Brady Games "Strategy Guide" Possibly Outdated

Diablo 3 Strategy Guide (Brady Games)
I am very disappointed in the prospects of a guide being released by Brady Games for Diablo 3. All I have to go by is the public press release for the book, but I did not find it all that encouraging. Just look at some of these highlights:

"Guide to meeting and leveling up the Blacksmith, Jeweler, and Mystic professions, and how to maximize the relationships and crafting from each Artisan."

Interesting... how exactly are you going to teach us, Brady Games, about the Mystic profession that was removed LAST YEAR?

"Expert tips for dominating Multiplayer action over in both cooperative and competitive play."

Great! I can learn how to beat other players in the non-existent PvP system that will probably be released six to twelve months from now!

"The only official resource to Blizzard’s Online Auction House. Bid on and win rare items safely and effectively."

Actually, there is already an official resource to Blizzard's online auction house; it's called the FAQ. That's about all the information I'll expect from this potentially outdated and incorrect guide. I hope that they aren't just going to say something along the lines of "If you bid on a rare item with an hour left then you will probably win!"

All Brady Games seems to have created here is an INSTRUCTION MANUAL to Diablo 3. It's messed up that Blizzard doesn't allow you to digitally download this kind of manual when you buy the game. You shouldn't have to pay for an instruction manual.

Disclosure: I have neither read nor seen the Brady Games strategy guide, as it has not yet been shipped to customers. My opinion is based on their most recent press release.

Compare Brady Games to This Site

My purpose in writing today's article is not just to criticize the upcoming Brady Games guide, but also to prove to you that the Diablo 3 RMAH Guide featured on this site is not a scam. To do this, I will refute assumptions, provide screenshots, and finally show off a solid block of real testimonials from real buyers. Guess what, not all buyers are 100% happy with their purchase, but their complaints have led to improving the guide to meet their requirements. I am very proud of the guide and forum community here!

This post is meant to be an intellectual discussion, so feel free to ask questions in the comments, voice your unhappiness, or just call me a slimy-snake-oil-selling-bastard. Once you're done though, read this post and maybe we'll at least respect each other... a little. Better yet, maybe you'll understand how important this site is to the Diablo 3 community as a whole.

I have three "proofs" for you today; Forum, Guide, and Testimonials.

Proof #1: The Forum

I've seen some pretty wild accusations thrown around on Reddit, Twitter, and other social media sites that "no one" is a registered member at the forums here. This lie couldn't be further from the truth!

The RMAH Forums and Guide are EXPLODING with spreadsheets, new ideas, and incredible tools for dominating the auction house in Diablo 3. As you can see in the screenshot of a small section of the forum above, players are learning and discussing in real time the one goal that they all share: Making as much gold and money in Diablo 3 as possible. This isn't just a handful of interested people either, and there are actually 235 members who have purchased time on the forums. Keep in mind that not every buyer of the guide wishes to participate on the forums. (Since I wrote this three days ago, the number of members has jumped to 252 and continues to grow each day).

As the calendar moves ever closer to May 15th, it's important to focus and learn as much as you can, but then also continue to do so beyond that fateful midnight release. No matter what happens, you won't be completely prepared. But that's OK, because we're in this together and the more people working with each other the better chance we have for everyone to succeed. That's the reasoning behind our Diablo 3 RMAH Guide and its corresponding forum.

As the beta closes and the release date approaches, there is no better time than now to take advantage of joining this community of gamers.

Proof #2: The Guide

Typical "online guides" are simply PDF files that you download and read once before assigning to a random folder on your hard drive. Diablo 3 Gold Secrets is different, however, as it is actually an ever changing website with a virtual guide viewer embedded within it. The website I created allows me to change the guide in real time; updating it at any moment. When there are new expansions, patches, or if I just find a new strategy that I think you'll love, I can easily update the guide to reflect the new information. I plan on implementing a "print" option for those who want to read off-line, and you can view the guide on your smart phone if that's your preference as well.

Here are a few screenshots of the guide viewer. It's still in "beta" right now, but the overall feel and beginning chapters are all in place. This guide will earn you money immediately after Diablo 3 is released and beyond, and you get permanent access to it when you buy today. As I play the game and we as a group improve upon our own strategies, new chapters will be added to the guide with additional detailed walk-throughs and videos.

Users of the guide have made upwards of 500,000 gold in a weekend during Beta. I have no idea what we'll be making when the game goes live, but I'm sure it will be far more.

You may be thinking right now, "Who is this guy and why does he think he knows everything about a game that isn't released yet?" You're correct, I don't know everything, and I am just another guy (although I seem to have an uncanny knack for coming up with unique strategies), but what I've created here is a platform. I've set in motion a website that is ready to be the guide you need to succeed in Diablo 3. Sure, there are strategies for the start of the game, but the real power of this guide is in how it's poised to take on the massive challenge of educating players on how to make gold/money throughout the rest of Diablo 3's Acts.

Proof #3: Testimonials

In order to aid you in your decision to join our community, I'd like to share with you REAL, HONEST, and SOMETIMES CRITICAL testimonials for the guide and forum.

Zemii's Testimonial:
After spending almost 2 months in the forum I have to say the most surprising and beneficial aspect for me was reading the brilliant ideas of this community which includes really great thinkers with very high ambitions and a lot of experience.
When I first joined I was putting all my eggs into the "Markco basket" and I was hoping you would do a good enough job that my investment would pay of in the future.
I realized very quickly that you are a great guy with a lot of brilliant ideas and analyzing skills but you alone don't stand a chance against the gathering of great minds in this forum.

Lucky for us you are a part of this community like everyone else and even before D3 started I am looking into the forum at the very least 5-10 times a day and I cannot imagine how that number will explode once the game is released.
I am very glad I joined this project and my investment has already paid off. Of that I am certain.

At this point I also want to thank all you guys (cash, hypn, twisted, vetkor and really every single one of you in this forum) for sharing your great ideas and I am really looking forward to dominate D3 with you...

