Friday, May 17, 2013

Can Blizzard Do Something to Help the Economy?

Making gold has never been easier in the game.  I have alts with over 100K when I have done nothing to make gold.  It just, happens.  Sell the extra junk you get at the current prices and out of nowhere, you have tons of gold.

One character, an herbalist and alchemist, leveled up and then used all those herbs he got while leveling to make flasks.  I list them on tuesdays - thursdays, once in a while.  Not every week because I always forget.  But that character has 170K on him now when he started the expansion with only 50K or so on him.

See, it is not hard to make gold.  However, I do believe it is the fact I know what to do that makes it easy for me.  I could just as easily list things whenever and make money but when I do get in the mood to list things, I do it when I know I can profit a lot from them.  Meta gems routinely sell for 1500 during the week but are in the 800 range on weekend so guess when I list them?

And guess what someone in my guild does when I pointed that out to him?  Yes, he buys them on the weekend and sells them during the week.  I did warn him that the market will fall as time goes on for the cut ones, but the raw ones, and needing 5 of them for the legendary gem each time you change it, will keep going up and up.

But all this talk about how easy it is to make gold means nothing.  I could make a post with 101 ways to get gold capped in a month the way the game is now.  Sounds good right?  No, it is not.  It means nothing.

The reason it is so easy to make gold now is because the economy is out of hand.  People, 100K gold is not what it used to be.  It is not a lot any more.

I wonder if there is anything blizzard can do about it.  For the majority of players willing to put in the effort it is no big deal.  We make it as fast as we can spend it and it is a lot on both ends, but for the others, the lazy players as some call them, these prices are just insane and look to be impossible from the outside looking in.

Even if I am capable of making money, I am still cheap when it comes to spending it.  I refuse to buy things at the prices they are on the market thanks to inflation.

Just taking a quick scan the other day when my monk hit 90 to see if there was anything worth buying I said screw it and crafted a few pieces for myself.  9K for 476 items?  What the hell are people smoking if they are paying that.  9K for a disposable item?  900 maybe but not 9000, I think there is one 0 too many there.  496 gear?  Forget about it.  Would you pay 27K for a 496 piece?  I could have 2.7 billion gold and I would still not pay 27K for it.  It is a matter of principle.  It is disposable gear.  Sure, probably the least disposable you will find on the market.  Most of my characters are still sporting a few 496 pieces, so they still have life.  But 27K is out of line.

Even the low level PvP gear which is nice to fill in that super weak spot left over from leveling at 3K a pop just do not seem worth it in my opinion.  Some slots you might be lucky enough to pay 1.5K for but lets get real for a second.  It will be replaced by the first piece of PvE gear you run across.  463, 476, 483, 489, 496, 502, or 522 and lets not forget heroic mode options.  So many places along your journey that you will have a chance to replace that piece of gear.  Why pay 3K for something?

Call me cheap, I call me a realist.  It just does not make sense to pay that much for someone so insignificant.

It is not only gear, it is everything.  250 gold for flasks.  50 gold for food, and I am not talking feasts.  I can sell the 300 agility or strength food all day long every day for 50 gold each.  Nice to make money, but telling that the economy has gone to crap.

I decided to craft some of the boots for my hunter when the patch came out.  50K for a haunting spirit.  Crap that is insane.  I would be better off spending 20 dollars each from one of the gold selling sites that sell them.  It would actually be cheaper that way.  And that is where I am going with this post.

The economy has gone so insane that the idea of paying real money to one of those sites is more attractive than the alternative of buying the items in game.

I eventually got my boots, I paid 5K per spirit for the spirits.  They were duped.  I know they were duped.  100% absolutely positive.  My server has only 3 guilds that have finished ToT and only 6 guilds that have more than 1 boss on farm.  Nope, not kidding.  So there is no way in hell that there is some level 1 in stormwind with 100s of them for sale selling them for 5K each when you buy a stack of 20 unless they are duped.  When they are still in the 30K range on the AH selling for 5K each screams at you as loud as can be saying "I am duped".

Blizzard does nothing about it, they don't care.  So I bought a stack and made my boots and the leather helm and sold the extra on the auction house for 25K each.  I made my money back and basically got the boots and helm for free, thanks to the dupers.

