The question I’m answering is this – What area am I going to focus on when it comes to making money in Diablo 3? It’s a good question. There are a lot of methods that you can consider – a lot of really good methods – for money making when this game launches.
It’s a big market (even in beta) and it’s only going to get bigger with launch. There are two approaches to answering this question. I think a lot of people are going to go narrow, into a niche and deal with the microcosmic techniques they’ll use for making money. Some might have had good experiences with, say, the shoulder slot market for characters level 10 – 15. Perhaps someone will work on levelling their jewel crafter and then buying one rank of gem – say normal – and converting those with the aid of an expensive early bought crafting plan – into flawless gems.
Maybe some will go even narrower and work with primarily ‘good’ quality dexterity and gold find shoulders for level 13 characters. Maybe the gem guy will work with one colour specifically. What each of these guys is doing is becoming an area or niche expert in something.
In that way a lot of what they have to do to make a steadily rising equity curve (and not go through periods of roller coaster like ups and downs) will become automated. They’ll know the price of each shoulder item they craft – down to a single stat point difference. They’ll know the bargain amethysts from the expensive ones. With a lack of in game software (read add-on) support, this kind of mastery of an area is important.
I won’t debate that but it’s not going to be my approach. Or, rather, I should say I will not be focusing on one microcosmic area.
There’s too much at stake if another enters your market. You don’t want to become bogged down in a trade war in that shoulder or gem rank spot. I don’t think many people will limit themselves in this way but I do think a lot of guys and gals are going to focus really tightly on one area because they believe that market knowledge is going to be what separates winners from losers (or break eveners).
I agree with market knowledge, I love it. I just don’t want to risk narrowing my focus too much. I’m going to show you guys one microcosmic method of making money (in fact I’ve shown it before) and I’m going to show you the macrocosmic motions that I can take from that niche and apply elsewhere.
What I’m going to show you is simple and it will make money when the game launches. Not spectacular, headline grabbing money but, combined with other approaches I’ve earmarked as good earners, steady money.
The amount I invest in time and cash will grow and continue to grow with these kinds of approaches. So I simply search for rare items in this part of the Diablo 3 auction interface. Then I sort by buyout in descending order (this brings those with just bids and no buyouts to the top).
Now when this game goes live, the calculations I’m using to tell bargains from overpriced items will change. In the beta rare items salvage to a subtle essence and fallen tooth (with a small chance of a petrified bark).There is NO demand for fallen teeth or petrified bark in the beta. These are required to craft items that no one can equip because of the level cap of 13.
In any case, I simply place a lot of bids on rare items and patiently wait for those that I get to come through. You’ll always get some. There will be so many items – an over abundance – that you won’t possibly be able to go through them all yourself as a dedicated auctioneer. Cherry pick the best or search for specific stats on these rares that will make them more popular.
When these sales come in, relist them on the real money auction house. In the beta, though these items have next to no value and are in little demand, you can list them for around 9 or 10 beta bucks and they’ll sell. That’s <200 gold to 8 or 9 bucks. At the current gold rate that’s 2 bucks to 8 or 9 bucks.
This is because of the structure of each auction house. A $1.25 fee on the RMAH drives cheaper sales to the GAH. So anything that a player thinks won’t sell as well or that will sell for less should end up on the GAH.
There will be far more of these rare items on the GAH and players will have a harder time finding all the bargains as a result. Whereas any player who rifles through the RMAH will find the rares you relist at a ‘reasonable price’ much easier. I’ll go into that psychology a bit more later in this post.
You won’t win all of them. You won’t be able to sell all of them directly (hence your search for decent stats with low bids) but you will sell some and that profit is a going to combine with other trickling streams and create a nice flow into your balance – wherever that may be.
In fact when the game launches, you’ll find that these rare items are in greater demand because they become fallen teeth and subtle essences with a chance of a petrified bark – those craft able items no one can use in beta will suddenly become very desirable and the material cost will shoot up. If you prefer you can just salvage these and list the materials.
