Diablo® III

Gearing Philosophies


And Piffle - I know it's some work, but I know I, and I'm sure a slew of others, would appreciate it if you could (once again!) show us the set pieces you used? Much appreciated.

Well, I wasn't actually buying anything, just looking up pieces in the AH and updating my own spreadsheet. I can try and do this again later today and take screenshots of the items/price if you think it helps that much.
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I can only speak to the under 125K DPS market, but in terms of prices, rares are a little cheaper than they were a month ago, "staple" legendaries (Inna's pants and Inna's chest) are a little more expensive, and weapons seem to be much cheaper. Inna's helms are about where they were (maybe a little higher), unless you're looking for ones with Spirit regen. Weapons, however, seem to be significantly cheaper.

Overall, I think prices have come down, but it's more important than ever to avoid buying legendaries that you really don't need. I think it's much easier cheaper to get to 100K DPS than it used to be. I couldn't sell a complete 100K DPS set for 30M to 45M gold (gems included), and I'm selling it off bit by bit now on the AH. I'm not sure how much I'll be getting, but with the difficulty I'm having selling all the items for what I want I can tell you that 100K DPS is achievable for much less than 60m (again, gems included).

80K DPS can probably be hit for 20M or so.

Anyway, here's a few of my shopping for gear principles:

1. Buy for value, not budget.
Too many shopping guides try to put a budget on each item slot and try to get the best gear for that budget. This is the wrong way to go about things. You want to spend your money as effectively as possible. This often means buying a cheaper item if it's a better buy. Use the money you save to get better stats on your other gear. (One 5m set I made for someone I spent 1m on the gloves, 4k on the boots).

2. Always get a deal. Pay less than items are worth.
If you only buy items that are bargains, you will sell them for more than you paid for them. One of my favorite Budgetmonking principles is this: Upgrading your gear should be a source of income.

3. Gems cost money.
I generally disagree with others who don't include gems in the price of gear. You save a lot of money by getting Vit natively on your chest rather than getting sockets. Same with CD on a weapon. Even when you have sockets, its often better to delay upgrading because that costs money that could be spent much more efficiently than on +4 Dex. Eventually, you may need those gems, but that's no excuse to be gimping your self NOW. Also, when you do find a chest that's better, but has two less sockets for example, you're now sitting on wasted gems. (I really only play one character on SC and one on HC lately, so that probably skews my thoughts. I see do see huge value if your willing to shift gems between characters)

4. Don't buy legendaries.
Generally, you shouldn't be buying most legendaries until they are the most efficient way to increase your stats. Since rares with 5 to 6 good rolls are usually MUCH cheaper than legendaries with even 1 or more bad random rolls, it really doesn't pay to but legendaries with any bad rolls. So you're only looking for legendaries with all good rolls. At that point they're expensive and so you should almost always bid, not buy. (Obviously, if you see an amazing deal that you need to snatch up at 1d11h, go for it).
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1. Buy for value, not budget.
Too many shopping guides try to put a budget on each item slot and try to get the best gear for that budget. This is the wrong way to go about things. You want to spend your money as effectively as possible. This often means buying a cheaper item if it's a better buy. Use the money you save to get better stats on your other gear. (One 5m set I made for someone I spent 1m on the gloves, 4k on the boots).

2. Always get a deal. Pay less than items are worth.
If you only buy items that are bargains, you will sell them for more than you paid for them. One of my favorite Budgetmonking principles is this: Upgrading your gear should be a source of income.


Best quote ever, always buy for value and get a deal, even if it means slow upgrading, or getting an expensive bargain. Sometimes I actually make money upgrading my gear.

Sometimes cheap items devalue so fast, it can become worthless in a few weeks time, while a bargain buy, while expensive, might actually help you hold value by fighting inflation and making you a profit when you sell it.
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1. Buy for value, not budget.
Too many shopping guides try to put a budget on each item slot and try to get the best gear for that budget. This is the wrong way to go about things. You want to spend your money as effectively as possible. This often means buying a cheaper item if it's a better buy. Use the money you save to get better stats on your other gear. (One 5m set I made for someone I spent 1m on the gloves, 4k on the boots).


