WoW Economy Weekly Wrap-Up: Battle for Azeroth Pre-Purchase, Love Is In The Air, Transmog Farming & Powerleveling
WoW Economy Weekly Wrap-Up
Welcome to the twenty fourth edition of the WoW Economy Weekly Wrap-up!
If you're new to this series or want to re-visit past posts, you can
check out the previous articles right here on wowhead.com
My name is
and I’m the lead moderator for the
and the accompanying
. I am also the Support Manager & User Evangelist for
, the Auction House addon suite for World of Warcraft. I hope to cover and showcase some of the interesting topics, discussions, content and guides that have been going on over the last week in the gold making community. Some that you might have missed as a veteran gold maker, or you might be interested in checking out for the first time as a new or aspiring ‘goblin’.
The format will not be that of a traditional guide, but links to further reading with commentary and opinions of my own. I will be looking at the bigger picture, the decision making and thought processes in being a gold maker – rather than a step by step instructional list. As the saying goes, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
The Battle for Azeroth pre-purchase was surprisingly made available shortly before the
recent Developer Q&A this past Tuesday
. The speculation was that we might receive some news regarding when it would be made available at the end of the Q&A but Blizzard evidently had other ideas. Unfortunately there wasn't anything interesting in the Q&A from the perspective of a gold-maker, however I'm confident that a future Q&A with Senior Game Designer Paul Kubit will be held and more of our questions will be covered, as he focuses on profession systems etc.
So let's discuss some of the implications of the pre-purchase and what kind of affects it has had on some markets. First of all, what do you get with a pre-purchase?
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
is now available for pre-purchase through the
and in-game shop! When you pre-purchase a digital copy, you’ll receive a level 110 character boost to use immediately. You can also begin the journey to unlock the expansion’s new playable Allied Races: the Highmountain Tauren, Lightforged Draenei, Void Elves, and Nightborne. And if you level an Allied Race character from 20–110*, you’ll earn a distinctive Heritage Armor set—a lasting symbol of your dedication and commitment to Azeroth.
The two biggest contributing factors in-game are the new Allied Races and the level 110 boost that is bundled with the purchase. Gaining access to the Allied Races requires certain reputations and achievements to be completed, which you can create a market for in some cases. Similarly, boosting a character to level 110 places a player in a predictable situation, they don't have any gear, they don't have large bags, they might not have very many transmog appearances for that armor-class. These are all things that are generally seeing an uptick in sales - even since patch 7.3.5 when level scaling was introduced. We can determine this by looking at the what a level 110 boost actually gives you:
If you use your Level 110 boost, your character will:
Start with item level 870
Have the Broken Shore intro complete, but all of the remaining quests incomplete
Have only one Artifact weapon, which is Artifact Level 35 with 3 x item level 870 Relics
Have one flight path for each zone (including the Broken Shore) unlocked
Have professions (including First Aid) boosted to 700, if the character is Level 60+
Have your Order Hall unlocked, but no progress on the campaign or followers.
Have Embersilk Bags
Have none of Argus complete and be at the intro quests
Gems, enchants and consumables are markets surrounding leveling, lots of players enjoy making their character as powerful as possible - even if that means replacing enchants and gems as they acquire new gear. Demand for bags especially has been dramatically increasing, as
experienced live on stream:
From a gold-maker's perspective, utilizing this level 110 character boost and be a quick way to expand your gold strategies as
My Tip of the week: If you don't have a DK yet. DK's are perfect targets for level 110 boost. You start at level 58 and can level to 60 relatively easy. After you do you walk of shame in your Faction Capital. Grab professions: all 4 secondary and 2 primary before using the boost. You'll get WOD maxed professions. When you choose your weapon I suggest Blood. Blood DK's make excellent farming tanks. They are hard to kill and have pretty decent AOE.
It's also very important to note that if you're intended to use the boost to utilize the Warlords of Draenor Garrison at level 3 (as you would receive with a level 100 boost),
you need to boost an existing character or a class trial
, and not a brand new character - using a boost on a brand new character, without creating it initially, will bypass anything related to Draenor.
