One of the big flipping markets currently is leveling gear. Will the leveling gear market die in Warlords of Draenor with the item squish? This question has been on the minds of everyone involved in these markets since the news of the item squish came out. Based on datamined stat changes, the answer is looking like a resounding yes.
For those of you unfamiliar with the markets, there is BoE leveling gear in the 77-79 and 80-84 brackets that are from an expansion ahead of where you are currently leveling. For example the 77-79 gear has Cataclysm stats for a WotLK leveler. These additional stats make them ideal for leveling, both in increasing output and efficiency, as well as being able to faceroll BGs. Of course there's gold to be had in this market, to read more on the strategy you can check out my old post on it here.
So you may be thinking this is a bold claim, but it seems that as expected by the linear model, that all items of the same level requirement will be scaled similarly. Let's compare 2 current day items, and their WoD datamined equivalents. It's hard to compare the green items, as the green leveling gear has different rolls on stats, so I'm going to focus on rare items. For example the ilvl 308 Toxidunk Dagger which drops in Cataclysm content. With 91 Agility and 574.9 damage per second, it far outshadows an ilvl 187 dagger like Ritualistic Athame, a drop from Utgarde Pinnacle with just 29 Agility and 186.7 damage per second. In WoD though, the item squish will make those items look like this: Toxidunk Dagger & Ritualistic Athame. As you can see, these items are now relatively eqivalent in stats, in fact I'd imagine the Athame has an advantage now, despite them being 121 ilvls apart. The same shows for the armor levels on the green gear in the 77 bracket, although again comparing the stats is impossible currently, as the random rolls still represent their current equivalents even though the armor in the tooltips has been nerfed.
Now one could easily say that items like Axe of the Iron Price (WoD) vs. Axe of the Iron Price (current) show that it's possible these nerfs aren't going to effect all the items, but I think we all know that beyond the already nerfed damage on this weapon, the stats will be soon to follow. For example another 81 weapon, Wand of the Exiled Path (WoD) vs. Wand of the Exiled Path (current) has already been significantly nerfed.
I even considered the thought that at say 80 and 85 that there might be old end game linear growth, but looking at the 80 MoP rare items, about half of them have already been scaled down to their lvl 80 counterparts. I wouldn't suggest to get out of these markets quite yet, but just keep in mind that moving towards WoD that these once profitable and lucrative markets are more than likely going by the wayside.
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