The Twilight of the Auction House: Diablo 3 Economic Bonfires

It’s an interesting time in the Diablo 3 community. Not only is the Reaper of Souls expansion coming in less than two weeks, but the Auction House is closing in one week, and Diablo 3 version 2 has been live for a couple of weeks. Any of these factors would create shifts in the economy, and when you throw all three together, weird stuff happens. We’ve seen crazy price swings for materials and gems, value added or subtracted from existing gear (formerly very pricey weapons with life steal are now being almost given away), and more.

Diamond sales: New, pricey, and fluctuating.
Diamond sales: New, pricey, and fluctuating.
Legendary Crafting Plans definitely fall under the “more” category. In DiabloWikiD3v2 they drop much more often than they used to, most of them have been considerably upgraded in quality, and the items they produce are also better thanks to the new higher stat rolls. At the same time, there’s the oddity of the game no longer dropping any crafting plans you have already taught your Blacksmith or Jeweler, which means if train them in a plan, you’ll never find it again. That’s meaningless in RoS since all the plans are BoA anyway, but it’s crucial now with the AH still available, and plans selling for quite a bit of gold.

The latest swing to the economy came in yesterday’s Patch 2.0.3, which enabled the sale of Diamonds in the Auction House. I was surprised to see this given that the AH is shutting down in a week, and it came right after D3v2 finally added commas to prices, and some bug fixes to stop Mac users crashing in the Auction House. The programmers are like kids near the end of summer vacation; trying to cram in all the activities they put off for months into the last week of freedom!

Diamonds for sale command a huge price, and click through to read about crazy Diamond prices, plus recent bugs and fixes with a huge impact on Fiery Brimstone prices, the gray market for white items, and more.


DiabloWikiDiamonds >are a new thing in Diablo 3, are mostly being used to add Resistance to armor, (don’t sleep on their huge offensive potential when cutting cooldowns in helms) and they are selling for huge prices. I checked softcore and hardcore on US and EU Wednesday afternoon, and flawless square diamonds were going for 70-85k on each realm, with almost no difference in price between Softcore and Hardcore. (Every other type of gem varies widely in price between SC and HC.) Prices had come down a bit by early Thursday morning, but the gems were still commanding 50-75k on the US and EU.

Fiery Brimstones

DiabloWikiFiery Brimstones are not a new thing, but they got a big buggy change in D3v2 that momentarily cut their value to almost nothing. The bug basically made them dupable, and it stemmed from the fact that all Legendary crafted items now yield a Fiery Brimstone when you salvage them. That’s fine at the high level since you can make the item, salvage if if you’re unsatified, and then spend that Brimmie again crafting another one. The bug introduced in D3v2 came from some low and mid-level crafts that did not require a Brimstone (or a Demonic Essence) to make, but which still yielded a Brimmie when salvaged.

This bug was, of course, mercilessly exploited and as a result Fiery Brimstones flooded into the Auction House, enriching some players while immediately depressing prices. Brimmies were selling for under 10k in softcore already, but they dropped down to 5k in Hardcore on US and EU over the weekend. Lucky were the players who stocked up then, since DiabloWikiv2.0.3 fixed the exploit and prices rebounded almost immediately.

  • Level 1-60 crafted Legendary and Set pieces now require 2 Fiery Brimstones to craft.
  • All low level crafted Legendary and Set pieces now require at least 1 Demonic Essence to craft.
  • Brimmies in HC cost 90-110k on Tuesday after the patch, up from 5-10k over the weekend. With that kind of fluctuation in prices, driven mostly by speculators, dupers, and thieves, the should call them Fiery Bitcoins.

    Material Prices

    White items and materials could have been another big change, but they are not salable in the Auction House, even after this week’s patch. (And it seems really unlikely they’ll be enabled in the week before the shutdown.)

    White mats and items can not be sold in the Auction House, and while white items can be traded in-game (just not via the AH), white materials are BoA. Since the new crafting recipes require white materials in large amounts, and these items drop much less often than blue or yellow items, many players have taken to buying and selling white items via trade channels for ridiculously high prices. (50k per white item was the going rate in US HC last week, which works out to more than 10k per unit of material.)

    If you need to farm white items, the best place to get them is from weapon and armor racks, a fact that has altered the farming behavior of many players. Areas like the Act One Halls of Agony and Catacombs much more popular than they were previously, purely because they boast so many Armor/Weapon Racks. There are some areas in Act Five that have a lot of racks also, so prepare yourself for the expansion.

    On that note, crafting is even more white item dependent in Reaper of Souls, since 1) you needed lots of white materials for crafting, and 2) all RoS weapon and armor legendary crafting plans required a white item of that item type as one of the ingredients. So if you wanted to make say, a legendary helm, you needed not only the appropriate amount of gold, plus some white/blue/yellow materials, plus some special legendary material, plus a Forgotten Soul (the higher level Fiery Brimstone), but also a white helm of the correct type.

