Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Plus or Minus: Cross Faction Auction House

As it seems from a recent post by a blue in response to a question asked concerning the auction house, it was suggested that next expansion the auction house will be a singular one.   This would mean all auction houses would be tied together for your server sort of like the goblin ones have always been so you can trade between factions.

The question is if this will end up being a good move or a bad move and I would guess your opinion on that might come from where you stand.  I can certainly see why some people would not be too thrilled with the change but in the same breath I can see why others would be ecstatic.

As the blue mentioned, one of the reasons they are doing this is for servers that have a major faction imbalance and as having a few characters on servers like that where I am on the wrong end of the imbalance I can surely see how that would be a huge plus.

On one of my servers I was recently looking for some trillium bars so I could move along with the legendary quest line.  They were 300 gold each on my auction house which just so happened to be the 20% faction on an 80/20 server.  There was no way in hell I was about to sped 12,000 gold to move along with my legendary quest line on this alt.  So instead I did the smart thing, something anyone would a brain would have done.  I bought the ore for spirits that I was not using for anything else and asked in trade for someone to smelt them for me and threw them a tip of 400 gold for doing so.

So, with that said, once the auction houses are merged I can say with absolute certainty that the price of 300 gold for a trillium bar is going to go down, a lot.  And that is part of the reason they are doing this change.  I hope I do not need to replace my meta gem on that character until this change comes about because when raw gems are 2K each on that server buying five to replace your meta is a huge undertaking.  Being on the short end of an imbalanced server can really hurt, even more when you only have a solo character on it and can not find an active guild to help you.

As you can see, from a buyers standpoint I think this change is fantastic.  It gives the people on the short end more reasonable prices and what is there not to like about that.

But what about the goblins that were selling those trillium bars for 300, meta gems for 2000, and glyphs for over 500?  Guess they will not be the fat cats any longer, they will actually have to play the game once again and not just run the market.  Competition is coming and I can see a lot of these goblins being very upset with that.

So it is not going to be good news for all.  The profiteers taking advantage of having little or no competition are in for a rude awakening.  I am not really sure, outside of that, what other reasons people might consider this a bad move for.  Well, except for one, one really small and odd reason that you know someone out there will complain about, any maybe it is with good reason.

Immersion.  A single word we hear a lot of lately mostly when talking about the flying topic and the lack of it in warlords but it fits here to some extent too.  Horde and alliance are enemies, they are at odds, they are fighting each other as well as a common enemy.  Even with that common enemy they are not exactly working together as a team so why would they help each other by allowing trade between factions?

In war would you offer ore to build weapons to your mortal enemy even if you had a common enemy at the moment.  You might be willing to put the bloodshed aside and both attack the same enemy instead of each other but as soon as that enemy is defeated or if you meet somewhere on the field of battle were it is just you versus them you would be drawing on each other and you do not really want the blade your enemy is holding to have been made with the ore you supplied him so he could make it.

From an immersion factor a shared auction house does not fit.  It does not even come close to fitting.  It is immersion breaking to sell your enemy materials so they can make weapons of war to use again you.  The goblin auction houses made sense.  They were few and far between, never had much on them, and were run by a neutral race with a motive of profit and profit only.  But for all auction houses to work like that really is immersion breaking.  It just does not fit the game.

For this elf however I will gladly accept this immersion breaking factor for purely selfish reasons that I do not wish to spend outrageous amounts of gold for simple things I need because I am on the short end of the balance stick.

So having just talked about an against, immersion, that many people might not think about lets talk about a for that many people might not think about.  Third party web sites that sell items and gold.

A shared auction house could greatly limit the desire of people to use such sites.  I know when I was looking at those 300 gold trillium bars it popped into my mind that maybe I would just be better buying them from some web site than waste 12K gold on the 40 I needed.  A quick look online and I could get everything I need for 20 dollars and when you are talking 20 dollars in real life vs 12,000 gold in game there is no contest, 20 dollars in real life wins.

I could, while at work, surf the net, find a place to buy it and place the order in an amount of time that would have earned me 20 dollars, as I am at work getting paid while doing this, and get what I needed or I could spend countless hours in game earning the gold on an alt I rarely play to begin with.

