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World of Warcraft Gold Limit Reached, It's 2^31

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the and-i-thought-my-life-was-void dept.

Role Playing (Games) 479

Mitch writes "Blizzard apparently used signed integers for their World of Warcraft gold values as some people have recently hit the limit of 2^31. "Apparently that amount is 214,748 gold, 36 silver, 48 copper. After you reach that lofty sum, you'll no longer be able to receive money from any source in the game. While some responses to the original posts claim that this exact limit had previously been theorized to exist, there have been no reports of anyone in the game actually achieving this amount via legal means." I guess Blizzard didn't expect anyone to ever get close to that much gold in game."

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Duh (5, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108264)

2^31 should be enough for anyone...

Re:Duh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108730)

Maybe I'm smoking crack here, but wouldn't the amount be 214,748 gold, 36 silver, 4_7_ copper, as the POSITIVE
upper limit on a signed integer is 214748364_7_ (not 8).

I have a hard time believing a developer used a signed integer for a strictly
positive value.... (unless he's a complete idiot).

Seems to me like a fabrication for publicity. But even if it's real, people who have the time to
earn this kind of gold REALLY need to get out more.

Actually, maybe we're all better off keeping them chained to their desks with WoW....

Re:Duh (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108824)

Signed integers are used all the time for strictly positive values. For most purposes it is more convenient to just utilize the standard signed integer, and perform range checking to ensure it's positive.

(You need to range check unsigned integers too, it's not as if switching to an unsigned integer relieves you of any problems, other than that it increases the 2^31-1 limit to a 2^32-1 limit.)

The player should be thankful that the only consequence is they can't receive more gold from other players, rather than finding they have a _VERY_ negative amount of gold (less than zero).

In many C based programs, your gold would overflow and drop to (-2^31+1), -2147483647, since the C programming language doesn't offer the programmer any exception handling mechanism for overflow detection (overflows are silently allowed to happen), and game developers don't necessarily anticipate such extremes.

Re:Duh (1)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108936)

How about subtracting the user's current gold from the maximum positive int value, then if the amount being added to the user's gold is greater than the difference, only add the difference. WoW that was hard.

Re:Duh (4, Informative)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108810)

The range for a signed integer is 2,147,483,648 to +2,147,483,64_7_ (not 8).

The negative range always extends one higher, since zero uses the first "positive" value.

I call fabrication. And I call O.o for slashdotters not realizing this sooner.

Get a life (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108266)

Go get a life. 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15

Re:Get a life (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108334)

To everyone saying "Get a Life": What have you done lately that's worth a shit? This doesn't apply to anyone who didn't say it, by the way. Only those who think they are so special that they can tell others to 'get a life'.

I'll give you a hint of things that aren't worth a shit: Playing video games, playing real life sports, drinking, partying, watching tv, watching sports, upgrading your car, buying new toys, buying a new car, hiking, camping, getting married, having a baby, buying a house, and much more..

In fact, anything that doesn't improve the life of the world in general, you can pretty much put in the 'not worth a shit' category.

That seems harsh at first, but playing WoW is how these people have fun, and everything listed above is how other people have fun. Unless you've donated significant money to charity, donated your time to charity, cured a disease, or otherwise improved the world in general, you have no business acting all high and mighty.

Do I claim to fit in the 'worth a shit' category? Not at all. But I don't go telling others how to have fun, either.

Re:Get a life (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108358)

Dude, I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt you. Take it easy.

Re:Get a life (0, Flamebait)

HBI (604924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108446)

WoW produces nothing and contributes no product to society besides sucking up ennui.

It's worthless. Completely worthless.

Re:Get a life (1, Flamebait)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108522)

And anything else on that list is better? Sorry, but it's not.

Re:Get a life (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108580)

If you think WoW is better than making babies then you clearly need to get out more.

Re:Get a life (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108798)

clearly you've never played a gnome...

Re:Get a life (1)

kju (327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108830)

Oh, WoW is surely not better than sex, but it certainly is better than making babies. Babies cost money and rob your sleep. While WoW might rob your sleep as well, the monthly fee for WoW is lot less than what a baby would cost. But there is actually no need to make a baby, just use a contraceptive.

But on the other hand for most slashdot readers this discussion is purely academic and they have no choice but to play WoW :-)

Umm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108986)

Ok guys, who wants to break him the news that babies aren't delivered by storks....

Re:Get a life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108844)

I didn't realize this was an either/or deal.

