid day's pay. Today's "Gold cap" is widely considered to be 999,999g 99s 99c, the maximum amount any one character can hold. Not that you're a poor person if you have this amount, you can now bid the maximum amount on the BMAH.
It's not like a million gold is hard to come by either, my monthly sales are well in excess of that, and my liquid is well over this amount (for the second time). There are a million ways to get there, too. Here's a short list of a few ways:
* Camp glyphs/gems/enchants like a fiend
* Do 20 dailies at level 90 per day for 2,015 days (yeah, get started on this one)
* Farm herbs, skins or ores until your fingertips bleed or your brain gives in
* Flip some high end TCG mounts for a while
* Beg in trade for gold (it does work, some people actually get their gold this way)
* Aggressive auctionhouse tactics
* Develop an industrial complex of manufacturing, monitor it religiously, and reinvest your profits (I like this one)
But what is really gold cap?
Like all things in WoW, as time has passed over the years, inflation has actually made the grind easier. Thanks to massive amounts of gold infusion, players gain more and more liquidity opportunity with each expansion. Let me illustrate my point.
In Vanilla/Classic WoW, acquiring the 1000g to buy epic mount training was considered a massive amount. How long does it take you to acquire 5k to get flying with no rep bonus today? Mobs didn't drop a ton of coin, there were no dailies, and if you wanted to grind gold you looted everything and were happy to get 1g+ greys. The highest amount I heard of back then was a friend of mine who put up over 100,000g. This was at a time when bleeding edge guilds were selling Naxx gear at 1-2k per drop. What are they selling mere runs for today? (Not an endorsement)
During TBC the actual character gold cap was discovered to be 214,736g. They introduced dailies and easier ways to infuse gold into the game with larger raid boss gold drops.
Wrath brought us the saronite shuffle (Thanks Z-Man for coining that awful word on JMTC, in case anyone was wondering who came up with the word) and for the first time you had a viable way to process a basic material into several different avenues. Enchanting was allowed on scrolls. Massive amounts of dailies again. Guild banks were practically unlimited. Stokpile hit a million gold and then gave it all away for a basic ICC run. The character cap did not change until...
The release of Cataclysm acknowledged that 2,147,360g across 10 characters was not enough, unless you owned guild banks. And that brings us to where we are today. I casually put together 1.6 million liquid gold and then blew it all before taking a break from the game. Stokpile spent a few months putting 2 million gold back together. Acquiring a million presented no challenge because I started seeing it being hit very commonly among people and it became a "meh" amount.
MOP is now different. And here's why: A million gold is still a lot of gold, but it's now a common amount of gold. Like what happened to Dr. Evil above, Tim Roberts laughed his ass off at him because it really isn't a lot of gold anymore. It's far too easy to collect a million in a month (been there, done that, I will sell you the T-shirt). There's a ton of gold out there. And if you're stopping at a million, you join the common people, and why would you want to be in that neighborhood? I mean, they still drive their cars themselves in that neighborhood. They have their lawns mowed, not manicured.
Therefore, I propose the new "gold cap" terminology to be defined as follows:
Gold Capped: 11 characters, 11 million gold.
Realm/Server Capped: 11 characters, 11 guild banks, 22 million gold.
Account Capped: 50 characters, 50 guild banks, 100 million gold.
There, now you have something to work towards. So when you say "I'm going for gold cap", this is what you mean. Otherwise, you're just grinding to a million and are just another rich dude/dude-ette.
Thanks for stopping in, but I have to go get Gold Capped. Account Cap comes later.