Sure, I went the in game route using a smarter way to do it, but that is because I am an experienced and knowledgeable player to some extent, but for many people they would have spent the 20 dollar in real life instead of the 12,000 gold in game without even blinking an eye.  It is pricing like this that fuels the out of game web sites and there are many people that use them because of this exact reason.

With the joined auction houses there would no longer, or less likely at least, be outrageous prices like that and as such there would be less reason for someone to look outside of the game for cheaper and more reasonable options to get what they need.

The reason there is a market for gold sellers and item sellers is because of sky high prices in game.  Having a shared auction house will help combat those sky high prices and as such will help combat people who go outside of the game to buy things.  For that, I think this is a good move.

From where I stand, this is not huge news.  I am not a goblin, I do not work the auction house trying to make money, so it does not effect me there.  On my main server I have more gold than I can ever spend, so it will not effect me there.  But on some alt servers, like the one with 2K meta gems, this will be a nice little change and I appreciate it for that reason, but even if it never happened it would mean nothing to me.  If I need something I will find a way to get it because that is what I refer to as playing the game and it is why I am here right?

Do you think the cross faction auction house will be a plus or a minus?

Over all I would have to say it is a plus for the game.  Decreasing gold and item buying outside of the game while making prices more reasonable across the board.  To me that greatly out weights the loss of immersion that comes from selling your enemy materials and the fact that it would give the goblins more competition.   If anything, shouldn't the goblins having more competition make their game better because the auction house mini game is their game and this will just step up the competition meaning it becomes more challenging?  Hey, what do I know, I am not a goblin, I'm an elf.

What do you think about it?


  1. I think a more eloquent solution would be to keep the goblin auctioneers but just have them show the opposite faction's ah.

    Then add 15% to the selling price instead of the higher auction fees.

    Not really thought it through but it would keep that immersion but still solve the issue.

    On a balanced server it would discourage buying cross-faction due to the levy, but on an imbalanced server it would prevent the ridiculous prices if you are on the "wrong" side.

    I've given up my goblin days and don't play on the wrong side of any major faction imbalances so the change won't really affect me personally.

    I would like to see more reasons to visit the goblin towns though, perhaps they should be the only auction houses.
    Could you imagine the uproar if that happened? :-)

    1. That makes a lot of sense, they are profiteers so it make sense, just like they always have, for them to play middle man and add a little extra cut in it for themselves.

      It would also give a little more action to those smaller towns around the world with neutral auction houses.

  2. For gameplay, I see more good than bad. It will be like you are on a bigger server, more items are accessible and everything is cheaper. I like it, honestly. I did some arbitrage between factions in prior times, but do I want to make gold that way? no, too boring and risky, there are better ways. Maybe it is different for someone else though.

    1. I too see more good than bad. On my mains servers it most likely will not change much and on my wrong side of the fence servers it will be a great help.

      I basically can only see major lore people and goblins being upset with this change.

      In the end when I buy something from the AH I rarely see who is selling it or even care who is selling it. If it is the price i want to pay I buy it. So from that standpoint I would never even know if I was buying from the "wrong" side.

  3. I see no downsides, including immersion... there'll basically just be one neutral AH with a lower commission. Where's the harm? A few players who have managed to find a niche that nobody else noticed may get hurt but I have no issue with reasonable constraints on AH profits... a bit more competition won't blow things up in most cases. This may help to equalize gold across all players a bit... the BMAH didn't really accomplish that so something like this is an obvious, natural next step.

    The only use I've found for the current NAH was selling those stupid pages back before the quest changed... other than that there was almost nothing there, the only people who made legitimate use of it were doing cross-faction arbitrage... and there are likely fewer players doing that than raided in vanilla.

    Bring it on.

    1. I agree that it will be good for prices over all and the only people that will get hurt are those that were taking advantage of a niche market as they may not be able to corner it any longer.

      I've heard a few people that had reasonable lore reasons why it would work too. I still think my idea of just making all auctioneers goblins is the perfect lore explanation. It fits their characters perfectly to work both sides.

    2. Well, Goblins are a horde race at this point so from a lore perspective I'd probably go with Ethereals... since they won't be doing reforges anymore it'll give them something to do. :) Plus, they're a BC-era race so that'll tie in well with the expansion. Have them come through the portal and take over all the AHs themselves and unify them under their banner.

