Category Archives: WoW Market Data

Data from the WoW market

Abyssal Shatter Test Results

When we first received word that the Abyssal Shatter enchanting spell would be coming to the game we asked our resident enchanting expert if she would be interested in conducting some testing on the ability. She was keen on the idea so we sent a whole bunch of gold over and told her to get busy. A week later, when we hadn’t heard from her, we realized she took this to mean ‘free shopping spree’ and not ‘collect Abyss Crystals’ so we gave her more specific instructions and yet more gold with which to buy up inexpensive Crystals. Shortly after the Abyssal Shatter ability went live we had our results (and she still had her motorcycle). At any rate, the following are the results of our tests.

This chart shows the results of each shatter (click it for larger image)

Abyssal Shatter Test Results

Detailed Results

Number of Crystals Shattered: 128
Cosmic Essence Returned: 89
Infinite Dust Returned: 39
Percent Chance to Receive Essence: 69.53%
Percent Chance to Receive Dust: 30.47%

Cosmic Essence Results

Lowest Amount Received: 1
Highest Amount Received: 6
Average Amount Received: 2.99
Total Amount Collected: 266

Infinite Dust Results

Lowest Amount Received: 7
Highest Amount Received: 19
Average Amount Received: 9.79
Total Amount Collected: 382

We hope you find this information useful for your own enchanting purposes. Please note that all published results are from live servers and not test realms.

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Analysis of Flask Prices

We don’t normally break out individual server prices- preferring instead to look for and study trends identified by producing an average across servers. Examining an average allows us to normalize single-server anomalies. This is important as a server’s economy is a fragile thing and can be manipulated significantly by a single person (even, sometimes, unintentionally). Our averages correct for this imperfection by producing a composite index and, ideally, a trend. However, given the recent conversations on the reliability of averages on both this site and others, we decided, this time, to give the data a second look by breaking out the individual server reports. What we found was most interesting…

Recently, we tested the prices of the four most popular Northrend flasks. To be perfectly honest, after a brief two-week study we found the initial results to be fairly unremarkable. Outside of the normal slow deflationary movement and slight weekday vs. weekend cycle that we’ve observed and reported on previously (and this time to an even lesser degree) it would seem that there was really not much to report.

Here’s the data for a one of the flasks, the Flask of Stoneblood:

2 Week High: 29.345 on Saturday, May 25, 2009
2 Week Low: 24.1625 on Monday, June 1, 2009

Flask of Stoneblood- 2 weeks- 4 srvr avg

Fairly unremarkable right? However, upon closer inspection we find a few interesting observations. By taking away the four-server average function and looking at the flask’s performance on individual servers we start to see some fascinating patterns in price ranges . Take a look at the data yourself. Our observations follow.

Flask of Stoneblood- 2 weeks- 4 srvr unique

Our Observations:

  • Not all servers followed the weekend = higher prices cycle. One server completely bucked this trend by showing lower prices on the weekends and higher ones on weekdays.
  • As we observed with another recent analysis, prices were slightly higher on most servers (3 out of 4 this time) on the Alliance side than those of their opposing faction, the Horde. Of note, these were 4 different servers from the last set we saw the same phenomenon. Does it cost more to play Alliance? Does faction have an effect on prices?
  • The higher the price point, the wider the amount of variance in the prices. This makes sense, however, when we look at the variance in terms of percentages instead of hard amounts where the data reveals itself to be consistent.
  • Price points were consistent on servers on both faction sides. If a server had higher prices on the Alliance side, prices were also higher on the Horde side of that same server. This was observed in every single test and has been observed before. There is, seemingly, some correlation between prices on both sides of the fence for each server which is probably evidence of ample cross-faction sales.
  • There was certainly ample evidence, across both factions of all four servers that a persistent up and down pricing cycle exists. This should provide some trading opportunities for the astute trader.

We do our best to not speculate or draw opinionated conclusions of our tested data. We prefer to leave that part of the process to you, our readers. It should also be said that we ran similar tests on the other three flasks and are continuing our analysis internally, amongst our team members. We intend to report additional data on flasks in the coming weeks provided there is ample interest from the WoWenomics community.

