Using Followers to Make Gold

In Diablo 2, Mercs were used in gold farming strategies. Like the Mercs of old, Followers can be given equipment and your stats will be enhanced by a percentage of theirs. Due to this fact, I believe that players will use Followers in various farming builds.

Here is an example strategy of how the Barbarian can become a "Gold Farm Barb" in Diablo 2. I'll then go into my own prediction for building a Diablo 3 "Gold Farm Barb."

"Goldfind Barb Items-- (18 Lem runes total)
Weapon1 (hand1): 6os crystal sword (fill with 6 lems)
Weapon2 (hand2): 6os crystal sword (fill with 6 lems)
Switch: +3 warcry weapons, or Heart of the Oak (KoVexPulThul) / Call to Arms (AmnRalMalIstOhm)
Helmet: Crown of thieves or a 2os circlet with goldfind (fill with lems)
Armor: Wealth Armor (LemKoTir)
Belt: Goldwrap
Gloves: Chancies
Boots: Boots with 70+ Goldfind
Rings: Dwarfs
Amulet: Magic ammy with gold find
Inventory: 8x 35%+ goldfind gcs, 10x 8%+Goldfind scs, Gheeds, Barb torch, Anni

Merc: Level 85+ Nightmare Act 2 Offensive--
Wealth Armor (LemKoTir), Crown of thieves, and a weapon with high damage such as ethereal Insight (RalTirTalSol).

Skill Setup--
Battle orders: 20
Find item: 20
Leap: 20
Shout: 20
Extra points go to: Increased Speed & Natural Resistance
Do Nightmare Travincal runs.
Merc is primary killer.
Use Leap to knockback the monsters making it easier for your merc.
After you kill all the council members, use Find Item on corpses to get more gold.
Merc's goldfind is added to Barb's for the kills.
Monster drops should be approx. 30k-40k gold"

OK so that was how it used to be done in Diablo 2. What about Diablo 3? Take a look at this screenshot of the Barbarian's Grim Harvest Runestone on Threatening Shout:

I haven't seen a clarification for this, but I believe that "treasure" in this sense refers to both Gold and Magic items. 5% is pretty nice, especially if you group up enemies and shout them all. You could have a Templar that taunts to be your tank or do the tanking yourself and use the Scoundrel or Enchantress as backup. I'm sure that there will be a combination of skills, follower, and gear that becomes standard for the "Gold Farm Barb", but the principle of how it's done should remain the same across any variations.

Step 1: Get the best gold find and magic find gear possible for your barbarian.
Step 2: Get a Templar with good survivability gear that also has gold and/or magic find stats.
Step 3: Spec the Templar for tanking and yourself for Grim Harvest on Threatening Shout, with the rest of your abilities focused on damage instead of survivability.

If people use this strategy and it turns out that you just aren't killing stuff fast enough, players will try to spec their barbarian for tanking and use the Scoundrel or Enchantress for damage dealing.

What are your thoughts on this kind of strategy?

Diablo 3 Release Date Prediction in April

I did not in my wildest dreams imagine that Diablo 3 would be released before the end of April. But as I look at the evidence quickly piling up, it looks to be a fairly accurate prediction. At the very least, we should see a release date announcement made around March 5th.

So how can I be so sure? Let's examine the evidence at hand!

Jay Wilson recently said that the Beta is good, but that the version of Diablo 3 they are testing internally is great. He stated that the rune system was in a good place and ready for release. He closed saying that he was going to announce the Diablo 3 release date as soon as he had it. The lead developer just told us that the game systems are nearly finished!
The only core mechanic being tested at the moment is the real money auction house. They are stress testing the beta version currently, but keep in mind that a more robust version is being tested internally. They probably don't care that there are so many issues with the current AH, simply because they are focused on monitoring packet exchange code and how the servers handle various amounts of stress. It's important that they do a good job here, or else duping will be possible! With just stress tests remaining, I cannot imagine that it will take longer than 1-2 weeks to finish with testing (if there are no hiccups).

Paypal added new documentation to their user aggreement that discusses a certain "mass payer" category. It's my belief that this new page explains exactly how Blizzard will pay you and what fees will be billed by Paypal for RMAH transactions. This change goes live April 1st. has already completed its Battle.Net Balance feature to prepare for the RMAH, starcraft 2 map sales, and wow game cards. We've also seen various updates to how players communicate with each other across different games.

1. All major game systems are ready to go in the internal version of the game (keep in mind that this version is not what we see in beta).
2. Only the RMAH remains to be stress tested in beta.
3. Paypal is ready to handle RMAH transactions.
4. is ready for the RMAH.

My prediction for Diablo 3 Release Date:

Release Date will be announced by March 5th.
Game will be released by April 30th.


I wrote this post last Friday, but since then quite a few blogs and websites have made similar predictions (not all for the same reasons. A dutch toy company even put a poster up for Diablo 3 being released on April 19th. It's comical, but I actually believe that the toy store is closer than people realize to predicting the actual date.

As we get closer to a solid release date, I am picking up the pace for writing strategies in the Forum and Gold Guide. I've tried my best to create methods which no one has ever mentioned anywhere else. Thank you to those that have purchased the guide and taken part in the forum. We're building something truly incredible together!

Was Wrong That I Posted This


In Diablo 3, there are 10 auctions allowed at one time per auction house. There's also no posting fee. What do you get when you have these two rules? DISASTER. Absolute disaster and people don't even see it yet. But I do, I see exactly what's going to happen to quite few people. Some won't care, but you will, because it will seriously gimp your auction house activities.

Here's what I'm talking about, it's a feeling you will get; like a little voice in your head saying "It was wrong that I posted this." Let's pretend that you spend an hour farming. You have the following items afterwards:

  • 22,000 Gold
  • 12 Subtle Essences (from salvaged items)
  • 1 Fallen Tooth (from salvaged items)
  • 1 Axe of Awesomeness
  • 6 sort of OK pieces of gear that probably won't sell

Now, I ask you, what happens after you list the 22,000 gold, 12 subtle essences, fallen tooth, and axe of awesomeness? You're going to think... "Oh, I still have 6 slots for auctions on the RMAH. I can fill those spots with the 6 sort of crappy pieces of gear I have left. Yeah, there's no fee so I'll post them."

You're wrong, there is a fee. It's called TIME.

Once you post an item, you have 5 minutes to cancel it. If you don't cancel then you are stuck waiting for it to end until 48 hours have passed. There is no way to set an auction's duration to less than 48 hours, and until then your slot is taken (unless someone does purchase it).

