Gold Farmer or Gold Maker?

There has been some discussion around the different terms “Chinese Gold Farmer” and “Warcraft Gold Maker” over on my twitter. (follow me @thegoldqueen)

Some people use these names interchangeably.


What is the stigma around the name Gold Farmer?

I’m assuming you know what “Chinese Gold Farmer” means and have your own opinion about it.  Let’s look at that:

  • Its against WoW terms to sell gold for IRL money.
  • “Chinese Gold Farmers” 打G are more focused on acquiring items for resale than on ensuring a fair and pleasant experience for the other players around them.
  • They often use bots and hacks, again against terms, in order to give themselves an advantage over other players.
  • They probably do know how to play properly, but are too focused on acquiring the gold to really care about things like sharing kills, holding agro when tanking, or letting you share the ore nodes.
  • The eastern players are considered by western players to be account thieves, loot ninjas, spammers, greedy, rude, kill stealers who use speed hacks and frauds to get as much IRL money as possible.
  • WoW server economies can be wrecked by gold buying and duping.

China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work” The Guardian, 2011.


This exploitation is sickening

And the reaction of the Western World is deeply rooted in privileged expectation and racism.

Images screenshotted from Youtube

If you care that your Coffee is Fairtrade, then you should care that people generating gold, and being forced to steal scam and defraud are living in barely human conditions.

(I needed to take a break to gather myself after becoming upset here.)



Why do Gold Makers not like the name Gold Farmer

1: Stigma

Gold Makers are generally players who have been generating warcraft gold for years.  So they (we) have spent years trying to explain to our guild mate, to trade chat and to complete strangers, that no, we’re not Chinese, no we’re not a bot or hacking or scamming or defrauding someone. We are creating. We’re not stealing. We’re certainly not phishing, or selling your things for IRL money.

Because of the stigma, I have had to add the word “ethical” into my my signature.  There is no presumption of ethics.


2: Gold Makers started as farmers, and then improved.

It’s the rare gold maker who has never farmed.  I count myself as a Gold Maker, a wealth creator, and even I have farmed Tyr’s Hand, Guo Lai Halls and Deepholm.   On a very low population server, AH activity can be so low, so few resale opportunities, that you are forced to go out and farm in order to acquire wealth.

But once you have acquired the items, it’s a whole different ball game learning how to sell them on the Auction House.

And as you start to learn how to sell in the Auction House, you notice similar items for sale, and noticing when those items are underpriced. And that’s when you learn your first flip (a resale).  And then you’re hooked on gold making, not gold farming.


3: Gold makers can employ gold farmers

Thinking back to Cataclysm expansion, the time when Ore Shuffling was at its most popular:  You took some ore, prospected it, made it into cut gems or jewellery, then disenchanted that jewellery, and then took the dust and turned it into scrolls.  It was immensely profitable.

You could make 10 times as much Gold Per Hour by using your skills than you could by farming.

For me, this was the glory days of gold making: employing a team of guild mates and friends to do the work of mining, herbing, collecting, looting.  And while they were doing that, I was still finding flips in the AH to further increase my Gold Per Hour!


4: AH pvp requires intellect – intellectual snobbery!

A gold farmer needs two things: a route, which you can google in an instance, and time and patience to do the gathering.

A gold maker needs to know:

  • Use of addons, like Trade Skill Master, Actionator, Postal, Altoholic
  • Current Prices and history of thousands of wow items. Admittedly, addons and websites can help with this, but you still need to know most things by heart.
  • Which items are worth reselling, which items are easier to farm
  • Your server demands, its little quirks and desires.
  • Your customers. When will they want to buy, what will they want, how can you meet their needs.
  • Your competitors. And choosing when to fight with them or when to fit around them.
  • Guessing and extrapolating future trends
  • Researching new methods, constantly learning


There are no new gold making ways under the (Azerothian) sun.  Everything is known somewhere by someone.  Only things that are new are the new things that are brought out by Blizzard (as I write this, that will be patch 6.2) at which point everyone scrambles to find new ways to acquire new items, new ways to integrate them into their routine, and new opinions about all this.  A routine is one of the most important things you can have, and gold makers and gold farmers both have their own routines, their own set of items and their own agenda lists that they follow.  That pleases me muchly.

[bctt tweet=”There are no new gold making ways under the (Azerothian) sun. “]

Reclaiming the name “Gold Farmer”

There are so many ways of making gold, including farming (of mats, or of loot).  Farming is just one of those ways.

Considering the stigma and negativity surrounding the name ‘gold farmer’, it’s very brave to reclaim the name. 

To take it back from its unethical origin as a Chinese botting scammer and proclaim loudly, hey, I farm too, and I’m ok.

[bctt tweet=”Hey, I farm too, and I’m ok!”]


What is the difference between a warcraft gold maker and a gold farmer?






In Gold Making, a lot of the action takes place in your head, adding, thinking, considering, comparing, posting on the AH. It’s staring at a bunch of numbers.

In Gold Farming, the action is in the World of Warcraft, seeing the mobs, killing them, gathering them up. It’s shiny, it’s flashy. It shows off the game.

Gold Farming looks much better on Twitch live streams. It’s more entertaining.

twitpiAbout the Author

The Gold Queen is written by Alyzande. With many level 100s, 9 years expertise in making gold, 11 garrisons, 17k+ achievements, 1593 days played, and over 32 million gold earned. The Gold Queen blog teaches you how to make gold playing World of Warcraft using ethical trading, auction house flipping, crafting, reselling snatch lists, and farming gold making.

Photo belongs to