Republican Blues

You may or may not be following the sort of hand-wringing over the Black Market Auction House coming in Mists. Although I believe the sort of philosophical questions the BMAH raises are legitimate, I do not share Rohan’s  (and others’) conclusions.

What I find amusing, though, is Zarhym’s rather tactless approach at community management:

No one should count on this even being close to a viable option for gearing up a character. If you can raise that kind of gold in the game, you’re going to have much better success paying your way into raids for gear than hoping the right items appear for you in the black market AH (which doesn’t include set pieces), hoping you can afford to outbid everyone else on your realm, and hoping you’re the last one to bid before the auction ends.

Sure, it’ll have some of the best rewards for sale. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be remotely reliable for one person to gear up quickly. It’s the black market, after all. :)

Ultimately the system is going to benefit the extremely wealthy and the extremely lucky. But in all likelihood the benefits won’t at all be consistent, even for those who can pony up the gold. (source)

Yes, because god only knows that what the extremely wealthy and extremely lucky need is more systematic benefits. And what a way to come right out and say “You can eat cake,” right? I can almost hear the argument on Fox News that goblins are the job-creators of Azeroth, giving millions of players the opportunity to pick tomatoes farm herbs and run dailies to afford their repair bills and marked-up enchants.

Kidding aside, I am not entirely sure why Blizzard does not simply come out and say “The BMAH is a gold sink. That is its sole purpose.” Prior gold sinks like the Mammoth and motorcycle and Vial of the Sands were fine, but pretty narrow in scope – they catered pretty exclusively to the Pimp My Ride crowd. The BMAH on the other hand hits everyone with a modular storefront filled with recycled content.

I anticipate the BMAH as being wildly, wildly successful at its unstated goal. As for whether the side-effects actually leave the realm of the hypothetical or not, we will presumably find out this Fall… or whenever the hell Mists goes Live.

Posted on June 22, 2012, in WoW and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The bolded portion is really just equivalent to saying the sky is blue. Of course it will benefit the wealthy, because the items are very expensive. Why don’t they call it a gold sink and be done with it? I don’t know…Blizzard is an inscrutable company sometimes.


  2. I’m right there with you; I am positive that the goal of the BMAH is a gold-sink; they’ve realized that expensive mounts aren’t pulling the gold out of certain players (typically those that don’t give a hoot about said items…) On the “plus” side (depending on your view) this could be Blizzard’s way of openly validating the “auction house tycoon” playstyle.


  3. On a semi-related note (the “extremely lucky” part, I guess), I’ve completed your Annual Pass RMAH challenge on Inferno Hardcore difficulty by selling exactly *one* item.


    • :O

      Pics? Which item?


      • A yellow ring that happened to roll a combination of high Int/Critical Chance/Critical Damage values. Turned out that these stats are worth 250 Euro to at least one Wizard running the current FOTM Critical Mass build. :)


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