The current WoW auction house has good and bad features. The standard auction house interface is poor, but Blizzard’s facilitation of addons means that if you really can’t stand the UI (I can’t), at least you can do something about it. Addon facilitation is a good thing/smart move by Blizzard overall, not just as it relates to the auction house, just ask a SWTOR player.
Of course it would be great if Blizzard simply polished up the standard auction house UI. Doing that would make things a lot easier for the vast majority of players who don’t spend as much time in the auction house as Frinka does. But I’d love to see a few new features beyond merely the UI — things that can’t be done by addons now.
I touched on this some already in my post this week for the Blog Azeroth shared topic, and The Annoyed Mage made an interesting post a few weeks ago expressing his views. Here’s a fuller description of what I’d like to see.
- Selling groups of items. It would be wonderful to be able to sell items bundled together, either multiple stacks of the same item or complete “kits” of different items. For example you could offer a complete transmog set, or all the components needed to level a profession.
- Offers, or bounties. This is a pretty simple one and it’s been discussed at length in the past. EQ I even had this feature (although please, don’t make me describe how much more horrible the EQ I bazaar was compared to the WoW AH, just trust me, we have it good now). Adding the ability to post an offer to buy a quantity of an item at a certain price level would be very convenient, it would help sellers meet buyer needs, and it would make the WoW auction house much more like a real life market (NYSE, NASDAQ, etc.)
- Sales information. The Undermine Journal does the best it can, but lacking information on actual sales means we can’t fully know how the market is behaving. This also enables certain types of market manipulation (read that as people taking unfair advantage of others) that would be far more difficult if we knew what things actually sold for in the past.
- Statistics. If we had sales information then either Blizzard or someone like The Undermine Journal could generate information more like what we get for real markets, or like what is generated for games like EVE. Just look at this recent post I saw about the EVE economy — they have price indexes, it’s so cool.
- Auctiongroups. I confess I know nothing about EVE — I couldn’t get past the tutorial. (I tried, because it seemed like I’d love a game with so many economic features.) But I believe there is a single server structure in EVE — meaning everyone plays in the same game world and buys and sell on the same market. If this were the case in WoW there wouldn’t be small economy servers and large economy servers. I understand that the shear number of players across WoW may make complete consolidation impossible, but maybe they could have “auctiongroups” similar to battlegroups where multiple server’s auction houses were connected. I can see there would be numerous technical and procedural issues, but if they could be overcome, wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to play in a bigger market?