Supply, Demand, Expectations, and Raiding

Raids are dropping in World of Warcraft, right? I started to post about the economics of the expansion pack, but then I realized that I don’t actually know anything about it. The bits I do know are level 70, Blood Elves and Dranei, and Horde Paladins/Alliance Shamans. From this, I divine that raids should have become far less common over the past month and will continue to fall over the next month.

Am I completely wrong about that? I could easily be, since if I reversed one assumption, I would expect the number of raids to be skyrocketing.

My key assumption is that the level 61-70 content does not require (or “very strongly suggest”) having a full set of top-tier epic raid equipment. As long as that holds, I expect raid apathy.

Intertemporal substitution effects will cause huge drops in current demand. I could raid for 4 hours tonight for a 1% chance to roll on one really nice item, or I could go play an alt with the knowledge that something similar will be a common drop in two levels next month. Knowledge that something better and cheaper will soon be available tends to seriously undermine current prices.

The simple fact of level 70 must have suggested this to most. Higher level characters will need/get more powerful equipment. If any information has been released about how good the level 61+ items are, that should have driven current demand down further as people got confirmation that, yes, easy uber loots are on the horizon.

Of course, if that same information said that every level 61 encounter is like raiding Naxx, then yeah, epic gear suddenly became really necessary for everyone, and you darn well better get yours before your uber raiding guild suddenly becomes an uber leveling guild, where you are left alone in tier 1 equipment while they are out pushing for level 70. The month before EQ2 and WoW came out, I leveled my arse off in City of Heroes, before half the teammates I depended on left the game.

So there are the effects of demand, expectations, and changing information. I would also expect a large supply effect in this past week, as the cost of raiding has increased substantially along with a decrease in the reward. Breaking raid mods was kind of like taking away the gravedigger’s backhoe and giving him a shovel. Putting in useless rewards was…like making 1/8 of the rewards useless except for disenchanting.

So now you get to work harder for a smaller chance of a reward, and that reward will have many substitutes next month. This can cause a downward spiral if it becomes harder to put together a raid group. No one shows up for the raid because they think no one is going to show up for the raid.

Or am I completely off-base? As I said, I am working from ignorance here, and when you are groping in the dark, you stand the risk of grabbing a Tauren instead of a Night Elf.

: Zubon

11 thoughts on “Supply, Demand, Expectations, and Raiding”

  1. There’s a couple item’s I’d like to bring to your attention.

    The first is one of the most common arguments for raiding (If one can call it that, i r teh suck @ lawering, lawlzz):
    Who do you think is going to level faster?
    A) Mr. Tier 3 Epic and all of his Shiny, Sharp friends
    B) Johnny “Just hit 60!” and his green Great Axe of the Tiger.

    Second, there’s the issue of how much FASTER you’ll be able to progress through the “old” instances once you’ve begun leveling.
    This coincides with my third point, that the gear at higher tiers (such as Naxx) will be good until AT LEAST level 67.
    This means that instead of wiping 50 times to beat ‘ole Kel’Thuzad, you can just go back as a guild several levels higher, wipe out all the mods in a couple of hours, and enjoy the lewtz as you level some more.

    But, prehaps the most overlooked reason, is the LESSONS that are learned in each instance.
    Look at Molten Core and Onyxia. Its basic, easy, simple. The Lesson behind it is to learn how to get forty people working together. Easy mode.

    Blackwing Lair. It takes the lessons you’ve learned in Molten Core, but, it teaches you about Threat Control. Nearly every encounter is about controlling one’s threat in a non-linear (Yea, I’m tossing that out, you get the idea) fashion.

    Then, there’s Ahn’Qiraj. Again, it takes everything you’ve learned so far, and it adds another lesson. AQ’s lesson is about mobility and positioning. Being in the right place.
    Things like Cthun’s EYE LAZERS OF DEATH mean that you can’t just sit around watching tv, pressing a button over and over.

    And then there’s Naxx. Naxx has its own lesson. Its lesson is Timing. If you wait too long to kill something, it’ll enrage. If you time your run through the slime balls badly, you get hurt alot. If you screw up and don’t reposition yourself at the right time in patchwerk, people get upset (Cause they died).

    Sure, raiding is going to dwindle, people will focus on the new content.
    But it won’t die.

  2. Those are fair comments about why there is demand for raiding at all. Are any of them new? That is, I assume that all those considerations were already been factored into how much people were raiding last month.

