The Dungeon Finder is changing the economy
The feedback from the Dungeon Finder utility has been predominantly positive, with of course a few exceptions for unpleasant pug experiences. The LFG tool has had a bigger effect on the game than just allowing for a smoother pick-up group formation, however. Some of the repercussions have been substantially more extreme than what most players initially imagined.
Players, for the most part, have considerably more gold to spend during the Wrath 3.3 iteration of the game. Running the random heroics on a daily basis nets a healthy cash reward along with all of the distributed loot typically gathered by characters while in the dungeon, both trash and useful items. Being able to chain heroics with a single party or re-queue repeatedly makes the Dungeon Finder a great opportunity for gaining wealth.
Who stands to profit?
Abyss crystals, obtained by disenchanting epic weapons and armor, are much easier to obtain. In a pre-ToC heroic, a player can expect to see at least two epic pieces in every dungeon. Trial of the Champions and the three Icecrown Citadel (ICC) 5-man dungeons all drop heroic loot at each boss kill. Now that a heroic can be successfully navigated by the typical pick-up group in under 30 minutes, the market has been flooded with Abyss crystals. Enchanters should be able to pick up crystals for a song and turn them into highly valued weapon enchants, provided they have a good source for cheap Weapon Vellum.
Enchanting mats aren’t the only commodity feeling the difference. Item level 200 blues are much more prolific in both Trade chat and the auction house, and therefore much easier to acquire. Some players are seeing as many as 3-4 Bind-on-Equip (BoE) blue pieces drop in any one heroic. Other items, conversely, are seeing a higher demand. Now that gear pieces are being traded out so quickly, enchanting scrolls, replacement Inscriptions, Eternal Belt Buckles, and epic cuts of many gems are much sought after. Scanning the AH and keeping a sharp eye on a realm’s Trade Chat chatter will help players to determine which gems and cuts are in the highest demand. Additionally, Emblems of Heroism can be traded in lots of 10 for a raw epic gem of the player’s choice. Many dungeon-diving players are making good use of extra Emblems and then selling them for a tidy profit, increasing the gold reward of running heroics by a great deal.
Alchemy is also seeing a revitalization in usefulness with the LFG tool and random dungeons. Many players prefer to use flasks over separate potions or elixirs, both for the ‘persists through death’ feature and for their slightly more useful qualities. Characters employing herbalism and alchemy can expect their services to be in great demand. As always, transmutes are another great way for Alchemists to supplement their incomes. Specializing in Transmutation adds a bit more potential for the Alchemist to profit from her services.
How can I get in on this action?
If you don’t already have a profession, now is the time to pick one up and power-level it as quickly as possible. There are several great guides out there for leveling the profession you choose. Even if you’ve only picked up gathering professions, there is still a huge demand for raw ores, smelted metal bars, raw gems, and herbs. Skinning may be the only profession that is seeing a decline in demand, but as more epic leatherworking patterns are added to ICC boss loot tables, that may change in the future. As always, pick the profession that you will enjoy, rather than the flavor-of-the-month. Things change far too quickly in WoW for your money-making decisions to be influenced by trend.