An Economists Perspective of a Sellers Market


Diabloii.Net Member
An Economists Perspective of a Sellers Market

Diablo is based around the common ideal that in life it is good to have a Windforce, but a 6x40/15 Windforce is just better. The general population of D2 spends their time divided three ways; a lot of time is spent leveling(especially in the beginning week or 2 of the ladder season), then comes magic finding(the next few months of ladder season), and finally comes endless hours of joining games called "all41soj" or "g0dly4 pcombgc". I knew the Diablo market could be extremely volitile but what I failed to realize is that with enough patience someone would always be there to make a sucker trade or be so desperate that they would trade 2 times what something was worth just to have it right then. I don't know why it took me so long to come to this conclusion, after all I am an econ major at one of the biggest business schools in the US, but when I finally did, loads of information hit me like a BoTD TMaul during a Pally Charge. This is what Ive found.

Just like any market, the D2 market seems to have waves. In old-school D2 SoJ's were the be all and end all of the D2 experience. Then came ITH's, 32020's, and 290's. If you didn't have these items you couldn't trade for the best, and if you didn't have the best, you couldn't trade for these items. 1.09 also saw the entrance of 6 socket Wf's, 4 Socket SS and Valors(hacked valors on top of the 4 sockets), 3 socket Occys, and of course a never ending supply of 40/15's and King Jewels. It was bliss for those who had, and in the end bliss for those who didnt. The poor actually got richer in 1.09 because with all the new hacked items, the top of the line was no longer the top of the line. No one wanted a 7/7/15 gaze with 1 socket. They wanted 8/8/20 2 socket gazes, and therefore the previous top of the line products dropped tremendously in value.
Lesson 1: Supply and Demand. When what you got aint hot, drop it like a prom dress after the dance.

RUSTSTORM!!! The end of the iths, hacks, jewels, and charms that everyone had come to love. Well.... of course the 290s and 32020s stayed, but they were just dupes. Then came 1.10. Everything changed. Synergies suddenly increased the value of misc items like Marrowwalks and Carrion Wind Rings because of bugs in the system. This however was short lived because the big new thing wasn't cheating the system, it was runewords. Suddenly an armor could give you massive strength, 2 to all skills, decent mf, and the ability to teleport..... you're kidding right? High runes rushed to the forefront, and assuming that since my gear had been uber in 1.09, I would be fine, I played on. Apalled by the rediculous inability of my lvl 99 sorceress to do a nightmare rush, I left the scene for more than a year.
Lesson 2: Never bet on a 'sure thing'.

Now I am back and today I spent most of my D2 time just observing trades and seeing what the trends were. The first phase of the Sellers Market is here and now. High Runes are trading for ~2 sojs a piece, and sojs have become the currency of now. I suggest you follow this trend and buy up as many sojs as possible for the next phase of the market. Supply and Demand tells us that high runes will lose half of their value when the ladder season ends. New runewords, 23 to be exact, will flood the market and while people desperately pay outrageous sums for a 400/40 grief phase blade, more runewords and runes then ever before will enter the NonLadder market creating enormous supply with an actual decrease in demand for the runes themselves. This marks the second phase of the Sellers Market. Buy up high runes. By now they will only cost 1 sojs each and you will thereby have doubled your money by solely hanging on to some sojs for a short while. Now comes the patience. High runes will once again regain their value as more characters are created while the supply of ladder runewords does not increase. Ladder runewords will raise in price on NL as the new ladder season begins to stretch on, but because Grief and Dream will not be as readily availible, non ladder runewords and therefore high runes will once again become very valuable.

The trend is clear, but patience is the key. D2 has become a sellers market as long as you have the willpower to stop your "30soj4fohstick" wants.

Buy Low, Sell High.


Diabloii.Net Member
Patience is not something that we have in copious amounts.

Your points are good though.


Diabloii.Net Member
Some nice insights there I'm sure, it went waay over my head though. I've never understood or cared much for economics..I just like to whack a few carvers to pass time.



Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, what you say is true.

But! D2 population is not growing, in fact it is shrinking with many people switching to other games, heck even our beloved Gorny has been sucked into that thing called WoW.

With all these give aways, doesn't it lessen that value of everything as people throw things away and don't come back.

If the traitors would just let their accounts expire the market stays the same, but even on I have entered giveaway games that are actually that. They just give everything away. (unlike the scam ones to MF).

This will increase the supply, and decrease the demand.


Diabloii.Net Member
Well done, but it would have been awesome if you did a compleat history of the econimy in Diablo 2.


