Collapsing Economy

Are we in a recession? Diablo 3 released a little over a week ago and the going price of Subtle Essence has already hit rock bottom at 14 gold. The only reason it hasn’t dropped below that price is because in-game vendors will create 14 gold and give it to you for your Subtle Essence, so it makes no sense to sell it for less to another player.

Realistically, players who sell their Subtle Essence for 14 gold are only going to receive about 11.9 gold from the in game auction house, while Blizzard takes the other 2.1 and erases it from existence. This demonstrates two things, 1) no one wants to buy Subtle Essence off the auction house and 2) there are people dumb enough to sell it for 12 gold when they can get 14 gold from a vendor.

Gem prices are also following the same pattern, dropping rapidly towards their vendor prices. At this time Chipped Amethyst are more expensive than Flawed Amethysts. Speculators and wanna-be market manipulators are the only thing keeping these markets alive; who wants a Chipped Amethysts anyways?!?!

At this point it’s not even worth it to load the auction house to sell anything from Normal or Nightmare. Prices are so low and the auction house itself is so buggy that you’ll spend more time selling the items than it would take to make an equivalent amount of gold in Nightmare or Hell difficulty.

Inferno is our Last Chance

Exquisite Essence are selling for 910 gold, Iridescent Tear 2,300 gold and Fiery Brimstone 11,900 gold. The lower end prices are just barely better than the equivalent pre-salvage vendor prices of the gear. While it might be possible that prices for Normal, Nightmare and Hell crafting materials increase in price as the million-plus players stop running through those difficulties, it’s not likely at all the Inferno prices will go up since more and more players will be rushing into the Acts as the days continue to pass.

Do you think this is what Blizzard envisioned when they designed the economy and how will these prices play out in the Real Money Auction House?

Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

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  1. I don’t think it’s how Blizzard expected the economy to work but in hindsight it’s obvious. Every player gets several rares per act even without doing any farming at all, the AH was always going to be glutted.

    The real economy has always been about Inferno, about what you need to buy to help you progress. Unfortunately Inferno is semi-unplayable so I think people are put off from buying gear. What Barb would spend a week’s grinding profits to buy a shield if he’s still going to get one-shot in a2-3?

    When they tweak it down a bit we’ll see the Inferno economy improve.

  2. You said EVERYTHING: “[...] the auction house itself is so buggy that you’ll spend more time selling the items than it would take to make an equivalent amount of gold in Nightmare or Hell difficulty. [...]“

  3. My biggest problem is that the AH is buggy as hell. You can’t trade shit on it, especially Hell-level materials and gems. Prices are what they are, that was expected.

  4. its at 250g for around 3 weeks now

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