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.