Gold Sinks In Gaming
While playing online games, like World of Warcraft, you may hear the term “Gold Sink” used by other players or bloggers. I mentioned in a recent post myself about 2 new gold sinks coming in Patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft. What exactly is a gold sink in online gaming? First we must look at the ways gold can be obtained. The we can understand the concept of a gold sink.
Gold is obtained in only a few ways within World or Warcraft.
- Gold can be looted from creatures.
- Gold can be obtained from Non-Player Characters (NPCs). (Quest Rewards, Vendors)
- Gold can be obtained from other players. (Trading, Auction House, PvP Looting)
Gold that is looted or obtained from NPCs is gold created by the game. Gold that is from other players is just old gold that is exchanging hands. Gold that is created and added to existing gold within the game has an effect on the gold value within the game. As more gold is added to the game the value of each piece of gold decreases. Over time, it takes more gold to buy the same services or goods due to the inflation of the economy.
Inflation naturally occurs in online gaming as expansions and new content are continously added and gold is more easily obtained. Quest rewards get bigger. Looted items and vendor trash vendor for more gold. Humanoids drop more coin when killed or when pickpocketed.
Gold sinks are things added into the game to help combat inflation by taking gold out of the gaming economy. Anything that removes gold from the players without transferring it to another player is considered a gold sink. More often than not we generally only bring up the large pricetag goldsinks. Something as common as repairing your gear at an NPC vendor is technically a gold sink within the World of Warcraft online game. Something larger like the original 1000 gold price tag for Dual Spec, or 5k for Epic Flight, or the prices of unlocking guild tabs is a larger gold sink. Larger gold sinks take more gold out of the economy. A gold sink takes gold from players and that gold gets deleted from the game. Even something as small as having vendor purchased materials be required in crafting recipes helps to slowly sink gold out of the gaming economy.