R_M'S AUCTION HOUSE GUIDE TO FIXED-PRICE ITEMS AND SPECIAL SALVAGE
WHY YOU DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU NEEDED
I've written guides about two stores where Homecoming players can find very useful items—the P2W Store and the Reward Merit Vendor—but it occurred to me there was one more place I hadn't gone over yet that not every player would know about. So I'm writing this guide to complete the trifecta.
That missing place is, of course, the auction house. Known by different names (Wentworth's, the Black Market, the Trading Post, etc.) depending on which faction you're playing in, the auction house is accessible from anywhere outside of instanced maps, SG bases, or PVP zones just by typing /ah to bring up the interface. Most players are probably well aware this is a good place to get Enhancements, Recipes, Inspirations, and Invention Salvage. But there are some other things you can get here that you might just not know about.
Or at least, you didn't until you read this guide.
FIXED-PRICE ITEMS: AUCTION HOUSE TELEPORTERS
Open the auction house, click the "reset" button at the top right to clear any settings you might have made if you were searching on things already, then in the index at the left side of the window, click the + next to "Fixed Price" to expand the Fixed Price section of the listing. Under this section, you will find four items: the Black Market Transporter, Underground Transporter, Consignment House Transporter, and Trading House Transporter. Costing 10,000 Inf each, these powers are effectively single-use teleports that will take you to the physical location of one of the auction houses of those particular faction—if you are currently a member of that faction.
For example, if you're a Villain or Rogue, Black Market Transporter will transport you to one of the Black Markets in the Rogue Isles—but none of the other three powers will do anything for you. Heroes and Vigilantes can use the Consignment House teleporter to get to Wentworths in Paragon City. Members of the Praetorian Resistance can use Underground Transporter to get to one of the auction houses in the Praetorian Underground, and Praetorian Loyalists can use Trading Post to get to one of the Praetorian above-ground auction houses. Unless you plan to swap sides at some point, you might as well not bother buying one of the "wrong" hero/villain transporters—and if you're a Praetorian who's passed level 20 and chosen the red or blue side, the Underground and Trading Post porters won't work for you either. And there's no way to delete these powers out of your power window, so you're just stuck with them forever.
And there's one more important point to mention: due to a glitch, you can buy up to 10 "charges" of each power—but using the power deletes the power, no matter how many charges are left in it. So you might as well not waste your money; just buy and use one charge at a time.
This power used to be very handy when you had to travel to the auction house to use its services. However, it is no longer strictly necessary, given that everyone can now access the auction house from anywhere. Also, if you park your character at an auction house for a length of time, you start building up charges on an auction house teleporter day job power that doesn't cost you anything to use. Still, this auction house teleport could be useful in a few cases where it would be handy to get to a particular auction house very quickly. For example, if you're doing a Market Crash, you could use one of these to hop to the Wentworth's there just before the last mission, then get to the nearby transit line and teleport everyone else to you.
The rest of the things I'll discuss in this guide are listed under the "Salvage" category.
If you click the + next to "Salvage," you'll see four subcategories. "Event" is where you'll find the salvage pieces from the Halloween and Winter events, that you can take to the vendor NPCs and trade in for an extra costume slot, costumes, and other temp powers. (You will usually find some holiday salvage available all year 'round, because people stock up on more than they need during the events, and can put it on the auction house at any time. Also, candy canes can be found in the Lords of Winter Super Pack, which I'll discuss below. The NPCs who take the salvage in trade never stop taking it; it's just that it only drops during the events.)
"Invention" is what you normally think of when you think of salvage, so no need to explore that further.
"Legacy" is kind of a weird case. This is where you'll find salvage items that are no longer used in-game, such as salvage items that used to be required to craft things for supergroup bases. It might seem odd that these items are still trading on the auction house now, but that's because they're actually "bucketed" with another salvage item that people actually can use—Brainstorm Idea Salvage, which I'll cover a bit later. That is to say, the auction house considers these items to be the same thing as Brainstorm Idea Salvage. If you buy one, the auction house pulls a piece out of the "bucket" they all share, just as it would do if you bought a piece of Brainstorm Idea Salvage. Presumably, this is because back in I13, after base salvage was phased out, the game would let you convert leftover pieces of it into Brainstorm Ideas. In any case, while it's an interesting oddity, there's literally nothing in the game you can do with legacy salvage anymore, so don't bother buying any.
But the last subcategory, "Special," is where you can find the most interesting things.
ACCESS BYPASS and PROTOTYPE ELEMENT
The Access Bypass and Prototype Element are basically the same thing, but for different uses. (They're even bucketed together.) These powers let you bypass one of the required elements for earning the PVP zone temp powers from Warburg and Bloody Bay, respectively.
In Warburg, you have to collect three access codes by rescuing three scientists from the underground complex, which you can then use to launch a missile and earn a single-use buff-or-debuff nuke. The Access Bypass will fill in for one of the three access codes. In Bloody Bay, you have to scan five meteor fragments to get five sample elements to process at a bunker and trade in for a Shivan Shard that will let you summon an Elite Boss pet Shivan five times. The Prototype Element will fill in for one of the meteor elements.