Damn do I love my wife!(Who's also my partner in crime in City of Heroes/City of Villains)

Re:Get a life (1)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108976)

Are you sure? Do we really want these people making babies?

Re:Get a life (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108538)

Using your thinking, all we should do is work and sleep, since no form of entertainment contributes to society.

Re:Get a life (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108460)

In pre-WoW days, you were probably one of those D&D fags we used to beat on at lunch. Clearly it left an "impression" on you! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111

Re:Get a life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108462)

You have moved into the stage where you no longer feel guilty or question your strange behavior but are now attempting to justify it. Interesting.

Re:Get a life (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108516)

I'll give you a hint of things that aren't worth a shit: Playing video games, playing real life sports, drinking, partying, watching tv, watching sports, upgrading your car, buying new toys, buying a new car, hiking, camping, getting married, having a baby, buying a house, and much more.
I thought Murphy's Law was depressing until I read your thoughts.

Re:Get a life (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108562)

It used to just annoy me until someone suggested I should actually go take a hike instead of playing games. Not like 'get lost, loser' but actually take a hike. Like that's somehow better for -anyone- if I do. That's when I realized that entertainment is entertainment, no matter what the form. (Assuming it doesn't actively hurt others, of course.) Why should some hiker feel special because he hikes instead of playing video games?

FWIW: I played D&D twice and found both groups to be complete morons. (I know there are non-moron D&D players out there, but I have yet to actually see them play.) I played WoW for about 2 months before I got bored of it. I'm a gamer, but I can't stand to sit in front of the same game for months at a time grinding. The game has to be interesting, not just a time-sink.

I'm just bloody sick of people getting all high and mighty because they don't play games, and then going and sitting in front of the TV and watching Friends or football.

Re:Get a life (4, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108574)

Well said, you fat bastard!

Re:Get a life (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108756)

Murphy? I know that guy. 13th level Warlock? I think I was I ran an instanc with him the other day ... ;)

Re:Get a life (5, Funny)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108544)

Euh.... get a life?

Re:Get a life (2, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108758)

To sum your post up: "Life is only worth more than human excrement if you rather selflessly helped poor and needy people."

Come out of your ivory tower and then do something that is "not bad for most people". That's ususally enough to do your part on making the world a better place. You could also invent a new technology out of pure evil greed for money and still be extremely contributing to society, though.

"Private vices, public benefits" is the keyword here. It doesn't matter if you get filthy rich while really actually improving life for everyone. Filthy rich, greedy, grumpy old bastards can be better to society than the most philantrophic people, because we don't just need people to help people, but also money, knowledge and technology.

I'd rather fear those people that claim to do good for all. They usually end up *forcing* all others to do the same.

Re:Get a life (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108910)

I proved a couple of minor quantum mechanical theorems the other day. Does that count?

News for nerds, stuff that matters (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108284)

Somehow I think only 'News for nerds' apply for this one.

So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (5, Interesting)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108286)

On three level 70s and one level 61, I still have trouble breaking 3,000 gold between them. How does one get that much gold together in the first place?

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (3, Interesting)

ArcticCelt (660351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108414)

I know, I consider myself has good at playing the auction house because I can make 100-300G per day just buying and selling stuff but to reach that amount I would need to play every day for three years at an average of 200G per day!!!! o_O That guy is pretty much hard core.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (2, Interesting)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108696)

You've not heard of the Chinese WoW player-farms then? An account being used every day for three years (though not necessarily the same person) is not implausible.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109010)

Why would a commercial farmer would be hanging on to gold rather than selling it for $$$? If it's not worth selling at its current price, why keep farming at all, as it's unlikely to rise in future.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (4, Informative)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108478)

Do you have any gathering professions? I can make 100+ just buy selling a few stacks of adamantite ore (plus the eternium and gems) that I get from mining in a short amount of time. When my first (and only) toon hit 70, he already had about 3000g mostly from the quests going from 60 to 70. On top of that, factor in daily quests which give you ~12g per quest, which you can do up to 10 of per day; 12g * 10 = another 120g per day per character.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (2, Informative)

hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108602)

How do you defeat he who has no life? And I can see it happening with the new guild banks.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (1)

Thexare Blademoon (1010891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108678)

Buying it.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (5, Interesting)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108748)

At level 8, my char, Lardbutt, had around 3500 gold -and- almost all the Epics/Rares you could trade. This would probably amount to 10.000+ in total gold value.
I played him until I got to Ironforge, after that he NEVER left the auction house. Just bought up things I thought were cheap and put them back in with a more expensive price. Most people don't check the market price for an item and when they found a rare/epic item they didn't need, would just sell it to the highest bidder at their first attempt to sell it. The ignorance of a weapons true worth was also something to take advantage of. Like the value of Julie's Dagger and Hanzo Sword, which on paper didn't really have über stats, but were perfect weapons for some types of warrior and rogue classes. Buying them for 10-20gold was quite possible, earning a profit of 50+ gold whenever you sold them to someone who "knew" their real price.