Let the game begin!!!!
Tom's Testimonial:

hey m8 thanks for your fast reply.

yep i was so curious so i thought what the heck down here (holland) its like 15 in euros so its worth it to find out whats in this guide of yours.

any way my username is ---------  and i would like it to be ---------.
[Tom needed his name changed on the forums.]

good smart way of yours this guide to make some side cash and good for lazy as gamers with to much cash like me so we don't have to think!

Win Win

thanks i'll be hearing ya!


Requiem's Testimonial:
I have never used a paid forum before so I was a little hesitant but I am very glad I decided to join and have to say that Marcko and the expert panel as well as the members have been amazing. I watched Marcko's free blog for quite a while before joining and while the advice there is good, what you get on the forums is personalized answers to your specific questions and a real sense of community. I have been an active member of a number of different kinds of forums from automobile forums, to exercise forums, to Warcraft and other game forums and have to say this community is one of the best and most helpful ones because Marcko and the moderators are proactive and provide you with strategies and answers to questions you (and most everyone else) haven't even thought of! The insight and helpfulness of everyone here has far exceeded my expectations. If you are tired of misleading, juvenile, or run-of-the-mill forums and guides definitely try Diablo 3 Gold Secrets, it's like a whole other world.

I really mean that too, I've really enjoyed watching and participating in all the speculation and planning that's been going on here the last few months, can't wait to put it into action!

Jim's Testimonial:
First a few comments on the guide.

First Month

Profit Spreadsheet: couple minor bugs. [Bugs fixed since this writing, so I removed them from testimonial].

Gear Spreadsheet: a really nice start. One potential enhancement for the future is when we're able to get a sense of what property tiers are possible for each item, assign a weight to them in order to calculate a weighted cost per property.

Maybe expand the first month desirable items list to include [Exclusive Content].

Selling Gold for Money

The comparison of RMAH vs GAH with respect to the fee structure was very useful.

Paypal Setup, Crafting Consistent Income, Item Affixes Overview, Buy Low Sell High, Trade Chat, 15 Minute Strategy, AH Overview

I thought these were all excellent. In general I found the guide to be very solid on the basic principles of making money in D3.

Now for the forum. For me this is where I'm really getting my money's worth. I did a lot of theory crafting and number crunching in WoW, and plan to do the same for D3, but I can't think of everything. Especially when it comes to economics. In just a couple days of reading here I've found many insightful posts. I played the open beta weekend but didn't get into the closed beta, so reading about everyone's beta experiences has been illuminating. I'm impressed with what you guys have come up with given access to such a small part of the game so far. I'm excited to see how things evolve post-launch.

Karsus' Testimonial:
Ok, here's what I think so far.

As I said in my introduction [Referring to a separate forum post] I was never a hardcore gamer and I've never made any real money from gaming before. After reading about RMAH I gave it a thought and ended up here.

The first thing I have to say is that (for the moment at least) the forums are that much more awesome than the guide in helping me understand things I need to learn and how to think about them. To the part that I've stopped reading the guide and only read the forums for the last two weeks. Obviously the guide being a work in progress, was another reason to wait on it. [Karsus is correct, much of the guide will be completed after the game is released].

Now as far as the organization of the content goes while the last implementations are an improvement it still feels, to me, kinda awkward and I don't think it can be considered "polished" yet. Personally I'd think a pdf-like table of contents with hyperlinks could be better than those white boxes and potentially be able to handle the huge volume of stuff the guide may have later.

Now moving on to the forums they are awesome! They even allegedly have girls even though everyone knows there are no girls on the internet. On a more serious note:

I love the constructive discussions on the forums, the "solidarity of the wolves" and the fact that I am LEARNING stuff by reading them. They are also evolving with addition of new forums when we see the need (ie. Techie), the addition of skill links pop - ups (btw could this be done for skill runes too?!?).

Doing a re-cap I have to say that my feeling atm is that the forums is already delivering on it's purpose but the guide has a lot way to go still.

Solkanari's Testimonial
When Blizzard announced the implementation of RMAH into Diablo 3 I knew I wanted to make money out of D3.

Found on Mackco's site and guide exactly what I was looking for, a great group of individuals with the exact mindset I have, making money doing something we love, PLAYING DIABLO!

Craus' Testimonial

A little background before I begin - I am 30y/o (OG - original gamer 8-D ) and I have been playing GAMES in general since I was able to hold an atari joystick and mash the little red button. I am a pc gamer at heart but I dabble in console games now a days as well (who doesn't). Anyway - like most pc gamers I had my WoW fling and I was the guy who everyone borrowed gold from. I spent hours upon hours of making gold in WoW and seeing that I run my own company, stay physically active and have a wife and three kids I did pretty darn well with the little amount of time that I had. In game if I wasn't 25m raiding with the guild I was playing the AH. Buy low sell high, it sounds simple but as most people who have walked in my shoes know it's imminently more complicated than that but it was addicting and now that d3 is just around the corner and offering a GAH and RMAH :D I thought that I had better get started on doing some research.

After a short google search or two I was first turned on by the D3GS blog and eventually the desire for more info brought me to the point to consider buying the guide. Initially $17 seemed a little high but I knew if the information was as good as it claimed then it would be a worth while investment. After about a day of reading the blog and gathering info from various sites and realizing that I wasn't going to learn enough by simply gathering random info from various free sites I decided to commit via paypal and see what all D3GS had to offer.

After purchasing and running straight to the guide the initial layout of the guide seemed sub-par (continue reading please) however after taking time to actually compare what the guide was teaching to what I thought I already knew, I found out fairly quickly that the format of the guide was not of any concern as the guide itself has taught me more than I could have ever learned on my own and I now am spending quite a bit of time reading forums, listening to the podcast and checking the guide for updates on a daily basis.

The end result is simple, before I got the guide and forum access I was struggling to break 30k and now I'm capped on RMAH (thanks blizz!) and making gold hand over fist. I don't really even have to make Royal Crypt runs anymore, if I want I can just play the AH with what I have learned from I can't wait for the D3 launch, it's so awesome having a community that's continually sharing and learning from each other on how to make gold and cash by simply playing diablo 3!

Tomorrow, this valuable resource is going up to $24.

