The commonly accepted reason for the appearance of the Black Market Auction House (BMAH) is that it will provide a money sink for all those rich players who have spent the past 7 years mastering the WoW Economy on their servers and have so much gold that if they want anything in game they can simply buy it and because of this players getting rare items sell things a super inflated prices like mounts for 200,000 gold and more. Heck on my home server a guild is selling boosts to HC Madness for 900,000 gold and people are paying it.
In my previous post, I discussed the BMAH and some concerns I had about it this time I’m going to look at the impact it will have on the prices on your local auction house. Hopefully you’ll have read my last article so I won’t repeat myself. If you didn’t I’ll cry but I’ll give you a shot at redemption as you can go read it here! Even if the items are soul/account bound I don’t think it will absorb the gold from the economy or lower regular AH prices
The assumption is that player X spends N gold on item A that rich guy is less rich and his gold hasn’t made another player richer and therefore the wealth of all is equalized.
However, player X isn’t the only rich guy on the server and player Y who got outbid now believes he needs more gold so that next time item A comes onto the BMAH, he cannot be outbid and therefore tries harder at making gold and therefore becomes richer.
Likewise player Z who had almost no gold still has almost no gold and players X and Y still have lots of gold.
In terms of gold there are 5 types of WoW player:
- Big Spender: Has more money than he could ever possibly need and because he knows all the methods of getting and keeping a healthy supply will always be in this category.
- Saver: Has enough gold to get by, when he gets upgrades he can gem and enchant without worrying and occasionally can spoil himself with luxury spends like 410% speed flight and BoE epics and even allow him to collect pets/mounts with a little effort;
- Normal player: Has no gold because he spends what he gets in on items he wants as soon as he gets it.They see gold as a necessary evil to get them through the game and occasionally run out of gold through repair costs, costs of gemming and enchanting upgrades. They know how to make gold if they need it and will work at getting it if they have a reason like 380% speed flight or that BoE that completes their gear set but would rather sit and chat with friends or troll trade rather than do something boring like farm for gold;
- Lazy Ass: this group whine about prices on their AH and the players that have way more gold than them and rather than do something productive like farm for gold they whine in whatever chat channel they can and in the forums. They sadly are the vocal minority and if they put in half the effort into their professions and doing daily quests would have enough gold to meet their needs;
- Gold Buyer: lastly the smallest minority but the biggest threat to the rest of us as they feed the hackers that plague WoW. Unable to devote the time to earn money in game due to their real life situation but are able to convert real life time into gold because they are real life cash rich.
The big spender and the saver will always have enough gold to buy rare items. Big spenders will never blow all their stash on an item because the time invested in obtaining such amounts isn’t worth that much gold but they will be prepared to spend big money on getting them.The saver may have to blow most of his savings to get the item but knows that over time he can replenish his gold supplies but won’t sacrifice it ALL to get the item. However, the normal players will save up for that rare item and then blow it all on that item.
This means that auction house activity will not decline, it may even increase and as a result of needing large sums of gold sellers will get greedier and push prices higher. Sure you’ll still get people undercutting each other but then the super rich goblin hits the AH, snaps all the cheap items up and simply relists them for what he deems is teh correct market price for your server and as he has teh gold to create this monopoly situation he will get richer still where as the normal player will just have to suck it up and pay the price or go without which no one ever does because we all “need” that item “now!” which is why most will never bid a lower price on an item with no buyout
Of course the lazy ass will whine as before and now just a little bit louder than before. The gold buyer will lust after an item and feed this addiction by buying gold to get the item he craves and because of the speed the gold sellers can move can wait until the dream item appears on the BMAH.
It was while thinking about the gold buyer and the BMAH that I had a tin foil hat moment, what if one of the reasons that Blizzard have brought this in is because they want to see who to investigate for buying gold? Could they stoop so low? Would they need to deploy such tactics? Well it certainly would be possible to track those players frequently spending vast sums and then allow an alert to be raised for investigation on how they are earning gold to make such purchases.