A note on our testing methods:

As always, we use our unique formula for Going Rate as our measured price point as this allows for us to assess only realistic prices. Four servers were tested in this round. This means that we actually ran tests on 8 unique auction houses as both factions are tested and then compiled into a single, reported server average. Tests were run for 15 days, Monday, 18 May 09 to Monday, 1 June 09. The servers we used were selected for population and reported auction house activity factional equivalence. Tests were run at the same time of day, once daily in this case, for 15 consecutive days. Additional information on our testing methods can be found on our other Market Data Reports.

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The Rise and Fall (and Fall and Fall) of Book of Glyph Mastery

Since our initial post regarding the Book of Glyph Mastery we’ve been tracking the item very closely. As we predicted in that post, this item experienced a price plummet that was both fast and sharp. As regular readers know, we are not fans of speculation or conjecture so we’ll let the data tell the story.

4 Week High: 5344 on Monday, April 20, 2009
4 Week Low: 237 on Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book of Glyph Mastery 4 weeks

The above was the result of four weeks of testing the Book of Glyph Mastery. The testing format used was exactly the same as for our post-3.1 analysis as this test was part of the same cycle. The only exceptions being that there was no data collected for the week prior to the patch implementation since the item did not exist on live servers until the patch was released and we used a whole number format as opposed to including fractions in the assessment since the margins were insignificant in numbers this large.

One interesting side note: of all the tests we ran the price was higher for the book on the Alliance side than the Horde equivalent over 80% of the times it was checked. Not by a large amount mind you, but it was still higher than what the Horde was buying/selling it for. Make of that what you will…

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Analysis of the Post-3.1 Economy

We’ve now had two weeks to assess the impact of patch 3.1 on the WoW economy. The general consensus has been that, while there were a few areas of opportunity, the Northrend economy overall is in a state of continued decline. We are certainly no fans of assumption here at WoWenomics so we chose a few items, specifically those items we based our own pre-patch predictions upon, to track with standard financial analytics. It is this analysis we share with you now.

When looking at the statistics below you may notice that there are three weeks of listed tests. The purpose of conducing three weeks of testing was to establish a baseline in the week prior to the release of the patch. Bear in mind that the day the patch was released to the (US) public was Tuesday, April 14th. The data listed below reflects the week of prices leading up to this date and the two-week period following.

Items we Predicted Would Rise in Value

Borean Man O’ War

3 week high: 40.84 on Sunday, April 19, 2009
3 week low: 18.51 on Monday, April 27, 2009
3 week average price: 23.22

after-3-1_1-borean-man-o-war

Of all the items we predicted an increase in price for, Borean Man O’ War saw the biggest increase in value in terms of percentage increase. This was particularly true if you invested when we initially recommended a buy on this item.

Eternal Earth

3 week high: 7.16 on Saturday, April 25, 2009
3 week low: 4.68 on Wednesday, April 8, 2009
3 week average price: 5.53

after-3-1_1-eternal-earth2

While we initially recommended investing in this item prior to 3.1 we amended our recommendation based on data that was released shortly before the patch was released. Yet, Eternal Earth still managed to increase in value over our testing period. Not a huge increase mind you, but an increase nonetheless. Interestingly, all three of the eternals we tested showed a spike in value on all servers in the days immediately following the release of the patch.

Eternal Fire

3 week high: 28.64 on Wednesday, April 16, 2009
3 week low: 18.97 on Wednesday, April 8, 2009
3 week average price: 21.95

after-3-1_1-eternal-fire

Prices for Eternal Fire have remained mostly stable showing only a modest increase over the three-week examination period.

Eternal Shadow

3 week high: 6.89 on Thursday, April 16, 2009
3 week low: 3.94 on Wednesday, April 8, 2009
3 week average price: 5.19

after-3-1_1-eternal-shadow

Interestingly, all tracked eternals showed their lowest prices on the same date. As the price increased from both the date of our prediction and the week prior to the patch date, we consider this prediction a success.

Gems

Initially gems did not show much promise for profit following 3.1. Recently however, the gem market seems to be showing promise. This reflects the fact that players are now attaining more new gear through both Ulduar and Arena Season 6.