After a while I could by everything of some specific item and control the price. I often did this with the better types of bags :)

It took me about 3 months of regular playing to get there. This was the three first months after the release. I don't think you can pull it off that easily now, because most items are no Bind of Pickup, instead of Bind on Equip as they were earlier and the economy for items more or less crashed after 5-6 months.

I stopped playing after about 3-4 months.
  Then I had probably a 100 complains posted against me, because people was 100% sure that I cheated and every time I logged on I got 15+ tells from people talking trash about how I cheated them/the system/the auction house/etc. Almost wish I kept on playing a little longer. =P

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (1, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108832)

On three level 70s and one level 61, I still have trouble breaking 3,000 gold between them. How does one get that much gold together in the first place?

It's called the Wal-Mart strategy; buy it cheap from China.

Re:So, how does one accumulate that much gold? (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108940)

By being the first to reach top in a profession and exploiting it until the server has no money? Then buying top level mats at a deep discount and doing the same thing with the next profession?

Could be worse (5, Funny)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108290)

It could have rolled over :)

Re:Could be worse (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108600)

Or triggered wealth sur-tax.

Re:Could be worse (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108886)

And considering the fact that they used signed ints, you would end up with negative 214,748 gold

Re:Could be worse (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108970)

Good point, at least they wrote something to prevent the rollover.

having it all... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108296)

All your gold are belong to us.

What the point of having gold... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108304)

if there's nothing to spend it on! That's the reason why the cap was hit, there's no large mansions, yachts, or expensive prostitutes.

Seriously though, since all the beset equipment is earned, not bought (and usually bind on pickup/equip), there's little point in money in WoW in the late game.

Re:What the point of having gold... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108372)

They should let people transfer it over to Second Life or something.

Re:What the point of having gold... (1)

MobiusRenoire (931476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108826)

Actually, the "expensive prostitutes" are actually your alternate characters and it's pretty easy to blow a good amount of gold on them. The most expensive single item you could hope to spend that cash on though is epic flying mount training at 5000g though; just barely scratching the surface.

Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108310)

Since the money is fiat, i.e. not backed by a fixed standard in the game, have people seen monetary inflation causing price increases in the game, or has the population of players offset any growth in money?

I don't play WoW (played it a few times and have watched some addicts^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hfriends play it), so I'm not familiar with how pricing works.

I would assume, though, that if money growth exceeds population/player growth, prices would tend to rise. Is this the case?

Are there any online games that have a relatively fixed amount of money in the game?

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (4, Funny)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108434)

Are there any online games that have a relatively fixed amount of money in the game?
The stock market?

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (3, Insightful)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108542)

The stock market is far from a zero-sum game... otherwise the indexes wouldn't change.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108556)

"Relatively fixed" is not the same as zero-sum.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108442)

Since the money is fiat, i.e. not backed by a fixed standard in the game, have people seen monetary inflation causing price increases in the game, or has the population of players offset any growth in money?
Surely, within the context of the game, gold is about as fixed to the gold standard as can be?

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (4, Interesting)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108558)

Gold only works as a store of value in the real world because the amount of gold being mined is such a tiny proportion of the total gold in circulation - there is pretty much a fixed amount of gold in existence. That's not the case in a game like WoW. A gold standard in WoW is meaningless, you would need a standard based on something fixed (is there any such thing? Land maybe? I'm not sure how Wow handles land, or how often new areas are opened).

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (2, Insightful)

dscowboy (224532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108860)

A "Gold Standard" version of Wow would simply mean there is a fixed amount of gold in the world. Since none of the NPCs actually exchange gold with each other or function as anything other than animated figurines, any gold-giving NPC would permanently run out of gold at some point and any gold-receiving NPC would constantly increase their inaccessible stash.

