Thursday, May 20, 2010
WoW remote AH application on the iPhone
I was going to write some terribly intelligent thoughts about the new remote AH application for WoW, but Ixobelle beat me to them. Just like him I don't think it will be possible to combine the new application with an addon like auctioneer, whether you use the app on the iPhone or a browser. There are limits to how many auctions you can do per day, 25 at the start, maybe 200 after the beta. And while you can buy and sell and bid, you can't craft, so that typical AH sessions of mine (buy herbs, make pigments, make inks, craft glyphs, sell glyphs) will be impossible.
In consequence I don't think the introduction of the new app will have a huge impact on AH prices. Who is going to post 200 items from his iPhone, one by one, entering all prices manually, and having to remember or written down typical market prices?
Interestingly I would say that the inefficiencies of the new remote AH application are good for people who like to trade on the AH. The reason for that is the efficient market theory, which in spite of having been badly mauled by the economic crisis still has some grains of truth in it: If there were enough people using the auction house, and they would have efficient enough tools, profits from trading would disappear. The reason why you can make a profit by buying something and then reselling it more expensively is that the market in WoW is inefficient. With a lot of competition, sellers would underbid each other until the profit margins would be too low to be worth the effort. In the end every single item in a game like World of Warcraft has an inherent value which is proportional to the time it takes to gain this item for yourself instead of buying it. With enough people trading, the market value of all items on the AH converges towards this inherent value, because the buyers think "I'm not paying more than that, I'll go gather the stuff myself", and the sellers think "I'm not selling for less than that, because otherwise I could earn more gold doing something else like running dailies". The fun of AH trading lies in making a profit, and that only works if the market is inefficient. So fortunately the remote AH app isn't going to change that.