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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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Good Morning Sanctuary… What’s so good about it?

Posted 3 Dec 2012 by

Okay, so there’s that DiabloWikiCrumbling Vault event you very rarely get in Act 2. It’s kind of misnamed now, since it no longer collapses; when we first saw this area in the 2009 Blizzcon demo, it was a large desert tomb with monsters and tons of chests. Like dozens and dozens of chests, including multiple golden ones, though they only dropped like 2 or 3x usual chests, back then. (Rather than 6 or 8x, as they do now.)

Crumbling Vault surface entrance.

The whole thing was a weird sort of race, back then. (Wiki page about DiabloWikiThe Collapsing Tomb from Blizzcon 2009.) It was a race, but not just with the clock, but with your own greed. So in that early version of the event you’d scramble along, hitting chests like mad and only grabbing the rares, while trying to ignore/avoid the monsters and also find the exit. It was a lot of fun, though it was kind of a meaningless challenge for softcore characters, since if you died you just restarted back in the surface desert with all the loot you’d picked up still in your stash. There was no Hardcore in the Blizzcon 2009 demo, but we spent some time back then debating how that sort of event would be received in Hardcore. Would players really would risk permanent death just for a speed run through an optional event dungeon?

Alas, we’ll never know since the event changed during development. Now it’s just a normal desert tomb, and the race is to get to the end of the level, where there’s a portal through to the Treasure Room… but only if you get there before the timer runs out. If you don’t get there in time nothing happens. No dungeon collapse, no death, etc. But no treasure room either.

It’s still fun for a different play style and you have to run past numerous monsters to get to the exit in time, and if you do make it the treasure room is cool, plus you can just go back down into the main dungeon after you leave the treasure room to finish off those monsters you had to run past last time.

One thing that’s amusing — the dialogue at the start of the dungeon still says it’s a timed event and that you’ll die if you don’t beat the timer. Perhaps they de-deadlied the event late in development and didn’t have time to rerecord the spoken dialogue from the NPC quest-giver? Or they just didn’t care. You can hear the whole speech in the video on the DiabloWikiCrumbling Vault wiki page, if you so desire.

LIES!!!1!

Either this event is very rare or I’m just unlucky, since I’ve only seen it 3 or 4 times since launch, and before tonight I hadn’t seen it in months. The last time I got it was the first time I ever completed it post-release, and that was ironic since I got it on the PTR while testing out a new Demon Hunter on MP10. She had little trouble Vaulting her way through to the exit, but 1) it was only Normal difficulty, and 2) it was on the PTR, so my rewards were irrelevant.

Not that the rewards are so great; I mean we’ve all opened hundreds of golden chests and usually scored nothing more valuable than some junk rares and Tomes of Secret.

But… personal satisfaction!

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

As seldom as I’ve seen that event, I was surprised and delighted when I got the dungeon tonight. I was playing my Witch Doctor who only recently got to Inferno, and thus I wasn’t farming or derping around; I was actually working through Act 2 on MP1, when I got the Collapsing Dungeon in the desert area just before Alcarnus. Though she’s new to Inferno, my WD has plenty of twinks and is actually more powerful at Paragon 5 than my Demon Hunter is at Paragon 30, since the DH is glass cannon’ed out in max MF gear. Therefore, despite a lack of any real good movement skills, I had hopes for reaching the treasure room in an Inferno game when I actually got to keep the loot.

OMG Shiny!

I started off poorly; a swarm of Champion mosquitoes right by the entrance with Fast, Molten, and some other mods I didn’t stick around to count. I had to burn my Spirit Walk right there to get away from them, and I bumped into a boss pack of Sand Imps right around the corner from there, and then I hit a dead end, so I had to run back past the damn Imps. Luckily the Fast bugs had gotten hung up somewhere, probably stinging one of my Mongrels to death, so they weren’t on my heels the whole time. I had to kill some other monsters who blocked the pathway entirely, and took another wrong turn, but to my surprise and delight, I got to the exit portal with about 3 seconds to spare and a huge group of monsters on my heels.

Pausing one instant to flip them off or insult their ancestors in the Spirit Realm or whatever it is that taunting Witch Doctor’s do, I ducked through the portal and took a breath to relax and enjoy the moment in the Treasure Vault. Up a short flight of stairs stood five chests, the center one golden, and I had 5 stacks and a hope for something worthwhile. I clicked them all, like a little kid running through a candy factory, and laughed as the loot fountained out. I didn’t count it all, but there were multiple rares; more than you see in the shot below since there are too many tags to display them all.

I enjoyed the sight for a second, then moved to pick up loot… and loot remained on the ground. I tried again, realized that I wasn’t even picking up the gold… and bad words began to issue from my mouth. I ran up a bit further, already knowing what was going to happen, and after a few more seconds sure enough, there came everyone’s least favorite message.

Jay took your disconnect, and he doubled it!

So here’s my question; have I actually beaten the Treasure Vault yet?

I did completely beat it once, but that was on the PTR and Normal difficulty so it hardly counts. I beat the Crumbling Vault and got to the Vault Treasure Room tonight, but then Battle.net stabbed me right in the childhood and I was denied even a taste of the loot. But not until they let me see it, just to torment me! Imagine my reaction if a legendary had popped out, and I’d been disconnected before I could pick it up?

Also, am I just unlucky on this dungeon and everyone else has gotten it eleventeen times? Or is it quite rare for others as well?