This technique falls under the arbitrage category but what I’m doing is applying my knowledge of player psychology, human psychology – which I stress I’ve learned from online game markets and supplementary reading only – to the Diablo 3 auction house. You and I won’t need to be Sigmund Freud to make this work – trust me on that.
I’ll tell you what I’m basing the belief that this approach will make profit on – player impatience, player fear, player laziness and player ignorance. Now that sounds like I’ve just taken a pop at a lot of people but bear with me. I shall explain. I’m simply talking about behaviour patterns exhibited by a large portion of online game markets – not individuals.
Historically players behave impatiently. How many times do you think an average player will re list an item they find isn’t selling at the same price? Not very many. The flow of the market is not something they care to examine or ponder. ‘Buy and Hold’ isn’t a strategy employed by many.
Historically players behave fearfully. What’s the first response when a player doesn’t sell an item once or twice at a value they think an item is worth? They drop the price or remove the buyout altogether and start with a silly low bid price. They are afraid they’ll get NOTHING for an item they found that they though was worth X. They think they’ve lost X. X was never guaranteed but ironically a lot of them guess the value correctly – they know an items worth but are afraid to wait (see the first point) out of impatience.
Historically players behave lazily. I want to show you something – look how many pages there are in this auction house and it’s the last 48 hours or so of beta. Picture how many pages there will be come launch. Look at all the tools to narrow down your searches. Even so, the majority of players won’t use these or shop around carefully.
Why? Because the majority don’t in real life – let alone a game. Coloured items in online games are a quick (read – less effort or lazy) way to indicate an item is good. Most magic items are superior to rare items if their level is higher. Some equal level magic items are better than rare items. Players will often not check this. They will look at this rarity colour chart – grey to orange and buy from orange down until they run out of cash or gold then they’ll start scrimping and saving.
Historically players behave ignorantly. There will be a massive, massive influx of rare items when this game launches. That’s how I know there will be many, many, many rares listed cheaply. This is because (as it stands) the Skeleton King and perhaps more bosses drop guaranteed rare items with your first character. Some plan on using this to earn but really, this will just flood the market with rare yellow items. Their value will plummet.
But that’s only whilst players are playing through those sections for the first time. Now what else are those yellow items useful for? Crafting. But a lot of people won’t start crafting until they get stung in the ass with an expensive item they realise THEY could have MADE (even if it would take 200,000 gold total to make it with the artisan sinks.
The informed (not ignorant) player might plan on holding onto these rares until others drain the market. It would be a smart thing to do. The informed player might even realise that from the get go some people will be trying to level their artisans and will want to make up their artisan sink losses by crafting as they go.
Most players won’t have read about these details or have followed a blog or a guide or read the official forums – any number of a multitude of places that could have informed them of this will go unchecked.
As pessimistic as it sounds, this IS how other players behave in online games. And my knowledge that they do so is my macrocosmic ‘trick’ or ‘secret’ that will probably net me the most profit overall as I progress through this beautiful game.
It’s not a trick and it’s not a secret but even though I broadcast it here and even though some of you might begin to see the wisdom of my ways (I do hope my ways are wise) it won’t help the vast, vast majority of players out there.
Historically, players of online games do not want to analyse much. But it’s something I, and others like me – you guys watching for instance – DO want to do.
That’s how all of us who made a lot of gold in World of Warcraft or Eve or any similar economy did so. And that’s ok! They should play how they want. Even if they spend most of their time broke… Especially if they spend most of their time broke in terms of gold – if you guys see what I mean?
Well thanks, once again, for reading. Feel free to tell me how you think I’m right or how you think I’m wrong. Sign up to the right of this post and keep your eyes peeled for my mail list content!
Talk to you later guys. Don’t forget to check out the video I made around the exact same concepts as this blog post here: