World of Warcraft’s next patch will add two major changes to how certain goods and services are sold in Azeroth, introducing region-wide commodities and a new trade channel.
As revealed in a forum post, patch 9.2.7, which is currently being tested on the game’s public test realm, will make selling consumable items like herbs, gems, and potions on the in-game auction house a region-wide affair, rather than a server-specific one. Blizzard notes that how the auction house functions or looks won’t be changing, but that the region-wide change will result in “way more buyers and sellers” for certain commodities. Many other items, like armor and weapons, will still be server-specific.
It’s a big shift for the economic side of WoW, which has always been server-specific. Having server-specific economies allowed dedicated players to corner markets, which will be much more difficult now that players will have to compete across all the servers in their region. However, the move should be a win for smaller-population servers that don’t have many goods and consumables to choose from on their server-specific marketplaces. The last major change to WoW’s auction house came in 2020 during the Battle for Azeroth expansion, during which Blizzard overhauled the Auction House’s user interface.
The patch will also introduce a new trade chat channel, Trade (Services). That doesn’t mean the original Trade channel, which has existed since the game first released nearly two decades ago, is going away. This new channel will be exclusively for buying or selling dungeon runs, PvP boosts, and other player services, while the original Trade channel will be for buying and selling items.
“We believe that with this new distinction, you’ll be able to keep Trade chat for the traditional buying and selling of items and professions, and not other chatter,” Blizzard writes.
WoW’s next expansion, Dragonflight, is slated to release before the end of the year. The fact that public alpha testing for Dragonflight hasn’t started yet has more than a few fans asking Blizzard to delay the game out of quality concerns. When Dragonflight does arrive, it will introduce major changes to the game’s talent system and professions, while also introducing a new corner of Azeroth to explore and new race/class, the Dracthyr.