There is also potentially a new market created in powerleveling, but we will investigate and discuss that in a section of its own.
Taking a step back, the fact that you can use your Blizzard Balance to pre-purchase the BfA expansion, i.e with your in-game gold, means that the price of the WoW Token hit brand new record highs in both EU and NA regions.
Data courtesy of
EU Tokens peaked at a record high of 406,037g
NA Tokens peaked at a record high of 239,477g
Prices did fall and are currently stablising a little higher than they were prior to the pre-purchase availability. Which tends to happen after every spike in demand. The implications that the value of a WoW Token will inherently increase in value over time raises questions about inflation in general. The more gold that people can acquire by purchasing and converting a WoW Token the more likely it is to drive up the cost of items. I do hope Blizzard are keeping a close eye on the economic side of the game, but this is a topic of discussion for another time.
Have you pre-purchased Battle for Azeroth? Have you noticed an increase in sales for any particular markets surrounding new and leveling characters? How much have you spent on WoW Tokens? At which point would you consider it worthwhile buying a Token to convert to gold?
It's that time of year again, love is most certainly in the air! Whether you're farming the dungeon for your chance at the elusive
or looking to stock up on the vendor goodies to sell off-season, there's something for you to be doing. I thought I'd draw attention to the fact that the rocket mount won't be obtainable by characters below level 98, if you hadn't seen the news already - it's quite an important update to the holiday events in WoW and was clarified by CM Ornyx yesterday:
A quick update on changes to Holiday Loot with the launch of 'Love is in the Air' today:
When we changed Holiday dungeons to scale based on a player’s level, we aimed to increase participation in those dungeons. We also wanted to avoid a situation where a player with an army of low-level characters had a better chance at receiving account-wide rewards than a player with one or two max-level characters. At the same time, we didn't want to impact the amount of chances that players who maintain several max-level characters had in previous years.
As a compromise, we made account-wide rewards a random drop for any character capable of participating in current-expansion content. For the remainder of Legion, players level 98 and above fit that criteria. The minimum level requirement will increase again in Battle for Azeroth, and will continue to increase in future expansions.
Besides that, Love is in the Air is mainly about farming
which can be turned in for items like
Discussions have been active regarding the most optimal farms and are being documented in this compendium on the /r/woweconomy subreddit
. One of the better options is Everbloom Wilds on Normal difficulty,
/u/Goord put together a video showcasing this farm
If you're not that much in to farming yourself, playing the Auction House is always a viable option during these holiday events. The general rule of thumb is that as more people acquire the items from the holiday their price will decline, often to a low-point around the middle of the event in question - that would be the opportunity you'd be looking for to 'flip' the holiday items, but not immediately. This is more of a long term investment and you'd be aiming to sell while the event is not active. Picking up the mounts for cheap is certainly possible during the event, but try not to participate in a 'race to zero' if you're out farming yourself, there's no reason to offload all of your inventory immediately at the cheapest price.
For a full overview of the Love is in the Air 2018 holiday event, check out the Wowhead.com guide.
Will you be farming for some charms? Do you still have stock from last year if you farmed/purchased some of the mounts? How would you rate this holiday event for gold-making compared to others?
This week I'm going to talk about transmog as if you're not brand new to gold-making and have spent some time in the market - as I mentioned last week, I wouldn't advise any new-starter invest all of their time and/or gold in to transmog. However, there has been some interesting data collection since patch 7.3.5, particularly from
who has decided to record the loot from popular dungeon runs.
Loot from 100 runs of Razerfen Downs
I'm going to be doing 100 runs of all the popular dungeons for transmog and some dungeons that may not be as popular, recording all of the notable drops to reflect what its like after the changes. Notable drops are items of value close or over 1,000g on my server (Tichondrius-US). The prices of the items in this post will be based off of the US-Region Market Average.
