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Sunday, 26 August 2012

What do Auctioneers bring to the game?

for other ideas on the glyph market and other general tips see the free Croda's Inscription Gold Guide

I aim to post every two days one this blog. For the weekend post i plan to post on how the World of Warcraft economy relates to the real world or theoretical concepts for the World of Warcraft economy. Ironically, it is this subject matter which causes the most email traffic!

What do Auctioneers bring to the game?: In other words, to the (legal) gold makers, call them Auctioneers, benefit World of Warcraft or otherwise?

A fair question, i don’t suspect the developers foresaw the rise of this breed of player at the outset.  But i greatly suspect it is in their thinking now when they consider what to do with the professions in the game.

On my server there are 3 or 4 of us who “own” the glyph market.  i don’t see any other competitors on the list.  And the same is becoming true of the Enchanting market that i am entering.

Therefore, on my server there are at least two markets where under 10 players make the vast majority of the gold from the player base of over a 1000.

In a sense, the entire Blizzard coding for these markets is utilised by these 10 players.  Therefore, is this to the benefit of the game?


Every item that a player could conceivably need to move ahead in the game will be on the Auction House.  Therefore, the economy is not an impediment to a player advancing in World of Warcraft.

Almost every item will have competitors therefore bringing down prices.  Hence, as a rule, prices are not manipulated upwards.

Therefore, a server will never die because the economy dies first.  A server will die because the raiding / questing player base dies.


The vast majority of the player base is not able to fully participate in the Auction House.  Therefore, the whole concept of professions as a method of making gold is limited to the “professional” auctioneers.

Therefore, the developers time and effort has ended up being focused on a very small proportion of the player base.

The gold makers are prone to market manipulation from time to time.  Examples include posting arrows in batches of 1 instead of 200.  Buying up all the raw materials with the sole intent of cause prices to rise.

In conclusion

The gold makers bring considerable benefits to the player base in exchange for excluding that player base from most of the serious gold making abilities.  Whether that is a net benefit to the game?  On balance, yes – but it is close.

But i do suspect that as a result the developers focus more on other aspects of the game that affect the entire player base, and not the economy which benefits a very small part of the player base.


  1. I think MoP has a lot of components that look to limit the profitability of having half a dozen profession alts parked in a major city churning a profit, over getting out and exploring the world.

    For sure, having a majority market share will equal disproportionate profits and I can see Blue looking to limit this impact by allowing more gold drain from the system (ie BMAH), but overall, I figure that at least in the early stages of MoP, you're encouraged to get out and explore the world a lot more and derive your profits through natural crafting/gathering that will rival that of the Auctioneer.

    But it would seem rather than try and create open warfare with the Auctioneers, Blue are looking to give people more options to circumvent these markets to generate gold and explore content at the same time.

  2. @ Mogram: Yes - it will be interesting to see how this all affects us and the wider game. I am looking forward to the new content.

  3. I suspect some relatively simple and much used items like leg armors and belt buckles will end up costing thousands due to short supply and market manipulation. This will be especially onerous to the average player. As usual, Blizzard didn't think these changes all the way through.

  4. Presumptively, 3 or 4 players owning one or two markets is a "bad thing". Players who do not make it their full time job have to pay "inflated prices" for items that cost a fraction of the price. That drains their resources or require them to spend time trying to come up with gold for items they cannot do without to quest or raid. I'm glad inscription eliminates having to try and find Books of Glyph Mastery to level. Monopolists just bought them to keep them out of anyone who wanted to learn that profession.
    I suggest that Blizzard institute a Gold Cap by Realm. A player would no longer have the ability to have more than 500,000 gold across all of their toons. Perhaps this would limit the number of Bankers who live in Auction Houses and undercut legitimate players trying to make a few gold to fund their repairs

  5. @deja and @Scugger: part of me agrees with you on all that. Now that Blizzard is forcing crafters to leave the Auction House it will be interesting to see how that all works out.


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