The Stokpile Index – a fantastic resource for Auction House traders

Imagine you’ve just joined the staff writing for the Melting Pot. Imagine you’re sitting down to craft your first ever post for the site. Imagine your Editor-in-Chief is a petty sadist who insists that each post must contain a random word of her choosing, with the word changing each day.

Imagine today’s word is “pecuniary”.

Well, for one glorious moment I can thwart the machinations of our noble leader, because what I want to talk about is money. Fortune, wealth, cash. This post is “of or pertaining to wealth or money”. One might even describe it as pecuniary.

Booyah! He shoots, he scores.

There are – as you probably know – dozens upon dozens of blogs dedicated to auction house trading in World of Warcraft. One of the best is Stokpile. Auction house trading is so complex and potentially time-consuming that it can easily become a game in itself. There are players who don’t bother with any other aspect of WoW; players who log on for the sole purpose of trading, crafting and selling. For these players, hitting a gold cap takes the place of downing an endgame boss or dominating the PvP tables.[pullquote]Remember, one can only have as much preparation as one has foresight.[/pullquote]

We’re at a slightly awkward stage now (and one that we’ve seen before with the release of Burning Crusade and later Wrath Of The Lich King), with most end-game raiders having exhausted the content of Wrath and finding themselves with nothing much to do until the launch of Cataclysm. We’re seeing players chasing increasingly obscure achievements, or levelling brand new characters, or simply quitting the game entirely. Some of them, though, have started to play the Auction House mini-game. It’s made things pretty interesting for those of us who’ve been auction house addicts all along. Markets are fluctuating, demand is soaring and crashing all around us, and many traders have been forced to rethink their strategies. There’s a lot of virtual money to be made, if you only know where to look.

That’s why I’m so pleased that Stokpile has created an index of the most useful posts on the blog. Having recently hit the magic 1 million gold, Stokpile is no longer blogging, but the excellent advice contained in all these posts is still valid. It’s useful for auction house noobs and savvy goblins alike, and covers virtually every market in the game. The guide to setting up QA3, the Quick Auctions addon, is particularly useful – if you’re anything like me you’ll have found it utterly baffling the first time you used it.

[pullquote]The most important entries that I’ve made and the ones that contain the most pertinent information in the AH game for both newcomers and experienced tycoons.[/pullquote]The WoW economy is a fascinating thing. Although the game (and the game developers) can exert some influence over it, the actual prices of goods are dictated entirely by demand. Hence, the maximum value of an item is whatever you can convince somebody to pay for it. It’s an addictive and intriguing way of studying economics and market movements, with the added advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your point of view) of an almost complete lack of regulation. There’s no Monopolies Commission in WoW, nobody to stop you from dominating a market, or artificially inflating prices, or any number of other tricks which range from questionable to outright illegal in the real world. It’s great fun, and the basic skills needed are easy to acquire. Of couse, becoming an auction house expert takes a lot more time and skill, but that’s where blogs like Stokpile can help.

Quotes direct from Stokpile.