This post is for consideration as part of Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival for November 2012.
It relates to a blue post from Blizz talking about the possibly of introducing a Cross Realm Auction House (CRAH) and the effect on the economy this feature would have.
By combining the action houses, there would be greater Supply of items but there’d be greater demand too.
Demand drives prices, when there is an oversupply of something; Sellers are forced to reduce prices to sell their items. The price falls till enough Buyers enter the market to purchase the items.
Under a CRAH environment there would be a constant influx of items for sale. A Buyer could almost be guaranteed to find an item they were looking for on the AH. The Raw materials for all professions would be undercut constantly in an attempt to be the cheapest. This is great for Buyers but Sellers would be in constant competition. Margins would be cut to the point that the average wow player would be selling at cost.
My main reservations to the introduction of a CRAH would be as follows.
One of the tricks gold sellers use to distribute gold is to have the buyer (once they’ve paid for the gold) put 5 stacks of Linen Cloth for example on the AH for a ridiculous price, then the gold supplier buys it out, and 30 mins later you have your gold. The Gold Seller wears the AH fee so let’s say you purchased 5000 gold, you would put up 5x items at 1050 gold (5x1000g + 5% AH fee). You receive 5000g in the mail.A CRAH would mean that Gold Sellers would no longer have to be on multiple realms. They could distribute huge amount of gold from one Server.
Remember the duping of Queen’s Garnet in Cata, when the next exploit is found by the Gold Sellers, the CRAH would be a license to make gold for re-distribution.
In the meantime all those Low population servers can expect a growth of Bots to supply the CRAH with mats.
PvE & PvP Realms
I hate being ganked that’s why I play on a PvE Realm. It provides the added benefit of being able to explore Horde dominated areas to gather materials without interruption. There would be a distinct advantage of being on a PvE realm for Gatherers to make gold, if a CRAH were introduced.
Volume & UI
I’m sure we’ve all experience the person who puts up 1000 pieces of Cloth in single units on the AH. I always find this slows down the Auction house considerably, which is probably the primary motivation of the seller. I use an addon called Auctionator to search for items on the AH and when the above occurs, I find that Auctionator grinds to a halt. The main reason I use Auctionator is because I dislike the way the Blizzard UI shows what’s on the AH. If a Cross Realm Auction House were introduced unless something is done to the UI, I believe the AH wouldn’t cope with the quantity of Auctions.
Trying to use the Blizzard UI to buy items off the AH, is an exercise in frustration. Selling items is even more of an ordeal. In 10 years, Blizz have made no effort to make the UI any more user friendly, but have incorporated a No. of other Addons into the game, as features.
I say, fix the current AH UI before you go experimenting with Cross Realm AH's.
My biggest competition are the no-lifer’s (could be Gold Sellers) who sit on the Auction House 24/7, (Some would say I’m one). These people undercut constantly and dominate an area of the AH. A CRAH would only promote this sort of behaviour, especially by gold sellers. I've got enough competition on 1 server let alone Cross realms.