This is your last chance to get permanent access to the guide for $17 in addition to three free months of forum time. If you're serious about making money/gold, then there's really no reason to put joining this community off any longer. Like you, the people giving these testimonials were skeptical and thought that this guide would be a scam. It was reasonable to assume this, as most online guides ARE SCAMS (even the ones supported by Blizzard as "official"), but as you can see from these testimonials, they were relieved to find this guide/forum exceeded their expectations.

Assigning an Auction Slot Value

Rare Gloves
There are several good candidates for "best item to sell" in Diablo 3. We have things like level 14 gems and high dps inferno weapons. That's about as far as people usually think on the subject, unfortunately.

The other day I mentioned that boots might be the best item to sell, simply because they will be the only gear source for +movement speed. Now, a pair of boots probably isn't going to sell for the same price as a level 14 gem or high dps inferno weapon, but who said price was the only component for determining the "best" seller?

Now, I don't have some magic crystal ball that tells me which items will be the best, and I won't try to justify my movement speed speculating in this post. However, I do want to take the opportunity to perhaps expose you to a few factors that will help us to determine the best sellers later on.

What other factors are there besides price? How about volume of sales and turn around time? Let's pretend that a level 14 gem sells for $300. For comparison's sake, a max level dps weapon sells for $100. Say it takes 3 days on average to sell a level 14 gem and 12 hours to sell the weapons. Even though the gem appears to be three times as valuable, it really isn't to an auctioneer who has the option to sell weapons instead. You could sell $600 worth of weapons in the same time it takes to sell the gems.

Ah, but things are not as simple as they appear! Those 6 weapons will take 2 item slots per day. Will gems win out if you were to use more slots? In a single day, you could sell 20 weapons for $2000. Gems wise, you could sell 3.33 gems per day for $1000. Nope, looks like weapons still win.

Time is also a factor, because if you can't check a few times per day to list more weapons, then you cannot possibly sell 20 per day. Let's pretend that you can only check the ah once per day, so 10 weapons is all you can sell and gem sales remain unchanged. Suddenly, weapons tie with gems for $1000 earned per day. If that's the case, you'd be better off selling a combination of gems and weapons in order to better diversify your auctions.

I hope that this post brings to the forefront of your mind several crucial concepts:

1. Each of your auction slots should have a minimum dollar value.
2. How quickly items sell effects your value for any slot.
3. How much time you have to monitor/replace auctions also effects this value.

Don't be surprised if cheap, fast moving commodities end up being the best way to make money in Diablo 3! It's definitely possible once you look at the value of your slots and the time you have set aside to play the auction house.

Too Fast of an Auction House

Partial Refund for Subtle Essences
I mentioned previously that there were quite a few refunds on the auction house due to high amounts of activity during Open Beta Weekend. I also spoke earlier in the week about how players on our forum were able to make ridiculous amounts of gold (65k Per Hour and More). Why should this concern you? Well, at most there were 600,000 games being played of Diablo 3 during the stress test. Who knows how many were actively using the auction house. My point is, that perhaps the auction house game will move a little too fast at times.

Subtle Essence Flipping
With millions of players all on a single, North American server, how quickly will items be purchased and listed on the auction house? Here's a chart I just added to the gold guide for an item I watched closely throughout the open beta. You can see its price going up and down rather quickly, anywhere from 100 to 150 gold. That's enough of a jump that you could sit there all day and play buy low, sell high for a nice profit.

What happens when instead of a few dozen items being sold of one commodity each second, you have hundreds? You could search for Fallen Tooth and see that 50 of them are pretty cheap right now. You go to select buyout and in the same moment all those teeth are already gone.

I  know this seems crazy, but even on Open Beta Weekend, nearly every auction I purchased came back with a partial refund because someone else had bought a portion of the stack already.

Are we going to have to buy in stacks of 100-1000 just to ensure that we get a few items at the price we saw a second ago? What are your thoughts on this?

3 Secret Items You Must Trade Early

Here are three secret items which you must trade early and often in Diablo 3. We're talking within the first week!

1. Vitality Gems

In D2, vitality was king in terms of stat allocation. You either had enough health to survive or you didn't. The same will be true for Inferno, since you will need to be able to take a certain amount of punishment to even be able to get a chance to fight back.

However, Normal and maybe even into Hell, you won't need much vitality. In fact, most players will probably just take whatever random +vitality is on their gear and hunt for other stats. This will make all those low level vitality gems have very small demand, and hopefully a huge supply on the auction house.

During the first month or so of the game, buy vitality gems like crazy, especially if you notice that they are cheaper than any other gem. As players start moving on to harder difficulties where they start thinking about stacking vitality, you'll have a nice stockpile of gems ready to sell and/or combine for them.

2. Tomes and Plans

Tomes and plans are going to be extremely expensive early on in the game. Especially Normal, Hell, and Nightmare difficulty crafting stuff. One stategy I would advise is to sell all of your tomes and plans for as much as possible, banking on the fact that more supply of these will appear later on, allowing you to buy them many times over with your initial profit.

There is risk involved in this strategy, as obviously you could try to level your blacksmith/jeweler fast and go for higher level plans. You could then craft the best gear for the crazy players who are going for world firsts, or just rushing to max out their characters as quickly as possible. However, I am a firm believer that you'll make far more selling to these players than trying to beat them.

3. Vendor Rings and Other Items

Besides the miracle soap remover, you should definitely sell vendor rings. Log into the game and check the ring vendor. If he has max stat rings for sale, buy them and sell them on either auction house. If he doesn't, then log off and log back in to check again. It's as easy as that. Players from our forum made as much as 200k in the first hour of Open Beta using this trick.

Some stats to look for are +damage, +attack speed, and +experience. Since rings are one of the few items that can increase damage/attack speed, these are probably going to be your best sellers.

These strategies and many more have been added to the gold guide/forum. On May 1st, the guide will be going up in price to $24 as I make additional edits and improve upon it. Get in while you can and you'll also receive 3 months of forum time as well. Although the guide is pretty kick ass, nothing comes close to the awesomeness of our forums.

What Will You Choose to Make Money?

