In order to act appropriately as a Diablo III gold guide, a beta tester must experiment with as many possible methods of manipulating the fledgling Diablo III economy – in it’s current beta form – as possible. Trial and error; experimentation; these are words that I like to bear in mind as I test, play and fiddle with the beta. When launch comes the time for radical experimentation will be short. Small mutations will be much safer in the live Diablo 3 real money auction house.
There is a lot of scope for the experimentation I’m talking about but it’s also important to realise that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, and by ‘the wheel’ I mean commerce. Particularly MMORPG economy commerce. So one of the first series of trials or experiments I ran on my way to the beta RMAH cap was a ‘shuffling’ series. I’ll take a step back for those who’re relatively new to online economies.
Shuffling was made famous in World of Warcraft but originated, well, in the first game that allowed you to craft and sell items to other players. The term shuffling simply means: the conversion of one item type into profit through a series of steps often involving professions or crafting/salvaging. In principle, it’s quite simple and I hope you recognise that definition as a blue print for almost any type of manufacturing business in a real economy: take a material or item and re-order it into a more profitable new form.
The term is one of my favourites and it’s been the secret of many a Warcraft millionaire’s riches. Examples can be found on sites, reputable and disreputable, all over the web. There’s no need to detail examples from other games here (though some of the images above might ring a bell for a few veterans ^^), we want to keep our discussion here restricted to shuffling in Diablo III.
I’ve taken the trouble of recording a video tutorial of sorts for one approach to shuffling in the D3 beta. It’s simple but involves a convoluted series of steps (because of this it’s my current favourite) and unfortunately, within the current Diablo III beta economic climate it’s not the most successful*. I’ll sum up the process then hit you with the video because this information is invaluable – the underlying principles I’m employing here are as good as Diablo 3 gold to you. I’ve named the technique The Merchant Shuffle.
The Merchant Shuffle
- First off, check (you should know this by heart but check for fluctuations all the same) the value of gold, subtle essences and common scraps per unit. Keep a mental note that $1.00 is the minimum auction listing price.
- If gold is cheap (<$3) and essences and scraps are dear the Merchant Shuffle is ON. To be honest even at $1 a piece you will make profit at $3 or less per 1,000 gold but demand for scraps or essences at the bottom price rung of $1 might make selling the stock you’ll soon generate tough.
- Buy an amount of gold that suits your circumstances, wallet and ambition (and love of investment risk).
- Transfer that gold to your shared stash (so your characters can access it in game).
- Log in to a character that has progressed far enough in the main quest to have a Nephalem Cube (essential).
- Search your available NPC merchants. Find the cheapest magical item they have for sale.
- Spend your gold on multiple copies of this one item.
- Break all of these items down with the Nephalem Cube.
- Check your crafting materials (you should get lucky and get a Fallen Tooth or two, or three – depending on how many magic items you bought).
- Log out and head to the Diablo 3 RMAH or gold based auction house (depending on where prices are best)
- List auctions and await the sales.
It may be best to sell in the Diablo III gold auction house rather than the RMAH (if for example a scrap goes for 1,200 g/1$ and a dollar buys you 1,000 gold). Or you may want to use the Cauldron of Jordan to directly convert magic items to gold at some point because, perhaps, you find out that one of the random merchants items is 250g and it converts to 275g through the Caulrdon – this will likely be hotfixed once Blizzard finds out but you can make profit in the meantime!
Get your head around this flow – know where the best places are to input and output your cash and gold – follow my blog, gather as much intelligence as you can and remember that making money in a digital economy is not about shortcuts or tricks or ‘luck’; making money in the Diablo III RMAH will be about principles. Absorb these principles and you will make money with Diablo 3 – that I can guarantee.
*the greatest demand for common scraps and subtle essences comes when a new player realises what levelling a blacksmith can do or when a player is trying for a particular set of random stats on a craft. The basic crafting materials turn around incredibly fast in these cases. In the beta right now, not only are most players not new (until a new invite wave goes out) but they are sitting on stacks of scraps and essences from playing the same content over and over. The majority have also hit the artisan cap.