Flipping vs Farming [Update]

General Discussion
Original Post:

Got fed up with the terrible drops, decided to try my hand at playing the AH. Turns out I'm actually decent at it, turned my initial 4 million gold into about 150 million when I left for work this morning.

Took me ~5 hours total over a week. If I were to farm for 5 hours over that same time period, I'd be lucky to clear 5 to 10 million from drops.

My question is what can be done to make playing the game more rewarding than playing the auction house? If it were close, I wouldn't complain and would rather play the game, but we're talking 20 to 30 times more efficient to play wall street. Or is this going to be the only way to make any real gold?


Edit: Bloody internal error, wanted to add my 4 million is now up to a quarter of a billion with only a few more hours of AH'ing. What do you guys think can be done to improve the reward of farming vs flipping without going full Weimar Republic?
Setting strict limits for the AH, and making items BoE, or Bind on purchase to control over saturation by providing a strong item sink. An auction house trading system can't coexist with a farming game unless the best items aren't obtainable directly from the AH. Otherwise, the farming aspect is trivialized. This is why the WoW AH allows you to get some gear, but the best gear is reserved for those actually taking the time to farm stuff for either pvp or pve. Blizzard perfectly understand this given their experience with WoW, but they allowed greed to take the best of them with D3, and turned into a shameless profiteering experiment. They should feel ashamed for this.

The other thing is gold as a currency. It's extremely easy to bot, and we already see the consequences of this. Inflation is absurd, and Blizzard seems to be unable to deal with this problem appropriately. It just got even worse when they decided to allow gold to be sold in the RMAH, performing a terrible spit in the face towards legit players. This is why the trading post idea suggested in some other thread sounded quite interesting. Items are more difficult to bot, even more considering the huge amount of randomization this game has when it comes to loot. Logistically it would be more challenging as well, considering your inventory isn't unlimited, as opposed to your gold bank. Bots may get away with farming legendaries, but i think it wouldn't be as bad as giving them full power through a set currency.

On the other hand, loot quality needs to be improved big time in order to make the game feel rewarding. Right now anyone can farm for days without having a single decent item, selling bag after bag of garbage. That's just frustrating, and it's a monumental design flaw for a loot-hunting game. It's completely absurd how playing the game is the worst way to progress in it, even more when anyone can simply pull out a credit card and get awesome gear while a legit player is stuck with the garbage this game was designed to provide at an individual level.
The issue with BoA from AH purchases would simply go to jsp or other sites.

Trading post could work, maybe put your item up and some minimum values you would be willing to trade for (ie a ring with min 4.5 crit 30 cd and 6 attack speed or whatever) would help filter out the thousands of completely worthless stuff you would otherwise be offered.

I think as long as gold as the primary currency, it will basically never improve. Maybe it will move to a certain item, but with the variable rolls nothing could be consistent.
I hate hearing this... I never flipped, and also never broke 50m, it sucks that playing is doing it wrong, flipping is doing it right! What the heck is up with that...?
04/29/2013 12:48 PMPosted by Razgries
I hate hearing this... I never flipped, and also never broke 50m, it sucks that playing is doing it wrong, flipping is doing it right! What the heck is up with that...?


All I want to make is a zero dog witch doctor, priced it out at 800 million. Since it is impossible to actually farm for zero dog gear, it only leaves me with the AH and the ridiculous high prices, which are only achievable through the credit card (which feels like cheating) or playing the AH (which for some reason doesn't feel like cheating to me).
I think as long as gold as the primary currency, it will basically never improve. Maybe it will move to a certain item, but with the variable rolls nothing could be consistent.


No. Remove gold and players will switch to a new currency like gems (which people are already using to sell their gold on the RMAH, even with the price floor). Look at what happened in D2. The players moved to SoJs, Pgems, HRs, fg, D2jsp. The fact is that players will ALWAYS be looking for the most efficient way to trade, and having a central currency is just the natural progression. You can put up 100s of barriers to this, but at what point do you start eliminating fun?

As for removing the AH, again people will just switch to trade forums, and be slightly more inconvenienced. Flipping will still happen. t happened in D2 also, you just weren't as aware of it because it seemed harder to do, and trading was MUCH more inefficient. I'd say the arbitrage potential in D2 was actually greater in that game because people were even less aware of what their items were worth, and didnt have an in-game guide to consult.

Flipping is very profitable right now for 2 major reasons.
1) People are greatly underpricing the gear they sell.
2) Gold inflation is huge due to bots/farmers.

The second one is actually a huge problem. If it takes you 20 hours to pick up 10 mil gold, before it used to represent a pretty good item. So 20 hours of your time was worth a good item, regardless if you got any good drops. Now 10mil is relatively worth very little compared to what godly items cost (However its interesting to note that the mid range gear that you can pick up with 10 mil is vastly more powerful than it used to be, so there's an added component of item inflation). Now 20 hours you spent is relatively worthless, so now you have to depend on the drops, which are inconsistent on purpose, and have to be because there is no item sink.

Flipping is unaffected by gold inflation really, because it works on a percentage basis. So as gold inflation keeps on increasing, flipping will actually continue to become a more attractive choice versus gold farming. The only things working against flipping is the amount of people doing it, and the knowledge of the item market permeating to more players.

Arbitrage will always exist, and the less people that know about it, the more profitable it will be. Look at the stock market. The quickest way to get rich quick realistically. You cannot eliminate it. I'm sorry but as long as trading exits, there will be flipping. Blizz should be addressing the reasons why flipping is so profitable, but combating bots and farmers is an extremely difficult thing to do. The only other thing Blizz can do is put in a market research tab that shows past prices, but that is also a very hard thing to do.

What Blizz can realistically do, is put in an item sink that will help all items keep their value longer, so that even the mediocore items that you find more consistently can be traded for a higher value, and allow your hours put into the game to be worth something.

TL:DR; Flipping will always exist as long as trading exists, and players will always be moving towards the most efficient way of trading
The second one is actually a huge problem. If it takes you 20 hours to pick up 10 mil gold, before it used to represent a pretty good item. So 20 hours of your time was worth a good item, regardless if you got any good drops. Now 10mil is relatively worth very little compared to what godly items cost (However its interesting to note that the mid range gear that you can pick up with 10 mil is vastly more powerful than it used to be, so there's an added component of item inflation). Now 20 hours you spent is relatively worthless, so now you have to depend on the drops, which are inconsistent on purpose, and have to be because there is no item sink.


This times a thousand. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Yeah if AH only displays items instead of trading them directly then you will have to talk to the owner of the item and see if he wants to sell it to you or to another player who gave him better offer

But game economy is so bad right now and i don't think there is easy fix :P
You don't need an item sink in D3 to fix the game. You need items and affixes that don't completely suck. The only reason why D2 needed an item sink was because of dupers. The only reason why D3 may need an item sink right now is because itemization is so GD awful. We're all chasing the same 7-8 affixes on a handful of gear to play one or two builds per class.


While I agree that itemization is pretty lackluster right now, and I really do hope the itemization update includes interesting affixes that give more viable builds, item saturation will happen regardless. Sure it might not happen for another year if they put in enough items but it will happen. I'd rather they address it at the same time as the itemization update, because that way it will be a fix implemented before the actual saturation occurs (this is assuming that the itemization update will give us new items to chase, effectively resetting the item field)

There was actually a really good post on /r/diablo that was posted on here too that summed up the variety of ways that Blizz could deal with item saturation. http://en.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/1ac1z5/diablo_3_economy_issue_item_saturation/

IMO BoE is the way to go, but it needs to be implemented when the most powerful items are introduced, so I don't see them doing this before the expansion
BoE is not the solution. On principle alone, it is the wrong direction for a Diablo game. The most powerful items in D2 were the ones people actively traded for. If you make D3 a self-found raid and craft game, you simply have a very bad, bastardized version of WoW.