As we move slowly but surely towards May 15th, the release of Diablo 3, and the end of our social lives as we know them, the anticipation builds to a boiling point. One of my methods for coping with excessive anticipation is to put myself in that future moment and live it out in my mind. Part of this coping requires me to think about all the different scenarios that could play out upon release. For me, the main scenario I'm focused on is making money playing Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 is going to be all about making tough choices, especially early on when you're deciding how you'd like to make money. There are so many different options, but here are a few of them:

  • Level Blacksmith and Craft Gear.
  • Level Jeweler and Combine Gems.
  • Create Magic Find Set and Farm.
  • Create Gold Find Set and Farm.
  • Pay Money for Gear and Gold, then Race to 60 and Farm Max Level Content.
  • Focus on Selling Gold and Learning Cycles.
  • Focus on Flipping Items (Arbitrage).

What will you choose to focus on in order to make money in Diablo 3? Why will you choose to not focus on other areas?

That's the pair of questions for May 1st's Diablo 3 Blogging Carnival.

Remember, you can submit your own blog's links or those of other sites you come across. This is for everyone in the community, not just bloggers. Please try to get all links to me in advance, but if you do get them to me late then I will try to add them on time or within 24 hours to the carnival post.

Best Item to Sell on RMAH: Movement Speed

If I were to pick the absolute best stat in the entire game, I would have to go with movement speed. Not only is it the best stat, it's also the rarest and highest valued by players! Only one item category can increase movement speed (not including abilities since they aren't gear) and that is boots. Needless to say, boots were my best selling and highest profit item in the Open Beta Weekend.

Something I've noticed about crafting boots is that they are relatively cheap compared to similar level item slots. So not only do boots have the rarest stat in the game, but they are also fairly easy to create on a large scale. Couple this with lots of demand and you have a profitable niche as ever in Diablo 3.

10 Reasons Movement Speed is the Best

1. You level faster.
2. It increases survivability.
3. You kill faster.
4. You loot faster.
5. Twinks want it.
6. Max level characters want it.
7. Basically ALL characters want it.
8. You feel rewarded immediately when you watch your character run.
9. You can move around town faster.
10. Movement speed fits into every build imaginable.

Everyone wants, needs, and desires movement speed, making it the best stat in the game. You can only find movement speed on boots, so they are therefore going to be one of the most sought after and expensive gear items in the game.

Do you believe that boots (with high movement speed) will be the most expensive items sold on Diablo 3's RMAH?

I'll Open a Dentistry in Sanctuary

Fallen Tooth
I want to open up a dentistry in sanctuary for one reason: Fallen Tooth.

We haven't had very much experience with the rare crafting material, Fallen Tooth, in the beta, other than selling them for a few coins to the vendor. However, these things are going to be extremely profitable investments after launch. How do I know? Let's examine the closest item we can get to a crafted rare with Fallen Teeth: shoulders.

The crafted shoulders in Diablo 3 are worth more than any other item, and are damned expensive to create. Between subtle essences and base crafting costs, you're looking at well over 1,000 gold every time you create one. Due to this fact, very few crafters actually mass-craft these items and the end result is a real shortage of them on the auction house. A perfect shoulder sells for double the nearest item.

I expect that Fallen Teeth and the items they create will be of similar value (keep in mind that rare crafted items all have at least 4 affix slots). They'll sell for double the nearest magic item, and very few people will be able to afford mass crafting them. What's more, it's even harder to obtain Fallen Teeth than Subtle Essences, so therefore you're going to be forced to play the auction house in order to obtain enough of them.

If they become valuable enough, then the "infinite gold strategy" will work, at least temporarily.

Like I said, I want to open a dentistry in Sanctuary. Why farm the teeth when I can have the monsters come to me and even pay me for my services?

65k Gold Per Hour and Other RMAH Stories


Since Open Beta Weekend ended today, I thought it would be cool to compile the experiences of Forum members here. If you are not a forum member yet, please take advantage of the deal going on right now before it ends May 1st. Join Our Community!

Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Vektor practically wrote a book in this thread about how he make 65k gold per hour playing the auction house. His post is filled to the brim with excellent information and useful knowledge. I was thoroughly impressed by his ability to analyze the pricing of items correctly on the auction house.

500k Gold Done

This didn't happen during Open Beta Weekend, but Cash's story fits rather well here in terms of how to apply lessons learned by other players who made it big in Beta.

Markco's Bunch O'Sales

I learned from and incorporated quite a few strategies during the Open Beta Weekend. Much of my ideas are now in the gold guide, but in this thread you can see screenshots of sales.

Auction House Viewer

D3Inferno has been hard at work perfecting his "Auction House Viewer," a powerful new tool for members of this forum to enjoy. The things this tool can do... just blows my mind. I think it's even better than WoW's Auctioneer addon.

IsBoxer Setup

GamingTao had a sweet forum thread explaining how to setup IsBoxer which allows you to multibox in Diablo 3. XXGurthangXX also created a general thread about Multiboxing that has a nice collection of tutorials and ideas about successfully playing multiple characters at once in Diablo 3.

I've only scratched the surface of this forum, with 4553 posts as of this article. We're learning together, every single day, and creating some really impressive strategy guides and tools. You can join right now, instantly, and take part in this incredible experience.

Open Beta Weekend Saw Refunds Galore

There were so many refunds during Open Beta this past weekend. No, I don't mean players refunding their pre-order of Diablo 3, I'm talking about a much more important statistic. Nearly every time I used gold to buy crafting materials, I received a refund for my purchase.

Refund for Subtle Essences
When I gave the best Auction House Tutorial Ever, I explained why you get refunds in Diablo 3. Basically, there are due to trades made between the time you saw the price of your commodity purchase and when you clicked the buyout button. Like I said, nearly every time I purchased crafting materials some of my gold came back to me.

There were two reasons why it came back:

  1. The auction house found cheaper deals for me than what I had agreed to pay and so it refunded me the difference.
  2. Someone else purchased my items, so the auction house refunded me for the amount of items that I could no longer access.

Obviously, quite a few people were making trades as the open beta wound down. These were players who would no longer be playing the game after the weekend (until release) and so they were willing to part with all of their gold in order to try out some new gear. After all, what did they have to lose? Because of this fact, I was able to sell quite a few items for ridiculously unrealistic prices. A pair of gloves with 17 intellect for 50,000 gold? Yeah I'd say that's a little absurd.

