Nov 3rd 2011 5:34PM @ uncaringbear:
"What exactly did the seller do wrong by undercutting by a silver or a copper?" Wasted time.
"Was it unethical to try to get their listing to appear first?" Yes, if they didn't deserve it by making a meaningful price difference as they would have to do if the AH were designed better.
"Was it insulting to you that they wanted to improve the chances that their item would be bought?" No
"In your mind, is that seller taking an unfair shortcut, or cheating you of a bigger price discount that you feel you are entitled to?" Unfair shortcut, not cheating anyone of anything but time.
Imagine you're driving your convertible to a farmer's market, on a beautiful country road. You pull up behind a truck, who pulls over at the first safe opportunity and waves you on with a smile. Sadly, soon you come upon another truck, who never pulls over, and you obeying the law and not crossing a double yellow line have to follow it at half the speed limit for the next 15 miles.
When you arrive at the farmer's market, now 20 minutes early instead of 50 minutes early, you have a picnic lunch and then shop. The farm truck that pulled you over has cheap and high quality goods, with a beautiful and legible hand-painted sign informing you of the prices you pay. The other truck, that made you follow it for 15 miles, wasting 30 minutes of your day, has similar quality goods, but for a sign has only an old newspaper with paint haphazardly splashed on it : same prices as that other place but 1cent off the total price!!11!!11!
Which stall would you frequent? It's a pretty accurate metaphor, just the time wasting caused by 1copper undercutters on the WoW AH somehow seems natural because they do it through a spreadsheet interface. It's not natural, and the spreadsheet could be slightly altered to make it work better. Many other MMO's have done so.
Nov 3rd 2011 5:16PM @cutaia--
The iron rule--treat people as they have shown themselves worthy of being treated.
It works out to be the same principle as the question, why do in-person auctions IRL have minimum bid increments? Because time is valuable, and bidding up the price by .0001% at a time wastes everyone at the auction's time. In this scenario in the AH, you're wasting the time not only of the people participating in the auction, but you're also making the display of everyone searching for items on the auction house cluttered, wasting their time and energy as well. As a buyer, I also avoid dealing with these time-wasters, as a matter of principle.
Jul 4th 2011 4:54PM This is a horrible article. Living Embers are not a "Case in Point", Living Embers are an item in atypically short supply right now. They are not representative, they are not a case in point, they are not a sign that the markets are broken. You guys complaining that the markets are broken should just keep whining and leave the profits to us nonwhiners. I've made more profit since 4.2 than I did even in glyphmas. The markets are beautiful right now, and if you don't have the patience to simply wait for living embers to become available as raiders start to sell, go play Farmville.
Do you guys go to the supermarket, see that element 109 is not readily available, and retreat to your bunkers to wait out the obviously occurring zombie apocalypse? Or do you keep this Chicken Little-ism to your gaming life?