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Comprehensive Diablo III Guide

Everything you need--from the basics to theory crafting--to help take you from Noob to Nephalem.

Crafting Systems vs. Auction House

In Diablo 3 there are a number of different ways players can amass quality loot.  They can rely on old lady luck to provide them with drops they need, but most players will opt to create their own luck. Some will look to dominate the markets on the Auction House, while others will prefer to use their own two hands learning the Artisan trades of Blacksmithing and Jewel Crafting.

While Diablo is still in its infancy and we have yet to see what the end game efforts of Blacksmithing and Jewel Crafting can offer players, the current Auction House market proves to be far more gold efficient.

The Crafting Problem

The problem with both Blacksmithing and Jewel Crafting is that it’s far cheaper to obtain the same items on the Auction House than it would be to make them yourself. In fact, even crafting down the raw materials for Blacksmithing (made from crafting down rare and magical items) is far more expensive than selling those items to in game vendors and buying the regents needed on the Auction House. Thus, if you plan on Blacksmithing it may be in your best interest to still sell off your items and buy the regents as needed from the Auction House.

Additionally one of the serious problems with Blacksmithing is the risk involved. When crafting an item from Blacksmithing each item will be assigned random magical properties, which may or may not be beneficial to your character. You could spend thousands of gold on top of thousands of gold worth of regents on an item that is completely useless to your character or even worse--completely useless in general. This staggering imbalance of risk and reward makes it difficult to ignore the obvious advantages of the Auction House.

Crafting is Not All Bad

While it’s true that crafting is not the ideal means of obtaining new gear, there is one perk that it offers, Reliability. The Auction House is a semi-free market that is of course regulated Blizzard, but still dependent on the players’ input for both supply/demand and the current value of items. This means that the market is constantly susceptible to change. People could stop playing and supplies could dry up, or a huge new influx of players could come into the game creating a surplus causing the price of certain items to decline drastically. This is where crafting holds its advantages over the Auction House. Regardless of who’s playing or what’s going on in the Auction House, the cost to produce and make products through both Blacksmithing and Jewel Crafting will always remain the same.

Thus, if you find yourself questioning Adams Smith’s philosophy and fear for the stability of Diablo’s markets, feel free to invest some of your excess cash in Blacksmithing and Jewel Crafting. Think of it as your rainy day fund, it never hurts to have a backup plan.

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06/02/2012 at 12:36 AM

Good guide. I learned quite a bit.

I'm still skeptical on the AH. Seems any item worth getting is way overpriced; how can anyone afford the million plus gold some of these items go for? Maybe I'm doing it wrong... I wouldn't be surprised if they tweak the Blacksmith in a future patch, so that they remain competitive with the auction house.

Since we don't have a centralized forum, I'll go ahead and shamelessly plug my battletag.  Its Mongoose#1546. You'll know its me if I have a monk named GoldenArms and demon hunter named Desdemona as of this writing. Hit me up if you want smash/farm whatever.

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