Gold-Making Opportunities from Firelands Nerf

Unrelated Update: Lead Systems Designer Greg Street says epic gems will be dropping from raids in 4.3.

Blizzard recently announced a significant nerf to the Firelands raid:

With the final showdown against Deathwing approaching, we’ve been keeping a close eye on players' progress through the current Firelands raid content. Before patch 4.3 is released, we want groups who are working on Heroic-difficulty content to be able to get as close to Ragnaros as possible, and we want players who are tackling normal progression to be able to experience as many of the encounters as they can. To achieve these goals, we’ll be toning down the difficulty of both normal and Heroic raids through hotfixes in the coming weeks. In general, we plan to reduce health and damage of all raid bosses in both normal and Heroic Firelands by around the same percentage we brought difficulty down for the original Cataclysm raids when Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) was released.

We're looking forward to seeing more groups of players face off against the firelord in the weeks ahead. However, before we make these changes, we want to give everyone a final shot at the bosses at their current difficulty level -- so this is a heads up that we’re planning to applying the difficulty hotfixes beginning the week of September 19.

What does this mean for making gold? How do we profit off this and other content changes that might come up in the future? Click through to find out.

Thinking Through Game Updates
Why is Blizzard making this change? What's their purpose? What are they trying to achieve? Understanding Blizzards motives and goals will help us find gold-making opportunities when game changes like this happen. Up until this point, Blizzard has seemed satisfied with the progression rate for raiders in this patch. But I suspect that their internal data is suggesting that the rate of progress has slowed since the patch was released. Normally we don't see nerfs of this level until a new tier of content is made available.

This signals to me that Blizzard is interested in more people experiencing the raid content. Couple this with a recently leaked interview about patch 4.3's raid finder adding a new (lower) level of difficulty for raids and you can start to see one aspect of Blizzard's plan to combat subscriber loss: Get more people participating in end-game content by making it more accessible.

So how do we profit on this?
Raid-related business is going to surge with the nerf. Existing raid groups that are stuck are going to get help progressing. People who haven't been raiding because PUGs (Pick-Up Groups) were hard to come by will start to raid more as the content becomes easier. This will lead to an uptick in consumables (potions, flasks, food) on the front end of raids and item enhancements (gems, enchants) on the back end for all the new loot.

The Firelands Raid has the following gear (complete list) types available:
  • 2 cloaks
  • 6 chests
  • 8 boots
  • 3 rings
  • 7 gloves
  • 7 helms
  • 2 off-hands
  • 5 main-hand weapons
  • 7 one-hand weapons
  • 8 two-hand weapons
  • 4 ranged weapons
  • 1 shield (Tank)
  • 6 legs
  • 5 necks
  • 6 shoulders
  • 9 trinkets
  • 4 belts
  • 10 wrists
That's a total of 100 pieces of gear, most of which can be enhanced in some way (either gems or enchants). Tier pieces (that gear for your class/spec that gives a 2 and 4-piece bonus, consisting of head, shoulder, hands, wrist, legs) are a high priority for people to purchase with valor points, so my guess would be that non-tier slots will need more enchants and gems. If you see popular gems or enchants selling for low right now, you might consider purchasing them and reselling after the nerf.

In addition to the gear, there are also drops like Living Embers and crafting patterns. Expect the prices of embers, the patterns and the gear from the patterns to decrease as the supply increases. Also expect the price of Bind-on-Equip epics to decrease as more are dropping with the higher number of people getting into the raid. If you're sitting on some, try selling them soon before the price drops. You might also want to keep an eye on trade chat and the auction house for those same BoE epics at highly reduced prices. Up until now, experienced raiders and epic trash farmers have been doing the selling. With less experienced raiders, there's a great chance they'll underprice their items.

What other opportunities arise because of this game change? How do you see this effecting markets? Any specific plans to capitalize on this?

I consider myself a somewhat casual auctioneer. I can be found via Twitter @Aleithia3. I also like getting email at Aleithia AT jasonthedce DOT com. Send me your questions and I'll try to write about them on the site.

6 comments: on "Gold-Making Opportunities from Firelands Nerf"

  1. Update on the gems for those not following:

    Epic gems will drop in the new raid in Normal and Heroic only. Each player gets a geode when a boss is killed which has a small chance to contain an epic gem, most will have rare gems.

    It is rare enough to take all of 4.3 to replace all of your red rare quality gems with red epic gems.

  2. Good article. I would say that a lot of the enchanting mats will become much more rare. Might be a decent time to relook at the elementium shuffle (or even the pyrite shuffle) with the announcment of the raid only Epic Gems.

    My Leatherworker will have a ton of leg patches available. Especially the DPS leg patches.

    Skinners should be cranking and saving their skins for the burst two week run (it will grind back down to normal epic levels when people get through the content then get "bored" again.

    Bsmiths will be kinda suck into just their normal belt buckles which never seem to get a huge boost in prices. With the Pyrite being dumpled on the market soon, it will drive those prices lower.

    Tailors, that one is going to be tricky because the leg threads will still end up getting locked on the cloth timer. But they will get a nice boost in money. Maybe not the awww inspiring we can hope for. But it's still there.

    Now, I need to figure out how much I'm going to get screwed on my pyrite investment lol

  3. @blacksage: Thanks for the additional update. I saw that after my first update and didn't want to get carried away. I have a post scheduled for Friday that details the news so far and it's impact on the gem markets.

    @Mommar: I'll be curious to see what happens with legs as well. My belief is that most people have tier legs, hands, chest and either head or shoulders. Enchants for these items have already been purchased for most people I would think, considering it only takes 6050 valor points, or roughly 6 weeks of valor capping. As we're about 12 weeks in, that's easily attainable for most raiders and a large portion of casuals like me.

    I'm hoping to be wrong and planning for it just in case. Worst case scenario, I hold the enchants until 4.3's surge in demand.

  4. Tyler pike(tpain) said... September 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Hi, do you think it's ok to start prospecting or selling my ore off than? Or should I hang on to it for a little bit.

  5. @Tyler pike(tpain)

    For me, I'm holding onto my pyrite and keeping an eye for people dumping stock from panic.

    Ghostcrawler is usually accurate, but it wouldn't be the first time the developers wanted to do something, then ended up changing their minds because it would throw off the economy mechanics.

    Pyrite will still be sold, especially in bar form due to the truegold and ebonsteel belt buckle. So depending on your stock you might not get a huge return, but unless you bought it at outrageous prices, you should get pretty close to your investment if you wait til we get a definitive on Epic Gems.

    And yes, I still have my fingers crossed that they change their minds on the epic gems

  6. @Tyler pike(tpain): I have an article scheduled to go up on Friday with advice for what to do. For now, don't panic. If you have some other profitable uses for the Pyrite, by all means, explore them. I'm actually waiting for the price to drop a bit more and then purchase more pyrite.

    As Mommar suggests, this wouldn't be the first time developers change their minds about how something will work.

Post a Comment

Insider Gold Strategies

Enter Your Name & Email Below to Receive My 7 Theories On Making Gold... Guaranteed to Put You Ahead of 99% of Players Out There



Recent Comments

Subscribe to recent comments


Blog Archive

Featured On: