Friday, April 8, 2011

And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth

NOTE: This is actually the entry that I've written for Monday, but it is far too pressing to wait on. So you'll get the entry a bit early but have to wait a bit longer for more. Get cracking!

It was posted on mmo champ a few days ago that the uncommon gems from prospecting will sell for 75 silver instead of 9g when the patch comes. As we all know this was the saving grace of JC's everywhere being able to make all of the rare gems totally free along with easy money. This is also one tiny change that will have quite possibly the largest and most diverse market impact since gem sockets were added in tbc. Today I'll be going over in detail what to expect and how to prepare for it. Some of the things I'll talk about are server dependent and you'll have to know your market to know if they'll bypass you or how they will come about.

But regardless of your gem market, yours and every other related one will be drastically effected in the long term. Lastly of note is that when I mention a price shift going up or down, you can also interpret this as prices will stabilize. Some servers are very up and down on gems so this big shake up will help to even things out.

A few notes on my entry from yesterday are in order I'm sure. Yes I still believe that rare gems will be a great market when epics come out. The only catch is that you might not want to stokpile rares now with the changes coming to the gem market and the same goes for commons. Now why are the prices getting slashed so dramatically by blizz? I think it's a deterrence to botters in all honesty.

Think about it. They make tons of gold by selling cheap ore to players that want gold as well. The only way to remove that is by discouraging people to buy every bit that they can find. If they don't sell 500 stacks a day each then their motivation is going to drop to almost nothing. All of the other markets will even out over time after getting over the initial crash. But who is to say that they won't move to herbs or skins next? Well herbs only effects a few markets.

The most prominent one is alchemy and glyphs. Nobody should care about alchemy because it's as dead as it ever was outside of xmutes. Glyphs though could return to the wrath days if the price on all herbs was cut in half. And as for skinning, that effects only a single profession so the wide spread effect wouldn't be nearly as devastating.

And before I get headlong into it let me give you the short version of this whole entry: prospect and vendor commons as much as you possibly can until the patch comes and sell off a large amount of enchanting mats. And for those still wondering about epic gems, this is all based on current information of which we have exactly zero on them. So there is no way to know if you'll shoot yourself in the foot if epic gems xmute from commons.

The first effect you'll see is obviously going to be rare gem prices going way down. Since herbs are pretty cheap and the commons to xmute them being worthless the price of these will go down accordingly based on how many jc's on your server have an alchemist handy. However over time once the initial stokpiles of these get sold, cut, or vendored the prices will go up since your server won't have 500 stacks of ore being prospected every single day. Expect an initial crash in these prices then for supply to drop off significantly over time and prices to go up to a manageable level.

The next thing you'll see (loosely server dependent) is a small increase in herb prices. This is because at 75 silver per common gem, every color is going to be just about worthy of an xmute to craft. That means more herbs will be wanted giving those prices a small boost.

Black smithing will be effected too. With the plethora of ore no longer being prospected, you can expect a lot more of it will be smelted into bars which will have a noticeable effect on any crafted gear and buckles. Right after that is volatile earth going up in price. Not as much pyrite will be prospected causing a severe drop in supply of VE in the market which will effect anything associated with it. I plan to keep a few stacks of it around for a while waiting for prices to go up some. The most noticeable effect this is going to have on are the prices for buckles.

Obviously this will hit meta gems the hardest. Currently the material cost of a meta gem is 81g before xmute spec. That is based on nothing but 9g per common, 3x of each needed, and divided by 2. Once the prices drop down to throw away levels the bare minimum price of a meta gem will be 6 gold and 75 silver before mastery. So suffice to say if you think this market is bad now just you wait. This one is going to crash hard so try and sell off as many meta gems as you can that cost you over 100 to make.

What's next? Things in the enchanting area will return to where they were in wrath. The price of dust becomes about 2g each with GCE being around 4g. So you'll want to sell off any enchanting mats you have soon. The same goes for cata level scrolls, get rid of them! This is going to be very depressed, I love seeing all of the big numbers on enchanting every time I write a business report. The main thing that you'll have to change in your daily play from this is that just about every single green item you get do NOT disenchant it! The price of the mats can get so low that a 5g vendor item will be a loss as DE fodder.

After that ye old fire prism CD will suddenly be worth considering again. It will cost about 13g to craft and you can get a chimera's eye out of the deal. This is entirely up to you and what you see price wise on rare gems. The jury is still out on this one, but I'm going to guess that this still won't be worth crafting.

However there's a few things to consider that could be different possible outcomes from this one change. For one, the bots may stay around and keep ore prices down even more than they are currently. With very few people spending 40g per stack they'll have to lower their price even more which could be low enough that buying to prospect for rares could be viable. The other is that they'll totally vanish leaving the supply of commons to xmute and rares to cut almost totally gone. Because of that I'm holding onto my rares and still going to vendor all of my commons except for reds.

