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Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Major changes to the auction house and game economy

Patch 3.3.3 is going to the PTR soon, and there's a bunch of stuff that will affect those of us who play the auction house. I'm going to list them in the order I see them, and then we'll go into some analysis:

Professions

Runed Orbs: Recipes which require this item have had their material requirements significantly reduced.
Frozo the Renowned has moved into the Dalaran Magus Commerce Exchange and will be trading your Frozen Orbs for various other trade goods.

Update: Omega points out in the comments that Zarhym posted a list on the forums of what we'll be able to buy :

Crusader Orb (6)
Runed Orb (4)
Eternal Fire
Eternal Earth
Eternal Water
Eternal Air
Eternal Life
Eternal Shadow
Frost Lotus
Pattern: Frosty Flying Carpet [Tailors Only] (6)

Inscription
  • Most recipes that required 2 inks now only require 1.
Mining
  • Titansteel Bar: Creating this item no longer results in a cooldown.
Tailoring
  • Glacial Bag: Creating this item now invokes a 7-day cooldown.
  • The cooldown and location requirements have been removed from creating Moonshroud, Spellweave and Ebonweave.
User Interface

Auction House
  • If the Auction House on a realm is unavailable for any reason, an alert will pop up informing players who attempt to access it.
  • Players can now Right-Click to place an item in the Auction frame.
  • Entire stacks of a specific item type can be placed in the Auction frame and several options have been added for choosing how to list auctions.
    • Stack Size: If a stack of items has been added to the Auction frame, players can select the size of the stack they wish to sell. If an invalid stack size is entered (i.e. a stack of 21 Saronite Ore), the Create Auction button will be grayed out.
    • Number of Stacks: In addition to selecting the size of a stack, players can select how many stacks of an item they wish to sell (i.e. if a player has a total of 43 Saronite Ore in the Auction frame, they can choose to list 2 stacks of 20, 4 stacks of 10, 8 stacks of 5, 43 stacks of 1, etc. If the number and amount of stacks listed results in a remainder, the left-over items will be placed back in the player's bags automatically).
    • Stack Size and Number of Stacks are linked mathematically so that altering the variables of one may automatically calculate the amount of the other (i.e. if a player puts 20 in the Stack Size field and 43 Saronite Ore are in the Auction frame, the Number of Stacks field will change to 2 by default. If a player only wishes to sell one stack of 20 Saronite Ore, the Number of Stacks field can be manually changed to 1).
    • Price: Players can now choose to input the price of an item Per Stack or Per Item by selecting either option from a pull-down. If Per Item is selected and a player is selling a stack of that item, the Auction House will multiply the selected Per Item price by the amount of that item in the stack. If Per Stack is selected, the player can enter the total price he or she wishes to charge for each stack of that item being listed.
    • Auction Post Completion Bar: If multiple items or stacks of items are being listed at once by a player, a Posting completion bar will appear showing the total progress of each individual auction being listed once the Create Auction button is selected. The greater the number of individual listings being made in a single press of the Create Auction button, the longer this process will take. Players can still browse the Auction House while the Posting completion bar is in progress, but moving around will interrupt the progress, similar to moving while attempting to create multiple bandages with First Aid. Just as with creating bandages, auctions that were completed prior to the character moving or otherwise canceling the actions will successfully be listed.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room first. I haven't had a chance to touch on this yet in my regular column, but inscription is one of the largest money-making professions. There are many popular guides and addons out there written for scribes who want to sell glyphs, a lot of the recent gold capped players got there with inscription. The ink requirement change reduces the number of herbs needed to make glyphs, so we can expect and increase in supply (and probable decrease in price) of glyphs, and the same increase in supply for all other ink-derived products (like weapon and armor vellums, and runescrolls of fortitude).

This is going to have spin-off effects on other markets-- even though the drop rates of Frost Lotus will be buffed, scribes making glyphs are a huge component of herb demand, and herbalists will find less demand for their wares. This may lead to lower production as farmers move to more profitable areas, which will reduce the supply of Frost Lotus. In addition, since vellums will be cheaper, enchanting scrolls will be marginally cheaper to make.

Next up, cooldown removals. Titansteel Bar, Moonshroud, Spellweave and Ebonweave have had their cooldowns removed, so you can expect a large increase in the supply of these and a large increase in demand for their mats. These include eternal life, fire, shadow, and earth, which are already in fairly high demand. Like when they removed the cooldown to transmute titanium, I expect that the lower price for these mining and tailoring products will spur a large surge in demand that will keep prices from getting too low.

Almost equally importantly, I'll bet anyone that these changes to the AH interface are going to break all the addons we use. It's not all bad, though, because the features they are adding are something that we currently need addons to do. No more manually separating stacks we want to sell and the manually putting them into boxes for people without an auction addon. This does, however, mean that people who relied on a clumsy UI as a barrier to entry for their competitors will find themselves up against some more casual competition.


Patch 3.3.3 is up on the PTR and as with every new patch there's a flurry of new information. Check out the official patch notes, changes to battlegrounds, new achievements that hint at future content, new models (and more new models) in the game files, things to do with those pesky frozen orbs, UI updates, and perhaps more to come before it hits the live realms.

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