Saturday, May 19, 2012

Diablo III: Jewelcrafting For Value?

I've been thinking about the jewelcrafter in Diablo III and if it's actually worth using his services. As background, gems can be removed from items for a nominal fee and there is no level restriction on gems so your low level alts can make free use of any high level gems you have lying around. These two things mean it is absolutely worth having the highest level gems you can possibly get your hands on. I'm also not talking about if it's worth leveling up the jeweler; there's an achievement for doing it so clearly it's worth doing. The question I have is how you should get your high level gems.

For example, pretend you have three square amethysts, two tomes of jewelcrafting, and 20000 bucks. You want a flawless square amethyst. How should you get it?

  • Go to the jeweler and hit a button. You lose all the previous stuff but get a flawless square amethyst.
  • Put all that stuff for sale on the auction house and buy the gem from the auction house.
  • Vendor all that junk and buy the gem from the auction house.
  • Leave all that garbage on the ground and buy the gem from the auction house.
To start, the vendor value of three square amethysts is 138 bucks. Two tomes of jewelcrafting are worth 86 bucks. Right off the bat I'm going to say it isn't worth picking them up if your plan is to vendor them. To answer the rest of the question we need to know the auction house values of the various goods. The game has only been out a few days so I doubt these values are stable but for now we have:

Square amethyst: 4000
Flawless square amethyst: 14500
Tome of jewelcrafting: 1000

Right off the hop we're better off leaving everything on the ground and buying the flawless square for 14500 instead of spending the 20000 combine fee. Even if there was no combine fee, however, we'd barely be breaking even using the crafter since the material cost is 14000! The AH does take a 15% cut so with no combine fee we would prefer to use the crafter but as it currently stands it's just plain stupid to use the jeweler for this recipe. 

I went ahead and built a spreadsheet with the values for all gems up to flawless square. (There are no perfect squares or better for any type on the AH.) Rubies across the board are worth more than the cash fee of the combines and nothing else is at any tier. Rubies are not worth combining once you take into account the value of the three previous gems. 

As I said earlier, these are initial values. The thing is, I can't see the values of these gems rising over time. More and more gems will get added to the game and none are ever removed (except possibly by crushing them together at the jeweler) so the values should drop. And since the values right now are lower than the combine fees it's pretty incomprehensible that it'll ever be worth using the jeweler at these tiers. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard ended up drastically lowering the combine costs to encourage people to use the jeweler at some point.

As things currently stand I am not going to bother looting gems on my alts. Maybe I'll pick up perfect rubies or better with the intention of using AH slots trying to sell them...


Caspur said...

I'm not surprised. I reach the same conclusion early about the blacksmith. Your better off vendering your blues and then buying mats from the auction house then disenchanting (Salvaging?).

Nick Page said...

It actually gets worse for enchanting materials. Nightmare dust has actually been selling for less than the vendor price. As in people should be taking their dust and selling it to the vendor rather than putting it on the AH which takes a 15% cut of a smaller number...

Sky said...

I think that picking up gems is an absolute no brainer. You pick them up, stack them up, and put the entire stack on the AH for much less than the current minimum offering. They sell generally in under 5 seconds and you list the next stack of gems. The chipped/cracked ones are hardly worth doing in this way but the rest are definitely worth it since you can AH huge stacks of them at one time.

I 100% agree that the JC guy is utterly worthless except for removing gems from items. This stops being the case as soon as we get to the maximum tier of gem drop though as I presume the JC guy is the only way to get maximum level gems. The combine costs of gem crushing is so high as to be utterly insane.

Also, anybody buying gems on the AH is a mad fool. Why are they doing this?!?!

Robb said...

I bought some gems on the AH above the level they were currently dropping at for me - I was tired of my wizard getting 1-shotted. And they're so cheap!

Sthenno said...

I looked at gem prices last night and they had already plummeted to virtually nothing. I also put some up on auction for way less than the going rate and they weren't selling.

If there were no costs at all for combining gems then I'd certainly crush all my gems but I don't think it would really be a great thing to do, it would just be compulsive. If there were no costs at all for crafting items aside from the disenchant mats then I would probably do some of those as well, even though selling to the vendor and buying thing from auction might end up being a better idea.

Nick Page said...

Gems never leave the game (they vendor for peanuts, can be recovered from gear, and are not worth crushing) so I'm not surprised if they aren't selling on the AH for much anymore. Someone new to the game has reasonable use for a handful of flawless squares to aid in leveling (like Robb used) but beyond that I can't see why there would be any demand for any of them at all. I'm definitely not going to bother picking them up on my alts.

Sthenno said...

I won't be surprised if it soon gets to the point that you should just vendor your gemmed up item and buy new ones from the auction house rather than pay the cost to have them removed.