Beta News: Barbarians, Demon Hunters and Monks Oh My!

2 comments
There has been a plethora of news surrounding Diablo 3. A lot of great news articles were released by Blizzard as well as not so great. The worst of which was the announcement that we'll be waiting a little longer for the release date in early 2012 instead of December of 2011.

Once this information was released and much of the hype surrounding Diablo 3 being available by Christmas faded, many people started emailing me and talking on social media about how Diablo 3 gold tips were a waste of time at this stage in the game's production.

Nonsense. Poppy-cock.

The two biggest news items to come out in the past few weeks by far were the Skill Calculator and Item Database. Both of these things show a real emphasis by Blizzard on making the acquisition of gold an awesome part of the game. With regards to the randomness of item stats, this provides us with an opportunity to manipulate the auction house on so many different levels it's ridiculous; especially materials. The Barbarian's runestones and the Demon Hunter's pet, also show that Blizzard is looking at ways for players to min/max the accumulation of gold through a combination of magic find and runestones.

Regarding auction house beta news, paypal will be taking over the transactions for most currencies for those of us auctioneers who will choose the payout option instead of Blizzard's e-account. That's great news since paypal's service fee for transactions is only 1%. We've heard enough about the auction house on the hardcore difficulty setting to know that there will be hard core black market websites selling gold and other items to hardcore players.

Most importantly, this news is teaching us how to think about Diablo 3, which will be far different than any other economy we've ever played before. Things like the multiple layers of auction house fees and complexity of the economy will be new to many players of virtual money systems. There is no such thing as too much preparation when it comes to this. So get studying and learning now; it's training for what's to come, even if the game is completely different on release day as it is now in Beta.

One thing that will never change is the predictability of the player base. I'll try my best to educate you and discuss with you exactly how players will react to different circumstances in Diablo 3. We're in Beta, but that doesn't mean we have to twiddle our thumbs until the game's official release in 2012.

One Word Will Show Why the RMAH Rocks

3 comments
That word is "Random". Random properties could turn your Andariel's Visage into the best in slot legendary item for one type of player and not so great for another. The huge number of builds and gear setups make for a rather diverse crowd of buyers. What's more, you are never gauranteed to create the best in slot items when you finally collect enough materials to make them.
Add in the fact that just because you craft an item doesn't mean that you have the best enchants and gems in it yet creates a rather healthy environment for a stable economy. Yes, "Random" will be the number one reason why the Diablo 3 auction house will be a success.
For this reason, I am also predicting that materials will be the secret to success on the Diablo 3 RMAH. Why? Because all these players gambling on random properties to create the perfect item will make excellent buyers of your raw materials. Sure, they could get lucky and make more than you in the short term, but odds are in your favor for the long term. What's more, you'll have a steady stream of buyers whereas people selling perfect loot will not always have that, nor will they have a steady supply.
 My focus will remain on finding ways to get cheap materials and then flip them outright or modify them in some way.

Demon Hunter Ferret Pet Grants 40% Bonus Gold

9 comments
Posted Image 
Looks like the Barbarian gold build isn't the only class with some gold farming love. Behold, one of the most statistically beneficial runestone/skill combinations in the game for farming gold itself:
Demon Hunter talent "Companion" with the Alabaster runestone summons a Ferret Companion (instead of a Raven which this ability would normally call upon). The ferret collects gold for you & increases gold found on monsters by 40%.

Wow! Need I say more? Unlike the barbarian who must give up 3 runestones on three otherwise powerful abilities, the Demon Hunter only has to give up one to get a very powerful bonus. Granted, the Barbarian's build increases Treasure found which is most likely items as well as gold, it's hard to argue with wanting to get 40% more gold from monster kills. No word on whether this affects boss kills. I'm assuming that it only affects your loot and not your party's loot.
The wolf was the only companion mentioned who had a limit to how long he could be out killing things before needing to be recast, so I'm also assuming that the Ferret only has to be cast again if he dies.

Diablo 3 Beta Items and Gear

6 comments
You can already check out all the items in the Diablo 3 Beta.

Yeah, it's as awesome as you'd think. Go check it out and leave a comment of what you think of the Beta items so far. There's everything from gems to weapons to materials.

Some of the data is incomplete, but enough is there to start theory crafting and coming up with a ton of new ideas. If you're bored waiting for a beta key then this new Beta Item Database was made for you to pass the time.