I think this is an interesting point. Initially I was buying the cheapest (or near) item that met my search criteria. If I hadn't done that I would have saved myself a lot of time and upgrading now. When I upgraded last time I probably should have just bought a couple pieces of gear, rather than concentrating on having enough money to replace every piece. This time around I have replaced just a few pieces and spent way more on each one for better stats. I still think I am doing some things wrong (which is why I am valuing this discussion), but at least I have increased my EHP without decreasing my DPS (much). Now I have a better idea of where I want to head the next time I manage to save up enough money to upgrade something.
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Best quote ever, always buy for value and get a deal, even if it means slow upgrading, or getting an expensive bargain. Sometimes I actually make money upgrading my gear.

Sometimes cheap items devalue so fast, it can become worthless in a few weeks time, while a bargain buy, while expensive, might actually help you hold value by fighting inflation and making you a profit when you sell it.


+1 Exactly what happened to me. I made money on a couple pieces I upgraded from, but for the majority, I lost. I learned a pretty big lesson the hard way.
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1. Buy for value, not budget.
Too many shopping guides try to put a budget on each item slot and try to get the best gear for that budget. This is the wrong way to go about things. You want to spend your money as effectively as possible. This often means buying a cheaper item if it's a better buy. Use the money you save to get better stats on your other gear. (One 5m set I made for someone I spent 1m on the gloves, 4k on the boots).


I think this is an interesting point. Initially I was buying the cheapest (or near) item that met my search criteria. If I hadn't done that I would have saved myself a lot of time and upgrading now. When I upgraded last time I probably should have just bought a couple pieces of gear, rather than concentrating on having enough money to replace every piece. This time around I have replaced just a few pieces and spent way more on each one for better stats. I still think I am doing some things wrong (which is why I am valuing this discussion), but at least I have increased my EHP without decreasing my DPS (much). Now I have a better idea of where I want to head the next time I manage to save up enough money to upgrade something.


on that same note, I have always believed that buying one great piece of gear will serve you much better than a couple decent pieces in the long run. When i started looking at gearing this way i think i was around 70k dps. The first piece of gear i got after that made my profile look very weird, because all of my gear was mediocre, and then i had one really nice piece of gear. I think it was actually the current vile ward i am still wearing.

at that point in time its increased my dps/ehp a bit, but wasnt a huge overall upgrade. The fact of the matter is once you start getting more and more high end items then every piece seems to increase your dps more and more. They all kind of multiply against each other.

it seemed for me like i made so many upgrades from 20k dps to 70k dps. most of those items werent very good and had little to no resale value once i replaced them.

anyways, the point here is that in the long run of gearing, and while it might not seem like a great impact at the time, it is better to spend 20mil on one great item than it is to spend 20mil on 4-5 items because you will end up replacing those 4-5 items sooner than that one great one and will get less returned value for it.
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Overall, I think prices have come down, but it's more important than ever to avoid buying legendaries that you really don't need. I think it's much easier cheaper to get to 100K DPS than it used to be. I couldn't sell a complete 100K DPS set for 30M to 45M gold (gems included), and I'm selling it off bit by bit now on the AH.

I think part of that might have been an issue with when you were selling ... hard to sell sets to people when you've got multiple threads on the forums with people just giving away sets. But maybe things have just changed.

1. Buy for value, not budget.
Too many shopping guides try to put a budget on each item slot and try to get the best gear for that budget. This is the wrong way to go about things. You want to spend your money as effectively as possible. This often means buying a cheaper item if it's a better buy. Use the money you save to get better stats on your other gear. (One 5m set I made for someone I spent 1m on the gloves, 4k on the boots).

Hm. I generally work from a "Overall budget" standpoint on down. So, if you've got 15 million to spend overall, what can you do with that. Often my searches are limited to what's available *right now* so where I spend that 15 million changes from set to set. Maybe the first set I built I got an amulet for just 1.5 mill, but this time around I got a similar one for just 300k. That means I can pump that 1.2 mill into something else.

