Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why I Like Gated Markets

So, today I got a comment on my post about Spirit of Harmony, but I wanted to take the time to reply to it in its own post, partially because I want everyone to see it, and partially because I cannot think of anything else to write about right now. Either way, here is the comment first:

Spoken like a true raider but hey each to their own, I have never been a fan of gating content as in my view it just tends to bore players to death and two months into an expansion you wonder why there are so few players left already. To be honest so many of Blizzard's decisions affecting gold making issues vex me these day I don't know what to do but as I'm not quitting I'll just have to grin and bear it.

Now, although the commenter is clearly conflating two separate things, the gating of content, and that of markets, I do want to tackle the latter. I am a big fan of gated markets, being, those markets which one has to spend time to get into. I am a fan of them for two big reasons:

  1. It makes that market more valuable, by making it more scarce. It's simple economics: the less there is of something on the market, and granting that there is enough demand for the item, the more valuable the item will be. Valuable, in this sense, meaning that you can demand a higher price for the item, because people will pay a higher price. The value of something is simply how much you can sell it for, not the material cost+time, or whatever other metric. Gating a market naturally limits the amount of competitors you will have in that market, and thus, the value will go up, and stay up longer. The perfect example of that, at least on my server, is Pack of Endless Pockets. I still see them up for anywhere between 500-1000g a piece, long after they were introduced. This is because the gate for that market is really good at discouraging people from passing it.
  2. It makes the market somewhat more fair. To use an analogy, Free-to-play(FTP) games. I am really really against some FTP games, because they clearly give an advantage to people who can throw enough money at the game. To contrast, in WoW, there is no amount of money you can throw at the game to get an advantage, or at least, one that actually gives you an edge against other players in PVP, or in clearing PVE faster. Now, I understand that you can pay more money in WoW to level faster(scroll, or RAF), but that does nothing to affect the endgame, only gets you there faster, which I could care less about. The same goes for gated markets. No matter how much gold you have to throw at the problem, unless you spend however long it takes to get the pattern for the Pack of Endless Pockets, you will not get it. There is no amount of gold you can spend to pass that gate. This makes it more fair for those who don't have millions of gold, but who have time to play. This also helps spread more gold to more people(people who aren't big gold makers, but love grinding faction rep), which is a good thing, because more gold for everyone means more people who can afford what you are selling, which means faster selling, which means more demand for goods, which means higher value of them.
Anyway, that is why I am a fan of gated markets. What do you think? Think I'm a loony, or dead on, or somewhere in-between? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I also love gated markets because it limits competition and leads to higher prices.

    Vendor unlocked Recipes from the Firelands month+ long grind are great examples.

    1. Yeah, the prime example for me has been the Pack of Endless Pockets. A much needed item, which is often sold in batches(because scribes don't just buy one, usually :P), but requires such a grind to get to. Hell, I haven't even done it.

  2. I don't mind gated markets but I sometimes mind the gating methods.

    To use Cold's example of the Firelands dailies. Those sucked. After you did them once or twice they were nothing but a mindless boring grind that felt like a job. They were so horrible I did not bother to do them on my engineer despite the fact the scope would have been very profitable (much more profitable than the bag patterns were for my LW, but he's my main and does everything).

    I'm fine with the Spirits of Harmony because there has always been a gating mechanism (Primal Nethers, The Wrath Orbs, Chaos Orbs). I appreciate that Motes of Harmony seem to drop off random mobs so I don't have to go into dungeons and hope to win a roll to get a Spirit, but at the same time they bother me because they directly defy Blizzard's new attitude of "Play The Toon You Want."

    I hate my Death Knight. I am not good at playing my Death Knight. I shouldn't have to play my Death Knight so I can make a pair of boots to sell. That said, I would gladly farm those same mats on my Hunter which I love and am good at.

    The Spirits and motes should be BoA. That way they'd still be gated and I'd still be going out in the world to get them. I just want to do it on the toon I like.

    1. I can't agree enough with what you just said about these kind of gated systems rewarding BoA patterns and items. If that hasd been the cae with Firelands I wouldn't hae had a near brain bleed dealing with doing it on multiple characters and really losing my will to even log in.

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