The reason there's no massive inflation in Wow is two-fold:
1) Since player actions are what generates gold, the amount of gold in the world is roughly equal to (the number of players in the world) * (the amount of gold-generating work they are doing). Gold-supply scales perfectly with player-supply.

2) NPC item prices are fixed and don't respond to the 'market'

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (5, Informative)

Merkuri22 (708225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108454)

There's not a real economy in WoW, per say. You get most of your money from quests and kills, which is pretty well-regulated (in the sense that lower level mobs and quests give lower amounts of money, and there's a limit to what you can kill and loot), and you spend most of it in NPC shops. The only semblance of an economy is the auction house and trade channels.

The fact that most of your money disappears into NPC shops with set prices keeps inflation from happening.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108576)

The money might disappear, but the wealth doesn't, since a new item is created from nowhere. Money supply isn't the only thing that affects inflation - simple wealth creation also has an affect.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108654)

The wealth disappears when you replace the bought item with a better one (and throw away the old one or sell it for a tiny amount back to the NPC).

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108486)

There are gold sinks in the game that help to moderate inflation. Generally these are expensive or regularly needed items that can only be purchased from a vendor. For example, many high level buffs require a reagent that can only be purchased from a vendor, they aren't expensive but this drains a steady stream of gold from the player base. More significantly, riding and flying mounts are quite expensive and after they've been used once cannot be resold to another player. A single character will typically end up buying several of these for prestige or increased speed at higher levels. I expect that each expansion pack will include a "better" and more expensive mount (or some other essential item) to keep inflation in check.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108618)

By far the most gold is spend by raiders I guess

- Consumables (flasks & elixirs & pots): 40-100g / night
- Repairs: 30-50g / night (when learning new bosses)
- Enchants: 25-50g / night. Most of your gear can be 'upgraded' by enchants, so every time you get a new item, you'll spend 100-300g on the enchant. The estimate assumes you get a new gear piece every 4-6 raids.

That's an average of 150g spent per night raiding (requires 1-2 hours of 'farming' to earn).

There's also crafted resistance gear, 200-1000g per piece (and you'll need to equip your tanks well when you do the 25-man dungeons), but that isn't bought so often.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (3, Informative)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108502)

I also don't play WoW, so I'm not sure how (or even if) they combat inflation, but I know other games get round it by removing wealth from the game in the form of wear and tear on equipment. Anything consumable would also allow wealth to be removed from the game, although if it's easily created (food growing on trees, say) it won't make much difference.

There are all kinds of other ways you could remove wealth - NPC's charging tolls to cross bridges, say. Anything where something of value disappears from the came will compensate for the increase in money supply caused and equipment caused by new players and monsters.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (2, Informative)

Talla (95956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108662)

Since the money is fiat, i.e. not backed by a fixed standard in the game, have people seen monetary inflation causing price increases in the game, or has the population of players offset any growth in money?
My experience from the horde side of the server Aerie Peak is deflation on grinding items (particularly from mining and herbalism), and inflation on very rare (epic) items. Too many people have learned the auction house trick of buying to keep prices up. That kept the prices artificially high, and too many people took up herbalism and mining. Suddenly everyone was flooding the market, and prices more than halved in a month. Relatively little gold is taken out of the market by Blizzard, though, so when an item a lot of people really want becomes available, the prices can get very high.

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108718)

In WoW, they combat inflation by making playing a more powerful character more expensive. All gear degrades equally quickly, but higher-quality gear costs more to repair, so there is a fairly constant tax on all players for the amount of time played.

The other key is that the items needed by characters are mostly just needed by characters in certain brackets of progression, so while people progressed beyond those points may have much more money, they have very little impact on the prices of items that less-progressed people use.

The main pricing shift was basically a one-time jump that happened when the majority of hard-core players finished working full-time on their main character and began leveling an alt. At that point, all prices for less-valuable items jumped noticeably because they were siphoning money from a rich main to supply an alt and the alt could use those items to progress slightly more easily. That happened about the middle of the previous summer when patch 2.1 came out. Before and after that point, prices remained fairly flat.

(Note: All anecdotal)

Re:Fiat money causes inflation in WoW? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108746)

First, let me start by saying that there is only one place prices can rise in WoW and that's the auction house (or, I suppose, player-to-player sales). Vendor items are basically fixed price. You do get a discount based on how well the faction of people you're buying from like you, but it's always from a fixed base price.

