Tag Archives: Economic Theory

What Level is Your WoW Gold Making Skill?

There are so many skills and abilities that are easily measurable in World of Warcraft. Character, Profession, Items, Durability, Progression levels and more are all easily tracked and compared. However, the ability to generate WoW wealth remains subjective at best. A player makes a few gold and suddenly starts thinking that they’ve mastered the gold making meta-game. So how can we tell how good a player is at wealth generation? What metrics do we use to measure gold making success?

In response to these, and other questions, we offer the following assessment chart.

The Casual

The casual trader is the player that posts the occasional item in the Auction House but for the most part finds the entire experience frustrating. When they do trade, they complain of ‘over priced’ goods (before they buy them anyway) and undercutters (and yet, they still will attempt to post). These are the players that selling items in /trade chat for half of what they go for in the AH just because they “don’t want to have to deal with the AH.”

Trading Tools Used: Begging, complaining and delinquent loans
Market Outlook: “There’s a market? Do they sell fruit and vegetables?”

The Apprentice

These are players who have developed an awareness of the gold making game but have no taste for participation themselves. They claim to make ‘enough’ gold for their needs through dailies and selling the occasional items in the AH. They lack a concept of pricing , market cycles, or marketing strategy. Often sells their profession cooldowns. More often than not, these players are also people that have been playing for a while and are accomplished at one or more aspects of the game.

Trading Tools Used: WoW.com, MMO Champion, a few generalist WoW blogs and buying gold for cash.
Market Outlook: “OMG get a life! Who needs that much gold anyway? You only need enough for your mount, riding skill and repairs. Why be greedy?”

The Understudy

Many serious gold makers start their journeys in the role of The Understudy. These are the people who farm relentlessly and supply others with their raw materials or provide dungeon run throughs or boosts. They are capable of making a few hundred gold a day and are usually happy with the results. At some point, however, The Understudy will begin to question just what all the materials are used for and will sometimes even ask around or start reading the WoW gold blogs. In fact, this awareness (that there is more to be had and a desire to get it) is the very moment at which they begin to progress to the next level of the gold making meta-game.

Trading Tools Used: Gatherer and similar farming mods, route planning and daily consolodation web sites and suggestions, upgraded fishing rods.
Market Outlook: “How does he have so much gold?”

The Artisan

This is the beginning of the journey to WoW gold master. The Artisan has a preferred method of making gold but is usually restricted to a single or very few markets. These players enjoy the gold making game and often are on the lookout for opportunities. They usually read at least one of the WoW gold blogs and stay up to date with coming changes to the economy. These players will have maxed out professions and usually a few very rare recipes. They buy and sell profitably and will often advertise their skills and goods in /trade chat.

Trading Tools Used: Auctioneer and possibly other AH tools, analysis and pursuit of the most profitable daily quests and activities.
Market Outlook: “I wonder if I can hit the gold cap? How long will it take?”

The Master of Markets

This trader is very similar to the artisan but takes their mastery of the Auction House to the extreme. These players often have multiple methods of supply for their crafting needs and strictly manage costs. They often dominate very specific markets and are always hunting for more. They understand the more complex aspects of WoWenomics and use spreadsheets, cost analysis and various crafting mods. They are restricted only by their supply and time investment limitations. They are often at least familiar with their biggest competitors.

Trading Tools Used: Auctioneer and related add-ons, QA2, Other AH mod and interface tools, the default friends list, personal banker guilds, steady supply of farmers and exploitation of trading noobs.
Market Outlook: “This current amount of daily profits is nice, but how can I make even more?”

The WoW Tycoon

The Tycoon is most easily defined by the fact that he is quite often not as aware of his competition as the competition is of him. As soon as the Tycoon logs in, his competition breaths a collective sigh and prepares for returned auctions. The Tycoon dominates market segments through a careful mix of scalable supply, demand interpretation, cost management and pricing strategy. They often have their methods of profit perfected and are impervious to all but the best competitors. At this stage of the gold making game, they also end up spending less time in the AH, since they’ve developed a pretty clear understanding of opportunity cost and will thus streamline their selling process. Generally, does not work for tips.