I actually feel like most people view upgrades differently than I (we?) do though. Most people you see post on the forums say, "I've got X amount of money and want to upgrade. What should I spend it on?" I tend to view things more as, I want to upgrade this particular piece ... and I'd like to do it for X amount of money. For example, I've decided that I want to buy a Witching Hour for, ideally, 50 million ... but I am willing to go up to 65. There aren't any right now worth buying for that price, so I will simply wait. If it becomes apparent, at some point, that I can't get what I want for the price I want it, I'll allocate more money toward that.

Then again, I think I've come to the realization that I like having gold more than I like spending it. I've basically been sitting on 200 million gold since 1.04 came out. I've spent a huge amount of gold since then, I just never spend it all :/

2. Always get a deal. Pay less than items are worth.
If you only buy items that are bargains, you will sell them for more than you paid for them. One of my favorite Budgetmonking principles is this: Upgrading your gear should be a source of income.

On the one hand, I agree with this. On the other hand, depreciation of gear makes this impossible in some cases. I got what I thought was a pretty decent price on my Nats boots when I bought them. Looking at prices now though, you can get a similar pair for less than a third of what I paid. Same thing with my Cold resist Inna's pants - I spent days bidding on pants before I finally won a pair for the price I wanted to pay: ~20 million. There's a similar pair right now for 7 million buyout.

3. Gems cost money.
I generally disagree with others who don't include gems in the price of gear. You save a lot of money by getting Vit natively on your chest rather than getting sockets. Same with CD on a weapon. Even when you have sockets, its often better to delay upgrading because that costs money that could be spent much more efficiently than on +4 Dex. Eventually, you may need those gems, but that's no excuse to be gimping your self NOW. Also, when you do find a chest that's better, but has two less sockets for example, you're now sitting on wasted gems. (I really only play one character on SC and one on HC lately, so that probably skews my thoughts. I see do see huge value if your willing to shift gems between characters)

Scrapz generally follows this as well - for his budget sets he was buying weapons with native CD instead of a socket because gems are expensive.

Ok, so on the one hand, this is true. Gems are expensive. A 100% CD gem costs over 30 million right now. Then again, you don't need to get the most expensive gems. What about a 70% CD gem though? The combine cost is only 500k. Just grinding through inferno should get you enough Tomes/Flawless Squares to be able to combine 2 Star gems. Leave the Flawless Squares in your armor. Boom, sockets taken care of.

The other thing I like about having sockets in gear is that it gives you something to work toward. Let's use your example of chest armor with no sockets. In the AH right now, there's a chest piece with 103 dex, 204 vit, 44 cold res, and + armor for 75k. The next two cheapest are at 350k and 700k (big jumps, huh) and have 138 dex, 201 vit, 35 cold res, 2 sockets and then 176 dex, 235 vit, and 45 cold res.

So of the three cheapest chest pieces, 2 don't have sockets, 1 does. Let's use the cheapest - 75k. This has 307 total stats between dex and vit. The one with sockets has 407 (339 + 68 for two flawless squares). Is 100 dex/vit worth 275k gold? I'd say yes.

But let's pretend we can only afford the 75k one. Ok, now when you're ready to upgrade that what are your options? You simply replace it. And since gear without sockets isn't hugely in demand ... we'd probably not make much back on it.

However, if we had spent a little more initially, we'd have the option of combining some of the gems we found while grinding and getting more stats this way. Furthermore, since those gems are things we are going to continue to use, we won't lose out on any gold that way since we'll just continue to combine them. And when we finally do have enough money to buy a GREAT chest piece (whether rare or Set), we'll be able to use the gems that we already have.

This kind of goes back to buying for budget or buying for value. I do not believe that the price of a socket is so expensive these days that anyone would be better off buying gear without them.

And gems are an investment that pay off in the long run.
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Yeah sitting on a pile of money is important so you can snipe bargains when it arises, you dont necessarily have to upgrade once you have 75M just because you want to (unless your gear cant even do MP1).

