Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The WOW Economy... I don't get it

Does anyone else get seriously confused as to what kind of economic principle the WOW economy follows? It boggles my mind sometimes. I've mentioned before some of my reactions to it, including how it went crazy after patch 2.4 (my guess was that with all the new dailies, people had more money, so prices went up). What's odd is that I thought things would eventually stabilize, but it hasn't. I also found it odd that prices for green gems that I use to make my daily earthstorm diamond (shadow draenite, golden draenite, and deep peridot) skyrocketed even more than other items after patch 2.4. These gems used to sell for 50s each and were suddenly listed for 2-3g each! What in the world? Did all the miners die off or something? Or did they all go to some miners conference?

Prices for herbs also went up after 2.4, but they seem to have gone up even higher in the last couple of days. Just last night I am perusing the AH and I see a stack of terocone up for 73g (yes, seriously... 73g), a stack of felweed for 30g (a week ago you'd sell a stack for 12g or so), and not a single primal life up. I decided that the universe was telling me to go pick some purty flowers and I spent some time herbing.

I couldn't wait for my herbalist/alchemy sister Vel to log on so I could share the crazy news. The two of us get all excited and make sure to tell each other when the price for herbs or super mana or super healing potions are high or have no other sellers. She thinks that there may be some herbalism syndicate setting these crazy herb prices. A while later the two of us were in Hellfire and I cautioned Vel that she better not try to steal my felweed or that we would have to tustle. But hmmm a fire mage vs a pile a kindling. Not liking my odds too much there...

Vel also mentioned that she's had a lot more competition for herbs lately than before. And when she mentioned that, I realized that yes, I too have had to deal with a-holes who try to swoop down and steal the herb I'm already herbing. But wait... having more herbalists and more supply on the market should mean prices come down. So has demand for herbs gone up even more than supply? Did a bunch of previous herbalists/alchemists drop herbalism for tailoring or something?

So what's going on? Why have prices for primal life gone up (from what used to be 6g or so before the patch, to nearly 16-20g now) while the prices for primal earth and primal water don't seem to have changed that much? Are that many people switching professions to make that much of an impact on the economy? I don't get it.


  1. Aside from the issue of all the new dailies, I'm assuming the gems skyrocketed because Brilliant Glass was introduced in 2.4.

    Can't help you on the herb front though.

  2. Oh, that totally makes sense. Didn't even know about Brilliant Glass! Thanks Nasirah.

  3. Yep, Brilliant Glass is behind those gem prices.

    Primal Life might be a bit expensive at the moment due to S4 starting next week - most healing enchants require it.

    For herbs - and this is just a guess - it's possible people simply stopped farming since everyone is pretty flodded with gold due to mass amounts of daily quest.

    Keep in mind, prices always go up and down, and each realm's economy is different: what may be expensive on one realm, is extremely cheap on another. However, such extreme fluctuations in prices usually stabilize in a week or two, so it might be best to wait and see what happens with those herbs. I'm betting prices will be back to normal within 2 weeks.

  4. There's another thing besides glass that affected gem prices. They nerfed mining and green quality gems don't drop from mining nodes now. They can only be found by jewelcrafters prospecting ore. I wish they'd realized they were also nerfing alchemy.

  5. @horns... oh Vel and I definitely don't want to see the herb prices come down. We're herbalists! I did feel a little bad last night posting herbs up for more than twice what I usually see, but then the cha-ching of the cash register made me feel a litle less bad. But I didn't totally gouge the buyers... I felt 73g for terocone was ridiculous... I think I posted my stack for 30g. So I am a herbalist with a heart.

    Primal life has been at this new high price for a while now... its just odd Primal water prices are the same.

    @anonymous... thanks for the info on the mining nerf. I didn't know that either. I should be getting my mining profession info from Jess, but she doesn't mine anymore. Something about it being too hard on her nails or something.

  6. I so regret to drop my herbalist to JC, the terocone price also so crazy on my server, hardly go below 60g.. :(

  7. Depending on the progress on your server, a lot of people might have dropped a profession to pick up leatherworking. In my guild ~10 people rolled leatherworking to make drums for Sunwell. Most people tend to drop their gathering profession because they have typically put more effort in to their crafting.

  8. This time I'm a bit suprised K.... as you graduated in economics (didn't you? I think you posted that on a post on server economies a while ago) I thought you would have done big investigations and so on.

    But to comfort you: I'm gonna graduate in somewhat economics-related as well and I don't investigate everything market-related either ;)

    As for the goods mentioned, there are quite obvious reasons:

    First we may have a look at the progress of raids on your server. I see a lot of guilds working their way through Black Temple, working on Reliquary of Souls or maybe Gorefiend. Well, then there comes Mother Shahraz, which means 320+ shadow-resistance for nearly everyone in a raid of 35+ people. Crafting this gear costs about 10 primal life (among other materials of course) for each single player. So there are not only daily quests easily granting 100g+ a day but also a huge demand for primal life. How many primal life did you see on the AH back when the price was 12g? Maybe not more than 20. So the supply wasn't that huge back then, it was just the low demand for it.

    As mentioned before, dropping a gathering profession for leatherworking is quite common once raids progress into sunwell. This may not apply to a big number of raids on Drenden but can be a reason as well. You can level herbalism (or even mining, although this takes longer than herbalism) on a twink within 2 days, but you should also have an epic mount, as gathering on a 60%-mount quite sucks. So many people lost their inherent own supply for herbs.

    At third, there is enchanting. You got 1850 rating possible for many players, you got that shiny heroic badge items and - at least I would say so - you got Karazhan available for many many people. On your blue quality healing mace you may enchant 30 Int, but on an epic healer weapon you enchant 81 heal (or spellsurge if you consider yourself a rich one). The same goes for gloves and other slots as well. This also increases the demand for primal life.

    As for the herbs, there is a higher demand as well. Progressing in T4-Content works well without using much buff-potions or elixirs. But have a look at Haste Potions or The AP-flask. In later raids these are consumed quite as much as beer and chips on a super-bowl-party.

    Personally, I'm not sure about the general impect of season 4 on server economies. Right now I prefer to have a large stock of herbs and other stuff I need for raiding and sell everything above a certain amount. Prices may go down with drop-rate changes so why not make the money now? ;)

    Puh.... think I wrote way to much -.-

  9. Ha.... just went on to mmo-champion and read the following (related to what the anonymous poster wrote):

    "Green quality gems can be found in mining nodes again. The drop rate of blue gems from mining nodes remains unchanged."

    Hooray for your diamonds :)

  10. Thanks cusface and simplymod for the further info. I may have some economics info (not an actual degree in economics... just a concentration within my MBA), but I am clueless about what is required for endgame raiding. So I had no clue what Sunwell or BT needs.

    Simplymod... the haste potion and flask of relentless assault both require terocone... interesting. Good news on the mining change... though I am thinking of changing from transmutation mastery to elixir mastery.

    Anyways, lucky for me I have such knowledgeable and smart readers!

  11. Of course more herbalists doesn't necessarily mean prices will come down - simply because the supply of herbs is limited. In fact that may push prices up because what you're really paying for is the time it takes to collect the herbs.

    IMHO mining is quicker to level than herbalism, if you smelt the ore.

  12. Not sure I totally buy the Brilliant Glass argument. It doesn't fully explain the skyrocketing price of crafted green gems (especially blood garnets), from about 1g for a Teardrop Blood Garnet to over 10g and sometimes 15g in the past month.

    Like you, K, I just.don't.get it.