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.
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)
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.
…Well, slightly anyway. We’re seeing Crusader Orbs rising in price slightly across six auctions houses per faction side that we tested. That is to say that 12 out of 12 tested auction houses are showing increased prices as compared to our last assessment 10 days ago. We speculate that this rise in price is for the very reasons we initially predicted such movement, but we also do not believe that the orbs will return to their earlier levels of value (in the 3,000+ Gold range) ever. The orbs dipped on some servers to below 1,000 Gold for a few weeks and testing of these same servers showed that they are now going for 1,100 or more. Eventually, prices will hit a ceiling and come back down but, for now, they seem to be continuing to rise. With a deposit amount of only 36 Silver for a 48-hour auction, it may now be time to put up your Crusader Orbs for sale at prices slightly above current market value with long-term auction durations.
A small fix was applied to the AH interface sometime during the past two weeks. The fix addresses the interface issue we described in a previous post, wherein new searches of the AH would retain the page index of previous searches thereby rendering occasionally inaccurate search results. This was only prevalent in the unmodified auction house and has since been fixed. New searches now revert to the first indexed page of AH searches.
You can, however, still dance your way to free honor at the blacksmith in Arathi Basin.
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.
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.
For several weeks now, every server tested is showing the price of Titansteel Bars to be higher than the price of the materials required to create them. The bars are hovering at a consistently higher price while the more volatile Titanium Ore and Titanium Bars fluctuate wildly. Whilst a miner can only create one bar daily, this is a fast and easy means to profit provided you purchase or farm the materials inexpensively.
Even if you cannot find the materials at a price that makes the bars worth crafting there is still an opportunity to profit by selling your cooldown to another player with the materials. The thing to remember here is that, with the bars as profitable as they are currently and many new patterns circulating in the game, the price of that cooldown should be adjusted upwards instead of the decline that we were previously seeing. Let this message serve as your reminder to stop selling your cooldowns for pre-3.2 price levels and readjust at prices that reflect the new profitability of Titansteel and the loss of income that you experience by not crafting the bar yourself. When you are selling a cooldown, you are not selling the item but rather the opportunity cost of the item. It costs you gold to not craft your daily bars and it is for that loss of income that you should be compensated.
Along those same lines, if you’re an alchemist, even if you’re not transmute specced, be sure to transmute titanium bars on days when you are not transmuting epic gems. Ideally you’ve found plenty of opportunities with the overpriced epic gem market at present but on those few occasions when you either don’t have the mats or cannot attain them inexpensively don’t waste the opportunity that is your daily cooldown by ignoring this skill. Again, at the bare minimum, sell your cooldown to another player and profit from that.
Finally, with the price of Titanium and Titansteel bars being elevated, and the cooldown sales becoming more expensive, this is a fine time to reevaluate your pricing of secondary market Titanium-based goods as well.
The Loot Council is regular column highlighting interesting and informative posts from around the WoW finance blogosphere.
Note that the above blogs are not listed in any particular order outside of the way the team brainstormed them. Please let us know if there are any sites that you feel we should feature and we will do so in a future edition of The Loot Council.