I would assume, though, that if money growth exceeds population/player growth, prices would tend to rise. Is this the case?

The answer is... kind of. There are definite and noticeable price fluctuations on some things in the auction house, but they tend to be largely time-limited because they're usually self-correcting. That is to say, if Person A puts up a stack of Silk Cloth for 1 gold, there's an incentive for the next person to price theirs at 99 silver (or less). 1s certainly is not a big difference, but at the same time people won't pay more if they don't have to pay more. So person two prices at, say, 95s, and somebody comes along at 90s and so on. Eventually there's a floor where people simply won't go lower due to the perceived value of the item, and the prices tend to stay at the floor while there is a decent supply.

Naturally, if supply ever runs low/out for some reason the first person to put more in will probably price it high--maybe 2 or 3g. Then the process repeats again. This isn't always the case; sometimes, for whatever reason, the prices of a certain item tend to stay mostly flat. It's not always explicable. Using my Silk Cloth example, I tend to see variations between about 60s and 2g for 20. Wool Cloth, which is actually a lower-level cloth, is almost always constantly between 2g and 2.5g. As would be expected, truly rare items see much less fluctuation in price because of their rarity.

All that said, I have characters on two different servers. The first server has a decent mix of level ranges. The second server is disproportionately level 70 (currently max) characters. Money can't be transfered from server to server, so price differences are definitely noticeable. I haven't played the guys on the cheaper server in a while, but I remember when I first started characters on this second server that I was a little shocked to see prices often 200% of what the same thing would have cost on the other server.

I don't think truly new (ie, not transferred) characters have much effect because of item levels. Generally speaking a high-level character won't want low-level items unless they're buying it for a friend or alternate character, so while there is fluctuation everywhere the lower-level stuff tends to fluctuate less. (The exception tends to be twink gear, but I doubt you're interested in that.)

Thats worth around 6500$ (5, Interesting)

ArcticCelt (660351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108314)

At market value of 1000G for 31$ he can sell that amount for 6657.188$.

http://sparter.com/web/shop.jsp#market=WWU01A&quantity=500 [sparter.com]

Re:Thats worth around 6500$ (3, Insightful)

teslar (706653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108492)

So I wonder... how long does it take to get 6500$'s equivalent in WoW gold? I.e. how many hours do you have to work for that money and how does that compare to a normal job? Are you earning like an executive or are you on minimum wage or less?

Re:Thats worth around 6500$ (3, Informative)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108650)

Selling WoW gold is against game policy. Blizzard can take it all away from you if they want to.

It'd make a risky day job.

Re:Thats worth around 6500$ (2, Informative)

baynham (874879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108840)

You can grind gold (repeatably kill certain mobs) and sell their drops on the AH. You can make anywhere between 100-200G an hour depending on how good you are and how many mobs there are to kill.

I believe these guys were raiding SSC and TK (high level instances) for drops which can be sold on the AH for around 1000G. Also once you reach such a high level you don't have much to spend your gold on.

Normally people that farm gold live in countries where the national wage is low - And so the term "Chinese gold farmer" is used. I would suspect they make around $4-6 an hour.

Re:Thats worth around 6500$ (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108946)

With the optimal gold-grinding tactic you're still earning little more than a slave's salary, that's why all gold-farming businesses have their workers in china.

Re:Thats worth around 6500$ (2, Insightful)

karl marx is my hero (1222496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108506)

That's the current market rate for it. If he floods the market all at once with that much gold, he's likely to get much less than the current market rate.

Civilization I (5, Funny)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108336)

Reminds me of when I was using a hex editor to "help myseslf" to some extra gold in Civilization I - I remember I could only up my gold to 3000 pieces, that was the Civ Is upper limit. Very off-putting, when you have to leave the game and start the hex editor just to replenish your reserves!

How short-sighted of Sid ;o)

Re:Civilization I (4, Interesting)

funfail (970288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108410)

Well, you could as well write a TSR [wikipedia.org] loader [wikipedia.org] that refreshed the same memory location 60 times a second. I don't think you could spend faster than that.

Damn co-ops/interns (2, Funny)

Bentov (993323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108354)

Programming error or intern. Maybe it's an internal flag that it's time to get the ball rolling on WOW II. But wait, with that much gold, and the current price of it, they could sell it, and actually move OUT of the mom's basement and get a place of their own. ...

This is good! (5, Funny)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108378)

At least it means there won't be a "Who wants to be a millionaire" in WOW.