Diabloii.Net Member
you have somewhat of a point phil...but not completely. The most important thing about trading isnt patience...but awareness. Sure u can wait for a year or 2 to slowly gain riches, but awareness is the key. Paying attention to the wants and needs of traders and sellers alike, will reap you much more reward than simply waiting for the market to change. Theres 2 parts to being a good trader...the first major part is, as mentioned above, awareness. 2nd is your ability to communicate. With those 2, combined, d2 isnt worth playing any more. For example, you log on and see that people are paying 5 high runes for certain charms. You keep observing for a day or 2 and see if more people are asking for these items. If so, DONT attemp to buy the items in demand from that channel, but rather find people that dont neccesarily spam in the channels. Most of these people are legit players, thus they'll most likley have one of these charms / items around since they actually play the game. you trade them something they need, they give u the item, u make profit, their happy because they dont care about item values but rather thier USES. Win win situation, much better than waiting for the economy to change.

Fallen Creation

Diabloii.Net Member
Nicely done. There are also a couple of other factors that influence the D2 market.

#1: Dupes
Duplicated items, the majority being runes, runewords, and Sojs, can increase the supply at any point. Although these may sometimes poof, I believe the majority remain. Dupers could, theoretically, flood the market at any point.

#2: Diablo Clone
Since Sojs need to be sold to vendors to spawn DClone, the demand for Sojs will always be there, but the supply goes down as people sell them. When the dupers do not replenish the supply, the prices go up. Two months ago, Sojs went for a fourth of a high rune, and about a month ago, they doubled in value to become half of a high rune. Now, I'm seeing some people are pay three-fourths of a rune for them.


Diabloii.Net Member
Kernelpops - To a certain extent it is indeed true that because of giveaways and people leaving, items are being spread around some and also are disappearing. However, the wealth that many people have accumulated seems to get mostly passed onto friends and others who already have characters choc-full of these goodies. By making the rich richer, economic prices dont shift at all.

BSU & TopHatCat - I did as far back as I knew in D2 History which was only back to the beginning of 1.08, so my knowledge of the prehistoric D2 economy is limited to that point. I also tried to keep it somewhat condensed(although I didnt really accomplish that).

xlodtraderx - I definately agree that you cannot simply sit around and wait a full half season or so for your investments to pay off. However, what I'm suggesting is what I've seen to be a trend in the market. In a time when I think SoJ should be hoarded like a fat kid does with chocolate bars, some of the best trades I have made are trading away SoJ's because people have become desperate beyond all reason to have them. I have come across many "all 4 1soj" games where people traded away 4 or more SoJ's worth of items because they needed the feeling of power with their SoJ. Benjamin Franklin once said, "In matters of principal stand like a rock, In matters of style flow like a river." When trying to really make some good trades, you have to be willing to take chances and not necessarily wait for the trends to hit. But at the same time, you shouldnt be careless and assume that these trends will drastically change without a drastic reason for change(*gets on knees and prays for 1.11*)

Fallen Creation - If you don't think that dupers have already saturated the market with duped everything, you need to watch the trade channels more closely. Your point about Dclone is a good one that I had not really thought of. SoJ's will obviously disappear at a faster rate than they normally would because of DClone and so the market will continue to flourish for them. Very nice.

Thanks for all the feedback.
Goodluck with those trades.


Diabloii.Net Member
This 'D2 economy' seems complicated to me. :uhhuh: From the beginning, I have chosen to avoid all that simply by never moving items between characters, or trade.

And what the heck is the deal with the Stone of Jordan? Sure, it´s a decent ring for some caster builds, but I would have a hard time fitting it in, because I often get much-needed resists from rings. For me, its best feature is the ability to socket a rare. It sort of gives the character a fourth socket reward. This is how I used the one SoJ I´ve found.
jiansonz said:
And what the heck is the deal with the Stone of Jordan? Sure, it´s a decent ring for some caster builds, but I would have a hard time fitting it in, because I often get much-needed resists from rings. For me, its best feature is the ability to socket a rare. It sort of gives the character a fourth socket reward. This is how I used the one SoJ I´ve found.
You are a member of the Single Player community.

SoJ's are 'more' valuable now as such to spawn Uber Diablo and therefore the Annihilus charm.


Diabloii.Net Member
Shhhhh, if everyone knows it won't work. Seriously, however, that was very well put. This is how I make most of my wealth, or made I guess since I've sort of semi-quit and my main rune mule expired :( (I thought I had logged in with it on a Saturday, so the next Sat. I go to log in again and it was expired, guess I hadn't logged in with it...)


Diabloii.Net Member
Good job of explaining the overall economic impact of the ladder season ending, Phil.

Now, is there any way to quantify these changes to put towards the development of a NL price guide? Possibly some multiplier for these ladder-only items now available on NL on a sliding scale as the new ladder season develops?

Some on these forums say to just go by the ladder guide, but there are some significant discrepancies between Ladder and NL pricing, I feel, even if you don't look at ladder-only stuff. As mentioned here prices do fluctuate a bit more it seems on NL than L, but I think it can still be done. Opinions anyone?