Been a while since my last post and I don't believe anyone but myself is reading this (and I'm only re-reading it when posted to more easily find mistakes I've made whilst typing) but here I go again with a new post (finally).
The auction house is a very tiresome and, as far as I'm concerned, outdated.
You have anywhere from hundreds to thousands of players trying to sell what is essentially the same crap to each other. Some use the Auction House Key (or whatever that stupid tool is), to addons, to just making educated guesses and simple math to determine prices.
I fit into that last category. I hate most addons. In fact, I run not even DBM right now (why bother? when others have it, it tells even those who don't have it what is going on, so only timer bars would be extra for me and I never look at those ANYWAY due to trying to pay attention what is happening to my characters).
Why? Why would I hate things that make players' experiences easier and less stressful? Well, I don't give a rat's ass about if other people use them (except anything that tells you about rare spawns active in an area as well as telling you what the opposite team in PvP consists of, that's blatant cheating since otherwise you would have to, oh, I don't know...actually *look* for said spawns and see for yourself whether or not they were active as well as keep track of each individual player opposite of you in PvP to determine classes and how many of them there are).
Sorry, getting back to addons here, it's just that I, personally, don't like automation to such extents. I think for myself and, besides, I hate all this one copper/silver/gold/percent undercutting crap. I list things super high if I want to see if anyone rich will bite when I list something really rare and unique, moderate/average when I just want to sell things that are commonly used and is not unusual to ask a given price for, and low when the listings have few uses, easier than most things to get, awkward because its something not usually considered worth putting up for auction, etc. It's simple.
Like I mentioned earlier, I feel the auction house is outdated. It has been suggested countless times before I ever looked into it but it is certainly worth repeating: give people the tools to just make public listings of what items they want and how much they are willing to pay for them. If someone feels it is worth their time, they will answer their ad and sell the desired items. Both parties leave happy and there is no competition with other players other than the simple "who can do it first?"
By all means, keep the standard auction house as it is but just add the above to it, is all. Or make a separate NPC for that, I don't care. Just do it.
Another thing that could be added is merely a play on the recently discussed Black Market Auction House on the MoP beta. Currently, it is filled with rare and/or outright removed items from the game.
Want Ashes of Al'ar? Okay, just be willing to compete with the insanely rich who won't give it a second thought about buying it. I am, but I am pretty dependent on investments paying off in MoP that I've saved up for literally several years to sell at a higher price. That's right. YEARS.
Well, anywhoo, for expanding on this idea is to create a relatively small (read: high but not so high as for it to truly rival the current system) population of fictional sellers of whom you can buy your basic bread & butter items from (herbs, ore, cloth, etc.) with a dash of more out-of-the-way items if farming to get that nice but annoyingly-costed profession item done. Stuff like that.
Buying them would maybe be a bit awkward because it would need some way of scanning the current auction house for what is reasonable prices and posting around that average, if not a smidge lower. The best part of that end of it is because it's not open to manipulation as much as you would think. No one in their right mind is going to "trick" the NPC auction house into posting low enough prices that they could just score some great deals on the same items because everyone *else* would just buy up the far greater amount of cheaper items from the person doing the manipulating. It's far too risky unless you're on some sickenly dead server in which case it would likely be pointless to do this manipulation in the first place.
So, essentially, it would be the ultimate gold dump. Sure, big-ticket items are a good draw to drain humongous portions of gold all at once but they would likely not sell often. What is needed is to use this idea and make auctions that will be *consistently* bought out at a reasonably fast pace.
It wouldn't really hurt those who farm out items for a decent living, as well, since they would always have far more materials than offered in the alternate auction house.
So, in conclusion, I feel that with the described actions above, the basic idea of buying and selling would make the game a lot healthier and impact the economy in such a way as to balance around the general level of wealth Blizzard wishes was "normal".
Then again...they *did* keep raising the gold cap. Those buggers! They're just toying with us now. March on Blizzard's headquarters and give them all a good, swift kick in the rear!
Okay, but in all seriousness, have a good one, all!