Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Guest Post: Just my two copper

Markco from Just My Two Copper, another interesting blog on WoW economics, asked whether he could publish a guest post on my blog. Not something I usually do, but I checked out and liked his blog, it's like Greedy Goblin without the darwinistic attitude. So I asked him whether he could explain to me why everyone's predictions about dream shards and frozen orbs exploding in price didn't come true. On my AH dream shards are still 10 gold, and frozen orbs 75 gold. This is his guest post reply:
A Glance at the Effect 3.0.8 had on Dream Shards and Frozen Orbs
By: Markco of

In 3.0.8 dream shards were going for 9-12 gold on my server (US Onyxia). As you all know, the enchanting requirements for various high enchants have changed to allow for the inclusion of more dream shards. You’d think this would drastically increase the need for dream shards and raise their prices. Acting on this information, I purchased four hundred dream shards in anticipation for the inevitable rise in price. You can see I also advised my own readers to do this on youtube.

However, on most servers the shards only rose to 15-19 gold by the end of patch day instead of doubling as I had hoped. During the first few hours of the patch, shards disappeared on the auction house as speculators attempted to raise their price. I sold approximately two stacks of the shards at 35 gold before the price steadily dropped back down into the 15-19 gold range. Why did this happen? How did the market manage to remain virtually the same even though these shards were now vital requirements for so many enchants?

The answer comes down to time. Guilds and other enchanters like myself had months to accumulate dream shards with almost no way of getting rid of them. Since they didn’t sell on the auction house very well, the supply grew and grew while the demand stayed incredibly small. With the introduction of 3.0.8 initially demand was very high and the speculators made their money before guild banks and other enchanters started posting their huge stockpiles of dream shards. At the end of the day on my server there were six pages of shards because people had saved so many with no way to sell them prior to the patch.

Right now it’s a waiting game before these items start selling for 20-25 gold a piece and I advise everyone who saved up shards for patch day to continue waiting for when supply and demand eventually correct the prices. Currently pve is rather easy and players are constantly getting new gear to enchant and pvp players are enjoying the new arena system which also helps to deplete dream shards from the auction house. Eventually demand is going to overtake the supply of shards but due to the vast amount of time guild banks and other enchanters had to save up for 3.0.8, the server economies have not had enough time to catch up. I predict that within two months shards will be selling globally for 20-25 gold, much like the greater prismatic shards in the Burning Crusade. I predict that the release of the next pve content patch and possibly arena season six will most likely do wonders for the dream shard market.

There was a stealth nerf in 3.0.8 which greatly affected the enchanting market. Some of you who were disenchanting reinforced cobalt chest pieces which only cost 4 cobalt bars at the time, and were making hundreds of gold every hour with absolutely no way to lose money from the disenchanted items. Even if you were unlucky enough to get 2 dusts from one chest piece, you still made around 1-2 gold from the act of disenchanting them. After blizzard removed this vital method of gaining dusts/essences, the enchanting market slowly reacted. You may have noticed that greater cosmic essences and infinite dusts have risen 10-20% since patch day. This is because the supply of enchanting mats has drastically decreased from Blizzard’s stealth nerf on cobalt chest pieces. Now the items cost 8 bars and 2 crystallized waters, making it virtually impossible to make money from disenchanting them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a different item to disenchant in order to make money off the rising prices of dusts/essences? Well fortunately for you, there’s two items which still can be crafted and disenchanted for profit: StoneGuard Bands and ShadowMight Bands. Stoneguard bands cost 2 eternal earths and shadowmight bands cost 1 earth, 1 shadow. Easy money so you better get on it before Blizzard nerfs them as well!

Now let’s discuss frozen orbs. On my server these orbs are selling like hotcakes and demand is extremely high. Prices have increased from 55 gold to 110 gold per orb and people are still making money buying these orbs + green gems with the intent of selling prospected blue gems. The occasional dragon’s eye form the frozen orb + green gem mix has really made this technique a great way for jewelcrafters to make money. For some servers however, they have seen a decrease in frozen orb prices and I advise them not to panic by posting all their orbs for a lower price then pre-3.0.8. It’s all about supply and demand. Just like the dream shards, Frozen orbs now have a valuable purpose in the game and players will eventually buy them up. How long it will take for the demand to reduce supply and increase the price is anybody’s guess, but it is inevitable. Be warned however that these orbs remind me of nethers from the burning crusade. It’s entirely possible that a new epic value orb will exist in the next content patch. If the frozen orbs rise in price within the next month on your server, then I advise that you start selling them as frequently as possible.

