Diablo III Auction House User Errors

A blue posted in a thread about making costly item mistakes in Diablo 3, and spurred something I wanted to mention.

Whats your most painful mistake this week in D3?

Mine’s salvaging my best shoulders accidentally whilst trying out new ones to see what benefits I would get.
Grimiku: I bought a Doomhammer that upgraded a lot of stats, and then realized I couldn’t use it because I didn’t put Life Steal in the search filters. It wasn’t too expensive, but it was enough that I had to settle for lesser Zuni boots later on.

I think most of us have done something along those lines while playing the item game? I recall one time months ago, when I was searching for quiver upgrades for my Demon Hunter (in softcore, obviously). I did a bunch of searches, looking for the best value in DiabloWikiIAS, CC, Dex, Vit, +Max Discipline, etc, and finally found one that looked like a really good deal. Like a steal, really. I snapped it up for something like 3m, greedily sent it to my stash, created a game, rushed to equip my new toy… and found that the DPS number was a red -8000.

Since I’d been shopping for (and had certainly paid for) an upgrade on my current quiver, I was a little shocked, and tried out a few new words when I realized that during all of my searching and changing of parameters I’d somehow dropped DiabloWikiCritical hit Chance as a property, and had thus bought a fantastic quiver at a great price… since it lacked the single most important/valuable quiver stat. (Best I recall, I immediately put it back up for sale and got something like 3/4 of my purchase price back; probably from someone else who had screwed up the same search as me.)

Early AH sample screenshot... with commas in list prices.

Early AH sample screenshot… with commas in list prices.

Another mistake I have not made, though fear I will one day, is missing a digit when listing items. We talked about this on a recent podcast and Xanth admitted to doing it once; pricing something a full digit lower than he meant to, thanks to the inexplicable fact that the AH *STILL* doesn’t show commas or periods between every three digits. (This was a big deal in news and blue comments last November, and yet the seemingly-simple problem remains untreated.)

As I recall Xanth’s story, he meant to post a legendary for 18,000,000, or the eye-glazing 18000000 in B.net terms. But he missed a zero, put it up for 1,800,000 and of course someone bought it .01 seconds after the auction went live and that was that.

I have not (yet) fallen prey to that error, but every time I post an auction for more than seven figures you can bet I count the damn zeros. I’m often tempted to post auctions that look like bad binary code, just so I can count the digits accurately. List items for 80100100, rather than 80000000 and hope I didn’t blow it by a factor of 10.

Use the comments to share your painful mistakes with the group, and join in the catharsis of confession.


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  1. My most costly error was dishing out 60€ so I could play the game on launch day!

    Nice! I have to enter Thinking Cap for my Captcha 🙂

  2. Back when I played, yes, I never listed anything that used same digit more than 3 times in a row. For example, if I wanted to list something for 18000000 I’d list it at 17999000, 17999123, or 18000123 — anything where I’d easily notice a missing digit. And then before clicking submit, I’d double check what I entered to make sure I posted at 18 mil.

  3. I accidentally bid 1 to many zeros for a WKL and wound up with a 50million WKL I did not want. It has taken me a long time to dig myself out of that hole in HC too.

  4. AH world problems.

  5. It’s so depressing to see that in a diablo game the most important thing are numbers on an auction house… or red numbers on the items, it’s so souless.

  6. I don’t use the AH a whole lot, and I definitely sell far more than I buy, but I’ve made idiotic costly mistakes on both sides.

    My worst selling mistake was a missed digit. I had a high main stat, high vitality, CC + CD ring with a couple of other decent stats that wasn’t terribly useful for any characters I had at the time. Comparables were selling for 80 million+, so I figured I would list it at 50 million to speed up the sale a bit. Except I listed it at 5 million. Of course, it was gone before I could cancel it. The worst part is that at 50 million, it would have doubled the size of my gold stash. At that point I had never had an item sell over 3 or 4 million. To this day it would have been one of my highest selling items ever.

    Just about the only time I’ll buy anything is late at night, after I’ve been playing for a while and I end up just giving in to temptation. Not the best time to make decisions. I also get carried away with finding bargains, and that is just not a good combination of conditions. The worst I can recall off the top of my head was a 2-socket Manticore with high Dex… until I got in game and realized it was high Int. I must have been juggling search criteria and accidentally dropped Dex at some point. Who knows, I guarantee you I was bleary-eyed at that point. It took me forever to unload that thing again. I don’t remember exactly how much of a loss I took, but it was hefty.

    The AH is a cruel and unforgiving mistress. I’ve learned it’s best to toy with her as little as possible, and tread most carefully when you do.

  7. One of my suggestions from this thread:


    Is that now that they have finally added the ‘stat changes if you equip this item’ with the red/green numbers used for comparison, that we actually be able to use those as search filters.