To start off, I decided to do RFD
Average Run Time Per 10 Runs: 46 Minutes
Total Run Time: 8 hours 30 Minutes roughly
A few things to note out of this, the prices for the enchanting materials will vary extremely especially since the API is down. For example, I know Large Brilliant Shards are less than 10g each on my server but at the time of making this had a Regional Average for 49g. Every server will have different prices for these items. At the Regional Average price, running this on an enchanter will bring in an average for 2,000g - 2,500g extra per 10 runs.
In total from the 100 runs I obtained 581,214g worth of items. 51,173g came from Materials + Vendor Greys. 530,041g came from Transmog. On average I obtained 58,121g per 10 runs.
Check the full /r/woweconomy submission for an itemised list from RFD.
Loot from 100 runs of Zul'Farak
For this segment of doing 100 dungeon runs
I decided to do ZF (Zul'Farrak)
, recording all of the notable drops to reflect what its like after the changes. Notable drops are items of value close or over 1,000g on my server (Tichondrius-US). The prices of the items in this post will be based off of the US-Region Market Average. At the end of the post I'll give my thoughts on ZF. I did this on a level 110 druid using Bear Tartare.
Average Run Time Per 10 Runs: 60 Minutes
Total Run Time: 10 Hours roughly
In total from the 100 runs I obtained 712,371g worth of items. 38,660g came from Materials + Currency/Vendor Greys. 673,711g came from Transmog. On average I obtained 71,237g per 10 runs.
Materials/Currency = 38,660g / 3,866g
Transmog = 673,711g / 67,371g
Materials/Currency + Transmog = 712,371g / 71,237g
All in all, I enjoy ZF. I think it gives a wide variety of transmog opportunities as well as the chance of patterns and or recipes. It is a great dungeon to start off the process of building your inventory of transmog. Compared to other dungeons, ZF drops a far greater number of transmog pieces even if some are lower in value. Two things to note, I did not receive anything from the scarabs, as well as the shallow graves. The graves did contain items just none of value, although I have received items of value from both the scarabs and graves in the past.
Check the /r/woweconomy submission for an itemised list from Zul'Farak.
Managing your stock
The question often arises on what to do after you've been farming for a while, your stock is ever-increasing, you have duplicated items, but sales aren't happening any more frequently. How do you manage your stock?
/u/gglaser3649 asks about the minimum value of items the community is prepared to deal with
Hey all, I'm fairly new to the transmog market and I had a few questions. I have TSM set up and am happy with the group's and operations I have set up on them. I went through on the weekend and farmed quit a few vanilla and BC BoEs. What is the minimum market value that's worth posting on the auction house? Right now I'm just posting things with a market value over 100g
Interestingly there are various numbers/values being shared by goblins. Personally I've gone through each of these numbers as a 'floor' in terms of value - I wouldn't try and sell anything below a value of 100g initially, this increased up through 250g, 500g and eventually 1000g. Now I treat my transmog as a secondary source of revenue, as I've mentioned a few times, I don't farm for it myself and I just snipe/buy deals off the Auction House when the opportunity is there to be the only seller or have a particularly rare item.
/u/flynwhtesausage echoes my thoughts
I typically look at multiple factors.
Price of listing
How many are already posted
Main rule of thumb is nothing gets posted under 300g unless it has higher than 0.4 sale rate OR is under 3g to post. 300g-1k Is usually up to 5-7g to post and higher than 0.2 sale rate.
Anything over 1k is pretty much guaranteed post for me. If the market is flooded with a specific item and the sale rate is relatively low I wont post it, ill look to DE or even vendor it.
Vendoring or Disenchanting something that has a lot of value on paper can be a daunting prospect for new gold-makers, but it happens in the real world too. Companies liquidate stock, selling surplus at or below the general value of it just to get rid of it. It's all about being efficient with your time which is the major blocker to maximum gold-making.
/u/MrTyki counters with another real world analogy, however
Market value over 1000. Don't listen to anyone about sale rate. I have about 800 transmog auctions, a lot of the non crafted ones have a sale rate of .01-.03 and I've made close to 6m this month. Not purely off transmog but a very good portion.
