"A friend asks for your time. A guild asks for your money."
- Fortune Card
This comes partially in response to Stede's post of a few days ago over at Venture, LLT, and partially in response to some recent drama in my own guild. The issue I'm trying to examine today is fairly simple: how does having more gold than most players think is possible affect your relations with your guild?
It might be best to start with that anecdote from my guild. Unfortunately, I didn't catch how the argument began (I was probably busy with the auction house, of course) but the gist of it was that one of my guild members (we'll call him "B") was fed up with another guild member ("S") supposedly bragging about how much gold he had and yet never proving it to anyone. B was getting rather pissed off and even managed to get one or two other members to join him in demanding proof. S, meanwhile, kept his cool and even dropped a few hints about how he was making that money (disenchanting seemed to be his "secret"), though he did also imply the reason he wouldn't show was fear of been hacked. Eventually, an officer stepped in and ended it all, so there was no real resolution, not that I think any could have been reached.
Gold, like real world money, seems to be quite a touchy subject, and is something I try my best to stay out of in guild chat. Sure, I've dropped a few context-appropriate hints that might suggest my in-game wealth and I've even written a small guide on my guild's forum on how to make extra money while leveling (hint: it's addons + two gathering professions), but I've never straight up said "I have X amount of gold and I'm able to pull in Y each day." I keep my gold a secret out of fear of ostracism and beggars. I fear ostracism if I suddenly become "the guy with all that gold" and I fear the begging that I assume would naturally follow. Mostly though, I fear the anger that might be directed towards me when people find out that I am partially to blame for how difficult it is to level their professions. And this sucks. I'm proud of my achievements in gold-making and that's a feeling I would like to share, but for the most part can't. And this is a sentiment I suspect may be common among all the goblins out there.
On a lighter note, I'd like to briefly discuss how I handle beggars (or people asking which profession makes the most money), and ask how my readers (of which I'm sure there are thousands by now) deal with this little nuisance. I'm a firm believer in independence and self-sufficiency and the old saying "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Another quick anecdote to illustrate. Yesterday, a new guild member asked, rather politely I might add, if anyone could spare some gold so he could get flying. Not epic flying, just normal flying (he was about level 62). How much was he asking? About 250g. Could I have given him that without ever noticing it was missing? Of course. Did I? Of course not! Instead, I asked him about his professions, and when he said he had none, I told him he should go train up herbalism and mining ASAP. And I pointed him in the direction of my little guide. Sure, it might be hard work for him to spend the 2-3 hours it will take to level up those skills, but by the time he's ready to head back to the Outlands, he should have more than enough gold for his flyer and be well equipped to afford an epic flyer or at least cold weather by the time he hits Northrend. A little knowledge goes a long way, and I take some pride in believing that I've helped this random guild member.