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The price of power

We were farming for rep the other day when a conversation in guild chat caught our eye.

"What's up?" said a newly logged on pally.
"Farming. Gotta get 4000 rep before the weekend." said another pally.
"Yeah, same. Need some money to afford pots for Kara on Friday." said a third pally. Yes, we know, our guild has an abundance of pallies.

But since when did WoW become so much like life in that we actually have to separate our work time from our play time? Intrigued, we asked around and discovered that most level 70s spend four to five days grinding and farming to make money in order to be able to afford to buy drinks for themselves and maybe a few buddies on their day off.

Sounds scarily familiar, doesn't it?

WoW's economics has intrigued players since its inception. The Auction House shows what a true laissez faire market could be. Completely unbridled by any safeguards or policy, prices are driven solely by supply and demand. With no SEC, set interest rates, or Alan Greenspan to contend with, prices for items have spiraled out of control.

Of course, the items on the Auction House are ubiquitous throughout WoW. But unless a player has a toon maxed out at each of the gathering professions (herbalism, mining and skinning), everyone has to turn to the AH for the items they can't farm.