Long Beta Patch 14 Write Up

Beta Patch 14 Initial Impressions

Interested in what I thought about the patch? Overall, it is looking like a much better Diablo 3 than we've ever seen before! Monsters hit way harder, there are more enemies in general, loot is more explosive, and hopefully the auction house is looking better (it still wasn't available by the time I went to bed after playing last night). Gold seems easier to get (level 1 mobs dropping 7 gold seems like a substantial increase) but I felt that in Beta Patch 13 gold was actually too valuable. On the gold collecting note, white items give far less than they did before... as in 75% less! Looks like Blizzard really doesn't want you picking up even the "Superior" and similarly titled white items.

This Barbarian has 0% Gold Find!
NOTE: It looks like gold find on some pieces of gear was greatly reduced. This may be an additional balancing trick to offset the natural increase in gold dropped by monsters and pots in Beta Patch 14.

Vendors seem to have much more valuable gear as you level up, whereas before they seemed to be around the same levels no matter if you were level 1 or 13.

Unburied can fit through small arched doorways now... which makes them so much scarier. They also hit like trucks, taking my barbarian down to 75% health in one swing even at level 8. Luckily you can still kite them, albeit it takes much longer to kill them this way and kiting can lead to running into more packs of enemies.

Champion mobs drop two magic items it seems like now, as opposed to normally one in the last version of the game. I had a really crazy fight at one point against 4 teleport zombies on my level 6 Barbarian. I just kept kiting and slamming them, relying on the occasional help orb to make up for mistakes while kiting (if you try kiting teleport mobs, it's not fun!).

There are also Resplendent Chests... which drop awesome loot! Though they are a bit bigger than normal chests and sometimes the gold becomes unreachable as shown in this screenshot. Luckily the three magic items inside were easy to grab!

Resplendent Chest
What I believe has happened is we've been given exactly the same game, up to level 13, that the internal testers have over at Blizzard headquarters. They've made quite a few changes based on player feedback, and that's a good thing! Supposedly they are working to implement a change where rare monster champion kills add to the loot chances for boss kills in the same quest area. I think this is an awesome idea that makes killing bosses worthwhile after the first time. Otherwise they are just obstacles with no meaning.

We're getting very close to a release date. Closer than ever before. I mean it, this game looks so polished that I can see my reflection in it.

NOTE: I noticed a subtle change for the level 5 craftable boots, namely that they no longer give +% to movement speed. The level 27 ones give 10-11% though, and that appears to be the earliest level boots you can craft with movement speed on them.

The Skeleton King was far harder to defeat, as shown in this video:


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Crafting for Gold and Real Money

Beta patch 14 also had some interesting changes for crafters:

  • Gold cost to craft items reduced.
  • Cost to train Blacksmith doubled.
  • More crafting materials are now required to craft items.
  • Chance to salvage rare crafting materials out of magic items changed from 10% to 5%.
I think that all these changes are going to offset each other in this build. Although training costs more and items take more materials to craft, the cost of actually crafting has been reduced. While there was a reduction of rare crafting item chances per salvaged magic item from 10% to 5%, there are now far more magic items dropping from new chests and champion packs.

Training costs more, but that's just a one time hurdle, not a constant game changer.

As I've mentioned previously, crafting is the new form of gambling in Diablo 3. Of course, crafting in D3 is far easier and less risky than gambling in D2. That being said, there is enough variation in results that the price of crafted items will hold tremendous value.

So how then, do you determine the value of randomly crafted items? It's very similar to the issue that we've been getting closer to solving with the automated "Auction House Viewer" over on the Private Gold Forums.

I'll give you a very simple answer that will always ring true:

"A crafted item will sell for as much as someone is willing to pay for it."

However, experimenting with item prices will prove costly, as each unsold item is 48 hours of wasted auction posting and effectively gimps you by 10% on that auction house.

To determine a price someone is willing to pay, you need to consider what a person wants and how badly they want it. There will always be that one person who wants your piece of gear to complete their set. That's a given, but it's your competition that is the hardest thing to over come in this whole pricing process.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Competition

Determine the number of auctions, how closely their pricing is, and whether you should sneak in between auctions or undercut them all. Resist the urge to buy out cheap items and resell them. It is more cost effective just to place your auction above the lowest price but still low enough to sell.

Example: There are three Lucky Rings with the best gold find amounts possible on them for $4, $6, and $7. It is better to post one for $5.50 then to buy the $4 out and post one or two for $5.50. In fact, if you do see a great deal, like a Lucky Ring for $1.50, buy it out but still only post one Lucky Ring at $5.50. Otherwise you increase the supply which is never a good thing when you are trying to sell something.

Step 2: Know when Most Players Buy and Sell

Understanding when people get online to buy and sell is crucial. I've written about times that players buy and sell already, but here's a simple example. Most players get online to play on weekdays at 3-7PM and buy items they want to use. By 11PM to 2AM they are done playing and posting auctions which they found while playing. So if you find a great item, don't post it at 11PM but rather at 3 PM the following week day.

Step 3: Use Normal Pricing

I know that the concept of selling an item for less than 1 cent below the competition seems to fly in the face of reason, but allow me to change your mind. Letting the competition determine your price by going 1 cent below everyone else is silly because the buyers should be determining your pricing, not the other sellers. If there is enough demand for an item to sell for $10 and there are three up for $7, you can still comfortably place your auction for $10. You know it will eventually sell because that's what players are willing to pay for it. Also, if an item normally sells for $10 but the lowest priced seller is at $15, you will most likely get an unsold auction 48 hours later if you price it at $14.99. Be smart, not greedy.

Mindset of Normal Players

Craft, Craft, Craft. Crap, I didn't get what I wanted. Salvage, Salvage. Craft. Damn, still not what I wanted. What a waste of time/money! I'm going to go to the auction house and buy what I want instead. After I buy what I want, I'll try farming to get some materials to give crafting another go on my next piece of gear.

Mindset of An Auctioneer

Craft, Craft, Craft. Some players will want this, some will want that. Sell, Sell. This one nobody will really want, I'll salvage that one. Time to get some more cheap materials from the auction house in order to continue crafting!

The differences between these two mindsets are huge. I talk about this as well as ways to obtain materials for cheap on the latest Podcast Episode for the Private Forum.

A lot of supply/demand pricing decisions come down to building experience within the game. With just 10 auctions per auction house, having other players to help you learn is essential. Definitely give our Private Gold Forum (see 6 month free offer) a real consideration as we draw closer to the release.

5 comments:

  1. Supposedly they are working to implement a change where rare monster champion kills add to the loot chances for boss kills in the same quest area.

    That sounds awesome, haven't heard this before.

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    1. Here's the link:

      http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4139866860?page=2#22

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  2. When the game goes live do you feel it will be worth crafting while levelling or just straight up selling the materials which you have salvaged?

    Because of the high cost it takes to upgrade the blacksmith and the fact that the items crafted will just be used for levelling. It would mean that these items would be replaced quickly and have a low value to players (I assume).

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    Replies
    1. I think that you should look for walls where you struggle and need to craft or buy gear. Find those points and do the crafting for others for a big payout.

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  3. That's a good tip Markco. I'll be doing active wall evaluation as I outpace most people in leveling.

    Ruler

    ReplyDelete