Neil Tennant probably wasn't thinking about MMOs but that about sums up the opportunities on offer in most of them. Pick up your club, march through the city gates, find things weaker than you, hit them repeatedly until they fall over, then take all their stuff and sell it. It's either that or find out who's buying what, work out where to get it then either make what's selling or sell what's making what's selling to whoever's making what sells. Hunt or gather; your choice.
Generally the fastest way to bootstrap a fresh character in any MMO, new or old, is to gather raws and sell them to crafters. Doing your regular quests and general slaughtering will just about keep your head above water but selling ore to armorsmiths will make you rich, although the more industrious, long-term planner may prefer to keep the materials and learn how to use them. Those crafters doing the buying must be raking it in somewhere down the road, right?
|Oh, how we hate you, Globby Gloop|
Partly it's because creatures in Tyria drop far less coin and and their body parts are worth much less than in just about any other imaginary world I can think of. The universal Glob of Globby Gloop (stupidest standard drop I have ever seen, by the way, and one about which I complained bitterly in beta, obviously to no avail) sells for 3 copper at level one. By level 50 it's selling for 9 copper. Three times bugger all is still bugger all. Even magic weapons at level 50 don't reach the dizzy heights of two silver a time if you offer them to a vendor. When it comes to money-making opportunities, brawn does not appear to be the way to go.
|Saville Row, here I come|
If I was adamantly opposed to doing any crafting at all I would be considerably richer than I am, although less poor might be a better way to put it. As far as I can tell there's no subtle motivator baked into GW2 that pushes you into crafting. It remains one of the few realms of activity that can safely be ignored by anyone not actively interested in taking it up. Gathering my own mats, crafting probably isn't a net loss and I am smartly dressed in clothes I sewed myself, but had I sold those mats to crafters and bought my gear I'd be a lot richer and better-dressed yet.
|Is this what you want? I think not.|
What with that spur and the magnificent non-competitive nature of nodes, gathered materials, especially ore and wood, are extremely common on the Trading Post and I'm not sure whether the effort required to fill a stack would be worth the reward. The riches on offer to those prepared to go low-level grubbing in WoW or EQ2 may be missing from GW2.
In a game where xp is easier to come by than money I wonder whether the better strategy isn't just to level poor and get rich later. There must be more money at eighty, mustn't there?