    The type was important; you couldn’t use a Witch Doctor mask for the regular legendary helm recipe, and the white item had to be normal (not low quality) and it had to be the correct highest tier of the item. Not some white helm you found at level 54, but the level 70 version.

    Beta crafting stymied by non-dropping white quivers
    Beta crafting stymied by non-dropping white quivers
    There were bugs, of course. Right up through the end of the beta it was impossible to find a white off-hand item other than a shield, which made the legendary quivers, mojos, and sources impossible to craft. Presumably that’s something the devs will fix before RoS launches, but I’ve been watching in D3v2 and I have never seen a white item of those types yet.

    At any rate, white item farming is not just a temporary thing in D3v2; most players had to do some of it in the Reaper of Souls beta, and I’ll be surprised if that doesn’t reoccur in the live game. I just hope the white off-hand item drops are fixed, since I still want to make those Archfiend Arrows I had for a month in the beta, but could never try to craft since there were no white quivers available.


    All of these economic gyrations are interesting to watch and fun to profit from, but as fleeting as the last butterflies of Autumn. Not only is the AH going away next week, but RoS is coming the week after, and with a higher elvel of crafting/savaging materials at 61+, all current materials and gems are going to become entirely irrelevant as soon as RoS arrives (assuming the devs haven’t changed anything radically since the beta.) Not to mention how all the gems and mats are BoA in Reaper.

    In the meantime though, players might as well speculate and prosper, since very soon it’s going to become a lot harder to earn gold, when they only way to accumulate it is to pick it up off the ground or earn it for quest rewards.

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    28 thoughts on “The Twilight of the Auction House: Diablo 3 Economic Bonfires

    1. “don’t sleep on their huge offensive potential when cutting cooldowns in helms”

      How dare you, Diamonds are awesome. Seriously, if you rely on even one defensive skill to survive that has a cooldown, then I would put them before Amethysts.

      For offense, it’s worth considering that against trash mobs we don’t really need top DPS, but we do against Elites and this is where Diamonds shine, both in weapons and helms.

      Honestly, I think they are so good for all slots that I wouldn’t use anything else, the two exception being Emeralds in weapons for crit builds and possibly Rubies in swords and daggers.

      Anyway, what’s this economy thingy you talk about? 🙂

      • We agree, and that’s what the expression means. Don’t sleep on means don’t ignore/disregard. Most people in the RoS beta just went with Amys in the hat, or perhaps Topaz (few did Ruby since exp seemed irrelevant at max level in the beta). So Diamonds were the only hat socket that boosted damage output, and I found it quite impactful.

        In RoS you get 12% reduction on an easily-obtained gem + another 10% or 20% from other gear makes a considerable difference for any build. You can cut 20 or 30 seconds off of the super powers with very long cooldowns, and it makes shorter stuff very useful as well.

        Numerous skills in the game have like 3-6 sec effect with 8-12s cooldown. But if you cut that cooldown by a third or more, you can pretty much keep them effect active full time.

        • “Don’t sleep on means don’t ignore/disregard.”

          I learned something new. In hindsight, I should have Googled that. 🙂

    2. I think that if non-crit builds become a thing in RoS, Diamonds will be the go-to weapon slot. They get up to insane values for increased damage to Elites (16% just from Marquise!), and as HardRock mentioned, trash mobs are called ‘trash mobs’ for a reason.

      On the other hand, if crit is still basically a required affix, then I believe that Diamonds will only be great as CDR stats if you stack up a lot of CDR. Even from the best Diamond, you only get 12.5% CDR, so if you can use it to hit around 40-50% CDR, then it should be useful, but if you can only get up to 30% or less I don’t see it being that great.

      More than any of that, though, I think that the Topaz’s Helm affix needs to be changed. MF is worthless now, so the Topaz’s helm affix is also worthless. I don’t think it’s important enough to be a top priority, but I think it still merits some sort of change.

      • “if crit is still basically a required affix”

        It’s not required and it’s not even a top DPS stat at the moment. Many still stack it however because the “giev moar sheet DPS” type of thinking was engraved into us by Classic.

        “if you can use it to hit around 40-50% CDR, then it should be useful, but if you can only get up to 30% or less I don’t see it being that great.”

        With two rings, an amulet, gloves, shoulders and a Flawless Star Diamond you can get about 33% CD reduction. Add even a one-handed weapon and you’re up to ~40%. This is at level 60, without any Legendaries or skills like Evocation.

        It’s important to know that in absolute terms, the cooldown reduction stat has diminishing returns. You can calculate it by negating all sources of CD reduction, multiplying them and then negating the result. When you do this you’ll see that the way it scales is basically the same as all forms of damage resistance do in the game.

        • While we’re on the subject, that resource cost and crowd control reduction stats scale the same way as well.