Just remember that BoE != BoP

I personally think that finding a godly item and then having to choose whether to use it or trade it is a good idea. A closely related idea to this is making enchants make an item binding so it gives you a bit more flexibility with trying items out.

I can see why people are opposed to that, but can we leave out the fact that it's a WoW mechanic, or that it is not the spirit of a Diablo game? It is ideologies like this that don't allow us to explore more creative solutions to problems. BoE is in games have it and it is an effective way of alleviating item saturation.

I encourage you to take a look at the reddit post. If you read it, you can see that realistically, there are not very many viable options to alleviate item saturation. Putting in more affixes only extends the time that saturation occurs, it doesn't eliminate it. What in your opinion would be the best fix for item saturation then?

Ladder could also work if on a short enough time basis, but I personally don't prefer that one.
I too made gold at the fastest rate by far using the AH. Farming gives me a few mil a day, maybe 50 mil if i find something decent or sell a few best in slot unid legendaries.

My characters reflect that, paragon's in the 20's mostly, but my DH does close to 300k dps unbuffed, hits close to 550 buffed with a frenzy shrine. my Monk is 190k dps unbuffed, well into the 400's with buffs, overawe and a frenzy shrine. My barb was built with playing the AH in the 1.06 patch when gold was worth 5x as much as it is worth now, but he can still do mp10 by the seat of his pants.

THE POINT: The AH is a huge deterrent from gameplay for me because it's just so profitable and let's face facts about most Diablo Players: All we want to do is be The Best that we can be by whatever means available. Fun is an afterthought for most of us - it's the thrill of getting to a point that you're proud of and then pushing further, not the thrill of killing the same monsters over and over or even finding a legendary item. The first thought when finding a legendary is "how much can i get for it?" what's it worth. value. Spending Power/Time is what we play in the Diablo Universe. To be the best is why we play.
04/29/2013 11:36 AMPosted by Blashyrkh
The other thing is gold as a currency. It's extremely easy to bot, and we already see the consequences of this.

Yes I agree. A month or so ago, I came up with the Trading House idea. I said I was going to draw up a diagram but never got around to it (1 year ago I would have done it asap when I had the time to invest). So anyways, with the Trading House, we retain the AH interface including ability to search for items, item value, etc however gold is no longer a main currency. It's something you can trade for, but it's not the main currency. Instead of Bid/Buyout button, there is a Make Offer button, when clicked, takes you to another screen that allows you to set up an item, gold, commodities, etc to make the offer.

Going back to the main listing, there should be a mouseover function where a player has written a note stating what he/she wants for the item. Maybe this specific window where the seller has a list of drop-down options with stat/stat ranges for items.

With the Trading House concept, it de-emphasizes gold as a main currency and offers centralized trading with the protection that the AH provides. One of the main complaints about removing the AH is that they have to turn to 3rd party trading. You wouldn't have to do that with this system, AND you get a global audience to sell to!
04/29/2013 03:13 PMPosted by Derpalator
THE POINT: The AH is a huge deterrent from gameplay for me because it's just so profitable and let's face facts about most Diablo Players: All we want to do is be The Best that we can be by whatever means available. Fun is an afterthought for most of us - it's the thrill of getting to a point that you're proud of and then pushing further, not the thrill of killing the same monsters over and over or even finding a legendary item. The first thought when finding a legendary is "how much can i get for it?" what's it worth. value. Spending Power/Time is what we play in the Diablo Universe. To be the best is why we play.


Very true. I would literally kill nothing but the butcher if it was the most profitable.
04/29/2013 03:22 PMPosted by whoopadeedoo
Fix the progression system to encourage more characters (if everyone rolled another character, there's a huge item sink right there).


This is the key right here, More people need to make more characters. Granted we need something to do with those characters. For example, everybody had their farming character in D2, and most people had a good PK'er in case someone came into your game and hostiled you.

I personally think a DOTA style arena would be absolutely dope.

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