WoW's Wealth Disparity - Casual vs. Hardcore

When it comes to money in World of Warcraft its a given that there is a gap between casual and hardcore players, but the difference in overall wealth may be bigger than even you can imagine.

Most people claim that when
they log into a game they are escaping from their own mundane realities
and while this is mostly true, there are just some realities that you
cannot escape from…even in the realm of fantasy. One of
these seemingly inescapable realities is cold hard cash, or as it is
known in Azeroth; gold. However, the similarities to real life
don’t stop there.

Much like in our reality World
of Warcraft has its very own upper, middle, and lower classes with more
hardcore players typically being upper class and casual players taking
over the middle and lower classes. While this class system is
inevitable, wherever there is money to be earned, we can’t
help but wonder what the distance truly is between the classes.

WoW Money Distribution

style="padding: 10px; float: right; width: 250px; text-align: center;"> href="" target="_blank"> src=""
wealth difference
between casual and hardcore can be plainly seen.

It is pretty safe to assume
from the get go that the distance between the hardcore and the casual
is quite large. We can conclude this because World of Warcraft as we
know it is currently designed to reward players who can put a bigger
portion of time into the game. Time consuming tasks such as raiding,
playing the Auction House, and constant farming are currently some of
the most profitable when it comes to WoW money. Hardcore players by
definition can put more time into the game compared to casual players,
and because of this have more opportunities to complete these money
making tasks making them inherently richer.

To solidify this claim and show
us exactly how big the gap between classes currently is we can look to
a recent survey done on WoW money over at The Golden Crusade. The
survey in question ran over an eight day period with the goal of
establishing an average wealth, wealth distribution, and demographics
of the World of Warcraft player base and the results of this survey on
WoW money were, to say the least, stunning.

style="text-align: center; font-style: italic;">(Check
out the survey on WoW money yourself at href=""
target="_blank">The Golden Compass.)

While this survey is far from
perfect, it is probably more close to the truth than we would like to
think, meaning that WoW money is more unevenly distributed than we could
have ever thought possible. In the survey it is revealed that the
largest portion of players, the 99% (Occupy Azeroth anyone?) own only
75.75% of the overall wealth leaving almost 25% of the wealth to the
top 1% of World of Warcraft players. Also revealed in the survey was
that 82% of the player base is “below” average when
it comes to WoW money giving us an excellent idea of the huge disparity
between the more hardcore and casual players in the game.

That’s right ladies
and gentlemen the top 1% owns almost a quarter of the wealth in game.
The only consolation here is that unlike in real life, hard work and
long hours can propel you quickly to the ranks of the upper class, and
you too can become one of the 1%. Never mind that you may have to quit
your job, ignore your wife and kids, and only venture outside when your
stores of food run low.

WoW Money in Mists
of Pandaria

style="padding: 10px; float: right; width: 250px; text-align: center;"> href="" target="_blank"> src=""
you one of the lucky

After seeing the gap between
the classes in World of Warcraft there will be some of you that are
outraged and already planning to camp out in the nearest major city,
while others won’t see what the big deal is…I mean
they did work for the money right? I find myself torn between the two
extremes. While I think that those that have the time to earn money
should be rewarded I cannot bring myself to write off the more casual
player simply because they can’t spend as much escaping from

My hope is that with all the
pro-casual additions (Raid-Finder, Valor Points for quests, ect) we
have seen in Mists of Pandaria that the casual player will have a
chance to catch up in the WoW money department. That’s not to
say that hardcore players shouldn’t still have more cash,
they without a doubt should have something more to show for their
efforts. However, if the statistics above are to be believed the gap
between casual and hardcore has grown to immense proportions and needs
to be significantly reduced.

This is a game after all, and
it is supposed to be fun for all, not just for those who have the most
time to devote to it. Penalizing players simply because they
don‘t play as much as others seems to be very anti-fun to me.
Unlike in real life letting the rich get richer and the poor stay poor
simply won’t do at all. So it is my wish that in Mists of
Pandaria casual players will be offered some new ways to fatten their
pockets, and the playing field of WoW money will be leveled just a
little bit more.

How do you feel about the WoW
money distribution? Are you part of the 1% or the 99%? Share your
thoughts in the comments section below!

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About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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