Sunday, June 9, 2013

Total Gold "Earned"

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?

TGE Addon
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.

My Numbers
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.

Reality Check
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.

Fun Calculations
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. 


Phat Lewts

If you like my blog follow me on twitter, @PhatLewtsGold!!


  1. I also much prefer liquid gold to measure my own gold progress. Even then, liquid gold isn't an indication someone has any certain knowledge only that they put in the time to make that amount of gold.

    Just as a fun aside I also played around with TGE and found that my liquid gold equals roughly half my TGE.

  2. Easier to just fudge the numbers by plain out lying or "proving" them with photoshopped screenshot. No need to get fancy if you really wanted to manipulate the numbers.

  3. Without this addon, however, certain people wouldn't be able to discuss their millions of pixels that cover up the fact they are only liquid by a few hundred K. My TGE is disgusting, and I don't post that number because it's a false impression (and I'm not out to sell things for money and need cheap street cred). Nor do I discuss what I have either, it is equally tacky.

    Being able to discuss what you're pulling down under current market situations for your server trumps everything, as it shows your diversification, knowledge, and ability. It's really the only thing that you can compare.

    Don't believe me? Compare what I make in a week to what someone on a much smaller server makes. If I wasn't able to pull mid 6 figures in sales in a week, there's something wrong with me. It's what you're engaged in that matters, and how do you stack up?

    The way you know someone isn't rich is they tell you they are. It's a life lesson, so don't buy the cover, read the book.

    1. Typical answer from the qtpie LOL

  4. Think about this: I buy an item X for 10,000g. I turn around and sell it for 11,050, just clearing the AH's cut with 1000g profit. What will the statistic show? It will say that I "earned" 11,000g when I actually only earned 1000g. Unless you factor in your basis/cost of materials/time/etc., the numbers aren't meaningful.

  5. Those that push TGE are the ones that know that the average wow player reads TGE and thinks thats the amount of gold that player has because....

    there is no cost because I farmed the mats so its all profit

    I need to print that on a T-shirt or something

    i deleted a few old bank alts so i'm at around 4.6m liquid and 8 mill TGE

  6. There was in the past an addon i used called Big Picture. It would use the data from altoholic i believe and display your account or realm WORTH. I believe it took the market value of every item you owned and added it to your liquid gold total. This was perfect for me. Even if a little easy to bend the numbers still as market value doesnt always represent actual value but it was much better than TGE. Unfortunatly i dont believe it has been updated for a very long time.

  7. Correction, Big Picture has been updated and is working! i suggest you all to have a look at it. Available on Curse.

  8. as long as im making gold im happy LOL this seems way to complicated

  9. Is 'Total Gold Earned' essentially 'net proceeds'?
    If so, I'm still not convinced this is a good metric to compare Gold Goblins.
    I would think a good comparable would factor invested capital at the least and ideally some time factor.
    I suggest a time factor because there are some Goblins who have huge amounts of free time IRL to sit at the AH.
    If I can make the same profit with only posting a couple posts a day, as that same Goblin, who is the better trader?


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