The AH is merging!? Here’s my thoughts (No, the world is not ending)

Blizzard just announced one of the biggest changes to the AH ever. With patch 9.2.7 the AH will be merged across all realms for any item defined as a commodity. Let’s look at what that means.

We will all be on the megaserver

For any items that are effected we will now all be on a single mega server. That means we will al be facing significant competition. Regardless of your current server size in 9.2.7 and onwards you will be on a megaserver economically for commodity prices.

Supply and demand still determines pricing

The real question is if the total supply and demand balance will change significantly from say the current situation on a high pop realm. Particularly for current expansion materials we might already be relatively saturated for activity.

Will competition drive prices down?

In economic theory competition brings down prices and profits in a given market. We will now all be facing substantially higher competition. The main factor here is how the dynamics of the AH will work. We will also be selling into a market with much higher demand. Overall it’s not clear that the new material balance will be substantially different to how it already is on a super high pop realm.

Stability for all?

We can expect price stability to increase significantly. With much larger volumes posted, combined with the AH by default suggesting to post at the current price there will likely be much, much larger volumes on any given price point. It will take a lot more effort to buy through a price point and we should expect prices to be more stable, particularly for old world materials.

Will the weekly cycle get stronger?

With every player on the same realm we could see buy side patterns potentially get stronger. Now all the raiders are buying potions and flasks from the same pool. So when the raid resets suddenly the entire region will be purchasing flasks. There’s a chance we actually see the typical weekly wow pattern strengthen slightly.

Flipping will be dead

Material flipping will likely be completely dead, as you will have to buy astronomical volumes to change the price. I don’t see this working out well on average at all sadly.

Market manipulation?

Market manipulation will be much harder to pull off, but potentially a lot more profitable if you actually succeed. This will still be something for absolute top level players only though.

Alchemy profits

Alchemy profits will also be very low. You are now competing for cheap materials with the entire region, and trying to cancel scan against the entire region. I don’t expect I will bother with alchemy much at all after this change.

Farming profits

I don’t actually expect farming profits to change massively. They will go down for low pop realm players, and prices might fall a bit for higher population players, but the underlying aspects of supply and demand should not change materially, even with a much larger pool of players.

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