Monday, 13 October 2008

Will there be a virtual credit crunch?

While the global financial institutions are in meltdown the one place where the economy is booming is in Wow, but how long will it last? Will the cash crisis convulsing the real world soon visit the virtual world?

Yesterday I decided to have a bit of a clear out with one of my chars. The bank, post box and bags were overflowing with stuff. Among the mountain of bits and pieces were enough herbs to stock several London flower shops.

So I took it to the AH thinking it might be worth the odd copper or two – and was staggered. The peacebloom – remember that stuff that you kept tripping over while running around as a level 7? – was going for 50s a stack.

More incredulously, I sold mageroyal at 8g a stack, stranglekelp was going for 4g each, briarthorn 12g a stack ….. This isn’t your terrecone territory (these things have been skyhigh prices for a long time now).

These are your bog standard, everyday herbs gathered as a newbie herbalist.

The Wow economy has been booming for sometime and it has been fuelled by two major developments. One is the Isle of Quel’Danas and the dailies, where upwards of 200g a day can be farmed without any great effort.

The other is the ‘Alt Syndrome’. It seems that while everyone has been gripped by the Lich King Lull, well-heeled players have created new chars and levelled new professions – hence the soaring prices for the basics of alchemy, cooking, leatherworking and a dozen other staples.

Of course the big question is this: what will happen to this booming virtual economy when WotLK goes live?

As everyone forgets the dailies and alts and starts the charge to level 80 and the new instances, will Wow be hit by its own credit crunch?

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