So you posted and filled all 10 auctions you're allowed on the RMAH. The next day is Friday night, one of the biggest buying days of the week, if not the biggest. This time while farming, you find a Shield of Awesomeness. This shield is the most awesome shield of all the shields of awesomeness. The rolls on it are perfect and it even has a socket for one of its random properties (sockets are just one of many affixes an item can have, something you'd know if you were a member of our forum). However, your gold doesn't sell, your essences don't sell, and your fallen tooth doesn't sell. Last but not least, your 6 pieces of OK gear haven't sold.

The end result? You're stuck hoping for a slot to open up while your best hours for selling pass on by.

Keep this in mind when you finally get to play the RMAH after release (and the gold ah for that matter). There IS a reason to keep some slots open as long as you plan ahead and understand the cycles of when players like to buy or sell.

Meet Your Admins

Today I'd like to introduce to you the admins of the Diablo 3 Gold Forum. These admins, from various gaming backgrounds, have done a tremendous job helping to fill the forum with content and moderate it. Between the admins and dozens of forum users, there are already over 500 posts. Not bad for a forum that's just barely a week old. There's already plenty of topics being discussed there that aren't present anywhere else, so you definitely want to check it out if you get the chance.

We are already working on our combined strategy for making tons of money when Diablo 3 is released. To get access to our ideas and take part in the discussions, please do not hesitate to Join the Diablo 3 Gold Forum and save $54 for ordering today!

And now, in alphabetical order, meet the leaders of the Diablo 3 Private Forum:

Cash: Diablo3Team

Cash focuses on team gameplay and makes an excellent addition to the forum. He plans to run with a hardcore group of players to exploit Diablo 3's most lucrative farming spots.


He's still waiting on a Beta key, but Hendie is doing his best to contribute and add to the conversation. He has a pretty epic background in WoW, like being a rank 1 Gladiator in Season 8. I expect for him to fill our PvP area with awesome content in the months ahead.

Hypn: @Hypn

Hypn always seems to have the next new idea before anyone else. He's been data mining, researching, and writing some awesome posts.

Mokhtar: Mokhtar Guides 

If Mokhtar is anything, he's a practical auctioneer. He comes up with great ideas backed by facts and not just opinion or theory. His posts on farming and crafting have made for some awesome reads. He also has experience with multiboxing.

Ray: Diablo III Blog

Best part about Ray is his attitude. He stays positive and helps to impose that attitude on others, in a very good way. His work on the Beta auction house has led to a lot of new ideas and theories about arbitrage between the gold ah and RMAH.

RGDiablo3: RG on Youtube

Our newest admin who just joined yesterday, Ray hasn't had a chance to really get going yet, but his youtube videos are consistently fun and educational. We're looking forward to seeing him become a great admin at the gold forum.

SPeeD: @TCBayens

At the gold forums SPeeD is on a roll. He's been posting quite a bit about item affixes, such as which ones players will want to buy and how items actually get their names. He has the most years invested in gaming out of all the admins, and if I tried to list everything he's played then I'd probably be here all day!


Twisted is a crafty and thoughtful auctioneer. He's made quite a few excellent observations about Gold Find and written about clever methods for using auction house game mechanics to your advantage.

Click this link to read more about the current special offer for joining the forum, become a member, and help to support the growing community. There is no other place that even comes close to the amount of knowledge that is quickly accumulating at this forum. Best part is, we're only getting started.

One of the things I do for this forum is record my thoughts on the auction house every few days (1-2 times per week). I try very hard to make this podcast thought provoking and a little entertaining, which I think adds a lot for people who want to listen while playing.

WARNING: The 6 months free forum deal will be greatly reduced or even removed once the Diablo 3 release date is announced. When you decide to join is up to you, but just keep this in mind and do your best not to miss out on this incredible deal.

RMAH Guide: Beating Fees When Crafting

The Real Money Auction House has seen quite a few changes from its conception to the present beta patch 13. As of right now, there are definitely advantages to analyzing how the fees of using the RMAH work. Let me show you an example of how understanding the fees enables you to save money.

Buy Essences
  • -buy gear from ah for salvaging
  • -buy essences from gold ah in cycles
  • -buy crafted gear from vendors for salvaging

  • -craft gear that players need, want, and desire. But mostly desire.
  • -craft gear that will show up first with the auction house search features.
  • -craft gear that farms will want (magic find + gold find together).
  • -craft gear for players entering choke points

Two Options for Selling
  • -Sell on Gold AH (15% fee) then RMAH (15% fee)
  • -Sell on RMAH ($1.25 fee)

If you go the gold before RMAH route, then you have to eat a 15% fee + a later 15% fee on gold sales. By selling armor straight up, you only pay a $1.25 fee instead. Here's some example math to better explain my point.

Let's say you craft an awesome chest piece and sell it for 5,000 gold. (assume gold = $1 on RMAH). You get back 4,250 gold after the sale. You then sell the gold on the RMAH for $4.25 total. Your end result is $3.61. Also of note, is the fact that this process could take two whole auction house cycles (96 hours!) at worst.

If you cut out the middle step and just sell the gear for $5, you end up making $3.75. That may not seem like a big difference, but in terms of money and time it really adds up! You potentially cut your time waiting for that $3.75 in HALF as well as making slightly more than the gear -> gold -> dollars route.

This is certainly something to consider when deciding how to go about selling your crafted gear (and other items too!).

Diablo 3 Carnival: Release Date From Soon to Near

The Diablo 3 Blogging Carnival is once again coming up!

For March 1st, I would ask that bloggers and readers alike send in links to posts revolving around strategies for playing the auction house in the first month of Diablo 3. What's your "entry strategy" to the markets, keeping in mind the recent changes from Beta Patch 13?

If you haven't seen it already, take a look at Jay Wilson's latest post about Diablo 3 's release date going from "soon" to "near." For this reason, I think it's time to think about how we can make gold and real money when the game comes out!

Remember, you don't even have to be a blogger to send me a link to a post regarding this carnival. If you see someone has written something interesting about this topic, just send me a link! Also, if you don't have a blog but want to share your ideas with the community, I am more than willing to publish well thought out "mini-posts" sent in by readers of this site.

Thanks for your participation, both new and old carnival members alike! Let's hope for a release date announcement next week!

For the comments on today's post, tell me, how are you preparing for the Diablo 3 Release Date? Are you thinking about stockpiling lots of beef jerky and mountain dew? How about buying new computer equipment? Personally, I'm trying really hard to get into shape. I'm actually training for... TOUGH MUDDER. Think about it, how many professional gamers have you seen who were overweight? Honestly, not that many, and there's a reason for that. Working out gives you a lot of energy, improves your reflexes, and overall makes you a better gamer.

PS: Once again I want to remind you that as soon as Diablo 3's release date is announced, I will be increasing the price of the Diablo 3 Gold Guide and Forum Deal. Keep this in mind and don't miss out!