Glyphs

The profits to be made in the initial days following the release of 3.1 were meaningful and well documented. Our resident inscription expert remarks only that “things have cooled” significantly since then.

High-end Cloth- Moonshroud

3 week high: 96.45 on Wednesday, April 8, 2009
3 week low: 81.82 on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
3 week average price: 88.97

after-3-1_1-moonshroud1

We chose to track Moonshroud for several reasons; the most prevalent being that we feel it has the highest potential for increase. That said, the price of Moonshroud has thus far not increased outside of specific price spikes described in our summary below. Further, the decline in price is representative of the decline of the other two types of high-end tailoring cloth. In fact, were you to lay the charts for all three cloth types over one another you’d find that they decline at an almost impossible to differentiate rate although the price points are different.

Icy Dragonscale

We chose not to track Icy Dragonscale statistically due to the fact that it experienced a very modest increase in price. In fact, the only remarkable thing about this leatherworking item, in our opinion, is just how unremarkable the price changes were. The prices of the dragonscales have remained at almost the exact same levels for the past three weeks indicating that, perhaps, the market had ‘bottomed out’ previously and this item has achieved some level of price stability.

Mana Regeneration Items

We did not track a specific item to represent mana regeneration as we feel there are simply too many options available to the player to enhance mana regeneration. We do note, however, that we’ve seen a modest increase in the going rate of +MP5 food and gems.

Popular Enchantments and Enchanting Materials

As we noted recently, we’re doing a brisk and healthy business in already-enchanted vellums. Beyond that, we are seeing server price spikes in specific enchanting materials but nothing consistent. If you’re in the enchanting mats business you’ll have to frequently check the AH so as to determine when best to buy and sell.

Relic of Ulduar

These reputation turn-in items have not yet shown a significant increase in price. They have performed instead in similar manner as the Icy Dragonscale listed above. The only interesting thing about these relics is that it is the single item that seems to have found a consistent price that is very close to being the same on all servers (the Icy Dragonscale, by contrast, is consistently in the same price range day after day but that price point varies from server to server). The Relic of Ulduar price is about 2 gold per item across every server tested. Prices for the past three weeks have varied by less than 5 silver from this standard on any given day and, remarkably, this remains the same price level whether the items are sold in stacks or as singles.

Titansteel Bars

3 week high: 102.39 on Tuesday, April 7, 2009
3 week low: 77.82 on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
3 week average price: 92.66

after-3-1_1-titansteel-bar2

Titansteel Bars have been the biggest loser so far in our pre-3.1 assessment. Prices have continued downwards in steady decline for the past three weeks outside of occasional price spikes unique to each server.

WoTLK Flasks

Flask prices have not been specifically tracked as they are a different beast entirely. The two-for-one flask split further complicated the issue. That said, we made a huge amount of gold off of flasks with the release of patch 3.1 and will, perhaps, explore the potential for flasks in a future post. Suffice it to say, for now anyway, that flasks are one of the best items to apply the bid/ask strategy to as it can prove very profitable.

WoTLK Herbs

There was no significant increase in herb prices outside of the occasional herb spike. We theorize that the majority of the scribes and alchemists intending to profit from patch 3.1 bought their herbs earlier rather than later. Herb prices have remained, for the most part, consistent throughout the patch.

Items we Predicted Would Fall in Value

BoE Valor Bracers

The decline in price that we predicted for these bracers is difficult to quantify as there is no simple way to track all the various bracers available and the items are typically sold ad-hoc rather than pre-bought and resold on the AH. Anecdotal evidence, however, supports our initial prediction for decline in that the messages observed in /trade chat by all WoWenomics team members clearly shows the asking price for the bracers to be dropping.

Dragonfin Angelfish

3 week high: 60.81 on Friday, April 17, 2009
3 week low: 44.16 on Sunday, April 26, 2009
3 week average price: 53.82

after-3-1_1-dragonfin-angelfish

This item is in slight decline although it is not for the reasons listed in our initial assessment. Rather, the decline here is caused by over fishing. We’ve provided a more in-depth analysis of the post-3.1 fish market here.