But knowing your audience and how they think is important, so I consider this aspect of Open Beta to just be an exercise in playing the markets. For example, players wanted +stat, +weapon speed, +movement speed, and high dps weapons. They didn't care very much about +gold find, +magic find or even +experience find like the more regular beta players tend to. Vendor items sold great too, as I found out by logging in and out until I purchased a few +5% weapon speed and +2-4 damage rings. They each sold for 4,000 to 8,000 gold and cost me under 3,000 each.

Subtle Essences Fluctuating in Price
Now, getting back to the refunds. We saw the most active and closest representation of how many auctions we will see after Diablo 3's release. Literally, I could click "search" for the price of a commodity and watch it changing in real time. For example, I clicked on search for 100x Subtle Essences and the price was 100 gold each. A second later I clicked again, but this time it was 114 gold each. A moment later it was 147 gold each. Then it started to come back down again until I stopped clicking when it reached 100 gold once more about 30 seconds later.

This weekend proved to me that with more players will come sharp and predictable swings in the prices of commodities. Just think, you could have bought out all the Subtle Essences at 100 gold each and resold them for 140 gold each no problem... assuming that you knew when the change was going to happen. I predict that we will be able to roughly estimate the time of these changes, and with so many players entering into buying/selling wars, be able to also make a profit off the exchange. Perhaps this strategy will enable players to make money even if they do not have a blacksmith or jeweler leveled yet.

We'll never be able to control the current of these commodity prices due to the sheer volume of trades, but we sure as hell can ride the wave and profit from the process.

To stay on top of all the ideas and strategies we are currently working on, join the Diablo 3 Gold Community. On May 1st, the price will go up to $24, so please don't miss out on your chance to start learning and participating a little earlier than the rest.

As an aside, I must say that crafting in Diablo 3 is incredibly addicting. For just a small investment in crafting materials, I could get lucky and create some really expensive items. But if I don't get lucky, I can still make money from the half way decent gear that I create. As I've written before, you don't need luck to get rich in Diablo 3! With so many more people playing the game this weekend, it was pretty easy to keep a steady flow of auctions going.

Twinking and One Shotting Bosses

It's going to be absolutely possible to twink characters and one shot bosses, but today I'd like to share with you the easiest way to achieve this. Gems are the key to twinking any character, not necessarily rare or legendary items. This is due to the fact that all gems have a character level of one requirement, even for the highest ranking ones (level 14 gems). So how can you gem any class and get them to one shot bosses as they level?

Rank 14 Yellow Gem = 1800 Thorns Damage to Weapon

That's right, a level 14 Gem with Thorns placed in your weapon will damage opponents by 1800. I'd say that having more than one of these would one shot almost everything, even low level bosses.

Pretend for a second that you were dual wielding two low level weapons with three gem slots each. Imagine now that you give yourself 3 Radiant Star Topazes and 3 Radiant Star Amethysts.

Rank 14 Purple Gem = +600 Life Per Attack
All you'd have to do is run around letting mobs one shot themselves and if the health orbs don't keep you alive, then you just have to attack a few random mobs to replenish lost health. Since damage and survivability no longer matters, you can focus on gear that mostly grants magic find and/or gold find.

Twinking to power level characters is going to be insanely viable and valuable. Just placing a gem like Radiant Star Ruby in your helm will allow you to level around 20% faster:

Rank 14 Red Gem = 31% More Experience per Kill (Helm Slot Only)
The amount of time these gems would save you power leveling characters is obnoxious. Their worth, as long as they remain rare, will be more than any legendary or max level item. I seriously expect them to sell for anywhere from $50 to $300 a piece depending on rarity.

Will Blizzard Screw Ups Hurt Your Wallet?

Breaking News: You Can't Log In!
Blizzard has made an incalculable number of changes, fixes, etc while perfecting the Diablo 3 Beta. So much has changed that I dare say we've experienced more like a public alpha testing than a beta. But not every change has been do to internal testing, especially with regards to the economy. Some changes, like the increased cost to craft items, the increased vendor cost, and a host of other modifications to the game were made because of people like myself. Think about it, the changes to crafting items and vendor costs were made almost immediately after I publicly told the community about exploits for both salvaging and vendoring items. You can bet your character's first legendary that more "exploits" in the economy will be found shortly after release.

There are so many areas of the game that the host of millions of players haven't had access to yet. And honestly, we as a group are far better testers than the dozen or so working internally right now. I've heard the interviews and I've read the comments by Blizzard employees stating that the game is "really hard" and that you have to "balance your gold find and vitality and magic find." These are not the comments I would expect to find from experienced testers. Just look at the fact that in 20 minutes I was able to discover a few obvious exploits for salvaging and vendoring items. These were right in front of their faces and they didn't see them.

I seriously do not believe that Blizzard has a true team of testers for the economy. They just slap it together and hope that they can react fast enough to any loopholes players discover. I guarantee you that there will be ways to farm rare champions quickly, like you can now going straight to the Cemetery and killing any rare champions in the initial waypoint's area. If you see them, you kill and loot, but otherwise you log out and go back to that waypoint. You literally get a kill every 30 seconds to one minute.

In the end, you're going to have to come to grips with the fact that Blizzard is going to screw up many times over. If you do not diversify your "portfolio" of what you sell, then you leave yourself open to the negative effect that Blizzard can have on your golden goose. In one fell swoop they can turn your stockpile of gems into worthless garbage. Or your "perfect" legendary item into a second rate magic item.

Diablo 3 Open Beta Strategies

Hey all, I just caught wind of the awesome news that everyone and anyone can play Diablo 3 this weekend. If you create a account (or have one already) then you can log into D3 and play the beta like any tester. There is a midnight to this cinderella story, however, namely 10:00 AM PSD on April 23rd.

What does this mean for the Beta? Several things, including massive disconnect issues and a whole lot more people running around Sanctuary. The auction house is going to be quite a busy place, and that's what I'd like to talk about today.

These next three days have very little that we can learn from them. It's too short of a time period with very strange factors that won't exist in the real game. Except, maybe, when large groups of diablo 3 players take a break (think start of school or end of major vacation times).

