There's a widespread assumption that item farming in Diablo 3 will be for pitifully small amounts of money, largely because of the existence of a large Chinese gold farming industry which will drive prices down. Force and Sixen voiced this opinion on the latest of their excellent series of podcasts and Marcko of the gold guide more or less agreed.
I'd like to question this assumption:
Marcko wrote: Force stated
several times that competition would drive down prices to make farming
virtually slave labor. He jokingly mentioned a certain ethnicity known
for gold farming and said that this group of people would drive prices
into the ground. You're right Force, but they can only drive them down
so much. At some point, demand and supply will meet to create a
consistent trend for prices. Being ignorant of this balancing act will
lead to the assumption that it's impossible to make any money playing
the system. But you are correct that simply farming items and selling
them is a terrible way to make money on any auction house.
the You Will Die! video that Blizzard released? This is what farming in
Inferno looks like when done by some pretty serious gamers (serious
enough to work for a games company).
I've met a number of Chinese farmers in WoW and read a lot of articles.
Generally the typical Chinese gold farmer in previous games has been
very unskilled killing very easy mobs for loot. In Vanilla WoW they did
the owlbears up in Winterspring all day (and I used to go gank them
Another problem is that the accounts are worked in
shifts. At the end of an 8 hour shift a farmer sells everything he
possibly can to meet his quota and leaves his shift-mates with an almost
naked character. That wasn't too bad in WoW where most of the gear,
even the bags later on, was bound to the character. But in D3 nothing is
bound, a farmer can strip his guy naked for extra gold.
no way that these people are going to become effective Inferno teams, at
least not early on. In fact we have strong evidence for this because
there was already a practice in WoW of selling raid and arena spots -
you'd pay a good player to haul your not-so-talented butt past content
you wouldn't otherwise beat.
I've never heard of Chinese gold farmers selling arena ranking or raid spots.
while there will be competition if you are farming effectively in
Inferno, particularly if you are ahead of the curve, there won't be
millions of semi-literate people from the Third World in the next game
farming the same mobs. Not even if their prison guards try to make them.