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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 DiabloWiki.net provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    On the Drawing Board #25: Paragon 2.0 = No Feeling of Character Progression?

    Posted 25 Nov 2013 by

    This is a very preliminary opinion, but based on nearly a week of fairly steady Reaper of Souls beta play, I’m worried that the transition to DiabloWikiParagon 2.0, the account wide Paragon Points system, plus the complete removal of any individual character growth or improvement post-level 70, is a mistake and is going to be un-fun long term.

    The first look from Gamescom 2013.

    The first look from Gamescom 2013.

    To be fair I should say that I’ve been worried about this since the sharagon system was first announced many months ago, so maybe it’s just me. But playing so far in the RoS beta, once my characters hit 70 (I’ve done it so far with a softcore Demon Hunter and a hardcore Monk) it feels like my character advancement grinds to a a halt. Sure, my characters are progressing like mad in terms of gear, because hitting 70 in RoS is a lot like hitting 60 in D3V — in both cases you immediately quadruple your DPS/Toughness/etc, except in ROS you find the items instead of just buying them in the Auction House.

    My Hardcore account is Paragon 150, and so far in my total play with my HC Monk at lvl 70, which is several games a night all week, plus the 3 hours last night during the live stream in a three player game, I’ve advanced in levels from about 150.1 to 150.35. That’s with a +33% EXP ruby in my hat and a Hellfire Ring on my finger for most of the trip, plus a HR and Leoric’s Signet on my merc when playing solo. Admittedly, I’ve been on not-very-high difficulty levels and I’ve been doing more exploring and experimenting than really trying to grind for exp, but the freshness of the beta has me playing a lot more than I usually do, and I’m still on pace to to level up once about every 4 weeks.

    And here’s the best part; what would that monthly level up give me? One more Paragon Point to spend in the DiabloWikiAdventure Tab! Awesome! That’s 1 more point of maximum Resource! Or .2% more DiabloWikiPickup Radius! I can hardly wait!

    Click through for less sarcasm, but more serious consideration of this (apparent) problem and some possible solutions.

    Actually I can wait. I feel zero desire to grind for levels (just for equipment) at this point in Reaper of Souls, and not just because the Beta is on a sort of DiabloWikiPTR where none of the changes are permanent. The levels are going to take forever and grant me almost no benefit, so why bother trying to achieve them? It’s undoubtedly beneficial to have the levels, especially if you’ve already earned 100 or 150 or 200 from your leveling, but we earned them in D3V where level ups are frequent and the bonuses are impactful, adding considerable stats and MF/GF every time.

    So, what’s the solution? I’m not sure.

    I like the idea of account-wide Paragon bonus rewarding your total play time, and in D3V I don’t like the way all the MF going to one character makes me feel trapped into playing my main, since very high MF is mandatory for dependable item finds. But playing even just a week of RoS it feels like the devs have gone way too far, and that players are going to get bored with a lack of progression, and with the tiny bonuses per level, once they’ve gotten past the initial rush of constant exciting item upgrades.

    I think I’d like to see some kind of hybrid system, where you accrue bonuses to your entire account, but where individual characters also get some sense of progression past 70 by scoring useful bonuses at least semi-regularly. But not bonuses that are so big or of the type (like MF/GF) that makes you feel locked into playing that one character forever.

    Easy, right? Well, no, but as I often joke on the podcast, making video games is hard.


    Update: I didn’t realize this until after I’d written this whole article, but the previous On the Drawing Board, from back in July, was also about Paragon 2.0. At that point we knew nothing about the system details and most fans (including me) thought it would be just some variation on the current D3V system with the passive MF/GF/EXP gains from leveling up spread across the entire account.

    I like the overall account bonuses more than just some modified MF/GF/EXP bonus system, but now that I see it in action, I worry that the progression is too slow and the bonuses too minimal, and that the total focus on account bonuses at the expense of any individual character enhancement is yet another brick in the “lack of character customization” wall so many fans feel Diablo 3 has built between players and any feeling of attachment to or ownership of our characters.