Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
 
WoW token 30,000 gold

I recently made a prediction that Blizzard would set the price for a WoW token at between 30,000 and 50,000 gold. It turns out that I was right, the initial price of the WoW token is 30,000 gold, and it goes live with the patch today in the American region. The other regions will have to wait a bit longer. Sorry Gevlon, your prediction of the price being set over 100,000 was wrong. And so was the prediction of reader "8f55..." who argued strongly that the price couldn't be higher than 10,000.

The WoW token system comes with a lot of protection against abuse. You can't buy or sell more than 10 of them, and a token once bought for gold can't be resold. That should kill most attempts at speculation or the involvement of professional gold sellers. At 30,000 gold for $20 you get 50% more gold per dollar when buying gold legitimately than if you use the cheapest third-party gold seller. That should put a major dent into their profits.

What interests me the most about this is the effect this is going to have on the in-game economy. I assume that there will be a lot of gold sellers, because if you have gold on an inactive account you can "play for free", and any move towards free play increases player numbers. On the buyer side there will probably also be more people, those who didn't want to risk getting banned over third-party gold buys, but would be interested in the legitimate version. So I assume that results in lots of people with more WoW gold than they had before searching for stuff to buy. That should increase AH prices.

I've been stockpiling resources for crafting and upgrading epics. Well, I sold some essences over the weekend, because it was a long weekend over here and the prices were unusually high, but I still have lots of resources left. So besides the about 200,000 gold I already have, I should be able to make at least a 100,000 more when all those new gold buyers storm the AH. Which is still some time away, because I'm playing on a European server. I'm not even sure if the initial price on the European server will also be 30,000, or whether it will already be adjusted after the experience with supply and demand on the US servers.

Anyone know of a blog or other site doing economic analysis of American World of Warcraft servers? I'd really like to know how the WoW token price is moving, and how the prices of resources and epics/upgrades evolve.

Comments:
It's indeed very low and I have trouble explaining it why. I mean you can get 1K gold per day just by doing the gold missions in your garrison with 2-3 characters. No farming, no AH skills, nothing, just press button, receive gold.

My only reasonable explanation is that Blizzard want gold sellers out so hard (because of the account stealing mess they make) that they let half of the playerbase play for free.

I mean for this price there will be much more sellers than buyers, so most of the tokens won't be created by players paying $20 but Blizzard create them for free and sell it for gold (that gets out of the economy).
 
For other pricing, I use

theunderminejournal.com

www.wowuction.com

tuj is doing https://wowtoken.info/
 
The opening price is interesting but it will quickly change.

If this, or some game change, causes everyone to earn twice as much gold, then the price will double. Since fiat currency can in/deflate, I tend to think of it as average-person-hours. If a couple of hours of "grind" got you a token, then most would. When it starts getting over 15, I see participation really dropping. Say it took ten mins each on six alts per day pf no skill clicking, that would 30 hours per token. IMO there are a number of people who that would still appeal to, but not a big %. 5 min per day on one alt and I would expect the % to really rise.

On BlizzardWatch ( nee' massively.joystiq.com ), I already saw a commenter saying they were a pvper and selling tokens would allow them to get the mounts they wanted; i.e. reminiscent of the EVE players who finance their pvp with PLEX.

There has been no discussion of Blizzard selling tokens. No way of knowing of course. I would doubt it, not so much from Bliz ethics as them wanting $15/20 far more than they want a gold sink.

I don't see Bliz or CCP caring much what % of the players sub vs token - somebody is paying $15 or $20 per subscriber.

Should be interesting.
 
Get another quick prediction in before the patch: will the price quickly rise, quickly fall, or stay steady?
 
Hehe Carson, I've been pondering the same question.

Since it's a new product and more or less a very good "sink" for overrich players who have gold sitting unused in their guild bank, I would expect a rush buying.

At the same time, with a legal way to obtain gold without risk, people wanting "deco" items will give rise to a "rush" selling.

My bet is that the second category has more people than the first, so we'll have an initial small drop followed by a rise after the "deco" crowd has gotten what they wanted short-term and make up their mind if they want more-right-now.