It is almost as if blizzard wants us to go that route.  I am making those new bags for myself, once in a while as I keep forgetting to do the daily cloth on the character that has the pattern and my other tailor does not have the required reputation yet to make it and most likely never will until I get some AC tokens to drop from some warbringers or scouts.  Buying them on the AH is out of the question.  5K for a bag is just not something I would ever consider.  Not in a million years and not even if I had endless pockets with unlimited gold.  Again, on principle.

But looking at those websites and seeing them selling the bags for 11 dollars each does seem like a really attractive option.  Those 9K 476 items?  12 dollars on those sites.  Those 27K 496s, 19 dollars on those sites.  I am being tempted.  They are so cheap on those sites and the economy is really screwed up that it makes it seem as if the only reasonable price on these items is to buy them with real money.

I have not gone that route yet and not sure I would.  But what if I get to 90 on another server with an alt that I want to play and would like to have a quick catch up.  I would not have the amount of gold I have on my main server or the fleet of alts to make things for me.  Buying them from one of those sites really seems like the only reasonable option.

So between there being no quick catch up mechanic in game for gear, and the economy being so out of control it is crazy I just have to ask.

Is there anything blizzard can do about it?
Do they just want us to buy the items from one of those sites?

I hate to say it, but more and more, I am tempted to spend 11 dollars a bag instead of having to wait days and days and days to make one or grind AC reputation on another character so I can wait days and days and days on that one too.  And even if I can make money hand over fist easy enough, I would be more willing to spend 12 dollars on a 476 than I would spend 9K gold on it.

If only the in game prices were more reasonable I would buy them there.  But now I look at things one of two ways.  I either craft it for myself or I don't get it.  The third option of buying it seems more attractive all the time.  Blizzard needs to do something to control things or more people will be buying their next set of gear off a website instead of the AH.

PS:  Based on comments I would like to amend something.  Inflation might not be the appropriate word I was looking for.   Balance would be better.  Because, as mentioned, basic materials like herbs and ore are actually selling lower than they ever have before while crafted items and BoEs are selling for higher, often insane amounts that seem out of line.


  1. Your server must be more alive than mine. Mine is dead, which makes it difficult to make decent cash. Not impossible, just difficult.

    How dead is my server? Well, Wow-Heroes ranks my main as the #4 best geared rogue on Horde side, even though I have never set foot in a normal-mode raid in Mists. Oh, and I run about two LFR wings a week. And I don't cap valour.

    I have 48 glyphs left from a once-booming industry. Coupled with the dead server and the way that glyphs were made largely meaningless, I can't sell them. I've tried dumping them for 2 gold a piece. Nobody's buying.

    So what sells? Gems still sell (eventually). So do enchants - the actual enchants though, the mats don't move.

    The crazy thing is what you've mentioned above though. Even though there is very little demand and nothing sells easily, the prices are still sky high! Glyphs are routinely posted for 500g, gems reset at 300g, metas (as you posted above) go for 1.5k.

    I think what's driving the inflation is the heavy emphasis on dailies. There is so much extra gold being pumped into the economy it's scary, but at the same time, nobody is spending it. I'd like to see what kind of an affect the BMAH has had, but I suspect it has done very little to leech gold out of the economy.

    1. The high prices actually make sense in your situation... if only 1 glyph is going to sell per week and I'm having to list 500 glyphs daily just to sell that 1, I'd better make a ton selling it... someone isn't significantly more likely to buy the glyph for 2g vs 500g if I'm the only one selling it. If they were smart they'd offer me 100g for the 500g glyph listing, though. The alternative is that nobody bothers to list glyphs at all which is worse.

      I forgot enchants, on my server enchanting mat prices are actually decent (fair, but high enough to generally be worth listing, especially with the lack of listing cost... 4g/20g/40g/300g respectively, more or less) but actual enchants tend to sell for less than the mat cost. The high-level weapon enchants sell for about 3K/ea, on most days the price of a shard is above 300g and there are a few secondary mats as well. Problem is, there's no profit in selling them, when mats sell at or above the price of finished goods, there's little incentive to sell finished goods since the market for the mats is wider.

    2. @ Josef

      Actually, I would guess the prices on your server would be a lot higher. My server is dead. Horrible type dead. On my alt serves which are more alive pets sell better but gear is cheaper, much cheaper.

