Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's In Your Auction House?

I've been using the fabulous tools from the Auctioneer team for a while now, and doing quite well with them. While I have always had visibility into where the bargains are, the competition and history of those items, these are always small slices of what's really going on in the Auction House (AH). I wanted to know what else was going on, particularly because I'm a data wonk and like stats. But I also thought it would give me a better understanding the markets that rise and fall for the realms I play.

And I knew that all that data was virtually at my fingertips. It just needed a little coaxing to come out of the shadows.

You see, when you are using Auctioneer Classic or Auctioneer Advance it stores a snapshot of the market every time it scans. The historical prices are kept in more summary form, but AC/AA has the details of your last scan. All I needed to do to get to it was dig through several thousand lines of LUA code, traverse scores of objects, open many files and rely on virtually zero documentation.

Compared to forming a PUG that won't wipe halfway through an instance, I was thinking this had to be a piece-o-cake. It was just a matter of finding the time...

Found it! Actually I found it a while ago but the danger with having this data is that it's a lot of fun to see what you can find in it. I mean who doesn't like slicing and dicing 20,000+ records? Right? You're with me...I can feel it.

Anyway, without going too much further into the details (i.e. rambling) here are a few interesting tidbits from Exodar as of the snapshot of the market from this morning....

Top 20 Sellers (and the rest of us schleps)

World of Warcraft Exodar Auction House Top 20 Sellers - 12-12-2007

This first snapshot is a list of the top 20 sellers in the AH in terms the buyout value of their posted auctions. A couple of things that stood out for me:

  • The top 20 accounts for nearly 22% of the buyout value of all the items in the AH (btw...this is in gold) while the other 1,500 of us make up the remaining 78%.
  • It's the quality of the auctions not the quantity. These guys and gals only represent 5.75% of the auction volume. Oh, and the quanity is the number of auctions...not number of items (like two auctions that involve stacks of 20 items are counted as 2 here...not 40).
  • If you wanted to buy out the Exodar, Alliance AH you'd have to have over 120K gold. That's a lot of copper tubing.


And The Most Valuable Category Is....

Exodar Auction House Category Valuations - 12/12/2007

Trade Goods. Followed closely by Armor, Weapons, etc. You get the drift. Stuff most of us already know, but for those that don't it becomes quite clear which categories to not waste your time in: Container, Projectile and Quiver.

Weapons & Armor - Where Are The Opportunities?

World of Warcraft Weapons and Armor Levels

Some of the bargains with the biggest potential profits come from Weapons and Armor. It can also be the riskiest (I've lost 30 gold on weapon and armor before because I misread or mistimed the market). One of the keys to the value of weapons and armor is in its rarity of the items (how often it shows up in the AH). This is somewhat true in other auctions, but moreso here.

From a quick glance it looks like that those players who are level 40-59 don't have as much to choose from in the W&A market (at least in Exodar), but it's still very profitable. Level 70 makes complete sense as the lowest number and the higest prices. Nothing too surprising here. What would have been more interesting is to see how you can make more money in W&A where the user level ends in "9." More on that in another post.

This is a very, very small sample of the types of reports I can pull. I plan on making more available and for more realms but that will take some time. Will keep you posted. Let me know if you have any suggestions or requests.

7 comments:

Joel said...

Ooh, mass data analysis. I love this kind of stuff. I look forward to seeing what you pull out of the data.

Og said...

The hardest part is deciding what to dig into. So much data, so little time.

Pathos said...

I love the breakdown, though I would have thought bags would be worth more market share than they are, given that everybody needs them. Oh well, one-time purchase I guess.

My one question: aren't all the auctionhouses linked? You mention the Exodar AH specifically, but I was under the assumption that all AH in a faction pulled from the same item pool.

This legwork is awesome though, great reading material :)

Og said...

Pathos - I think you hit the orc on the head when you said "...one time purchse I guess." There's just not that much variety or turnover. If they had different bags based on your level we'd probably have a lot more going on in Containers.

Oh, and sorry for the confusion. When I reference Exodar that's the Realm I'm on. The AH is linked for each faction, and the faction I'm in is the Alliance. Hope that clears it up.

Thanks for the catch!

Mosshoof said...

Any chance you'd be willing to share your tools so those of us on other realms could do our own data mining?

And even if you don't want to share tools, another post where you talk about how you developed them would be interesting, at least to some.

Og said...

My code is a mix of code and manual effort and not exactly pretty (think Orcs).

What I do is rip through the Auctioneer Advanced snapshot data that's stored in a file called Auc-ScanData.lua. The different field values are defined in CoreConst.lua. I pump that data to a comma delimited file and pull it into Excel for reporting.

If you want more detailed info on how to navigate those LUA files just head over to http://auctioneeraddon.com where you can find a slew of info on it. There's an IRC channel you can jump on to talk to these VERY, VERY smart people in real time and they're very helpful.

If I get my Foo into something a bit less embarassing and user friendly I'll post more about it.

Og said...

My code is a mix of code and manual effort and not exactly pretty (think Orcs).

What I do is rip through the Auctioneer Advanced snapshot data that's stored in a file called Auc-ScanData.lua. The different field values are defined in CoreConst.lua. I pump that data to a comma delimited file and pull it into Excel for reporting.

If you want more detailed info on how to navigate those LUA files just head over to http://auctioneeraddon.com where you can find a slew of info on it. There's an IRC channel you can jump on to talk to these VERY, VERY smart people in real time and they're very helpful.

If I get my Foo into something a bit less embarassing and user friendly I'll post more about it.