What can we learn from this weekend? Well, it's a great chance to test out a few strategies for making gold. Here are some ideas I came up with this morning when I heard the news:

1. Craft and sell a diverse bunch of items every hour (each item slot).
2. Sell gold for beta bucks and then purchase back gold next week.
3. Sell materials to people trying to craft but don't have the time to farm enough.
4. Sell vendor items that players want but don't have the time to waste getting the right rolls.

Expect people to spend ridiculous amounts of gold on items this Sunday, especially since they lose their characters the following day. Who isn't going to splurge to try out a badass weapon or max their primary stat as much as possible?

For those who aren't already in Beta and just want to enjoy their first skeleton king run, take your time and enjoy it! But for everyone else, let's practice making money.

(This is not today's regularly scheduled post. You can read Sheep, Shepherds, and Wolves here.)

Sheep, Shepherds, and Wolves

Let's start off this post with a few definitions for the members of our cast. First up, are the adorable little Sheep. These are your average Diablo 3 players, filled with joy, wonder, and naive complacency. I would say that the defining characteristic for these Sheep are that they follow Shepherds without thinking. So who are the Shepherds? Well, they are the large news distributors who the Sheep use for information. Some of these are run by the Sheep themselves, like Reddit, but most have owners such as Diablo Fans or Inc Gamers. You could even consider this site to be a Shepherd, since I can unleash a firestorm of debate about a gold or money making strategy (and have multiple times).

The Wolves are the final member of our cast. A Wolf has many defining characteristics, but above all else a Wolf is too cunning to religiously follow the Shepherds. Wolves are also too smart to fall into line with the rest of the Sheep. They would much rather run alongside the herd, waiting for information from the Shepherd to lead members of the flock astray.

To complete the analogy in real world terms, this is what is going to happen: Diablo 3 websites are going to proclaim certain methods for making money to be easy, fast and guaranteed. The masses will jump onto these strategies and try them out, which will quickly lead to their profitability going down the tube. Clever auctioneers will understand this process and position themselves in such a way as to take advantage of the coming redistribution of value that these events cause.

You see, the auction house is an interlinking of multiple systems reliant on one another to determine the value of their parts. When one system goes down, often another is raised up as a result. Or better yet, when everyone jumps on a system to the point of rendering it useless, opportunities arise for investors to buy in and then wait until after the storm ends to profit.

I take back what I said earlier. This site isn't a Shepherd, it's the leader of a wolf pack. Because instead of just mindlessly telling Sheep what to do, I tell wolves how to think for themselves and pick off the Shepherd's flock.

Blizzard already stated that PvP will not ship with Diablo 3 on may 15th, but they actually lied to us. PvP is shipping, it's just that most people don't know that they are the ones getting PK'd. The auction house is the PvP battleground of the Wolves.

(Dis)Harmony of Farmers and Crafters

Patch 17 Status: I had a half hour to play last night so I ran a demon hunter to level 8. I'm almost up to the skeleton king and decided to go to bed since it was nearly midnight already. Sadly I decided it was somehow worth my time to watch the Flyers lose to the Penguins 10-3 instead of playing Diablo 3. I was up to 7,500 gold just from leveling without doing anything special. Looking forward to playing the auction house tomorrow once I've beaten the skeleton king and have a starting amount of around 10,000 gold to level my blacksmith and start crafting.

Most people seem to subscribe to the notion that the millions of players in Diablo 3 will lead to the vast majority of items becoming worthless. I couldn't disagree more. While I do believe that the herd mindset of farming materials to sell them at the least amount possible will lead to a reduced value for gold, I do not believe that it will hit anywhere near rock bottom. There will certainly be more players buying than selling in Diablo 3, and the restriction of 20 auctions will ensure that even the richest auctioneers cannot take control of the marketplace. Big investor or small time casual, you'll have to pick your niches and the sheer number of buyers should help to keep prices high enough to be profitable.

While materials may become rather cheap, even with the randomness of crafting taking its toll on supply, the end products will remain rather profitable. The chance of crafting at least something worth selling is pretty high, especially as the playerbase becomes larger and interested in a variety of affixes for custom builds. But the odds of crafting the same valuable item twice in the same 100 crafts is incredibly low. So you end up with a high number of completely different, yet profitable items to sell. We in the marketing industry like to call this the long tail.

With a free market system, literally everyone is going to be happy. You'll have players who can farm for an hour, sell their materials, and get instant gratification when they sell. Then there's the buyers of those materials, who craft away until they have a few valuable pieces of armor to sell to the original farmers. It's a never ending cycle, where crafters make the most money but farmers get exactly what they want (gold then gear for the gold).

While this apparent harmony looks appealing to the farmers, it is absolute hair raising tension on the side of the crafters. If there are too many farmers posting one night then crafters get a bunch of materials for cheap. If a crafter misses out on one of these cheap buying periods, then they are at a serious disadvantage. Also, if there are lots of crafters posting then someone could potentially lose money on their investment if he or she was impatient and posted at the lowest value. Farmers tend to post as low as possible, but smart crafters know better.

A crafter who isn't experienced has it far rougher than an inexperienced farmer. An inexperienced farmer will at least get something for their time when they post their items for too cheap. A crafter, however, could lose money in the process. Despite the fact that crafters and farmers feed off one another, it's a lot harder to be a successful crafter.

Crafting is a pain in the butt, at least until you know what you're doing. Alone and uninformed, the average crafter is going to fair about as well as the farmers. Unlike the farmers, there is even potential to lose money! Especially if all they have to go on is their own personal experience. Trust me, the reasons you buy on the auction house are not the same as everyone else, and you cannot base your value of an item as the last say on how to price it correctly. Experience is king in this business, and a diverse experience takes a lot of time to achieve solo, especially with the limited number of auctions.

Of course I'm not going to sit here and say "Good luck, you'll figure out how to be a great crafter in a few months!" Instead, I'm offering you an opportunity to join our community of money makers who mostly owe their success to being amazing crafters. We didn't get this way overnight, but through conversations, sharing excel spreadsheets, asking questions, etc. If you want to go it alone, more power to you, but exploring this new world with a group is both easier and more profitable for everyone. It's a win-win-win-win... (x300 members).