For me the interesting part is more in the long term. While some deco stuff is player-to-player trade and does not affect the global money supply, there's also a lot of stuff which is NPC-bought, which would result in putting a deflationary pressure on the gold, lowering prices across the board, which would mean "keep your gold and buy the tokens later".

BTW I don't think that Blizzard will "generate" or "vanish" tokens, because that would mess up the economy pretty hard (resulting in a massive deflation/inflation of gold).
I find it more likely that they will manipulate the price not only purely in response of market pressure, but also to keep sure that it's a thorn in the side of the gold sellers, which would mean NOT allowing it to sink too close to the illegal RMT exchange ratio.
 
It does sort of bring a smile to the face considering the cynical predictions of people who wanted to accuse Blizzard of excess greed and based their predictions of the price on that.
 
I don't know which way the token price will go, but I expect to AH prices increase as surge of stockpiled gold gets released into the economy.
I also know that a lot of people are very poor. The 2013 gold survey (http://thegoldencrusade.net/wow/World%20of%20Warcraft%20Gold%20Report%202013.pdf), had 1/4rd of participants below 25k gold. Double your money for $20 doesn't sound too bad.

@Gevlon
1. I don't see Blizzard letting people pay for free just to suck some some gold out the economy.
2. Most people don't have 2-3 filled garrisons. So the passive income of most tokens will be closer to 250-300g.
3. EvE has passive income from PI at a level were it is worth about 2/3rds the cost of a PLEX.

@Hagu
It is BlizzardWatch nee WoWInsider. Massively became MassivelyOP
 
My only reasonable explanation is that Blizzard want gold sellers out so hard (because of the account stealing mess they make) that they let half of the playerbase play for free.

I doubt it, because that'd put a real dent in Blizzard's cash flow.

What I am sure of is that Blizzard analyzed all of the accounts out there, just how many accounts actually have 30k gold available, and then used that as a cutoff point. It wouldn't shock me if 90% of WoW accounts (both active and inactive) don't have 30k gold, because not a lot of people play the auction house.

I would still say that the big raiding guilds will get the lower ranking peons to generate gold so that the main raiding team gets to play for free as a "perk" of the system.
 
@Gevlon - I'm disappointed in you. I would have figured you would have done your homework and found out what the real-world value of WoW gold was before offering an estimate.

The truth is, Blizzard set the price at the black market price. At the auction site I use to track EVE ISK sales, $20 USD / 30K gold is about 15-25% lower than the price that the major sellers trafficking in WoW gold offer. But when I visited the 10 websites I found advertising on Google when I used the search term "buy WoW gold", I found the price range was between $19.50 - $21.50 USD / 30K WoW gold.

Of course, prices in the EU will vary from the prices in North America, so I'll be interested to see what the market looks like when the system reaches Europe.
 
Nice to be right :-) I too expected 30k when you sell a token but also predicted 50k+ to buy one. Still waiting to see if they use different prices for sell/buy.

Interesting about all the discussions is how many people seem to be so egocentric. On one side gold-poor players saying that 30k for 20$ is as much as you'd get from third party goldsellers and thus an OK price. OTOH gold-rich players saying "olol 30k is nothing that's just passive income from garrison".

And yeah it is passive garrison income for me. But then again I am not exactly a casual player, these 30k come from 4 max level chars, 3 of which have an epiced out army of followers. With garrison addons it takes no more than 5 minutes to log through all 4 to send them out. I am not a casual player because I do that daily including every morning.

On top of that making gold in WoW is easy, you just need basic math skills. Buying individual darkmoon cards over the week and sell trinkets saturdays nets about 300-500g per trinket. Easy money yet many people are too lazy to do it or else my trinkets wouldn't sell. I made even more gold in Cata/MoP by simply buying uncommon gems and loti, transmute and cut gems.

Everyone can do that, and egocentric players can't imagine why everyone wouldn't. And vice versa when I tell someone I have multiple goldcap the first thing they say is "yeah you play 24/7 for that". Well no; sure I play daily but gold making activities need less actual time than tanking 2 dungeons.

Btw, I have another prediction: the limit of buying 10 token per month will be lowered to 2 per month very soon. If not there will be no demand for tokens in about half a year.

And another thing: I still suspect that in the long run Blizzard will buy tokens from the AH itself thus generating gold. There is no transparency whatsoever about the amount of available/sold token, they can tell us what they want. Once buyer demand drys up price will fall but even then I only need 1 token per month. Maybe unfair but without transperancy I don't trust Blizzard, the desire to just sell the gold to get rid of third party goldsellers will be high.
 
I was closer than most people, and my 10K prediction was for after the market had sorted itself out. You can naturally expect more activity at the start, where people with lots of gold dump it to buy time. Especially as the starting price, which will go really go down from there. A month of game time is worth $15. The supply of gold will even out as people like Tobold cash in on their excess gold for free game time. After the initial rush, it becomes a question of whether people are going to spend 5 or six hours grinding for $15 of value or just buy the sub. That puts the cap on the value of these tokens very low.


As far as why it's so low Gev, it's because your labor in game is pretty close to worthless. Most people don't find playing the AH to be fun. It makes more sense to buy gold than it does to work for it, even at minimum wage.
 
If in-game labour has no value, the gold cost should be high, not low - the relevant ratio is time-to-real money. If it takes me 1 hour to get 10k gold, that means that 1 hour of "labour" is worth $6.67 if the token costs 30k. If the token costs 100k, 1 hour is only worth 67 cents.

Gevlon mistake is not that he overvalues his time in the game, but that he *undervalues* it.
 
Enjoying the show.

The prices seem pretty stable, just saw the first bump

Updated Apr 7th, 2015 2:42pm EDT
30,300g
Estimated Time to Sell less than 30 minutes

 
Well urlik, fair point, though perhaps he overvalues cash instead. It seems to be a common problem with MMO players, who would rather spend hundreds of hours a month on meaningless tasks than pay an extra $10 for cash.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
@Hagu - Thanks for the link to wowtoken.info! I like the way the price is moving :)
 
been checking throughout the day. Price was going up about once an hour, by essentially 1% each time. I.e., the price changes do not seem to be instant and there appears to be quanta. Or so I currently suppose.

It increased by 1% an hour four times and I just saw the first decline.

30,30.3,30.6,30.9,31.2,30.9
 
The tokens do not add or subtract any gold. But I do think that getting the gold out of the banks of millionaires into the hands of the ever-poor who will spend it today will increase velocity and thus inflation.

But I have theory that may serve to lessen that. When heirlooms came out, I probably spent 60k just completing/upgrading stuff. I have bought 30k BoEs a number of times on the AH. Going forward, when I see a 30K BoE I can afford, I see myself thinking that it is $15 since the conversion is simple these days. And most of the good-for-a-couple-of-months-best-case BoEs that I have purchased are not worth $15 to me.
 
@ulrik actually, if it was 100k, and you make 10k an hour, it would be $2 per hour, not 67 cents...Not sure where you got that number.
 
The price has dropped down to 26,313g, or $22.80 USD / 30,000 gold. When Runescape introduced bonds, the price fell 50% from the price Jagex initially set. That could happen here. Anyone for $40 USD / 30,000 gold? The gold sellers won't have to change anything they're doing if that occurs.
 
Sorry. but you did ask and I do find this interesting.

(the 30 means time-to-sell under 30 minutes)

30,906g 30 Apr 7th, 2015 6:04pm EDT
31,215g 30 Apr 7th, 2015 7:04pm EDT
30,903g 30 Apr 7th, 2015 8:04pm EDT
29,094g 30 Apr 7th, 2015 9:34pm EDT
28,515g 30 Apr 7th, 2015 10:04pm EDT
26,847g 30 Apr 7th, 2015 11:34pm EDT
26,050g 30 Apr 8th, 2015 12:19am EDT
 
@Jake Mental mixup - 100k is 10 times as much as 10k (so $6.67 vs $0.67), but of course the $6.67 is calculated from 30k, not 10k :p

So yeah, you're right.
 
I think a lot of players will play an MMORPG 'honestly', i.e. at the pace set by the 'natural' economy. Certainly this is reasonable in WoW, where there's nothing you really NEED gold for. I was in Wrath before I got a fast flying mount, because I liked dungeons and raiding, and was dilatory over gold-making activities (I just played daily dungeons, and daily quests that I liked).

I never once considered buying gold.
 
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