A week away from the game for the holidays and I return to an economy in crisis, lol. No sooner had I logged in, than I get bombarded with guild messages about how the AH has gone crazy in my absence. I didn't think my slice of the pie was that influential, but coupled with the holiday influx of players... I'm sure it was out of whack.
It did bring up an interesting question though. Just how big of a slice do I have of my faction's AH? You can easily determine the number of auctions up at any given time by doing a blank search and looking at the total in the bottom right corner. For my realm, the average I calculated (read 3 times a day over 4 different days in the same week) was 15650 auctions. My Horde are a minority of course. The Alliance AH has roughly 27000 auctions at any given time it seems.
I did the same readings for my posting toons and came up with 1170. I could take it a step further and look at total sell price percentage since I believe the majority of my items are 'big ticket' auctions such as epic gems, crafted epics, enchants, leg armors, spellthreads, etc. All of these are over 200g each with some significantly more. In any case, it looks like I have a 7.48% share of my Auction House. It's quite larger than I expected and puts a few things into perspective.
It is entirely possible for one person's absence to leave a posting/undercutting /crafting void if the time period is greater than 48 hours (longest posting period). Not only was I not crafting items and posting them for direct sale, but I wasn't here to help farmers unload their stock and disenchantable greens were piling up. Nor was I here to flip products, keeping the median sale prices where I like them.
For example, when clueless Player A comes along to post his Icescale Leg Armor at 1pm at a deep undercut, not only does the lowest price drop from 200g to 150g, but it generally won't sell either. Player A doesn't understand market timing and will be undercut for 149g by Player B. The average price has now tanked and will continue to be undercut until the golden hours of raiding which are statistically shown to be 7-11pm, depending on your server. That's when the huge traffic spikes occur from players.
Now imagine if a goblin was around, keeping an eye on the AH occasionally. He/she'd know to snag that 150g item, not primarily because it's cheaper and to flip it, but to nip the habit in the butt and stop any undercutting chains from beginning so low. Undercutting will always occur, but when you can control it's pace, you at least have a semblance of control and better profit margins. If Player A is not removed from the adult's table, the crazy train will keep gaining sheep, content in their conga line of mediocrity. Leg Armors would end up 90g each - which is where I found the market on my return, along with other similar items.
A little time away is always a good thing but I've learned that it can be informative too. Now I have a better understanding of my grasp on certain markets after seeing where they stand without me for a while, especially after witnessing immediate profit once I jumped right back in. Some were untouched while others were taken over by other goblins or ruined by overposting.
Your 'Slice of the Pie' is a quick test, so try it out yourself and see where you stand.
What game companies can learn from Albion Online
16 hours ago