On June 24, 2010, I woke up at 4 a.m. I grabbed some coffee, got into my car with my roommates, and went to the Cambridgeside Galleria mall to stand in a ridiculously long line. The goal: to get an Apple iPhone 4. It was the latest and greatest thing, and we all had to have it.
A very similar dynamic is happening right now in the World of Warcraft. There are a slew of new-for-patch-4.2 items currently available on the auction house. New BOE gear from Firelands. New tailoring and leatherworking patterns. New blacksmithing plans. Living Embers. New PVP gear. They're all -- at least in theory -- high-demand items. After all, given players' insatiable lust for better gear, customers should be lining up around the (virtual) block to be buying all this stuff.
But on many servers, they're not. The demand is clearly there, but markets are struggling to function.
What happened? Why did the market break? What are players doing wrong? And how exactly are you supposed to play the market with these new-for-4.2 items?