In both cases, these substitute powers can make it easier for you to do your thing and get out of there. Note that you are only able to carry one of these items at a time, and you can't access the auction house from within a PVP zone, so if you're doing nukes in Warburg and want to get all three, you'll have to zone out after each launch to grab a new Access Bypass and then go back in.
The Prototype Element salvage just doesn't seem that useful to me, given that it's not much harder to scan five rocks than to scan four, and you only have to do it once per five-use shard anyway. But the Access Bypass is a godsend given how annoying it can be to lead those scientists out. It's a big time saver to cut that time and effort by a third, let me tell you. Easily worth 500,000 Inf each, which seems to be the common going rate for them.
These are the things I mentioned earlier, that are bucketed with legacy salvage. At any Enhancement crafting table, under the "Special" tab, you'll find an option to trade these items in for random salvage rolls—1 for a Common, 5 for an Uncommon, 20 for a Rare. You can also get them as drops from enemies, or find them included in the Super Packs I'll discuss later on.
If you do buy them, you should probably use them only on Rare rolls—at the 20,000 Inf going rate, for 20 of them, that's the only one where you might get something that's more valuable than the amount of Inf you spent to get enough Brainstorm Ideas for it. Even then, bear in mind that if you sell the Rare, you're losing 10% of the value of the sale in auction house fees, so buying bunches of them and rolling them to Rare Salvage for resale probably isn't a good way to make any amount of money.
ENHANCEMENT BOOSTER, CATALYST, CONVERTER, and UNSLOTTER
I've already discussed these at length in my other guides, such as How to Make Millions on the Market in Minutes or A Reward Merit Vendor Primer, so there's not really much point in rehashing those here. Suffice it to say that, if you're wanting to buy these and don't feel like typing the name in the search box, this is where you would go to find them.
SUPER PACKS: HEROES AND VILLAINS, ROGUES AND VIGILANTES, and LORDS OF WINTER
Finally, we come to the biggest thing that a lot of people don't even know about. Super Packs are basically loot crates, and back in live days, the Heroes and Villains Pack (the only one that was available before shutdown) cost the equivalent of $1 each through NCSoft's Paragon Market. Since everything in the game is free now, the versions of them available in Homecoming just cost Inf—the Heroes and Villains and Rogues and Vigilantes packs sell for 10 million each, and the Lords of Winter pack sells for 25 million (except during the Winter Event, when it falls to 10 million like the others). Unlike the other forms of salvage mentioned, the prices of these do not usually vary; they are not available outside the auction house, and they're seeded at the aforementioned rates. (Occasionally someone buys one and changes their mind, and lists it for less to try to get most of their money back, but this does not happen often.)
The Heroes and Villains packs and Rogues and Vigilantes packs are similar to each other—they contain from zero to two random ATOs each, as well as a number of other handy temp powers, Inspirations, Salvage, or Merits. The Lords of Winter pack contains winter-related Enhancements and items, as well as some of the same filler from the other packs.
It is possible to make a profit by buying up these packs, opening them, and selling the Enhancements and other sellable items—especially if you convert the ATO Enhancements until they become one of the Brute sets, which are in the highest demand due to Brutes' immense popularity in fire farming. It's not as fast as some other methods, and you have to buy a lot of them to be able to make a lot of Inf, but it's simple to do and doesn't take a whole lot of time. There are also some particular items and powers you can get from Super Packs that aren't available anywhere else in the game—the Experienced power that grants five bars of Patrol XP, the Windfall power that boosts Inf and drops for the next hour, or the Revival and Restore self- and ally-rez powers, for example. Stocking up on Super Packs is the only way you can also stock up on those.
Another useful thing is, Super Packs are a great way to simplify the process of slotting your characters out on ATO or Winter Enhancement Sets. Rather than worry about placing bids for all the Enhancements you want, that may not even be on sale or may take ages to come in, you can simply buy enough Super Packs to have the quantity of Enhancements you want, then use Enhancement Converters to roll those Enhancements until they're exactly what you want. (This is especially feasible with the Lords of Winter packs, since there are so few Winter Enhancement Sets that it won't take many Converters to get you to the one you want.) Not only do you get exactly the Enhancements you want for about the same amount you'd have spent to buy them individually, but you also got all the other stuff in those packs for free. (See my "Making Millions" guide for an explanation of how to use Converters in this way.)
I also like to use Super Packs as easy-to-hand-out prizes when playing hide and seek, or giving gifts to lowbies—they're handy 10 million Inf chunks of value you can just drag and drop onto someone without having to fuss with the trade interface.
If you didn't already know about all this nifty obscure stuff that's also available on the auction house, hopefully this guide has opened your eyes to some new possibilities. Please be sure to check out my other guides, linked below! And as always, if I made a mistake or left something out, please leave a follow-up comment and I may update the guide to take it into account. Thanks for reading!