What do I personally think about all these items all at once? It's awesome. There are so many types of items and so many different ways for them to all interact with each other that I'm getting very excited for Diablo 3's official release date. Some people may look at the complexity of this system and think that it's going to be difficult to dominate the auction houses, but in actuality, the more complex the system the easier it is to make money. Basically, a complex system is nothing more than a barrier to entry that aids in enhancing the profits of those auctioneers who actually take the time to master it.

End result? There's a lot more than just gold to sell in this game. You will definitely be able to make real money playing Diablo 3, it's no longer a question, just a matter of how much.

Diablo Day Traders Episode 2

0 comments
 Stay a while and listen...

Diablo Day Traders - Episode 2 Part 1


Diablo Day Traders - Episode 2 Part 2


For more episodes of the youtube podcast, please check out the Diablo Day Traders home page on this blog.

Pro Gamers Making Money Playing Hardcore Mode

2 comments

The following post is an email I received from  Lafu (2 time rank 1 wow player), a recent subscriber here at Diablo 3 Gold Guide Blog. I am publishing his ideas so that you can discuss and add to what he's come up with regarding Hardcore Mode and Pro Gamers making money from it.

Hardcore Economy: Superior for "Pro" Gamers?

Rather than simply offer my opinion I would like to provide my thoughts for both sides of the argument and generate some intelligent discussion on the topic.  Of course these points should not be taken purely individually and one side chosen as the victor.  Rather, we should evaluate the ramifications of each point and combine them to formulate our opinion on the overall benefit or disadvantage the Hardcore economy will have for players looking to turn a profit. 

We'll begin with why the Hardcore economy could potentially be disadvantageous for a player looking to profit.

Black Market - First we must define the term “Black Market.”  With it’s inherent negative connotation, the Black Market represents an unorganized (and/or organized) “underground” community that operates “illegally” (outside of the intentions of the game design) to provide services to a demanding player base that desire to spend real currency on virtual goods.

We will use the term “Black Market” to define both organized groups of people (websites) and individual sellers and buyers.

Without a Real Money Auction House for Hardcore players, both sellers and buyers will be forced to operate inside of this market in order to make transactions with real money.

Now let’s discuss why the Hardcore economy may be disadvantageous to both sellers and buyers:

    -  Security - Inherent with a black market that there will be security risks associated with sales. 

    -  Matchmaking - Difficulty for sellers to find buyers, and buyers to find legitimate sellers.

The inherent risk associated with buying and selling could prove to drive demand for purchasing virtual goods with real money down, or at least prevent you average hardcore player from finding buyers, thus lowering the overall money flowing through the market.  There is also the historical problem with “black market” websites taking a large portion of the profits for themselves making selling items simply not worth the time investment.  Will these sites dominate, or will the average seller be able to find buyers on their own?  Or will profits be large enough due to the inherent item value of Hardcore loot to make everyone a winner?

    -  Item mortality - The very fact that Hardcore loot has an inherent mortality may prove to lessen     the value of loot gained.  This same mechanic has another potential consequence of serving as a     item regulation control, thus lowering the supply of Hardcore loot available and driving prices up.    Do we see how complicated this discussion can become?

    -  Legal ramifications - Will the seller be held liable if the Hardcore character they sold an item to     dies and essentially loses the money they spent to purchase the virtual merchandise?


I’m certain there are more negative points to address, but I’ll leave those up to the future evolution of the discussion.


Now let’s contemplate the positive aspects of the Hardcore economy for a “pro” gamer:

    -  Difficulty -  The difficulty of Hardcore will be advantageous for an experienced gamer because it     will have the inherent benefit of weeding out “low wage” farmers who, in general, play with higher     ping, less quality gaming experience, and inferior character builds/gearing. 

    -  Rarity - As a result of the difficulty inherent in Hardcore, the rarity of items will serve as a     function to drive prices up.  Identical loot gained in Hardcore will almost certainly be more     valuable than it’s Softcore counter-part.

    -  Legitimization of Item Purchasing -  The very fact that a RMAH exists on the Softcore side of     the game will almost certainly influence the behavior of buyers who play Hardcore.  They will     rationalize their decision to buy virtual goods on the “black market” because of this very reason.