Paypal Policy Update for Diablo 3 Release Date?

Hey everyone, this is a special announcement post. If you would like to read today's normal post, go to RMAH Guide: 4 Economic Principles.

Could the Latest Paypal Changes be a sign of release? As you all know by now, Paypal will be the method gamers use to cash out from the RMAH. I have been actually waiting and hoping for a policy change at Paypal, because it has been inevitable ever since Paypal accepted the  opportunity to integrate with Blizzard Entertainment / Activision.

What was discussed in Paypal's recent policy update?

Well, Paypal added some new concepts to their policy, such as the "mass payer" category. If you are a mass payer (Blizzard basically), then you will pay a 2% fee per transaction up to $1. This is why Blizzard has chosen to go with a $1.25 posting fee. They are basically making a quarter or more on every sale. That's for the United States, but for foreign currencies, mass payers will owe 2% up to $20.00 (after converting to US currency of course).

Unless Paypal will have a special user aggreement for Diablo 3's RMAH, these changes mean that Blizzard could actually lose money on foreign transactions. If the fee is $1.25 and a foreign player outside of the United States sells any item for more than $64, Blizzard actually loses money!

I'm sure this won't be an issue though, as the vast majority of transactions on the RMAH for all countries will most likley be under $10.

What do you think about these recent changes? Are they related to Diablo 3?
Again, this is a special announcement. Today's normal post is RMAH Guide: 4 Economic Principles.

RMAH Guide : 4 Economic Principles to Live By

1. Supply and Demand (Wiki Link)

Understanding supply and demand will put you light years ahead of the average auctioneer next to you. As I've said many times before, the auction house IS NOT A VENDOR. Yet, many players will treat it as such. For these players, they will be at the mercy of the supply and demand cycles which the auction house naturally goes through.

Supply and Demand is a constant balancing act. If at any point this combined pendulum swings in one direction, it will naturally work to get itself back towards the center, sometimes with enough force to swing prices into the opposite direction!

Players who consider the RMAH a vendor just buy or sell based on current prices, with no thought to whether they should wait until a better moment to use the RMAH.

2. Dollar Cost Averaging (Wiki Link)

A perfectly legitimate strategy for playing the stock market (and most likely Diablo 3 as well), Dollar Cost Averaging is one of the lowest risk vs reward methods for making money. You simply buy gold every day or week with a set amount of money. Over time, your average cost to purchase should allow you to sneak ahead of the rest of the marketplace. When the time is such that the price of gold is well above the average price you paid for it, simply sell off and start over.

3. The 80/20 Rule (Wiki Link)

80% of your returns will come from 20% of your investments. In every aspect of Diablo 3, min/maxing is always a factor towards your success. Even down to the most fundamental goal of the game, gearing your character, the 80/20 rule applies.

The trick with the 80/20 rule is using your time wisely. Spending the majority of your time on what works is not good business, but rather overkill. Instead, you should work on spending 20% of your time on what makes you the most money (since that's all that is required) and 80% of your time experimenting with new markets.

4. Diversification (Wiki Link)

I know that the 80/20 rule advice seems backwards, but it really does work. With just 10 auctions per auction house at a time, you cannot afford to limit yourself to one or two core markets. That will leave you high and dry whenever the auction house deals you a bad hand. By diversifying and experimenting with new markets, you can eventually get to the point where every single one of your auctions has a decent chance of making a positive return on your investment. If one or two of your markets go south, the other ones will pick up the slack.

OFF TOPIC: If you have a moment, please listen (yeah it's a complete recording) to the latest version of the Diablo 3 RMAH Guide. Let me know if you think that I'm attracting the right audience for the forums and guide. I'm hoping to attract intelligent, outgoing auctioneers who are willing to learn and share their ideas with the rest of the community. Thank you.

Gold Sinks, RMAH, and Gambling

I lost internet at the house today, so instead of my usual forum and blog wandering, I had to settle for writing in Word for a few hours. One of the things I spent a significant amount of time considering was how Diablo 3's economy is structured. When Blizzard came up with the idea of turning the Diablo 3 franchise into a micro-transaction revenue stream, they seem to have struggled with nailing down exactly how to design the economy.

Diablo 2 Amazon with Long Bow

Oh and I also played a little Diablo 2... because you know that's all you're gonna play when the internet goes out after you own Diablo 3.

The absolute best way to have a thriving economy in a video game is to enable players to buy and sell objects with a limited number of uses. The second best way to enhance an economy is to enable players to buy and sell items that cannot be resold after a single purchase. These two systems of exchange create real value and thrive on forcing players to make decisions with long lasting effects on their game play.

Diablo 3 will not have a "soulbound" feature for items, so permanent gear isn't really a factor. Instead, players will have the incentive to salvage their unwanted gear in order to build more of what they actually want. What's more, if they choose to sell old gear then most likely they will post it for just enough to make some money from it. Wise auctioneers will pick these auctions up and do the work of salvaging for their own purposes.

"Should I spend all my hard earned gold coins on a few potions that keep me alive longer or on gear that I will use for the next two levels?" That's the kind of decision making you want in a video game. In order to facilitate such decision making, games also need to pull money away from players at frequent intervals. This may seem annoying to the player base, but it actually increases the value of the in game currency they collect.

Diablo 3 has gold sinks, but they aren't numerous and some of them go away after a single purchase. For instance, you have artisans that can be leveled once and a shared stash that is also only unlocked once. They both take hundreds of thousands of gold to unlock, but after that point they no longer pull money out of the player's pocket for daily use.

Artisans require that you spend some money each time you craft an item, which is definitely a good way to pull money out of the economy. You also have to pay money to repair your used equipment, which certainly will add up in harder difficulties. But are these handful of gold sinks enough to prevent gold from becoming worthless on the RMAH?

Yes, I believe that these gold sinks are enough. Here's why:

Costing money to craft items is going to save the value of gold in Diablo 3. Do you remember the "gambling" option in the original Diablo? You know, where you could pay a certain amount of gold and get a randomly generated item? That's basically what crafting is in Diablo 3. You select the type of item you want, with a set number of random statistics, and craft away until you get what you need. Each iteration of crafting results in gold lost. Considering the sheer number of random affixes each item can have at later levels in the game, this fee will add up quickly, and most players probably won't even notice until they've drained thousands upon thousands of gold in a single mass crafting session.

One problem I have with the crafting system is that salvaging provides too many materials. I can use the "infinite gold strategy" and craft many more items than was originally intended with my starting materials. If they were to tone this down a little bit in later levels of the game then maybe it won't be a huge issue. But seriously, "gambling by crafting gear" is the biggest gold sink in the game, and one which will drain player's purses for as long as they battle Diablo's minions in the world of Sanctuary.

How do you feel about the economy in Diablo 3? Are there enough gold sinks to keep the price of gold from becoming worthless on the RMAH?

D3 Gold Will Sell Quite Well... At First

Diablo 3 Price of Gold over Time
The above chart is how I envision gold selling just after the release of Diablo 3. At first, gold will rise as players need lots of it to level their artisans. That's the biggest gold sink in the game, but it's also a finite effect that will dwindle as every player finishing leveling each artisan. Once artisans are leveled, gold will slowly but predictably decrease in value over time.

But here's the tricky part. We have to identify when the highest and lowest points will occur.  It doesn't matter so much that we predict the value of gold, but the when.

The High point. I could easily see gold spiking the first week as players begin learning to spend gold on artisans and the auction house. My guess is that will take a minimum of 24 hours, mostly because Normal difficulty is so easy that players just won't care about leveling artisans or buying gear during their first play through. The game is just so fun, who would want to stop during the initial rush of playing for the first time? Eventually though, players will start spending their gold, which will greatly increase the value of it.

The Low point. Then the gold sinks will start drying up. The price of gold will fall, and do so quickly. My guess is that it will take several weeks as a minimum before this seriously effects the markets. This is due to the fact that players play at different speeds and also not everyone will get the game the first day it comes out. Eventually though, there will be enough players who don't have serious gold sinks to cause the price of gold to drop significantly.

How far will gold drop and will it drop to the point of worthlessness? No, I don't think it will get to that point. One of the best gold sinks will be the purchasing of gear on the gold auction house. That will help stabilize the economy more than any other factor. Honestly, the design, functionality, and usefulness of the auction house will determine if gold holds its value over time. If the design sucks, the functionality is lacking, and the usefulness is bogged down by poor development choices, then gold will have trouble staying valuable. You'll also have crafting fees for creating items with your artisan, but more on that tomorrow.

If you're a guide and forum member, you can listen to my recent 6:36 minute podcast on determining the peaks of the gold market.


The Pre-Order (Permanent Guide Access and 6 Month Forum Deal) is increasing from $7 to $17 on 2/22/2012. This is your last chance to get the entire package for just $7. Why is the price going up? I originally intended to shoot for around 50 members long term with the $7 deal. I was hoping to have this number in a month or two, yet we already passed it yesterday in less than a week! Besides the constant and very high demand for this guide/forum, the content within is steadily getting better. All of the expert gamers are producing content, reporting on the beta, and speculating on release strategies. During this past week they've added almost 140 posts just by themselves. Even at $17 this entire Pre-Order is an absolute steal, and if you buy today it's all yours for a jaw-dropping $7. By the time we get to release, this deal will be gone, replaced by the standard price of $47 for the guide alone (not including forum membership).

Possibility of a Diablo 3 Millionaire (Real Money)

Markco's Brain: I wonder if it's possible to become a millionaire playing Diablo 3. Hmmm....

Markco: Stop that, we haven't even had our coffee yet!

Markco's Brain: No really, let's do the math behind whether it's possible to make $1,000,000 in real money playing Diablo 3.

Markco: You do it, I'm getting coffee.

Markco's Brain: Suit yourself... now for some number crunching...

You can only post 10 auctions at a time per auction house (according to the latest Beta Patch 13). Let's pretend that you are able to post and sell 10 auctions every hour when you play. Let's also assume that you can play two hours per day, so that's 20 auctions. With $1.25 fees per auction on top of a Paypal fee, things are looking grim for any wanna-be auctioneers out there.

1,000,000 / 365 = $2740

You have to make TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS PER DAY. Not to mention you have to accomplish this with only 20 transactions each day. That means that all of your transactions must sell for an average of $136.98 each!

/sips coffee

Markco: That's insane!!!

/spits coffee

Markco's Brain: OK, so what happens if we work 4 hours per day on the auction house with 40 transactions sold?

Dollars per transaction:  $68.40

Markco: That's still ridiculous, We're not spending 4 hours a day at this. Why not break things out across a larger span of time? We're going to play this game for quite a few years, in fact, many people will measure their playtime in terms of decades.

Markco's Brain: Wow, you thought of something before I did. Let me have some of that coffee.

If you play the game for 10 years, spending 2 hours per day, then you will have to sell 20 auctions for $13.70 per day. Oh crap, I just realized something...

Markco: What's that?

Markco's Brain: We haven't been calculating the fees from Blizzard and Paypal for cashing out...

Markco: /Facepalm.

That's a lot of work... and it's probably going to cut into our coffee time. What about the average Joe who's plays the auction house casually, yet successfully? Let's do some calculations for that guy instead.

Markco's Brain: Alright, let's say that average Joe spends 1 hour per day playing the auction house. He's pretty good and sells his items for an average of $3.00 each. With fees, that comes to an average of $1.75 per item before Paypal cuts into the proceeds. Paypal takes a fee of $0.30 plus 2.9% per transaction. Not to go too far off topic, but this brings up an interesting point. If $1.25 is the Blizzard fee and you can post for $1.50, won't you lose money once Paypal takes its cut? For this reason I believe that Paypal will have different fee charges than normal transactions with regards to Diablo 3.

For the sake of this experiment, let's pretend that Paypal does take the $0.30 and 2.9% transaction fee per item sold. That means that poor average Joe makes only $1.40 with each sale. He's making $10.40 a day on average.

Markco: So he's not going to reach a million any time soon is he...?

Markco's Brain: At that speed, he'll make $511 per year. To reach a million, he'd have to play for 1,956 more years.

Markco: I guess that means we won't see too many Diablo 3 Millionaires, will we brain?

Markco's Brain: No, probably not.

Beta Patch 13: Tricky RMAH Loophole Exposed

If you aren't up to date on the recent RMAH changes with Beta Patch 13, please get acquainted with them before reading this post. There's also a post from last night with a list of ALL changes to the entire game, including the Rune Skill system.

Now, everyone I've read is focused totally on how the RMAH is going to effect Sellers. I've seen several excellent arguments for why the absence posting fees is a very bad thing, such as the fact that now players can get into undercutting wars with one another with no consequences. I'd like to stop you from panicking by reminding you that there are already restrictions in place which prevent you from canceling and quickly re-listing auctions. There is a time period (it has changed almost every Beta Patch) that you must wait after receiving an item before you can sell it. I am not 100% sure if the wait applies to your own cancelled or finished auctions, but I believe that it will by release. That basically solves the no penalty undercutting war that so many are worried about.

In case you aren't aware of what I mean by an undercutting war, pretend that you have a shiny sword that you are listing for $10. I go on and post my shiny sword for $9. You see that I have undercut you and promptly cancel your auction, then re-list it for $8. I see your clever undercut and respond by re-listing my own for $7. This goes on and on until we reach the $1.50 minimum for auctions.

