I have been writing about making long term investments for Battle for Azeroth recently. I just realized that I skipped a step in my posts and today we will try to rectify that. I went from a very high level overview of expansion preparation straight into the nitty gritty of “how much silk should I buy?” without taking a detour into answering why I expect this to be a decent investment.
Bregvids recently posted a video on youtube that put me on this track. He lists 3 categories of items that can be good investments. The video is great, and you should go watch it. I disagree with some of the items on his list, but we will get to that, but first some basics.
Investing for a new expansion is based on the fact that it brings with it some predictable changes in player behavior. These changes will lead to changes in supply and demand and some items will increase in value as a consequence.
The major changes in player behavior is of course that players will be spending the majority of time in the new expansion’s content. They will spend much less time in the last expansion’s content, with the effect that supply of all Legion materials will fall off. It will take a while to go through people’s stockpile, but eventually supply will hit a low point.
On the demand side we will see people focus on stuff that will be useful in the new expansion. As we won’t have flying in the beginning utility items will be very useful, especially Goblin Glider Kits. The majority of Legion crafts will see demand crater as they are no longer useful for power increases. Long term we will se prices go up again for anything that gives a cosmetic benefit. Armor will likely be profitable in the future, as is the case for crafted MoP and WoD gear.
The three cases for investments
Based on this we have the three cases for investment from Bregs video:
- Long term inflation
- Items that will see increased demand at the beginning of an expansion
- Items that will have decreased supply as people leave Legion
I won’t go into #1 here at all, as that does not really rely on expansion releases. Inflation will always be a factor in WoW as it is in Blizzard’s best interest to have inflation.
The other two are much more interesting. I will be going through both areas and pointing out the main items I think will be relevant here.
Items with increased demand in a new expansion
In my opinion there are not too many items in this category. Some of the items Breg listed here fit better in the long term inflation one like event mounts and Elixirs of the Rapid Mind.
The most clear cut example here are [url=https://thelazygoldmaker.com/simple-gold-tips-2-goblin-glider-kits]the Goblin Glider Kits[/url]. These were great at the beginning of Legion. They are massively useful for getting around without flying. I suggest keeping 100 of these in your inventory to move around, and I highly suggest stocking up on them!
The two other main cases people focus on were two items that turned out to be amazing for Legion: Sky Golems and Hexweave Bags.
The Sky Golem increase at Legion launch was very much a unique event in Legion. The amount of herbs required for Legion recipes was extremely high and this lead to some extreme herb prices. This meant that the Sky Golem was incredibly valuable as you could save a lot of time herbing. In WoD on the other hand herbing was extremely low value due to the herb garden and there was no increase in demand.
You can see the pretty massive spike in price on the screenshot below just after Legion launched. At this point there’s no way to tell if something similar will happen in BfA.
The high herb prices in Legion were a source of massive complaints and I think Blizzard are likely to have crafting costs more in line with the post nerf ones in Legion to avoid a similiar situation. As such I will not be stocking up on Sky Golems outside of my 4 Engineers running the daily cooldown consistently.
When it comes to the Hexweave Bags they have just seen one expansion Launch. They were added in Warlords of Draenor. Before Legion Launched we knew that there would not be a competing bag at launch. This meant that we knew Hexweave bags would remain the #1 bag. We could also expect that players would stop focusing on Warlords of Draenor content leading to a decrease in supply.
This lead to the price gradually increasing as we can see below.
In BfA they will be adding new bags. Relative crafting costs will determine the prices, but I doubt we will see any major shocks to Hexweave. Demand will primarily be driven by alt creation, and I don’t really see the new expansion impacting this market much.
Legion markets that will see decreased supply
All Legion materials and items will have gradually decreasing supply as we head into BfA. Players will be unloading their stock and they will be spending much less time in Legion content. Most of the decrease in supply will be followed by a decrease in demand. Legion enchants will not be particularly useful in BfA content for instance.
For a market to be worth investing in we need items that we can expect to hold some form of value in the future. Anything people are currently buying for power increases will be close to worthless. These power increases will not be relevant when we are no longer doing Legion content.
Crafting markets and materials
As far as crafted items go I only really expect armor and mounts to remain relevant as I outlined here.
This also means that any crafting material that is not used for crafting either mounts, armor, glyphs or utility items will be close to worthless. Breg lists Felwort and Pandemonite in his video as items that will have heavily reduced supply. Felwort will likely be great as supply is gated by World Quests and it will still be useful for getting Sallow pigments for Glyphs. I don’t think Pandemonite will increase in value however as it is only used for Jewelcrafting recipes that do not give any cosmetic benefits.
To get an idea of why this can be worth it take a look at the graph for Truesteel Essence below. This is used to upgrade the WoD Blacksmithing crafted armor. Each upgrade gives a unique transmog look. We can see the value has increased steadily since Legion launched. This is a great proxy for how a lot of cosmetic markets from Legion might look.
Steelbound Harness and Blood of Sargeras
These two items are so important they deserve their own section. The Steelbound Harness is a crafted mount that requires 50 Blood of Sargeras to craft. We don’t know yet if Bloods will be turned BoE or not, but I am expecting them to be. Either way I expect this mount to be very valuable going forward. Mounts are always in demand, especially crafted ones.
Stocking up on Bloods if they are made tradeable will be a true once in a lifetime opportunity as a majority of players are likely to dump them for very low prices. If they are not made tradable I will be stocking up on a large number of Steelbound Harnesses. Bloods are a pain to farm and supply will crater harder than any other Legion material. Demand will hold very strong through both mounts and armor recipes.
In addition to this we can expect that Legion Pets will increase in value, and this process has already started. Vahdis has a TSM string for the Legion pets which you may want to go shopping for. Those are definitely going to see heavily decreased supply with demand holding steady.