Frozen Orbs

3 week high: 92.75 on Sunday, April 12, 2009
3 week low: 70.16 on Sunday, April 26, 2009
3 week average price: 88.23

after-3-1_1-frozen-orb

Frozen Orbs continue to decline in value although it is difficult to differentiate whether this is due to the deflationary effect or because of the reasons mentioned in our initial hypothesis.

Mycah’s Botanical Bag

3 week high: 284.77 on Friday, April 10, 2009
3 week low: 159.18 on Monday, April 27, 2009
3 week average price: 225.16

after-3-1_1-mycahs-botanical-bag

This item has declined significantly since the release of patch 3.1. There is a steep drop in price a few days after the release that we attribute to the introduction of the new and improved herbing bag to the general WoW market.

In Summary

It should be said right off the bat that it is much easier to predict a decline in the price of an item in WoW than it is to predict a gain in value. This is mostly due to the previously established deflationary effect occurring within the overall game economy. Unfortunately you can’t short WoW items. So, while we did end up being entirely accurate in our predictions for declining value, this alone is not much to be proud of.

As far as our predictions for price increases go, we still reason that some of these increases may still occur as the new crafting patterns drop from Ulduar but, the fact is, the demand spike for materials will be small and short-lived. We’ve already seen examples of this on all of our test servers actually. Situations occurred on all four servers wherein the prices of a certain item like Ebonweave spiked significantly in a single test but prices were almost always normalized by the next test approximately12 hours later. These price spikes were not shown in the results above because they occurred at different times for each server and were thus normalized when combined with the statistics of other servers. What this does tell us, however, is that there is still opportunity for an individual to profit by timing their sales of specific high-end items with the spikes that occur on their own servers. Whether or not you’re interested or capable of watching your server’s economy that closely is, of course, a different story. We do advise that you check frequently, or otherwise liquidate strategically. We do not advise holding items for the long term as that strategy is counterintuitive to the overall WoWenomics game.

We will be continuing our testing and tracking of the prices of the above listed items (and a few others) over the next few weeks as we continue our analysis. If there is enough interest in these types of posts, we’ll put something together and share our results with you.

A Few Notes on Our Testing Methods

It should be noted that all of the listed prices are in the ‘Fair Price’ format, a price measurement scheme that is explained on our Terms page in detail. The listed value of items is the fair price of the items as listed in the Auction houses of four servers. The prices that we show are the average of the listed prices on all four servers. Prices were measured at two points during the day and on both horde and alliance sides. Thus, the final listed ‘Fair Price’ that we tracked and shared is the average of both day and night prices over four servers on both the horde and alliance sides. Prices were measured at the same time daily on each server for the sake of consistency. A fifth server was also tested but not factored into the above listed prices as a control test for our results.

On the day that patch 3.1 was released to US servers, April 14th, data was not recorded due to server stability issues. Therefore, the data listed for April 14th is an average of the day prior and following day’s data. Similarly, on Tuesdays following the patch, servers were unavailable for AM testing times so only evening data is listed. We don’t feel either of these averaged scores significantly affected the outcome of our tests and only mention it now in the interests of full disclosure and transparency.

On a personal note I’d like to send a big thanks out to the WoWenomics team members for measuring and recording their data and returning it in a clear and timely fashion.

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Northrend Economic Assessment- Part One

Over the past few weeks we’ve been conducting some research and testing in regards to the prices- and more specifically the movement of prices- of Northrend items. Our two-part series on the market for Northrend goods begins with an exploration of our collected data and a discussion of the price fluctuations that we observed. The second part of our series will focus more on what we see as the future direction of prices of Northrend goods based on both our testing and the probable impact of coming patch 3.1 changes. The second part of this series will be published on Tuesday.

Part One of Two-
The Current State of the Economy

Trend analysis is a tool used in finance to determine the probable future movement of financial properties based on the data collected from past movement of the same assets. For two weeks we applied our knowledge and experience of real world trend analysis to five Northrend goods. By analyzing the data collected on the prices of these items we’re are able to more accurately asses the future direction of prices of not just the items we studied but the economy overall.

