9.2 is adding a slew of new materials to the game. Understanding how the price dynamics might be is extremely useful, so we’ll take a look at past material additions to see if we can get an idea.
Does the past reflect the future?
This is the big question. Shadowlands professions are very different to the last couple of expansions. Legendaries absolutely dominate material demand to an incredible degree. As such I think we have to take data from BfA and Legion with a huge pinch of salt, particularly when it comes to the slightly longer term behavior.
What are the new materials used for?
The new materials in 9.2 are so far primarily used to craft the new vestige for rank 7 legendaries, as well as the new crafter’s marks and new optional reagents. Generally high end player power tends to dominate demand, so we should expect legendaries to be the biggest driver of material demand. Legendaries will obviously have peak demand whenever we can actually equip them, and this will also likely be when materials reach their peak.
Korthite gives a good look
The most important thing is what we can glean from Shadowlands itself. The absolutely best material to look at is Korthite Crystals. This was only used for legendaries. Now there are some pecularities with it, primarily that it cannot really be target farmed, which makes it primarily a good analogue of Progenitor Essentia, which I assume will have similar mechanics. Ores, herbs etc., that can be target farmed are less prone to excessive peaks as with increasing prices generally speaking you will attract more farmers until it evens out. There’s still a lag though.
What korthite prices tell us
The price graph for Korthite for the first three weeks is shown here. The most important part is of course that the price quickly fell as no one could equip legendaries quite yet. Then once we could start equipping legendaries the price spiked up by 50% on a region basis. The main driver in 9.2 will be what time gate there is for crafting a rank 7 legendary at the runecarver. If you can craft it day 1, then the peak will be day 1. If it is at the end of week 1, then you should spend all of the first week stocking materials, primarily between day 3 and 5.
But what about other materials
I looked at some of the 8.2 materials from BfA. Sadly the graphs for the first weeks are unusable as the prices are so much higher than the current level. What I can see though as that these generally had a more steady downwards decrease, that went quite rapidly. I don’t think this comparison is too good however, as there was nothing on the level of legendaries to use say Osmenite Ore for in BfA. I think most materials will peak based on legendaries before the inevitable steady and slow decline starts.
Buy early if legendaries are time-gated
This is really the main factor to consider. If legendaries are time-gated then buying materials as soon as the price seems to stabilize somewhat will likely pay off, particularly if you are planning to craft legendaries. With the extreme demand for BiS gear you can sell huge quantities and you should prepare yourself for it!