That sounds like a doomsday disaster scenario for the auction house, unless of course Blizzard implements a system like I have suggested.

With regards to gold, crafting materials, and other commodities, Blizzard is likely going to take a 15% cut of each completed auction instead of enforcing a $1.50 minimum. Since you can't really get a good feel for your competition with commodities, it shouldn't suffer from the same rampant undercutting that non-stackable items will face. That's my humble opinion anyway.

(EDIT: For those who got into Beta last night, please comment with the new system mechanics for gold and commodities. I wrote this post just a few hours before the new patch went live. Thank you!)

There is something to worry about with regards to the $1.50 minimum price threshold. Since stackable items are priced PER item (or 1,000 with the case of gold), each item must be worth at least $1.50 to sell on the RMAH (assuming the $1.50 is enforced for stacking items). What happens if gold doesn't sell for $1.50 per 1,000? It won't be selling at all! This is the only real concern I have, and I hope that the $1.50 minimum will only be for the total amount of money for posting instead of the per item cost for commodities. That way I could post 3,000 gold for 50 cents each and have the total sale be worth $1.50. If Blizzard doesn't do something, and attempts to get people to pay $1.50 minimum per 1,000 gold, it just isn't going to sell. Will this hurt the economy? I'm on the fence about it and it's really not going to fit in well with the rest of this post, so I'll leave the discussion for another day. Other items that stack will just sell on the gold auction house if they aren't worth $1.50 in this hypothetical scenario.

Getting back to the topic at hand, keep in mind that players can only really play 10 markets per auction house at once... MAX. If they wish to double up on certain markets, like posting varying amounts of gold in different quantities or multiple pieces of the same non-stackable item, then they take away their ability to diversify. These limits, coupled with waiting periods before re-posting items, make me believe that constant undercutting will be a very small issue.

Now for the fun part: I'd like to discuss a method for taking advantage of a little fact that no one seems to be discussing at the moment. Buyers have no restrictions on the RMAH. Sure, once you buy an item you cannot re-list it immediately, but who said anything about re-listing that same item. Follow me for this one, it's pretty cool.

There are going to be vendor purchasable items for a set amount of gold. For our purposes, let's pretend that magic items which salvage into Subtle Essences sell for 500 gold from the vendor. Let's also assume that the price of gold is approximately $1.50 per 1,000. With these conditions, we know the following important fact:

For the purpose of obtaining Subtle Essences from Salvaging, we can safely buy any comparable magic item on the RMAH for cheaper than $0.75 or on the gold ah for cheaper than 500 gold.

But wait, there's still another way to grab Subtle Essences! We can just buy any Subtle Essences going for cheaper than $0.75 or 500 gold each. I'm obviously assuming that you will be able to sell stackable items for less than $1.50 per.

Next, we need to find an item which people will pay top dollar for on the RMAH that can be crafted with Subtle Essences. Maybe that's a rare helm* that everyone knows is the best helm in the game for someone leveling from 13-20 or something. Whatever the case, our team of expert gamers at Diablo 3 Gold Secrets does the research and finds a helm that most people want to buy while leveling. We want the helm to appeal to a lot of different classes, so we can focus on a few stats which we know everyone wants. Maybe those stats are Vitality, Gold Find, and Magic Find.

*Rare items like helms take more than just Subtle Essences, such as Fallen Tooth. In this example, I've taken them out to keep the numbers easier to digest. You could technically rely on randomly getting Fallen Tooth from salvaging purchased magic items or figuring out the right price to buy them out at directly.

You probably know the next step, which is that you now just craft away, salvaging any helms which aren't going to sell very well. No wait... why salvage them when you can give selling them a shot? This would be an interesting debate, since you will hurt your ability to diversify if you sell several helms at once. You'll also affect the supply and demand of the helms, which brings your cost down. My recommendation? Only sell the absolute best helms you end up crafting.

What do you do with the rest that weren't really worth attempting to sell? You Salvage them and sell the parts or reuse them on more helms.

So you're probably wondering what's so great about this strategy. First off, it takes advantage of the fact that you can modify items through salvaging even if you just purchased them. You can't resell them immediately, but you can certainly salvage, craft, and instantly sell off the finished product.

Day trading is going to be a hard thing to pull off in Diablo 3, unless of course you take advantage of the fact that you can have an unlimited number of purchases to then craft items for the purpose of reselling.

What do you think of my little loop hole strategy? It's really more of a Shuffle then a loop hole, but it made for a better title, hehe.

Seriously guys, if you're on the fence about joining the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Guide + Forum, you really need to make a decision soon. Once Diablo 3's release date is announced, I will be incrementally increasing the price. Right now, you can lock in permanent guide access for $7 which includes 6 months of free forum time. How much are you saving by taking advantage of this deal early on? A whopping $64. If you wait until just before release, you'll be paying for it big time. This is your fair warning! That being said, thank you so much to the dozens of people that have already purchased the guide. Your support and involvement in this new community goes a long way!

RMAH Restricted: 10 Posts Per Auction House

I've been getting emails from worried auctioneers, people who are afraid of the RMAH system Blizzard is testing with Beta Patch 13. First I'll explain why they are worried, and then I'll go into why I'm cheering for the new system.

Players are fearful that the new RMAH system will limit the amount of money to be made per day and per hour. This of course is due to the 20 auction posting limit (10 per auction house) that Blizzard is imposing in beta patch 13. Instead of being able to post hundreds of auctions across dozens of markets, you will now be forced to carefully choose which markets you enter and how much you will post.

This new system is awesome. On a selfish and personal level, I'm excited by how different it is from WoW. I would have been bored to tears (except when I emptied my completed auctions into my bank account of course) if the system had remained so open and similar to WoW. Three great things, unrelated to my own selfish reasons, are also going to come about if the new beta patch 13 auction house makes it into release.

1. More Players Will Sell. Despite the fact that we're all limited to 20 auctions at a time, I believe that the total number of auctions available will actually be higher than if the old system was left in place. Pure speculation, but I truly do believe it. Especially with how thousands of stackable items can be sold in a single auction. When I was in the Beta, I'd only sell about 5 pieces of gear, a stack of gold, and a stack or two of materials. That's only about 8 auctions right there and I didn't even have a gold auction house to play with at the time.

2. Choices of what to sell and when are more important now than ever before. This will separate the men from the boys so to speak. The cycles of the game will be huge!

3. Market Control will be Virtually Impossible. Instead of controlling markets (except maybe a select few super rare items), you'll have to ride the ups and downs of each market. This only applies to single item auctions, since stackable items remain unchanged by this. You can post 100,000 gold or 1,000 gold and it takes up 1 auction (as long as you posted it as one). Cycles will play a huge roll in the auction house, even more than the old system.

