Northrend Economic Assessment- Part Two

This is the second part of our two-part assessment of the state of the Northrend economy. The first part used financial analytics to study patterns in the market and chart the direction of several Northrend goods. Today we will take a look at where we see prices going in the near future- specifically delving into the impact of the release of patch 3.1 on Northrend item prices. We will also be making a few buy and sell recommendations based on both our testing data as well as our prior experience with the financial impact of the release of major content patches.

Part Two of Two-
Profiting From Patch 3.1

As indicated by our previous study on the Northrend economy in part one of this analysis, we generally feel that prices of most goods overall will continue to decline over time. This is particularly true as we feel the effects of mudflation on older items. The exceptions to this will be items that have new or additional uses post-patch 3.1 implementation.

Blizzard has called patch 3.1 their “biggest content patch ever” and that just might be true given the introduction of new world event content, new crafting profession items, new badges (and badge gear), a new raid instance and more. As such, we see the potential for impact on the current WoW economy to be huge. While we cannot possibly cover every incoming change and its resulting impact on the economy we have selected a few items that we predict will experience significant changes in relevance and thus, price changes within the general economy. We’ve categorized our recommendations into the following two straightforward categories:

Buy– Items we see as gaining value post patch 3.1
Sell– Items we see as losing value post patch 3.1

Bear in mind that some of these items will only be changing in value for the first few weeks after the patch so they may not all stay up or down in price and you should buy or sell accordingly within that time frame if you wish to maximize profit. And, as usual with financial advice real world or not, we advise you approach with caution and the understanding that YMMV. Also keep in mind that all of this speculation is based on information that has not yet made it to the live realms and is thus subject to change.

So, without further adieu, our recommendations:

Buy- Items we see as gaining in value

Borean Man O’ War– will finally start to have some value but we assume you knew this already.

Eternal Earth– Take a look at the crafted items list and it is easy to see why Eternal Earth will be in high demand. Every one of the crafted items that calls for it as a component doesn’t just require one or two but a full stack of 20! This should significantly increase the value of Eternal Earth to such an extent that the market for this eternal item should stay elevated until the next expansion or at least the next significant content patch. Miners rejoice… everyone else buy them now while they’re still cheap.

Eternal Fire and Eternal Shadow– We predict a modest increase in price for these two eternals as they are components for both Titansteel and some of the high-end cloth that we also forecast increases in price for. The percentage increase in price will probably not be as high as the increase we predict for Eternal Earth as the Earths have both this factor and the one mentioned above but we do recommend that you keep an eye on the prices of these key components.

Gems– With new gear comes new markets for gems. Of particular value will be the new gems cuts released in the patch. As most of the new gear is higher-end we would expect rare gems to increase in value more than uncommon gem cuts since most players that have the best gear will want to gem it with the best cuts available.

Glyphs– Glyphs should sell very well in the first few days of the content patch with the introduction of the dual spec system. It has been reported that by paying for a second specialization you will get a second tab for additional glyphs that will more appropriately fit your secondary spec. Thus, expect a spike in demand initially for new glyphs. Demand should subside a few weeks after the patch goes live however so get in on the glyph rush fast.

High-end ClothEbonweave, Moonshroud and Spellweave should all be increasing in value to reflect the high amount of these items required to craft some of the newer tailoring items.

Icy Dragonscale (and possibly Arctic Fur)- New leatherworking crafted items will require both of these in quantity. Note that we don’t think these items will increase in price by a huge margin as they are only used by leatherworkers (as opposed to the materials required to craft high-end metals or cloth). However, expecting a moderate increase- at least initially- would be reasonable.

Mana Regeneration Items– Gems, crafted items, and particularly mana regen food should increase in value as players adapt to newly nerfed mana regeneration mechanics. This increase in price (again, particularly in food items) may take a little while after the patch to occur as it might take some casters a few runs to realize that they are running out of mana sooner than what they’ve become accustomed to.

Popular Enchantments as well as Enchanting Materials– Similar to gems, new gear means new enchantments. Enchanters would do well to stock up on materials now before the cost increases. Opportunists may wish to hold on to any mats they have now and sell them after 3.1 goes live. We recommend that profit-minded enchanters not only stock up on mats but also have a few vellums crafted of the more popular enchants and ready for posting in the AH. Bear in mind, however, that it may take some time for people to attain new gear so there may be a slight delay between when the patch is released and when these items go up in price unlike many of the other crafting items listed here.

