Today I wanted to tackle one of the more annoying parts of the gold making community that has been bugging me lately, the Total Gold Earned statistic. A lot of gold makers (particularly streamers/youtubers) recently have been starting use this to show off their gold making gusto, or prove their 'legitimacy' as a gold maker, but is it really a statistic that reliably says anything about your gold making?
Before I get into my rant, I just want to mention this addon. I've posted about this addon before, but I think it's worth bringing up again. Shiftywarloc (AKA j311yf1sh) put together this addon a while ago called Total Gold Earned, and it tracks the Total Gold Earned statistic (from Blizzard) across all your characters, and sums it up for you in a neat little package. I think that TGE is a really interesting number to look at and consider for personal use, but to use it to prove how good you are at gold making to others is asinine.
Using Shifty's addon, my TGE is sitting at 10,291,500g. To me this is an indicative number of the gold I've earned in the past, as I can verify my own gold making past. I haven't sold any TCG items that I payed cash for, or manipulated the number in any way, so it's interesting for me to think about. For your own numbers, it might provide something of the same. It's great to look back on your legacy after achieving so much. My qualm though comes from those who use this statistic to show "how good" they are at gold making. This number can be easily manipulated, and is by far a terrible and misleading figure to go by, unless you are trying solely to increase your view counts.
Here's a chart I put together of what I personally could raise my Total Gold Earned to by moving my gold to a second account and buying my own auctions. Of course each time I do this, the total amount of gold I have left to reinvest will be reduced by the 5% Auction House fee. Below is a chart starting at where I am now, and going until I only have about 1 million gold left (rounded to 2 decimal places).
As you can see, I can roughly quadruple my current Total Gold Earned to over 40 million, and still have just under a million in liquid gold. Did donating a large chunk of my gold to Blizzard make me a better gold maker? No. Would I be able to use this number to impress people? Without a doubt. To put it into perspective, someone who made only 500k gold in their WoW lifetime could bankrupt themselves using this method, and their Total Gold Earned would be about 10 million gold.
What This Means
Now I'm not saying anyone in particular has fudged their data. I just think that the general public should understand that this number can easily be manipulated, and is by no way a true indicator of knowledge of gold making. I understand people want to draw in extra views to their blogs, videos, or livestreams, but I think this statistic should be taken with a grain of salt.
Wondering how much gold you could add to your TGE by using this method and bankrupting yourself (theoretically of course)? Wonder no more! Just multiply how much liquid gold you have right now by 19, and that's how much TGE you could add to your value. Yes, 19 times whatever you have on hand. I think even the most novice gold makers among us could come up with some misleading numbers!
If you're interested in how , this ends up being an infinite geometric series, if you're unfamiliar with geometric series and want to learn more, you can read a quick intro here, and more on the calculations I did to obtain this here. For a bare bones explanation, the first term you add will be .95 of your current total, which we'll call x, so your first term is .95x. From there, you would have .95 of the .95x, or (.95)2x, the third term being (.95)3x. From there, you can see that this is a geometric series with r = .95, and a = .95x. If you read the second article, you would know that if we wanted a sum of all these terms, with -1 < r < 1 such as we have here, doing this method as many times as possible, what we have is roughly an Infinite Geometric Series, which sums to a/(1-r), which comes out to be .95x/.05 = 19x, 19 times your current gold total.
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