A month ago we talked about gold sinks in diablo 3, but what about time sinks? Gold sinks are important, they define the economy. If you want to save money then you need to understand how gold sinks work because they are what’s going to suck your gold up. They can also be reflected in prices. For instance, when players combine gems they will spend literally millions of gold to create the highest quality gem. All of that gold will be taken out of the game and sent to Blizzard (not literally). That’s a gold sink.
A time sink is similar. It’s common places and ways that casual players waste their time. I’m going to lay these out and hopefully your’e going to say, ‘oh shit, I never thought of that.’ Here they are:
Chat - This one is easy. People are going to waste time chatting like nothing else. Hopefully you can type while playing. Casuals will load up the game and stare at the character screen waiting for the gold and legendaries to show up. Hopefully we’ll learn our lesson from World of Warcraft. You can chat while farming, crafting or otherwise making gold. Whatever you do, don’t sit in the menus chatting with or waiting on friends. You can start without them, they won’t kill you. I showed you how you can farm magic items in 30-60 seconds. I gave you several ways. There’s no excuse for being in the game menu. Ever!
Auction Surfing – This is when you sit on the auction house drooling at the epic gear that you can’t afford. Looking at 70 versions of the same Lucky Amulet (in the beta, anyways). There is a huge difference between doing market research and auction surfing. You need to do the former and the latter is a waste of time. Don’t be the guy who sits in the auction house wishing he had the money to get that + Whatever amulet of Awesome. Get your ass to work and quit wasting time.
Artisan Loitering - This is what people do in the beta now. After you destroy the Skeleton King and return to New Tristam you might see one of the peeps on your team sitting there with Mr Eamon. Chances are they are reading the available craftable items one at a time wondering what will happen if they click ‘Craft.’ Don’t waste your time doing this unless it’s going to help. That is, if it’s going to help A LOT. Otherwise get your weapon and go to hell (pun intended).
Devising your Build: People are going to sit around for hours trying to figure out their build. Builds are pretty serious business. There are literally thousands of combinations for each class and there are hundreds of skill + skill rune combinations. Do yourself a favor, head over to Blizzard’s Skill Calculator and learn how your class works before you load the game up. This will save you hours of wasted time. Use the skill calculator at work or school where you’re otherwise bored out of your mind. I’ll be posting a lot of starter builds here before release but you’re also going to want to customize those. If you have your own favorite builds, share them with me and I’ll throw them on the website (e-mail me or comment below).
Re-rolling: Blizzard’s mantra is: don’t like your class? Bored of your class? Reroll! Sure, you just wasted your first few days of game playing a class you don’t like, but Blizzard doesn’t care about how much gold you make. Starting over is a huge waste of time and there is simply not enough time tod o it in the first week or two of the game. Do everything you can now to pick a class and stick to it. This is a dangerous time sink. Avoid it!
These time sinks are going to be the downfall of casuals all over. It’s not because these things take gold from their stash, it’s because they typically have a very limited amount of time to play the game. The last thing they should be doing is wasting their time with these time sinks. Hopefully we can learn from their hypothetical example.
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.