It seems even the timing, way and nature of upgrading has a philosophy itself!
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01/18/2013 10:08 AMPosted by Piffle
Ok, so on the one hand, this is true. Gems are expensive. A 100% CD gem costs over 30 million right now. Then again, you don't need to get the most expensive gems. What about a 70% CD gem though? The combine cost is only 500k. Just grinding through inferno should get you enough Tomes/Flawless Squares to be able to combine 2 Star gems. Leave the Flawless Squares in your armor. Boom, sockets taken care of.


The thing is the market has continued to overvalue sockets and undervalue CD on weapons. I constantly see weapons for the sub-100K DPS crowd with sockets on sale for more than those with 70+ CD. It's a little crazy because you have to pay for the gem and we're talking about a weapon you should never put a 80% CD gem in.

Also, you could just as easily grind through Inferno, get those gems, and sell them on the AH for cash and buy a better weapon with CD instead of a socket. (Aside: Can you believe emeralds are up to like 14K in the SC auction house? Everyone preparing for the next tier, I guess). I think it just pays to mentally add about 1m to the price of any weapon with socket and consider it a 70% CD. Then go see if you can't find something cheaper and better with CD. Usually, you can.

01/18/2013 10:08 AMPosted by Piffle
I actually feel like most people view upgrades differently than I (we?) do though. Most people you see post on the forums say, "I've got X amount of money and want to upgrade. What should I spend it on?" I tend to view things more as, I want to upgrade this particular piece ... and I'd like to do it for X amount of money. For example, I've decided that I want to buy a Witching Hour for, ideally, 50 million ... but I am willing to go up to 65. There aren't any right now worth buying for that price, so I will simply wait. If it becomes apparent, at some point, that I can't get what I want for the price I want it, I'll allocate more money toward that.


Pretty similar. Although I only had 50m at one time once, and I blew most if it on my Nat's set. Basically, I just go look at every slot and say "Are there any upgrades out there that I can afford and that are also underpriced?" If I get a big boost for what I'm spending and I'm getting a good deal, I buy it. Pretty much what you do with the Witching hour, but have ideas for each slot and just meander through the AH.

Of course, that's in theory. I also have wasted millions because I wanted to try out some wonky build and just wanted the specific gear NOW. I've spend a bunch because I want to play with a friend less dedicated to the game and I need to gear them up to par fast.

Also, it's easy to remain dedicated to frugality like this when I only have 20m in the bank. If I ever find a 100m item to sell, history seems to indicate I will probably waste it pretty quickly :)

01/18/2013 10:08 AMPosted by Piffle
This kind of goes back to buying for budget or buying for value. I do not believe that the price of a socket is so expensive these days that anyone would be better off buying gear without them.

Again, at the sub-100K DPS level, I really do find that this is indeed the case. Or at least that the cost of the socket REALLY needs to be taken into account, especially for Monks. Green gems are 14K in the SC AH. Purple gems are 14K in the HC AH. Filling 3 sockets with even radiant squares will cost you 750K. Filling with Stars will cost you about 3m. This cost is in the price of purchasing the gems or the opportunity cost of selling them if you already have them. It's significant for most people at that level, and I don't think it can be ignored.

Also, chests and pants without sockets have an extra affix free for other rolls. Unless you're getting a socketted chest that also has Dex, Vit, Dex/Vit and resistance rolls, you really don't need to be looking at the sockets. If you're getting 4 or 5 other good rolls, then maybe it's time to start looking for sockets which will cost you additional boosts.

This has been my take, anyway. I've recently start playing on the HC server about a month ago. One of the things I've loved about it is that I get to start over, but take all the knowledge about gearing that it took me wasting millions of gold in SC to accumulate. I think that if I always knew about the AH market and gearing efficiency what I know now, I would probably have about a 160K+ DPS beast of a Monk. (Also, I would do a better job of counting my zeros. That's another story). Now I get to put that knowledge to the test.

