Analyzing the Impact of the WoW Token Limitations - Wowhead Economy Weekly Recap 303
Hello! Welcome to the 303rd edition of the WoW Economy Weekly Wrap-up! This week we take stock of the WoW Token and the new restrictions coming into place and how this will affect token prices going forward as well as diving into various gold making methods for 10.2. On top of this, we also discuss how Inspiration should be replaced in the next expansion - The War Within.
WoW Token Restrictions
This week saw some pretty substantial news around the core reason why many of us decided to make gold for fun in WoW in the first place. Not so much the news itself of adding the requirement of having to pay at least once in the past 6 years, but the knock-on effect it will have on the token price itself. In order to preserve the integrity of the game and provide a better token market to players, with an update to World of Warcraft on Tuesday, November 21, we will enable the following restriction in this region:
- Players will no longer be allowed to purchase a WoW Token from the Auction House or the in-game Shop for gold if they have not spent real money to purchase and consume at least 30 days of game time (a “Time Limited License”) since 2017.
This does not affect the consumption of existing WoW Tokens, however, game time provided by the consumption of a WoW Token does not count toward the qualification to purchase a WoW Token for gold. After November 21, 2023, any player who cannot purchase a WoW Token for gold in-game will need to first purchase and consume at least 30 days of game time for real money. This can be done on any World of Warcraft account across the player’s Battle.net account to qualify. Thank you.
Now, this in itself is not a significant change to the regular player or gold maker, most will have paid at least once in that time. The target here is botting and the multiples of accounts that get setup and burned through without spending a single subscription. Yes, as each bot will require an upfront payment of $15, plus the consumption of a whole month of game time (“have not spent real money to purchase and consume at least 30 days of game time”), before being allowed to trade tokens. Thus, each bot ban will have both a significant monetary and time cost.
It seems good at face value but I believe its not a realistic deterrent to bots. From what I have seen the vast majority of bots are in classic WoW. The token in classic is not able to be used for balance only game time. So knowing this it seems good, but when you consider how long the bot exists for, sometimes as long as 3-6 months the amount of money the bot is able to make over time is huge compared to the cost of a single month of game time. Also not sure why they go back almost 7 years seems like its punishing players that use gold that have stayed around a long time and are clearly not bots. Or I would hope so if they have not gotten banned in those 7 years.
|Graph courtesy of wowtokenprices.com|
|Hrm, ppl unloading tokens in an attempt to get as much gold out of them as they can before the price drops? Maybe?|
This may be the highest the token will get for a long time, so it seems to make sense to cash in for some gold now if you're thinking from the POV of buying gold with money. As a gold maker, the opposite is true, but there may be the fear that further restrictions may get put in place, so it makes sense to bulk cash in some now while you have the gold.
Think this might drive down the prices of WoW tokens, since bot accounts shouldn't be able to gobble up as many of them. That happened with the TW WoW token prices, didn't it? The WoW token price went above a million gold and broke the WoW token system, Blizzard added a measure to allow WoW token prices over a million gold, then implemented a measure exactly like this. The price of the TW WoW token now is ~700k iirc.
|Graph courtesy of wowanalytica.com|
|They put restrictions on Taiwan wow tokens since it reached 1,000,000 gold. It remained far lower than the Taiwan token though, which reached a worldwide record setting 1 million gold price tag last month, resulting in Blizzard actually suspending sales for several days, before releasing an updated policy requiring accounts to have purchased at least 30 days game time and have over 30 days played in order to purchase tokens for gold - new measures to try to combat the much more rampant bots and gold farming in that particular region.|
Can you imagine if Blizzard made WoW token buyers in the US/EU servers pay $15 first then use the WoW token for future months? Prophetic perhaps, but it serves as a good indication as to what the Token for US and EU is likely to do. What do you think? Does this actually affect you at all? Will you wait for the token to settle before buying more with gold?
"No more freeloading! I haven't paid for anything since 2015. #Warcraft #WorldOfWarcraft #GoldMaking [image of WoW Token]"
Profession Knowledge Catchup
With this expansion hurtling towards a close with the next already on the horizon, many returning players are asking if there's a way to catch up on Profession Knowledge.
"Hello, I'm a returning player to DF and I want to start my Enchanting profession. However, the amount of Knowledge points I need to gather to catch up to others seems insurmountable, especially when so much of it relies on weekly activities/reputation that can only be gained weekly. Is there really no knowledge point catchup that has been implemented with new patches? I tried asking around on a few streams but the best that I got was that dragonshards of knowledge apparently drop more if you are low on points, but apparently there is no good method to farm it. The advice I got was to do LFR, is that all I can do? Please help. At this point, this system is making me give up and just wait a year for the next expansion since I don't have a chance anyway."
