Blog Archive

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Watching the Watchwork

Today's post is about Watchwork Sprockets and looking into reasons why they may or may not be a good investment prospect. The sprockets were released in the Queen's Jubilee patch and continued to drop through the Clockwork Chaos release. At the time, some recipes for new runes and sigils were added that required the sprockets to craft, and also a vendor in the Crown Pavilion that wanted them in trade for some brand new weapon skins. For a while, the price of sprockets fluctuated, pulling between the ridiculous amount of supply coming from various new events, and the high demand for new skins, runes and sigils. When the Clockwork Chaos patch introduced Scarlet's invasions, the price of Watchwork Sprockets would plummet to the lowest low, the supply was too much to handle and thousands of units stacked up at 1 copper above vendor value(14c each) on the trading post. This is where their value would stay for months to come, until nearing the end of 2013 where the price began to creep up 1-2 copper a day. The Crown Pavilion had gone and the invasions had slowed down - and on top of that they were not even being farmed anymore. The supply of sprockets was drying up but the demand for the runes and sigils still existed, pushing the price ever upward. At the beginning of this year, sprockets reached the 1 silver mark and stayed there until the release of The Origins of Madness.

Scarlet's Marionette, a giant twisted watchwork creation, inevitably came with many more opportunities to obtain Watchwork Sprockets. This release added a whole new stat combination of Power, Precision and Healing Power called Zealot's and Keeper's for the ascended variant. Items with these new stats require Watchwork Sprockets to craft, and again for a few days their price fluctuated, but the last few days show a consistent decreases in the price sprockets - sitting at 35 copper as I write this post. So why is the price depreciating? I believe it is once again because of excess supply through a combination of new sources. First you have the main source, the marionette event which rewards players with a significant amount of sprockets just for participating - even more if they win. Next up the meta achievement reward, Gift of Sprockets, is a permanent home instance mining node that is harvest-able once per day. Lastly we have the latest addition to the gem store, the controversial Watchwork Mining Pick which gives the player a 20% chance to receive Watchwork Sprockets in addition to the materials from the node they are mining. I believe each of these new methods of obtaining sprockets is flooding the market, but are they a good investment for when the marionette gets removed?

First off, the marionette event is not being removed in the upcoming Edge of the Mists release, as stated in Massively's interview with Colin Johanson and Meelad Sadat. So in the near future, will the supply of sprockets be able to keep up with demand? It's a difficult one to judge - the Gift of Sprockets and especially the Watchwork Mining Pick are capable of producing, in theory, almost limitless supply. On the other hand, I can't imagine many players mining their home instance node daily and I also can't see many wanting to use their new picks much more than they already did - at least after the novelty of gaining random sprockets has worn off. Something interesting to note is that the most recent patch removed the vendor price of 13 copper from Watchwork Sprockets meaning you can no longer sell them to the merchant - this also means in theory that they could go extremely low on the trading post, although I do not expect this to happen.

So when do you invest? Not now, and perhaps not at all. This will be an item to watch in the coming days and weeks. Make sure to keep an eye on GW2TP so you can review the supply and demand - if you begin to notice a decrease in supply while demand remains steady, it may well be a good time to invest.