Gold-Making Implications from the 4.3 PTR

If you aren't familiar with the way Blizzard works, there are multiple levels of testing before a patch comes to the live servers. After internal testing, Blizzard releases the upcoming patch to the infamous PTR, or Public Test Realm. This is a place for them to test new things out, make changes and get player feedback. If you haven't already heard, the 4.3 PTR is up and running, and with it come some significant changes that will impact our gold-making businesses. If you haven't already read it, give Mommar's post a read for a first glance at the PTR.

Standard Disclaimer: Just because something is on the PTR, it doesn't mean it will make it to live servers. Things can and will still change. Case in point: the last week has seen many more additions and changes to the PTR.

So what does this mean for us? Well, let's dig in.

Direct Gold-Making Changes
Some changes have a very obvious impact on our gold-making. To summarize, here are some of the major things being reported:
  • Chaos Orbs will no longer be soulbound. If Wrath is any indicator, this means everyone (not just crafters who can use them) will be able to roll on the orbs. Watch for them to start appearing on the Auction House shortly after the patch hits live servers. If you have a good stash, I would try using them up now while they're more valuable. I also won't be surprised if more recipes start requiring the orbs, which could bolster prices.
  • Raw gems are no longer vendorable. Flux at Power Word: Gold posted about it recently. You should read his post for more analysis and information. My hunch is this is an oversight/bug by Blizzard, but maybe not. Perhaps the Jewelcrafting nerfs are not finished yet. I'm not panicking about it, but if you have a large stash of raw commons that you don't have anything else to do with and don't feel like cutting, you might want to vendor them before the patch if this goes live. For ideas on how to use the raw gems, check out Shockkmaister's post on the Obsidium Shuffle.
  • Epic gems transmutable? Dataminers discovered that there will be alchemy transmutes for the epic gems. However, Kaliope logged in and couldn't find the spells on the Alchemy trainer, nor did they appear as a discovery from an existing transmute. Either Blizzard hasn't connected the dots yet, or the spells are in and won't be added until after a few months on live servers. Keep your eyes on this.
  • PVP armor sets are being automatically upgraded again. Kaliope also confirmed that our existing PVP starter sets are being automatically upgraded to the new iLevel 377 versions. These are usually pretty solid sellers during the opening week, then settle into a sometimes profitable price point. Stock up the materials now and be ready to craft them upon logging in.
Indirect Gold-Making Changes
There are other changes made to the game that will impact our gold-making business as well. While in-direct, these might be more significant to track:
  • Tier Gear is only available from raiding. The best armor for your class, that gives you a bonus based on wearing 2 or 4 pieces from the set at the same time will only be available as boss drops from the new Dragon Soul raid. No more buying that armor with Valor Points. However, to compensate for the lack of tier gear, more VP items will be available to cover the missing slots. Non-raiding characters will have the same number of items to gem/enchant as before, but raiders could conceivably enchant a non-tier chest, followed by their tier drop. 
  • Looking For Raid will be added. Much like the dungeon finder, people will be able to join a queue to do a random Dragon Soul raid. More raids might be added later, but for now it's just the "current" raid in 4.3. Gear progression will now go Regular Dungeons >> Heroic Dungeons >> 4.3 Heroic Dungeons >> Raid Finder >> Normal Raid >> Heroic Raid. This adds a level of gearing that should help stabilize the gem/enchant market later into the patch. This is good news.
  • Gear from the new dungeons will be iLevel 378. The linked article has an up-to-date as of posting list of gear in the new dungeons. These will be upgrades for anyone not raiding Firelands. All those troll pieces people have been getting will need to be upgraded. Even some normal Firelands raid gear might be "sidegrades" for people and will need enchanting and gemming. 
  • Valor Point rewards are changing again. The current plan is to give 150 VPs from any heroic dungeon (from the original Cataclysm dungeons through the new 4.3 dungeons. Troll dungeons will be shortened to 4 bosses from 6 and placed in the same tier as the 4.0 dungeons. The new dungeons seem to be designed to be shorter as well. All this adds up to faster dungeon runs and more people capping Valor Points for the week, which will lead to more gear purchases. Initially, we'll also see a larger influx of Maelstrom Crystals from the new dungeons, which will lower the prices. The new Maelstrom Shatter spell for enchanters will allow you to convert each Maelstrom Crystal into two Heavenly Shards. After people get tired of the new dungeons, however, many will return to the older ones and the supply of Heavenly Shards vs. Maelstrom Crystals will start to balance out.
  • New crafted epics were added, then updated. Mostly this is just an update to the existing items that were found and mentioned in Mommar's post linked above. Sockets have been added and their stats are a little higher. The patterns look to be obtained in the Dragon Soul raid and will require a raid-drop material to create, much like the patterns from Firelands did.
4.3 is shaping up to be another gold mine for those who prepare. How are you tracking all the changes? What sites would you recommend? Any tips for people who are preparing for the patch?

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.

3 comments: on "Gold-Making Implications from the 4.3 PTR"

  1. From what I've seen, it looks like the new alchemy recipes will drop from Blazing Tome of Jewels found in raids.

    Given Blizzard's intent to make the epic gems substantially more difficult to acquire, I seriously doubt there will be a daily transmute from Cata rares to epics.

    I'm guessing that these transmutes simply change one color epic gem to another. Even then, I expect a fixed circuit of color to color with each transmute needing a day's CD. That is, say, Red to Orange would be one transmute, but there would be no Orange to Red transmute. Instead, you would have to transmute Orange to Yellow to Green to Blue to Purple to Red. Just my guess, but it fits some of the old world transmutes.

    And no, I don't expect a 15% proc from Transmutation Master either.

    In a way, this preserves the status quo of the majority of gem sales being rares. Epic gems will take a long, long time to truly ramp up.

  2. My understanding is that the cuts themselves will drop from the blazing tomes, but not the transmute recipes.

    I definitely think Blizzard is trying to control the drop rate of epic gems, but my money would be on having the epic transmutes take lots more rare gems than previous transmutes (ie, 10 gems plus 20-30 of a volatile) so people have to decide if it's worth losing all the mats for an epic gem. Plus I think they make the cooldown function more like Dreamcloth, where you can only do it once/week or so.

    Controlling the availability of epic gems is, in my opinion, connected to their intent to push out expansions faster (every 1.5 years instead of 2?). Fewer epic gems in circulation--and less of a stat gain than in the past--makes balancing content easier and last longer. I think their hoping this will keep the Dragon Soul raid relevant longer for the "casual" raiders (where casual = 1-3 nights/week). People will raid longer into a patch because they have a felt need to replace all their inferior rare gems with epics.

    I think you're also right in the assertion that rare gems will be the mainstay of jewelcrafters throughout the expansion, rather than shifting to a focus on epics like in Wrath.

  3. Alchemy-wise, the big thing I've noticed so far from what's been published on Wowheadnews and elsewhere is that Truegold is used for basically nothing.

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