Sadly, there's no single specific thing you can do to catch up, it's largely a weekly grind with a few extra bits thrown in. The Consortium has some catch-up style knowledge points as does Loamm Niffen locked behind bartering. The one-time treasures are a good source and there are new ones added in the new zone as well. Other than that, it’s fairly dry. If you purchased the new expansion and have access to the boost, your new character will have max renown with the original factions which will give you access to a lot of first-time craft enchantments. You won’t be able to instantly max, but it can be quite convenient based on just focusing on one of the spec trees. Personally, I would choose one of the professions that has a weekly craft quest as that gives an additional source of knowledge points.
Here are some ways to earn Knowledge Points for Professions in Patch 10.0 and 10.1:
- One-time KP: Consortium catch-up (3 x 5 locked behind rep & bought with mettle). Buy the consortium contract for additional rep per WQ to grind it.
- 10.0 Treasures: 5 x 3 KP across the dragon isles.
- 10.1 Treasures: 4 x 3 KP in Zereleth Caverns.
- Profession quests: 5 or 6 KP from the dragonshards of knowledge.
- Barter NPC in Zereleth Caverns: 2 x 5 KP against bartered items (requires renown & farming the caverns).
- All "first craft" bonuses.
- Weekly KP: Quests in Valdraken (craft + open world): 2 x 3 KP (enchanters don't have them but most crafting professions can also do a "complete 3 work orders" weekly quest for +3 KP), random treasures + random drop from a specific mob type: 2 x 1 KP, Inscription Treaties: +1 KP, Enchanting rare in the Forbidden Reach: +1 KP (needs an epic item either crafted from a rare BOP drop or bought from the AH to spawn), random chance of dropping Dragonshards of Knowledge you can later trade for mettle & KP (hence the tip about LFR).
It's interesting to look at the quantity of knowledge points required to catch up in each profession. It can be quite overwhelming, but with some dedicated effort, it is possible to reach a competitive level.
One of the few bastions of traditional gold making remaining, daily cooldowns saw its heyday earlier on in the expansion and many turned to the alt army to try to maximize ways to make enough gold for a token. It was lucrative for a while and we speculated that it might see a rise come 10.2. However, it appears the demand is not as high this time round and supply is just too strong to compete, so prices are falling.
|Graph courtesy of undermine.exchange|
|Surely they'll raise a bit again later this week and into next as more players are getting into raid and starting into M+, especially on the weekend. Please?|
The stock is huge at the moment and demand is unlikely to be enough to make a serious dent in it. The price may not go up until shortly before S4, when the next lot of speculators start buying it all up in the mistaken belief that it will spike once the new season starts. Seems the best time to sell is before a major patch, these days. Demand will be significantly lower this tier because Hero Track items now cap at 3 ilvl below Aspect R5 crafted gear. So the value from crafting vs just upgrading the gear you got spamming m+ to get all those crests is much lower.
It's a shame, but not entirely unexpected. There are so many people right now looking for ways to make gold like they used to and this was something that at least for a while was worth scaling up with an army of alts. However, unlike mission tables from previous expansions, this is dependent on market forces and as such whatever systems get put in place to make them competitive/desirable or not.
10.2 Gold Making
All is not lost however, Penguin2gt has a video going through some methods of gold making for alts including the above-mentioned Dracothyst. It goes to show that there are still methods out there, just not necessarily at the profits that you'd see before.
How Should Inspiration be Replaced?
One of the few things that came out from Blizzcon regarding professions was that they were looking into how Inspiration works. This of course got the community thinking. Here are some suggestions from the community:
- Completely remove quality from crafted gear and instead shift gear quality over to price. Crafts would always come out at the same max quality. Each crafter can explicitly list a price for each item they can craft to compete with each other and the buyer can easily see whether that is cheaper than buying materials themselves.
- Make inspiration a stacking crit chance for each failed attempt.
- Have inspiration provide a chance to make gear with tertiary stats once you reach a high level of skill.
- Remove material quality and have it all be derived from material quantity instead.
It goes to show there are a lot of ideas out there and many want the system to work, but it does have its frustrations. Making all the calculations for profit and then having to explain that to every customer is a barrier for many. The systems themselves are not necessarily the problem, the way the customers are required to know how it all works causes confusion and frustration for everyone.
Worldwide Loot Appraiser Challenge
For those who enjoy farming, there's a great Addon many use to farm together and see how much each player earns within a set time limit. LootAppraiser_Challenge provides an additional LootAppraiser module for in-game transmog/farm challenges across realm and faction.
DivineKate is organizing a Worldwide Challenge with various teams on December 2-3. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun with so many gold makers getting involved. If you want to take part or watch, follow DivineKate on Twitch or any of the other content creators involved.
Most of this information was discussed and originally posted on the /r/woweconomy subreddit or in the accompanying Discord Server. I hope you found this useful and if you have any suggestions or feedback, please do say so in the comments below. Now is the time to conquer the content that came with the Guardians of the Dream update! From running Mythic+ dungeons to slaughtering the mighty new bosses of the fresh Amirdrassil raid - all of that and beyond is one click away with WowCarry and its team of pro-players that will carry you through your journey! Until next time, Happy Goldmaking!