Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
To discourage their purchase

This post deliberately has the same title as Azuriel's post on the subject. That is because it basically is just a small addition to the discussion of Azuriel. The issue at hand is Apexis crystal items in patch 6.2 costing gold instead of Apexis crystals. Which makes the crystals pretty useless, and opens up Blizzard to conspiracy theories linking the move to the new WoW tokens.

Azuriel quotes a dev saying: "The high pricing is deliberate to discourage their purchase in favor of crafted items or raid BoEs.". Now I make a lot of money with little work by producing armor upgrades, e.g. Hexweave Essence, from the resources that my garrisons produce. And when I see the price list of the "Apexis" gear in gold, I must say that they are not highly priced at all. If you bought a crafted epic, then applied first an Essence, then a Greater Essence, and then a Powerful Essence to it, you'd probably end up paying more for about the same iLevel. I don't think the prices "discourage their purchase in favor of crafted items" at all, and in many cases the Apexis items are also cheaper than popular raid BoEs. The move is more likely to destroy my crafting profits than to discourage buyers.

The move is more likely to destroy my crafting profits than to discourage buyers.

Absolutely. I guess I know what to do during the weekend :)
Hmm. It also establishes a baseline value of 20K on a 675 item. Certainly, you can go to LFR and get 675 in 6.2, a detail which will pretty much crush casual raiding, as most of the "casual" raiders are in it for the gear, and if your guild can't clear normal BRF to get 670 gear, they're going to be laughed out of whatever drops 685 gear.

So what will happen? Crafted item + Essences 1 and 2 (670 gear scorer)will be essentially worth 20K, or one token. There is still more upgrade-ability, so they will be "better" than the 20K gold gear.

Currently, a 670 item on the AH (crafted item + 2 upgrades + as many stat rollers as it takes.) will set you back 25K on my server.

It sure looks like a cash grab to me. Establish a cost basis, introduce a new tier (above 685) of crafting item power up, then sell tokens to meet the demand for gold.

As far as I know, Apexis Crystals will still be the same currency used to purchase even more upgraded Apexis gear (called Baleful) in Tanaan Jungle. It apparently costs 5k crystals for 650 gear, which then gets instantly upgraded to 695 with an additional 20k crystals apiece.

Why Blizzard thought all of this convoluted nonsense was better than Justice Points, I have no idea.
Gear values make a lot more sense if you take raid gear out of the equation. Raiding is massively over-rewarded because that's what they want everyone doing. It is just too easy to get gear from LFR, Normal isn't especially hard and Heroic is mostly the same difficulty with a higher gear check. So all other ways of obtaining gear seem pointless, or at least overly expensive in terms of gold or time.
In 6.2 you can upgrade to 4th level with the level 1 essence, also this essence will become cheaper to make.

The 3 piece limit will sadly still be active, so for gearing a toon instantly on an empty server 120k gold might be faster to get than waiting for enough raid BoE on the auction house.

I'm not a conspiracy nut, but making gold useful while selling it for real money does look a bit wrong.
As a not WoW player I am always amazed by the complexity of the end game gear ( I am coming from GW2). There is gear level up to 695! I read a lot of blog, but posts on WoW are the only one I am just not able to follow and understand. Maybe because blogger expect everyone to know the WoW language while other MMO player spontanously explained the mechanism with simpler language.
The Apexis items are reasonably cheap relative to crafted items. They are not that cheap relative to BOE items. On my server an i670 BOE drop costs from 5k to 18k gold, depending on the slot.

In any case, I think the fuss over this is absurd. You could already buy as many items as you wanted with gold, and hence with real-world money. Who cares if there are two ways to do it instead of one?
Chris, the difference is that for raid BoE someone else had to actually raid to get it and they are potentially free if that someone was a friend of yours (same for garrison BoE).
Have you taken into account the reduction in crafting costs? e.g. powerful essences going away, reduced mat costs, etc. These at least mitigate the crafting profit decline.
It seemed to me as though it was just all the current gear steps getting squashed a little so there was room for more crafted or apex'ed upgrades at the high end.
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