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Posts with tag prices

Gold Capped: Market timing


Want to get Gold Capped? Watch this space every week as Basil (also of the Call to Auction podcast, the Hunting Party podcast and outdps.com writes about making gold in the World of Warcraft. Have questions, comments, or threats for him to get off your damned server? Email Basil!

The prices for all kinds of things fluctuate. I talked a little about this in my post for casual auctioneers, but there is serious money to be made with market timing for very little investment. Basically, the goal is to watch prices for a few weeks, try to predict their next swing, and take advantage by buying low and selling high.

Watching prices

Easier said than done, like most things worth doing. You might get hundreds of items you'd like to watch, and short of a photographic memory or a manual spreadsheet, you're going to need some help keeping track of it all. Enter Market Watcher. This is a nifty addon that, once configured, allows you to scan the auction house for just the things you're interested in, and will show you a graph of their prices over time once you get a couple scans done.

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Filed under: Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped

Shipping costs removed from Authenticators

We'd already noticed last week that the Authenticators in the US store had gone free shipping, but now official updates on Blizzard's site say it's true in the EU as well. American authenticators still cost $6.50, but you no longer have to pay anything extra for shipping, and EU authenticators have had their price dropped to €6.99. That's still over $10, but they're at least cheaper than they used to be. There's a drawback, however: apparently they went with cheaper shipping, because you can no longer track shipments of authenticators, and shipping will take a little longer (up to 15 business days in the US). Which makes sense, given that you want these things as cheap as possible.

Ancilorn answers some other Authenticator questions as well -- there's no discount for buying multiple units at all; what you see is what you get. And while the only authenticator for purchase at the moment is the Corehound branded unit, there may be more art available in the future, and of course you don't need a Corehound-branded Authenticator to get the Corehound Pup pet. Any Authenticator will do that, including any of the authenticators made for mobile phones, as long as it stays attached to your account. Whew -- that should answer all the questions anyone has. As we said the other day, if you don't have one of these yet, it's probably time to look in to getting one. Not only will your account be more secure, but you'll get that free pet as well.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Account Security

ATVI is a "conviction buy"

Well, The9 is going down in flames, but if you're looking to make some money in the stock market lately, you could do like BRK and buy some stock in Activision-Blizzard. Goldman Sachs has upgraded ATVI to "buy," and even marked them out as a "conviction buy" -- while the stock price is almost $11 right now (it jumped up about .75 on this news this morning), GS says it's headed to $14 eventually. "Conviction buy" just means that the wily traders at Goldman Sachs expect the stock to outperform in the future -- Activision is already saying it will do well, but GS thinks it'll do even better.

Medievaldragon over at WorldofWar.net points out that there may still be trouble ahead: while Blizzard has gone with Netease for their service in China, they still have to make it past the Chinese government's approval process, and there may actually be service outages if things aren't approved quickly. But that won't affect Activision's business very much, and given that the company still has a bright future (even in a harsh economy), picking up a few shares is probably a relatively good investment.

Please note: I am not a financial expert, and none of this should be taken as serious financial advice. You invest in the stock market and any other financial institution at your own risk. If you're getting stock tips from WoW Insider, it's probably better to keep your money in your pocket. AH tips, on the other hand...

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy

NetEase to buy all new servers for Chinese WoW


Yes, as you may have noticed in the update on our post the other day, it's confirmed: NetEase will be taking over operating the World of Warcraft in China as of June -- their new homebase over there can be found at wow.163.com. And while we originally reported that The9 would be turning over their software, hardware, and staff to run the game, apparently that's not completely true. IDG News Service is reporting that NetEase will be setting up their own network of servers to run the game. That's a big undertaking -- it likely means that things will be bumpy for the first few days of the transition (though Blizzard is clearly confident that NetEase can handle it, having run a few other games in the market before). And it also means that some of the supercomputers we've reported on before that are owned by The9 will go to... well, we're not sure what.

