World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth official artwork and logo

[Update]: Blizzard has sped up the action house even more by throttling most automated actions.

Ever since Battle for Azeroth arrived, World of Warcraft's Auction House has become unbearably slow and unresponsive, especially on larger servers. This was partly due to the larger than usual influx of players, and partly because some special people out there prefer to post their massive auctions one piece at a time, thus bogging down the servers and ruining things for everyone.

With that in mind, I am very glad to announce that Blizzard have now implemented some rather pricey deposit costs that greatly favor large stacks over tons of smaller ones. Since this is best explained through an example, allow me to share one Blizzard themselves have provided:

Let’s say that a player is trying to sell 200 Tidespray Linen for 10g (gold) each. Today, each item has the normal deposit cost of 1c (copper), with a 1s (silver) minimum deposit, so 1 auction of 200 linen requires a deposit of 1s, and 200 auctions of 1 linen each adds up to a total deposit of 2g.

  Now imagine an additional 20% deposit added to the listing fee per auction. With an asking price of 10g each, that raises the deposit by 2g per stack. In the case of 1 stack of 200 linen, the total buyout price is 2000g, and the new deposit is 2g1s. In the case of 200 individual stacks, the new deposit of an additional 2g per stack brings the total deposit up to 402g.

The one big downside of this change is that low-level crafting ingredients have become prohibitively expensive to post for new players, and the same applies to items that just don't sell very quickly. Even though Blizzard has admitted this is a short-term solution while they work on a more permanent one, I would still like to see this corrected as new players tend to have issues earning gold even without all of the roadblocks.

On the positive side, these changes have definitely had the desired result when it comes to performance. Not only is the Auction House much easier to browse now that it isn't clogged up with millions of singular items, but it's also significantly faster for both buyers and sellers. Just a few days ago it took me a good few minutes to buy a couple of leather, while today I could buy multiple stacks within seconds. 

The final thing worth mentioning is that this update broke pretty much every addon that deals with the Auction House. So if you're using something like Trade Skill Master or Auctionator, you'll need to go and update them before you can post new items. A small annoyance to be sure, but one that I'm more than willing to endure for a smoother Auction House experience!