Re:This is good! (2, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108916)

At least it means there won't be a "Who wants to be a millionaire" in WOW.

Instead there will be "Who wants t be a 2^31aire". I am not sure which is worse.

Not really correct (3, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108386)

A signed 32-bit integer can not store 2^31, but 2^31-1, which would be 214,748 gold, 36 silver, 47 copper.

Re:Not really correct (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108528)

Exactly, I hope they know how 2-complement number work.

Re:Not really correct (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108604)

This should be in first post. Biggest sign that many nerd-wannabes read slashdot.

Signed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108396)

But why not unsigned? It's not like you can get negative gold in a mmo, or?

Maybe they plan to open banks in Azeroth that can lend you some gold :)

Re:Signed? (2, Insightful)

Ciggy (692030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108526)

Probably a programmer not really thinking about it, or didn't really expect the limit to be reached, used "int money;" as opposed to "unsigned int money;".

Thinking back over the code I've written, I've often used "int " (where int is 4 bytes, signed) when I should have really used an "unsigned int " - of the code which is still in use and for which that will be an issue, it'll be about 2037 before the problem really crops up and I'll be retired; as will, I suspect, the code (though the source is available to anyone who is running the code to fix it if they require).

Re:Signed? (1)

Durzel (137902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108674)

A signed variable makes sense for some scenarios. For example in Eve Online it is possible to have a negative balance if - for example - you bought ISK (the ingame currency, equivalent to gold) and the game makers caught this. Their standard policy when this happens is to remove the amount bought from your account, which if you've already spent some of it would leave you with a negative balance.

In cases like this players then need to work themselves out of the hole using the normal methods like missions, loans, etc.

Re:Signed? (1)

ajgeek (892406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108988)

Slightly off topic, but CCP cracked down on that and they're hitting people with a double whammy for ISK (game currency, short for Interstellar Kredits) buying. So now even if people are up on their funds since the buying they still have a negative balance. I've personally witnessed a friend go 300,000,000 in the negative and have heard rumors of 1 billion and more.

It would be a safe bet that their integer system is exceedingly large (2^64? 2^128?).

SIgned ints for cash (5, Interesting)

Ciggy (692030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108438)

This isn't the first time a signed integer has been used to store the amount of money a player has (and I suspect it won't be the last, either) - years ago when I played MicroProse's Railroad Tycoon, I found an interesting bug (feature) with the way cash was stored:

For the game, a negative cash made a small bit of sense (overdraft) and so a signed integer was used. If you just bought up >50% of the shares in your railroad company (to ensure that you couldn't be fired), and then ensured that you had lots of expenditure but no income every financial period, you would end each financial period with more negative cash until it eventually overflowed and became positive. Once positive, with lots of income, it refused to overflow back negative.

I found it interesting, that although a positive overflow was checked a negative one wasn't. The assumption must be that the programmer never really expected the limit condition to be met and so only put a cursory check in - checking for a positive overflow to prevent sudden negative cash (in both games) and the problems that could cause the program and game play, but in MicroProse's case, not bothering with the negative overflow as it was an extreme case not expected - the game play was possibly meant to prevent it and I found the 1 in a whatever chance to get it to happen (I was trying to see how negative a rating I could achieve without being "fired").

Re:SIgned ints for cash (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108504)

A similar example nethack, where in Wizard mode you can overflow the integer representing a pile of gold with an appropriate wish. This leads to quotes like "choked on 0 pieces of gold".

Re:SIgned ints for cash (1)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108598)

Man, that's one of the best nethack quotes I've ever seen. I almost choke every morning when I get up and see that I still don't have any gold.

Re:SIgned ints for cash (1)

Heymdall (1025640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108518)

Best one ever: Old cars (very old game) You bought cheapest car, took out all the equipment and sold it for lots and lots of $. I guess without the equipment car was worth less than 0, but the integer would just turn around.

Re:SIgned ints for cash (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108616)

I'm certain I've heard of one version of Oregon Trail with this type of bug.

GuildWars Limit: 1000p + 100p per Character (1)

Korkman (704276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108494)

On a side note, GuildWars has an artificial limit of 1.000.000 Gold in chest (aka "bank"), which is "worth" only 60 bucks. It took me > 2400 hours of casual gaming to achieve this amount of Gold.

Re:GuildWars Limit: 1000p + 100p per Character (5, Insightful)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108568)

It took me > 2400 hours of casual gaming to (...)