Not that there aren't plenty of things to use them for -- despite their stock dropping on news of the WoW license loss, The9 also runs a number of other games over there, including Guild Wars, Ragnarok Online, and a few more popular Eastern MMOs (not to mention that EA has a nice stake in them). And at the very least, there's got to be a market for supercomputers with other companies and educational institutions, right? It's unlikely that all that hardware will just sit dark.

But more importantly, it'll be interesting to see how NetEase handles the transition -- we've had a few inventory and other issues here on the Western side of the world, but we've never had a major loss of character information (cue all of the Blizzard engineers knocking on wood). We're sure there are countless backups in place, but if something goes majorly wrong in the transition between hosts, it could be devastating for the WoW audience in China.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

Figureprints in the EU


Our buddies over at Figureprints, the company that makes custom 3D printed sculptures of your WoW characters, have expanded their business yet again -- this time, they're opening the doors to you EU players. Ed Fries, who we have spoken with twice now, says that they are finally ready to expand overseas, and EU players can now order their own custom figurines through the website.

There is a small catch, however -- at this point, while there is no lottery as far as we know, they are charging European customers €129.95, which ends up being about $166, or about $30 more than the US price of $129.95. And obviously shipping overseas from the company's HQ here in America probably won't be too cheap either, and shipping is extra no matter where you're buying the figures from. It looks like Figureprints just figured they'd charge "129.95" to both sides of the world, but thanks to the exchange rate, EU folks are actually paying more.

But then again, we're guessing that people who have been waiting for their chance in the EU to pick one of these up will probably go for the higher price anyway. Figureprints started out a little rough with their limited production capabilities, and a few early bumps in quality, but lately it seems like they're rolling along better than ever.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Making money

Activision-Blizzard stock falls

What's going on at Activision-Blizzard? Yesterday, their stock fell back down to the lowest its been since November of 2006. Even coming off of huge sales last year (they run the Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and obviously Blizzard's World of Warcraft franchises, all of which had banner years in 2008), the stock price fell 6.5% yesterday, compared to a high in the last year of $19.28.

It's not Wrath -- the game's been selling like gold encrusted hotcakes since launch. There could be an upcoming shakeup in Activision's leadership (is Bobby K on his way out?), or it could just be that as well as Activision did this past year, the rough economy is hitting them hard, too.

At any rate, this will likely be just a bump in the road -- Activision is poised to become (if they haven't already) the biggest publisher in the game, and as you can see from this graph on their website, the stock is already back up above $9. We don't know what the reason is for this quick drop, but everything else we've seen points to a bright future for Activision-Blizzard.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Why Blizzard needs to put AH data on the Armory

There is a certain party, a regular emailer to us among our readers, who believes that we here at WoW Insider take a little too long at the start of our posts to get to the actual point of each story, so in this one, I'll just get right down to it: Blizzard needs to put Auction House information on the Armory.

I've been on the grind to the 5000g for my epic flying mount lately, and I've been playing the Auction House like a demon: calculating, buying, selling, and crafting my way to as much gold as I can throw together. And while Auctioneer has definitely helped, the best way I've found to track prices and make sure I get the most for my time in the AH is just to see the prices themselves -- no average price calculated by Auctioneer is worth enough as seeing the real thing. And that's where Blizzard comes in -- while there are a few sites that attempt to track prices with various methods, they have actual, constant access to the prices on every server. And they have a great place to put them: on the Armory.

The item pages on the Armory right now are practically empty -- besides some vendor and reagent information, there's almost nothing there (especially compared to, say, Wowhead). Giving player access to AH information would pull them into the game even when they couldn't play, not to mention let some of Blizzard's most talented web programmers -- their fans -- at data that they could do tons of great stuff with. Want a text alert when your favorite mats drop in price, or when there's room on the AH to finally sell off those Elixirs of Agility you've got? By passing out AH info to the Armory, Blizzard could give fans access to the data needed to make their own great tools, not only leaving Blizzard free to work on actual development, but giving us Auction House haunters all the access we need to track prices and have that much more fun playing the AH.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Making money

Forum post of the day: Using the Auction House properly

The economy in WoW has some interesting nuances. Players spend oodles of WoW gold on their crafting professions, and sometimes manage to turn a tidy profit. I'm often surprised to see some items that are strongly in-demand, like Light Feathers. Shrewd players use the auction house to build their bankrolls. Lomentari of EU-Draenor is exasperated with people who fail to use the auction house "properly."