Join the Diablo 3 Gold Guide Community.

On May 1st the guide will be going up in price once again. Grab it now for permanent guide access as well as 3 free months forum time.

Best Auction House Tutorial Ever


Part 1: Equipment

The equipment category is for Weapons and Armor in the game. On the gold auction house, there is a 15% seller's fee for any items sold from the equipment category. On the real money auction house, equipment has a $1.00 successful auction fee. This is the most complicated category, so I will focus on it for the first half of this tutorial.


First thing you'll want to do when selling or buying equipment is to look at the current prices. Search for your item by looking up either what a character you own can use or the general class. If you have a level 10 barbarian and you want to find a level 9 2h sword, then you can click on the "Barbarian (YOUR_NAME)" option. That will search for gear which only your character can use. If you want to find, say a level 11 2h sword, then this option wouldn't help you very much. Instead, you'd want to click on the "Barbarian" option.

Some items are class specific, so you will want to make sure that you select the proper class or else the item's category will be greyed out later on.

Item Type is where you specify more detail to further narrow down your search results. The auction house is a massive place, so be sure to get as detailed as possible in this section of your search query. For level range, if you leave the first slot blank and put a number in the second slot, then you will search from 0 to the specified range. This is useful for low level characters, but if you want to search just for level 60 gear, then you will want to put 60 in the first or both level range input slots. Rarity is used to specify what color the item is.

Preferred stats are something I definitely recommend. This makes finding real upgrades to your current gear a synch. Put your favorite stat first, and assign a minimum value to it which is the same or better than your current one. Next, put two other stats you want to see on the gear (if desired) but don't place a minimum value to these. The reason being that you will not want to miss out on an item with a really high primary stat because it doesn't have the secondary stats you want.

Legendary or Set Items and Max Buyout are for trading legendary items. You tend to already know what you want when you trade in this section, and it's nice to look up the current legendary gear if you're into higher level bidding/trading/flipping.

Search Results

  • Item - The name and quality of the item. If you mouse over this item, then you will get a full description as well as a comparison to your current character's item. Whichever character you have selected from the character screen will have their item shown in comparison. So select the one you care about upgrading if you are in the mood for buying.
  • DPS - The damage the weapon does. This will be replaced with "Armor" if you are looking at gear.
  • Bid - The current bid. If you wish to bid, then you will have to place a higher one.
  • Buyout - How much it costs to buy the item right now.
  • Time Left - How long until the auction expires.

You can sell from your shared stash or character inventories.

You can click on any character to see their inventory but the shared stash will remain the same regardless.


Once you select an item to sell, it will show up in the center of your screen. Starting price is where bidding can begin on the item, and buyout price is how much the item can go for if someone wants it instantly. Always put a buyout price, even if it's ridiculously high. The transaction fee at the bottom of the screen tells you what kind of fees you will pay on the item after a sale is made.

Creating this auction will cause you to take up your 8th auction slot. You can only have 10 auctions per auction house at a time.

This is where you can see current auctions that you are either selling or bidding on. You can only sell 10 per auction house at a time, but you can bid on an infinite number of auctions at a time.

The top half are the items you are selling. The bottom half are items you have currently bid on. Unfortunately, you cannot see your max bid for items (EDIT: You can see the max bid under the auctions tab. It shows your current bid, if you're winning, and your max bid). When you bid on an item, you have the option of selecting a max bid as shown below:

A max bid means that you will continue to outbid anyone up to your max bid. So my initial bid on the warden bow is 3,000 gold, and if someone bids 3,500 then I'm going to outbid them automatically since that is lower than my max bid of 4,000.

Here you can see a full list of items you've sold, when they sold, for how much, and what the outcome of the auction was. You must go to your completed tab to send items (and gold) to your stash after an auction is completed (whether it was sold or not).

Don't forget to do this! You will not get your items or gold until you empty them into your shared stash from this tab on the auction house.

Part 2: Commodities

Commodities are items which you can buy and sell in stacks (more than one at a time). The fee on these items is always 15%, on the gold or real money auction house.


Crafting and Dyes will be the focus of this tutorial. Type is the overall category. In this case, we want to find subtle essences (the default item for the tab), so we'll go with Crafting as our Type. For Difficulty, this is the same difficulty as the game modes you can play (normal, nightmare, hell, inferno). Subtle Essences are in Normal mode, so we'll select that as our Difficulty. For Material, we'll select Subtle Essence. There are three types of materials for every difficulty: a common essence, a rare material, and a super rare material.

Quantity is important. You do not want to just select the amount you are looking for when shopping for materials. Instead, select varying amounts in order to get a feel for what the item is going for on the auction house. If you search for 50 and the price is 100 gold each, then keep increasing the amount until that price changes. If it doesn't go up past 100 gold each until you search for 100 subtle essences, then you know that there are 99 essences on the auction house going for 100 gold each.

Search results:

  • Quantity - How many you're buying.
  • Price per Unit - How much you're paying per item.
  • Total Amount - The end result of how much it will cost you.
  • You can also see the average price for the last 10 trades and average cost for the past day.

The 15,000 gold I just spent on Subtle Essences will sometimes have a small refund (or large) depending on whether prices suddenly changed or if there were no longer enough Subtle Essences to buy at that price.

Let's say that there are 100 auctions up for 100 gold each. If choose to purchase but in the time it took me to look the information 2 of those auctions sold, then I would buy 98 essences and get a 200 gold refund. However, if 2 more auctions were posted for 95 gold each, then I would buy 98 for 100 gold and 2 for 95 gold, giving me a 10 gold refund.

(That's why I got a 14 gold refund in this case).

For equipment auctions, you have 5 minutes to cancel your post. Until that time, your auction is not live and other players therefore cannot buy it. Once you pass the 5 minute mark, you cannot cancel the auction. For 48 hours (or until the item is bought out), you will have that auction live on the auction house.

I put a lot of effort into this post. Please share it with as many people as you can! Thanks.

#1 Reason You'll Lose on the RMAH

Sales Last Night
So What If You Know How to Make Money?