I've found that when starting over, when 1 million is a lot of gold and 5 million is a small fortune, that sockets are costly. The problem is exaggerated by a market that seems to value sockets as if they have the best or nearly the best gems in them already.
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Also, you could just as easily grind through Inferno, get those gems, and sell them on the AH for cash and buy a better weapon with CD instead of a socket. (Aside: Can you believe emeralds are up to like 14K in the SC auction house? Everyone preparing for the next tier, I guess).

Well part of that is because gem prices have doubled since the patch notes came out. Before that, flawless square emeralds were only 7k and they were the most expensive by far.

I think it just pays to mentally add about 1m to the price of any weapon with socket and consider it a 70% CD. Then go see if you can't find something cheaper and better with CD. Usually, you can.

So, using the stats for the set I "put together" yesterday, I'm looking at the options in the AH. Using a 2 million (maybe this is too high) max bid filter for my MH weapon, I was able to find a sword for 1.85 that has ~860 dps, 191 dex, 78 CD, and a socket that put my DPS at 76,329 (with a Flawless Square gem being used). Using the same filters but removing the requirement of a socket, I first found a 1k dps axe with 177 dex and 72 CD - this was a loss of 2300 dps. Next I tried a sword with 935 dps, 257 dex, 72 CD - this was a loss of just 2000 dps. Finally I found a fist with 915 dps, 255 dex, 92 CD - this was a loss of 2 dps (yes, 2, lol). I actually thought the last would be an upgrade in DPS.

And remember, that's using the level of gems that drop in Inferno. No combine cost. Just a single gem that drops all the time. This allows the person to upgrade along the way as well instead of having to sell off their weapon to upgrade. Upgrading to the next level isn't a huge dps increase, just 700 (because for some reason the increase is 5% CD???), but then again it only costs 3 gems, 3 tomes of secret and 30k gold. But at least there is an avenue of progression that doesn't involve replacing the whole weapon.

Now maybe this is simply a function of setting the min buyout too high ... but I kind of doubt it. Or maybe the overall quality of the gear is too high, especially given this comment:

I've found that when starting over, when 1 million is a lot of gold and 5 million is a small fortune, that sockets are costly. The problem is exaggerated by a market that seems to value sockets as if they have the best or nearly the best gems in them already.

So I figured I'd go through and set 5 million as my budget and see if that changes anything.

I went through looking for really cheap items. I ended up spending just 2,296,987 on all the gear. Using just Flawless Square Emeralds (2 in weapons, 4 in gear), I ended up with 446,964 EH (no gem in hat, though there is a socket) and 53,059k DPS. 11% MS on boots, but no sustain. The most I spent was on the OH - 485k

Ok, so now I've got my baseline super budget set ... does buying weapons without a socket benefit this set more? Originally I set the max buyout to 500k, so I'll keep that budget in mind.

The first item is a 1k dps, 177 dex, 72 CD axe - this represents a 350 dps loss over the weaker of the two weapons. Nothing else on the first page looks like it will be better. There's an 870 dps, 178 dex, 88 CD sword - this represents a 1500 dps loss though.

So again, even with the cheapest of gems, weapons with sockets win out. Here is the stats/prices of the gear I selected: http://i.imgur.com/mrZE3.png
Inna's hat, everything else rare.

Btw, here is the stats/prices of the gear from yesterday. Easier than redoing the whole set: http://i.imgur.com/ONStv.png
Helm/Pants were Inna's, everything else was rare.
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I went through looking for really cheap items. I ended up spending just 2,296,987 on all the gear. Using just Flawless Square Emeralds (2 in weapons, 4 in gear), I ended up with 446,964 EH (no gem in hat, though there is a socket) and 53,059k DPS. 11% MS on boots, but no sustain. The most I spent was on the OH - 485k

Ok, so now I've got my baseline super budget set ... does buying weapons without a socket benefit this set more? Originally I set the max buyout to 500k, so I'll keep that budget in mind.

