Patch 9.2.7 brings cross-realm commodities to the Auction House
World of Warcraft Shadowlands patch 9.2.7 is currently on the PTR, and one interesting new feature in testing is an unexpected change to the auction house. If the patch goes live as we see it on the PTR, commodities will no longer just be sold on a single sever, but will be region-wide, opening up the market to make commodities widely available — and perhaps for more competitive prices.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Blizzard make changes to the auction house: end of Battle for Azeroth saw a major overhaul of the auction system, with the ability to easily buy as many materials as you wanted from as many sellers as were needed in a single transaction. Now the end of Shadowlands is seeing another change, opening that same market up to a wider population. Commodities — basically all consumables like herbs, ore, flasks — will no longer be limited to a single server. Instead, the auction house will share a region, like North America or Europe, but only for commodities. This will not include single use, or non-stackable items, like armor and weapons. Speculation on why these aren’t included is rampant, from technological limitations to these being easier to use for transferring gold between servers — but in the end Blizzard hasn’t commented on why the auction house is open to just these items.
So why is Blizzard making this change? The biggest benefit will likely be regulating the economy for consumables on smaller populated servers. When there are few people providing materials, or even selling flasks or enchants on the the auction house, it’s easy for a single player to control the market and raise prices. The more players, the more difficult it is to corner the market on particular items — which can mean paying much higher prices for these basic goods. The difference in prices between small and large population servers can vary greatly. And while this change is only for consumables, it should help with the market for crafted gear as well, because it will be cheaper and easier to buy materials to make them. Whether you’re buying crafted gear or you’re a crafter yourself, this will likely make it easier. Larger populated servers will probably not notice much of a difference, as they already have a large number of buyers and sellers — but we’ll have to see just how much this changes the AH game when patch 9.2.7 goes live.
Another change coming in patch 9.2.7 is a new chat channel for people advertising services for raids, dungeons, and PVP — and maybe guild recruitment, too. This is to pull people advertising these from trade chat, and turn that channel back into its intended purpose — trading items, not services. Hopefully this new channel will cut down on the spam of players advertising carries and let players use trade chat for trading again.
But remember: all of the above is still on the PTR, and requires testing before going live. These features may have bugs, and Blizzard will certainly see players using the system in ways they hadn’t anticipated. All of that could mean we’ll see changes to the system before it goes live. In the meanwhile, bring your character over to the PTR server and see what the expanded auction house is like — or at least might be like, as the PTR never quite captures the experience of a big, crowded realm.
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