- For lore about gold mines, see gold mine.
Mined from the rich earth of Azeroth and Lordaeron, this precious metal is commonly used in exchange for goods and services. As a rare substance that is always in short supply, Gold must be dug out from the rock and soil within the established Gold Mines. Many of these Mines were abandoned when the Orc raids began and the workers fled for their lives. Since the beginning of the War, these sites have frequently been operated while under the protection of military forces.
Gold is mined in different ways depending on the various races of the game. Humans and Orcs respectively send peasants and peons to carry Gold from the Mine to their town halls. The Night Elves' Tree of Life entangles the Gold Mine and drains the Gold out of it with the use of wisp workers. The Undead uses acolytes to mine Gold from Mines once they are haunted.
There is a "Gold tax" in place, known as Upkeep which is activated as players create more units. As the Upkeep increases, less Gold is recovered from the Gold Mine. A way to gain additional Gold is to take over additional Gold Mines to help balance this tax out.
In Warcraft maps, all players start with a gold mine near their starting point. Additional gold mines are generally guarded by Creeps, with numerous low-level creeps generally led by a higher-level one. Stronger groups of creeps are likely to guard mines with more gold, while weaker ones generally guard mines with less gold.
- Patch 1.13 (2003-12-16): We have made modifications to how gold is mined. Although these changes are somewhat difficult to describe, the effect is that in almost all cases, 5 peons are required for an Orc or Human to mine a gold mine at maximum efficiency (assuming the town hall equivalent is as close as possible).