Fascinating 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.
Lots on this show, including PTR Patch 2.1′s big changes, legendary item buffs, Paragon 1000 achieved, the Stash space emergency and micro-transactions, Diablo 3′s story and “demon soul hooks,” and Blizzcon 2014 Diablo 3 expansion announcement expectations. Featuring Flux, N3rdwords and Neinball.
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Blizzard Bans Diablo III Bots + Massive Duping on Asian RealmPosted 19 Dec 2012 by
In an early Christmas miracle, Blizzard has announced the bans of several thousand Diablo 3 bots, who must take their mechanized cheating and gold farming away, never to return. (On that account, anyway.)
As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for legitimate players is very important to us, and we’ll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed. In the meantime, if you wish to report the possible use of botting programs to Blizzard, please see this thread for more information. (We will also be adding the ability for players to report this kind of behavior directly through the game client in a future patch.)
For questions regarding account actions, please refer to Account Administration.
Update: In depressing related news, DrazzlibKun sends word from China that Blizzard has changed their account recovery/item restoration policy for the Asian realm after it was being exploited to dupe items. So the new policy is that all items are BoA after an account is restored. Here’s a quote
from the Google translation the original English text, which was translated into Chinese for the post on Taiwanese Battle.net. Thanks to Lylirra for sending it over:
As of 12/18/2012 at 11:00 am (local time), all character equipment, such as weapons and armor, restored via the Diablo III rollback service will be bound to the restored account. While this means that these items cannot be traded with other players or posted on the auction house, they can still be shared with other characters on the account and sold to merchant NPCs. Note that gold and commodities restored via the rollback service won’t be bound to the player’s account. As always we are committed to continuing to monitor the health and economy of the game and may make additional tweaks if necessary.
Considering that the rollback service is intended to help players whose accounts have been compromised, we obviously wish that no one ever needed to use it. The best way to help protect yourself from account compromise is to secure your PC and Battle.net account, for example by adding a Battle.net Authenticator. While no security measure is completely foolproof, we’ve often found that many accounts are compromised a second time simply because players do not take any action to protect themselves after being compromised the first time.
To learn more about the Battle.net Authenticator and some best practices for securing your PC against viruses and malware, check out the links below.
The game economy is important to the quality of the player experience. Anyone who attempts to gain extra items through false claims is potentially causing harm to the game, the economy, and the experience of other players. By strengthening our policies against dishonest claims, we hope to provide further stability to the economy and an even better gaming experience for all players.
Things were reportedly so out of hand that in recent days Radiant Star Emeralds were being sold for 500k gold in the AH. That’s a gem that costs 15,400,000 gold to create, just in Jeweler upgrade costs; not even including the 729 Flawless Squares and 1631 Tomes of Secret. Hacking level Asian unlocked. Be glad most of us are on the Americas or Europe server, where we’ve only got lazy gold botters to worry about?
A few follow up posts by Lylirra from the original Battle.net thread.
This isn’t our first rodeo. We have been actively monitoring for exploitative behavior since the game launched and taking action as needed. We simply haven’t been as vocal about that process (though we have made a few announcements for larger ban waves in the past), but that’s something we’ll be working to change.
How does one justify if he/she is botting? I mean, I could play for 12 hours for weeks not saying that would be a good thing but its possible so I am just guessing I would eventually get a ban hammer dropped on my head?
While I’m not about to reveal how we identify exploitative behavior in Diablo III (and understandably so), “playing a lot” is not criteria enough to merit an account action for botting.
If you have received an account action and have any questions about it, be sure to check out and follow the instructions provided here: https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-account-administration
The steps included the article are your best course of action.