Oh, then there's the best reason of all (solely for this site). Having a guide and forum makes more sense than ever for Diablo 3. With these new limitations it will be difficult to quickly master the auction houses on your own. Having an army of other gamers supporting you, along with our talented staff at Diablo 3 Gold Secrets, makes a whole lot more sense now!

Beta Patch 13 RMAH Changes Enable Old Exploit

I will first explain why the new changes to the RMAH in Patch 13 were good, before going into the terrible reality of what Blizzard is going to make possible. It's bad, really bad. But first, the good:

Listing fee is being removed.

Ok, this is awesome. People will no longer have to worry about losing money, having enough in their Battlenet Account to post, etc. Now even inexperienced auctioneers will get to try the auction house without losing money in the process. They can still lose value by selling for too little, but most will be content to sell without putting any money up front.

Transaction fee is being increased to 1.25 Beta Bucks.

Good, now there is more incentive to use the gold auction house to sell any items worth less than 1.50 Beta Bucks (see next bullet). The more auctioneers have to use both auction houses the better.

Minimum listing price is being raised to 1.50 Beta Bucks.

Pretty self explanatory. Blizzard wants you to make at least a quarter per transaction.

You will be limited to 10 active auctions per auction house.

Interesting. This will combat people posting their entire stash of items. Considering how much crap you can collect in this game, I'm glad they are implementing this.

What wasn't talked about:

How many hours will we have to wait after buying an item to relist it? This number has changed with every patch, so I look forward to hopefully seeing it drop to 0.

Will we have more advanced search features, such as searching by item name instead of category? This is a big one for me, and I hope Blizzard makes the right decision to implement this.

Exploit Available Again

Ok, now the news and initial reacitons are over. Time for the horrible reality of this system, one which was eliminated with the prior version of the auction house. Players will be able to "fool" each other, relying on poor judgement and misclicks to purchase goods for way more than they are worth. I could post a white item, charge $1.50 - $5.00 and hope some idiot buys it. Then of course there's the possibility of people adding zeros to prices, hoping that people will misclick. If an item usually sells for $10.00, someone could purposefully make it $100.00 and hope to get lucky. Do this every day and you know what, I bet it will work once or twice. If you aren't a serious auctioneer, you won't care about wasting your 20 available auctions at a time to do this sort of thing.

Maybe you don't care because you won't play the RMAH. Sorry, but the same strategies will work for the gold auction house as well.

Overall I think these changes are fine. They certainly will have long lasting implications on how we do business as auctioneers. Will we go the route of big ticket items, selling 10 per day on the RMAH? Or perhaps we will go for small ticket, fast selling items hoping to sell several groups of 10 at a time. Of course these changes will also open up the RMAH to people who may have been scared to use it previously.

Obviously, items which stack will only count as a single auction each time you post them. So if you put up 10,000 gold in one auction, that's still just one auction. But if you post 5,000 gold twice, that's two auctions of 5,000 gold each. That's how I understand the system from these notes anyway.

What are your thoughts and reaction to this? Negative? Positive?

Blizzard Hopes Players Will "Choke"

We already know several of the chokepoints for Diablo 3. Actually, the major ones are pretty blatantly obvious. Players moving from Hell to Inferno, Nightmare to Hell, and Normal to Nightmare will face issues gearing their characters. Unless of course they either farm up more gear or buy it all on the auction house. Odds are, players will do a mix of farming and buying gear based on their patience levels.

(A chokepoint is a spot in the game where players get stuck, resulting in them needing to farm or buy gear to progress further.)

The most obvious chokepoint is the final one, players gearing out to beat the game's hardest bosses on the most difficult setting. This choke point will get the most attention, but it won't necessarily be the most profitable. Time will tell which choke points will be the most profitable, but for now all we can do is identify the possible choke points and prepare for them.

As players, we need to avoid "choking" on content and bailing ourselves out with the auction house. There is something to be said for taking your time to beat the game, gather your gear, and be responsible with your wallet.  Obviously, there is a balance and once you've accumulated lots of gold/money you will (justly) deserve to make a few purchases to save time. But honestly, the "gold rush" of making money playing Diablo 3 will be around for quite a long time with regards to the game's choke points.

I've said many times that there is money to be made in the first month of Diablo 3, but choke points are not one of them. Here is a very basic strategy for dominating in the first month from leveling/crafting:

Step 1. Craft items with your blacksmith to sell on the gold ah, targeting the choke point from Normal to Nightmare difficulty.

Step 2. Sell gold on the RMAH.

BAM. I just showed you how to easily make money in the first month. Read up on my "8 Secrets From The Beta" (you get free for subscribing) to get some more simple and easy to follow ideas.

For the first podcast in the exclusive Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum, I revealed which choke point is going to be the most profitable by far long term.

$200 Question for RMAH

Here are the current rules for the RMAH, Paypal, and Battlenet Account:

  • You can deposit money at any time into your Battlenet Account.
  • For every RMAH auction, you must specify whether proceeds will go into Paypal or your Battlenet Account.
  • You cannot transfer from Battlenet Account directly to Paypal.
  • You can not deposit more than $200 in your Battlenet Account per day (but auctions can be sold/purchased for more than that, since you can pay directly with paypal).

*Please Note* There is confusion right now on the details of what "$200 daily account balance" means. Some think that it means you cannot put more than $200 in per day, others believe that you cannot have more than $200 at any time. To make matters worse, the European and American TOS's are slightly different in their wording!

Ok, so what happens if you DO end up with $200 per day in your Battlenet Account? Where will you spend the money? If you stick to Blizzard's plan, then you will spend the money on their games, merchandise, and subscriptions. What if you'd rather have that money somehow transferred over to your paypal account? I thought you'd never ask.

Here is my strategy for moving money from the Battlenet account to Paypal with as few fees as possible. This strategy will actually make sense for every auctioneer, regardless of how much money they are making on the RMAH.

Step 1: Have all of your normal auctions go to Battlenet account.
Step 2: Use your Battlenet account to purchase gold and high ticket items.
Step 3: Sell on the RMAH your gold and high ticket items. The higher the price the better (less fees as this spreadsheet shows).

It's as easy as 1,2, Profit! The benefit of this strategy is that you avoid taking money from the RMAH to your paypal and back to Battlenet Account over and over again before you actually want to cash out for real.

This kind of thinking makes the gold auction house more important. Every item that is too inexpensive to sell on the RMAH is perfect for selling on the gold auction house. You just have to convert the earned gold into more valuable items over the long haul. This is why my guide is Diablo 3 Gold Secrets and not Diablo 3 RMAH Secrets. GOLD IS THE KEY TO THE RMAH and you will need to make tons of gold on the normal auction house in Diablo 3.

