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Trials of a World of Warcraft Player: Entry Three

September 4th, 2008 by Derrick Schommer · 4 Comments

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“Gold Rush”

It’s amazing how economies thrive on virtual worlds like Azeroth. One can buy and sell wares at an auction house to bring in money and spend money. Unfortunately, on my return back to Azeroth after a large siesta from the virtual world, many things seem to have changed… it costs an arm and a leg for almost everything. Perhaps the Burning Crusade expansion has set a new level of cost?

Here’s the deal. If you’re a brand new World of Warcraft player, you’re going to find yourself having to harvest the materials of the world (known as “mats”) for yourself because the auction house is way too expensive for everyday items. Inflation is out of control, imagine going to the store to purchase a leather jacket for the price of a car. You’d go cold wouldn’t you?

Once upon a time things were different, “low-bee” items (items between 1 and 15 let’s say) were a reasonable price, usually in the silver range of money. Today, they’re weighted in gold. The concept of supply and demand is at work but how is it we can purchase the supply at such a high cost? Because we’ve got friends or other characters with a lot of unused cash!

With Burning Crusade we saw basic quests tossing around gold as if it were common place. A character would save up thousands of gold for mounts and then horde the gold as if it were precious until they realized it was nearly infinite in supply and would start passing it around their guild or to other low level characters in their account. The end result, a low level character can go into the auction house with 100 gold in hand and buy whatever they need for basic materials no matter the price.

The laws of supply and demand take on a whole new meaning when people buying have nearly infinate supplies of cash. For me, I’ve decided to purchase some materials while “grinding” for others because they’re just too costly to purchase. However, I’ll do what needs to be done to also exploit the high prices when selling items back to the auction house and contribute to the over-inflated economies.

Perhaps, over time, Blizzard will create a platinum piece to replace the common nature of the gold as it depreciates in value. Although that’s said more in jest, it’s unfortunate that brand new gamers to this MMORPG won’t be able to take full advantage of the auction house as they could years ago with the influx in gold deposits.

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Tags: Editorial · MMO · Trials of a World of Warcraft Player · world of warcraft

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jedi_KezNo Gravatar // Sep 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    I’ve noticed that the economies on different realms can vary drastically. One realm I recently played on had green items (for levels 10 to 20) at a gold to 3 gold, and something like a stack of 20 copper ore sell for 2gold or under. Same with stacks of the lower leveled herbs

    Start playing a different server and now those items are dirt cheap, like 20 to 60 silver for things much better than the quests are going to give you. I even picked up some 20+ dps wands for around 60s each – such a huge bargain I think. But all is not peachy keen, 20 stacks of Copper Ore is selling for around 4gold! The low level herbs are almost just as outrageous.

    I actually like the economy in the second case much better. Pick up mining, and you can sell your ore and pretty much have your toon equiped with uber gear the whole time.

  • 2 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Sep 4, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Yeah, it has a lot to do with population density on the server and how many raiding guilds are populated there as well.

    If you want to get into a nice whacked out crazy economy wait until they open a new server and go wild. You’ll find rare drops are dirt cheap while common materials are through the roof.

    Mainly because there are not enough high level characters to raise the demand on big items and so many low level new characters (without the ability to twink) that they’re all demanding basic materials.

    Of course, in those situations, if you bring a character over via a transfer you’re going to find the AH useless for a lot of your high level needs for a few months.

  • 3 MarkNo Gravatar // Sep 4, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Interesting comments. I think that Blizzard has done a good job of providing what people need no matter what their desires are. For twinks (people who purchase gear far in excess of what they “should” have at that level) they can spend gold to get right into action and not have to do the boring farming. For people like me, the fun is in questing and grinding and for my first toon I never purchased anything at the auction house, just used whatever I found and farmed my own herbs for potions. My friends were astounded at my lowlevel greens in Outland but I could kill monsters with ease so what did it matter?

    I know there are people who run bottomscanner looking for deals and experience the vicarious thrill of buying low and selling high.. Wow has something ro everyone!

  • 4 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Sep 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve used bottom scanner, mainly because it comes with my Auctioneer and I, at one time, was a huge AH fiend. Lately, I’m just happy to fish 🙂

    I’ve never been one to sit in the AH and just spend 100G to get my skill from 10 to 300 as fast as possible, mainly because I like to have it follow with my level. That way I can use what I’m making and feel progress when I build my own armor AND get skill for doing so.

    However, once in a guild situation I like to supply the new low-levels with crafted armor to give them a bit of an edge. This is where things get hairy, as I head to AH to build light leathers and such because I don’t want to take my level 46 out just to kill tigers for an hour; lazy yes it’s true.

    But, in those specific situations I’m astounded that I’ve got to pay many gold to make such basic equipment. If I were level 10, I’d have all that light leather as a skinner as I’m going through quests, but it’s when you get higher and want to make a buddy some basic equipment that you no longer provision that you realize just how inflated the AH is.

    The end result, if people didn’t buy it the prices would fall. So, someone is buying it. Someone with big pockets!

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