    I’d like to find a weapon that regardless of all the stats on it, it increases my dps with a green number in the ‘stat changes when equipped’ section. All the ones with red numbers can be filtered out as I’m not going to buy them.

    Similar for life and protection, and for everything except weapon I like to have all three categories be an upgrade when I make a purchase. Add that into the ‘search for similar items’ and the ‘recommended items’ default search and the AH will become a lot better, in my opinion.

  8. Check your auctions as you post them to confirm the desired selling price. Pretty simple. No need for commas, etc.

    • While this is completely valid advice, and i agree whole heartedly (you’ll notice that I referred to my own mistakes as “idiotic”), it is still a symptom of poor design. It’s putting the onus on the user for something that is a fault in the system. It is absurd to not have commas. That’s a simple interface issue. There is no reasonable argument for not having them (the commas vs. periods dilemma is comical- either way no one is mistaking 10.000.000 for the numeral ten with random meaningless decimals after it). It’s truly baffling that they are still clinging to this.

      Let’s put it this way: If it were reasonable to not have commas, you would see sites that deal in real money that don’t use commas. Have you come across any of those lately? Ever?

      Look, you’re correct that this is a silly point for people to whine incessantly about. It’s more of a source for “Oh my god, I’m an idiot” stories like these. But realistically, it shouldn’t be either. It’s such a ridiculously simple problem to fix, and there are absolutely no adverse repercussions to doing so. It’s a case where idiot proofing the game doesn’t negatively affect anyone. At all. In any way. Just do it already and let these stories fade into memory.

    • Oh, and there are commas in the listings themselves, so the comma vs. decimal dilemma makes ABSOLUTELY no sense.

      So why not just double check the listing, you might ask? Well, when you misprice a high value item by a factor of ten, it is very often gone in seconds. That “Will be searchable in 5 minutes” pop up does not always prove true in practice. There are apparently still quite a few people who do the constant refresh/scoop up the profits routine.

  9. My worst mistake was laughing at people raging about a video game. Then I remember how funny they are.

  10. Blizzard are currently on their 8th meeting to discuss how to best implement commas in AH.

    Gotta love their total lack or resolve.

  11. of resolve*. No way to edit ftw

  12. My most costly, and still something I consider to be a bug, was a purchase of 10 million for an amulet. The reason I say it was caused by a bug is that if you right click your current slotted item to search for an equivalent/upgrade, the AH places the item level into the MIN level box to search so you end up with results that you can’t really use. I made the mistake one day of not adding in my current level to the MAX level box so I could only find things I can use. Won’t do that again but they should fix that.

    • I didn’t think to mention that, but I’ve done that multiple times, usually while leveling a new character. Hit level 42, search for a new armor, find a good deal, buy it… and realize it’s level 55, which is why it had so much better stats than the others of the appropriate level.

      The problem, if I can blame the AH interface, is that your right click “find like” option fills in the ilvl as the minimum, but doesn’t put a limit on the max. You have to manually enter a max level to limit the upper bounds of the search.

      All that said, the AH is clearly the best feature of Diablo 3. I’m sure everyone can agree on that. At least everyone who has played more recently than say, last June and only sticks around to complain? *cough*

      • One other minor thing about “find similar items”: I use it most often to compare something I’ve found to what’s already on the AH in order to figure out how to price it. In that situation, Max level is far more useful. Let’s say you have a level 45 helm with 90 mainstat, 60 Vitality, and a socket. When you search with a Min level of 45, it’s going to seem worthless because level 60 items come up also. If you search with a Max level of 45, you’ll quickly find that it will easily sell for a million+. Like I said, it’s a minor point… but it does seem more logical for Max level to be the default. I’m not really sure why you would want to search with a default Min level, especially since the stats tend to act as a minimum level limiting factor on their own.

  13. I’ve listed items and missed a zero, most recently some Zuni boots for 50k not 5m, needless to say, they sold quickly.

  14. Never found anything of value in D3 for giving it so many zeros.. So yeah. My biggest mistake in D3 would have been giving away too much gold to needed.

  15. the ah would be good if someone put a little more work in to make it more user friendly.

  16. I want my auction house experience to be more streamlined. **** the gameplay I want to buy and sell!

    • You’re right. Let’s just ignore bad implementation because you personally dislike that aspect of the game. While we’re at it, let’s go back to the golden days of D2 trading – where very few people knew the actual value of items, so bartering almost always consisted of one person who thought they had the most valuable item the game had ever dropped and the other thought 40 chippies could buy anything. Or how about the endless fun of going into 200 different trade games (or sitting in the trade chat for 6 hours) trying to find someone who was willing to trade EXACTLY what you wanted for EXACTLY what you had? That was awesome gameplay there my Luddite friend.

