Gold sellers would steal players’ account information using keylogging malware and phishing scams, so they could strip characters and harvest everything of value. They used stolen accounts and the accounts of players who had paid for “power leveling” services to “bot” for resources, using automated cheat programs to harvest resources that they could quickly liquidate on the in-game auction house. This caused the price for traded goods to crash, which impacted the entire economy.
Some people have made arguments that quest blues can sometimes be more powerful than heirlooms, especially with sockets. I'm not convinced. The simple fact that you never have to even look at quest rewards will save a non-insignificant amount of time over the course of leveling. Also of consideration is the value of enchanted gear never having to be re-enchanted.
Selling gold for cash was, for a long time, against the game’s rules. But that didn’t stop large, sophisticated operations from springing up to take advantage of the opportunity to make real-world cash. The outfits that sold gold to players started out by paying foreign workers very low wages to endlessly grind the game, but they later started procuring their gold through quicker and more disruptive methods.
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Patch 5.3, like all new updates, is attracting a throng of returning players, many of which will be undergeared and willing to spend Gold to catch up with the rest. While the profits might not be as lucrative as with the new items, there may be less competition here. The key here is scanning the market for in-demand leveling gear and producing the right amount to avoid getting stuck with an unsellable stack of outdated items.
In 2015, Blizzard started letting players buy gold from each other using WoW Tokens, to try to control the process and mitigate damage. “Time is money, friend — but sometimes one is harder to come by than the other,” Blizzard says on the official page. “Now World of Warcraft players can use the WoW Token in exchange for game time or Battle.net Balance!”
Leveling from 58-80: Outland and Northrend Recommended leveling paths for level 60-80 players in WoW. Includes best zones in Outland and Northrend, as well as notable quests and rewards. Leveling from 80-90: Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Recommended leveling paths for level 80-90 players in WoW. Includes best zones in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, as well as notable quests and rewards. Leveling from 100-110 in Legion How to level quickly in World of Warcraft Legion from 100 to 110. Includes heirlooms, assaults, useful items, and experience boosts. The Big Bag Guide This guide covers bags from drops, quests rewards, vendors, and professions. Additionally it also covers item type specific containers.