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How Diablo 3 Auction House Botters Got Rich

news-d3ah-botters-richFascinating and very long article by a self-confessed Diablo 3 Auction House botter, talking about how he made over 100k Euros in a year, entirely through buying low and selling high on the AH and RMAH. The article is huge and goes into great detail about everything, including the scripts he used, the multiple machines he had running, and how easy it was to avoid Blizzard’s very lacking anti-botting measures.

The botter’s first attempts were by using a very simple script to scan Auction House listings, one item at a time, and automatically buy ones with stats that exceeded his set parameters, and with a price below his maximum value. This required him to know which items were powerful, what the best stats on them were, how much they’d sell for on the RMAH, etc. It took a lot of work and daily updates to the search scripts, but with millions of players using the AH, many of them without a clue about the actual value of their items, it was shooting fish in a barrel.

I remember in these months I used to search a lot for rare rings or rare amulets. What still comes to my mind is a criteria searching for rare amulets with more than 7 critical hit chance and more than 50 critical hit damage and buying any that cost below 1 or 2 million gold. I sold amulets with these criteria on the RMAH (Real Money Auction House), for tens and sometimes even 100+ euros. Stuff like 7+ crit chance, 50+ crit damage and a high main stat like strength or intelligence + vitality was considered pretty good back then. Trifectas ( crit chance + crit damage + increased attack speed) was even more rare and expensive.

Another popular thing I remember botting the old fashioned way was Chantodo’s force wizard sources. These were great because almost no one seemed to know that the property “Arcane power on critical hit” was actually rare and very valuable. So you could just adjust your bot to search for chantodo’s force sources with arcane power on crit and above a specific damage, choose the minimum price under which the bot would buy any item it found, and you were good to go.

That was the very earliest version of the system, which was active in late 2012. The technology was quickly improved and with better coding his bot became able to search many types of items at once, all with different selected stats and minimum values in them, with different pricing criteria, and he figured ways to keep it refreshing constantly, so it would scan literally every single gold item sale that appeared within seconds of it going on the market.

On January 1st I started selling those sweet sweet presents. And the results were staggering. The money started flowing in immediately. Before, I was searching for 1 variation of 1 single item, for example any Mempo of Twilight with Critical Hit Chance, below the price of 1 million gold. Now, I could search for 100 different variations of Mempo of Twilight, plus hundreds of variations of all other worthwhile items. In the first days though, I only had one bot account, which I was using to bot some legendary items in the “armor” category. Even with this small sample of all possible items though, it was soon obvious to me that I had to buy a very powerful PC which could run more than 1 diablo window, and would also search the Auction House which much higher FPS (Frames per second).

He also made a fortune buying items that people mislisted in gold instead of RMT. That seems impossible, but the article has literally dozens of screenshots of spectacular items listed at 150 or 200 gold, when clearly the seller meant to list them at those prices… in EUROS! And no, the conversion rate of Diablo 3 gold to real money wasn’t exactly 1-to-1…

First I bought one more account and started using 2 accounts which were botting for legendary Armor. Why another one botting the same subset of items? Take another look at the screenshots above.

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Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor

One day soon, you will be penniless.

One day soon, you will be penniless.

A forum question from VeeSe spurred an interesting forum discussion; what’s the best way to gear up for a new player in Reaper of Souls? It’s largely a hypothetical question for most of us now, but that’ll change when Patch 2.1 goes live and and Ladder Seasons begin. If you create a seasonal character you start with nothing; no gold, no materials, no gems, no gear, paragon points, no leveled up artisans… you’ll even be scrounging for gold to buy your stash tabs!

Here’s the question from VeSee in our Diablo 3 community forum. Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor?

I was just wondering what the best way to build wealth was for someone who was new and didn’t have great items yet. I read a lot of these threads and guides and the recommended items are just so far out of reach, like I don’t have any of them pretty much. I have one character up to 70 but he’s not strong enough to really do anything besides Normal bounties and rifts.

Is the best way of building wealth just to keep grinding bounties and the occasional rifting in Normal? I’m at the point now where if I try to enchant a legendary I have, I better get it in 2-3 tries because I don’t have the materials to keep going after that and I have to grind for awhile to get enough to try again a couple times, and that doesn’t seem too productive. I’m still expecting the answer to be just to keep grinding bounties since they are the most rewards per time spent and at some point it will exponentially get better once I am able to get to do Torment rifts or something.

So what’s the best way to go about it? Where are the fastest places to level, what are the best ways to find gear, and where can you earn the most gold?

RoS =/= D3v

Considering the question made me to realize how much different the answer is in the current version of the game, whether Reaper of Souls or D3v2. Back in D3v the best way to gear up was via the Auction House (though that would have been different if we’d had seasons then). I spent my first couple months of D3 playing softcore, and when I switched over to Hardcore the best way to gear up was… to grind Act One Inferno on MP0 and collect gems and Tomes of Secret, which sold for very large amounts of gold in the Auction House. I could play a dozen hours like that and find 1 or 2 good items, while earning enough gold to buy good items for all my other inventory slots. (Which is why going DiabloWikiIronborn in D3v was such a bold commitment.)

That economic model is entirely gone in the game today. Not only is the Auction House gone, but everything you find that might be worth selling is BoA. Hell, even the gold itself is BoA. On the other hand, you find good gear about 50x as often as we did in D3v, which was the whole point in Blizzard making those changes. Because it’s more fun to farm your own gear and use only what you find yourself, than it is (was) to find gear and sell it for the gear you really wanted. (At least that’s the theory.)