Sharken808 talked about this with an analogy, let's pretend Wal-Mart only sells one kind of TV, how many sells do you think they get a week? Now let's imagine them with 10000 different items, even with low sale rates they make sales everyday.
This is what you need to do with the transmog market, anyone who wants to mention sale rate and not being worth your time then I can only imagine that you are 1. A wow billionaire who only sells TCG or 2. Lazy.
Are you in the transmog market? Has it changed since the launch of patch 7.3.5? What is your cut-off point in value for transmog? What's your favourite transmog farm?
I'm sure most of you are aware of level 101 twinks that can power level players from level 98 to 110 using Legion dungeons, perhaps some of you have a twink of your own. Using the world-drop BoEs in legion a level 101 character can attain an item level of 830+ and be incredibly powerful, a happy accident as a result of the creature scaling and titanforging systems in the game. On to the topic at hand though, there have been some industrious goblins in the community investigating leveling timescales and efficiencies since the launch of patch 7.3.5 - and there are some interesting results.
/u/xCAMPINGxCARLx posed the question before investigating further
I paid a 110 200g to rush my 58 toon through Stormwind Stockades 3 times. With rested bonus, I leveled from 58 to 59 in one clear. Without rested bonus, I leveled from 59 to 60 in two clears. The whole thing took less than ten minutes, and it probably would have been faster with a toon optimized for movement.
Why aren't more people doing this? My guess is, most players assume XP gain for this method is trivial, but that's clearly not the case. I haven't tested higher leveling tranches, to be fair.
I would imagine you could sell 10 instance runs (due to the instance limit) for a nominal fee (maybe like 1-2k). The boosted char could literally afk level, and both chars would potentially accrue transmog drops either for personal use or resale. Plus, some Dungeons are great for farming mats (see, Shadow Silk in LBRS).
There has to be a demand for such a service with the increased difficulty of Dungeons while leveling. Thoughts?
It seems like the twink boost concept can also apply to lower levels, and with the scaling systems the dungeons will continue to be relevant and provide experience through the leveling 'tier', once a player reaches that cap and the dungeon no longer offers the same amount of experience another dungeon in the next 'tier' can be picked -
/u/andygen21 explains further
I bought RAF about 3 weeks before it was nerfed and have been grandfathered in. The other night a friend came over for a few beers, so we both started a monk on each of the accounts and leveled to 15 or so before we decided to do something else.
Having two monks at level 15 posed a great opportunity; get someone to run them through stockades. So same friend of mine logged into his account and ran both toons through. I was getting multiple levels for each run of stockades, and best of all stockades now scales with you. We did this till ~level 35 or so (I'd guess 30-40 mins for 20 levels) and then decided to try scarlet monastery for something different. Stockades was much quicker. As I gained 20 levels in what I'm estimating is a tad over 30 minutes, expect the same without RAF to take 90 mins or so.
TLDR; power levelling with runs through stockades is insanely fast with RAF (especially non-nerfed). Without it, it should still be very fast.
/u/xCAMPINGxCARLx went on to test their ideas out and shared some insights on this emerging market
So right off the bat, I had my first customer last night! I ran him through 3 Northrend Dungeons (he was 66) and granted him 2 levels. I insisted we stick to Hellfire Ramparts due to efficiency, but I guess he wanted to explore. Note, they rolled an Allied Race, so no rested XP. Pretty good gains! I made 1500 gold plus dungeon drops (customer paid 250 at the start of each dungeon and 250 upon completion). I even got some transmog for myself!
On to my main post. I learned some lessons from my first customer and experimented with other powerleveling opportunities using a friend:
The amount of XP earned by a boosted toon is subject to diminishing returns as more leveling characters join a dungeon run. One boost gives full XP, two and three reduce XP gain by 25-40%, and a full five man is not worth even trying.
Most of the XP gain comes from killing mobs, so you want to avoid Dungeons with a low trash density. As an example, my first customer requested Gundrak which contains very little trash. I still received full payment, but they were unsatisfied with the XP gain.
