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My 2 cents as a similarly casual player that quit a couple months after release and just returned 2 months ago:
a) Not sure why you would really need the AH for a low level char in Normal or Nightmare, but anyway Hell is where it starts to get a bit challenging. If you want to breeze through quickly, my advice would be to pick up a cheap level 60+ wep (e.g. 800dps 2h) with -12 to -18 level requirement, that alone will turn Hell into Normal.
b) It's really easy to gear up a char that can do up to MP3-4 on a budget nowadays. Good gear is dirt cheap, and go for bids instead of buyouts, you can stretch your gold that much further. I geared all my characters for under 5m each (not including the monk) and all of them can do MP3-5.
Btw not to turn this into another barb imba thread, but I found the barb to be one of the most effective on a budget ;) followed by WD, perhaps because WD gear generally seems cheaper than other classes'. Just don't feel discouraged by looking at the billion gold items on other peoples' characters, play your own game and you will be fine.
c) While I'd agree that flipping is an effective way to make money, I didn't buy the game to sit and AH all day. Do it if you can stand it, but otherwise it is perfectly possible to just play the game, collect your drops and save up slowly for stuff you need.
d) Agreed that some legendary stats can't be searched for, but overall I consider AH rather easy to use. Can't relate to you on this.
I totally agree, I've reached that point where:
* Nothing drops
* What does drop does not sell
The most I've ever had anything sell for was in the 1-2M range. That's between one and two.
Post 1.0.5, the low-mid range gear value dropped through the floor. It is much faster to farm gold to buy an upgrade than to wait for a drop.
So I'm stuck farming for ... gold. Which you can buy for (how many cents per million?) on the RMAH.
Which is why I'm so focused on Paragon Levelling right now, since you can't buy P Levels.
summary - you are complaining about being able to afford stuff which blizzard has no control over? you do realize players will just start listing their items for more right?
you could always try to play the game and actually find gear or stuff to sale vs whining that you deserve / should be able to get all the items for keep.
next you'll want the shops to be stocked with super great gear for super cheap as well.
note - cm wizard can do mp 3-5 on 1.5 mil worth of gear.. that's pretty affordable for anyone. I just bought gear 3 days ago
Edited by MikeAkaJB#1122 on 4/16/2013 6:51 AM PDT
I definitely understand where you're coming from. I've clocked in way too much time in this game to be healthy, and have never found a great drop, only a couple ok drops in my entire time. I've gone the magic find route, and have tried the smithing route, but neither of those panned out. It's not that legendaries and set items aren't dropping. But when I get them, I find better versions of them for dirt cheap. I'm not talking a million. I'm talking like I can sell it for 200k, if I'm lucky. I honestly think I must have found several Worst-In-Class Legendaries and set items. About the only use would be to get the set item achievements, and the legendaries are just brimstone. As for crafting, I've spent 100M+ on crafting, and really have nothing useful to show for it. It's especially frustrating when I see people who get items 1000x better than mine in under ten attempts when I make 100 attempts to make something.
But as far as money, I've stopped with these routes. Seriously, if you want to make money, place Hard Core. I am not kidding here. Even if your goal is to have your main character on SC, HC is the way to go for farming money. All you need is a character who can farm Act 1 Inferno MP0, which is easy and inexpensive, even in SC terms. I'm at the point where the odds of dying on Act 1, even with a disconnect, are practically non existent without having two or more groups of elites all attacking me (I can easily survive 3 elite packs at the same time without a disconnect). Crafting materials sell for a fortune. I'd guess that on average, I make about 1-2 million off the HC AH per hour just in crafting mats. Throw in gear that you find, which, unlike SC, will sell, and gold that you find, and you can make around 2-4 million per hour from Act 1 on HC. And you can find people who are always trying to buy HC gold at around 3:1. You're talking 5-10 million per hour after the trade, which barring extreme luck in drops off SC stuff, you just can't really match.
Occasionally I play normal or hell or even nightmare and I list gear all the time at under a 100k for lower levels.
I know what you mean though. I go to list something and everything else is like 500k.. I never list for that amount and I am sure there are those who buy what I listed and then relist it at 500k.
I agree with your OP in the sense that this economy can leave players by the wayside if they don't play consistently. However, you do have a couple of options that some people have already outlined:
1. Don't use the auction house and embrace the grind (and don't compare yourself to others you see on the forums who, through any number of methods, likely have gear you will never acquire).
2. Find one of the budget build guides on the Monk forums. The Monk forums are awesome, and I have seen plenty of people who have built incredible sets for nearly nothing. You could probably upgrade every one of your gears for under 2-3 million total... just gotta know what to look for, and the guides help with that.
3. Buy gold. Some may say this ruins the game or something to that effect, but there is a very real initial hump you need to clear before you can farm and paragon level efficiently, in my opinion. For a Monk, I think that threshold is around 100k dps if you are playing the standard cookie cutter dual wield spec, and you can get there for under 10m gold (which costs what, $3-5?).
Some may also say that it's a slippery slope once you buy gold with real money. I didn't find this to be true in my experience. I was in the same boat as you... so I paid $20 for 40 million gold back in November, invested wisely in a new set of gear, and have seen great results since (farming faster, finding more drops, paragon leveled fairly high). Something to consider...
Hardcore mode has a better auction house. Hardcore mode is also more exciting and rewarding than softcore mode.
In softcore mode, you get decent items and steamroll everything because death isn't an issue.
Hardcore mode is a completely different game.
Hardcore mode has a better auction house. Hardcore mode is also more exciting and rewarding than softcore mode.
No same boring grind....you die you lose everything. WTF, where is the fun in that.
