There are many ways to make money in Diablo 3, causing the Blacksmith to be often overlooked. I actually never got around to using this guy until recently, and have found that with a little luck can yield good profits. There are 2 ways to go about it. One involves a lot of luck, and one doesn't but requires a certain economy on the Auction House. I will go into detail on both methods, but first you must learn about the crafting materials and how they drop. No matter which route you choose, this knowledge will be very important to you.
Note: This guide assumes your Blacksmith is at level 10 and that you are farming Inferno mode.
There are 4 sets of crafting materials in the game, one for each difficulty level.
Normal crafting materials are Fallen Tooth and Subtle Essence.
Nightmare crafting materials are Lizard Eye and Shimmering Essence.
Hell crafting materials are Encrusted Hoof and Wishful Essence.
Inferno crafting materials are Exquisite Essence, Iridescent Tear, and Fiery Brimstone.
Since the Inferno crafting materials are what we are after, I will explain the drop rates below:
- Magic armor and weapons with a required level of 60 (ilvl 61 - 63) have a 100% chance to give 1 Exquisite Essence, and a 15% chance of giving 1 Iridescent Tear. Proof can be found here.
- Rare armor and weapons with a required level of 60 (ilvl 61 - 63) have a 100% chance to give 1 Exquisite Essence and 1 Iridescent Tear, and a 0.1% to give 1 Fiery Brimstone. Proof can be found here.
- Legendary items with a required level of 60 (ilvl 61 - 63) have a 100% chance to give 2 Iridescent Tear and 100% chance to give 1 Fiery Brimstone. Proof can be found here.
- Rings, Amulets, and Follower Relics follow the same rules as above but start at a required level of 59. Proof can be found here and here.
Note: These values have been proven and tested extensively by a user called fbueckert on StackOverflow. Also, items with a reduced required level affix use their real level when determining what materials you get.
So now that you know where to get the crafting materials from, you may be wondering how you can make money with them? Like I said before, there are 2 ways to go about this. Let us start with the first way:
Selling the Crafting Materials
This method doesn't require any luck, but it requires that the prices on the Auction House are at a specific point. The basic principal is that if the vendor gives you 1500 gold for a bad Rare item, you can salvage it and sell the materials for more. On the European Auction House this is a little hard to do at the moment, as the prices are averaging at around 980 gold per Exquisite Essence and 71 gold per Iridescent Tear. It doesn't make any sense that the Rare crafting material is less expensive that the Magic one, but that's how it is at the moment.
I can still monetize items like the following:
Since salvaging this item will give me 1 Tear and 1 Essence, I will be getting 882 gold total, which is 94 more (after the Auction House has taken its 15% cut) than the merchant would have given me. While this may look like a miniscule amount, it adds up to be a lot when you sell in bulk. The key point here is to check the Auction House prices versus the merchant prices, and salvage from there. As you just saw, the current prices are severely limiting which items I can salvage, but as the prices go up my selection will be greatly increased.
Update: After using this method for some time, I have found that the best and fastest way to go about it is to write down the Auction House prices on a piece of paper before starting your session. Don't forget to deduct the 15% AH cut!
Note: You should only salvage items with bad stats. Items with good stats will usually sell on the Auction House for a lot more than you would get from the materials.
Salvaging Legendary items actually can have it's benefits too, regardless of how bad it feels to do so. Again, this greatly depends on the current Auction House prices but if you drop a very bad Legendary you may be able to get more by salvaging it.
Prices for Fiery Brimstone are pretty high normally but in the majority of the cases you will be better off selling the Legendary item intact.
This method requires a lot of luck, patience, and investment. I am sure you all know that the 6 affix items have the potential to be the best in the game, and thus you are going to need the 6 affix recipes for this method to work. These recipes have a really low drop rate so most likely you will end up buying them from the Auction House. The prices usually range from 600k to 800k for the non-class specific recipes, and around 100k to 300k for the class specific recipes (like the Ceremonial Knife for the Witch Doctor). If you are going to try this method, shell out for the good recipes as they have the most potential.
Now that you have invested and gotten the recipes, you will need to start breaking down Inferno items for the materials. This part will actually cost you money even though salvaging is free, for the very simple reason that you are cutting off your gold income by a lot. I have designed 2 graphs to help you understand this better.
The Yellow line represents your gold income from vendoring the bad items, while the Purple line represents your income while using this method. As you can see, your steady income from selling to the vendor will be cut to 0 as soon as you start this method. Not only that, but will also need to shell out about 100k to actually craft the item. This is the reason why this method requires a lot of luck. If the item turns out to be bad, you will not only have lost 100k from the actual craft, but also a lot of gold from not vendoring the items.
Edit: In a nutshell, you are trying to turn a bunch of bad items into a good one.
If you are lucky and get a really good item, here is what your income will look like:
Salvaging items is not the only way this method can work. For example, since the current prices are so low for the crafting materials, it might be cheaper for you to vendor the items and buying the materials from the auction house instead.
And finally, you have Set and Legendary recipes. Going this route requires a massive investment, but has the potential to earn you a lot of gold in the long run. Let us take Ruinstoke for example.
The recipe requires 120 Essences, 30 Tears, 2 Brimstones, and 12 Tomes. Apart from that, you also need 185k gold to craft it. So going by the the current prices (and assuming you are buying all of them), you will need the following amount of gold:
- 120 Essences at 980 each costs 117k.
- 30 Tears at 71 each costs 2k.
- 2 Brimstones at 87k each costs 175k.
- 12 Tomes at 427 each costs 5k.
Accounting for the recipe and the crafting cost, this results to the total of 7349000 gold. Shelling out 7 million gold to craft an item may sound like a bad idea, but a good item can sell for much more:
Again, how much you earn greatly depends on the current Auction House prices. The less the materials cost and the more the legendary items sell for, the higher your profits, and vice versa.
I hope this Diablo 3 Blacksmith guide has helped you better understand the Blacksmith. Overall, I think Blizzard should reduce the crafting costs for the high level Blacksmith recipes as the way it is currently set up means you have to roll a very good item for you to make profit.
As a nutshell-version of what we saw above:
- If the crafting materials cost a lot on the Auction House, you are better off salvaging items and selling the materials.
- If the crafting materials are cheap, you are better off trying to craft items.
If you want a more in-depth guide on how to make money from Diablo3 (both real and virtual), check out Diablo 3 Gold Secrets. It's packed full of information, and if for some reason you don't like it, the guide comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.