Reaper of Souls Gear-Up Tips

So for the OP’s question… there’s no simple, obvious answer, but it’s interesting to consider. The overall key to gearing up in RoS is difficulty level. In D3v players needed a lot of DiabloWikiMagic Find to start finding a decent amount of legendary items, and characters could boost their MF by raising the difficulty level, and/or via Paragon Levels + gear. In the current game, MF is pretty much irrelevant, and almost all increased gear benefits come from higher difficulty level. Thus the question, “how do I gear up past level 70?” is really asking, “how do I survive on higher difficulty levels past level 70?”

Some question suggestions:

Stick to one Character
Smart Loot means that most of the gear you find will be themed for your class. That means regular upgrades, and also more Souls, since you’ll be salvaging redundant gear, rather than spreading legendaries around to multiple different characters. Plus with all the game rewards tied to difficulty level, you can get one character up in Torment and build wealth quickly… then your alts can gear up very quickly with plenty of Souls and Shards at their disposal.

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Why Aren’t Nephalem Rifts Coming Free to Diablo 3?

Posted 25 Dec 2013 by

Nephalem Rifts are one of the cooler features in Reaper of Souls, according to current beta testers. They’re only available in RoS though, not on the PTR and they will not be coming to Diablo 3 via patch. Months ago when the feature was still called “Loot Runs” Blizzard said, via Twitter, that they would be added into Diablo 3 in a patch, though. Scandal! A fan brought this up and got a lengthy and very patient reply from Lylirra.

Lylirra: When we originally announced Reaper of Souls back in August, Loot Runs were a completely independent feature intended to be released as part of our pre-expansion patch. Since that announcement, Loot Runs have gone through several iterations and evolved into Nephalem Rifts, which are not only more complex in their design compared to Loot Runs, but have also become integrated with Adventure Mode and Bounties (they also tie into random item purchasing via Blood Shards, but that’s more of a tangential relationship). As a result, we made the decision to move Nephalem Rifts from the pre-expansion patch up to the expansion itself. It wasn’t an easy decision, but made the most sense given how Nephalem Rifts currently function and share dependencies with other expansion-only features.

therefore that tweet is a lie.
While the tweet may no longer be correct based on current information, it was 100% true at the time it was shared. Saying that it’s “a lie” is both spurious and factually inaccurate.

You’re welcome to disagree with our decision to evolve Loot Runs into Nephalem Rifts (which are now an expansion feature), but insinuating that we’re liars because their design has changed is unnecessary and only serves to undermine the actual value of your feedback. There’s no reason to sell yourself or your opinions short in that manner. Seriously. :)

There’s much more of the complaining and replying, if you want to click through to witness it.

Continuing the fascinating conversation:

Too late blizzard. I just saved a copy of this image and now it’s everywhere.
No need, but I admire your thinking. We’ve nothing to sweep under the rug here, though. This is just evidence of the potential downside of talking about features and systems early in design, as things are very likely to change and adapt (and sometimes very quickly too).

As noted above, if you dislike with the manner in which the design of Loot Runs/Nephalem Rifts have changed, please feel free to share that feedback–if you haven’t already.

*edit* gotcha b4 you edited it ; )

This is the kind of spin you only hear from Washington.
Being clear in what you say and what is being discussed isn’t spin. It’s being a responsible communicator and encouraging others to do the same.

For clarity, saying something is a lie is a pretty hefty accusation and, more importantly, implies an intent to deceive. A really basic analogy would be if your hair is currently red and you said “My hair is red.” If you later your dyed your hair black, would your prior statement be a lie? No. It just wouldn’t be accurate anymore.

Same basic principle applies. When we announced Reaper of Souls (the same day the tweet in question was made), Loot Runs were scheduled to be part of the pre-expansion patch; we wouldn’t have communicated this to players otherwise. Over time, the design and scope of Loot Runs changed and they became Nephalem Rifts, which are now an expansion-only feature.

So, were Loot Runs previously part of the pre-expansion patch? Yes. Are they currently part of the pre-expansion patch? No, the design has since changed (and is still subject to change).

Again, I’m not asking for players to change their opinions or feedback regarding the evolution of Loot Runs; I’m simply asking them to refrain from hyperbole. It makes discussions like these much more productive and meaningful.
#212 12/24/2013 3:22:00 AM

Why not do the responsible thing from here on out, and only announce systems that you are confident will pass muster?
Many players would argue the responsible thing is to announce new systems, features, and changes whenever they occur as soon as they occur (and potentially even before they occur), regardless of the fact that they may or may not be final.

I’m not saying you’re wrong or that the other philosophy is right, just pointing out that two very different, often conflicting though completely valid perspectives exist within this community. We do our best to sate both, which is why you see us caveat almost everything with phrases like “at this time” or “right now,” but there will always be situations where that’s not entirely possible.

And that’s not a defensive statement, either (we know there’s room for improvement on our side). It’s just more of a harsh reality we have to dance with from time to time.

This is unfortunate for players who wanted to continue getting new content for free in Diablo 3, rather than buying new content in the expansion pack. On the larger issue though, we spent years pre-release constantly badgering Blizzard to announce more new info, tell us more about features during development, to share things while they were still in development so we could learn more about them, etc.

Meet the other side of that coin. Sometimes things they project or “promise” won’t come true. Merry Xmas!

Tagged As: | Categories: Community Relations, Controversy, Lylirra