Embers of Neltharion, the first big update to World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, has brought a new zone, raid, and dungeons to Blizzard's long-running MMO, and of course a whole bunch of new and interesting items—one of which requires a very old and uninteresting item to acquire.
As Starym on the Icy Veins forum (via GamesRadar) explains it, there's a Blazing Shadowflame chest located at coordinates 28.8, 47.5 of the new Zaralek Cavern zone. The problem is that the Shadowflames surrounding the chest cannot be bypassed unless you have an Onyxia Scale Cloak. And the problem with that is that the Onyxia Scale Cloak is an item from Vanilla (read: old) WoW, and not many people have kept one lying around.
That, predictably, led to a surge in demand for relevant crafting materials, and a commensurate spike in prices for said materials. "Thanks to a recently discovered secret requiring an old cloak, farmed ingredients for the cloak which includes scale of Onyxia is now going over 10,000x what it was last week," redditor tomytronics wrote. "If you got any in the bank, sell em before the demand dies down."
But even crafting these cloaks is a hassle, because they can only be made by Leatherworkers with 300 skill points in Classic Leatherworking. So of course unbound cloaks are also very suddenly hot items on the auction block. The prices vary wildly from server to server: Redditor adura_grounded said they list at 20,000 gold on their server "and they're selling," while Alternative_rule_958 said they have 11 of them listed on their auction house for just 9,000 gold, and they're not moving.
As tomytronics predicted, demand (and pricing) has reportedly dropped somewhat since word of this new item got out, but it seems like there's still money to be made. "There were none on the AH on my server yesterday, put one up for 100k not expecting anyone to actually buy it but it did sell!" redditor Little_Leafling wrote. "Now there are a few more up for 40k."
"Sold 1 for 25k yesterday and when that sold so easily I made two more, both sold for 40k," Nijrem wrote. "Wouldn’t say it’s worth it but I won’t complain."
And even for those who missed the market when it was hot, the initial investment is low enough that it's easy to turn a profit: Alternative_Rule_958 said that even though his cloaks aren't exactly selling like hotcakes, "I only need to sell one to double my investment into making all of them."
And what's the big reward for all this expense and horsing around? A Blazing Shadowflame Cinder, a toy that wraps the player in the Shadowflame effect—but only as a cosmetic—for 10 minutes. Hey, it looks pretty cool.