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  1. #1
    IncGamers News Service
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    Diablo 3 Economy: Can Ironborn Afford Itself?

    As the self-found / Ironborn style of play (and varieties thereof) grow in popularity, the issues of gold sinks and other in-game economic features come in for a closer look. Those systems in Diablo 3 are a sort of hybrid of design, meant to provide gold sinks and expenses for high level players enriched by trading in the Auction House, yet not meant to be totally unaffordable for casual players or the Ironborn.

    A fan pointed out that issue with the cost of end game crafting recipes and got a Blue reply.

    Since I'm only on MP2 the demonic essence droprate isn't exactly the best, but I am actually farming them faster than I can farm gold to even use them. Is there something I'm just missing to my gameplay or is this how it's supposed to be? I understand that this game heavily relies on the AH, but there's got to be SOME way to sustain my gold while still crafting for upgrades at a reasonable pace.
    Grimiku: My characters in Hardcore are mostly self-found (but not completely), and I've also noticed that Demonic Essences are rarely the reason that my crafting slows to a crawl. Most of the time it's because I don't have enough Tomes of Secrets, or gold. In the instances where I'm short on gold I usually salvage less, vendor more, and try to sell some rares for cheap on the Auction House if they're any good for new level 60 characters. Are you salvaging everything? [source]http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9661806422#13[/source]


    I was entirely and then mostly self found for the first months after release and I remember how tight gold was in those days. All the really useful crafting recipes came in v1.07, but even just affording gem upgrades and repairs was hard early on. Patch 1.03 helped by greatly lowering gem upgrade costs for gems below Flawless Squares, but then v1.05 came along and inadvertently hiked gem costs by making square-quality no longer drop in Inferno. That added expense since Square gems cost almost nothing to upgrade while Flawless Squares cost 30k, and you found twice as many FS in v1.05 and later.

    Like most AH-using players today I don't notice the gold costs of gem upgrades, but I would if I were self found, and I especially would if I were hoping to make a Marquise gem someday from the sweat of my own labor. The 20m to make it and 5m to unsocket it prices leap out, but consider the full cost of making a single Marquise gem:

  2. 66.2 million gold (Jeweler fees)
  3. 4893 Tomes of Secret
  4. 2187 Flawless Square Gems
  5. 10 Demonic Essence


  6. A typical game clearing all the farmable areas of Act One nets me 40-45 ToS. Say 48.93 just for easy calculations and you're looking at 100 games (of maybe 40-60 minutes each) to store up enough to make a Marquise Gem. That's not impossible... but how about finding the gems? Can you even find 2200 Flawless Square gems of the same type? Like, ever?

    So how about it, those of you playing self found, or just playing casually and thus not amassing the AH-riches to buy your mats and needs? Is the in-game economy functioning viably, or are the costs simultaneously too low for AH-users and too high for Ironborn? (And what's your highest Paragon level? Once you're way up there and rolling along with 400% Gold Find, the economy should feel very different.)

    Also, what's the solution? If D3X brings forth ladders that have some provisions for people who want to do Ironborn and avoid the AH or trading all together, could Blizzard tweak the economy for them? Lower Artisan costs? Higher drop rates for mats and/or gold?

  7. #2
    IncGamers Member
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    You forgot the part where you don\'t actually need a Marquise Gem...

    Is it really a bad thing if some of the really, really good stuff in the game takes years to find? Why would it be a problem if 10 years from now there\'s still things you\'ve never found or seen? How many self-found Enigmas do you actually think ever existed?

  8. #3
    IncGamers Member craezyjim's Avatar
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    Yep, tend to agree with yovargas. It is very feasible to find materials to make the gems 2 tiers below radiant without much effort as purely self found. You have to focus on just gems if that is your goal. That means vendoring all the rares instead of salvaging them.

    Will you have full marquise? Highly unlikely as self found... As self found hardcore, it was about 120 hrs to get to paragon 34 from scratch and I had the gems 2 below radiant in helm and in weapon. I imagine if I kept at it, I could legitimately get to radiant stars in weapon/helm by paragon 100.

    Do you need radiant stars or marquise in all your equipment? No, maybe just radiant emerald or ruby in the weapon. +16% vs +17% extra life is not worth the many millions.

  9. #4
    IncGamers Member hellfurion's Avatar
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    This is hilarious.

    At first, the players were like \"RMAH sucks! I will play Ironborn, I will not use the AH or trade to anyone to show HOW the game should be played. /GG\"

    and then they are already saying \"OMG BLIZZARD help us with the economy wtf I can\'t play this!\"

    Why in the blue hell would Blizzard even bother to lower the cost just to please would-be Ironborners if it defeats the purpose of \"iron born\"?

    So, so terrible.

  10. #5
    Administrator Flux's Avatar
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    I don\'t have any survey figures, but I think the hope/goal of obtaining the best possible gear is what animates many players. Obviously you\'re odds of finding a CC Mempo are pretty low, but it\'s possible. And the odds of finding the really high runes in D2 were very low, but again, possible.

    Gem upgrades in D3 are different, since there\'s no real luck involved in the RNG. Just lots of gradual accumulation of gold and Tomes and gems. Thus I imagine a self found player looking at price balances set as gold sinks for AH-users would find that pretty annoying, as they\'re basically being told they can not have this item, since it\'s not balanced for people to obtain in legit fashion.

    You may be right and self found players are fine with being blocked from the best stuff, but I kind of suspect otherwise...?

  11. #6
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    I\'m currently Paragon 20. Paragon levels have caused significant problems. You have 2 tiers of players low para and high para, with hugely different gold find and mf effects. Paragon causes more trouble than its worth. I believe blizzard will significantly alter the system, because as it stands it goes totally against they\'re casual friendly system.

  12. #7
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    Well Hellfurion, thats exactly why Ironborn players are asking for a separate system... You can\'t have both in the same economy.

  13. #8
    Administrator Flux's Avatar
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    I assume you\'re trolling, but again, the whole point is that expenses for high level gems and crafting recipes were added in patches, and the prices are jacked up to function as gold sinks on the high end, to make their costs impactful for players who made fortunes using the AH.

    Those prices are, by definition, not suited to the gold you can make playing the actual game without AH sales. Hence the suggestion that self found players, who aren\'t pulling in tens of millions with AH sales, could have an economy balanced for them. At the same time, many AH-users now don\'t even notice the few million they drop while crafting, so those prices should probably be raised to make them impactful on even the rich.

    That last could be interesting; what if crafting had price tiers, with slightly increased odds of rolling better affixes for much higher gold prices?

  14. #9
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    I just hit level 60 with my hardcore characters, they\'re all paragon 1 or 2 right now. (I have one of each class and I level them together.)

    I have a huge backlog of gems that I simply do not have the gold to upgrade. I\'m sort of obsessive about upgrading all my gems, and I haven\'t bought a single gem or tome off of the AH, and I still have WAY more gems than I have gold to upgrade them with.

    I sell stuff on the AH, and I hope as I level (assuming I don\'t die) I\'ll get more and more gold find, maybe even push into higher mp levels and get more gold, and it might EVENTUALLY even out. But right now it\'s way, way unbalanced. And I\'m not even self-found, I\'m just relatively new.

  15. #10
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    Sorry to beat the dead horse, but what motivated me to get a perfect +20 zod ring in Diablo 1 was that it would then let me change my shields of the Heavens for an Obsidian Shield, which in turn would let my exchange my Obsidian Helm for a Godly Helm of the Stars, which in turn would let me exchange my Awesome Full Plate for a slightly worse Awesome Full Plate of the Stars, which in turn meant I could do a lot of extra damage and have a lot of extra mana than otherwise.

    In other words, a small amount of perfection in D1 greatly opened out your gear choices, which in turn would change the way you play.

    I don\'t think anyone would change the way they play if they had +17% HP instead of +16% HP on their helm in D3. Nor would that 1% cause anyone to change any of the other gear on their character.

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