Trading Tools Used: Any AH interface mod (they’ve more than likely tried them all), pricing strategy and an in-depth understanding of scalability, multiple banker alts and guilds, mail, crafting and inventory management mods and tools, specific market domination.
Market Outlook: “This is too easy!”

Bear in mind that anyone can make gold in WoW. All players have a chance to eventually reach the gold cap. So this guide wasn’t created to say who is or is not capable of generating gold but rather to separate the beginners from the experts and to identify the tools, skills and mindsets of all levels of WoW traders.

It is also worth noting that all players, including those at the highest level of the gold making game, performed at the lower levels at some point during their WoW career. Anyone can progress beyond his or her current level with attentive study, practice and planning.

So… what level are you?

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Filed under WoW Market Commentary

The Top 10 (Murphy’s) Laws of WoW Trading

Sometimes things just don’t go your way as a trader. Sometimes it seems as if the world is against you. We call these situations, the Murphy’s Laws of WoW trading.

10. If you really need a farmable material, and set out to go farm it, you will find lots of other materials but very little of what you are looking for. You will see, however, your guildmates finding lots of your target item in whatever zone they’re in. They will proceed to say things like, “Oh look, more Titanium. I wasn’t even looking for that tonight. LOL!”

9. Flying to that same zone yourself will only ensure that neither of you find any more of the target material.

8. Identifying a new, underserved niche market, that no other player has sold in for months, will always bring competitors who wish to supply that same market at exactly the same time.

7. The one item that is selling for an abnormally high amount on your server and you also have in stock and available for sale at the moment will also be the very item that your guild leader, significant other or best mate will be selling at the same time.

6. If you read that X item is a great investment or selling opportunity on one of the WoW blogs and set out to invest in this item yourself, you will quickly learn that you were the last of many people to read this advice and the opportunity will be long gone.

5. Hoarding an item for sale at a later time will ensure that that item never significantly increases in value. Instead…

4. …The item you decided not to hoard and have little supply of will spike in value.

3. Your farmer will disappear. Inevitably. The likelihood of their mysterious disappearance increases as your dependency on this person for your supply increases.

2. The higher the amount of the deposit on an item, the less likely it is that it will sell in a single sales cycle.

1. The percentage of completion of posting your auctions is proportional to the percent chance that your main competitors will log on. Thus, once you have posted 100% of your auctions, a competitor is 100% sure to log on and undercut you on each auction.

Any of these ever happen to you?

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Filed under Funny Money, Off Topic, WoWenomic Theory and Discussion

Synthetic Fur Coming into Fashion

As widely reported and recently confirmed on the PTRs, Arctic Fur will be tradable for 10 Heavy Borean Leather from a vendor in the professions region of Dalaran. This change will have several economic effects, the most significant of which will be the normalization in price of Arctic Fur with 10 Borean Leather.

Farming Arctic Fur, as most skinners know, can be a frustrating experience for the profit-minded WoW trader. A quick search of the item on the WoW official forums shows that the vast majority of posts related to Arctic Fur are complaints on abysmal drop rates. Blizzard has responded to the wall of skinning QQ by implementing a change that will allow a conversion of other, lower level, leatherworking profession items into the harder to attain Fur. This type of change is not entirely unprecedented in the game, the most recent example of which would be the implementation of the Abyssal Shatter ability for Enchanters. Unlike that ability however, the Arctic Fur conversion process will be useable by anyone, not just players that require the item for his or her professional crafting uses. This means that any enterprising and astute trader will be able to profit from any amount of price disparity by simply keeping a close watch on when the price of Arctic Fur rises significantly above that of 10 Borean Leather. Assuming there is no limited restock or cooldown of some sort (which, at present on the PTRs, there isn’t) it will be easy to rig the market to produce this profitable result. The vendor trade profit potential will be short lived, however, as eventually even casual traders will catch on to the change and the markets will stabilize.

On the larger scale, we wonder if this profession item trading ability is a sign of things to come in WoW. Blizzard mentioned at Blizzcon this year that they were going to make rare reagents available through guild membership so, it would appear anyway, that they are moving away from players struggling with attaining these types of items for crafting purposes. This will ultimately completely redefine these key trading markets and we can’t help but wonder what the long term economic effects will be. If the intent was to make the more rare crafting items easier to attain, why not simply increase the drop rate? The purpose of changes similar to this one must be that Blizzard is trying to redefine these markets.

