Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to play the auction house between the Shattering and Cataclysm

So the world has been shattered, Deathwing is lose, and life in Azeroth kind of sucks in general right now. But, conflict has always been a great source of economic opportunity, and it's no different in WoW. So many of the gold blogs have been focusing on the obvious, which is what to stockpile for Cataclysm itself, but I think that the next 2 weeks also represent a great gold-making opportunity. So let's look at the results of the Shattering and what they mean economically, and figure out how we can profit from it in the 2 weeks before Cataclysm proper arrives.

  • Portals removed in Dalaran and Shattath. People are setting their hearths to Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and such, which means there is less access to Outland and Northrend. Obviously, this is a great time to be a mage, as you can make upwards of 20g per portal to ferry people around. This also means that for the next 2 weeks, there will likely be a shrinking supply of materials from those continents.
  • An entirely new old world combined with a slowing of interest in endgame Wrath content means more people will be wandering around Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. This will result in a higher supply of vanilla-level herbs and ores, as some of those wanderers will stop to grab the nodes they come across. This will also likely change the comparative rarity that we've been used to. For example, mithril has always been hard to find, but it seems much more widespread in the post-Shattering world.
  • Jessica Sellers no longer trading Inks of the Sea for lower-level inks. Everybody seems to be expecting that Cataclysm will be a repeat of the patch 4.0.1 Glyphmas, as rerollers, alts, and players coming back to the game all need glyphs. This is likely to be true, and though the serious scribes will have traded their inks around previously, their stockpiles may well prove to be insufficient or they may have not balanced their stockpiles in proportion to what glyphs they're actually making. The result of this is that old-world herb demand will increase and Northrend herb demand will decrease.
  • Lots of new characters will be rolled between now and Cataclysm. Why now? Well, if you don't care about being a worgen or goblin but you do want to reroll for Cataclysm, now is a great time to reroll, as new quest design means levelling will be faster and a new experience means it will be more fun. I know several people who are rerolling this week in order to be 80 by Cataclysm and not miss out on the early raiding game. Many of these characters will be miners and herbalists in order to get the xp boost from harvesting nodes. This means there will likely be an increase in the supply of low-level ore and herbs (copper, tin, silverleaf, etc.) as well as a minor increase in supply of the mid- to high-level stuff. These characters will also have demands, such as BoE gear, enchanting scrolls, and profession-levelling items that aren't easily collectible as they level.
  • The market for endgame crafted gear, enchants, and gems is going to exhale its final death rattle. You don't want to get caught with a bunch of this stuff. It's okay to make a little bit of it as long as you can sell it quickly and profitably, but a general rule of economics is in a market of declining prices, inventory is a Bad Thing.
  • We're likely going to see a lot of price volatility of the next couple of weeks. This is because with all of these influences, some of which are in opposition (such as both increased supply and demand for herbs), people aren't going to be sure of what items are worth. Expect to see prices fluctuating wildly.

So there's some food for thought about what we're going to see in the next couple of weeks. Come back tomorrow when I'll talk about how to use this information profitably to line our pockets prior to Cataclysm's release.

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