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11-03-2011 @ 7:48PM
Yup. On one end you have people scrambling to buy the pets to make gold in the game, and on the other end you have the buyers that are fully aware of said strategy. So you have this sequence about to happen:1.) A flood of new Cubs are hitting the AH. Let's be optimistic here and say they're selling at a steady 11k gold right now (they're at 4.5-5.5k on my server). Right now you can get 9k gold for $10 via 3rd party sites (this isn't me recommending anything, by the way). So right now, you're "making" 1,000 gold per Cub.2.) The large slice of people that are keenly aware of the system are just waiting for Cubs to drop in price before they buy one, much like the Tankard O' Terror from the Brewfest holiday: Just wait until there's three pages of them in the AH and then buy the cheapest one. A week of undercutting will make these Cubs relatively cheap in comparison to the original, first-day Cubs.3.) Now you have the majority of potential buyers buying them at the lowest price, which is far lower than the 3rd party rate of 9,000 gold (like I said, even right now there are Cubs under 5k on my server alone). It will take a couple weeks for all the cheap Cubs to be sold and for the sellers to stop undercutting the market to get the rates back up to the 1:1 ratio of 9k per Cub. But once they do, 80-85% of the demographic that wanted a Cub already has one. And 60-75% of the sellers that wanted to make gold off a Cub already sold theirs (more people want gold than want a Cub, after all).4.) Result? More people are selling than people are buying. And if the Cubs ever get to 9k or more, it's smarter (in terms of money, not security or morals) to just go to a 3rd party site and purchase the gold directly again.This Cub won't solve the 3rd party issue. It's sad, but the 3rd party market controls the WoW market, not the other way around. Because making gold in WoW is free (outside of the cost of time, which isn't quantitative), and it can be done infinitely. Releasing a new pet every couple months is not going to be the cure-all for 3rd party gold-selling. People only need one pet, and after that it's obsolete. Unlike gold, which stacks infinitely and can be used for virtually every in WoW (including buy cheap pets on the AH), pets don't stack. So they have a ceiling of value, unlike gold, which skyrockets in value every patch and expansion.The best way for WoW to stop the bleeding and REALLY take a bite out of the 3rd party gold sellers is actually Diablo 3's AH model. It's brilliant, and renders the majority of 3rd party gold and item sellers useless. But that would flip WoW upside down at this point and kill the subscriber base. It's too late to do something like that now. Like one of the WoWInsider writers wrote in a column a month or two ago about gold inflation in the game, it's a tough, tough problem and I really don't see a concrete solution on the horizon. Which must drive Blizzard higher-ups mad.But, sadly, the Cub isn't it.
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