I’ll conclude the initial discussion with  the same question:  will an above average, or put another way, “pro” gamer playing Hardcore in Diablo 3 be able to make a decent buck in the Hardcore economy?  Will the negative aspects of the “Black Market” (seller medium taking a large cut of potential profits from the actual farmer and sells the merchandise at a premium, legal issues, etc.) overwhelm the market and prove to be too great of a hindrance?  I simply don’t know, and maybe no one does, but it’s extremely interesting to contemplate.

Why I Don't Care About My Competition

3 comments
The discussion of the impact of having so many players on the same auction house has come up on this blog, on forums throughout the Diablo 3 community and everywhere in between. Will it be a detriment to have potentially millions of players accessing the same auction house? Blizzard has stated that the RMAH will be broken up by currency and we don't even know if players will have "servers" in the game. Perhaps a server implementation similar to Starcraft 2 will appear for Diablo 3 as well, where players are not restricted to team up with people on their character's same server.

Regardless of how servers are implemented and how many people are able to access an auction house, the all mighty concept of Supply and Demand will not care. It will remain steady despite your expectations for the opposite to occur (if you have these assumptions).

Competition

This is the primary complaint to having so many people on the same auction house. When someone mentions "more competition" people freak out and think it is a negative thing. WRONG. More players means not just more sellers, but also more buyers! Players who are used to World of Warcraft servers expect their auctions to be up for hours or even days at a time before selling. If there are lots more buyers then your auctions could potentially get purchased faster. Supply and demand will determine the prices and no one knows yet what the supply and demand will look like in Diablo 3. It could favor the buyer or the seller, or both from time to time. We just don't know yet!

Competition is simply a bi-product of excess supply, but the demand is what decides how much of the competition makes a profit from their auctions.

Demand

The real question in predicting the success of the Diablo 3 auction houses is not how much competition there will be, but rather, how much demand there will be. Especially on the RMAH where everyone will be hoping to make a quick buck, demand is still very hard to speculate on.

I don't CARE about my competition, I only care about the ratio of demand to supply and competition is a small part of that equation. I don't care if a hundred people post under my current auction if the demand is there to buy them out and eventually my own auction as well.

Auction House Fees Crushing Diablo 3 Dreams

7 comments
I've heard many people say on forums, blogs and websites that the equation for making money playing Diablo 3 will be farming gold and then selling the gold for dollars on the RMAH. But does this same equation hold true for turning farmed items into gold and then selling the gold? I'm going to show you some hypothetical numbers that could prove otherwise.

For the sake of making the mathematics of this example easier to compute, let's pretend that 1 gold is worth 1 penny when it's sold on the RMAH. If you were to farm up 100 gold and sell it on the RMAH you would receive $1 and then fees would take away let's say 10% of your earnings so you would end up with 90 cents. So far, so good. Now let's look at items assuming the same gold to dollar ratio of 1 gold to 1 cent.

If you farm an item that normally sells for 100 gold on the auction house and post it for auction, then when you get your gold back you will have 90 gold for the item after fees. If you then post your 90 gold on the RMAH and it sells, then you will end up with 81 cents. That's a loss of 19 cents because you turned the item into gold on the gold auction house and then tried to sell your "profits" on the RMAH.

What if that same item you farmed could be sold on the RMAH for 95 cents? Would it be better to sell it there instead of turning it into a hundred gold for the purpose of making money? Damn right it would be smarter to just sell it as is instead of turning it into gold.

This was a very simple example, and when you take into account other options like salvaging with the nephalem cube, things get even more complicated. Do yourself a favor and figure out the math, because all these fees and mistakes selling your items make a huge difference over a long period of time.

Always remember the fees of the auction house when you calculate your profits, and same goes for the fees of cashing out through paypal. Do the math, calculate the fees and try your best to hit as few fees as possible when selling or buying items.

Auction House Search Tool and Choke Points

1 comments



"Smart" Search

The new auction house search tool looks amazing... for the player using it, but not for auctioneers like you and I. Why? Because it looks like you can only search for upgrades for your own characters on your battle.net account. That helps you buy items you personally need, not what other players need. That's not to say I won't be using and praising the new "smart" search tool, but its purpose will be only for equipping my characters, not for selling to others.