What are my recommendations? Empty out your toy boxes of everything. I would venture to guess that the supply of common gems will be the same as in wrath, more than enough to keep you stocked up with anything that you need. So long as you actually try to stokpile. I don't think that the bots and uber farmers are going away anytime soon so the supply will still be there and people will still prospect a ton. Even back in wrath when prospecting wasn't greatly profitable for a a lot of servers, it happened anyways. Get ready folks, everything is about to change.

Even if the vendor price doesn't go down as low as under a gold it's obvious that blizzard has intent to lower it. I highly doubt that it will be high enough to make prospect/vendor shuffles viable so even if the markets don't totally implode from this they still won't be in the state that they're in right now. So when the price gets lowered there will still be wide spread repercussions being felt across many different markets a month later.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. For the first time ever, I'm going to disagree. Simply disagree.

    First of all, Blizzard has not included these notes into their Official Patch Notes, the information has only been datamined.

    Secondly, they write nothing about UNCUT Uncommon gems being reduced in price, meaning Obsidium Ore gaining a new floor value of 30g per stack (also meaning Meta Gems will have a crafting price of 45g before Transmute Mastery).

    I think it is way too early conclude about doing such drastical things, as it may not even launch on live servers. By all means, prospect your ore, and move your stock of Uncommon gems, but I find your thoughts of the markets post 4.1 to be highly exaggerated (specially when it comes to GCE prices!).

  2. It may actually encourage botters. By making mining less worth doing manually the botters market share must surely increase. By having a floor on the ore Blizzard was supporting the mining profession but what now?

    Also as an afterthought could Blizzard be trying to reduce the supply of ore (make people less likely to mine it) as a result of buffing the supply through the guild perk?

  3. Lots of food for thought, thanks!

    I'm not sure the results will be as drastic as you suggest, though. I'm a fairly heavy prospector but I don't ever have to vendor cut common gems. Then again, I don't generally have bank tabs full of gems.

    Also, consider that if the prices were to drop *that drastically*, so would supply. Botters (and others) would be much less inclined to mine ore. This might have a "braking effect" on the fall in prices.

    This would have the effect of reducing the profitability of the shuffle, though. And the security of a safety floor would be gone. Right now, you can get a stack with a 54g floor for 40g, and actually process it into goods worth over 100g. No risk, just a time investment. That process would get nerfed big time.

    I suspect your advice is good for folks with lots of gems stashed away.

  4. The most important point to be made in response has been made already: this information was merely data-mined, NOT included in any official notes, much like the epic gem cooldown was data-mined back in LK, and that information turned out to be false. If it hits the official notes, then it is worth getting upset about, but not until then. I don't advocate a lack of preparedness, just a bit of cautious consideration before dumping an entire supply of gems. Personally, I'm dumping around 75% of my supply and holding the other 25% just in case this turns out to be nothing.

    If the datamined information happens to be accurate, not only will volatile earth prices be largely impacted, fire and water will be as well. I suspect that most bot/farmer miners are going to mine, period. If the ore they mine is not profitable, they will simply demand more for their volatiles. While both volatiles do come from other sources, Wowhead collection data suggests that roughly 30% of volatile fire and nearly 40% of volatile water come from mining nodes. (Very rough estimates made by quickly eyeballing the numbers)

    That being the case, even if I'm wrong and total mining activity is cut in half, that still removes 15-20% of those volatiles from the market. Even if a portion of those former miners farm them by one of the alternate methods, some of that loss WILL be realized in the beginning. I'm keeping a healthy stock of all three volatiles just in case.

    Just thought I'd add my two cents. Great post by the way.

  5. All the copycats will be forced to actually use their brains to make gold, if this goes live.

    Right now on the PTR cut gems are 75s and uncut gems are 5g. Hrmmm. Something ain't write and we can't even count on data-mined info as all out truth. Too many bloggers are acting like chicken littles. This may not even go live.

    Remember the Epic Gem Cooldown Removal Fiasco?

  6. Honestly I think this would largely hurt mining botters than anything. The ONLY reason they sell so much ore and therefore gold, is because of the floor price. If commons vendor for 1g would you still buy 1,000 stacks of ore per week?

    I wouldn't and neither would anybody else. The demand immediately vaporizes and the bots have no market. They must either move onto another market or leave.

    I really hope this goes live just to watch all of the changes pan out. If you don't know how far reaching this impact will be felt you need to do some reading. Sure a lot of gold could be lost, but damn it would be so cool to watch!

  7. Remember that bots are not going to be doing anything that requires a brain. If they have to settle for lower profits to stay in business, I think they will.

  8. A very well written post. Nice to read something else than most of the common "Panic!!" posts. And yes, seeing how the change would affect the game would be alot more interesting than just keeping on shuffling.

    My natural reaction to these 'news' was to diversify, prepare for other markets and make sure i maximized my profits with all prospected ore (18k+, just the past 3 weeks), regardless of if the changes affect JC markets, the vendors or the enchanting market.