How to Make 1 Trillion Gold in D3!

Yesterday I updated and shared the latest version of my gem calculator. It helps visualize and calculate how much gold goes into combining gems. It takes into account the new costs of each combination (which goes up each tier) as well as the estimated value of the new reagents (Pages and Tomes). What we learned is that the major cost of combining gems is no longer the cost of the gems themselves, but instead the combination cost and it’s a lot. The combination goes takes gold out of the economy while the cost of the gems stays in the economy.

For example. If a chipped gem costs it’s ‘vendor price’ of 200 gold and you can buy Pages and Tomes for their ‘vendor prices’ of 680 (Page of Jewelcrafting), 1080 (Tome of Jewelcrafting) and 1280 (Tome of Secrets) the aggregate cost of a single Radiant Star is almost 900 billion gold. I was freaking out a few months ago when I realized it would cost 40 million gold when combine prices were fixed at 50 gold each. Nine hundred billion gold is a lot, but what happens when you start estimating values of chipped gems and the other reagents?

It’s almost impossible to guess what these things will cost, but let’s add a zero to the end of each one and see what happens. So I threw in 2,000 gold for a chipped gem. Then I threw in 6,800 gold for Pages of Jewelcrafting, 10,800 for Tomes of Jewelcrafting and 12,800 for a Tome of Secrets. The answer? A Radiant Star now costs 4 trillion (approximately 1/4th of the United States Federal Debt).

Even though we multiplied the material prices by 10x the total price of the Radiant Star only quadrupled. This goes to show how fricken expensive it is to combine a Radiant Star. Blizzard is taking 25% out of the economy with these numbers along with 15% on every transaction. What’s the moral of today’s story? If you want to get rich, create an insanely popular Mutli-Player Action-Role Playing Game. Give it to your loyal customers to make sure they play it (through WoW’s Annual Pass), hype it up for 2 years and through a 6 month beta and back it with a revolutionary real-money auction house. Take 15% of every transaction, buy an island in the Caribbean, a hammock and find a nice spot on the beach to enjoy the sun.

Put this into perspective. The first player who acquires a Radiant Star gem will have something that is worth at least a trillion gold, if not more. If 1,000 gold sells for a penny on the RMAH that’s still $8,500 dollars after Blizzard’s $1,500 dollar transaction fee. This tells us one of three things, the Radiant Star is going to be the holy grail of Diablo 3, Gold is going to be practically worthless, or I’m a fracking idiot and don’t know what I’m talking about.

Let me know what you think. If a Radiant Star is worth 1-10 trillion, how much is the best 1 handed weapon going to be that randomly drops in Inferno in the second week of the game?

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. You are assuming it will be practical and worth it to keep combining all gems up toward Radiant Stars. When playing Diablo 2 I only picked up Perfect or sometimes Flawless gems, using time to combine the lesser ones up simply wasn’t worth it.

    Upgrading gems is a nice option for people who randomly happen to need the kind one level above what they have and can’t for some reason buy one from AH. For large scale manufacture of Radiant Stars from Chipped ones? No.

    • I never meant to imply that a single person would sit down with 1.6 million chipped gems and try to make a radiant star. The combined actions will all occur though, separated over thousands of players each receiving a small margin of profit for the time they invest combining.

      • My line thinking was more like this: Is it possible to take a few fist size rocks, break them apart and combine them to a one slightly larger stone? Yeah, it is. Is it a sensible thing to do? Not really, since larger stones occur often enough in nature. It’s still a possible course of action if you need a large brick and only have access to a fist sized ones.

        Now, if we keep repeating this process for a while and end up with mount everest sized piece of granite, will that be worth all the combined effort, manufacturing expenses and material used for another person? I think not.

        Basically this time around 1+1 equals less than 2.

        In grand scheme of things it’s just another gold sink since there is no guarantee the gold spent for the process will retain it’s value as the end product, since those can be found themselves.

        • Gems are only found at the L5 quality in the game. That means that all L6, L7, .. L14 gems are created by players.

          While no single person will combine all 6,561 L5 gems required to make an L14, many people will contribute to the market to create the end product. The costs will be reflected in the overall price otherwise people will not combine the gems.

          An L6 will cost at least 6,080 gold because that’s what it costs to combine one (+ estimated minimum reagent costs). If an L5 sells for 1 gold, then the L6 will cost 6,083 gold. Where does this gold go? It goes to the Jeweler. It’s a gold sink. It’s a HUGE gold sink because L5 gems aren’t going to cost only 1 gold.

          Each L14 will have AT LEAST 24 million gold IN IT. because that’s the BARE MINIMUM its cost to create it (by many players, not one). If one players wants to ‘own’ that gem he’s going to have to pay for it :\.

          It’s a HUGE gold sink.

  2. I doubt the requirements will be so high. As Sooru said, you won’t have to start combining all the way from chipped gems. Besides, there will, presumably, be Gem Shrines that allow you to upgrade gems.

  3. I’m intending to specialise on my Jeweler and ignore the Blacksmith entirely.

    I find these unobtainably prohibitive costs quite encouraging actually. People will always want better gems and the costs you describe may discourage my competition.

    Also my percentage will be higher because of the value of the transaction. If someone gives me 30 gems to cube up and they will be worth 100g each when cubed he’s not going to want to pay more than about 10%-20% of the 3000g of value he will leave my shop with. If he’s going to be walking away with 3 million gold’s worth then 5 minutes of my time becomes much more valuable.

    Eventually people will want to buy improvement but there will be no items that improve them. Who will they come to? Me, of course!

    • Yes, yes yes! You may have to compete with ‘crowd sourcing’ on the auction house. The massive size of the AH might work against you.

  4. So does this mean that my earlier theory of investing in your crafters could be more valid than initially expected?

    I think that the RMAH and the concepts behind this game are going to be good, it’ll stop complete downers and people that are fail from getting the best of the best without having to either spend time actually learning how to play or spending lots of $$ on stuff.

    • I definitely think it’s good for crafters. This is going to create the market. Depending on how much gold you can farm at max level in inferno, we may not see L14s for awhile.

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