The five items we studied in this round of analysis were:

Frostweave Cloth-stack
Saronite Ore-stack
Goldclover-stack
Infinite Dust-stack
Frozen Orb-single

We feel that these five items represent a good general cross section of the economy for Northrend goods. The following is our data and analysis of these items. Note that the blue lines on the charts represent Going Rate and the Red ones Fair Value, concepts explained in more detail on our Terms page.

Frostweave Cloth (stack of 20)
two-week-test-frostweave-graph
Frostweave is on the decline. This item is easily collected by all players actively playing the game, many of whom have already made enough bandages to max out their first aid skill. This leaves tailors as the primary buyers of this item and many of them have already crafted the items that they want for their own toons. Further, high-end crafted tailor goods are also declining in price as many players have attained superior items from raiding and other PVE content. Frostweave cloth declined in price approximately 15% in the two weeks we studied it.

Saronite Ore (stack of 20)
two-week-test-saronite-graph
Saronite Ore is also on the decline. The reasons for this are similar to the reasons for the decline we saw in Frostweave in that the demand for goods crafted from this ore is also decreasing as players progress through content. Overall, prices of Saronite ore went down about 10% during our study. The loss in value would have been greater were it not for the gem crafters of Azeroth prospecting this ore.

Goldclover (stack of 20)
two-week-test-goldclover-graph
Goldclover also lost value during our two-week study. Reasons here are similar to those already mentioned for other Northrend items although it should be noted here that Goldclover is a very common ingredient in consumables for which, unlike crafted gear items, there is always some amount of demand. Goldclover retained its value best of all the items assessed during our study, having only gone down approximately 7%.

Infinite Dust (stack of 20)
two-week-test-infinite-dust-graph
Infinite Dust also retained its value comparatively well having only decreased in cost approximately 8% during our analysis. We attribute this to the fact that, in addition to being a key tailoring material, it is foremost an enchanting item. As enchants have the same continuing demand effect as consumables, the lesser level of value loss is not entirely surprising.

Frozen Orb (single item)
two-week-test-frozen-orb-graph
Of all the items we studied, Frozen Orb declined the most having lost some 18% of its sell price. We attribute this again to the reduced demand for high-end crafted items compounded by the fact that more players are now progressing through PVE content (in this case specifically heroic instances) so there is also increased supply.

Overall our analysis did reveal a few trends that we found interesting and wish to bring to your attention. Most notably was the fact that all of the items listed below did not go into a straight decline in value. While by the end of the two week study they did all go down in value, there were days when the items sold for more and days when they sold for less. This is why if you look closely you’ll notice that the lines are not a straight downward slope. Instead they seem to have waves or bumps in them. Closer analysis revealed that on certain days of the week prices across the board were up. This is something we were already aware of and have shared with our readers previously. However, overlooked in our previous analysis, was the fact that there was also a day of the week when prices of all five items were lowest. Specifically, while Saturdays represented a high point in prices, Wednesdays came out to be the day of the week when prices were lowest. Savvy traders will take this into account and time their bids and sales appropriately.

A note on our testing methods:

Testing was conducted over three servers. Two United States PVE servers and a US PVP server were used. The testing servers were selected based on an even (or as close to even) horde vs. alliance auction house balance as reported on Warcraft Realms. The two week period that we used to collect our data started on Saturday, 2/22/09 and ran until Friday, 3/6/09. Both horde and alliance data were recorded and subsequently averaged together to produce a single price point. All listed prices were for buy out prices. Bid prices were not considered at all. Analysis was done by hand; no add-on or scripting tools were used. Note that there are two prices displayed per line item, this is so that we explore both Fair Price as well as Going Rate- concepts that are explained on our Terms page.

Our data and testing is not intended to be a direct representation of your experience with similar items. Rather, we hope that the testing we conduct gives you a general insight into the overall price of these items that you can then use to determine your own approach to buying and selling Northrend goods. As with all financial advice, YMMV.

We hope you found this analysis beneficial. Stop in next Tuesday for part two of our analysis and learn what you should be stocking up on or selling off before the next patch hits.

Edit: The second part of this analysis has been published and can be found here.

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