When it is all said and done, it would be reasonable to expect that the longer term results of this change are going to be a constant equalization between the prices is of equivalent amounts of Borean Leather (in all of its forms) and Arctic Fur. If this should prove to be the case, expect to see a sharp rise in the price of Borean Leather and a modest decrease in the going rate of Arctic Fur in the wake of patch 3.3. There may be some opportunity for procuring inexpensive Borean Leather now, before this change is widely known, for either reposting when the price spikes or conversion to Arctic Fur when the change first hits and the prices are still high.

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Filed under WoW Economy News, WoW Gold Making Tips, WoW Market Commentary

Raw Epic Gems on the Rise

Uncut epic gems are showing increases in price on every server we tested. This is occurring even as the prices of many cut epic gems are decreasing in price. The reasons for this pricing anomaly are simple.

Demand is Up

Uncut (or raw) epic gems gain value as demand increases. We are currently seeing a demand increase because many jewelcrafters now each have several learned patterns and are increasingly gaining more. As jewelcrafters learn more patters, and seek to cut more gems, the demand for raw gems increases. Demand for cut gems is also on the rise due to the new Arena Season, new PVP gear and additional PVP content but the cut demand is not increasing as fast as the uncut demand… for now. It is reasonable to expect that cut gem demand will equalize with, or possibly even overcome, uncut gem demand as more players gain new gear and as players develop a coherent strategy as to how they wish to gem their gear with epic cuts. Of course, any increase in cut gem demand will also increase demand for uncut equivalents but the opposite relationship is not necessarily true.

Supply is Down

Again, with the release of new PVP gear, many players are back to spending their honor points on attaining this gear as opposed to purchasing gems for resale. Further, most players are reporting their experiences with prospecting Titanium Ore to be unprofitable and are thus not pursuing this avenue of gem creation either. This leaves a significant dent in the supply of raw epic gems and a market ripe for exploitation by the savvy WoW trader.

Conclusions

If you have excess uncut epic gems keep an eye out for opportunities to sell them at a premium. The servers we tested each showed at least 3 out of 6 possible colors of epic gems to have at least some cut gems that were selling lower than the price of uncut gems. One server showed at least one cut gem in each gem color category to be selling cheaper than their raw counterparts.

The signs of a good selling opportunity include (but are by no means limited to):

  • A very low (perhaps < 5) amount of uncut epics available
  • Multiple cut gems selling for less than their uncut counterparts
  • A sharp rise in prices of a popular cut gem(s)

The market is moving, make sure you are moving accordingly. In put it in PVE terms, don’t stand in the purple AH fire.

4 Comments

Filed under High Profit Items, WoW Gold Making Tips

Investment Advice

Financial guidance is a tricky game. There are many different approaches to the game and part of being a successful advisor is convincing others that you are already a successful advisor. Thus we set out, based on the overwhelming questions we’ve received from readers about real world guidance, to provide our own tips for choosing the best financial advice and advisors to follow whether you’re seeking advice for making more gold or more cash.

Who is the Expert

For the layman, the quickest and simplest explanation is almost always preferred. In fact, anything more complex than a basic tip or suggestion is most likely not even to be heard. This is not intended as an insult, it is simply the way the mind works. Even the most astute WoW (or real world) trader could be a financial genius but that doesn’t mean that they would have the desire to discuss the finer points of arthroscopic knee surgery or molecular biology or astronomy or even preparing an exquisite seven course meal. Everybody finds some things boring and other things interesting. The fact that we are so diverse in our interests and opinions is really a blessing in that it makes each of us have a potential value that we can choose to contribute to the vast pool of humanity. However, we can actually do or learn anything we put our minds to. This unique skill to adapt and learn is another gift we have. So, if we can learn anything than can’t we all be financial experts?

No. See, the fact is that while you can do anything you can’t do everything. As humans we end up making choices about where we direct our attention and the things we choose to ignore. So at some point you have to sacrifice certain subjects and learn about others that catch your interest. Ideally you find your passion, follow it, and never look back. But what happens when you want to learn about a subject that you did not have enough interest in to study? In those cases you turn to an outside source for guidance.

