Musings on minting money on Malygos…and more

Evidence-based goldmaking

I’ve seen posters and commenter dis gold per hour (gph) as a useless tool.  Criticism usually comes in the following flavors:

Diminishing returns - WoW markets flood/saturate quickly.  Based on what you can reliably sell in the short term, the first hour of farming and listing Pets A through C might net you 1,000g.  The next hour might only net 700g.  The argument loves red herrings: the daily transmute might be worth 6,000gph, but that isn’t your rate cuz u can’t make that much, neenerneener.  Translated: Sellers in WoW don’t face flat demand curves.

(Though one might argue that certain exceptions such as Whiptail and Elementium Ore can behave that way at times – I certainly have found myself buying 20, 40, even 100 stacks of stuff at a time, when those large volumes hit the “flat” bottom rung of the typical price ladder)

Well, so that’s the only one criticism I can think of right now, though I’m sure they are others.

Is gph the perfect tool?  No.  Does it beat the pants off any other standard?  Yes.  It is a standard measurement.  Regardless of its shortcomings, one’s overall activity CAN be measured for gph, thus providing a global yardstick for everything you do.  Most individual activities can also be measured for gph and measured against that yardstick.

The simplest way to reliably figure out your pay rate is to take your wealth increase over time (week, month, year), then divide that by the time you spend on goldmaking stuff.

Example with yours truly data.  I probably spend 8-12 hours per week on gold stuff since Cata launch, excluding about 5 weeks of no play, and have netted 1.22 million since Cata started.

1.22 million divided by 312-468 hours =  2,600 – 3,900 gold per hour

Sounds about right. 50 gold per minute, 3,000 gold per hour.  I have run this calculation a few times before, and so it is the number I usually have in the back of my mind when considering new enterprises.  I often round to 60g per minute – 1g per second.

This by itself doesn’t help answer the question as to whether something is worth doing, although it is the most important start, and can serve as a benchmark against which to measure activities.  If you think your pay rate is worthwhile and find a new activity that comes close or exceeds that pay rate, it is probably worth doing.  If something you are doing right now only pays half as much as your average rate, you should probably drop it altogether.

Take a simple example: daily volatile transmutes.  If I can buy 15 Volatile life for 120g (8g each), and turn that into 15 Volatile Air worth 345g (23g each) plus 60g worth of “extra average procs,” and the process of mailing/listing/selling the volatiles brings time spent to an average of 2 minutes per day, then my pay rate for this activity is

405g – 120g = 285g less 20g AH fee = 265g in 2 minutes = over 6,000gph.

That’s considerably more than my average, so it’s worth doing every day, if only I can remember to do so.


  1. I agree it is a simple benchmark “gold” standard, but I still stay on the other side of the argument.

    Honestly you have put it better than anyone I have seen and your understanding of how to use it as a tool is credible.

    Opposed to others that Say, “9K GPH, Do this activity for 20 minutes in this location(s), profit 3K.” You did in your post what others frequently do not. The bad example here suggests that all servers and markets are the same, or even similar, its sustainable, you can do it repeatedly and daily and further it does not account for the time of posting, mailing, canceling, logging banker toons etc… figure 10 minutes over all for the time invested in mailing cancel post, set up of ZA/TSM to sell your goods etc… the number is now only 6K GPH for what is often a Once a week activity AT BEST in some cases..

    So, GPH while a gold standard is easly skewed to show inflated higher numbers… thats why I do not like, it, and its also why I like your post, you did not “skew” the numbers and its a GREAT reflection of how to use GPH as a gold standard to for how you invest your time while wearing your virtual Halloween “GOBLIN” costume (flimsy goblin mask)

    Great post


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