She is angry that other crafters are selling the same product she creates for several gold lower than her preferred price. The items are placed on the auction house en masse at the low low rate, which the original poster blames on Leather Workers skilling up. She feels powerless to do anything about her "massive money loss." The original poster is willing to accept small cuts in pricing, but has a hard time deal with steep declines in prices.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Making money, Forum Post of the Day

Gold prices dropping in the US


PlayNoEvil is a blog that claims to do "MMO security news and analysis" -- they've got an interesting post up trying their best to track gold selling prices over time in various MMOs (the information itself seems to come from MMOBux.com). The World of Warcraft graphs (US seen above, EU on the site) show that for whatever reason, in the US at least, gold prices seem to be dropping. Of course, whether that's driven by low demand (thanks to Blizzard's daily quest implementation and other anti-gold selling mechanics), or high supply, we aren't quite sure.

In the EU, things aren't so clear -- while there are still bumps around content releases, things are holding pretty steadily at a price well below the United States. Either way, no matter what price it is, we should note as well that buying gold from anywhere is against Blizzard's terms of service and will get you banned. Hopefully, these lower prices in WoW mean that Blizzard's attacks on goldsellers are working, and that low demand has driven the price down further than its been in a long time. Even so, and even assuming that these prices actually do correspond to the market (no idea where MMOBux gets their info from), there's not much concrete info we can suss out of this other than the fact that prices are dropping in the US.

[Via Worldofwar.net]

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Making money

Using the Daily Quests as a way of supplying gold

We've been talking about this for a little while, but the always insightful Relmstein has a nice summary of what's surely one of the ideas behind Blizzard's daily quests -- they serve as a kind of "Federal Reserve rate" for Azeroth, in that Blizzard can control inflation and gold flow by routinely pouring money into the economy. Before daily quests, Blizzard had big problems with gold sellers -- raiding cost a lot of money, as did the various mounts, reputations, and everything else our characters had to buy. But really the only way to get gold was from farming and grinding, both things almost nobody wanted to do.

Enter daily quests -- with just a few minutes effort, players could cash in and pick up a nice chunk of gold. And with the coming of patch 2.4, daily quests are everywhere. Do an hour of quests and you've easily got sixty gold, do even more and the gold starts pouring in. Which means the reasons for gold buying and selling are shrinking. Of course, it won't erase gold buying completely (some people will always cheat, no matter how little effort it takes them to earn the gold legitimately), but the barrier to earning more gold is lowered that much more.

But, says Relmstein, the Federal Reserve's control is a two-way street. Once you start pouring too much gold into an economy, then you have to start dealing with inflation. He expects that the Sunwell dailies will start to disappear from the game as of Wrath, because if not, then Blizzard will have to go the other way to control inflation: raise prices. Think 5,000g is a lot for a flying mount? In the future, if the amount of gold in the game stays the same, it may be even more.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Quests

Speculating in the gem market

What do you get when you mix up a whole bunch of useless green gems? On the Public Test Realm you get Brilliant Glass. The most recent patch 2.4 notes state "A new jewelcrafting recipe has been added to transform many green quality gems into a single random blue quality gem. This recipe is available from grandmaster jewelcrafting trainers." Good news for those of us with stacks of semi-useless uncut green gems.

MMO champion posted more information. Brilliant Glass is created using three Azure Moonstones, three Blood Garnets, three Deep Peridots, three Flame Spessarite, three Golden Draenite, and three Shadow Draenite. The product, Brilliant Glass, can then be opened for the promised superior-quality gem. Bratac of Antonidas stated in the official forum that he created brilliant glass nine times and was rewarded with four Nightseyes, two Stars of Elune, two Dawnstones, and one Noble Topaz.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Making money

New badge gear vendor unlocked on PTR

We've already discussed the loot, but we now have official confirmation: It is badge gear, and the vendor is unlocked with the "Make Ready" quest from the smith herself after the Armory phase of the daily chain is unlocked. You're going to want to start saving up the badges now, though. the prices are as follows:

-150 badges for the two-handers, the crossbow and the one-handed caster weapons.
-105 badges for the main hand melee weapons.
-45 badges for the off-hand melee weapons.
-100 badges for chest and leg armor.
-75 badges for waist, belt, and foot armor.
-60 badges for the rings.