You want to be upfront about the service you are providing. You are charging per dungeon run, not per level. Caveat emptor applies in this situation, so you want to guide your customers to either high trash density Dungeons or quick runs. Hellfire Ramparts is a great example of a fast dungeon; Blackfathom Deeps features high trash density and several bonus bosses. Have a conversation with your clientele regarding their goals for the powerleveling experience. Try to steer them away from RP-heavy Dungeons (my first client requested Halls of Stone. RIP).
Both booster and client will receive transmog and mats. This is important for two reasons. One, you'll want to clear Dungeons in as few pulls as possible to minimize the amount of looting required. Two, certain chain runs can be extremely profitable; imagine charging 5k to run ZF or Uldaman 10 times for that sweet transmog, or spamming any Panda dungeon for Motes of Harmony.
It's important to strike a balance between proximity and minimum safe distance for your client. If a toon is too far away when trash dies, they won't gain XP. On the other hand, chain pulling can result in your client pulling aggro if they stand too close. You'll definitely want to play around with how closely a boosted toon follows.
Scaling for Heroic Dungeons appears to be pretty wonky. At 89, I was able to solo a Cata heroic and received full XP for the run. But, a Panda Heroic at 90 was nigh impossible. Either way, both granted healthy XP gains. This might be a worthwhile venture for spamming heroics like Stonecore and Sethekk Halls which drop a mount, but the daily lockout is a limiting factor.
RAIDS GRANT XP
. This has potentially huge ramifications in terms of the profitability of selling raid runs. By clearing Kara up to Chess, I leveled my friend from 71 to 73. Before we tried Kara, he cleared the first room in Heroic Bastion of Twilight with my 89 DK parked at the door. Within 30 seconds, that yielded me 100k XP (some of the mobs in there grant 6k XP each). Theoretically, one could clear that room, reset 10 times, and give over a million XP in a manner of minutes (I went to bed before testing the XP from a full clear). Unfortunately, raids are subject to a weekly lockout, so unless you farm trash, the revenue stream is limited. Either way, I have no idea how to price such a service since I never even imagined raids would grant XP.
One point easily missed in my prior two bullets: at least within the same leveling tranche, you can somewhat overlevel content with a fixed level (heroic Dungeons and raids) and still gain significant XP. If the same principle applies across ranges, you could potentially stick around an area after you pass its max (as in, run a toon through Stockades until 63).
The best part about this kind of powerleveling service is that it requires no upfront investment in gear like a level 101 twink would need. I would liken this to Diablo 3's community practice of powerleveling new characters. Once a player reaches level 90, utilizing the Pandaria treasures/bonus objectives becomes the most efficient option for leveling, followed by invasions coupled with level 101 twink boosting in Legion.
Until Blizzard introduces some kind of middle ground for veteran players looking to level extra characters without needing to pay for an in-store level boost and not needing the pre-7.3.5 RAF system, this seems to be the most optimal and affordable option for leveling. I'd be very curious to see how this emerging market grows and whether people a) start offering this service and b) start using this service.
Would you pay for a level boost in this way? Would you offer leveling services like this? Do you already have a level 101 twink, or were you thinking about getting in to that? How have you found leveling since patch 7.3.5 was introduced?
The Undermine Journal
has announced a sweepstake/prize draw for guessing when the Auction House API services are restored by Blizzard. Yes, they're still down - 16 days and counting. If you'd like to place your guess you can participate at
and you could win $20 USD of Blizzard Balance!
Some evil people are guessing December 2018...
If you're curious about how the API outage might be affecting you, check out this short video from
where he explains a bit about it:
Most of this information was discussed and originally posted on the
or in the accompanying
. You can also catch me
streaming live on Twitch
every Tuesday and Saturday from 5PM UK (12 Noon US Eastern) and Thursdays from 12 Noon UK (7AM US Eastern) or Fridays from 9PM UK (4PM US Eastern) answering gold making and TradeSkillMaster questions, or you can tweet your feedback/thoughts via Twitter at
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