World of Warcraft's next major update was unveiled today in an 18-minute developer video with game director Ion Hazzikostas. It includes most of the expected features, including a new raid, new races, and plenty else—but one unexpected addition is a completely overhauled auction house system that looks to make trading with other players easier than ever.
"This isn't just a UI reskin," explains game director Ion Hazzikostas in the video above. "We actually redesigned and rebuilt the guts of the system to make it faster, more performant, and to get rid of those annoying single stacks that literally no one likes. We recognize that there are hundreds of thousands of transactions happening across our auction houses on a regular basis, and we want to create a modern system that is smooth and easy to use."
The problem with the current auction house is that a lot of the most commonly traded items are placed into "stacks" that cannot be broken up or partially sold. If I sell 20 iron bars, a player has to buy all 20 or not buy them at all. This is especially annoying since players tend to flood the auction house with single-stacks of items that players would prefer to buy in large quantities. It makes the whole system hard to navigate and slow, which is why anyone using the auction house on a regular basis has probably learned to rely on player-built mods.
With the redesign, though, it is now possible to buy a partial stack of items from a player instead of all or nothing. When using the auction house, instead of seeing individual listings for each item sold, you'll instead see a window that simply shows how much of an item is available at a certain price across all listings. This way you can buy the exact amount you want and the auction house will figure out all the confusing details.
In addition to that, you can also now make a shopping list of items by favoriting them. "So if you regularly forget the name of that specific cut of gem or that consumable, you have a checklist that you can quickly search for and buy on the go," Hazzikostas says.
While I doubt this overhaul will negate the need for auction house addons entirely, it's certainly a welcome redesign that'll make buying and selling easier for everyone. The new auction house will be available on the PTR test server (hopefully) later today or you can wait until update 8.3 releases, which we expect sometime around Christmas.
For more on what's coming in update 8.3, check out our story here.