Sunday, March 27, 2011

Auction House Competition | Rift Effect

Auction House Competition and Maturation

The Gold Queen had an interesting post recently titled Staying The Best, which discussed the maturation of the auction house markets and how should we combat the extra competition coming from all of the free gold making resources currently online.  It's a nice article and worth a read, but I must say that I disagree.

In my opinion, what we are seeing is much more of a great divide amongst the players.  There are far more buyers than sellers and with the changing times, there are less and less sellers.  A look onto my auction house shows much of my competition is gone.

The Changing WoW Player Base

Along the far end we have players that are well educated on gold making tactics and on the other end we have completely clueless players, but the majority of players still fall within the two extremes.  I believe that most players are stuck in the middle.  They are no longer a completely new player, but are not advanced to the gold making strategy.  And it is within this middle area that the absolute majority of players reside and will remain.  The new players are constantly replaced by other new players, where as more veterans are leaving.  And it is these veterans that are most likely the ones playing the auction house on all of our servers.  Are these veterans being replaced by new veterans?  It hasn't been the case on my server at all.
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 know 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.  The thing is a lot of these informed players are bored or quitting all together.  Games like Rift have stolen a few players away as I have discussed in my very popular post on The Current State of World of Warcraft.

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.  Remember the report on prospecting Thorium Ore and how that was a major market price crasher on Thorium Ore once people realized that every copycat was trying the same strategy?  I snatched up a ton of cheap thorium ore and processed it down various much more profitable gold making avenues. 

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.

So its easier to get gold, there are fewer major gold sinks out there, and the old gold sinks are now much cheaper (mounts, etc.)

Goodbye Competition
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.  The result is less sellers, less auctions, and less competition.  Let's see how long it takes for others to capitalize on the fact that there are less competitors on the Auction House lately.  These findings are the exact opposite of what the Gold Queen was reporting.  I understand that all servers are different, but as a whole some changes may appear on other servers in a little more time.  Maybe your server just hasn't caught up yet.

Wes of Capped By Cata and Auction House Junkies reported a similar finding in his article: The Rift Effect: It Will Make You Rich.  It is time to re-examine those old markets you vacated due to competition.

So all power to RIFT and any other games that come along.  They tend to steal our compeition away and leave more gold for us to make from the World of Warcraft auction house.

Anyone else finding less and less competition in one or more markets?


  1. I'm finding cheap mats from the 10,000 bots is killing every market without some huge barrier to entry (e.g. Inscription, etc). Then you got the bots that auto-undercut/list items 20 hours a day which further depress prices. I see cut rare gems go for 9g while the uncut gems go for 50g - these aren't the bogus cuts either, we're talking fast movers like Brilliant Inferno Rubies and such.

    Money is still being made, but the profit margins are dropping below the line at which I care to do the song and dance. I am almost exclusively in the Darkmoon card business at this point, abandoning Flasks and Gems due to the unrelenting flood of botted mats.

  2. Bots have now taken control of the market. Which is what I believe to be the cause of loss of competition. Frankly I think Blizzard's rumored new MMO has ruined WoW.

  3. Although I just started playing the game (it's been two months) I enjoy making money at the auction house and have been initially trying to find my nice market, some place I could fit in with the market. I am currently heavily invested in being my servers pet vendor for vanity pets. It's working out ok and I am making money, I am just not raking it in like I read about all the time and in the last week I now have had some competitors join me and they tried to drive the price down. Which in turn strangely decreased demand. Anyway, on my server within my small niche market I am unhappy to report... more competition

  4. On my server the enchanting market is completey destroyed with scrolls selling for far less than the mats to make.

    The gem market isn't much better. Can only make decent money if you are prepared to hang around the AH and keep listing and re-listing.

    My only consistent moneymaker at present is the obsidium shuffle as the botters consistently drive the obsidium price below 40g a stack.


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