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.
About a week ago an article was published on WoW.com advising readers of the financial benefits of farming a certain highly profitable fish. While we’ve also previously advised that WoW traders focus on fishing and cooking Dragonfin, we do not have quite the same community reach as WoW.com.
The result over the past week has been, as you might have predicted, a sharp drop in the going rate of uncooked Dragonfin Angelfish. Generally, the price of raw Dragonfin stays higher than the prices of equivalent Northrend fish not only because the demand for the cooked fish is so high but also because the supply is diminished by not being connected at all to any fishing daily quests. The currently lower price, however, presents a fantastic opportunity for in-game chefs to turn a quick gold by simply purchasing the price-depressed fish, cooking and selling at a hefty mark-up. The key to this, and really any high-end cooking-for-profit, strategy is in attaining the Northern Spices inexpensively. One idea is to purchase Dragonfin Angelfish for less than 50 gold, the spices for less than one gold and then sell the stacks of cooked product for 100 gold or more. This nets a nice 30 gold per stack minimum profit and the time investment is minimal because we know you’ve already got your Chef’s Hat right?
Be sure to consider both types of cooked Dragonfin for the most profitable variety. Both Dragonfin Filet and Blackened Dragonfin can sell profitably but our experience is that there is usually higher demand for the Filet variety. The profitability of the Blackened fish, however, was increased with the patch 3.2 changes that reduced the amount of raw fish required to cook the item.
The irony to this easy tip is that the author of the post over at WoW.com quite correctly advises readers not to sell the fish when the market is flooded and to examine the entire value chain to determine whether it is best to sell the raw or cooked fish. Naturally, these key points seem to be lost on the community and the result has been a mass influx of uncooked Dragonfin onto the market. If, indeed, the uptick in raw fish on the market is attributable to this article, it can also be expected that the over supply period will end and prices will return to normal levels as the more casual players exit the market. In the mean time, we’re scooping up all the cheap fish we can find.
The Enchanting ability, Abyssal Shatter, was hotfixed onto EU servers this morning. This ability allows for conversion of Abyss Crystals into either Infinite Dust or Greater Cosmic Essence. If the spell results are left unchanged, there will be significant economic impact.
Shattering crystals requires an enchanting skill of 445 and can reportedly yield as many as 18 dusts or 4 essences.
Prices are already starting to move on EU servers to reflect the above stated changes. Players on US servers have somewhat of an advantage here in that, since they did not yet receive the hotfix, they have an early warning of the impending change. US early adapters will be able to play a bit of insider trading and move the markets before they move themselves.
It is worth noting that there will also be some trickle down consequences on related enchantment materials markets such as enchanted vellums and other items that require these materials but this change may require more time to take effect.
Over the long haul, it would be our expectation that the prices of Infinite Dust, Greater Cosmic Essence and Abyss Crystals will all normalize such that the price of 1 Abyss Crystal, 15-18 Infinite Dust, and 2-3 Greater Cosmic Essence all equal about the same amount. Until this happens, however, there will be ample opportunity to take advantage of price disparity.
Buying and reselling BoE gear is a well-known and widely accepted way of making gold in WoW. It is beneficial to remember this old trick as we all sometimes have a habit of getting caught up in our own worlds of crafting and profit margins.
Because many players will not take the time to strategically analyze and compare their existing gear to the various items found while questing or scanning the AH, the traditional logic has always been that purple, or epic quality, items will sell for more. This is true even when the upgrade on a blue (rare) item might be the better improvement for the specific class or spec in question. Purple sells better than blue simply because many players have become trained to respond to this color system in a somewhat Pavlovian approach to gearing.
Similarly, players also respond to item levels of gear. It wasn’t until the release of patch 3.2 that players were able to display the item level of gear but after that change, many took advantage of the new interface option, and now the decision of ‘is it an upgrade’ has taken a new turn. Whereas it used to simply be ‘purple is better’ many player now also refer to the item level so we’ve now got several tiers of epic and upgrades. That’s actually a bit of a misnomer because we’ve always had these tiers; they just weren’t as accessible to the common player.
The lesson here is that you should always enable the ability to display item level in your interface, even if you’re capable of making your own decisions on upgrades. The reasons to do so are:
- It can help you better decide on suitable targets and buy and sell prices for resale.
- Assist in negotiations on price “Man, I’m not paying X for that item, it’s only ilevel 200.”
- It can help you develop a more effective marketing approach to selling BoE items, “Ulduar 25 hard mode equivalent bracers for sale.”
We’ve previously explained how to enable item levels for your interface in our article on selecting profitable quest rewards.
WoWWiki has a fantastic, if somewhat outdated, article on the hidden formula and mechanics of item level. (Pro tip: Gear resellers, be sure to give that WotLK chart at the very bottom of the page a careful look for marketing ideas.)
In the wake of our report yesterday on the state of the 3.2.2 economy, we are receiving scattered reports from concerned readers about the charges on the Drums of Forgotten Kings and the Drums of the Wild. It would seem that some of the more nefarious sellers out there are using up 49 of the 50 charges on their drums and then reposting them with one charge left for the same price as fully charged drums.
UPDATE: We contacted our reader who alerted us to this issue and asked for more information about the scam and they clarified that they were scammed by drums offered in /trade chat. Apparently, the drums can be traded between players with less than full charges but NOT posted on the AH. Beware of deals that look too good to be true in the trade channel, they probably are.
This sort of scam is nothing new and we’ve seen it before with similar charged items. What is different is that the item is new and so some buyers are not quite used to the charge feature of the drums just yet. As with all items
in the AH for sale or trade, the rule of thumb is Caveat Emptor. Watch what you’re doing and don’t make silly mistakes. And, no, a GM will not ‘fix’ this issue for you. Instead, may we suggest a few more appropriate ways for dealing with trading mistakes.
Just so we’re clear, both types of drums have fifty charges each when first crafted. Any less and you’re not buying a ‘new’ product. The Priest buff scroll, Runescroll of Fortitude, holds a single charge each but can stack in sizes of up to 20 per stack. There is still, as yet, no Mage scroll yet so the Vending Machines of WoW are safe for the time being.
On a side note, we love that the Blessing of Kings drums are called ‘…of Forgotten…’ since we’ve become so accustomed to grouping with pallis that forget to buff. Now if only they’d make a ‘Drums of Turn Off Crusader Aura Ya Nub’. Just a thought.