What if I am a max level Barbarian looking to see what the best level 29 helmets are for weaker Barbarians? Maybe I know that most players are moving on to their third act by level 29 and could use some new gear, how could I search for those items?

I'm not shouting that the world is ending or anything like that, as I truly believe that Blizzard will create a broader, less "smart" search tool within the auction house, but I can't help but wonder if maybe they're considering not doing this. So no, don't go attempting to create a character of every class at each major step in the game (think the next act or difficulty mode for a player). I'm sure that since Blizzard has implemented great search features in World of Warcraft that we will see better versions of these created for Diablo 3.

I would be absolutely shocked if basic functionality such as custom searches for any level items were not implemented. Assuming that they will be, you will want to find the choke points in the game.

What's a choke point? Simply put, a choke point is any spot in the game where frustration will lead to players entering the auction house for a solution. These choke points could be for materials to level artisans at a difficult spot in the game or perhaps a new act where monsters are tough enough to warrant the purchasing of new gear.

Find these choke points and you'll find new markets to exploit and dominate on the Diablo 3 Auction Houses, both for gold and real money.

For more information on the auction house's functionality, see Blizzard Official Functionality.

Hard Core - Diablo 3 Black Market

3 comments
Diablo 3's Hard Core will be the most challenging (and rewarding) game mode available to players. It's definitely something you want to avoid until you have mastered at least the basics of playing Diablo 3. Unlike the normal version of the game, Hard Core will have permanent death. That's right, one death equals game over. You lose everything from gold to items to maybe even artisan training. Whether artisans will be account wide on Hard Core is yet to be seen, as well as rather we would have a shared stash. I feel that both of those things take away from the "alone" feeling you get from such an experience as perma-death. The more alone you feel, the more pressure and difficulty in the game. All you can rely on to survive then is your patience, intelligence, and quick reflexes.

Before I get into speculation and reading into conversations on the Diablo 3 Official Forums, let me state the one thing I do know about the differences between normal and Hard Core D3:

Every aspect of Hard Core will be separate from Normal Diablo 3.

This statement was made several times by blue posters on the forums and I believe it to be 100% true. With this assumption in place, we can answer some of the pressing Hard Core questions many fans have been asking (including myself).

Hard Core will have a gold auction house as well as a standard trading system. The only difference between Hard Core and Normal mode will be that you won't have the option to use a real money auction house. So unless you get into the Black Market, you won't be able to make any actual cash from playing Hard Core.

Let's look at the supply and demand behind players wanting to still purchase items for money even though they are playing Hard Core mode and could lose it all at any moment.

  • Every player will want the prestigious rewards from successfully playing Hard Core.
  • The very best players will be able to farm Hard Core and sell to newer players.
  • Very few Hard Core players will want the very best loot; most will just purchase loot to help them skip low level content and get back to where they died.
  • Of all the commodities you could sell to Hard Core players, gold is probably the most useful.
  • Players will want item enhancements while leveling such as gems to give them the best chance of survival.
  • Most players will choose survivability items over Magic Find ones.

Just from brainstorming these ideas I believe that low level gear, item enhancements, and gold will be the easiest things to sell to Hard Core players on the inevitable Black Market. Off the Black Market, you can basically sell any of these things with the exception of gold on the Hard Core gold auction house.

In Hard Core mode, I do not foresee materials being the secret to making a killing like they will be in normal mode.

So what will the Black Market actually be comprised of? Players and websites willing to trade real money for Hard Core items and gold. Since the game will feature a player to player trading mechanism, this will be easily achievable through third party channels. It saddens me a little that Diablo 3 doesn't have a RMAH for Hard Core, as now we will still have the Black Market that Blizzard was hoping to eliminate in many respects.

One other aspect of the Black Market that I haven't seen anyone discuss is the idea of professional players selling their Hard Core accounts. You can only sell characters on normal mode, so I would expect the Black Market to sell whole accounts to get around this.

What are your thoughts on Hard Core mode, the auction house, and the inevitable Black Market?

Will you choose to enter the Black Market? Beware, Blizzard will most likely make this against their TOS. I think that there will be plenty of money to be made in normal mode that such actions would be completely unnecessary and foolish. However, this blog aims to cover every aspect of making real money and gold in Diablo 3, even dominating the auction house through the Black Market.

