New WoW Wealth Survey Launched

By Frank Lewis,
For the second consecutive year, Eric Dekker wants to find out the state of wealth and economy in World of Warcraft, as well as the WoW Gold rate among players which can be seen here.

In his new World of Warcraft wealth survey, Mr Dekker wishes to find out

"This survey aims to gather information about the player base's wealth, analyze wealth distribution, look for trends, and compare to past data." With the way his survey has been crafted, he also wishes to see the "correlation between wealth and the activities players participate in."

The five-question survey form asks players how much WoW Gold they posses right now and what activities, if any, they participate in to earn that Gold, such as trading in the Auction House or dedicated farming.

He also asks if players frequent gold-making advice blogs such as just My Two Copper and the WoW Insider Gold Capped column.

Wealth Survey 2011: Average Gold Owned
It will be interesting to see what new information and insights Mr Drekker will uncover this year, now that he already has a base set of data collected from 2011 and can start to formulate emerging trends.

In the previous 2011 WoW Wealth Survey, he found that the 2,531 respondents who participated in the survey had an average of 161,493 Gold in their accounts, with median wealth or 50 of the subjects having 35,000 Gold.

In fact, the top 1% richest players possessed a whopping 24.25% of the total wealth among respondents, suggesting that a small but very rich subset of World of Warcraft gamers exists.

Gold Farming Frequency
The 2011 survey also showed only 18% of the respondents farmed Gold while 43% "play" the auction house, meaning they use the in-game trading feature to make some profit.

Most revealing was when Mr Drekker compared the wealth of those who participated in various in-game activities, and showed that those who played the auction house were +82% wealthier than the overall sample average. PvP players were +39% wealthier, while raiders were +10% wealthier.

Those who farmed Gold and dabbled in role-playing were relatively poorer, performing -8% and -24% from the wealth average.

Most Popular Gold-Related Reads
Last year, the most popular website resource among respondents was MMO-Champion with 69% readership, followed closely by the Gold Capped column. Other miscellaneous Gold blogs garnered 16% readership while Just My Two Copper (13%) and The Consortium (11%) rounded out the list.

Drekker noticed though that despite courting the least number of readers among the respondents, The Consortium attracted the richest players, which he attributed to the advanced topics in gold-making discussed on the website.

"As the target audience of a resource trends towards the more casual warcraft players the average wealth of said audience declines. The Consortium, where content is more focused around discussion of advanced topics and not just a one way flow of information had the highest average, 294% above the general sample average," he said in his 2011 findings report.

Has anything changed over the past year, which saw the final stages of the Cataclysm expansion and launch of Mists of Pandaria? We should know in the next couple of weeks when the results of the 2012 survey will probably come out, as the previous one took a little more than a week to gather responses and analyze the collected data.

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