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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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Does Diablo III Need Variants?

Posted 21 Apr 2012 by

Via his twitter, Bashiok replied in literal fashion to a fan who was (I think) asking a more metaphorical question about play styles and variant options. At any rate, I’m going to assume the fan was asking it in the larger sense, since that leads right into an issue I’ve been meaning to write up for you guys to debate. First, here’s the twittercourse:

How do I use a melee weapon as a Demon Hunter? –Plumbumbumm
Right click the weapon to equip it, or drag and drop. DHs can equip most 1h melee weapons. –Bashiok

As we’ve seen skills and runes change during Diablo III’s development, the issue of variants has been kicked around by the fans. Diablo 2 was notorious for supporting a wide-variety of variant builds, many of which weren’t exactly end game masters, but most of which at least provided some interesting variety for fans after a different play experience.

Thanks to the tremendous variety of items, weapons with +skills, customizable attributes, and the numerous skill options, every class in D2 could be played in “battle” style, with heavy armor and some sort of melee weapon. The reverse was also possible with Hammerdins and more creative options like “Singer” Barbs who used Warcries and equipped wands, and most classes could specialize in ranged weapons or throwing weapons as well, if they wanted an additional challenge.

Most of those options are not going to be available in D3, at least not at launch. Melee classes can’t use bows, there are no throwing weapons, no items have +skills or “oskill” bonuses (granting skills from another class), stats can’t be customized to make high strength Wizards or high Intelligence Barbs, etc. That said, D3 does have a wide variety of rune effects that grant some unusual effects to skills, and there are some passive skills that can enable some alternative builds.

Do you care, though? Do you think it should be possible to kick ass as a Battlemage, or a melee Demon Hunter (without infinite patience), or a Barb who relies on ranged attacks, etc? Or do you think those types of builds, ones that run counter to the central theme of the class archetypes, are out of place and/or unnecessary?

On the Other Hand…

When you look in any of our class forums and see the huge variety of quite sophisticated builds players have planned out in advance, you might conclude that D3 will actually have more variety of builds than D2 did. No, there probably won’t be so many odd variants that completely change the play style, but there should be a huge number of variations on common themes. Most wizards will be ranged spell casters, but while D2′s Sorc skill combos gave about half a dozen options for that type of build, D3′s skills and runes should give dozens more than that.

Also, there will be hundreds of narrowly-focused builds that do one or two things very well, while giving up other abilities. For instance, you can make a Wizard that’s invincible, or a stealth ninja Demon Hunter who can’t be caught (but can’t kill), or a dog-killer Witch Doctor, or a ranged Monk (maybe), or an Axe-Throwing Barbarian.

All of these builds are quite precise, demanding multiple skills and passives to create, but isn’t that the whole point, for players who are looking for an odd variant?

So I guess this article asks two questions, ultimately. 1) Do you want/need/care about variant builds, and 2) do you think Diablo III delivers them adequately, as they’re almost entirely from skills and passives, without requiring/allowing much difference in equipment, which is where most of D2′s variants got their ultimate power.