The black market


One of the more interesting things that has arisen of late is the black market in traded epics.

What is this black market you mention?  I’m talking about the two hour trade window on epics you receive as loot.  As part of version 3.2 there is now a two hour window after you receive an item that it is able to be traded.  I assume this is only trade-able to others in your party/raid although I must admit I haven’t tested this yet.

So far in the last week i’ve had two instances of people in my group whispering me offering to buy or trade an epic I recently received off me.  I was about to write about the moral high ground I took and how I only need loot when I really need it, but that would not be entirely true.  This is because the third sample of my black market data set is from last nights Ulduar run (don’t get me started about Thorim and bugged mobs exiting the arena and chasing the gauntlet team up the tunnel).

During last nights run I received an item (boots) from Freya, which after further consideration I decided were really more of a side grade than an upgrade and I traded them (for free) to a mage I knew wanted them.  The basic back story is that we use a loot council to distribute loot, and when the item dropped I looked at it and my existing ones and the Pawn value on both and the Pawn value for the new ones were higher so I expressed an interest.  In hindsight after receiving them the new boots were only marginally better and the mage had some from Naxx 10, so that seemed a better use of them to me.

I have no intention of making a habit of doing that as it kinda undermines loot council and would most likely result in me receiving nothing, but it does raise some interesting ideas.

what’s to stop, say in pug raids, players rolling on anything they think is valuable and then on-selling them on to another raider?  Or even within guilds?  Not necessarily priest blatantly rolling on plate items, but perhaps players, like I accidentally did, erring on the the side of caution and rolling on marginal upgrades.

I’m fairly sure that this trade window is time played rather than real time since raid.  I wonder what happens if you post the item to an alt?  Does the countdown continue?  How is the population of allowed trade partners get determined?  Is it raid/instance ID?  What happens then after an instance reset? Does the item become untradeable?

This new trading time frame for BoP items is great, especially if you’re like me and have trouble telling all the tier gear apart with their similar sounding names.  But it does raise a few interesting issues.

Gobble gobble.


5 Responses to The black market

  1. azzigoth says:

    Most gear I immediately enchant or socket which binds it, but I did once trade a won roll item to someone in the raid for 3k gold. They had run naxx25 a lot and it was the last item they wanted, and with the 3k gold I bought a lot of items I needed, so it worked for both of us.

  2. I don’t think you can mail the items, and they’re locked after a few hours max. I think you’re right – item trading will happen, but it already does.

    Most loot systems are open to fudging, and this adds another way of fudging. But I’m in favour of the approach. I like that somebody can be assigned an item, and then change their mind, the difference is in the quality of the players. Bad players will bring bad behaviour and item trading.

    A player with heaps of DKP (or equiv) just buys items for mates, which can and will happen.

    Here is a bad scenario – the lootmaster takes all items and only gives them out at the end of the raid. You want loot, then you have to stay till the end.

  3. zusterke says:

    Interesting topic. I haven’t been confronted with this ‘black market’ yet, but it certainly changes the meaning of the loot system. That may impact the loyalty towards the need and greed system.

  4. elimeny says:

    There have been lots of posts on the forums actually about people in pugs using this new system to start a whole new black market, exactly as you suggest. I would link but… forums are down atm >.<

    As you know from my own post bob, this has already been a serious problem in our own guild. I haven't experienced loot council systems, so I can't speak to that… but it is definitely causing a problem with our tier system :/

    What's happening is that most of the time it's exactly like how it was for you – people are trying to help each other out, not really be greedy. The problem is when a loot system is put into place in an effort to be fair, and people use the trading BoP change to circumvent the channels put into place to protect raiders in loot circumstances.

    What I would really like is if it were only the loot master that could trade the BoP items. If you realize the item is a better upgrade for someone else, you trade it to the loot master, who then trades it to the other person. It wouldn't fix all problems, but it would help.

    The biggest problem is that shady people will always find ways to "work" a loot system. It's harder to catch some people doing it when they can trade items after a raid is over :/

    In response to some of the things you pointed out, only people who were eligible to receive the item in the first place can receive it – so no sending to alts at least!

  5. BobTurkey says:


    I think the best way to deal with this is to stamp it out, zero tolerance and all that sort of thing. It does depend on your loot system (we’re currently loot council) and this probably effects /roll type systems the most.

    DKP type systems are probably ok as the original receiver loses the DKP. Loot council, assuming the loot council members become aware of such trade, would allow them to just not give the people who are fiddling the system loot for a period of time.

    /roll systems are probably most effected as people can usually roll on things they don’t really want just for the purpose of brokering them to others.

    It depends heavily on your guild too. A strong, mature guild like mine probably wouldn’t think twice about excluding someone who abused the BoP trading, but weaker guilds struggling to get the numbers for raids would find it harder to exclude such people.

    Gobble gobble.

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