n the early days of World of Warcraft the economy was based solely on trading. Someone would shout across a popular zone (usually a city such as Stormwind) that they have 50 copper bars at a starting price of 10 silver. Players throughout the zone would then raise the price. For example some person may shout 12 silver, then another 15 silver, then someone else may shout 2 gold (20 silver). The seller would then shout 2 gold going once, going twice, sold; at which point the buyer and seller would meet in a mutual location and use the trade interface to exchange 50 copper bars for 2 gold.
The World of Warcraft economy has evolved a long way since then. Currently most transactions take place in what are known as auction houses. These auction houses are located in three major cities throughout the world and are places where you can put your goods up for auction (similar to EverQuest's Bazaar system). This allows you to put your goods up for auction for lets say eight hours, and then go to sleep, go out adventuring, etc. This has made trading easy for both the powergamer and casual gamer alike. It also allows players to quickly search through the thousands of items that are available for sale at any time (and compare prices).
World of Warcraft is mostly a player-driven economy. Most of the exchanges are between players and not NPC's (non player characters). Since this is a player driven economy your money will hold its value longer then in most other MMORPG's which are rampant with inflation due to an emphasis on a NPC-driver economy (which creates an unlimited demand since NPC's will always buy your item for a set price therefore causing rampant inflation).
The economy in World of Warcraft used to be dominated by those with the most time to auction goods, and find good deals. With the implementation of the auction houses this once limited market was available for everyone to make money.
The economy is no longer ruled by those with the most time (although it still does play a factor), but those with the most World of Warcraft "smarts". This section of the guide will educate you on how to play the World of Warcraft economy to your benefit while amassing a small fortune.
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