Enter the financial advisor. This is the person whose mission is to bring you financial advice, guidance, strategy and knowledge about aspects of money that you may not fully understand. The point is that not having a full comprehension of all aspects of finance is completely within reason. The smartest thing you can do is simply apply this understanding towards seeking guidance (as opposed to responding to some spam mail or something and dropping a few grand on a bad investment).

The best thing you can do, as a potential investor seeking guidance, whether you’re a seasoned pro or the newest of noobs, is to develop the skills to comprehend what your being told. No need to fully understand complex finance, but you certainly should know how to discern good advice from bad.

Types of Advice

There are many categories of financial guidance. It helps to be able to identify them if you’re going to decide what works best for you.

  • Forecasts- Forecasts are predictions about the future of (ideally) specific markets based on (hopefully) historic data that has been thoroughly analyzed. This type of guidance usually mentions terms like cycles, trends, correlation and probability.
  • Strategy- Strategy is an overall approach as opposed to a specific type of guidance. Strategy determines what types of investments you should be seeking and how to set up all of the variables to best succeed.
  • Tips and Tricks- These are quick hits based on what is usually an overlooked or not widely known piece of information. It is the number one thing that that average investor asks for and the last thing a good advisor should ever give (we told you it was a tricky business). The reality is that if someone gives you a hot tip you should consider their incentive to do so (see ‘incentives’ below). If we give you an insider tip based on proprietary knowledge we’re breaking the law and if we had a crystal ball to look in we’d already have done so and, chances are, not have told the average investor about it. The best thing we can tell you here is that there are no short cuts, just thorough research and real life experience. Think about this next time someone tells you that they work in finance and you ask for a “hot stock tip.”
  • Guidance- A good advisor provides suggestions and guidance based on your situation. This involves listening and understanding on their part before they ever say a word. Guidance is a delicate art and requires lots of patience from both parties. There is also an inferred level of trust and acceptance. Someone who provides decent guidance will only let you take on a tolerable level of risk and is really more about helping you develop a strategy (and facilitating that strategy) than they are about selling you a product or convincing you of anything.

Types of Non-advice

Just as there is lots of advice, there is also lots of non-advice. In fact, non-advice is the most popular form of financial discussion there is. It helps to understand these types of non-advice whilst understanding that it too has value.

  • Discussion and Theory– This type of guidance is very general and really more of a discussion of possibilities with in the market. These advisors are often vague and will deliberately avoid making any specific recommendations. Nothing ventured, nothing gained- true. However, these guys know that that the opposite is also true and while nothing is gained by vague theoretical discussion, nothing is lost. Thus, you can’t accuse them of losing all your money or giving bad advice. How could they have? They didn’t really say anything.
  • Punditry- This type of advice is designed to make your eyes glaze over. These are the pundits and pontificators. These guys use big words and complex equations with the knowledge that you won’t understand them and will be too embarrassed to ask for clearer language. It is tough to detect this sort of bullshit because it feels counterintuitive. After all, shouldn’t this guy be smart about this subject? Smart? Yes. Confusing and evasive? Not so much. If they’re really smart, and care at all about your money, they will also be able to speak to you in a language you can understand. Every finance pro can do this incidentally, it is the last class they teach us before we graduate, “How to Bullshit and Sound Even Smarter 101”. In fact, we’re willing to bet that everyone knows someone who does this. Typical subjects that perform this linguistic tango are managers and professors- easier to sound smart and intimidating than to actually do something. It doesn’t mean that the advisor doesn’t know what they’re talking about, but it does mean that if you’re going to listen you should ask for a reasonable explanation.
  • Tales of Success- This is the type of advice that consists of not ever telling you what to do but instead, regales you with stories about what the advisor has done successfully in the past. You say, “I have a ton of Titanium Ore right now.” And this type of advisor tells you about how they once turned all of their titanium into bars and had a blacksmith craft a bunch of frost resist gear that they bled into the market and they made a killing. The advisor never told you what to do, or developed a strategy based on your needs but instead told you what they did. Replicating the strategy sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

Reporting (and a little more about us)

It is important to distinguish reporting from guidance. Many people make the mistake of thinking they are one in the same when they are actually quite different. Reporting tells you what’s going on. Guidance tells you what to do about what is going on. Reporting tells you that the market is up today. Guidance tells you why and how to react. Get it?

