Cataclysm's Impact on the Mists Economy

Way back in Vanilla WoW, making gold was extremely difficult. I remember thinking I'd never be able to afford a standard ground mount, let alone the higher level one. With each expansion, however, making gold has gotten easier and easier. In the Burning Crusade, daily hubs were introduced to help people grind gold more efficiently. In Wrath of the Lich King, the daily hubs were improved and gold-making became more accessible to more people.

But with Cataclysm, the gold-making scene exploded. There was enough gold in the economy at the end of Wrath to prime the pump for exponential gains in gold. People had more disposable income by the end of Wrath to spend on new things in Cataclysm, plus there was an increase in gold entering the economy from vendor gear/goods (whether that was quest rewards, or the insanely high value of common gems at the start of Cataclysm.

So what will happen in Mists of Pandaria? Unless Blizzard acts, we'll continue to see a widening gap between those who have a lot of gold/resources and those that are scraping to get by. Farming will likely increase if ore/herb/leather prices continue to rise. Farming isn't for me, but it can still be quite profitable, especially if you enjoy doing it. Farming will of course be lucrative early on in the expansion, but I can see it being more popular longer into the expansion.

With the even larger disposable income we'll have at the end of Cataclysm, you can expect people to be more willing to pay premium prices out of the gates for vanity items as well as gameplay-improving stuff (gear, enhancements, etc.). This could include mounts, transmog gear, crafted weapons and armor, etc. There's also the entirely new market being created for pets with the pet battle system.

How can you prepare for this transition? I'll be sharing some thoughts over the coming weeks on what you can do to get ready.

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