PTR Alchemy Changes

Hang onto your Frost Lotuses, people. MMO Champion has just datamined a huge change to alchemy for 3.1:

All flasks recipes will now create 2 flasks for the same amount of ingredients but now last 1 hour instead of 2.

Oh noes! The sky is falling!

Maybe not, but the prices of flasks certainly will be. The only silver lining here is that PTR sellers say that flasks are stacking to 20 (a net buff) and proccing up to 10 per combine.

Quick Analysis

1. This change benefits flask buyers. Now they will be able to buy flasks to suit the typical raid time for their guild as opposed to “wasting” an hour or so on a flask.

2. This change is a slight disadvantage to elixir-specced alchemists. We didn’t usually mind wasting an hour on our 4-hour flasks. On the whole, I predict less sales volume for those of us who sold large amounts of flasks. Our customers will probably stay the same–raiders. You can’t make a noob flask just by making it more convenient! He’ll still say it’s too expensive. The customer’s gain here is the seller’s loss. The same players will buy less total flask hours. I’m not sure what will happen to the price–it may all settle out to about the same margins, but it may not.

3. This change is a HUGE setback for stockpilers. Thankfully I’ve been selling out my stock every day. I’m down to 5 flasks of the Frost Wyrm and 4 flasks of Mojo. I guess I’ll sell the former before the market reacts and drink the latter.

4. The biggest losers here are guild banks. Many of those–including Conquest’s–have stockpiled hundreds of flasks. To those guilds (psst, Matt)–I recommend selling what you can now or just letting raiders drink them for the full effect. Hold off on all future combines at least until there’s an answer on what happens to old stock. My guess is that all flasks, including ones made before the patch, will become 1 hour duration, but players and guilds will not receive doubles. That’s in line with past policy changes, for example, already-acquired Je’Tze’s Bells did not change from soulbound to BoE when the item lost its BoP status.

Anyway, time to rethink my flask business!

Edit: Stockpilers are safe! We’ll be able to trade in one of the old flasks for two of the new. Read the blue post on the subject below.

As many of you have learned, we will be reducing the duration of flask effects so that they only last one hour. However, all recipes that create flasks will create two instead of one for the same material cost. Additionally, we will be increasing stack size from 5 to 20 as we anticipate players will need to carry more flasks at a given time. Vendor value for flasks has also been reduced to keep the auction house deposit low.

Our goal with the change was to allow players greater flexibility when determining how long they plan to raid, as currently we were seeing many players balance time spent raiding around flask duration. We also anticipate that this change will make using flasks in dungeons and battlegrounds a more reasonable decision for players. Though this change will not occur until patch 3.1.0, we wanted to give as much advance notice as possible in case some of you who are stockpiling flasks would prefer to wait to do so until the change is implemented.

We realize players who currently have stockpiled a lot of flasks may feel like they will lose money with this change, since their current flasks will only last for half as long once 3.1.0 goes live. To partially remedy this, we are going to allow players to exchange any current Northrend flasks (Flask of the Frost Wyrm, Flask of Stoneblood, Flask of Endless Rage and Flask of Pure Mojo) for two flasks with the shorter duration. Flasks from older content will not be grandfathered in, and going forward, it will only be possible to make the flasks with a one hour duration.

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