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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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Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated

A fan assembled all six of the class-specific item sets in Reaper of Souls, took pics of them on each gender for each class, and provided views from all angles. It’s quite a useful presentation, and credit to Zeldrin for creating it.

I found it interesting since I’d never actually seen the full sets so clearly. Everyone’s got a few or all of the items from each set, but usually mixed with other gear, some transmogged or vanishing dyed, etc. So here they are, unadulterated and straight from the D3 artist’s tablets to your screen. All the sets (except for Firebird’s, which adds a source) consist of six items: helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, and boots, so visually they are pretty much apples to apples comparisons. So here are Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated:

Barbarian

DiabloWikiLegacy Of Raekor (armory), Barbarian set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


Crusader

DiabloWikiArmor Of Akkhan (armory), Crusader set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


Demon Hunter

DiabloWikiEmbodiment of the Marauder (armory), Demon Hunter set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


Monk

DiabloWikiRaiment of a Thousand Storms (armory), Monk set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


Witch Doctor

DiabloWikiHelltooth Harness (armory), Witch Doctor set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots. (This set apparently lacks the light weight and flexibility of the huge slabs of unrefined steel that the other classes have strapped to their bodies, as both of these weary medical professionals are bent double beneath the weight of their assorted shark teeth, baboon femurs, and coconut shells.)


Wizard

DiabloWikiFirebird’s Finery (armory), Wizard set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, source, legs, boots. (Firebird’s has a seventh item, a Source, which is the only difference in the slots filled by these sets.)


Diablo 3 “Gear Sets”

This whole presentation reminds me of the hot (pre-game) topic of DiabloWikiGear Sets. We’ve got a big wiki article about them, and “Gear Sets” was a regular news category from 2010-2012, with 29 news items so categorized.

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Diablo 3 Legendary Drop Rates Revealed – Updated

Posted 4 May 2014 by

We’ve got the Diablo 3 Legendary drop rates for all set and legendary items in the game. Thanks to site reader Childe for helping us assemble them, via a Korean site where they first leaked. These are the *weighted* item drop rates, much like the old Diablo 2 Treasure Classes. These figures do not tell you your chances of finding a legendary item. What they tell you is IF the game rolls a legendary or set item for a given slot, WHICH of the possible items will appear.

We’ve got all the data in three forum threads, and you’ll want to spend some time crawling over them, since it’s a huge trove of useful data. Note that 15% of item drops are un-Smart Drops, which is why your characters will sometimes find items “only” for other classes. (Including legendaries.)

The different threads for difficulty level are due to the odds changing with DiabloWikiTorment-only gear. For instance, there aren’t any Torment-only Fists, or Spears, or Swords, etc, so the drop odds for the legendary items of those types are the same on all difficulty levels. Most types of armor though have several Torment-only items, though.

For example, there are five legendary helms that can drop for five classes (Barb is the exception), on all difficulty levels. They are the DiabloWikiBroken Crown, DiabloWikiLeoric’s Crown, DiabloWikiBlind Faith, DiabloWikiAndariel’s Visage, DiabloWikiMempo of Twilight, and the DiabloWikiDeathseer’s Cowl, and all have a 16.67% chance of dropping. (That’s 1/6, even odds for each.) The Barbarian is different, since the DiabloWikiSkull of Resonance can only drop for him. Thus his odds are 15.38% for the other 6 helms, and 7.69% for the Helm of Resonance. (That’s 2/13 for the first 6 and 1/15 for the Skull of Resonance.)

Things get more complicated when you take your Barbarian into Torment+, since then the basic 6 helms can still drop (11.76% each), or the Helm of Resonance (5.88%), but you might also get one of the Torment-only helms: DiabloWikiImmortal King’s (5.88%), Raekor’s Will (5.88%), DiabloWikiCrown of the Invoker (5.88%), or DiabloWikiEyes of the Earth (5.88%). The odds for the normal helms drop since the total odds have to equal 100%, and there are more Torment-only helms being added into the chances. The other classes see their odds for the different helms change in Torment as well, but somewhat differently than the Barb’s since they all have a different number of possible set/leg helms to choose from.)

