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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:


DiabloWikiLegacy Of Raekor (armory), Barbarian set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


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.


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.)


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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Diablo 3 Weapon Switch Hotkey = Denied

Posted 9 Feb 2010 by

A fan asked whether the weapon switch hotkey is still not included in Diablo 3, and disapprovingly referenced Jay Wilson’s past remarks (archived on the wiki page) that it was removed from D3 since it was too complicated for noobs. DiabloWikiBashiok confirmed that yes, it’s still out, and explained why. I’ve added an illustration to editorialize my reaction to his comments.

At the moment it is. The confusion it creates for players is a good point really in my opinion. From my time in tech support it was a common enough issue that we had pre-written responses to send to people to help inform them of where their weapons went. BUT that said it’s not a problem that’s completely without a solution, so while it’s a decent argument it’s sort of weak because it could probably be addressed somehow.

One good reason why it’s not a feature we like the idea of is that it adds a new type of play complexity that we don’t want to layer on top of those that we already have. We’re creating the game, the skills, the movement speed, kill rates, skill runes, and all other combat related mechanics and features to fit as tightly together as possible. Throwing in weapon swapping forces that tightening/balancing to take it into account. Only thing is that it’s not a clear cut feature. You either know how to game it – or you don’t. So it creates a separation of players that isn’t based on use of the character and skills but doing this weird little trick and swapping back and forth between weapons at specific times. It becomes a necessity to remain effective or as a strong opponent, and we believe the combat has enough going for it that it doesn’t need difficult to explain and understand features like weapon swapping.

I know this is probably the wrong audience to try to make that argument to, because most of you are on the winning end. But trust us that there will be plenty of separation between you and the noobs to show how awesome you are without weapon swapping.

You also have the issues of it just being used for storage, which feels super cheesy. Or as a means to game MF by swapping in weapons to get 0mgz uber dropz.

Weapon swap will be there with or without a magic button. People will just get good at doing it manually. And then there will be a rift between those who can swap out fast manually, and those who don’t swap out fast enough, and those who don’t swap out at all.

Bashiok: If that appears to be an advantageous way to play the game then we’ll break the ability to do so.

I’d rant about this decision, and Bashiok’s final kick in the balls of, “If people figure out a way to skillfully use the controls, we’ll nerf that too.” (and ban players who use the inevitable “weapon switch hack”) but um…. been there, done that. I’ll just state that I think it’s a foolish decision to remove such a useful feature largely because some players couldn’t figure out the game controls. I’m sure that plenty of D3 players will never quite comprehend skill runes, or crafting recipes, or item upgrades, or other stuff we’re going to see in Diablo 3, and I certainly hope those remain in the game!

Lastly, I’d like to point out the irony of Diablo 3 finally not taking influence from WoW (full equipment switching is enabled in that game)… and it’s on this!

Tagged As: | Categories: Bashiok, Blue Posts, Controversy