Tobold's Blog
Saturday, November 05, 2016
Messed up economy

I find the player economy of Legion to be rather messed up. It isn't as if you couldn't craft useful items; but everything is so damned expensive that few people buy or bother with crafting and selling. A flask that gives you a 2-hour stat bonus on my server costs 3000 gold, and very few people other than high-end raiders spend that sort of money for a short term buff. And the high price isn't a profit margin of the crafters, but comes nearly exclusively from the high price of the gathered raw materials like herbs and ores.

The culprit probably is the previous expansion, where the garrison gave everybody herbs and ores without needing the skill, so many people unlearned their gathering professions. And although you can gather in Legion with low skill, apparently not many people switched back. Maybe because skill isn't the determining factor any more, you need to do a lot of gathering to find quest items that give you quests that increase your gathering skills. Without those every node only yields little. Thus you can find basic ores or herbs going for 50 to over 100 gold for a single one. Stacks of 200 ores or herbs cost more than BoE epics.

Another reason why few people bother with crafting is that there are other alternatives. You can get a set of class armor and upgrade it to high iLevel using order resources. And if you do a lot of world quests, you'll also find a lot of good gear. I just recently discovered that you can buy bonus roll loot items that work on the weekly purple world bosses, giving you a chance of an iLevel 860 item without ever needing to enter a dungeon.

My warrior has mining and smithing, my mage has herbalism and alchemy, and my priest has tailoring and jewelcrafting. I haven't found any great money makers yet in these professions. Some people said stirrups would sell, but I found few buyers that would pay more than the cost of the materials for those on my server. And unless gathered materials become a lot cheaper, I don't see myself crafting flasks or turning crafted items into obliterum.

I don't have any of those problems on my server. Flasks are all around 1k. Basic herbs around 20g. Starlights around 100g. Ore is around 12g for leystone and 40g for felslate. Cloth is dirt cheap. Just about any crafting profession makes money as well just buy buying mats and selling crafted items. Are you on a low population server?

I wouldn't knock the crafted gear either. For some classes/specs certain items are BiS if upgraded to 855.
Items being as cheap as mats isn't a new development, in WoD you didn't feel that much because you didn't need many anyway. You made money with bound mats. As you do now. Look at your plans that need Blood of Sargeras. I am currently leveling tailoring and turn 600g mats + 2 blood into a 3000-6000g item. Don't sell very fast but still profit.

Making money involves adjusting to new circumstances. You have mining and herbing, just do that for an hour and sell mats.
In general the crafting in Legion is complete bunk. It isn't actually possible to advance alchemy past 780 skill with crafting literally 100's of flasks over and over. You can only skill past 780 with rank 3 flasks which randomly upgrade from rank 2 as a result of crafting (very low low percentage chance). This means either being a manufacturing bot - buying mats - selling product or running through Suraman for hours on end farming Starlights. Those of us raiding are only doing as much as needed for ourselves and those in the guild letting the market go hang.
Assign one guy in the guild Master of Flask until s/he procs rank 3. Or assign three different for every kind of flask.
You're looking at it wrong. "Crafting" isn't a license to print money, but a means to sell the gathered mats for a slight premium.

I gather mats, them make Demonsteel Breastplates and sell them. About 60% or them I can sell for 12K, a rare one sells for 14K... I obliterate the ones I think will never sell. My goal? 4 sales a month to pay for my subscription token. I double or triple that easily. It's a trivial amount of time, I like mining, I get to "craft something" and sell it. As a side benefit, I get Obliterum to boost my own items (Each destroyed one nets about 0.6 Obliterum.) It's win win.

Am I going to "Get rich" No, and I don't care. It's just useless pixel money. But I started the expansion with 600K, have 700K now, and have bought many crafted items and the Obliterum to boost them. I think crafting is working great.

My other character is Herbalism / Alchemy. I make my own flasks, and can make them for my guildies if they farm mats. I don't even have to gather them... I just have the Gatherer enchant on my shoulder item that collects them when I kill Basilisks for the Felslate.

As to the difficulty of getting crafting to 800... who cares? Oh! the mount! BFD? There are zillions of mounts.
About Obliterum: you can also buy up the cheap stuff other players put on the AH after skilling their professions. 2500g for five belts or boots = 1 Obliterum which sells for 3000g. Easy money :)
I honestly stopped caring about making gold as soon as I hit 900K by simply selling raw mats (leather/scales) during the first weeks. I've got enough gold for free tokens and to be honesty I enjoy questing and doing mundane tasks. Gold in WoW is useless unless you're and avid raider or mount/pet collector.
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I don't think it's the garrisons or any in-game economy thing. It's WoW tokens. A token is 80K, for $15.

So that 3K flask is just 50 cents. That's why everything is expensive in terms of gold.

A single herb costing 100 G looks a lot. But actually it's just 1.8c. Even if you just make $5 per hour, you are better off buying herbs than farming them, unless you can farm 277 per hour.
WoW profession profitability has always based centred on gathering and cooldowns. The high cost of resource costs has actually created more opportunities for profitable crafting by pushing out casuals that produce at a loss just for the sake of 100% completion.
The gathering professions are imbalanced at the moment due to the loss of gatherers from bot-bans and garrison resources. The blood-to-resource trader is a good start to cover some of the shortfall.
"You can only skill past 780 with rank 3 flasks which randomly upgrade from rank 2 as a result of crafting (very low low percentage chance)."

Just a reminder, the Darkmoon Faire currently going on has crafting quests that give an easy +5 to any profession regardless of current skill level.
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