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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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Vote: Are You Using the D3 Auction House?

Posted 2 Nov 2012 by

Now that DiabloWikiPatch 1.05 has been live for a few weeks, and item finds are greatly increased in quality, I’ve been wondering how the DiabloWikiAuction House is faring. In v1.05 you can find a lot more good items, and many more legendary items, but I can see many possible ways this could affect player AH use.

Are you finding so much stuff that you want to self-find and be self-sufficient? Or are you trying to score huge profits with your great item finds? Or are you buying more, since the increased flow or top end items has dropped prices on everything else? Or something else?

I tried to put a fair representation of options in the vote, and yes, more than one might be true of you (4 & 5, or 5 & 6, for instance) but pick one that seems the best representation of your experience, and feel free to elaborate in comments. Personally, I only used the AH a tiny amount pre-v1.05, selling mats for gold and buying some cheap gear upgrades to survive in Inferno (back when it was harder). I haven’t been tempted to use the AH at all in v1.05 though, since I’ve been finding sufficient item upgrades to improve all of my characters.

That said… if I ever find a truly epic BEST IN SLOT type item, I might be tempted to sell it just so I’d have 50m in my bank and never be poor again.


What's your D3 Auction House behavior in v1.05?

  • 1) I'm buying and selling items. (44%, 1,456 Votes)
  • 3) Buying, but little or no selling. (17%, 560 Votes)
  • 6) I haven't played the game in v1.05. (16%, 542 Votes)
  • 2) Selling, but little or no buying. (11%, 356 Votes)
  • 5) I've never used the Auction House. (7%, 247 Votes)
  • 4) No AH use; in v1.05 I can self find. (5%, 152 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,314

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Last Vote Results

The last vote went up in a news item about (the lack of) Halloween bonus content in Diablo III, and the results are interesting. As I said in that mini-article, every time I’ve brought the topic of bonus holiday content up, the majority of commenters are against it. That was the case in that recent post as well, and yet from the vote results… a strong majority of you guys want such content, at least if it’s done well. So why don’t you silent majority of 68% speak up?

Would you like to see seasonal bonus content in D3?

1) Yes, it would be awesome. (42%, 616 Votes)
2) Maybe, but only if it was done very well. (26%, 379 Votes)
4) No way. Never. Under no circumstances. (20%, 292 Votes)
3) Probably not, since it would be done poorly. (10%, 150 Votes)
5) No opinion / something else. (2%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,483

The last main page vote was a survey on the v1.05 patch, and it’s obvious that most everyone who hasn’t written D3 off in a /ragequit is pretty happy with the current direction of the game. I have to agree; I’ve played much more D3 in v1.05 than I had in the previous months, and I’m enjoying it.

What do you think of Diablo 3 v1.0.5?

1) It made awesome changes. Great patch. (45%, 1,550 Votes)
2) It’s good, but not great. (30%, 1,040 Votes)
5) No opinion / haven’t played. (12%, 423 Votes)
3) Not very good. Game needs work. (8%, 292 Votes)
4) Terrible patch. Game still sucks. (5%, 161 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,466

It sounds obvious in retrospect, but it’s funny how much more fun D3 is when your character can kick ass and roll up fat l3wt in the process. It’s a shame the devs took so long to realize their best approach was to emulate D2′s game balance, but I can’t entirely criticize them. After all, I was with a lot of other fans pre-release; we *thought* we wanted a harder game, where the best loot could only come from the hardest monsters, and DiabloWikiInferno was a really challenging difficulty. And yet when we got that… we hated it.

It reminds me of the Malcolm Gladwell TED talk where he discourses on product preferences, and how consumers don’t know what they want, and in fact actively lie to themselves and to survey takers. For instance, almost everyone in the US *says* they like rich, dark, strong coffee, and yet almost everyone drinks milky, weak, sugary coffee.