Relic of Ulduar– This one is another one that we can kind of see going either way. On the one hand there will be more demand for the consumables that are only purchasable with these relics as well as an increased interest in their related zone and faction. On the other hand more people interested in both The Storm Peaks and Sons of Hodir means increased supply. Our bet is that, at least initially, these relics will go up in price.

Titansteel Bars– Titansteel Bars should show an increase in price for reasons similar to those we mentioned for the high end cloth.

WotLK Flasks– Flasks from the current expansion should be going up in value as raiders look to anything that may give them an edge in the new raid instance. Of particular note are the Flask of Stoneblood, which is receiving a buff in 3.1, and Flask of Mojo for reasons of mana regen as mentioned above.

WotLK Herbs– More glyphs and increased interest in flasks should drive up the price of all Wrath herbs. These prices will normalize a few weeks into the content but initially we forecast an increase in prices of herbs across the board. Of particular interest should be Frost Lotus which has recently had its drop rate nerfed somewhat tightening supply.

Sell- Items we see as losing value

BoE Valor Bracers– A good amount of profit-minded raiders have made some serious gold turning in their Emblems of Valor for various bracers that were recently changed from bind-on-pickup to bind-on-equip. It was a fun run but we feel that the value of these BoE bracers will be decreasing significantly (possibly selling for half of what they do now at best) because of the following reasons:
1) There will be more new gear available making these obsolete.
2) Emblems of Valor will be the currency in 10-man Ulduar, which will increase the availability of the bracers to the general community.
3) New gold sinks are being introduced to the game meaning that people may be less likely to spend a couple of thousand gold on a single outdated item.

Dragonfin Angelfish– We are going to go out on a limb and predict a drop in price on this particularly popular fish. Currently it is the only item that can be cooked into +Strength food, which is viewed by some as an error on Blizzard’s part. We agree and think this will be corrected with the release of 3.1. If there are more options out there for the strength food buff then demand for the currently (mostly overpriced) Dragonfin will drop, decreasing price. Of course, if they don’t introduce a new source material for strength food you can expect the opposite and this item will actually increase in price. Since we’re betting on the former, we are currently selling off our reserves of Dragonfin.

Frozen Orbs– In our research we haven’t found a single new crafted item that directly calls for the use of Frozen Orbs. Sure, these items will still be useful to those players crafting the older items but overall we expect that Runed Orbs will largely replace these orbs within the community at large. We are aware that many players, and particularly guilds, have been stockpiling these orbs for crafting purposes but we suggest that you sell them off now while they still hold value. Even if you’re concerned that you might need them in the future we suggest that you sell them now for maxim profit and re-purchase them later when they drop in price. People will still be running heroics so they’ll still be attained; we’ll just see less demand for them. Less demand equals less profit. Move accordingly.

Mycah’s Botanical Bag– This BoE herbing bag is being replaced by a new Kalu’ak reputation-based pattern that awards an additional four slots. Many savvy tailors have continued to crank out Botanical Bags but with the integration of a new version we see the old one as losing value significantly. Sell them now for maximum profit.

This concludes our speculation for price movements of some of the Northrend items we feel will be most impacted by the release of WoW patch 3.1. We thank you for taking the time to read our predictions and we invite you to share your own predictions in the comments section. We will be monitoring these items closely in the weeks following the release of 3.1 and we will share the results of our post-patch testing a few weeks after the patch is released.

If you found this post informative you may also wish to read WoW Insider’s patch 3.1 livelihood assessment or their comprehensive round-up of all things 3.1.


Filed under High Profit Items, WoW Economy News, WoW Gold Making Tips, WoW Market Commentary

8 responses to “Northrend Economic Assessment- Part Two

  1. Wow! That is all I really have to say after reading this post, as well as many of your other ones. You take the economics of WoW to the next level, by providing a great amount of depth and clarity. A++ in my opinion. Keep up the good work! And as for predictions I don’t have any, but I will be putting your advice to work, I’ll let you know how it turns out… 🙂

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