Should WotLK Classic Use the AH From Retail? – Wowhead Economy Weekly Wrap-Up 232

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Should WotLK Classic Use the AH From Retail? - Wowhead Economy Weekly Wrap-Up 232


WoW Economy Weekly Wrap-Up
Hello! Welcome to the 232nd edition of the WoW Economy Weekly Wrap-up!

This week we discuss all about the differences in Auction Houses from Retail vs. Classic and whether WotLK Classic should use the new Auction House.

My name is Samadan and I’ll be your guide through the World of Gold Making!

Classic vs. Retail Auction House

Should we be using the Retail AH in Classic? This all came about from a thread on the /woweconomy reddit after Brian Birmingham was asked if they would consider using the new AH system in WotLK..

and u/kruffz asked ..

For those with experience in TBC’s AH system as well as retail’s, what do you think about this possibility? What would you expect to be the positives and negatives of this change? Hoping to see some replies from the perspective of both those who are serious about using the AH to make gold and those who aren’t.

It’s an interesting conundrum and as gold makers, we have a pretty unique perspective on using the Auction House in both Classic and Retail. Let’s look a bit deeper ..

What’s the difference? Why is this so important? Well for many, Classic means a return to the old style of play, and that includes the Auction House. It was clunky and has it’s own way of working compared to what we are used to in retail and with that comes some unique ways of playing with regards to making gold.

Classic

In Classic, all auctions are listed individually with a buyout price and also a bid price. They are listed in order of bid price and then buyout price. If you wanted to get higher in the listings pages, you’d have to be cheaper in one of those and more likely to get a sale. This applies to both commodities (raw materials) and individual items. When there are lots of the same item for sale, auctions can span a number of pages and buyers are less likely to look beyond the first one unless they are looking for a specific stack size.

This leads onto the next point. Stack Size matters. When listing auctions, the maximum single posting is limited to the size of the stack they come in. Say you had 40 Peacebloom which come in a stack size of 20. You could list them as 2 lots of 20 or 40 lots of 1 or any combination inbetween. When it comes to purchasing, the player buys the item by lot, so if you list 2 stacks of 20 and the player wants 21 and yours are the only auctions, they have to buy both stacks of 20 and can’t split individual items. It also works the other way round if looking for individual items.

There may be certain cases when a specific number of items were required, say 6 of a particular potion used for a quest. The canny goblin could list exactly the required amount for a slightly more expensive price to allow for the convenience,

Often, it’s cumbersome to buy lots of individual single items when you need a lot, so a player may seek out slightly more expensive “whole stacks” to quickly get what they need. Lot’s of individual items can only easily be bought using addons like Tradeskill Master which came about due to the clunkyness of the auction house. Sometimes, a player could create a “wall” of individual items at a certain price to discourage other players buying them all out and resetting the market.

There are a whole set of subtleties that developed in Classic that are based purely around the clunkyness of the interface and within those subtleties were opportunities to make gold. You could also see the name of every seller which added to the community feel of a server recognising and buying from familiar names.

The way the AH was split into pages allowed addons like TSM to come up with the term of “sniping”. If you looked at all auctions ordered by date expiring, the first page would be those freshly listed and those on the last page would be due to expire. This way, by using TSM and monitoring the last or first page, players could “snipe” newly listed auctions that were priced cheaply or bag a bargain bidding on something about to expire. It was an entirely different game when making gold.

The Auction House is also split, there are separate Horde and Alliance pools of items with a third Neutral one which anyone can use with higher fees.

Retail

In retail, the Auction House got overhauled in 8.3 and introduced the concept of “commodities” that were treated differently from regular item auctions. These were pooled together in chunks of the same price and players were encouraged to match the same price rather than undercut because the system changed to “Last In, First Out” (LIFO) and players no longer had the choice of who to buy from and what stack size, they just automatically bought the cheapest of the exact amount they required.

The system condensed multiple, small purchases into one which made for a much smoother end experience for those that just wanted x amount of something and that was it. This was also reflected in a much less cluttered mailbox and faster experience all around.

One side effect of the LIFO system was that it encouraged people to regularly cancel and repost auctions to ensure they were always last. This had so much of an impact on the overall performance of the AH that as a fix, they had to introduce a throttle, slowing down how many auctions could get cancelled after a certain amount. Even with the throttle, the cancel scan wars have been the bane of the Legendary system in Shadowlands.

Another bonus from the retail AH was the introduction of a favourites list which was shown on the landing page of the AH for players who regularly bought the same item.

Overall the system is much faster and more convenient for the regular player. The subtleties of the old ways of gold making may be gone, but there are still plenty of opportunities to make gold with the new system and a more active Auction House means more sales for everyone!

What do Players Want?

This is an entirely personal choice. Many would say that they play Classic because they like the old way of doing things. Retail has evolved so much from the original that it feels a very different game. There is no getting around the AH was clunky and difficult to use without addons and from there evolved very unique ways to make gold.

However, we are in a different time now. Classic is not really the same as going back and playing as one did back then. Players and games have evolved. Why make the experience less fun if it can be improved with modern methods and essentially the AH is still the same for regular players.

Systems like the old auction house do nothing to make the experience better, more immersive, or in any way more engaging.

I would have no objection, personally, to it being improved.

I disagree, it gives the old nostalgia feeling. Same reason why we have the old character models and not the new ones from retail. But I would still be willing to switch to the retail AH, it’s usability is just so much better.

What do you think? Would you like to see some form of a smoother, more retail AH in WotLK Classic compared to what we have now? Would you want commodities and the LIFO system? What about the cancel throttle?





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