Tuesday, June 19, 2012

D3 1.03 patch - invest in gold

The 1.03 patch for Diablo 3 is live.  There are plenty of changes to mechanics but the key things that really shake the game up are things that change the economy.  Repair bills have been increased massively - I don't know the exact value but I think it is something like a 400% increase in cost.  This is going to be a really serious money sink and will drain gold out of the economy fairly efficiently.  Of course people are running to the forums to complain about how they can't make any money because they die constantly; the solution is to fight in an area where you don't die constantly!  Blizzard clearly feels like they should arrange the game so that optimal farming is done in an area where you are challenged but aren't graveyard zerging the enemies and I think they have succeeded at this.  Coming along with this substantial gold sink is a big nerf to pots and jars and such so that just farming them for gold is going to be completely garbage; people will be farming up items from monsters instead.

The other key economic change is the introduction of powerful items into earlier and easier parts of the game.  The rough breakdown of ilvl 63 (the best, previously only in a3 and a4) item drops:

a1:  2%
a2:  4%
a3/a4:  8%

The drop tables for ilvl 62 and 61 gear roughly correspond but are more likely.  This means that if you are slow to clear higher acts and die a lot you can get exactly the same gear more efficiently from farming a1.  It looks like my Witch Doctor can comfortably and quickly clear a2 but less so a3.  I know I can clear out a3 but I will die a lot and be slow - in particular a WD has a incredible plateau of farming potential dictated by Zombie Bears.  If you can safely farm with bears you run in and explode the enemies and when you can't you have to kite with Darts and kill them very slowly.  The drop tables make the decision pretty clear to me for a WD:  Pick the highest act you can efficiently clear out with bears and do that.

The big upshot of this is that people will be getting a lot more higher tier loot and spending a lot more gold on repairs which will result in massive deflation and a price crash on the AH.  When everybody can do a stress free a1 run and get a few ilvl 63 pieces the cost of high dps weapons is going to plummet.  The same applies to a somewhat lesser extent to other gear - the top end stats available to people farming easy content is going way up.  The absolute top end gear is definitely going to cost a ton but any given piece of gear will see a serious drop in price over the next few days or weeks.  The average person will make far less gold and far more stuff and basic economics tells us what that means!

I recommend liquidating all of your sellable gear and crafting materials asap.  The gold costs on crafts are very high and with less gold floating around crafting gear is simply going to be a big loss.  Personally I plan on selling everything I find in the next few days and hoarding gold to buy stuff as the AH fills up with gear and people realize they need gold to pay their bills.  Ride the wave of deflation to massive profits, or so I hope!

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