EDIT: This post was originally written 6 months before Diablo 3 even existed. For a more updated strategy that is making players $5 per 100,000 gold right now, please take a look at: Everyone Can Make Money Playing Diablo 3.
Diablo III's separate auction houses (one for gold, one for real money) is causing quite a stir amongst gaming sites and news organizations alike. The comments made by excited gamers can all be boiled down to two categories:
1. Players are upset that Blizzard is somehow supporting the sweat shops and prisons which have reportedly been used in china to run gold farming businesses in games such as World of Warcraft.
2. Players are rejoicing that they will be able to turn their excess gold into cash while playing the game. In essence, they believe that all players will be able to make money playing Diablo III.
Both of these ideas are misconceptions due to inexperience with manipulating both online and offline economies. As an expert multi-millionaire gold maker in World of Warcraft, which appears to have a virtually identical auction house setup from screen shots of Diablo so far, I am already seeing inconsistencies in these misconceptions. Let's leave misconception number one for another time and instead focus on players incorrectly believing that they will be able to turn their excess gold into real money. I'll then show you my initial theory on how it will be possible to make real money from your Diablo gold.
So Can You Make Money Playing Diablo III?
If you played World of Warcraft, you know that the auction house in that game requires a deposit in order to post items. Diablo will have a real money deposit for posting auctions in the real money auction house as well. You don't get this deposit back unless you sell the item and even then you pay a % fee for your sale. In order to make actual real money from your gold in Diablo III (or items or characters or whatever you intend to sell), you will need to beat both the lost posting fees on unsuccessful sales as well as the auction house cut of your winnings. Oh by the way, Blizzard will also charge a fee every time you remove money from your Blizzard account and transfer it through a yet to be announced third party to your personal bank account. Those are three separate fees you will need to beat in order to make real money playing Diablo III.
Not so easy now is it? Especially if all of Diablo III players are housed on a handful of servers, competition is going to be fierce. To make matters worse, the average player will not watch the auction house frequently enough to understand what they should be charging on any given day for their gold, characters, items, etc. They are going to always post for the lowest amount hoping to cash out right away. Depending on the fees associated with posting, they could lose real money just as often as they make it.
This is where I'm going to come in and help you. I, Markco, pledge to dominate the Diablo III real and gold auction house alike, just as well as I did in World of Warcraft. For starters, I'm going to identify the cycles of Diablo III's auction house, speculate on the best times to buy and sell, as well as help you with finding ways to beat the fees which Blizzard will impose upon all of your auctions. I'll also try my best to discover the best methods for turning your gold into cash, which may involve selling characters, items, or other commodities instead of the gold itself.
I don't like to play games just to make money, so I will focus on ways to earn real money while actually playing Diablo III for the fun of it. What I'll show you over time is how to gauge the flow of the auction house and keep track of how the gold to dollar ratio develops over time. Since players tend to play more on the weekends and less during the week, I can assure you that the value of gold will change drastically during each weekly cycle. Vacation times and summers should also see large differences in value from say a typical school weekday in America. Learning to track these cycles and predict the value of gold days in advance will allow you to not only sell your own gold but also buy out other players' gold stashes to sell later.
Obviously making as much gold as possible from your artisans and slaying monsters will be a part of making real money from your Diablo III gaming, but it won't matter if you're the richest gold tycoon in the game unless you know how to successfully sell your gold off. Many players will make the mistake of amassing gold and then trying to sell it with no concept of how to overcome the Blizzard fees.
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