The Lowdown on the Black Market Auction House in Mists of Pandaria

The what's, who's, why's and how's of the Black Market Auction House.

Ever since the Black Market Auction House was announced to the public, we have found ourselves pondering just exactly what this new addition might entail. As it is with all unknowns, rumors and theroies of all sorts have flown across the internet, trying to pinpoint the facts behind the Black Market Auction House. Some of this information is spot on, while other sources provide information that leaves much to be desired.

Having trouble separating fact from fiction when it comes to Mists of Pandaria’a new Black Market Auction House? Read onward to find out everything you need to know about this new and exciting feature. The truth behind the Black Market Auction House just might surprise you.

What is the Black Market Auction House?
Step behind the partition where you will find Madame Goya, mistress of the Black Market Auction House.

One of the most basic questions asked by many players is what exactly is the Black Auction House? The answer is the Black Market Auction House is a new type of auction house being introduced in the new Mists of Pandaria expansion. What makes this auction house so special is that it will offer players the chance to bid on items that are not normally sold on NPCs. Located within the Tavern of the Mists at the Veiled Stair, the Black Market Auction House is not a safe zone and frequently this place on a PvP server may result in more than a few face gankings.

What’s for sale in the Black Market Auction House?

So what is it that this new auction house has that will separate it from the rest and make players want to spend their hard earned gold? Get ready to get excited (I know I am). The Black Market Auction House will include a little bit of everything, including rare mounts, hard to obtain pets, high-level crafting recipes, as well as hard to get gear, such as the tier 3 sets that were previously removed from the game, for both wear and transmogrification purposes. However, just like buying a kidney off the real black market, these items won’t come cheaply. Items on the Black Market Auction House will start out at a hefty sum and then be bid on by players further raising the price. This auction house is not for the faint of heart when it comes to cash.

Black Market Auction House = Mists of Pandaria’s Gold Sink

Under the fancy items and shiny newness of the Black Market Auction House lies a brutal truth that becomes glaringly clear when you spend any time thinking about it; the Black Market Auction House is a gold sink and nothing more. While some of you may be wrinkling your nose in disgust at the word, I for one am applauding Blizzard for finally adding a much needed new gold sink into the game. Well done dev team, well done.

Now before you light the torches and grab your pitch forks, let me explain. While many of you may not be fond of gold sinks, especially since they seem to give extra rewards to players with tons of gold, they are a needed part of the World of Warcraft economy and ultimately benefit all players equally. Gold sinks not only keep the economy in check, but also help to keep prices of goods low. This is an appealing concept considering the out of control economy and outrageous prices we have seen thus far in Cataclysm.

How does this work you ask? Prices on the Auction House, as well all know, can be pretty crazy. Most of us think that no one actually pays those prices, but the truth of the matter is that someone out there does. These people have the time to farm or savvy to work the Auction House so they have amassed huge fortunes of gold. Thanks to the fact these people can and will spend large amounts of money on things in the Auction House, those of us with little time to farm or desire to play the Auction House game suffer.

Could the Black Market Auction House be a forerunner for a Real Money Auction House?

This is where the good old gold sink comes in. A gold sink may seem like it is giving those players with tons of gold yet another reward, however, that is simply not the case. The gold sink is designed to entice these overly wealthy players to spend large portions of their gold and remove it totally from the economy. Less gold in the hands of these players means that they are less willing to spend tons of money on other items such as herbs or potions, thus prices fall, evening the playing field all around. This is exactly what the Black Market Auction House is designed to do. So give the Black Market Auction House a chance, you may find that gold sinks are the horrors you thought they were.

Black Market Auction House Vs. Real Money Auction House

While it is obvious that the Black Market Auction House is a gold sink through and through, after the launch of the Real Money Auction House in Diablo III, players are wondering if this is the next step in line for World of Warcraft. The answer thus far is no. All the information we have points to the fact that purchases made on the Black Market Auction House will be for in game currency and nothing more.

Will this change in the future? It is hard to say anything with certainty when it comes to Blizzard, however, I feel the answer is likely no. A Real Money Auction House on top of a subscription fee seems like to much of a burden for WoW, unlike the free to play Diablo III. I find it likely that introducing a similar Auction House into World of Warcraft will cause an uproar in the player base that would kill huge amount of brand loyalty. Many players still resent the introduction of the Blizzard Pet Store which offers up virtual pets and mounts for real cash. However, if WoW ever goes free-to-play (which is unlikely to be anytime in the near future), all bets are off as a Real Money Auction House will become an appealing way for the company to make some extra cash.

How do you feel about the Black Market Auction House? Will you be spending any of your hard earned gold there? Do you think Blizzard will eventually use the Black Market Auction House to sell items for real world money? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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