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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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Optimal Item Farming

Posted 7 May 2012 by

We have developed a list of best practices for optimal item farming in Diablo 3 based on observations from the last beta patch.

This article in the new Diablo IncGamers Stategy Section analyses data collected from hundreds of full playthroughs of the beta test and helps us understand how to best structure our magic find runs.

Full analysis after the jump – the results may surprise you.

Disclaimer: Blizzard has repeatedly said that beta was NOT for testing balance and mechanics, it was for testing software and hardware. All analysis is speculation as of beta patch 18 and may change post-launch.

Farming: “Repetitive runs of mastered content to obtain items”


TL;DR for optimal farming:

  1. Seek out area exit aggressively, avoid siderooms.
  2. Kill everything except small packs of normal monsters
  3. Prioritize zones that provide more items-per-minute (our data logging tool can help you get that number)

While hard facts on monster drop rates and spawning mechanics are currently hard to come by, we’ve been able to glean some information from a mix of blue posts and beta observations.

 

Evidence

A) Any item can drop off any monster (of a given monster level)

B) Champions and elites have attractive drops rates and can be killed very quickly compared to bosses
The efficiency of boss farming will worsen as encounters become more time consuming.
Blizzard Source

C) Any monster pack is equally likely to spawn as a champion or elite
Monster locations and groupings are random with elites randomly added.
Blizzard Source

D) There are no champions or elites with static spawn locations
Beta had static spawn quest monsters, but if they are a convenient source of loot this would violate blizzard’s stated design goal of ending the repeated shenk/pindle/eldritch or tele-baal 2 minute long games.

E) Area layout is mostly random, but sometimes you can infer the location of the exit

F) In D3, we are far less mobile and monsters have an increased ability to initiate fights

 

Best Practices

1) Kill priority: Elites > Champions > Bosses > Large normal monster packs
Stragglers are not worth killing – move on after clearing the tightly packed monsters.

2) Backtracking is bad
To get loot efficiently, kill Elites and Champions. Since their locations are unknown, the fastest way to spawn one is to aggressively explore new areas.

Should I explore side rooms that don’t have champions or elites?
No. Side rooms are dead-ends that require backtracking, and should be avoided.

Should you take the area exit as soon as you find it?
Yes. If you run past an exit, you ensure that you backtrack later on.

 

Does it matter where I farm?

We don’t know exactly how drop rate mechanics will work post-launch, but with the data we’ve collected from beta using DDD  some areas are clearly better than others.

 


You can find more information for beta 18 specific loot here 

 

In practice you can’t evaluate areas in isolation
You will need to plan farming runs as a chain of areas starting at a waypoint, and look at their averaged items per minute. You also need to be careful to take into account monster level, as that will affect the quality of the item dropped.

From the data, a Hidden Cellar run looks very attractive since it has high drop rates, but the items dropped are of lower quality compared to the Cathedral. Additionally, since the run can be done so quickly (under a minute potentially), the time it takes to logoff/login/get to the starting point of the run, becomes a significant problem – adding 20 seconds to a 60 second run drastically hurts efficiency.

Once the full game is released we should be able to zero in on the best farming runs through our loot tracker, and account for the effect monster level has on item quality.

 

Topics in need of investigation:

1) Would rushing a new toon to a boss kill be a faster source of loot? (taking advantage of the buffed drop rate for your first kill) Nevermind, found a blue post clarifying that boosted droprate on firsttime kill of a boss is ONLY in normal difficulty.
Blue Post

2) Are area events (like resplendent chests) worth the time investment?

3) Nephalem Valor Buff – whether or not this will be able to incentivize always ending MF runs at bosses

Blizzard Source


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