Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who is the sucker?

When you sit down at the poker table you had better look around and be able to spot the sucker.  If you can't, *you* are the sucker.

I have been playing a game of 'spot the sucker' in Diablo 3 lately and I can't properly determine who it is.  Lately there has been a surge of selling unidentified rare items for large sums in general chat.  People with lots of money buy gear for 200k gold and hope that they score big but usually lose everything.  Who is the sucker, the with 200k or the one with the item?  Since I identify my own items I apparently play as if the sellers are the suckers.

You can't math this one out.  Figuring out the market value for any given item is difficult enough but figuring out the total spread of stats that could be on items and the value of each as well as the probability of each stat spread appearing is not possible.  By the time you gathered enough data to be able to make a firm prediction the economy will have shifted so much that most of your data is useless anyway.  Since statistics can't help us spot the sucker we need to rely on psychology.

My reasoned bet is on the buyers being suckers.  People love to gamble and they love to imagine how great that next item will be.  I do it too!  I daydream about Ceremonial Knives with 1100 dps, 100% + crit damage, a socket and 900 Life on Hit.  I won't ever see one of course but it is nice to dream.  I know that back in Diablo 2 I made a fortune selling UNID rares to suckers for 1 SOJ apiece.  I had a regular list of customers and they came back again and again to pay an SOJ for another shot at the best bow/lance/mace in existence and never got anything of value as far as I know.  I do know that I bought myself an absolutely wicked bow once I had saved up 20 SOJs though!

There is, of course, a possibility that the price actually ends up being so close to true value that both the buyers and the sellers are suckers and the only winners are the flippers and bankers who spend their time cruising for deals on both sides of the fence.  Playing the AH looking for items to flip is a profitable business, or at least it *can* be, and playing merchant with UNID items is likely to be the same - you take advantage of people who are uninformed, impatient, or flush with cash purchased from gold selling companies.

By selling your UNID items you give up all chances of a big score, the gigantic single find that will net you a fortune.  Mostly you *don't* find those items, of course, but they are out there - Salacha recently sold a pair of gloves he found for 80M gold so it is clear that there are people out there with outrageous sums of money to spend if you have exactly what they want.  I think I am willing to miss out on the big find and I will happily settle for a constant stream of money.  The AH has all the items I will ever desire - all I need to do is get a large enough cash flow to be able to make all my dreams of glittering shinies come true.

No comments:

Post a Comment