I'm not sure spending 2400 hours on any one activity can be referred to as "casual"...

2^31 ??? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108496)

I am not great with signed integers, but wouldn't it make sense for blizzard to use a 32 bit integer, thus

2 ^ 32 = 4,294,967,296 / 2 = 2,147,483,648 - 1 = 2,147,483,647

It seems like the story and summary are wrong

Re:2^31 ??? (2, Informative)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108586)

An unsigned integer would indeed be 32 bits, i.e. gold limit of 2^32-1, but they are using a signed one - one of the bits is a sign bit. Therefore half of the range of values is "lost" to negative values. I think.

Re:2^31 ??? (1)

Ciggy (692030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108644)

They did, they used a 32 bit signed integer - a quick explanation:

When representing a signed integer, one bit is used for the sign and the rest (31 bits) for the value. When handling negative numbers, 2s complement is used: basically, invert all the bits (ie make any bit that is 0 become 1, and any bit 1 become 0) and add 1 - then -1 is represented by all bits set and adding one, ignoring carry, results in all bits clear = 0. Using this technique, with 32 bits, the values 0 to 2147483647 are positive and represent their value, and the values 2147483648 to 4294967295 are negative and represent the values -2147483648 to -1 respectively (you'll notice that there are 2147483648, or 2^31, values in each half).

And going back to your point: yes, it would have made sense for Blizzard to use a 32 bit unsigned integer.

Re:2^31 ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108854)

Legend has it that the negative numbers are reserved for accounts caught selling or buying gold.

Hmm (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108612)

Is it possible to have negative money? If not it would be a simple hack to double the limit by making the gold counter unsigned. Well... you' d have to change every variable that stores gold but it would be easier or at least as easy as changing it to a longlong or something.

An alternative is to purposely let it roll over. Blizzard would be doing those players a FAVOR. ;)

A conscious design decision (1, Insightful)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108620)

Presumably they didn't use a 64-bit integer to save on bandwidth costs.

Game Economics (5, Interesting)

ajgeek (892406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108648)

Warning: Geekish Post Ahead

If you put a lot of emphasis in controlling inflation in your game then you can keep a game going with the ability to bring new players in cold and they have a better chance of staying. Economics of a game needs to have more of a priority than just killing mobs, crafting new items and completing the quest. Here's why.

I've been an avid gamer for a long time and have always found that economics within the game are never up to par with any standard, let alone a true economic standard. While I understand that there would be too much work in maintaining a true economy in many cases, the fact that the developers of each game don't bother to put in enough money sinks to keep the flow of money in game vs. out of game in check is astounding, especially in the case of WoW with n million players.

One exception to this rule is CCP Games "EVE Online". The game is fundamentally an economics simulator in a space setting. While this sounds about as fun as counting grains of sand on a beach on a windy day, don't knock the premise until you try it. The whole game revolves around the flow of money into and out of wallets via new ships, replacement equipment, massive costs for new skills and upkeep costs for space stations etc. CCP even has an economist on staff to give reports on how the game economics is doing.

Again, this sounds like no fun at all, but EVE has been running for over 4 years, is still increasing in population (albeit slowly) and I still did not have trouble getting started in the game and buying new equipment without it being ungodly hard to make the money to buy it. Oh and it's a fun space simulator too.

What kind of person... (5, Funny)

dominious (1077089) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108698)

Blizzard Exec #2: What kind of person would do this?
Blizzard Exec #1: Only one kind... Whoever this person is, he has played world of warcraft nearly ever hour, of every day, for the past year and a half. Gentlemen we are dealing with someone here who has absolutely no life.

Re:What kind of person... (2, Funny)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108954)

But how do you kill something that has no life?

I don't get it (5, Funny)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108724)

What is the War of Worldcraft thing? I've seen it mentioned here a few times, but nobody actually explains what it does.

Is it a book?

Re:I don't get it (1)

rollhard (1223044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108784)

WTB "enchant greater life" your mats-your nethers- PST

At least it bounds, rather than overflowing (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108906)

At least they handled overflow right. I'm impressed. If it wrapped around to zero, or went negative, some small number of users would be screaming.

Back in the 1980s, the number of ticker symbols for stocks and funds passed 32767, and for a few days, no new companies could get on the exchanges.

The reason... (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108990)

Blizzard though they would have even the smallest amount of a life(if you can call it that)
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