I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for over 5 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of changes. Bear with me whilst I tell you a short story:

When I started raiding, it was at the time of Molten Core/ Zul Gurub, and if anyone remembers Molten Core, it was sometimes known as Molten Bore. zzzz. At any one point in the raid, there would be maybe 5 people afk and on autofollow, out of 40.  Back in those days, the number of guides for anything was minimal. We had CT Raid Assist addon, and that was pretty much it.  As time has progressed, we got more guides.  Videos came out of boss fights, the gold guides were released, and tweaked and advertised and copied and spread and so on.

In World of Warcraft virtual economy where we used to have only auctioneer, we now have more addons than we know what to do with.  Quick Auctions came and went, Auctionator managed to stick around, Trade Skill Master is now the premium, useful but complicated addon that everyone wants to use.  I also see a lot of searches for Ore Crusher.

Here’s the problem I’m seeing:

We’re at the point where blogs like The Gold Queen are all free.  Where MMO Champion runs guides on gold making on its front page. Who remembers the guide they ran on the front page and the difficulties it brought to the top gold makers of the realm when suddenly another large number of casual players read the guide and wanted a piece of the action?   Prices fell through the floor, and everyone had to adapt.   I’m also thinking of a comment I received in response to the blog post I wrote in advance about Children’s Week.

“Prices soar once the bloggers give people a heads up.”

The WoW market has matured, come of age.  Everyone seems to know what they’re doing.  You might think you’re just a casual or newbie Auction House player, but if you know how to use the basic mechanics of auctioneer, then you’re already one step ahead of the way gold was made in the Auction House 5 years ago.

We saw this situation when Cataclysm was released.  Players knew the expansion was coming, and prepared for it, buying up items in preparation for the prices soaring. The items that were about to become useless got sold slowly but surely, or held on to in banks until the prices came back up.  So instead of sharp rises and falls, the movements were more stable in price than was predicted.  I know one guru who predicted huge dumps of cheap enchanting mats, for example, but the dumps I saw were small, and moderately priced.   It wasn’t the shocking rises and falls in prices that I saw when The Burning Crusade and then Wrath of the Lich King were released.

WoW has grown up, and the players’ understanding of the virtual economy has grown up too.


Mature Market

If you’re trying to make some gold from Children’s Week, its no longer as easy as buying mageroyal the week before and baking a few cakes for the achievement hunters.  You’re going to have to think smart to stay ahead of the crowd.  Either follow my heads up and get your mageroyal really super early or you’re going to have to work on your ‘packaging’, bundling all the items together for buyers to pick up from you in one package.

With the Undermine Journal spewing out every statistic you could possibly want on the auctions, information is no longer a scarce commodity, either.

So then, this is our challenge: How are we going to cope with a maturing market where information is abundant?



twitpiAbout the Author

The Gold Queen is written by Alyzande. With many level 100s, 9 years expertise in making gold, 10 garrisons, 16k achievements, 1505 days played, and over 18m gold earned. The Gold Queen blog teaches you how to make gold playing World of Warcraft using ethical trading, auction house flipping, crafting, reselling snatch lists, and farming gold making.


7 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    There are fewer swings, but there are also fewer gold sinks. People aren’t going out of their way to get stuff like the Purple Proto because those that really wanted it, have it already. Those that don’t just bought 310% instead, so there’s no incentive.

    The Vial is the only current gold sink, and really it’s just a flying Mechano-Hog. Thus, those players that initially played the AH to get ahead on gold now have the funds they need to stay steady and there is nothing enticing them to spend their banked wealth.

    • The Gold Queen
      The Gold Queen says:

      heh, when I started playing, buying a BLUE item was a big achievement! OH dear, I’m really feeling my age today

  2. Alberthus
    Alberthus says:

    Funny you mention this, just yesterday a made a very similar post in my blog about this, the influence gold blogs have in game economy today, and on the actual players minds.
    The “real world” itself as changed a lot in 5 years, and so did the players along whit it, now there is a abundance in information , plenty of tool to choose from, people now research before acting.
    Now to be successful you have to work harder them your competition, you have be “better”, and think more out side the box, and now more competition equal more challenges to overcome. More fun, but isn’t it why we do it?
    The trill of the “hunt”.

  3. Cold's Gold Factory
    Cold's Gold Factory says:

    Gonna go out on a limb here and completely disagree with this post.

    In my opinion, what we are seeing is much more of a great divide.

    There are more players clustering along the beginning and ending of the curve. I would say that the current population is better represented as a “U” shaped curve. Along one end we have players that are well educated on gold making tactics and on the other end we have completely clueless players.

    Have the players as a whole learned the proper ways to make gold on there own? As a whole, I say No, but there have been more players that are educated and now how to process information on the auction house and our gold blogs, but those tend to be the players that have been around a while. These players may even have graduated to being free thinkers who can develop their own strategies.

    On the other end are a slew of players that are still clueless, have no idea how to think freely, and need sites like MMO Champion to cover a topic, so that they can copy the tactic, not adapt it to their server’s market, follow the rest of the lemmings, and utterly fail because they have no clue how to process or relate the given tactics to their own market on their own server.

    I believe it isn’t so much that the majority of players are making more gold by sound auctioneer strategies, but the ability to gain gold by doing normal activities is much easier. Just think of linear quest chains, reduced mount costs and early level requirements, the lack of as many wipes and repairs with the easing of the difficulties of many lower level dungeons, etc.

    In the last few weeks I now have a third of my competition across almost all markets. These competitors may have turned to auctioneering as a new way to play World of Warcraft, while currently they are bored with even that and have moved on to try other games.

    Oh well, I’m getting long winded and should probably put this in a post of my own. Thanks for the idea.

    Auction House Junkies
    and Cold’s Gold Factory

    • The Gold Queen
      The Gold Queen says:

      Hi Cold, thanks for coming over and leaving such a detailed comment.

      I’m going to agree with you that there are always new players entering the game. I’m going to try and see where we can reconcile our views.

      You’re seeing a ‘bump’ at the very start of the game, lots of WoW Gold-making beginners who read a guide or a mega-blog and think they understand a topic and dive straight in and try and make some gold on the AH. I’m viewing these guys as the average “medium” gold maker, and comparing them to the utter nubs that I know I was when I first started out.

      Maybe I’m just getting old here, but a few years ago there were no such things as gold blogs, no such things as posts on MMO Champion for me to try. There was a whisper that someone on my server had bought gold from somewhere and the whole realm was in shock!

      I think we also agree that the way the mounts are cheaper, quests easier and faster is a reflection of the way WoW is maturing as a whole.

      I’m really interested in the way that the numbers of people actually playing “the gold mini-game” within WoW is increasing as we get bored of our previous activities: in my case, pve raiding.

      Shall I go order a pair of “been there, done that” t-shirts for us both?

Comments are closed.