This question was posed by Markco at Diablo 3 Gold Guide but the answer isn’t something I can put my finger on just yet. There will be more strategies to make gold than we can write about coming in Diablo 3 but they will break down into 3 general categories. The Auction House / Market Manipulation, Artisans and Farming. I would probably lean towards working the auction house with some ideas I’ve yet to share as well as farming early in the game when I’m one of the best geared players. Let’s take a look at what each of methods might entail.
The Auction House
The auction house in Diablo 3 is much different than the ones we’re used to in World of Warcraft. Instead of dealing with hundreds of active players at a time we’ll face hundreds of thousands. This is going to allow the markets to reach equilibrium much faster and make it a lot harder to manipulate the auction house. It will also increase volume to a point where strategies are easier to test and evaluate. It will give us more data and more information that we can act on and it will make it easier to detect bargains and capitalize on them. Instead of seeing items fluctuate based on the whims of a few buyers and sellers we’ll see thousands of people controlling prices similar to the price of currency pairs in the forex market. Finally the impact that this will have on strategies themselves will make them short lived. Once they are discovered by the general public and shared on blogs like this they have the potential to rapidly become less effective as there are only a few regions opposed to hundreds or realm/faction combos. There will be ways to make gold on the auction house, that’s for sure, but we will have to step up our game and play hardball.
The potential of artisans as gold-makers was struck hard when the Mytic artisan was removed last week. With only 2 artisans and only 1 of them being based on crafting the number of players who will have a Blacksmith Artisan just exploded. Blacksmithing, though, still have potential. With random properties on crafted gear statistics will dictate profitability and many players will quickly drop out of the game. What will be left is a profit margin determined by the number of players engaged in the market. If you’re not already familiar with the random properties involved in crafting gear with your artisan Blacksmith make sure you read my Blacksmithing Guide. Gem’ing will also be an element in this. There will be an opportunity to mix market manipulation with jeweling by buying gems and gear, combining them, and reselling them for profit.
Farming is going to be huge and likely where most players will make their money, but not a lot. The same applies to farming that I mentioned above for the auction house. Strategies may be short lived as they are quickly exploited by the masses. Prices of items will drop considerably as their sources become more exploited. I believe the most potential lies in perfecting your farming gear, play-style and staying ahead of the curve (literally). If you are among the few players who have access to content and have the skills and knowledge to take advantage of it there will always be a market of players willing to pay you for what you can collect in-game. One challenge will be keeping low-wage farmers at bay, which is one I’m not looking forward to dealing with.
Once the game goes live I will be evaluating all of these strategies while racing my character to max level. The first few players to reach max level may have the most potential to make money for a long time. Did I miss anything? Let me know! Also please consider subscribing to this blog to keep up to date with diablo 3 farming strategies as I figure them out and share them with whoever will listen.
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.