      I think a lot comes from people not buying the gear because it is so pricey. But it stays up there and I just do not understand why.

      @ Anon

      Enchants still sell well, and high on my server. It is not unheard of to sell a few a day at 7K which is why I am glad I have 2 enchanters and lots of mats to make my own.,\

  2. If gold is so easy to make and you have so much of it then it's value to you should be low. Why would you spend real money when you just said yourself you can make that 9k gold in no time at all.

    1. On principle, as I mentioned.

      If I pay 27K for a 496 piece I then justify it being worth that and it is not.

      I would rather not buy it at all and wait until I can win something in a raid, or spend real money.

      I am sure not everyone would think that way, but I do. On principle I would never pay that much for out of date gear.

  3. About time you posted something about gold-making and inflation! This is long, sorry, been waiting for this for a while. :)

    I'm not even going to touch the out-of-game $ sites, that's not something I've ever done, nor been tempted to do, nor would I ever suggest anyone ever consider it. Just don't... play the game to get the goods.

    I'm guessing the spirits weren't duped, they were likely collected on a busier server where they're cheaper and abundant and transferred over to your server.

    Regarding inflation, I couldn't possibly disagree more. MoP has, more than any other transition I've seen, been quite inflation-free and in many cases, things are significantly CHEAPER now than they were in Cat.

    I have 2 servers that I actively monitor pricing on so I can only speak to those 2 (both are mid-pop servers). Comments below are regarding current items unless otherwise mentioned.

    Trade mats (herbs, ore, cloth) are, generally, cheaper than in Cat. For the first few months of Cat I was selling herbs for 10-12g/ea (per) and at this point of the expansion, about half that. I leveled my druid in Cat entirely through herbing... all 5 levels... while making about 4K/hour selling them. MoP herbs have been under 3g/ea for a LONG time now, since the first month. Similar stories for ore and cloth and considering that Blizzard keeps introducing new ore sinks, I keep expecting the price to bounce up but it hasn't.

    Top leg patches (cloth or leather) are about half now what they were in Cat.

    Cut rare gems are significantly cheaper for the ones people want to buy than they were. There are reasons for this but regardless, the average price of a cut gem if I was buying off the AH is ~70-100g, in Cat I was paying 200-300g. There were a lot more wasted gems (red or bust) in Cat but that hurts the seller, not the buyer.

    Bag prices are basically flat... Frostweave and Embersilk bags are still current in MoP since they didn't introduce current equivalents, I'm still selling bags for the same prices I was before but I'm *high* compared to the market, there are often bags up at half my price - I was expecting prices to double and stockpiled going into MoP, they're often up for less than I was BUYING them for at that point. The 28-slot bags at 5K now (I've seen them as low as 2-4K but 5K is typical) is about what the 26-slot bags sold for in Cat and the 26-slot bags are really slow movers even at 2K even today. I thought they 28-slot bags would originally sell for 20K and level off at 10K, that was blown past quickly.

    Glyph prices are through the floor, I was able to completely glyph up a new toon on a 3rd server (higher-activity) for an average glyph price of about 15g. When I sold glyphs in Cat they were in the 50-100g range.

    The best generally available BoE raid gear sold for 10-20K in Cat, it still does today. Haunted Spirits are crazy expensive but so were the Cat equivalents.

    I was selling flasks in Cat for most of the expansion for 200g... I'm lucky to get 80g now.

    1. My two best professions in Cat were Alch and JC... both are basically sidelined in MoP, profits and prices are so much lower than they were, it's just not worth the effort. I stopped doing Living Steel transmutes MONTHS ago on both servers, just not enough demand and the profit margins are too low even when they do sell.

      Darkmoon cards were about 10K mid-expansion in Cat, they're about 10K now.

      I can't think of one single market where prices are significantly higher now except for cooking mats... I'm still generally able to sell meat for 5-10g/ea, there were a few "meats" in Cat that got that high (Albino Cavefish, Shrimp, maybe one or two others) but demand for meat in general is definitely higher in MoP. Still, while some cooked food may sell well now, it didn't originally... I was buying up feasts on the AH whenever they were listed for less than 5g/ea for the first couple of months, I bought THOUSANDS (that isn't an exaggeration, I have over 1000 of just one type last I checked) as pity buys to help out the folks who were just trying to unload them. How much were Fish Feasts back in Wrath? More than 5g/ea for sure, that was actually a good market.

