So, like several others this weekend, I browse MMO Champion to find out they discovered a new feature in MoP Beta, the Black Market AH! Are you kidding me? This is awesome! So the basics of how it works is easy (as far as we know now), Blizzard has created a way to buy limited items in the AH from NPC toons. Need that mount that never dropped? Want a pet that won’t drop? Can’t finish the achievements you need to get that mount? Limited time to raid so can’t get the best gear? Fear not! Just go to the AH and buy them! Yeah baby!
I see this as a huge win for people like me who just want that one item and are willing to pay the price. I have seen several bloggers talking about whether they can flip the item into the regular AH and make gold, maybe we can but I have a feeling that Blizzard will make these all BoP items, even if they were BoE normally. But who knows?
What really fascinates me about this move is the number of blogger’s who are talking about this being a “gold sink” to remove massive amounts of gold from the economy. The theory is that this will force prices down in the AH and bring back some normalcy to the WoW economy. By removing tons of wealth from the game, there will be less to spread around.
That’s their theory, what’s mine? I seem to be of the very few who feel that this will really have no impact in the economy. My reason is simple; removing some gold from the game is not the same as removing the source of the gold. The sources are; Players, Bots, Gold Sellers. Players are stable at around 10 million accounts so there probably will be no change there, so that leaves Bots and Gold Sellers.
The Bots have not only made it through each expansion, they have grown in numbers. Blizzard cracks down on them but each time they make progress the clever software developers find ways around it and they come roaring back. The only nice thing about Bots are that you can watch them in the AH as they over supply the market in items like ore until the market is bottomed out and over supplied, then move on to another item like herbs and repeat the pattern. This creates great buying opportunities for people like us if you are willing to invest the gold.
The Gold Sellers keep doing what they do; selling gold. They run some of the Bots, they also hack accounts, and they buy gold from legit farmers. They use whatever means they can to obtain gold cheaply and then sell for profits. As long as there are buyers there will be gold sellers. They will only come out of the cracks as MoP hits the market.
So, while everyone else keeps saying that this Black Market AH will take gold out of the economy and be a price reliever to the Auction House prices, I say that nothing will change and prices will continue to inflate at rapid paces because unless Blizzard removes the Bots and Gold Sellers, nothing really changes. The gold will still flow into the game and with a new expansion, the demand for this gold will only increase. In fact, the demand may be even higher than in past expansions because of the inflation along with the new Black Market AH demands.
Whether I am right or wrong, time will tell. But regardless of the outcome, the Black Market AH is a freaking awesome addition!!!