Originally written 5/23/2007, edited with some updates at the end.
I'm pretty new to WoW, but not to MMO's and definitely not to beggars! I have never and will never publicly beg for gold. I have, on occasion asked to be directed to someone who could sell me what I needed. (For instance, I really would rather deal personally with a Goblin Engineer to secure a Rocket Fuel recipe - too broke yet for the AH prices. I'll either find one, or save up enough gold. Easy as that!)
I have seen gold beggars. Frankly, for the most part, they disgust me.
There was a Hunter in Auberdine, level 15 or so, begging for gold. Another player was more or less having fun with the beggar, but I chimed in with suggestions. Honestly, the junk off of animals will net you a nice pile of silver in no time! This guy's reason why he needed to be given gold? It would take "FOREVER" to go out killing things.
Let's nevermind the fact that he'd be leveling at the same time? Possibly getting items he could use, and training his pet all the while... That's pure laziness. Inexcusable. Repugnant.
WoW isn't the only place you'll find beggars in the MMO world
I played Ultima Online for many years. A beggar approached me for money. I offered, instead, to show him how to make money. He said he was worried about leaving town and being pk'd... So I made a shovel for him. I lead him down to the beach below east Britain's bank, and I taught him how to mine. There was a forge inside of a house nearby he could use to smelt what he mined. I told him he could do this for a while and when he had a stack of ingots, I would buy them from him for 5 gold each. (Standard was 6gp, and I told him that - so that if he was so inclined, he could pursue finding a better buyer.) He starts digging, I go back to the bank. I hide. (Thieves, you know.)
Not FIVE minutes later, this guy is back at the bank begging for money again! Ugh!
I have had better results, however. Many young players who really WANT to try... just need a little hand up. I'm struggling with earning gold in WoW, but I'm doing it. And I'm doing it for myself, which makes it that much more fulfilling... In UO, I would buy hides from young players - and direct them to which animals were best for what warrior skill levels. They would be getting nice, relatively safer gains, and making money. Of course, I would also provide them with weapons and some armor to get them started. MANY times, that investment paid off in good friends, or at least some mutually beneficial trade.
I haven't yet seen an opportunity to do this in WoW (either as a young player, or for a young player).
I did, after some time, have a similar experience in WoW. Standing near the mailbox in Stormwind, I was watching a few people engaged in some interesting roleplaying off to the side. Meanwhile, a level 19 gnome was begging for 5 gold in the crowd. Someone calls him over and there is a pause, he thanks them. He runs off to the Auctionhouse. Roughly 10 minutes pass. The crowd in Stormwind shuffles around fairly quickly, so the crowd is now composed of new faces for the most part. The same gnome comes out and begins begging again. Of course, I call him on it, in the /say channel so everyone around can hear me, asking if someone had not already given him 5 gold previously. He ignores me. However, he has a guild. I look up his guild, find his guild leader's name. I take some screenshots of his behavior, I send a short letter to his guild leader, offering to provide the screenshots as proof of my claims if he wants them, and tell of this member's behavior. The little gnome was removed from his guild, the guild leader replied and thanked me, giving me 2 gold for my efforts.
The gold was a nice bonus for me (by that time, I honestly didn't need it, I was sitting on 2k on that character, and roughly 3k on my auctionhouse alt), but the thanks and the action was most rewarding.
If you have a guild title over your head, you represent a group of people. If you insist on acting like a total asshat while wearing a title over your head, chances are your guild master will find out.
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