      The AH has it’s problems and drawbacks, no question. But so did bartering. At least the AH is a formalized system that address the reality that people playing an item based game are going to want to trade items. And, being a formalized system, it can be tweaked and improved. So, either continue improving it, or completely excise it like they are doing with the console version (although that would require much more work than the things being suggested here). But don’t just ignore it and leave it half-assed. Congratulations on suggesting the worst possible of all solutions.

      • Several developers have come out publicly against the AH now for obvious reasons. So I find your stubborn adherence to the current system to be a little misguided given the general attitude toward the AH as having more than just “a few” problems as you put it.

        Also I never suggested to go back to D2 bartering as the only solution even though it would be better than what we have now. I’d be fine with an auction house if we were given the option to play on a server without one OR we were given the option to play on a resetting ladder server OR self find drop rates weren’t so closely tied to the existence of an auction house.

        D2’s crude trading system was only superior because it did not affect gameplay. If you chose to be a loner or just play with one or two other people you could self find everything. Look at PoE’s trading system. Crude yet it was and still is far better received than D3’s auction house. If you can figure out why that happened then you might understand the changes people are asking for.

        • I’m not stubbornly adhering to the AH in any way. What I’m saying is either continue to improve the current system, or go the direction they’re taking with the console version and get rid of it completely. But don’t just leave it partially gimped, as it is now. The devs need to make a decision and stick to it. When it comes down to it, most of the weak points of this game are the result of waffling and indecision, ending up in weird half-measures and mashed together, chimera-like systems that don’t work well.

          I know that several developers have come out against the AH (and I don’t completely disagree with them). The real dilemma is that the AH offers a huge upside: an easy avenue for item distribution through trading, with a fair market valuation. That is a very good thing for players interested in trading (which is a huge percentage of the player base). The downside is also obvious: you have now created a sanctioned economy that has to be managed through drop rates. In comparison, D2’s economy was never part of the design strategy, it was player created, and therefore was not the responsibility of the developers. Now it is. And they haven’t handled it especially well.

          Don’t get me wrong. I never said that the AH only has a few problems. It has some major issues. Issues that need to be handled with strong decision making (which is where the original dev team faltered). Look at the RMAH as an example. That was a bad decision that was influenced by too many weak impulses. The most charitable take on it is that it’s purpose was to eliminate third party sites. If thought through, they should have realized that the existence of a GAH would have drastically reduced the appeal of third party sites, because people would be able to trade much more easily (without the inherent drawbacks of bartering). True, that wouldn’t have eliminated the third party problem. But it would have reduced it to a very manageable level, and you wouldn’t be stuck in a situation where you can’t make real changes to the game because you’re afraid of affecting items that people have spent real money on. In that scenario, people who spent real money would have been cheaters, and the consequences for them would be meaningless. The added appeal of the RMAH as an income stream just encouraged the poor decision making. Essentially, they tried to create a middle road, ignoring the fact that it led through a swamp.

          As for “Ironborn” servers and ladders, I’m all for that. I’ve argued for them many times in the past. But with that, and with a proposition like eliminating the AH completely, we’re talking about major system changes. Changes like that are either not on the immediate horizon, or unlikely to ever happen. Somebody needs to make a consequential decision first… and there’s not a great track record there. What I was talking about above are very simple, less-than-an-afternoon-of-coding fixes to the existing system. While I would love to see some of the major changes, it is still absurd to not fix the glaring, simple errors that exist in the current system.

          In the end, we’re not actually that far apart on this. But with your original comment you’re basically just saying “The AH sucks”. OK. Point taken. We got that more than a year ago. It gets old hearing it parroted over and over again. Why not have a more constructive conversation, like the one we’re having now? At least we may get something out of it, or at a minimum start to understand each others point of view a bit better.

  17. If you ever played WoW, you probably stumbled across a mod called Auctioneer. Simply the best, most obvious and powerful upgrade of the standard Blizz UI I have ever seen. Blizz should hire those guys to design their AH UI, or just allow LUA mods like WoW. Alt-o-holic was also a really good way to track down what you had and what you needed across multiple characters w/o switching out constantly.

  18. I once posted a high CC Lacuni’s for 2.5mil when I meant to post it for 25mil. Le sigh

  19. Why don’t they put “,” between the numbers??? what is this STUPID excuse that different countries use different methods??? when you buy items on the auction house all the items have “,” in them and when you look at your character gold you can see “,” so can someone please tell me why the F people buy that excuse from Blizzard???

  20. I’ve fallen victim to mistyping the number of 0’s as well. Not terribly long after I first made it into Inferno I found a (what is still to this day my only self-found) SOJ with cold damage. I think at the time I under estimated its value in general, but I compounded the problem by leaving off a digit on the price and it sold within a second of posting; definitely no time to cancel it. Bleh!

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