Again, those are the percent chance that a given set/leg helm will drop IF THE GAME ROLLS A LEGENDARY OR SET HELM for your drop. (Just to emphasize that point again, since it was always misunderstood when we were talking about Diablo 2 unique drop odds back in the ago.)

 

Now I Understand!

Looking over the numbers, I had a number of light bulb moments. Now I see why Blackthorn’s Set items are so damn common! They’re weighted the same as legendary items, while most Set Items are weighted half as common. DiabloWikiBlackthorn’s Jousting Mail (pants) are 30.3% chance to be the set/leg pants you get if you are playing a Barb/Crus/Monk/Wiz. Or 23.62% if you’re a DH or WD, since those classes have DiabloWikiSwamp Land Waders dropping, which changes the odds for all pants.

This is why we can't have nice things.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

And now I know why I’ve found every other bow in the game but not a DiabloWikiKridershot. If the game decides to drop a legendary bow (there are no set bows) the DiabloWikiUskang, DiabloWikiThe Raven’s Wing, DiabloWikiEtrayu, DiabloWikiCluckeye, or DiabloWikiWindforce all have a 19.61% chance of rolling, while the much-coveted Kridershot is down at 1.96%. (The bow weighting odds odds are the same on Torment+, since there are no Torment-only bows.)Hand Crossbows do the same thing to the DiabloWikiCalamity. On Normal-Master you’re looking at 17.86% odds for the DiabloWikiIzzuccob, DiabloWikiBalefire Caster, DiabloWikiDanetta’s Spite, or DiabloWikiDanetta’s Revenge, with the DiabloWikiK’mar Tenclip at 8.94%, and the Calamity at 1.79%. Yes, that’s 1/10th as likely to drop. It’s even worse on Torment+, when DiabloWikiNatalya’s Slayer starts to drop. All the others shift to 16.4%, Nat’s and K’mar Tenclip get a 8.2% chance, and Calamity decreases to 1.64%. Good luck with that!

Most other weapons and several types of armor have similar weighting issues, where the one or two items you really want in that slot are MUCH less likely to drop. That’s not a surprise of course, but seeing the actual figures can put the “I’ll never find X” into a harsher reality.

 

Conclusion

These figures may not be final, as the info is still being correlated from the Korean info leak and some of the items listed (all with 0% drop odds) aren’t enabled in the game. There may be additional factors to consider as well. For instance, the whole thing with the game assigning 5-7 items of each slot to drop in each game. That’s a real thing, confirmed by a lot more testing results I’ve seen since we posted that article, but it’s not known how those items figure in with these drop odds.

Also, I’m skeptical about the figures for Set Items. They are listed as weighted at 1/2 the frequency of legendary items (in most cases) but my experience and that of other players I’ve talked to is that sets are *much* less common that that. Maybe 1/3 to 1/5th (to 1/10th?) as frequently found as legendaries. That’s partially explained by the fact that many sets are Torment-only, and the fact that there are zero set items in many weapon slots, so all those times you find a spear or a bow there’s a 0% chance of it being a set item. That said, it’s possible that other code in the game sets limits that impact these drop odds.

This appears to be the master weighting list, but there may be other lists in the code that further cut the odds of set items, or raise or lower specific items in frequency for all classes, for all monsters, for some specific monsters, etc. We know that sometimes classes with a 0% listed rate for certain items will find them anyway (violating their Smart Drop). And we know that legendary items get a drop bonus in Nephalem Rifts, and Blizzard said they’re about to buff legendary drop rates from gambling. They could just as easily put in buffs for specific items or item types, from certain monsters, etc. For instance, bow-using monsters had special weighted odds to drop legendary bows in Diablo 2.

That said, it’s great info and I enjoyed poking through it. What do you guys notice that seems surprising, or that’s not balanced correctly, or that confirms your darkest suspicions?

Update: By request, here are the ultra-rare items, most of them set to drop at 1/10th the standard rate:

Armor:

5 May List updated

As many of you have pointed out there were some omissions in the tables and they have once again been updated with the following additions on all three lists.

 

Update:  The DiabloNut Armory has now been populated with :

 


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