The prices of Northrend fish over the last few days have dropped dramatically. With prices in the range of 40-60 gold on most servers, the three fish used to make Fish Feast in particular were always a good source of income to the profit-minded WoW angler. With the changes to the fishing profession introduced in patch 3.1 however, things have changed.
Currently, all of the prices of popular fish are deflated. We attribute the price drop to a significant increase in supply with minimal increase in demand. In fact, a quick look at the Warcraft Top List, spread over 7 days, shows just such an increase in looting of high-level fish. The reason that fishing has become so much more attractive to the average WoW player is primarily because Blizzard has made the profession more attractive in the form of new mount drops from fishing, easier fishing (pools more visible and cast time reduced) and the introduction of daily quests with some pretty attractive potential rewards. More players fishing means more supply. And, as we’ve mentioned previously, when supply is increased and demand is not- a drop in price is often the expected result.
At this point it is difficult to determine the correct course of action. The WoWenomics team is split down the middle as to how to proceed for maximum profitability. It should be noted that we are also part of the problem in that every one of us is completing the daily quests and fishing for the new mount, thus further increasing supply on our servers. Half the team thinks the best move is to sell every catch, which insinuates a further belief that the prices of fish will not recover. The other half are bullish on the fish market and are, in fact, buying up the really inexpensive fish put up for sale on the AH by all the ‘casual fishermen’. The belief here is that the market will ultimately recover somewhat as the casuals devote time and interest to other things and supply again drops. So, the best course of action is left for you to decide. At this point the only thing we know for sure is that prices are, in fact, dropping. That said, here are a few other interesting notes about the fish market that we’ve noticed over the past few days:
- Of all the available Northrend fish, Dragonfin Angelfish has retained its value best. Prices for this particular type of fish remain strong because our initial 3.1 presumption, that there would be additional recipes that awarded the same benefit as the popular Dragonfin Filet, did not prove true. Thus, if you are going after the turtle mount, you might want to focus your attention on Dragonfin pools. In doing so you not only have the same chance at the mount as you do with other pools, but your profit potential will be much higher than with other areas.
- For similar reasons, you might also consider fishing in Deep Sea Monsterbelly Schools although the market for these fish is much more susceptible to a price drop when over supplied due to limited usefulness to WoW chefs. Similarly, fishing for Borean Man O’ War could prove an attractive way to spend your time depending on the prices of Black Jelly on your server.
- If you’re not already a cook yourself, you might want to start working on that skill. The best way to continue profiting from fish right now is to sell the cooked (as opposed to raw) fish. If you absolutely can’t stand the thought of spending your WoW time cooking (but you can somehow bring yourself to fish?!?) then consider teaming up with a friend or guildmate that is a cook and maximize your profit.
- Another opportunity for profit is with the Fish Feast. Many players didn’t notice the change, but Fish Feast is no longer bind on pickup and can now be sold in the AH or otherwise traded. This change has a secondary benefit of reducing guild and player bank clutter. On a related note, even if you’re not a chef or a fisherman, a responsible raider will carry a few of these in her bags during raid times to share the financial burden with whomever normally supplies the meals during raids.
- The secondary market for fish related items could also see some changes. We expect to see an increase in supply for both Pygmy Oil and Pygmy Suckerfish but not necessarily Guru’s Elixir. This only strengthens our initial assessment of this item. We don’t, however, predict a noticeable change in the prices for various lures and Elixir of Water Walking as these items are fairly well supplied on all the servers we checked.
- In related news, there may be a slight increase in the price of Northern Spices as patch 3.1 introduced a new way for cooks to spend their awards in addition to the fact that more players are leveling their cooking skill.
As the old Irish saying goes, “May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it.” Good luck out there.