it is sometimes interesting to see how much gold is selling for in the black-market.
During the earliest opening and second week since diablo 3 released, gold was around $30 per 100k. It has since moved to around $10 for 1m, or $1 per 100k. A 30x decrease in value in just a few weeks.
While this doesn’t tell us everything about gold inflation, it does tell us that Gold is getting easier and easier to farm, and huge quantities of gold are on the market. It also tells us that gold-demand may be quite low, hence why it is being sold for so cheap. It doesn’t help that there are farmers out there making 4m gold per hour.
Aside from looking at inflation on that angle though, it is clear that currently there are little to no gold sinks available in the game, as the crafting market is completely dead – largely thanks to insanely high crafting costs for both gems and equipment.
Coming in to the launch of Diablo 3, most of us (probably including Blizzard) assumed that the Blacksmith would be widely used – he was after all the only major gold-sink in the game. However it has proved that dropped items alone selling in the AH have been enough to satiate the appetite for the market, and crafting is just a waste of money when one could easily buy an optimal item from the AH rather than pumping 50-170k of gold in to a random item that will more than likely turn out to be junk. This in turn, has killed the majority of the commodities market, as salvaging anything but level 60 items is the worst option available.
How did the crafting market turn out so bad? What went wrong? Well, I think it’s a combination of a few things:
- The big one: – Affixes too equally balanced, not enough “bad affixes” and not enough diverse, specific affixes (ones that just plain suck for X classes, while being good for Y classes). This makes Rare items too easily “good”.
- The massive Gold cost for crafting
- Rare item drop-rates too high (mostly from Elite packs, which easily drop 2 rares per kill, which is every few minutes)
- The fact that low-level items don’t drop in latter stages of the game, in essence making all rare drops top-level rares that are relatively good.
Blizzard plan to address the crafting costs of crafting by greatly lowering them in patch 1.03.
However, they are also making better items drop in more areas, marking a drastic increase in rare item quality over the entire economy. This change alone will make the crafting situation even worse, as more and more good items will continue to flood the economy via drops, rather than crafting.
While lowering the crafting costs may still make it worthwhile to craft rares despite a huge number of good rares entering the economy via drops, this in turn adds to another huge problem in the Diablo 3 economy, which is that good rares are going to be insanely abundant, even more so than now. How many people are going to spend real money on the RMAH when there are so many easily-attainable good items flooding the market, in the absence of PvP? My guess is not many at all. And with Legendaries being in the current state they are in now (ie. Useless), I think that the game is in dire need of some big sweeping changes to itemization.
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