PS: If an item is so valuable that no one would ever spend that much real money on it, sell the item for gold and slowly sell the gold off on the RMAH.

PPS: The Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Guide and Forum are now live and I'm working hard to staff/fill them with content. Purchasing access is entirely voluntary, but if you are interested, please check out the $64 worth of sweet savings and bonuses I'm giving to YOU for basically pre-ordering the guide.

Hardcore Auction House Issues

Death in Diablo 3

"Hey Markco,

Been reading around always having Economy in mind, and stumbled on a
thought maybe already talked about but maybe I might shed some light.

Players aren't being allowed the immediate choice to play Hardcore. I
think there is only one reason why Blizzard is not going to allow
this.  It is actually a stand point that is in our (Expert
Auctioneers) best interest.

Forcing people to initially play 1-60 of course will be a major boost
to the Virtual Economy as well as a good pay check to blizzard. They
would be extremely stupid to allow people to choose Hardcore
financially. Basically they would only get a retail cut from hardcore
players that want nothing to do with the "Softcore" side.

You may have already realized this as I am just realizing this + it
being a very huge issue for a huge number of fans. Mind=Blown



Awesome point Twisted. I was thinking along the following lines with regards to Hardcore and Softcore players:

There will come a point where wanna-be hardcore players transition from the obligatory normal mode in softcore to their cherished hardcore difficulty. During this transition, a huge number of players will give up on softcore all together. Or will they? This is going to effect the markets, even if it's just for a a few weeks while players get owned on hardcore and decide to play more of the softcore version of the game. What we really need to find out is an estimate on how long it will take softcore players who are rushing to beat the game on normal. That's what all the wannabe hardcore types will do, and once they leave the market there will be a big loss in terms of the number of items entering the auction house. I doubt that many softcore rushers will buy gold or gear, since 1. they won't need it after beating normal and 2. normal is a joke as we've seen in the beta.

But before all those hard core players leave, they will dump their items on the auction house in an attempt to make a quick buck or two... which leaves the savvy auctioneers an opportunity to buy lots of stuff for cheap.

This makes me ponder about another aspect of the game: the supply and demand for markets catering to each difficulty level. The higher up you go, the more value there will be for your items, but there's also going to be less demand because fewer players will be up to that skill level. Most players will be in Normal and Nightmare, with less of them being able to manage Hell and Inferno.

There's much pondering to be done here. Most if not all is speculation until we can see the demand and supply firsthand on each difficulty level. Twisted and I have shared our thoughts, but what about yours?

Best Gem Types by Level

Level 11-14 = Vitality

There will probably be months of theory crafting before the decision to stack Vitality is made, but mark my words, it's inevitable. Surviving attacks is more important than dishing out damage. Due to this fact alone, people are going to be stacking Vitality at harder levels of difficulty just to ensure that they have the time to react to random, unfortunate events.

Level 1-10 = Damage Gems

Novice and intermediate players will assume that damage is the most important stat to stack. In the easier parts of the game where you already have enough health to get by from gear alone, this certainly will be true. For this reason, I expect any of the non-Vitality gems to do well in the Level 1 to 10 range.

Dexterity (Emerald) will be the best gem for non-vitality stackers since it will be used by Demon Hunters and Monks. I am assuming that the Demon Hunter will be the most popular class. I could be wrong, as the Witch Doctor also has a lot of appeal for novices due to the pets. The Monk is also an incredibly popular class.

Intelligence (Topaz) will be the second most popular gem as it will be stacked by Wizards and Witch Doctors.

Worst gem to sell will be strength (Ruby) because only the Barbarian will want to stack them. Even though the Barbarian is a pretty popular class, the Ruby gem should still have less demand than the other gems shared by two classes for damage.

Money Making Tips

You're going to want to buy up cheaper Vitality gems from low levels and take the time to combine them up to 14. This is no small task, as it will take as much as a second or two to finish each combination. Do the math and you'll realize that this quickly adds up... 3 Level 9's to get a Level 10, 9 Level 9's to get an 11, 27 Level 9's to get a 12... It gets obscene after that and that's just Level 9 gems!

For this reason, I expect Level 9 gems (or maybe it will be level 10, I really am just guessing here) will greatly fluctuate in value. Sometimes people will buy them all out to craft Level 14 Vitality gems (Amethyst), other times they will sit there and rot with no one buying them.

Gems have the best chance to be worth a lot of real money, evermore so than great pieces of armor. They'll have obvious intrinsic value to the buyer, and be picked up quicker than pieces of gear by applying to a larger audience of buyers (especially Vitality gems). Don't be surprised if 1/4 of my gold guide is about the shiny gems of Diablo 3.

$4 is the Secret Number

 The above spreadsheet was sent in by Brandon with the following explanation:

"Hi Chris,

I think you talked about setting a minimum auction price of $1.00 at some point, which was based mainly on the $0.65 fee from Blizzard.   This got me thinking about how do I actually get it into dollars.  Blizzard hasn't announced their final RMAH fee structure or cash out fees.  They did announce that you cannot cash out from the Balance account.  As I understand it, you have to choose at the time of auction if you want the proceeds from the RMAH to go to your PayPal (or other 3rd party option) or Balance.  I put together a starter spreadsheet to look specifically at cash out percentages.  If I sell an item for $1 and cash it out via a standard PayPal transaction, what do I actually get? 

This creates a minor issue of not having a holding tank for my funds for a single cash out to PayPal.  As I understand it, cashing out will be handled on a transaction to transaction basis.

Attached is a spreadsheet I made for fun, showing cash out percentages.  These figures all assume a $0.15 listing fee, a $0.65 completed auction fee and a refund of the $0.15 listing fee for a completed sale, based on my current understanding of Blizzards fees which Bashiok says will probably make it to release.  This also assumes no cash out fee from Blizzard, which I think they will ultimately add, and a standard payment received fee from PayPal of 2.9% + $0.30. 

Note the area I highlighted in yellow.

Questions for thought: 

1. I think the sweet spot for auction to cash out to PayPal starts at around items listed for $4.00, but preferably higher.  I am basing this on the fact that I can only salvage 85% of an item's value on the gold AH before I eventually move the gold to the RMAH.  What do you think?

2. Is there a scenario where it will make sense to sell an item on the RMAH, and put the proceeds in my Balance account and save it up to purchase a higher value item on the RMAH to sell and then cash out?"

Here is my response, thank you very much for the info Brandon!

Yes, I believe that playing with a ballance will be a wise decision. You can save up funds and then at any time buy items or gold from the RMAH and eventually transfer it into your paypal account. Since you've shown that higher priced auctions are more valuable in terms of percentage earned after fees, it makes sense to play the game until you can flip an item of extreme value. I was speculating on this a few days ago, but never put the work into supporting that speculation with math. You just did, thanks again Brandon!