        • Crit is still “required” b/c the synergy w/ CC/CD is still really, really good. The most important part, is that it’s great for pretty much any build ever; you can play around and change your build constantly and CC/CD will help you out tremendously. Elemental and skill affixes are “better,” but only if A) the skill/element is useful to your class, and there are still some garbage skills out there, and B) you actually like using the skill/element combo. Add in the seemingly bizarre element switches for some skills (Charged Bolt/Explosive Bolts turn to cold?) and now you’re really handcuffed on your skills/items. CC/CD will help out anything (except Sentry and Hydra, which is stupid). IAS got a little more love w/ the death of %life steal; I treat that as a healing stat (as does the character sheet) more than a DPS stat. One thing I’d like to know is how LoH works for various types of skills, especially channels and DoTs, b/c now DoTs are actually pretty great.

    3. Re: off-hand crafting. It looks like they’ve fixed it the other way; the game guide lists blue items as required for L70 off-hand recipes.

    4. Can’t wait for the auction house to disappear, alongside with all this economic stuff that has no place in a game where you should be killing daemons instead of playing “Gordon Gekko in Fantasyland”.

      • If you bought a Litany of the Undaunted with 20mf from the gold or RMAH in the past year or so you bought it from me. I will miss that little income paying for all of my Steam purchases for the last year. And I am a buyer in real life and I played the AH more then I have played the game.

    5. Yeah I’ve made about 70mil so far mostly selling all the fs topaz gems I forgot about on my mule. Also decent rares with reduced lvl req sell very well. I’m hoping to start RoS with ~350mil bank roll. Here’s hoping! 🙂

    6. They’ll bring back trading once people start asking themselves “why am I even play this if I can’t trade?”

    7. And here I was proud of my 9m…

      Also, where is the podcast? Do you have any idea HOW BLOODY AWFUL SHATTERED SOULSTONE IS???

    8. so there’s no point in hoarding lvl60 white archon pieces of gear ? only lvl70 stuff is used in craft ?

    9. When they close the auction house they should add an auction house simulator to the game as a minigame to make up for the missing gameplay of the auction house.

      I’m not joking. There’s fun to be had in the AH. It’s a completely different and separate fun from the actual D3 game but still exists. Ever find an amazing deal just posted and click to quickly buy? Even just navigating menus is fun. Ever look up the best gear in the game and hover over it to compare dps/ehp numbers versus what you have on? That’ll never be possible again. Etc.

      Auction House Simulator 2015! (Because stuff is always one year in the future) …Should be a thing.

    10. “if train them in a plan, you’ll never find it again. That’s meaningless in RoS since all the plans are BoA anyway”

      Totally disagree. It’s absolutely awesome super-hyper feature, because now I can find all that good damn legendary recipes in a reasonable amount of time.

      • I sold a Hallowed Defender plan last week for 15m. Sold another one tonight for 45m. Both on US HC. I’d rather have the 60m than know a plan I wouldn’t be crafting from anyway until RoS.

        On the larger point, I have mixed feelings about plans only dropping if you don’t know them already. I’d like unkonwn plans to have drop priority, but I think plans you already know should have some purpose, instead of just not existing. Trade them like other legs, get a free craft of an item from that plan when you turn it in to the smith, etc.

        Something more creative, plus in the current system we’ll find plans for a month or two, and then NEVER FIND AGAIN. Which seems boring. I’m doing my first HC on the EU server part time lately, and it’s fun finding so many plans. Mostly yellow, but I’m enjoying feeding them to Haedrig, even if I’m not going to craft them.

    11. I made an easy 20 million gold today just selling off all the commodities lying around in my stash that I had build up over nearly 2 years that won’t be worth anything come ROS launch. Thanks for the tip off Flux as I would have just left them there otherwise until it was too late! Happy bonfire weekend everyone! ;p

    12. I’ve made ~600 million gold from turning the Flawless Square diamonds into either Radiant Stars or Perfect Stars and re-selling them since 2.0.. the fact that people buy them for so much is insane. The fact that the top-end gem (RS) right now is ~25 mil each, and the next step below them (PS) is ~19 mil each.. is more insane. 3 PS’s make an RS

    13. I’m a little confused about the plan drop policy. Are plans that dropped pre-patch considered \legacy\ plans and we should not train Haedrig with the obsolete plan on the chance an updated version drops? Or are updates to the plans only applied when we actually craft them? Some plans are selling on the AH for dirt cheap now, and I’m not sure if I should grab them or wait for them to drop for me.

    14. All plans have been updated to 2.0 versions, even if they were taught to Haedrig pre-patch. The prices have crashed because they drop much more frequently, and lots of people are selling them rather than learning them since they can only sell until the auction house goes. They’ll have forever to find them again after. If you’re gonna be doing lots of leveling and have lots of gold, then it might be worth picking up the cheaper ones.

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