    3. Ethereals make sense too.

      And remember, the goblins of booty bay, which are the goblins that run action houses, are not members of the horde.

  4. I'm all for getting rid of factions all together; have warring races, that's fun, but horde v alliance has been going on for too long, and bores me. Also I hate wrynn so so so much, and want a chance to kill him more often.

    As such, I of course have no problem with this. The Garrosh led orcs are the only race I think would be too proud to buy from the opposite faction. Goblins and Humans are too greedy, and would love to make a profit off of anyone. Sylvanus's Undead are only with the horde as much as it furthers their her agenda, and I can't see them having a problem with using alliance goods to further her agenda, too. The tauren and the trolls mostly follow the horde because they owe the orcs a debt, though there's certianly some hate for the allies, too, but the druids allways hang out together anyway.

    Pretty much all of the alliance races pretend like they have some noble cause, but are really only in it because they've chosen to be enslaved to that dirty rotten tyrant varian wrynn in exchange for some small bit of safety. I mean, I can't imagine a drunken dwarf checking where his ale comes from out of allegiance to this so called "king".

    The Draenei seem to have the most reason to hate the horde, but velen is kind of a sucker and wants to play nice.

    meh. I see no lore problem. It's like the US/Cuba embargo. It's pointless and idiotic. A relic of times long gone. Perhaps there are still a few crazies out there who are terrified of the reds coming to get us, and they'll surely be offended if I buy something from cuba, but that's not a good enough reason for me.

    1. I look at it that way when buying too. I do not care who I buy from as long as I am capable of buying it at a price I want to pay.

      Still, it would make sense to have all action house auctioneers be goblins, middle men, not faction based. Lore wise faction based auctioneers would align themselves with their faction. With that said, I would have no issues with goblins working all auction houses all over. It would make sense lore wise as they are profiteers and it would keep any issues with faction loyalty aside.

  5. From a lore perspective, I agree with the simple solution: make all auctioneers goblins. They have a long history of cross-faction trade.

    From the economy side, this will increase competition and drive down prices overall. Good for buyers, not as good for sellers, who will now have more competition. That said, think it will be fine -- as long as they don't go to cross-server AHs like Guild Wars 2.

    Wondering: Neutral AH used to be the way to move money between factions. Wonder if they'll stay in the game (doesn't seem to be any other reason now). Because of the much higher activity of the regular AH, using the AH for faction money exchanges sounds much riskier. Wonder if they will also allow you to mail money to different factions alts directly and end the AH-money shuffle for good?....

    1. Cross servers, with as many players as their are in game, could be one hell of a task and would (or could) make everything worthless as so many people are all competing for that last cent. Good for the buyer, bad for the seller, even more so.

      I was thinking the same question, can I now move gold to my horde character?

      I've been using pets to move gold since they were added to the game as they are now. Buy them on a server they are cheap, learn them, sell them on a server they are expensive on.

      Whenever I need money on one of my alt servers I cage up a pet and sell it. Even if I lose some gold in the process I am still better off that way then wasting time trying to make the gold on that server itself. In my opinion of course.

  6. So long as the goblins aren't tied to a faction I wouldn't care if they worked all AHs. If they were tied to one of the factions though I'd have issues getting in the door.

    I think they should eliminate all of the barriers between the factions. I don't think alliance vs horde is really much of a thing anymore. It's not like it was when the game first came out and there were raids on towns on a regular basis. The focus has become on raiding and arena and it seems to make sense that you should be able to group with anyone or compete against anyone no matter which race that person chose almost 10 years ago. I have a lot of friends that have played Horde and it seems strange that I can talk to them on realID but I can't play with them unless I'm on a horde toon.

    1. They would not be the horde goblins they would be the booty bay, ratchet, everlook, gagetzan ones. The goblins that we all know and love for their money grubbing way for as long as we can remember.

      You are not the first person I have heard that believed we should abolish the faction lines. I do agree with you but understand why it will never happen. This entire game is based on orcs vs humans and as such there will always be faction lines.

      However, I would support a third faction consisting of the 4 druid races. Those four actually seem like they would fit well together. Heck, I still do not fully understand why the trolls and tauren are even still with the horde. Their debt had been paid a long time ago and both have shown they can work across faction lines many times.