The Wave Theory In Cataclysm

Guest post from Xeroaze at The Tipped Copper
What we have here is a wave. This wave represents the large amount of new players/toons that arrive and progress through the world of warcraft. The theory that I created is that the wave of new toons will progress through different stages of farming roughly at the same time. This ends up creating a shortage and a surplus of mats throughout the level stages. In my example i am using the leather market.

Now lets say that the price for all leather before cataclysm's release is 10g per stack. After cataclysm's release the surge of new players/toons or "wave" creates a surplus of light leather because of all the farming and this lowers the price, I have shown this as "C" in the example. So the current prices would be Light Leather 5g // Heavy Leather 12g // Borean Leather 11g. As the wave "players" move through the world then get into different types of leather, the sudden fall out of light leather creates a shortage which then raises the price and you will see i show this as "A" in the example. The prices are now Light Leather 25g // Heavy Leather 10g // Borean Leather 9g .

The Wave of players has now reached heavy leather, and like light leather, it lowers the price to 5g a stack. My example is in the time frame right after the large amount of levelers pass heavy leather. As you can see Borean Leather is around 10g a stack (where it was before cataclysm's release along with all of the other leathers). You can also see that Light Leather has settle out to around 35-40g a stack which I will explain towards the end. 

So we've learned that "C" is the players leveling/farming and "A" is the wave itself or the increase in price after "C" has passed. "D" represents the calm before the storm... all of the new toons don't have a need for borean leather yet, nor are they able to farm it, so it remains the price that wrath left it. "B" is what i call the wave trail its the time when there are only a few stragglers left leveling and farming. Nobody wants to back track and farm old stuff so the price settles relatively high for the people who are willing to buy there profession levels. I call this inflation, because what happened was, the wealth of WoW increased from factors such as more 80 quest rewards/gold. So the 80's that were doing their quests instead of leveling a new toon. well they have now created a new toon and began leveling, they have a lot of money from the new quests they completed and they want to catch up with the wave so they buy their way through professions.

So say I invest 100g into light leather. whats worth more money now, initial 100g investment in leather or just 100g? The correct answer is leather. The inflation increased prices and i now have gold that i wouldn't have had if i hadent invested.

Now I said for the example that all the leather was 10g at the end of cataclysm. all you have to do is plug in the current price of whatever mat and use roughly the same ratio, the graph will turn out the same.

The very last thing is that cataclysm's arrival would in theory increase the price of borean leather for people to level as cheap as possible, well all you have to do is picture this as 2 waves one at the start (light leather) one at the end (borean leather). those 2 waves moving at the same pace and you have now learned "The Wave Theory"

by Xeroaze from

6 comments: on "The Wave Theory In Cataclysm"

  1. Cobalt will always be worth at least 27g/stack. You can make Cobalt Triangle Shields and vendor them.

  2. Triangle Shield was nerfed by 50%

  3. One thing to take into account, is also the demand changes... as these waves pass through... prices will rise, but demand will fall, so sales will likely be slower...

    This is a nice post to show how supply and demand prices will vary, and puts it in a nicely understandable visual context ;-)

  4. Interesting wave theory. I do have lots of leather stocked up, so we will see what happens. We are almost to Cataclysm, I am so excited and trying to get so many last minute things done. See everyone in the new world :).

  5. Deepcut, What you've defined is a price floor. Since someone can make shields and vendor them for 27g a stack (or whatever it is) then they won't sell below that point. A buyer of cobalt must bid above that to entice the seller to not make shields but instead sell cobalt on the market. Inflation will occur and push the price of cobalt well above 27g a stack. Buy cheap cobalt friends. people are dumping their trade mats now because they're needing gold to buy the CATA tradeskill mats. These people have been running dailies and saving every copper for months salivating at the thought of server first blacksmith. You should exploit this idiot and part him from his gold. You will be far richer and probably enjoy CATA more since you'll be taking your time through the content.

  6. This is an interesting theory. It feels like there's some variables missing, but it seems like a simple way to explain inflation in a gated economy. Meaning once they've moved from one region to the next the impact to the economies evolve. A max level character may realize a greater return on his time if he instead of running dailies farms mats. Forever on my server, Mithril bars were 5g each. EACH. now they're about 1g each as some people have reactivated accounts and liquidated stocks in prep for cata. This supply will dissappear shortly and price will be back up - i predict higher than 5g a bar.

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