Diablo 3 Botters and Gold Farmers are not what you think.
If we were to ask an honest gamer how he thinks the gold is farmed by professionals, they would imagine a group of Asian players grinding the game for 8 hours a day to make as much as possible for just a few dollars. This is the general impression running around the internet but the truth is much scarier.
In a recent article published on a pcgamesn.com, the operations of a gold farm have been revealed. Several picture show how this shady business is run by a single individual.
As it turns out there is no shirtless Asian player clicking like a mad man to earn gold. The images show a sophisticated setup of hundreds of computers lined up on racks running the game. They used automated farming bots to do all the work with little intervention from the supervisor. These machines have strong enough configurations to run at least 7 instances of the game.
In the picture, the poster counted at least 30 machines, totaling at least 210 boxed Diablo 3 sessions. According to some approximations, a well optimized bot can earn 500k gold per session. If we do the math, the 210 instances of the game would earn around 105 million gold per hour. Moving forward with the math, we estimate that the average price per million would be an even $1,4 meaning that these 30 computers generate $147 per hour or $3528 per day.
These bots can run 24/7 without stopping, they will never complain, ask for a raise or consume space. It is a carefully planned operation running on a serious investment. The desktops used must have required at least $10.000 but if we look back at the price of gold during the first weeks since the launch, the investment was recovered in one day. It is a serious business and unless Blizzard does something about it, it can ruin the game completely. We have seen the negative impact of all this gold being thrown into the game. Inflation caused the depreciation of gold. The botters brought this upon themselves as they are the only ones to be blamed for this depreciation.
To get a better understanding how serious this business really is, an individual running such an operation participated into an anonymous interview with a known YouTuber. The botter admitted that he is running around 100 sessions of the game, earning him 60 million gold per hour. According to him, with one account he can have two farming sessions as the Diablo 3 client allows him to run an instance for the Americas and one for Europe.
So far, Blizzard has approached this problem from the wrong angle. They nerfed drops, zones and any other element that could be farmed for decent amounts of gold. Blizzard never made public their possible intentions to improve their hack preventing system called Warden to stop these practices. Since there is no official communication of such an approach at the moment.
Kripparrian on botting.
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