Diablo 3 Beta Auction House Overview

8 comments
The Diablo 3 Friends and Family Beta is currently down for maintenance... and that's a really good thing for auctioneers like myself who are salivating over the idea of dominating the Diablo 3 Auction House.

The auction house is going live for the first time in the Beta, either as this post goes live or soon thereafter. Let's take a moment to go over what we're expecting from the D3 AH and where our attention should be. Keep in mind that the goal here is not to master the auction house before it even exists, but rather to start thinking the way you need to in order to master it when the game is released for real.


To organize my analysis, I'll use quotes from the official Auction House Services page.


"An Easier Way to Trade"

The Diablo Auction house is going to supposedly make it far easier to trade, both for discarded items you don't need and buying up gear you do. I'm more concerned about what it is players are going to want to buy. As you level your first character, you're going to want to be constantly saying "Is there a reason why I would want to buy item X, if so why?" Just because you don't need an item doesn't mean that someone else does! Keep that in mind when posting your auctions.

"Don't Need it? Put it Up for Auction"

But how do we know the value of an item? If you're leveling for the first time, you definitely will not want to be basing the value of your items on the fact that you simply don't want them. You will want to think about why another player will want your item and to what degree. That's simply supply and demand. If you post randomly, based on the idea that you just want to get rid of the item, then you can be sure that myself or another auctioneer who understands the game will buy you out. Just because you sold an item doesn't mean you received what you should have. You need to understand these gold selling tips and how they apply to all items.

"Amazing Search Functionality"

Apparently you will be able to search for gear that your character needs on the auction house. It's an interesting idea... but who really decides what my character needs? What if I value stats differently than the auction house's new search feature? Perhaps I'm building a critical strike heavy set of gear. Let's say that the piece of gear I'm wearing is level 10 and has +12 critical strike and there's an auction up that's level 8 with potentially +16 critical strike because it has a socket and mine doesn't. I may actually want that lower level item, but how would the auction house's search possibly know that? I'm very skeptical as to the power of this new feature, and looking forward to news on it from the beta. I hope that we will be able to search for what's best for any character class or level, not just based on what our current stats are.

The beta patch notes mention "Slot-based search filters" which I believe means for all gear and levels, not just the results of the fancy new search feature.

"The Choice is Yours"

Right now, the basic strategy to have Diablo 3 pay you that I hear regarding the two auction houses is "Farm gold and items first, then sell them for money." I believe that there are additional options you may want to consider, especially early on after the game's release. When no one knows the value of items, I am sure that very cheap weapons and gear will appear from players who are interested in making some money off the RMAH or even the gold auction house. Buying out that uber axe of awesomeness for $2.00 and reselling it for $10.00 will be a strategy I look to use the very first day of the game's release. The choice is yours to farm or take advantage of gold farmers.

"Players Only"

Sorry, but I have my doubts about preventing bots in Diablo 3. Sure, you can stop bots playing on manipulated servers and *hopefully* prevent dupes from entering the economy, but how do you stop systems like Glider in World of Warcraft? Any keystroke style software will need to be prevented and Blizzard always seems to be one step behind farmers who use these systems. Even more alarming to me is the lack of addons for Diablo 3's auction houses. I have mixed feelings because on one hand the auction house will require more skill and limit the success of less experienced players, but it will also hinder the mastering of it by the truly gifted gold makers. Finding great deals for flipping will actually require real time and effort, unless of course you know about the cycles of the game. Understanding when players play and don't play due to vacations, attending school, sleeping, etc will prove invaluable for buying and selling auctions. Even still, you will need to invest time in order to maximize your success on the auction house that addons would normally reduce greatly.

"Safe and Sanctified"

The RMAH is going to store your earnings and make payments with either a Blizzard e-account or Paypal. I recommend the Paypal method, and I have some ideas on how to protect yourself from thieves and hackers. First off, educate yourself and don't be stupid about downloading or entering in your personal information on the internet. Second, create a new bank account to connect with a new paypal account for the sole purpose of playing the Diablo 3 auction house. Third, you can get an authenticator either on your phone or a physical one. These actions will minimize your damage should you get hacked.

The RMAH and Paypal are not coming with this newest Beta patch, in fact, we may not see the RMAH until the game is released. What's Blizzard going to do? Give us fake dollars to pretend trade to each other in the Beta? I doubt it.

What are your thoughts on the Diablo 3 Beta Auction House?