The first item is a 1k dps, 177 dex, 72 CD axe - this represents a 350 dps loss over the weaker of the two weapons. Nothing else on the first page looks like it will be better. There's an 870 dps, 178 dex, 88 CD sword - this represents a 1500 dps loss though.


I'm actually a little surprised about how cheap decent 6-property chest and pants with all useful rolls are. Seems they're even cheaper than I thought. I'm probably too engrossed in the HC economy right now.

One thing about the weapons you list them as having over 100% CD on your spreadsheet. I was mainly talking about comparing getting a socket to getting CD. I think what you're showing here is the difference between getting a socket and getting more DPS on a weapon. That gets into a whole other concept about how high DPS on weapons tends to be overvalued for dual wielders. (For a while now, I've been thinking about writing a post about the differences in gearing 2-Handers, DW, and S&B Monks on a budget. It's something that hasn't really been mentioned much. It's very time consuming to fully organize my thoughts, though. I really respect the time you and others put into writing your guides.)

If you were working with a shield and/or you had to sacrifice some CD to get LS on a weapon it might be different. I think when you compare the prices of a weapon with LS+CD to the price of weapon with a LS+socket+gem you'd find the results I'm talking about. (You will probably now go on the AH and tell me I'm that no, I'm wrong again... wouldn't be the first time if that happens ;)

Anyway, I'll be taking a closer look at your spreadsheet and prices when I have some time and have access to the AH. From some of the push back I'm getting on these concepts, I think it's time to at least revisit my thoughts on them and see if my assumptions are off. This conversation has been food for thought.

(And thanks to Sliver32, the OP, for starting this thread. I'm glad you did)
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http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/m605/Rafferti/Screenshot016_zps2508492a.jpg

here you go

That looks awesome :D

I know its pretty silly but I love aesthetics and I can't stand Inna's or Tal's chests XD

Heres how IK's + BT's looks - http://i.imgur.com/zrDzI.jpg
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One thing about the weapons you list them as having over 100% CD on your spreadsheet. I was mainly talking about comparing getting a socket to getting CD. I think what you're showing here is the difference between getting a socket and getting more DPS on a weapon.

I read your previous posts as talking about the difference between:

Dex, CD, socket and
Dex, CD.

Generally if you forego the socket, you can get weapons with higher base DPS, but as you mentioned, generally it's better to get lower DPS and higher CD/dex. If you meant something else, then my apologies for misunderstanding =)

In the spreadsheet I am using, it's very similar to theasiangamer in the way you input CD - there's no separate field for native CD and CD from a gem, so the two are just combined.


If you were working with a shield and/or you had to sacrifice some CD to get LS on a weapon it might be different. I think when you compare the prices of a weapon with LS+CD to the price of weapon with a LS+socket+gem you'd find the results I'm talking about. (You will probably now go on the AH and tell me I'm that no, I'm wrong again... wouldn't be the first time if that happens ;)

In the past, while looking for weapons, I can remember finding that high DPS weapons were not the way to go and that you were better off with lower DPS, CD, and a socket. Dex if you could afford it, but for some reason the price increased with Dex more than the DPS did so it was easier to find weapons sans dex.

So when I look for LS weapons for sets I generally go: CD, LS (<2.5), socket.
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Really pleased with how this thread is turning out - it's exactly the kind of exchange I was hoping to see. (Wraith : You're welcome! =))

Piffle, many thanks for those links. If I understand correctly :

Set #1 (budget) had no sustain at all;
Set #2 had one LS weapon.

Is this correct?

01/18/2013 10:08 AMPosted by Piffle
Scrapz generally follows this as well - for his budget sets he was buying weapons with native CD instead of a socket because gems are expensive.


Hah! For some reason, hadn't even thought of that! Was so wrapped up in the whole crit dmg/chc train that I forgot about that possibility. And like someone else just said (or was it Piffle later in the thread...?), those are weapons that are going to be upgraded anyway, and in which a 100% gem has no business anyhow...=)

Although Piffle has a point later on the thread with his demonstration, it's still another avenue to explore, I suppose, for budget sets. Another set of search parameters.

