Black Market Auction House

I assume by now everyone and their donkey has heard already, but MMO-Champion has revealed information on a new Black Market Auction House. Go ahead and check it out if you haven’t already, I’ll wait here. Read it through? Good. Pretty wicked eh? Some important details about the new Black Market Auction House:

  • Auctions are “run” by NPCs
  • Auctions include a variety of rare big ticket items such as mounts, pets, plans, transmog armour etc.
  • The gold used to purchase the items disappears much as it would if you bought from a regular vendor, i.e. it doesn’t go into another player’s pocket
  • There is no buyout

What all this means is that we’re going to have a daily draining of gold from the servers. Many of the items on here are of sufficient value and rarity that many big spenders will be emptying their wallets to buy them, and the first time (at least) really big items like Invincible’s Reins (assuming they will be available) come up you can be sure there will be million gold bids within minutes. The killer prices won’t be able to last forever though, even us goblins have our limits, and we’ll soon see the prices for many of these items coming down in the months following the release of the expansion.


[notice]UPDATE: MMO-C has released a list of current items available on the Black Market Auction House


They also note that…

Mounts seem to start at 20,000 gold, Armor at 10,000 gold, Pets at 10,000 gold, and Misc items at 10,000 – 15,000 gold.

The auctions last for more than 12 hours and return your gold to you when outbid or the item upon winning. After winning, another item is not added to the auction house immediately. The number of items that are up for auction is not the same across all servers.


Effects on the Economy

This is going to have a huge, and scaling, effect on server economies. What you have here is repeatable gold dumps that scale to a server’s economy, keeping inflation in check like we’ve never seen before. On the regular auctions house all the gold from big ticket items go to another player, the gold is basically being recycled minus the 5% AH cut. With the BMAH 100% of the gold spent on the purchase is being removed from the economy, potentially removing millions of gold every day in large chunks from the Daddy Big Bucks of the server, and not just nickle and diming every player like most of the other sinks like repairs and AH cuts. It’s going to be very interesting to see what how the economy reacts to this.

Effects on Gold Sellers

Gold Sellers aren’t magicians, they can’t just magic gold into the game so the gold they sell has to come from somewhere, be it hack, farmers, sales of dupes etc. all the gold they sell has to be in the economy already. I admit I don’t really know too much about the gold selling process, but one can only assume that they have a finite supply of gold on hand at any one time, and I’m seriously pondering exactly how big these reserves are. Are they big enough to supply a server when the first big ticket item like Invincible goes up? Or will the gold sellers run out of gold?

Either way the BMAH will send gold sellers through some serious twists and turns, because while multiple people might buy gold to buy a certain item off the BMAH, only one can win it so the rest are left with large sums of gold sitting about. This means gold sellers will experience astronomical spikes in demand probably followed by a relative dry spell. If I were a gold seller I’d seriously consider stepping up production right about now.


Unfortunately this hasn’t actually been activated on the Beta servers as of this writing but as soon as it goes on the server you can be assured it will be the first thing I check out (I’m still exploring the beta, expect a post about my initial thoughts soon). I must say this has probably been one of the smartest things Blizzard has done to combat inflation, and yet I don’t think that was their intention at all. Funny how these things work.

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.