Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Do You Know What "Gold Per Hour" Really Means?

      As many of you know, one of the goals of my blog and YouTube channel is to raise the bar on the quality and ethical standards of gold guides available to World of Warcraft players. Recently, a few people have pointed something out to me. On my Zul'Farrak guide, promising 5800 gold in 23 minutes, Alexander Moor commented with the following.

     Now, it's easy to write this off, as "oh, he just doesn't understand the transmog market." But then you have the surprisingly negative response my good friend Manthieus received with his fantastic 20,000 gold in 30 minutes video. It was the same concept but showed you how to farm up Battered Hilts really effectively. Even Asmondgold, an actual goldmaker and youtuber said "There's no way you're going to be able to get anywhere near 20k an hour here, much less in 30 minutes. Nice job on the clickbait title though, apparently it worked." If you close your eyes, I'm sure you can think of a ridiculous video thumbnail promising a bajillion gold you've seen in the past week or two. We've all come to expect some degree of skepticism from thumbnails and titles even though they're otherwise fantastic gold guides, right?

     I put some thought into this and I don't think there's any "clickbaiting" going on. Rather, there's an understanding among the goldmaking community. When a thumbnail says "Make XYZ Gold Per Hour" what it infers is "increase your potential net worth (liquid gold, inventory, auctionables) by XYZ per hour invested."

    Unfortunately, this doesn't fit on most thumbnails. :P There usually isn't a problem with interpretation either. If you're mining, making gems, or farming cloth, those items will sell pretty quickly and no one has a problem with assuming GPH. When you move on to slower sale items though, like transmog, battered hilts, or battle pets, suddenly you have a sale cycle that can be weeks or months long. As Alexander said at the start, "you have no gold, just some items." Viewers may feel cheated if they don't get immediate gold or at least have auctioning time accounted for in the calculations. This may seem like a silly thing to write a while post over, but if we can manage to resolve this issue over time in the goldmaking community, we can get rid of that nagging feeling of "is this video just trying to scam me?" you have every time you click on a guide or a blog post.

     So, what's our fix?
Do we introduce the new acronym GPHF: Gold Per Hour Farmed in our titles?
Do we stick to the GPH system, for ease of use, but make sure to fully explain in the video or guide the process of selling that particular item for each type of the 120 different Auction Houses?
Do we do nothing and let the haters hate, cause YOLO?

If you have any ideas, let me know. Let's keep making the goldmaking community a better place.

Thanks for reading my little WoW blog! And remember that in the end, the key to making gold in World of Warcraft is just to
Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

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  1. A few things. First I always like a "wrap up" showing the items and what they may be worth. Using a place like Wowuction or The Undermine Journal to search for average prices and listing those as well as a total might make your total more believable (I haven't watched the video you mention). The other thing is to caveat in your video ("I'm a fairly experienced gold-maker. Your results may vary."). In addition adding some guesstimated time for things like AH posting might make it more realistic. I never did many of these types of videos because I always felt I was being a bit disingenuous. Hope that helps and keep up the good work!

  2. I have always thought that GPH is an inherently misleading statistic and is 99% of the time used to lure in amateur gold making viewers.

    Of course sale time should be factored in because you simply cannot turn most farmed items into liquid gold quickly, minus things like current expansion ore/herbs etc.It takes time for you to not only post them, but a fraction of the time it took to learn TSM, the time to empty the mails, and the time to run back and forth, the time it takes for TSM to scan the AH and the time it takes to post the item. ‍It adds up. I haven't watched yours, but most videos don't even clock the time it takes to get from say Shrine to their farming spot, when this is indeed part of the gold making activity.

    I didn't watch this particular video, but I know you're more knowledgable than the average guy who says he can make 50,000 gold per hour and the video ends up being an advertisement for the Tycoon addon. To me a credible gold maker does not need a GPH statistic to make a video/strategy valid, but if you need it to attract more traffic, so be it.

    1. Hey PhatLewts, thanks for reading. I'm not sure if I agree with you in the most contradictory was possible or if I disagree with you in the most agreeable way possible, lol. Anyways, yah, GPH is usually a misleading statstic, but it's not being used intentionally to lure anybody in, that's the job of good copy-writing, which any blogger, youtuber, or website owner should be doing to attract viewers anyways (within reason and with a moral compass, i.e. copyblogger and quicksprout's guides). There just isn't a feasible alternative for a statistic in the community and that's what I'm trying to point out.

      I think it's a great idea to work in travel time and auctioning time, but how could we do it as guidemakers since we don't know who our audience is? We all use TSM but our audience doesn't necessarily. We don't know which server they're on, so we don't know how many repostings an item will take to sell. This is something I considered in my Infinite transmog farming video (the AQ20 guide, check it out) but I opted to just go with a variable GPH depending on how quickly someone might run the dungeon in, since that seemed like a reasonable way of displaying the same concept of a range.

      Tycoon. I have massive beef with Tycoon, since I'm pretty sure Dynasty has bought almost 1,000 dislikes on my videos, and the same number on at least 4 other Youtuber's channels. The product itself I actually don't have a problem with. It's a decent addon with a few unique features. If $50 doesn't mean anything to you and you already use TSM, go for it. Really shady marketing though, yah.

      In short, I think we're on the exact same page, but coming at it from different angles. Do you think there could be anything we bring to Stormspire to actually make this more than just a thought/rambling on a blog post?


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