As shown in the screenshot above, this also includes the Ashes of Al'ar, a rare mount drop from Kael'thas Sunstrider in Tempest Keep. And that seems to be a hot topic for a lot of players right now, particularly players who already have the mount and obtained it the old-fashioned way. It's an even bigger topic among those who don't necessarily have gigantic piles of gold stashed away, because it's obvious the prices on these items are going to be incredibly high. Some have said that Blizzard is catering to the 1% of players who have stockpiled mass amounts of gold.
Well, that's not it at all, really. And the Black Market Auction House is something that we've needed for a very, very long time here.
Harpysnest has a good point with all of this, however: It's not the item itself that people should be attached to, it's the memories made while obtaining it. Would I be upset if I suddenly saw Benediction go up on the Black Market? I have to admit I probably would be, but not for the reasons one would think. I'd be far less upset that people are carrying around the beloved staff I earned in vanilla and far more upset that they didn't get to experience the marvelous quest chain that went along with obtaining it. It was a really cool piece of content. I'd rather see the quest chain reimplemented so people could play through that really cool piece of content, you know?
But that still leaves the complaints of those who don't have a lot of gold currently. Look, I'm no Gold Capped columnist, and I don't play the Auction House regularly. I have a tidy nest egg that I've managed to save over the course of Cataclysm, but I'm not really swimming in gold by the standards of those who do play the Auction House. However, I do understand that there is one really big upside to the Black Market that affects all players, and I understand that the Black Market Auction House represents something we've desperately needed for a long time: a gold sink.
Here's the problem: Prices on the Auction House are usually pretty darn high. People charge outrageous amounts of gold for herbs or epic gems. Common sense would say that nobody in their right mind would pay that much for some of these items, but common sense would be wrong. The reason the prices are staying high is because, somewhere out there on your realm, there is someone who is perfectly content paying these prices and will happily do so. That's because that someone has either been playing the Auction House or running dungeons and dailies until they had a high surplus of gold in their pockets.
Does that sound fair to those that don't have the time to endlessly farm? Not particularly. And that's where the gold sink comes in. A gold sink isn't just something to give these players with lots of gold something special -- it's to take their gold and remove it from the economy altogether. That's what the Black Market Auction House is doing. Because these are NPCs selling the items and not players, it means that once that item is sold, that gold is gone, nowhere to be seen again.
It evens the playing field and redistributes the gold in a way that should have everyone with just enough gold to keep them going but not so much that they're staring at it and wondering what to spend it on. If you've got a ton of gold, bidding on the Ashes of A'lar is certainly an option. If you don't have a ton of gold, then you can still go farm Kael'thas every week and take your chances with random drop rates.
Is the Black Market a perfect solution to ridiculous server economies? Well, that's still up in the air at this point. But it is a very direct attempt by Blizzard to even out the distribution of gold. Whether you've got a stash of gold worthy of Scrooge McDuck's swimming pool or you're pulling lint out of your pockets in despair, the Black Market is going to represent a change for you. And it's not a bad change at all.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!