[GW2] Market Patterns

Even without the use of super helpful tools like GW2 Spidy, I am beginning to see plenty of patterns in the market. There is quite a distinction in trade and volume for the weekend as MMO weekend warriors have heavy impact on the market. There is plenty of money to be made by flipping items, and it really does require just a couple of minutes a day.

The surprising market, for me at least, is the money that can be made on intermediate crafting components.  Flipping raw materials is extremely difficult, and the final items seem to lose a lot of market value over their components. However, flipping the intermediate components like sword hilts or bow strings or sandal pieces is pretty profitable.

To be honest, I don’t understand it. Usually the buy price of the intermediate component is within coppers (+/-) of the base material cost, and the sell price is much higher than the base material cost. Yet, I keep making money. I guess between crafting guides and general laziness a lot of players don’t mind paying 50%+ more than crafting it from base materials.

There is also a lot of weirdness that can occur in intermediate component markets and other highly flippable markets. For instance, this morning I saw a player selling Mithril Chains about halfway between the buy orders and the wall of sell orders. I did a quick calculation and realized that where most of the sell orders stood I could make about 20-30 copper if I snatched up this middleman’s wares. I also had other Mithril Chains up in that wall of sell orders. These slash-priced Mithril Chains were just slowing things down!

More than likely the middleman in this scenario was a crafter looking to make a quicker buck for less profit on their own mithril ore. By actually sharing profits with people looking for flips, the middleman was able to move their product much faster. It’s an interesting tactic, but I don’t think it is a great one in the long run. Regardless these fluctuations and strategies are all part of the game.

The fluctuations that suck deal with bot bannings. Bots artificially lower the price of many commodities. It’s simply amazing how “off” they are from the fair price. The latest hit appears to be from tier 6 uncommon materials. Either some millionaire is really playing with everybody’s minds, or more likely, a bunch of bot farmers took a mass banning cutting off a supply chain that was keeping prices low.

The reason these suck is because it creates a lot of volatility, unforeseen consequences, let’s say. It’s much harder to predict the effect of bots from this side of things. Right now people working on high-end items, such as legendary weapons, are finding that their predicted costs are ballooning out of control. Others are finding that their stashes of tier 6 materials are becoming little nest eggs. Until the market corrects on tier 5 materials, it might be profitable to forge tier 5 materials in to tier 6 at the cost of skill points.

It’s interesting that the effect of bots can be seen so readily in Guild Wars 2 market. I wish the bot bannings did not have such an effect. Just more reason not to support black market gold selling because they do have such great effect.

–Ravious

9 thoughts on “[GW2] Market Patterns

  1. Aspeon

    There is one reason to buy top-tier intermediate weapon components: a number of Mystic Forge recipes for unique weapon skins use them. If you want the skin, have money, and don’t have the craft leveled, you have a reason to buy a large quantity of sword hilts or whatever off the market. No idea why people buy the lower ones, though.

  2. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    Another benefit of my idea for segregated markets is that bots wouldn’t necessarily be able to affect them to this degree. You might see smaller fluctuations if the bots were limited to particular servers.

    Second, I still find it incredible that GW2 has a problem with gold sellers when they have the currency exchange. That tells me something has gone wrong if people would rather risk buying currency from a third-party site rather than buying it from the company. If the exchange were working properly, the market would find a price that the gold sellers would have a hard time beating, especially if buying gold carried the risk of punishment.

    1. Naqaj (@Naqaj)

      To your second point, I’m not that surprised by it. The official gold exchange trades on player time, the black market trades on bot time. The latter is much, much cheaper. There’s always a point where risk and reward balance out.

      1. Attic Lion

        This. Buying gold from 3rd party sites is ridiculously more cost effective than buying from ANet.

        Whats the cost of 100 gems atm? ~1.4g? So for $10 you can get 11.2g from ANet. Which is 1.12 gold per dollar.

        Whereas if you look at say… playerauctions, a site that has been pretty legitimized by time and good reputation, you can snag 50 gold for ~$18.50 or 2.7 gold per dollar. 240% more cost effective.

        And this is JUST AFTER a large bot ban and surely increased the price of gold from these 3rd parties. Once the bots get running again it’ll probably drop back down to around $14 for 50g like it was in December and November. Which would be a 319% increase over buying directly from ANet atm

        But even if they did crack down on gold selling to the point where it stopped being such a major issue I think ANet has some other issues as well.

        The whole gem thing is a mess honestly. They don’t give discounts on buying larger quantities of gems. They don’t have sales. They have the barest selection of skins. The boosters are mostly useless apart from chugging karma jugs and maybe the magic find one for dedicated farmers. Town clothes are really lame. And this isn’t even going into the prices!

        Speaking of prices, $7.50 for 30 bank spaces? That’s $0.25 per slot. $5 for the privilege of buying another bag on a single character? Anywhere from (at current bag prices on the AH and using the gems to gold conversion I assumed earlier) $0.62, $0.51, $0.43, $0.48, $0.42, & $0.77 per slot for 8,10,12,15,18, & 20 slot bags respectively. $3.13 to redo your characters hair; a service for which many other games, including the standard that all other MMOs is measured against (i.e. WoW), only charge a nominal in-game fee? I have to wonder who priced some of this stuff.

        And then there’s the exchange rates. The automated system ANet has in place strikes me as dumb. They let the free market determine every other bloody thing in the games economy except the gem exchange rate. Looking at the gems to gold exchange rate is down right disheartening when you see how much lower it is than the gold to gems exchange.

        I can’t help but wonder how the gem market would look if they ditched the automated exchange system and let people sell gems directly to other players on the market. I think at the very least it would be more enticing for people to invest real money in at the very least.

        I’m not adverse to spending money on games I enjoy. Hell I dropped $60 on station cash cards for the triple SC day last month entirely for playing Planetside 2, a game that I play probably less than half as much as GW2 atm.

        The key difference, for me anyways, is that everything I buy in Planetside 2 increases the amount of fun I’m having in the game. Whereas all of the potential purchases I would even consider making in GW2 only offer to alleviate some of the minor inventory management annoyances that the game has imposed on me with its stupid tokens and trash loot.

    2. Ravious Post author

      I don’t see how splitting server markets would produce smaller fluctuations. Wouldn’t it just de-normalize the effect since all you would be doing is dividing bots, buyers, and sellers in to smaller less resilient markets.

      IOW, bigger markets are more normalized and more resilient.

  3. j3w3l

    There is a very profitable recipe involving the mystic forge that uses tier 6 materials and no ectos that produce decent gear and runes. People were making 100s of gold off it really easily.

    The materials drying up has little to do with the bots and more to do with the recipe reaching the point where it’s no longer making a profit. I think this is the point tier 6 will stay for a while now.

  4. Saylah

    Another contribution to the profit of intermediates are all the guides telling people to level without making those components. I’ve crafted in every MMO I’ve played except EVE and I don’t recall guides suggesting that tactic. Granted, few games have the intermediate components but I was VERY surprised to see guides built around leveling in that manner when I decided to use guides for my alt char crafting professions.

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