I did it guys! I hit the goldcap for one toon of 214,748 gold 36 silver 46 copper earlier this week (I actually went a couple thousand gold over if you count several toons). It came much earlier than anticipated for two reasons. First, one of my biggest inscription competitors left the market in December. I am almost certain he left because he hit the gold cap. Second, the influx of triumph badges via the new LFG system has allowed folks to gear up their alts, thus increasing demand.
The details? About 70% of this gold was made via inscription and 30% was made via alchemy. Though in all reality, the impact of inscription was even greater because it was made over a much shorter period of time. I know a lot of people are curious about inscription. If you really want to use it to make gold, you have to go big. I was posting over 500 glyphs a day. And yes, addons are an essential component of it, specifically Quick Auctions 2 and Postal. Ky at Casual Hardcore has an excellent guide on how to post and cancel auctions via Quick Auctions 2.
So while inscription was my big money maker, I do have to say that I've always been able to make money much more easily than most. Back when I was leveling up, I always found a way to play the AH or make the most of my professions. Now I don't want it to seem that hitting the gold cap is easy. Yes, inscription made it easier, but it does definitely take time and effort. Towards the end of my gold cap run, I started to get a bit impatient and tired, so I also dabbled in a bit of reselling based on market timing. What does this mean? Let's take a quick look at a graph because I am a super geek.
Yay, econ! Yay, supply and demand curves! Basically what I did was buy things like Frost Lotuses on weekends when a lot of people have time to farm them (large supply, thus decreasing prices), and held them to sell on big raiding days like Tuesdays or Wednesdays or when a new patch came out (high demand and lower supply, thus higher prices). Yes, a profit of 15g may not seem that much, but when you do it in large enough quantities, it adds up.
So does this mean I have only always saved up gold and never bought anything? Heck, no. I bought the traveler's tundra mammoth as soon as it was available, I bought all the Kirin Tor rings, and multiple gear upgrades for high amounts of gold. I probably spent 75k on these items which weren't really necessities, but things I wanted. All in all hitting the gold cap was a personal goal of mine. I wanted to see if I could do it, plus I've always been intrigued by the WOW economy (remember I'm a geek).
My plan has always been to share this money once I hit the gold cap. Now this is where the story gets very interesting. My initial plan was to give away almost 70% of the gold, because really one person has no need for over 214k gold. Especially a person who has no level 80 alts. Because gold making is a personal hobby of mine, one that I am very good at, I wanted to share this gold with friends and guildies who have meant a lot to me in this game, those who let's just say may not be so good at making gold. I affectionately call them gold noobs.
Now I knew that the hardest part of this would be convincing some folks to actually accept my gold. I anticipated that I may not succeed with a number of people but I thought that I would be able to convince/beg/argue my way into making them take my gifts.
When it came time for me to individually talk to folks to tell them my story and why I was doing this, it was one of my most memorable moments in WOW. Yes, there were some folks who I ultimately was not able to convince to accept my gifts. It was very interesting to me that money, even virtual money in WOW causes different reactions for different people. I very much respect the folks who couldn't take it, because I would not want them to feel uncomfortable at all. They were however very touched by the gesture. A wise guildie said to me that he understood why some may not feel right doing so, because even if it is virtual money, it represents my actual time and effort. Hmmm.
Now for those who did accept my gifts, folks were shocked and touched. It was very sweet. It was fun to brainstorm with people about what they would use the money for, now that they had more gold than they've ever had in this game. Again, gold noobs (though I love these gold noobs). As time passed folks whispered me with what they ended up using some or all of the money for. It was fun for me to see them accomplish individual goals in game. I did really feel like Robin Hood and all philanthropic like. It sounds so cliche, but truly it was better to give than receive.
At the risk of being super sappy, reaching the gold cap and then being able to share my gold has taught me again that at the heart of this game (for me at least), are the relationships with the people you play with.