01/18/2013 10:08 AMPosted by Piffle
This kind of goes back to buying for budget or buying for value. I do not believe that the price of a socket is so expensive these days that anyone would be better off buying gear without them.


I happen to agree with this.

01/18/2013 10:16 AMPosted by Shade
Yeah sitting on a pile of money is important so you can snipe bargains when it arises, you dont necessarily have to upgrade once you have 75M just because you want to (unless your gear cant even do MP1).


Oh man - now THERE'S a nugget. =) I hadn't thought of that at all. Whenever I can get to some important sum of gold (by mid- to end-2017, I'd wager), I'll certainly apply that. You're probably better off waiting to snipe a deal anyways, than spending too much on an OK deal. I've geared guys out like that, who wanted gear NOW, and I'm never happy with what they get for the price they pay...

Of course, that's in theory. I also have wasted millions because I wanted to try out some wonky build and just wanted the specific gear NOW.


Not me! (yeah right....)

And Stan : that IS a killer-looking monk. =) Too bad you have to resort to using the Inna's belt to get the 2-set bonus...I also personally hate the Inna's Chest aesthetically, but I am quite pleased with my Tal's.
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Great tips, guys. I just have one question: What is "OS"?

Edit: Never mind, I just got it. Open Socket.
Edited by Lucas#1109 on 1/18/2013 6:13 PM PST
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Really pleased with how this thread is turning out - it's exactly the kind of exchange I was hoping to see. (Wraith : You're welcome! =))

Piffle, many thanks for those links. If I understand correctly :

Set #1 (budget) had no sustain at all;
Set #2 had one LS weapon.

Is this correct?

That is correct.
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Finally had a chance to go on the AH and do a little more organized research to see exactly how sockets are being priced on weapons compared to CD in the current market. Bascially, what I did was a search for weapons with certain minimum stats where you're choosing between a socket and CD. Often this is going to be the case when you have LS on your weapon.

Here's a spreedheet that shows the max DPS you can get with buyouts right now, given certain requirements and a given budget :

http://i48.tinypic.com/2lvi91v.jpg

For example, in the spreadsheet, look at the 250K price point for LS weapons. Not only is the weapon with CD typically straight up better, but you also save the cost for the gem. [highlighted in yellow].

Even with slightly more expensive weapons (in the 1m to 2m range) the weapon you can buy with CD can at least be better than one you could buy for the price of a socket weapon and the gem (70% gems are currently over 1m) [shown highlighted in blue]

It has also been my experience in the past that sniping weapons with high CD is often easier and cheaper than sniping those with a socket. People tend to search for sockets more, I'm guessing, even to the exclusion of searching for weapons with higher native CD. (I can't really supply data points here, as I'm not going to be actually bidding on a large number of weapons, so you can just take this as my own annecdotal experiance if you want).

I'm sure that this isn't always the case, but the market does seem to over-value sockets, almost as if they are pricing them as if gem is already included in the weapon, and often a more expensive gem than that weapon really supports. (I've included two non-LS markets I found where the advantages of going for the CD weapon are not quite as clear-cut).

The ideal weapon possibly has Dex,LS,a socket,CD,and high DPS. Usually, though, something has to give for your price range. Often, you're making the decision between CD and a socket, especially when picking a weapon with LS. In those cases, I find that you get more bang for your buck going for CD over a socket. This is especially true when you consider the price of the gem.

(Mostly I was looking at the lower end of the market here, since that's what we've been talking about. Next, I'm probably going to start looking at higher end weapons for the above 100K DPS Monks, to see how that pans out. It's a little trickier, though, because higher CD weapons are naturally more sparse.)
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I am a little bit uh ... partied ... can you explain what you numbers mean in the spreadsheet?

edit: I'd also like to point out that the "cost" of gems from the AH is inflated, as you can save several hundred thousand gold by combing yourself.
Edited by Piffle#1874 on 1/19/2013 11:30 PM PST
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Looks good to me.
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