    I would expect some divergence in raiding behavior between those who plan to race for first to 70 (invest 40 hours now to shave 10 hours off the race to 70) and those who do not already have a good chance at that.

  3. I hope that raiding continues into Burning Crusade, but I’ve personally seen it decline. That may be because there’s no built-in LFG chat, but I suspect the expansion has something to do with it. And the problem, as you point out, is loot.

    I hope Cntthnk is right. I hope the old instances keep getting raided, because I haven’t seen BWL, AQ40, or Naxx. I doubt if I ever will. Nobody cares about them anymore, because the loot isn’t important anymore.

    Never mind about doing it for the fun….

  4. From my standpoint as an officer in my guild, there are two reasons we still raid.

    The first is that we’re afraid if we take a break then a lot of people will suddenly find lives and dissapear before the expansion. If we keep the status quo the odds of that happening are much lower.

    The second is that we’re trying to build reputation by progressing as far as possible. Once the expansion hits people aren’t going to go back and keep working on old instances. We’re not going to go back to Naxx. This is our last chance to kill as much as we can before the expansion comes out, because what a guild kills before the expansion is the measure of their success for the following however many months it is before people are doing any raiding of equal difficulty. It’s like your progression and thus you reputation gets frozen in time.

  5. I’ve discussed the tactics required in Burning Crusade before (, but gear will probably be the more important factor when we take a look into the leveling speed. As long as bosses don’t require all tactics you learned while raiding (for example, there’s a boss in Achindoun that requires you to use Line-of-Sight like in Firemaw), they are doable. And as for the gear.. Why do you think Blizzard is practically handing out the epic PVP set for everyone? (

  6. Should I go back to WoW, I’ll wait until 65-70 and join one of the groups trying to 20-man those instances. People will do silly things for a challenge. When the festival-elder-guys were handing out those coins/tokens/whatever all over the game, I decided to see how much of Maraudon I could take solo as a Warlock. It was a lot of fun (and no, I cannot tank the princess). Life’s obligations and my need for personal social activity meant that I never got into raiding anything but ZG, but a few levels of skill will at least give rise to the tourist industry. Also, as far as the usefulness of raid gear goes, they’re practically give-away purples. It might have been a while, but do you remember how long good blues and almost any purple tends to last when levelling? That stuff’s going to be better than anything outside instance boss drops for some time.

  7. Greens post 60 aren’t quite the same as greens in the current game. They’ve dropped the item point cost of stamina in half for all BC gear. If your gear has sta, you’ll find upgrades sooner than you think.

  8. “if we take a break then a lot of people will suddenly find lives and dissapear”

    I almost laughed out loud. It’s like the crack dealer saying “you’re quitting? No you’re not, here take a hit. I said take a hit!” heh

    I felt the same way about PvP – wanting to get as much as i could done before the patch – for about 2 weeks, then I realized what a waste it was, am I playing for fun or trying to impress some video game geeks that I’ll never meet and have no effect on my life? The answer becomes very simple once you step back and don’t play for 2 weeks.

    Of course that’s a question to ask in real life too, am I doing this for myself or to impress others. It’s probably the biggest reason I failed at losing weight. I had to lose 60 lbs and kept failing until I finally stopped caring about what others thought and did it for myself. Keeping it off is another matter … and WoW sure doesn’t help! :)

    “I decided to see how much of Maraudon I could take solo as a Warlock”

    Easy: all of it.
    Warlocks can solo Illidan
    /nods sagely

  9. I asked myself the same question, and so I just tried it out. I’m in the BC beta, and I have two level 60 priests, one Horde in tier 1 / tier 2 epic gear, and one Alliance in green / blue gear. Result: Gear doesn’t make much of a difference in BC. Both characters were able to both do all their quests and to get blue items from instances. The epic priest had an easier time in the instances, but while soloing the level 60 epic priest gear, which is mainly giving bonuses to healing, not damage output, didn’t make much of a difference.

    Might be different for other classes, but I’ve seen even a level 58 in green gear able to do quests in Hellfire Peninsula. Maybe damage dealing classes would progress a bit faster for the first few levels in epic gear. But the guy in the green gear will replace his stuff very, very quickly with gear which is at least equivalent to tier 2 drops. The trash greens in the Hellfire Citadel are better than any green or blue item in the old world.

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