      My gold stockpile went up about 20x (2000%) in Cat, so far in MoP it's up about 50%.

      Since the day MoP landed I've been SHOCKED at how LOW the inflation has been... prices were flat to start and have only gone down. It's still possible to make gold but it was a LOT easier in Cat.

      So, my only theory is that you're on some sort of weird, logic-bending server with prices that just don't make any sense. I doubt your experiences are typical but looking forward to hearing what other commenters have to say.

    2. You experiences seem to be pretty close to mine with the exception of the gear thing. The gear this is what gets me. Why is it so pricey for something that will be replaced the second you get lucky?

      I have the gold, I am willing to spend it, but I am not willing to waste it. For argument sake, 502 weapons are selling from 35-50K now and 522 head and boots are selling for 40-60K now.

      Can I afford it? Yes, would I buy it. Not even with your gold. lol

      You actually might be right when thinking about it the way you say it. I was selling herbs for a lot more than I am now. I had not thought about it that way, thanks for bringing it up. I was looking only from the gear perspective.

    3. Gear prices generally make sense because of the mat cost &/or effort required... plus, the usual supply/demand factors.

      For instance, the daily cloth for tailors can basically only be used for 3 things... leg patches, bags or gear. I place a value on a cloth based on what the leg patches sell for... if they're selling for 400g/ea (on my server they bounce between 300g-600g), then a piece of gear that requires 8 HAS to sell for at least 3200g, depending on the other mats that are required, plus the factor that it will probably take a while to sell. Even without any other mats, I'd want at least 5K for the additional risk vs just selling patches, which are guaranteed movers.

      Hell, earlier in the expansion when I was more focused on making gold, I was buying out anyone who listed crafted gear for less than 50% of the price I'd list it for... meant I had less competition in the leg patch market since that gear was taking a LOT of cloth out of the market. I also managed to roughly double my investment on that gear, making it a win/win with almost no risk. Generally if something is half the price I'd want, I'd be willing to use it on my own toons if I can't sell it.

      Would *I* pay 6K for an i476 crafted piece? Generally no, as long as I had another way to get equivalent gear, but if it's a fresh 90 and I wanted to get into LFR ASAP and skip heroics entirely? That's still a pretty good investment. I also wouldn't pay 60K+ for i535 heroic bracers off the BMAH but they routinely sell for that much. I still haven't seen a single Haunted Spirit on the market but your 40-60K seems about right for the crafted gear.

      And I think gear was roughly the same price back in Cat, too... and I found I was moving a lot more than I am now. I've made a LOT more gold in the twink/leveling blue gear this expansion than in epic gear, probably by a factor of 10... and often the blue gear has sold for almost as much as the epic gear.

  4. aye, what Joesf said. He can speak for me, for I did the glyph route, just like he did. Same for the enchants. Pets too. But I am stuck with about 50 pets, a bunch of gems, a bunch of glyphs, and a bunch of enchants, that I am using up and giving away to friends.

    I wish you luck, but my guild has 80,000 gold and that is it. None of my toons (all 11) have more than 100 gold on them - if that much.

    I am no good in the AH, I can't make it, hell, I can't even sell prime real estate in RL without taking a beating.

    Of course, maybe since I don't even have time anymore to do dailies even on 1 toon, that is prob what is stopping me.

    I'm not crying, I am happy. I can make what flasks I need, whatever food, most of the gems, LW and enchants. So wow life is good :)

    Prices are sky high, way too high for what little I do buy.

    But as soon as I start on 3 toons to get the 3 items I want to make - JC abiity to make the agile diamond meta gem (216 agi + crit effect), BS ability living steel belt buckle and LW ability the shadowleather leg armor, then I will be set maybe for a few months.

    As usual, nce post.

    stay frosty...

    1. Leg patterns sell for over 1K on my server and I would not be surprised if it is near the same on yours.

      Even if you buy the hides off the market, make it, resell it, it is a decent way to get some cash flow going.

    2. you can get the shadowleather leg armour as a recipe? Oh boy, if so, I am there evern at 2000. I just dont want to do the rep thing. I hate those flying ant men.

