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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 Podcast #146: Patch 2.1, Story, and Blizzcon D3X2?

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.

Approximate topic starting times:

  • 2:30 — Paragon 1000 has been achieved. Does everyone have amazement?
  • 5:00 — Seasons and Patch 2.1 should go live simultaneously?
  • 11:00 — Legendary item buffs on the PTR. Looking forward to new items when 2.1 goes live, since Blizzard doesn’t hate the Monk (currently). Hydra build rules, but intentionally bugged on PTR?
  • 18:30 — Story implications of the Black Soulstone and why Diablo is free in Prime Evil form. Adria setting “demon soul hooks” is obviously a metcon, but is it parsimonious with the larger story/lore/plot? Both guests surprisingly say yes.
  • 27:00 — Is Diablo 3 + expansion packs self-contained? Will Diablo 4 be set a week later just continuing the same story? Or a totally new story, set centuries earlier or later?
  • 37:30 — Stash space insufficient = biggest problem in Diablo 3? One guest disagrees.
  • 40:00 — Most fans accept micro-transactions these days. Why isn’t Blizzard selling more stash tabs yet? Votes have shown most fans would accept this.
  • 47:30 — Diablo 3 expansion #2 announced at Blizzcon later this year? Everyone votes yes, though tentatively.
  • 52:00 — There are a lot of Blizzard games out and/or under development. Busiest days ever in Irvine?
  • 54:00 — Bonus secret trick to guarantee Greed’s Domain entrance?!?

  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    Diablo 3 Auction House *Required* For Success?

    Posted 28 May 2012 by

    Bashiok replied to a couple of more questions in the thread we newsed up yesterday, about the big State of the Game article coming from Blizzard on Monday.

    As many people have noticed in the game, and debated in the forums, and talked about on the podcast I recorded about an hour ago, there are several spots in Diablo III when the difficulty seems to take a big jump. At those times players are finding it very hard to advance, especially players who are playing solo and farming/crafting their own gear.

    In those cases, such as the big jump up to DiabloWikiInferno, and especially to Act 2 Inferno, it’s now much easier to hit up the DiabloWikiGAH and spend some gold on an item than it is to find/craft that item yourself. Especially since you really need to be in about Act 3 of Inferno to find the quality of gear you need to survive in Act 2 of Inferno. It’s like that old joke that you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.

    I appreciate there are still a lot of questions, but the post on Monday has quite a bit of info and is coordinated to be posted in about a dozen languages. I really can’t get into too many specifics without ruining the efforts that have gone into ensuring a simultaneous release. I do hope it’s informative, though.

    Have a good weekend!

    This is a bit frustrating as answers go. So, is it your intent that people gear through Auction House? It seems you’re saying “yes” but it isn’t clear.

    I’ve been farming Inferno Act I quite a bit, rolling 5 Valor stacks at various times, and I have to play for a very long time to see anything that passes as an upgrade. In fact, I think almost every piece I am using is from AH, and I run with people that share all of our drops. It doesn’t feel like AH is part of gearing, it feels like it is the only source of gear. I’m sure it is possible to gear without it, but I can’t imagine the time investment required to do so.
    This isn’t a new concept. In Diablo II gear was randomized and so absolutely ridiculously rare that you could almost be guaranteed to never find the exact item you were looking for just by farming for it yourself. To be the best you had to trade items with others, as you might find an extremely rare item, they may be willing to trade for yours. If you wanted to get ahead within any reasonable amount of time you had to trade. Now, Diablo II had one thing going for it which was the mass proliferation of dupes for the rarest items, which completely tanked its economy and quickly allowed anyone to gear themselves in the best possible items for nearly nothing. In Diablo III you don’t have that luxury, you need to actually find the rare items, or trade for them.

    Now, you have a couple options, you can jump into our Trading Forum, post up your item/s and then meet someone in-game and barter a trade. You can also use the in-game Trade channel, and again barter trades. Or you can use the auction house system. How you trade items is up to you, bartering out of game, bartering in-game, the AH for gold, or real money once it launches. We’re not forcing anyone to do anything, and if you don’t ever want to trade with other players that’s your choice as well, but due to the nature of drops in Diablo games, if you want to be the best you need to trade.

    The difference in Diablo 2 was that you could solo act 4 and 5 with gear you farmed yourself.

    In Diablo 3 you have no chance in act 2 and onward unless you buy gear from the auction house. The best gear drops in the later acts (Jay said there was one tier of drops in each Act), so there will be a looooong while until I even have a chance at starting farming the best gear.

    Basically I have to gear up so I have a chance at gearing up so I have a chance at getting the good loot.

    In D2, I could start farming the best loot the game had to offer by myself.
    Good point! Yes, Diablo III has an additional difficulty level, Inferno, with a very steep difficulty curve. One bit of misinformation is that loot is static in where it drops, but in fact the loot table bands are quite large. For example the “Inferno Act I loot” has a chance to drop in Hell Act IV as much as it does Inferno Act II. You will need to farm Inferno Act I to get a shot at those higher level items to drop so you can continue progressing.

    I think Inferno and maybe the item economy need some fine-tuning yet, but players seem to have unrealistic expectations. If you could easily or reliably find or craft the top quality gear you needed for Inferno, wouldn’t that be too easy? What’s the point in having difficult content if you can pass it with easily-found gear? You can’t demand that Inferno be super challenging and then complain that you can’t find the gear to power through it less than 2 weeks after the game launches. What, is the game to know that you’re the one special person who deserves the super great item drops, and it’s just all those other people who the “rare items are rare” rules apply to?

    Also, if those items were readily-available they’d clogging up the GAH, which would only exacerbate the problem. Then you’d be able to find the best items easily, and buy the best items very, very easily. That’s not progress.

    Finally, we’re getting a lot of those infamous rose-tinted glasses about D2 again, with these demands for instant gratification. Yes, you could find the top end game gear in D2… but not 12 days after release. You can find it in D3 also; after all, it’s other players who are selling that stuff in the GAH now. But it takes time, or luck, or both. It did in D2 also.

    In D2C it was really hard to find top quality items. It got easier in D2X, especially once there were runewords and so many elite Uniques, but even then, many people played D2X for YEARS without finding a rune higher than about DiabloWikiVex, or many/any of the Treasure Class 90 uniques, etc. Eventually those things became more common, cube recipes were added to allow rune upgrades all the way to DiabloWikiZod, duped runes devalued the economy, etc. But finding any of that stuff yourself took months of play with very good MF chars, and no one has invested anything like that sort of effort into D3. Yet.

    Diablo III’s DiabloWikieconomy and game difficulty will look VERY different in July or August than they look now. What do you bet that the people now arguing that they can’t find the top .0001% of gear will be the same people complaining that Inferno’s gotten too easy and that top gear is too available, three months from now?

    Tagged As: | Categories: Auction House, Bashiok, Blue Posts, Inferno