Goodbye Anetheron! (Part 1 of 2)
First things first: Good news everyone! Zekta has written a post about how Blizz is going to kill all life on Azeroth! Check it out. Now, onto what’s on my mind.
A while back, after my less-than-satisfying experience trying to buy an Ulduar run, I was not having fun anymore. My realm, Anetheron, felt too small. I knew the names of almost everyone in chat, even though I’d recently switched from Alliance to Horde. Most of my friends had already left for the seemingly-greener pastures of Alterac Mountains or Scilla, and I couldn’t find a guild that raided in the AM because it didn’t exist on my server. Generally, I dreaded logging in because playing WoW wasn’t fun anymore. I considered canceling my subscription.
I decided against quitting, however. You see, dear reader, I am at heart a RPG gamer. If I wasn’t playing WoW, I’d have to find something else to play. (Before WoW, I was still firing up Baldur’s Gate II upon occasion!) And my dissatisfaction wasn’t with the game, it was with the feeling on Anetheron. It really felt small- a few elite guilds that downed content, and then a bunch of fail PUGs and a slow auction house.
So, I decided to move. I spent real money ($25.00 US) and moved the line of code that is Bigjimm from one server to another. I had high hopes for the change, and also thought it would be a fun experiment in auctioneering. Before the move I’d spent about 50K gold on various stuff- a few runs, a few BOEs, etc. That left me with about 100k to try to move from Anetheron to my new server. Blizzard restricts the amount of gold you can transfer with a character- at level 80 the maximum is 20k gold. So that would be my challenge; how would I move 80k gold efficiently so that you, dear reader, can learn from my experience?
I began to plan. First I had to decide upon a new server, but that wasn’t hard at all. I’d had a vacation alt on Earthen Ring for a long time. That toon was a member of Alea Iacta Est (AIE), the largest guild in the world. (AIE, in case you don’t read any other WoW websites or listen to podcasts, is the guild that was created as the guild of the incredibly popular WoW podcast, The Instance.)
I liked being in AIE on that little vacation toon, and I’d already made 5k on Earthen Ring by playing the AH over time. However, the most attractive thing was the incredible number of people in AIE. There are multiple raid teams, all at various times and levels of skill. I figured that if I couldn’t find a raid team in a guild with about 5,000 members, I wouldn’t find it anywhere. Done and done. I’d move to Earthen Ring.
Then, to paraphrase TB, so it began. I started planning the move. One thing became obvious very quickly- Earthen Ring has a much larger population than Anetheron, and a much faster Auction House. This manifested in odd ways. On Earthen Ring you could find vanity items and high-end BOE items that simply weren’t available on Anetheron. For example, one of the few pets I don’t have is the much-coveted Hyacinth Macaw. On Anetheron there hasn’t been one on the AH for three months. On Earthen Ring, there are three for sale, and have been for a month (16k-22k gold, just in case you were curious).
Initially I thought this simple econ would carry across all markets, ie: more population= more demand= demand pressure on prices= stuff costs more. (If you’re lost already, take a look a look a the supply-demand curve that you learn on your first day of Intro to Macroeconomics.)
However, it wasn’t that simple. Increased population does translate into increased demand, but it also translates into increased supply. So in some markets, particularly specific commodities, prices were way down. It wasn’t something that I was able to predict, so I picked a few areas and focused on them, trying to figure them out.
Here are a few examples, just for fun: on Anetheron, Lifelike Mechanical Toads sell for 225g or so on the AH; on Earthen Ring they’re about 135g. Saronite Ore on Anetheron goes for about 12g-14g/stack (Blizz hasn’t gotten to the bots yet, I suppose); the Earthen Ring cost is at least 18g/stack. Prices of Primordial Saronite (600g-ish), Titansteel Bars (100g-120g), Cardinal Rubies (120g), Eternal Fires (20g), and Frozen Orbs (17g) were more or less the same between realms. Most surprisingly, Dragons Eyes were almost twice as expensive on Anetheron (100g-120g each) as they were on Earthen Ring (60g-70g).
I had my plan, I’d done my research, the only thing left was to execute. And I’ll cover what I did in Part 2. As ever, thanks in advance for your feedback. We here at P3P love it.