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I have felt the urge to write this post ahead of everything else on the collective plate because, in the last week, the Gold Game in Warcraft has seen a major upheaval.

Last night was surreal, there’s no other word for it. I began watching the whispers in Trade, increasing numbers of people desperate to buy raw materials outside the auspices of the Auction House, which is running incredibly slowly due to unforseen UI issues (ActiBlizz know, they’re working on it.) Looking at the numbers, and knowing how Trade sellers undercut the AH for expediency, the amounts of money being offered were… eye openening. I’m also aware that the price of the WoW Token has dropped considerably since Launch, with the assumption that many ‘new’ players have returned with one thought in mind, to buy themselves back into the game.

So, I sent a Gatherer out, expecting to have to fight for nodes or raw materials, forgetting two key points: there’s a timer set on node despawn, and that the game will shard me into a new version of Kul Tiras should it deem too many people be about. As a result, last night I saw virtually nobody in the areas farmed, and gathered enough raw materials to cover all my Expansion costs thus far several times over. However, this is not the only piece in what has become a suddenly quite complex puzzle for anyone wanting to exploit this Expansion. This time round, the Magic Feather crafting reagent doesn’t come from gathering, but destroying otherwise saleable items.

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There’ll be no more cheap green items on the AH, certainly not at max level. TSM will already be programmed to sweep them all up, to dump them in the Scrapper. This item is the only way to obtain Expulsum, which I already need a butt-tonne of to craft anything at high level. However, right now there’s a bit of a quandary. Do I keep levelling professions at all or do I keep selling high value items until the bottom falls out of the market? Ironically, nobody wants leather, it’s bones this time which are the limiting factor on crafting.

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Having said all that, this is decent progress for four days in, and far more enjoyable than Legion in terms of difficulty. The gathering quests still exist, they’re enjoyable and distracting, plus the redesign to Fishing and Cookery creates a decent synergy. I do miss First Aid though, and I’ll be stockpiling cloth so my Tailor can start providing the family with Bandages. Most significantly of all, however, is that the nature of the Gold Game is irrevocably altering. Sure, you’ll still be able to make your money via Legacy, but the future may well dictated by those who decide to use Pay to Win in a far more aggressive manner.

Certainly, looking at the number of people rocking the five million gold Auctioneer mount, the concept of a Level 1 Bankalt in Ironforge isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Also, with max level BoE epics starting at half a million gold on my server, you need to turn up with some serious moolah this time around if you want to be Ready for Raiding after an absence. With players far more likely to spend real-world cash to secure their gear via tokens than ever before, and with the token price as evidence this will be taking place? It’s a seller’s market for as long as we can all get away with charging the earth.

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Time to fill your boots, people.

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