This is the PTR of course, so these totals could easily change, but if you want to get yourself some of this phat loot the moment the vendor gets unlocked on your server, you'll probably want to start planning those Karazhan runs and Heroic sessions now.

If you want to go check it out yourself, by the way, the portal to Quel'danas from Shattrath has been opened on test server as well, so you can just head to the center of Shattrath city and teleport directly there.

Thanks to our various tipsters for the heads up.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Items, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Quests

A bargain diamond in the AH rough

I can't say I shop the AH enough to spot a great deal when I see one (I mostly just use the AH to offload all the BoE junk I collect, and Auctioneer watches prices for me easily enough), but I can appreciate the feeling frostaholic talks about here: just like opening up a loot window and seeing that drop you've always wanted, there's definitely a thrill in finding a long-awaited AH bargain.

And I don't know that we've talked about Bottomscanner in any depth before, but that's exactly what the addon is designed for-- given the price information from Auctioneer, you can hit a button in Bottomscanner, and the addon will scour the Auction House for any items that are priced for less than they're worth. It's automatic speculation, really, and while it only works because not everyone is using Auctioneer (because if everything was priced right, no one would find it cheap), it can be used to find good deals.

But still, there's nothing like finding a diamond in the AH rough yourself. Checking the AH for an item and then finding it one day for half the price you expected to pay-- that's an entire realm of excitement in this game by itself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Economy, Making money

Analysis: Is the WoW laptop worth it?


So as you've probably already heard, Dell is releasing an ultraswank gaming laptop computer, bedecked in WoW paraphernalia like no computer ever has been before. If you're a WoW fan, this is the clearly the ultimate bling in laptops to own-- the kind of computer that Mr. T plays his Night Elf mohawk on. But it retails at a whopping $4500, which makes it too rich for my blood, and probably too rich for yours.

Still, it does come with a lot of stuff-- not just a sweet 17" laptop, but also lots of Blizzard swag, and even that FigurePrints coupon. But the burning question is: when you add it all up, is the WoW laptop really worth it? I could probably think of better ways to spend $4500, and I'm sure you could, too. But if we really did want all of this stuff, and had the money to buy it with, would the Dell deal really be a bargain?

That's what I'm planning to find out. After the jump, we'll break down what you get with the set, what it costs, and whether or not this Dell deal really is the WoW fan's biggest dream, or whether or not you could save some cash just by buying it all separately.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Economy, Features, Guides

Amazon still has Burning Crusade CE in stock

In case you really wanted it, the Burning Crusade Collector's Edition apparently isn't all that collected-- it's still in stock at Amazon for $74.99, a few bucks off the original price. The original Collector's Edition is a little harder to find-- it's been out of stock for a while, and copies are going for around $200. eBay is the same story-- you can buy the BC:CE for as little as $50, while the original CE is going for much, much more.

My guess is that it's the old laws of supply and demand-- by the time Burning Crusade dropped, everyone knew it would be a hit, so Blizzard made a bunch, while the original CE probably had a lot fewer copies made. But the noncombat pets might be a draw as well-- the original CE had Diablo, Zerg, and Panda pets, while the Burning Crusade only had a pretty unimpressive Netherwhelp pet.

And the other interesting question is what will happen when the next expansion drops. Being that WotLK is much more integral to the Warcraft that everyone knows and loves (while BC was much more involved with the ancient history of Warcraft), will people who've skipped Burning Crusade so far be more inclined to pick it up when Wrath releases? Maybe the BC:CE will get rarer as we get closer to Northrend.

[ via WoW Ladies ]

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

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