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    Mix and match flavors.

    Mix and match flavors.

    If you’ve been to a modern movie theater, you’ve probably seen a soda mixing machine; it lets you pick two or more soda flavors, and blend them to create something different.

    The same concept exists behind self-found play in Diablo 3. Just as there’s no “perfect” soda flavor for everyone, there’s no one “right” way to play self-found. Although Ironborn players all agree to avoid using the Auction Houses, each player has to decide for himself what (if any) additional rules to put in place in their endless journey for better loot.

    Here are a few of the things you should consider before creating your first self-found character.

    Whether To Trade Items

    Since Ironborn love to use items they find themselves, it’s easy to see why many of them classify trading as a form of cheating. In this view, anything not found yourself is as bad as using the Auction Houses. After all, one of the main joys in playing self-found is relying on yourself – and for many, that means finding your own gear upgrades, without any outside help.

    But some feel trading is okay, so long as both people are in the game when an item drops (though there’s no way to know when this happens). Trading in this limited sense can be seen as improving the multiplayer experience and building trust and collaboration between people, without creating the massive devaluation of gear that occurs when people use the Auction Houses. Also, unlike trading on a grand scale with people you’ve never played with before, donating and swapping gear with friends is arguably a core part of the Diablo experience.

    Click through to continue the article…

    Whether To Allow Item Swapping Between Characters On Your Account

    If all your characters are self-found, it’s easy to tell which items you found yourself. But what if your account is shared between both self-found and non-self-found characters? Trying to keep track of which items belong to one group and which belong to the other can become an inventory nightmare.

    To solve this problem, some self-found players prefer not to allow gear sharing between their characters, including their self-found toons. In this way, the gear on each individual character reflects the time you actually invested in that character, and makes the items she finds truly her own – not the result of outside help, either from other players, or more well-geared characters on the same account.

    Still, other SF players feel it’s a waste of time to not share self-found items. Though the gear you find on the Auction Houses is obviously out-of-bounds, as long as you found it yourself, using a self-found character, why not divide the spoils of battle among each of the characters you play? Most players who take this approach have a character of each class, and treat their self-found characters as one unified team, making every item they find a potentially helpful gear upgrade – at least, for one of their characters.

    Whether To Buy Items From Vendors

    Vendor gear can be beneficial to characters in the early going – especially in Normal. While including this rule has a negligible impact in later difficulties, some like to add it for an extra challenge at the outset.

    Whether To Allow Crafting

    Some self-found players feel crafting recipes – especially the helpful patch 1.0.8 BoA recipes – break the game and make finding better gear drops from enemies virtually impossible. Others balk at this idea, relishing the chance to craft gear that rivals and often beats some of the rare gear that can be purchased by their AH-using counterparts.

    The List Goes On…

    There are many other minor rules Ironborn players sometimes like to employ. Some think selling items on the AH is fine, as long as you’re not buying anything. Others painstakingly track their gold while playing self-found so their characters won’t gain an unfair advantage earned from selling items that were found by their non-SF characters. A sizeable chunk of the community thinks you shouldn’t accept help from more powerful players in order to speed-level new self-found characters.

    Your Thoughts

    What rules make sense to you all when playing self-found? Do you worry about whether other SF players are using a different ruleset than you – or do you embrace diversity of play styles, and adopt a live-and-let-live attitude? Are there rules you think are ridiculous, or absolute must-haves to make it worthwhile?


    Waterfiend is a writer and avid gamer who follows Diablo 3 news religiously. Say hello at his forum profile.

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