One of the things we like to do here at WoWenomics is report. Yes, by our own admission, we prefer to not give guidance. In fact, when this blog was in its infancy the team agreed, specifically because we all work in finance, that we wanted only to report… just the facts, nothing more. For a variety of reasons we do more than report these days but our favorite type of WoWenomic study is just that, examination of the WoW economy. Hence the name…

This is also why we welcome all other finance blogs and list them right there on the side bar of every page. We read all of these blogs and are constantly on the hunt for more. We don’t view these as competitors (for one thing no one has any financial incentive here- no ads, no sponsors, no guide books) but rather sources of guidance you can choose to follow yourself. They broaden the picture we see and we hope you use them all, from the smallest and news blog to the biggest and furthest off topic, to learn more about this fantastic virtual economy. And please, tell us all about what you’ve found and share your own theories.

The Unknown

As we already said, no one knows it all. It doesn’t matter how good your investment advisor is they will have to deal with an otherwise unforeseen event. This is why a good advisor will give you more than just financial tips, they will also help you diversify, build a safety net and generally plan for the unknown. This is also why you, as the investor, must understand more than just “buy X stock”. You need to understand the basics such as how long it will take to return your investment and how much you can expect to make beyond your seed investment amount.

At the end of the day there are no guarantees, no 100% winners and no short cuts. If you want to be successful in the market, be it virtual or real world, you do your research and plan accordingly or you turn to a trusted source that does this work for you.

Vested Interest

One of the best tools you can use to determine the quality of financial advice is that of understanding the motivation of the person guiding you. Is this person trying to sell you something? Are they advocating a political or moralistic agenda? What’s their angle? There is an old Wall Street adage that says, “Whenever you don’t know who the loser is in a transaction, then the loser is you.” Some investment advisors get paid salary, others commission, others still make money pushing certain financial instruments. It helps to know where the person giving you advice is getting compensated. Do your homework and get the details. A good example is with the televised investment shows on CNBC and the like. These people often seem like educated and respected gurus and that may even be true to a certain extent. But are they in the business of providing you with sound financial advice? No. They are in the business of selling advertising space or air time. These guys benefit when viewership increases and they sell more advertising, not when you do well in the market.

So Wait a Minute, How do I Identify a Good Financial Advisor?

The best financial advice comes when your incentives are aligned with the person providing you guidance. If they benefit from you doing well, in the form of your return business or commissions or similar, then this person is more likely to give you advice they can use. And how can they know when your interests are aligned? Good question. The way they do that is by listening. If you take only one thing away from this article let that be it. One clear sign of a good investment advisor is someone that understands your situation through a series of probing questions and receptive listening. Not the guy with the flashy suit who tells you to buy X stock.

So, Is This the Part Where You Give Me a Hot Stock Tip?

The best thing we can tell you regarding WoW is that if you’re looking to cash in quick, understand the market has trends based almost exclusively on supply and demand. If you want to understand these trends just read the patch notes and WoW finance blogs and react accordingly. Right now, inscription is the hot profession and Titanium the hot item. But this too shall pass and that’s really our point.

If you’re looking for real world financial tips the best one we can give you (with the understanding that we’re not in the business of guidance at all) is that you should invest as early in life as possible in a Roth IRA. This instrument, used in conjunction with a decent 401k plan through your employer, is like the dual-farming spec of real life. It is a fantastic and simple scheme and requires very little beyond your investment and commitment. It is also what we tell every single person we meet who asks for a “hot stock tip” so there you go.

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Filed under Real Life Finance, WoWenomic Theory and Discussion

The Death of WoW

A fierce debate has been raging within the WoWenomics team for the past few weeks. This debate has centered around the simple question, are we witnessing the decline of World of Warcraft?

The Opinions

It was initially an insightful article on Spinksville that got us talking about this subject. In that post, Spinks mentions the age of WoW and ponders if MMOs might suffer the same marked decline as the author observed with MUDs. The argument about the connection between MUDs and MMOs aside, it did serve to get us thinking of the life of WoW more in terms of an arc as opposed to a straight timeline. If we accept that the life of WoW is an arc we are then prompted to ask the question, just where in this arc are we currently? Is WoW in a state of increasing or decreasing popularity and success?