Hopefully this discussion will help you make smarter decisions with your frozen orbs and dream shards for the next several weeks and months ahead.


Markco writes daily for where you can find fantastic gold guides, wotlk farming areas, auction house techniques, and much more.
Well, I'm still hoarding my dream shards and frozen orbs, fortunately I only got 4 stacks of the former, and 1 stack of the latter. But I'm not that sure that prices of everything will eventually go up, as pretty much everything got continuously cheaper since WotLK was released. I wonder where all that money is going, is everyone buying hoggers and tundra mammoths?

My business of selling epics has very much calmed down, as it is now difficult to sell crafted epics for more than 1,000 gold. Quite often the market is swamped with crafters underbidding each other, driving the prices down into the no-profit zone. But I did make a quick 6k gold recently by sheer luck: Decided to try and make the level 80 Darkmoon cards, and got 4 nobles cards out of 7 cards made, which I sold for 1.5k each. Unfortunately that is a highly unreliable method of wealth creation, and even the prices for nobles cards are going down now due to more people trying to make them.
Just wanted to point out the third link is wrong, linking to an unused site at blogpost, rather than blogspot.
Fixed. Call it a guest-typo. :)
Well known fact in stockmarket exchange. Never share your knowledge nor tell anyone to buy something you are investing in.
Proves that WoW is not so far away from the real world.
Seems like WoW is in a liquidity/deflation trap. :)
I did buy a stack of frozen orbs & 10 stacks of dream shards.

Frozen orbs are selling for 40g higher.
I didn't fully thrust the dream shars however, I figured that most guild banks and quite a few players would have tons of shards in their banks.

However, I also think the prices of dream shards will go up. People are mostly raiding now and not doing as many heroics. So there will be too many epic shards and too few blue shards. The price of blue shards will rise. Well, untill blizzard adds a 1:2 converting spell.
I can't believe I missed another gold site. Linked of course on my blog now.

About the post: the analysis is correct, and I also ended up with some orbs and shards. However I'd suggest to get rid of them. The prices are constantly deflating, so holding them is constant loss. I'd suggest to sell them, and buy them back before 3.1, resell after.
Thanks for allowing me to post Tobold. I hope this information has been helpful to your readers and I'd love to come back and post anytime :)

Oh and sorry about the typo... you'd think I could write my own links correctly!
On my low-pop server, frozen orbs haven't moved much in price (around 100-150g). There simply aren't enough JC's to make daily Icy Prisms to push the market higher.

Before 3.0.8, I stocked up on the epic leg armors for 100g each. Since they now require frozen orbs to make, the prices have risen to 200g, and I sell about 2/day.

I agree with Karim -- by sharing tips, you increase the possibility of competition in that area, lowering your profit margins.

Darkmoon cards have been great up until now, but the combo of 3.0.8 (Snowfall Ink exchange) plus the Darkmoon Faire arriving today means that the AH will be flooded with non-Nobles cards and decks. That reduces your overall profit significantly, as the by-products result in a significant loss.

Overall, making money on the AH is a lot like the original Warcraft RTS games: find a gold mine and defend it from competitors. The best defense is to remain out of sight. :) I found the best way to make money was to sell epic gems and enchants during the pre-WotLK lull, since most of the hardcore raiders/crafters had taken a break from the game. I built up a 200k war chest and now spend money freely while only dabbling in obvious market opportunities. I don't plan on making big money again until WoW becomes boring again in a year.

Americans have a phrase: "Make hay while the sun shines." In WoW, the economic sun shines when there isn't much to do or buy. Demand is low, but supply is even lower. So you can make a killing as one of the few remaining suppliers.
Although sharing all my gold secrets might hurt my gold per hour, I don't mind giving them away because I don't need gold in this game anymore. I liked the comment on liquidity/deflation trap :)
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