Currency is any item accumulated and used to make purchases. Money is the definitive example of currency.
Gold sovereigns were a type of currency in the kingdom of Azeroth.
- Money: gold piece, silver piece, and copper piece.
In World of Warcraft Edit
Currency tab Edit
These can be represented by an inventory item that must be carried, but money has long been tracked as a numeric value only, not represented in inventory, and as of Patch 3.0.2, many currencies are now tracked in the Currency tab of the character window and have no inventory item. (When the patch was applied, these inventory items were converted and were removed from inventories.) (References to a Token tab of the character window appear to refer to a beta implementation.)
These virtual items with no inventory representation show up as icons in the currency page and on price lists for items they can purchase.
Main bag currency display Edit
Traditionally, and by default, the amount of money a character has is displayed in the margin below the main bag in the main bag window when the main bag is opened. This is convenient for purchases, since the main bag will open automatically when a vendor is accessed. With Patch 3.0.2, this line can be set on the Currency tab to display a different currency other than money by selecting tracking for that currency on the Currency tab; tracking can also be set back to track money.
All money is stored on the server as a 32 bit integer amount of copper. The WoW client UI calculates the amount of gold, silver, and copper for presentation to the player.
Money can be transferred or given away. Since non-item currencies do not have a binding property, technically none of them are bound, but the game provides no mechanism for transferring non-item currencies other than money. Several interfaces facilitate the transfer of money among characters, including a section of the trade window, a section of the mail interface, the C.O.D. section of the mail interface, and various parts of the auction interface.
Non-item currencies, including money, cannot be destroyed, they can only be accumulated and spent, or transferred (money only) as related above.
Points as currencies Edit
As of Patch 3.0.2, these points are tracked on the Currency tab of the character window. Prior to the patch these points were tracked on the PvP tab of the character window.
Items as currencies Edit
As of Patch 3.0.2, these items disappear immediately after they are obtained and are tracked in the Currency tab of the character window. Prior to the patch, these were represented by an inventory item.
Items as currencies Edit
These items are represented in the character's inventory by an item.
There is a gray area of whether some items are currency or quest items. The discussion page Template talk:Cost has various comments about this, and incidentally has a comprehensive list of the current consensus on WoWWiki of which are currency.
Prior to Patch 3.0.2 there were only three items (five if you count gold and silver, vice copper alone) given non-inventory status. After the patch, anything listed on the Currency tab is officially currency.
To distinguish, a quest item is turned in for other items using a quest mechanic. There is usually only one place to turn in the quest items to exchange them for other items. There is often a limited selection of items available in exchange. Currency is used at a vendor that does not incorporate a quest mechanic. There is usually more than one vendor who will accept a form of currency. The selection available for purchase is broader.
Player perception is an important part of this. Items that are conceptually currency tend to be treated as currency, items that are not conceptually currency tend to be treated as quest items.