As we mentioned, the WoWenomics team is torn on the state WoW. One of our members insists that WoW will live on (with continual content patches and support) even if subscriber numbers dwindle. In this way, says he, the game will never die so long as the endeavor remains profitable. Others argue that the game has already passed the plateau of the lifespan arc and is now in a state of deterioration. A few of us are of the belief that WoW is at the very top of the arc of the game’s lifespan and Blizzard is at the top of their game. Of course, this implies that there is an inevitable decline ahead. Tellingly, none of our number took the stance that the game is still on the upswing.

For their own part, Blizzard states that there is no firm deadline upon which they will shut off WoW. As business people, however, we argue that there is. Certainly they’ve already decided upon a certain threshold where the business becomes unprofitable and will be discontinued.

The Evidence

So, about that arc… Is there some way to definitively identify where we are in the WoW lifecycle? The evidence of decline is easy to measure but, perhaps, difficult to quantify. Wolfshead presents a well-thought out and comprehensive analysis of the web statistics for the official WoW domain. In the same post, the author presents a graph, charting Blizzard’s announced subscriber statistics. Seeing the data presented in this visual format makes it easy to identify a flattening of the upward curve that previously represented player growth.

But there is other evidence of decreasing popularity as well:

What is most evocative about this culmination of data is that we have been in the money-making business long enough to know that it often takes several factors culminating in a cohesive timeframe to force cataclysmic change. Is this what we are seeing now?

The combination of decaying web stats, leveling off of subscriber numbers, anecdotal user experience reports on players taking extended breaks and closure of high-profile community sites all seem to point towards a shift in popularity. So if WoW is not in decline, it certainly seems to be at a plateau. Were this an investment we were trading, we’d argue that now’s the time to sell.

The Economy

Which brings us to the point of the in-game economy and WoW wealth-generation. We assert that the effects of a decline in the popularity the game will be felt very early in the economy. Perhaps just after players report exodus of friends and guildies to other games or non-gaming activities. We are split as to what that market activity will be, however. Will we see mass inflation as no one is farming anymore and prices are driven up by supply shortages? Or will it be the opposite and that the markets will deflate massively given a lack of demanding customers. Will Blizzard take any form of corrective market action to stabilize the game economy?

As traders in the various WoW markets we also have to ponder what we should do with our wealth and when to do it. Do we start selling our stockpiles of goods now, while we can still get maximum value? Or do we do it later when we may get less but can be surer of a state of decline. Should we be spending like crazy now just to have fun with it while we can? One thing we are fairly certain of is that, just like real life, you can’t take it with you.

The Future

Blizzard has already stated that their next MMO will not be WoW 2. That said, we do predict that they will pick up the WoW franchise again at some point (even if this is some years out) as they’d be mad not to.

We highly doubt that, regardless of the theme of Blizzard’s next MMO, you will be able to take any of your virtual property with you into the next game. This is understandable. Although we think it would be a pretty nice touch if you could reserve your character and perhaps even guild name, based on your WoW equivalent.

In the mean time, there will still be a few content patches and perhaps even another expansion cycle to go through before Blizzard pulls the plug. And even if they stop developing new content they may still keep the game going indefinitely so long as it is profitable.

The End

So if WoW is losing its appeal, we are forced to examine why we are amassing wealth in the game and if it is time to spend more than we save. Obviously, the answer to this question depends largely on your personal goals as a WoW player and trader so we can’t answer for you. When it comes down to it, whether or not the game is in a state of decline or growth is irrelevant if you’re still having fun playing it. So long as playing still feels like a fun way to spend your leisure time and building in-game wealth is part of that fun, by all means continue trading away even if the ship happens to be sinking around you.

That said, given recent events and the aforementioned data, perhaps it is time to- at the very least- start thinking about just what you mean to do with all that gold.

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Filed under WoW Market Commentary

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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Filed under WoW Economy News, WoW Gold Making Tips, WoW Market Commentary, WoW Market Data