  5. Josef touched upon it already, the problem is that it is too easy to make gold out of thin air for end game characters especially, with nothing decently priced to spend it on.

    The 'XP to Gold at account cap' conversion aggravates the issue a lot, and, just as with Dailies, it boils down to the usual culprit: Raiding. They introduced both measures to make Raiding more accessible by cutting down the time to grind money for flasks etc. and the effects of wiping, but ignored that these measures impacted ALL play styles. I've never done current raids in Wow (if we ignore the WG one) yet at current-cap I always got showered with gold to compensate for supplies etc. I wans't goiing to buy anyway.

    So if Blizz wanted to fix the economy, getting rid of the conversion would be a good start, perhaps accompanied by removal of repair costs (I don't see the plus of this 'death penalty', death penalties made sense in games where levelling is important and raiding special but, risking sounding like a tool, neither are in WoW and it only causes bad blood between players). In general, instead of creating goldsinks and then provide extra money to compensate isn't that smart design.

    But I doubt wether the economy can actually BE fixed by now, in a real world setting you could introduce a new currency but with WoW people would just quit.

    1. I think the daily gold might be playing a huge part in it. People are doing them in massive amounts and if you do them all you can easily make over 2K just from the quest gold, not mentioning all the stuff you pick up and sell.

      When I expansion was first released and I was doing every daily I could get my greedy little hands on I was making over 5K a day.

      But the problem boils down to, there is nothing out there worth spending it on. Unless you are willing to pay for over priced, out dated gear.

  6. I recently got over 1M gold and I've been trying to find things worthwhile to spend some gold on but can't.

    Gear is outrageously priced, especially the gear I could use.

    I won't pay 500g for bags... so I'm certainly not going to pay 5K for a couple extra slots.

    I bought the JC mount but it was probably duped since I paid less than the mats cost for it. It wasn't worth 100k so I wasn't going to pay that. I haven't bought the others since I don't think they're worth 25k either. Nor the other crafted mounts. TCG mounts are insanely priced as well, so those are basically out. I have over 150 mounts anyway. The new 200 mounts achiev may encourage me to buy some though.

    I won't buy pets since there are achievs for capturing and leveling them; not that I'm doing that but it's the principle.

    Gems, chants, etc are super cheap. I make my own flasks and Nomi gives me all the food I'll ever need, not to mention that I get tons of banquets while doing dailies and killing elites so I'm always dropping feasts in raids or LFR.

    There's very little xmog that I want which can be purchased; all the good stuff is bop. I sell a lot of the boe pieces though; that's how I make most of my gold. It amazes me how many times I've had someone say something like "I can't give you 2k but I can give you 1473g because that's all the gold I have."... It's hard to understand how players can be so broke, but it's just like real life: Most people aren't responsible with real currencies; can't expect them to be responsible with an in-game currency. I've always had enough gold even before I started playing the AH; I just don't really spend it.

    Nothing really worth spending gold on and the stuff that I need is really cheap anyway.

    So you have the players who are constantly broke and then the players who just accumulate gold since they don't have anything worth buying.

    I don't think that Blizz can really do anything about it. They'd probably just say "It's working as intended."

    1. You are just like me. I might have the gold but I refuse to spend that much for something disposable.

      What you end with makes sense. You have the people collecting gold, the ones that drive that market up, and it is keeping the prices high because they have so much that the others that could use things, that have no gold, can't afford it.

    2. I got over 1M back in Cat, that's one of the reasons I did my "Vials for all!" mount strategy... I actually felt a bit awkward having that much gold.

      I've since gotten over 2M in MoP, I'm using that as my functional cap... whenever I got over 2M, I spend below that level on whatever I feel like buying, whether it's practical or not... larger bags, BMAH mounts, epic gear, etc.

      So far, most of my purchases have been BMAH mounts... they make a big enough dent that it takes me a bit to get back over that level. There are mounts on the BMAH that'll sell for most or all of a full 1M, though... I can think of at least 3 off the top of my head and there could be more (M's Head, the LK mount and Ashes). Even 2M can't buy everything.

      Unless you actually have something to buy, there's really no point stockpiling gold unless you're doing that as a game of its own. Seriously, find a niche and have some fun with it.

      (and as a fall-back, having extra bag slots can only be a good thing)