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The Biggest Gold Sink In WoW?

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The Mad Merchant sells items, well, for mad prices! But is he truly the biggest gold sink introduced to the game thus far?

The Mad Merchant vendor added in Legion represents a new gold sink.

  • He is on a random spawn timer. Players are reporting respawn rates of four hours up to several days.
  • Once up, the vendor is present for 1-2 hours.
  • He can be found in The Wonderworks Toy Shop in Dalaran (Coordinations: 43, 47)
  • He sells exactly four items for ridiculous prices, representing the biggest gold sink ever introduced to World of Warctaft.
    • Bloodfang CocoonBloodfang Cocoon is a spider mount that costs 2,000,000 Gold.
    • Celestial CalfCelestial Calf is a pet that can be purchased for 1,000,000 Gold.
    • Madman's LuggageMadman's Luggage is a 34 slot bag that you can get for 500,000 Gold.
    • Prismatic BaublePrismatic Bauble is a toy that makes you shine with the colors of the rainbow. It would be cool if was on a shorter cooldown, having a 20-minute cooldown for 250,000 Gold? Depends on personal preferences!

Biggest Gold Sink Ever?

This remains open to discussions. On one hand the Black Market Auction House is also a big gold sink. The gold cap is currently set to 9,999,999 Gold 99 Silver & 99 copper. The probability that you will be spending more gold than the cost of Bloodfang CocoonBloodfang Cocoon on BMAH items is highly unlikely. Of course, unless this rare mount you've been farming for an eternity is up, like  Invincible's ReinsInvincible's Reins and you really need to have it. Not many will be directly gold capping a mount without testing the waters first (bidding). In previous expansions, where the gold cap was 999,999 Gold 99 Silver & 99 Copper people were capping rare mounts almost every time they were up. Now there's a slight price difference between securing your bid instantly, exactly 9,000,000 Gold.

Blizzard on the Mad Merchant

Blizzard shared their insight in a few blue posts regarding the merchant, especially discussing price tags, the rarity of the Bloodfang CocoonBloodfang Cocoon model and many other aspects and reasons why such a vendor was implemented. Watcher's post is quite interesting. He explains the rationale and doesn't consider the vendor a big gold sink.

  • According to him, gold sinks in MMOs are repair bills or Auction House cuts.
  • At the end of the day, some may pour a lot of gold into the vendor, but it's still a small fish in the big ocean of the WoW economy.
  • If they truly wanted to make the merchant a big gold sink, it would be achieved by decreasing the price of Bloodfang CocoonBloodfang Cocoon to 200,000 Gold.
    • The number of players who'd purchase the mount would substantially increase, draining more Gold from the economy in total as with the current price tag.

Blizzard LogoWatcher

There are, as people have noticed, a small handful of very expensive items on vendors in Legion. This isn't anything fundamentally new - the original Kirin Tor Signet Ring cost a small fortune in relative terms when it first came out in Wrath, as did the Reins of the Grand Expedition YakReins of the Grand Expedition Yak in Mists.

When it comes to cosmetic items and convenience perks, they vary tremendously by source, both in terms of playstyle and degree of difficulty. Some are widely-earned rewards, some were simply a matter of being around at the right time (e.g. the Onyxian WhelplingOnyxian Whelpling), others require tremendous skill (Gladiator mounts, Mythic raid mounts from current content), while others require a combination of persistence and luck (Reins of the Time-Lost Proto-DrakeReins of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake, Elegon's mount, etc.). Some require you to engage in PvP, others require raiding, others require extensive outdoor gameplay, or profession use. And some require a sustained and concerted effort to accumulate a ton of gold.

Besides, think of it as a favor to all the arachnophobes out there - do you really want massive spiders skittering around everywhere?
 

Just to be clear, I agree that the Mad Merchant isn't going to serve as a very effective gold sink. But that's because he isn't intended to be one in any meaningful sense. Gold sinks, in an MMO economic sense, are primarily things like repair costs, the Auction House tariff, and a range of useful expensive items that still fall within the price range of many guild banks and gold-rich players. In this case, a handful of very wealthy players may dump a large portion of their gold reserves into this one vendor, but that's ultimately a blip in the grand scheme of the WoW economy.


If we wanted to drain as much gold as possible out of the economy using these items, we'd be pricing them differently. If the Bloodfang CocoonBloodfang Cocoon cost 200k, I'd wager that far more than 10x as many would be sold. Inflation is a concern, but that's a battle that will be waged on many other fronts. This is just a crazy merchant. The point of the items is to be ludicrously expensive, just as the point of something like the Reins of the Time-Lost Proto-DrakeReins of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake is to be ludicrously rare (if you think about it, a multi-day respawn that shares a spawn point with a more common variant and has a zone-wide patrol is pretty insane...). Some of the vendor's details may be tweaked, and there's been very good feedback in the thread on the relative attractiveness of the different items, but the 2mil price tag for the mount is not likely to change.

The Issue of Rarity

The high price tag made players wonder, whether the mount model will remain unique. Watcher again answered this concern.

  • While it's alright to bring recolors for expansion-themed mounts (Proto-drakes in Wrath or Serpents in Mists of Pandaria) they aren't planning to implement any recolor of the mount as it would substantially degrade its value.
  • Some mount models should remain unique and Blizzard has diluted the impact of certain mounts by offering different variations.

Blizzard LogoWatcher

Just a simple question that they won't answer: Will the mount be unique or will it show up reskinned elsewhere? If it's unique, I'll buy it. If it's not, I won't.

What conceivable reason could they have to not answer something so simple? So frustrating.
The only reason is that it's difficult to make absolute "never"-type statements with confidence. We have no plans to offer a recolor or highly-similar version of the Bloodfang CocoonBloodfang Cocoon, as we agree that it would undermine the value of the mount (highly debatable though it may be) if there were easily-obtainable variants.

But in the distant future? Who knows. Maybe some day we make a spider expansion, all about spiders, complete with a playable arachnid race (this is where I alienate all the arachnophobes who were grateful for my first post in this thread), and there are spider mounts everywhere. So I can't say "never." 

But in general, we feel that we've diluted the impact of some of our mounts by offering numerous variants of the same base creature. It's appropriate for some creatures, especially where it feels like a prominent part of the natural fauna of a new continent (e.g. all the various Proto-Drakes in Wrath, or Cloud Serpents in Mists), but when something is unusual we should try to keep it that way. A mount like the RatstallionRatstallion should also remain unique for the foreseeable future.

Are you an avid mount or pet collector saving gold for any of these items or have you already purchased anything from the vendor?

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On 10/10/2016 at 7:25 PM, demonardvark said:

the biggest gold sink in wow for me is transmog T_T

But IT'S WORTH IT. I NEED to change my transmog every fight!

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3 hours ago, Blainie said:

But IT'S WORTH IT. I NEED to change my transmog every fight!

its not worth getting the world first kill if i don't look fabulous doing it

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On 10/13/2016 at 5:11 PM, demonardvark said:

its not worth getting the world first kill if i don't look fabulous doing it

You should make an app to a top guild now, you know what you need!

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