The Alt Economy

It’s weird to see the progression of material prices as I scum the Auction Hall. Tier 1 is pretty cheap. Tier 2 jumps about a magnitude in price. Tier 3 is about double in price to Tier 2, and so on… until the last two Tiers where the character leveling curve slows to a crawl. Tier 6 materials only cost as much as Tier 2. That makes most expensive portion for leveling my alt’s crafting the mid-game. The end game crafting experience will be an easy coast downhill towards mastery.

pork bellies

6 thoughts on “The Alt Economy”

  1. The wool economy, hordeside, on most servers is one the weirdest things about the WoW economy in general. Wool isn’t quite as expensive as frostweave generally (you can vendor frostweave for a lot) but it’s more expensive than netherweave, and frostweave of course is far easier to find.

    I don’t know what it’s like allianceside, but suspect wool’s not so inflated because you can just skin sheep.

  2. Sort of. The last ~25 points in any skill is essentially a massive shift upwards again. However, when the expansion comes out, that last 25 points become redundant, as the new tier of crafting will start out where the current “hard” portion begins. As an example, there’s a bunch of recipes in the 350-375 (last 25 points of Burning Crusade-era skills) that are ridiculously expensive, requiring entire stacks of the (then) top-tier crafting materials. However, there’s also things that require, say, 4 pieces of Borean Leather, starting at around 350 skill that were basically added as a way to smooth the curve for people that never did the BC endgame. I expect when Cataclysm is released, there will be some incredibly cheap recipes using the new Cata materials staring at 425 skill.

  3. Yup, that some early or rare mid level materials cost more than the late game materials that max level chars farm is nothing unusual.

    This also exists in LOTRO. Tin, Bronze, Silver are in very high demand and cost a lot, while Westernesse Steel or the latest dwarven steel types are often less expensive.

    So yeah, I made some 30 Gold early on in my first 20 levels. But from 35 onwards, I made less and less profits, as I no longer found silver and tin but higher level ores. At level 50 I am getting a medium income, but not nearly as much as from the early level ores. :P

  4. In WoW it’s actually a great situation for a starting player, you earn tons more than you need for your mounts as you level just selling mats. Assuming you don’t try to make your own gear as you level on a first ‘toon. “shudder”

  5. @Yeebo
    Mrs Bhagpuss and I almost always make our own gear on the first characters we play in MMOs. It’s dead easy, usually, and loads of fun.

    WoW was a bit irritating in that we had to make quite a lot of characters and level them up further than we might have otherwise have done so early on because of the limit to how many tradeskills each character can have, combined with the extremely irritating Adventure level caps. Not a system I approve of, but it wasn’t that hard. Death Knights helped a lot – ours were only made for crafting purposes and coming in at 55th was very handy.

  6. Ah, our old friends of Supply and Demand. People with alts just want to power through the lower levels of crafting. They have deep pockets, so they’re happier competing to buy materials off auction instead of spending the time to grab the materials themselves. In LotRO, I created a character on a high-population server and by level 25 had accumulated 20 gold (a stupid amount of money at that level) just by selling stuff I had collected.

    Another issue is that in a typical game with most people sitting at level cap, there’s a greater supply of the higher level materials being collected. The highest tier in LotRO has two type of materials; for a tailor you have Magnificent Hides found in low to mid 50 areas, and you have Extraordinary Hides in the highest areas. Magnificent Hides regularly sell for more because most of the people at level cap are getting Extraordinary Hides.

    This situations is exacerbated by the typical MMO design. Between legendary weapons and radiance gear in LotRO, there’s little demand for the high-end crated items, so there’s lessened demand for crafting materials. In WoW, the highest level items require very few items that can be auctioned off and tons of bind-on-pickup or items that only come from a raid. Also, the fact that highest level characters could figuratively buy and sell new characters due to the income disparity means that a high level character can afford to splash around cash which is more than a lower level character might ever need.

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