Make Gold and Real Money Easily with Gems

Diablo 3 Artisans has a pretty amazing calculator for determining the cost of combining large quantities of gems. This is ideal for anyone serious about getting into the gem market.

I would like to take this opportunity to request a "time to combine" calculation as well. I believe it's 1-2 seconds per gem. Thanks for the gem calculator Diablo 3 Artisans! It's going to be really easy to make gold and real money with your gem calculator.

Gems can only be combined in one direction (3 of one rank make the next rank up), so here are my methods for making money with gems:

  • Buy lower tiers, combine, and sell.
  • Buy higher tiers, socket gear, and sell.
  • Buy level 12-13 gems, socket into gear, but sell at level 14 (max gem level) prices (cheat people basically).
  • Buy gear, unsocket the gear, salvage the gear, sell resulting gem and materials.

What do you think? Can you come up with anything else that I may have missed?

Cain Touch This Song

We've had some depressing news from the conference call with the game being delayed until Quarter 2. To break up the monotony of setsbacks and bad news, we have a special treat for you today from Diablo 1. Barry sent in this awesome mp3 that I just have to share with you right now. It's MC Hammer with a twist... Deckard Cain is commenting the whole way though. I found the last third of it to be the best part, but it's worth listening the whole way through.

Thanks again Barry for putting this together!

Cain Touch This.mp3

Now for some gold talk. After the conference call that sent fans either running for their pitchforks or coolaid, there was a video released on the main Diablo 3 community page. It's from 2011 Blizzcon and the main point behind the video is that we will die a lot in harder Diablo 3 difficulty levels like Hell, Nightmare, and Inferno. Good. More deaths = more repairs = less money in the economy.

Trust me, us auctioneers want the average player to suffer as much as possible so that they are more likely to buy our auctions. Whether we're selling gold or better gear, harder difficulties will make for better sales on the auction houses.

What's really great about inferno is that even if you have the best gear in the game, you still have to tackle mobs that are a higher level than you. Gear won't be enough, which means buying your way through the game won't be an instant win on inferno difficulty. People who buy gear and gold won't get that, and they'll keep tweaking their characters with their piggy banks until they either learn to play better or quit.

Conference Call and RMAH Cannot Possibly Fail

Conference Call

First of all, let me talk about the Conference Call yesterday. We found out two really important things:

RMAH testing is going well and Diablo 3 has a projected release date of Quarter 2. That's an April to June time frame for release. These are good things, and I'm very excited to hear this news. I pray that Blizzard is overhauling the auction house to improve search criteria, but that's a post for another day.

RMAH Cannot Possibly Fail

I was thinking about the RMAH today, and where the free markets could possibly lead us. Gold is the lynchpin behind everything, and it can do one of two things after release:

Sell for more than the $1 minimum per 1,000 gold
Sell for less than the $1 minimum per 1,000 gold

I've theorized that Blizzard may allow us to sell larger quantities of gold as long as the total is more than the $1 minimum auction price. As it stands in the current Beta system, you must specify a per 1,000 gold price, which cannot go below $1. Of course, I'm assuming that 1 Beta Buck = 1 Dollar, but I think it's pretty close to what Blizzard is hoping for to cover their own fees for running the real money auction house. Odds are my solution won't ever make it into release, but that's ok because the RMAH cannot fail.

I'm serious, the RMAH cannot fail. Here's my reasoning.

Let's say that gold sells for more than $1 per 1,000 gold. That's a good thing and a working system with the current setup. As long as gold stays up there in price, then trading smaller auctions on the gold auction house will have real value. Items which are too cheap to post on the Real Money Auction House because of the $1 minimum restriction will be perfect for posting on the gold auction house.

But what happens if gold can't get above the $1 per 1,000 threshold? Well, you're back to the D2 days then. An item will surface which players value as its own form of currency. Then players will buy on the gold ah this valuable item and sell it for cash on the RMAH. If it isn't any one item in particular, then it will be high level inferno quality items.

No matter what happens to the lynchpin of the free markets (gold), the RMAH will survive. It simply cannot fail as long as it remains a free market. Don't worry, we'll find a way for you to make money when Diablo 3 comes out. I say we because our secret forum is coming soon to this site. Still working on gathering the right people to administer it, but don't worry it will be coming very "soon."

Diablo 3 Release Date Today

Anyone who has been following the drama of the past year or so knows how badly fans of Diablo 3 are dieing with anticipation at the thought of a release date being announced today. I'm right there with them, hoping and praying that the game will come out "Soon." I'm lucky that I've already had my fun in the Beta, finding a few strategies for making money, such as stacking gold find, my infinite gold shuffle or the "secret" vendor salvaging method. There are plenty of people who haven't even had a taste of Diablo 3 yet, despite the recent 100,000 beta invites that went out last week.

So what happens if today goes by and Diablo 3 still does not have a release date? What hope do we have for a release in Quarter 1 of this year? Well, we know from Bashiok's tweeting that the Rune / Skill systems are nearly ready for testing in the Beta. So we probably have two more Beta patches left: one to test the new rune system and one to do a final round of stability for their servers. That could mean an announcement by the end of February and a release just before May. That would be Quarter 1 obviously, but if Blizzard fails to share Diablo 3 with the world by then, I have to believe that they will shoot for early in the summer. There's just so much money that they are losing right now, and to wait until, say, August would be a huge financial blunder for the gaming industry giant.

Recently, the developers have been dropping elements of Diablo 3 in order to get closer to being able to release Diablo 3. That's a good thing. Frankly, another year of waiting to get things like better chat systems, higher quality graphics, pets, scrolls, etc would be too much for most fans. I would drop this blog and give up on Diablo 3 all together if after today they announced that the game will be ready in early 2013. I know that Blizzard representatives like Bashiok and Jay Wilson have stated that components are being dropped because they aren't "fun" but I only believe that for a few of the game systems that we have had access to thus far in the beta. Like the jar of jordan, nephalem cube, and town portal gem. I can see why those were removed, because the game was simply a grind fest with no stopping. Actually, it kind of reminded me of gauntlet legends, but moving on... there are definitely core components to Diablo 3 that have been removed simply to get ready for release. Any time that the developers have used the phrase "We hope to put it in during a later expansion" or "patch it in later", those referenced game elements were removed simply because Diablo 3 is way behind schedule.

There's a fire under the butts of the developers, and only time will tell how hot they will let it get before giving us what we want.

In the mean time, let's continue to strategize and prepare for the inevitable RMAH storm. If you haven't already, please subscribe to this blog (right side of page) and get my "8 Secrets I Learned from the Beta."

Don't lose faith,