Even when players "know" how to succeed, they can still screw things up. I saw this all the time in previous games, and I expect it will happen again in Diablo 3. As I've mentioned before, buying is more important than selling when you're crafting. However, it's pretty easy to get carried away, and spend 100% of your profits reinvesting into your own business.

Let's say you spend 200,000 gold on crafting materials, then another 100,000 on clicking "Craft X" a few dozen times. You go to sleep and wake up all excited when you notice that you made 500,000 gold! What do you do next?

A smart player would take another 200,000 gold and invest it once again. Maybe a little more if the deals are great. However, MOST players (and I know this from teaching thousands about these concepts) will fall into the trap of spending ALL 500,000 gold investing in more items to sell.

You Can Still Screw Up

The result of this is that you end up with players who spend too much without waiting for the profits to actually come in. They may even temporarily lose money. With a limit of 10 auctions per auction house, this is a very real and pressing issue. Diablo 3 is not going to be a game where simply because you have more money you can then turn around and make more.

Let's say that the player in this example spent all their 500,000 gold on materials and crafting. What happens if nothing sells for 48 hours? They end up both broke and unable to increase their income outside of farming. This situation is a far cry from the player's actual wealth (500,000 gold) but since they left themselves with no capital they may as well be broke for the next 48 hours (or even longer).

All it takes to overcome this problem is a little self control and planning. Even if you find the best deals ever on crafting materials, understand your limits and don't "over-invest". You can only sell off so much of your stock at one time, so it's not worth reducing your capital to zero simply to sell items later on.

Confused Yet Successful?

Whenever someone falls into the trap of over investing, they can often become confused and concerned over the legitimacy of the strategy they are using. This can potentially lead to them quitting the auction house game, and that's the last thing I want to see you do on this blog. First off, I like the subscriber count going up, not down, and secondly, Diablo 3 is free money for those willing to keep a cool head. There's absolutely no reason why you can't pay for Diablo 3 and make a few extra bucks simply by reading this blog.

Gold Guide Update

Here is the latest excerpt from the gold guide, entitled: "15 Minutes Strategy."

15 Minute Strategy
"It's generally accepted that making money in Diablo 3 is a time consuming and tiresome chore. This could not be further from the truth. With literally 15 minutes per day you can bring in a sizable amount of gold and yes even real money in Diablo 3.
This isn't a chore, but rather an exciting and easy to follow procedure that anybody can do. Yes, even the lead designer's grandmother who everyone has heard so much about...

In this chapter I will explain how you can invest 15 minutes a day and still create a large amount of wealth for yourself. No crafting is involved and this is a great way for you to make money if you don't have a max level character yet.

At the end of the chapter, I will include additional methods besides this main one that can be used if you have extra time but don't want to run around mindlessly farming the minions of hell."

Get your permanent access today! Hurry because on May 1st I am once again increasing the price of the guide.

Buying and Selling Characters like Storage Wars?

Storage Wars
Originally when Blizzard announced the RMAH back in August of 2011, there were screenshots of the auction house where player characters were actually for sale. This excited me quite a bit, and I began brainstorming about how to manipulate this new system for profit.

Barbarian for Sale! Get Your Barbarian Here!
I'm disappointed, to say the least, that this feature isn't going to make it into release on May 15th. However, 3rd party services are still going to sell Diablo 3 characters anyway, so the option will still be available to those willing to take the risks (like break the terms of service and put your account information in front of potentially nasty individuals).

It's not all gloom and doom though, as Blizzard has stated that this feature is intended to be added eventually, and you can tell from the screenshot above that development was actually pretty far along. So let's talk about the interesting world of buying characters.

Obviously, one of the simplest ways to profit from buying characters is to flip them, but recently I was watching Storage Wars and another idea came to my mind. What if you could buy a character and look through their equipped gear plus inventory for hidden treasures. If players do eventually sell characters, I don't believe that you'll get anything other than what's in their main inventory. It wouldn't make sense to give the shared stash or artisan levels away, since that's account bound.

Think about it, some guy sells a character for $100 and doesn't bother to empty their inventory out before the sale. Maybe it's someone about to quit the game. He posts a screenshot up of his character and you notice there are quite a few magic and rare items both equipped and in the inventory. It's like Storage Wars, when the lock is cut and the steel curtain rises to reveal a pile of potential loot. You can't see the names of the items, but you can come up with possibilities in your mind for what they could be based on the images.

Maybe we'll be able to see their inventory when the new feature is added, but on third party services I don't really know. You'll probably just get a screenshot and a price. The whole concept is fascinating to me, but I would really like to know what you think about buying and selling characters in Diablo 3.

Would you buy a hardcore character at max level? Skipping countless hours of content is definitely one of the primary reasons people buy characters, and max level hardcore characters will be in high demand. If Blizzard puts a real money auction house into the hardcore ah, then expect selling characters to be allowed on that side as well.

Secret Limitation on Auction House

I stumbled upon an interesting limitation to the auction house yesterday. Namely, that all searches are limited to 46 (really 45 and a half) pages of results.

Limitation of 46 Pages
If you'd like to see this limitation for yourself, it's pretty darn easy to do. Just sort by buying out price for ascending and descending. Next, go to the last page (46) and look at the auctions that are displayed.

Buyout Descending
Buyout Ascending
Don't you think it's a bit strange that in descending buyout there are no auctions below 25,000 gold? Because in ascending buyout there definitely are auctions with N/A buyout (a bid only and a buyout of 0 gold).

Every search option on the auction house has a limitation of 46 pages. Although this hurts your ability to find deals, you can narrow your search results down far enough to pick up low priced bids and the like.

For instance, let's say I wanted to find boots with movement speed on them. Searching for Armor -> Movement Speed (leaving a blank for the value since it's broken in beta) will result in 16 pages of items instead of 46 if I were to search for just boots.

Now we can really search!
Will we always be able to see the full auction house? Probably not, even with more specific searching (unless you get ultra specific with minimum values). With only 45 and a half pages of items on display, and millions of players posting auctions every single hour, I doubt that this will be sufficient for broad searches of cheap items.

Something to think about and take into account when playing the auction house in Diablo 3.