You can easily farm Mp0-1 with your monk or mage, put a ruby in your helm and grind some paragon level to increase magic find.
My best drop (and unique) came at MP0 (a Witching hour sold for 450mil).
Put on some pickup radius item (gold drop like rain) and go killing mobs.
It's true, nothing sells for significant amount of gold, but also you can buy pretty decent items for dirty cheap!
Not sure what you are complaining about. There is plenty of gear out there. Your not going to be buying perfect trifecta or better gear for a less than a million though but hopefully your not that naive. I started a hardcore character Act 2 on Normal and am definitely over-geared already (MP5 could go higher but sometimes I dont pay much attention so don't want to risk dieing). So not sure what you are talking about not being able to buy affordable gear why leveling up.
Then compare that to the normal mode when the is a huge surplus of items compared to Hardcore...
Also if your having trouble getting items while leveling up to 60 check out the in game venders. They scale pretty nice, I honestly didn't touch the Auction house on my first playthough till I hit level 45-50. All crafting and venders, and drops.
It's not nearly as hard to find good/great gear as some people make it sound, and if you just ignore all the stupidly priced stuff, you will find that there is almost always a good deal to be had.
Personally, I think it just takes a bit of persistence, but if you pay attention then it's not like you have to farm for months to find one upgrade. You're simply doing something wrong if that's the case for you.
Try filtering items by time remaining, try searching for max buyouts within your price range, try searching for items based on key stats, and try to progress gradually. If you want to upgrade some crap helm that should probably be vendored and go straight to a critical hit Mempo, of course you're going to be disappointed.
I think anyone who hasn't been playing this game a ton since it came out or using a credit card, would agree that the AH is a problem. At the same time you need to accept that it's not going anywhere, so your best bet is to take advantage of it and get to grinding.
It seems like nothing is dropping then bam, a nice little amulet that sells for 25m, which you use to buy a weapon/armor etc, which helps you farm more efficiently and so on.
The only items I have bought for my barb are my chest, belt, and weapons. The rest was crafted, found with sorc or leveling my barb. Crafting is worth it no matter what anyone says. You aren't going to roll the perfect one on your first try. My crafted items still need upgrades. But, it's a process.
Trust me once you start paragon leveling you will find more stuff, simply from the amount of time invested and the gained MF.
I disagree. It's easy to find stuff for new level 60s to get a pretty decent start. Hell, I regularly save items like that and give them away from time to time (once I've stashed enough of them).
Don't know what your idea of "playing this game a ton" is, but I work two jobs, probably 70 or so hours a week. I don't exactly dedicate my life to this game. Like I said earlier, I think a lot of people have more of an issue navigating the AH, rather than the AH actually being devoid of useful/affordable stuff.
Your woes only exist because of the false ceiling Blizzard has imposed on the AH. Right now, the maximum value of an item on the gold AH is 2 billion gold. That's not necessarily because items are actually worth 2 billion; it's because that's how much Blizzard told players the maximum value would be for a top-tier item by implementing that cap.
If there was no suggested maximum price, we may not be seeing the current sky-high prices we see because players would have built the economy themselves, gradually increasing the maximum value ceiling instead of starting it off at 2 billion. The best gear would inevitably reach and surpass the 2 billion mark, of course, but it would not have started there.
To the OP,
The economy in this game is what it is and you mention not being able to make tons of money, but I think the bigger issue is your expectations of "what you should have" are not reasonable. Some of this I think comes from your (and I don't mean this disrespectfully) lack of experience, but as you play more and gain greater understanding of your characters, you will vastly improve.
While I am not vastly familiar with softcore, I can almost be certain that for under 100k you can vastly improve your monk (I didn't look at your other characters). My suggestion would first be to regem your gear from dex to vitality. Now granted I play hardcore, so my expectations for an appropriate amount of life are different, but with your current resistances/DPS/armor, if you boosted your life to roughly 50k you are more than Act 3 MP0 ready and you should be able to farm quickly without ever coming close to death (perhaps even MP1 if you can keep your DPS roughly the same).
Secondly, replace your bracers. You can shop for an upgrade if you'd like, but what I would recommend doing is buying the 200 dex bracer pattern (should be dirt cheap) and craft 2-3 pairs. You are almost guaranteed to roll a GIANT upgrade over your current pair. You will probably only need to roll one.
Third, I know you just mentioned you found this, but replace your belt. You can easily find an affordable upgrade with higher resist all then the arcane resistance you have there with more life/dex than you probably have currently.
Longer term... try to fit some MF in your gear where you can. You already have more than good enough stats for Act 3 MP0, so if you can find ways to incorporate some MF now instead of waiting for your paragon levels to hit 300MF, you will be able to see more returns for your time spent farming/leveling. And while your weapons are ok for right now, you should focus on trying to save up for some higher DPS ones when you can (that will be more expensive than a simple 100k).
There's a lot more I could say... but if you just start with that you'll find yourself much improved and probably enjoying the game more. But the biggest advice I can give you is, manage your expectations. As others have hinted in this thread, you're expecting a lot more for what your currently have (low MF and not a lot of time played - which is very unlikely to find a major sellable item). You really don't need to play the AH to play this game effectively. With very little funds right now, you can adequately gear at least one character to do everything you need him to. At the stage you're at currently, you don't really need to be "playing the AH" (I don't really do that and I do just fine). Just make the few purchases I suggested and get some more experience and you'll find yourself fully capable of playing this game at a higher level in no time.
(And playing self-found is also an option as others have mentioned... my DH which I just hit 60 with is using items I've only found myself across my characters on my account. But the AH shouldn't be ruining your experience with the stage you are at currently).
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