If they were able to make 8 figures in the course of a few weeks on a new server, they were most likely not getting all of their gil from the wards. As that would require the 30k+ people on the server to basically make 10,000,000 gil collectively, and funnel it through one person. That would be incredible at best, impossible being more than likely. Obviously that kind of gil is available on the legacy servers, but to pull an average of 333 gil per person on a server is a very healthy feat in a 1 month period of time.
Not impossible or unlikely at all. Let's assume 1000 people have reached level 50 through the storyline and taken gil for rewards the whole way. That's 200k+ gil per person, or 200mil gil, just from those 1000 people, and they're spending plenty on the market board. There is likely far more gil than that in the economy. For example, people have been selling level III materia for 50k+, and relic weapon precursors for 100k, on Legacy and non-legacy servers alike.
It's well within reason that someone could have made healthy progress towards 9 figures even by now considering the crazy prices at for crafted iLvl70 gear: HQ 2-star gear is going for over 1 mil/piece. It's unlikely this person was exploiting at all, but rather, just understands the (player-driven) economy. Edited, Sep 27th 2013 5:45pm by Klarus
for your example, that is fairly accurate. Dedicated and focused players only took a week to get their first combat class to 50 and complete the main storyline quest on new servers. That resulted in them obtaining (if they selected the coin instead of the gear) ~275k (Based on how much I made selling mine).
Now assuming for generosity sake, lets say that by now, 20% of the population has made it to that point, so ~6k. That would mean that there was (NPC sales, and side quest gil) 1.6 billion gil in the economy to date on a new server.
For one person would account for 0.6% of the economy. Again, at this point, not completely unreasonable.
Now, to the point I was actually driving at, was how they claim they made it there.
Even using leves (which people are aware of can build up EXP at an unbelievable rate for crafters), they still need shards and crystals, and they need a source for materias. Gathering is the slowest thing to level, and then there is the gear necessary to actually craft the single star gear. Which would require weaver (and possibly leathercrafter) to be leveled.
The vectors begin to add up. There are expenses, and overhead that go with this. Now, to get to the point where you are gaining more gil than you are spending, when attempting to rapidly level is not an easy feat to manage. But, it can be done. Add onto that the person has reached a point where they were able to HQ level 45+ crafts consistently, and craft * items, as those require almost every craft to make the gear necessary to get your stats high enough, plus materia in some cases, the likelihood decreases greatly on a new server.
On an existing server, yes, this is more than possible, as there is already a developed character base, however, with the flood of items on the old servers, the economy has been on an unhealthy tailspin.
But still to my point, it's not that I do or don't believe them, it is that there is not enough information for this to be anymore than a message of "Don't try to hard or you will be banned", which does not appear to be the case in the game. There is something missing from the person's information that prevents anyone from drawing any real conclusions other than the fact selling stuff in the market wards will not get you banned.