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Monday, 12 December 2011

Measuring Gold per Hour

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Gold Per Hour is an often quoted statistic in the gold blogging community and indeed at some point most blogs have commented on its usefulness or otherwise as a measurement.

I will make myself no exception.

The reason I would like to seek some sort of a gold making measurement with reference to time taken is that the key critical resource for most gold makers is time.  Our time playing this game is limited by other World of Warcraft activities and real life.

Starting with an example lets say in an hour I gather 20 stacks of whiptails and 60 volatile life at my favourite farming spot in Uldium.  The whiptail is currently selling for 1.5 gold a herb (30 gold a stack) and the volatile life for 7 gold each on the Auction House.  I put it all on the Auction House and it is all sold in 9 hours giving me 1020 gold ignoring the Auction House fees. So, what is the Gold per Hour here?

Is it 1020 divided by the hour of gathering or 1020 divided by the 10 hours of gathering plus selling time? Clearly the difference is immense - 1020 vs 102 Gold per Hour.

Furthermore had I immediately returned to gathering having posted on the Auction House and repeated the gathering for an hour and posted again (and let's assume still all sold in 9 hours) after 11 hours since I first started gathering I would have received 2040 gold for 2 hours of gathering. Indicating either 1020 vs 204 Gold per Hour.

In fact if I kept on gathering and posting all day then the Gold per Hour received from the Auction House would rise to 1020.  That would indicate that the correct answer is 1020 Gold per Hour but clearly the problem here is that it assumes we can make the sale on the Auction House within 9 hours of posting.  And as all gold makers know that is a major uncertainty.  Besides 1020 Gold per Hour, every hour, is unlikely.

And that is the key point - it is not the Gold per Hour as measured by the gathering or crafting plus the time to sell that counts, it is how consistent is this measurement as i scale up the supply to the Auction House.

Hence, i tend to look at this in two dimensions:

1)  i tend to look at Gold per Week that i earn from various professions or groups of items.  Using a week allows me to take into account the busier weekends, the lighter week days and indeed 168 hours of my items being on the Auction House with its variable demand and keen competition.

2) and then i look at the hours i spend each day over the week on this gold making activity - i.e. Hours per Week

clearly, i am trying to maximise Gold per Week and minimise Hours per Week.  I work on those two variables.


  1. Any addons you recomment do track our sellings or gold earning records?

  2. @Backthief: if you use TSM, the TSM_Accounting package is a great tracker, if you're looking for something less bulky, Accountant Classic is a great addon for tracking gold flows.

    @croda: I really like this post, I referenced it in my recent blog post, Profession Pricing. I really enjoy reading your blog, great material and perspective. Keep up the good work!

  3. @Backthief I use moneyFu as my tracker. It tracks all vendor gold, deposits, AH rake, and private sales, quests etc etc. Keeping it in an easy UI on a minimap dropdown.

    Records G/week, G/hour, G/session. etc etc, and is easy to view your other toons on as well.

  4. Love your work! Please continue. Sent an email to the blog gmail account with some additional questions when you have the time. Much thanks for your work I am learning a great deal.

  5. I generally use mysales, it's easy and quick. I too watch my gold per week more then on an hourly basis but occasionally hit up a daily check (this weekend I broke 80K on Saturday which was just under my record for a single day). I think it's useful to know the GPH if you're farming a lot, but I farm the AH almost exclusively. As long as you're comfortable that you know the market, knowing the costs (which mysales doesn't provide) is an area of concern.


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