A discussion at buddyforum.com sparked a debate on whether Diablo 3 gold farming or Diablo 3 item farming is more profitable.
While both methods are viable enough to be worth a bot runner's time, there are distinct pros and cons that should be considered when choosing one over the other. Considerations range from how fast the earnings come rolling in, the degree of banning risk involved, to the scale of botting logistics required.
The Case for Diablo 3 Gold Farming
For gold farming, the income stream is almost guaranteed to be constant but with higher banning risk from Blizzard due to their monitoring systems. Gold farming also provides higher returns per hour worked, since you won't need to spend hours checking auction house prices.
Gold farming is recommended for more veteran bot runners, if only because of the scale of operations needed to pull it off. "Gold Farming is for huge bot setups, like 10+ bots running, or else the earning isn't as high as the risks you take," said user toNyx.
The significantly higher effort and banning risks related to gold farming come with higher rewards. Gold per hour via gold farming can reach almost 650K Gold (roughly $560 worth of Gold based on current Diablo 3 currency rate compared to the 350K Gold haul from item farming.
The Case for Diablo 3 Item Farming
While item farming may only reap half the potential gold per hour, it is deemed safer because auction house profits are less likely to be scrutinized for RMT. This leads to less bans overall among item farmers, according to the majority of responses in the thread.
Item farming though can be quite tedious and requires a lot of patience. It takes hours to scour the most competitive prices in the auction house and sell the legendaries you farmed for impressive profits.
Another advantage to item farming Newcomers can also jump right into item farming. "Item farming is for simple setups, like 9 or less bots running, less risks, takes a bunch of time but at least you don't have to care about bans (or at least, less than with Gold Farming)," said user toNyx.
Those who swear by Diablo 3 item farming even contest the assertion that offers inferior returns to gold farming. Some like user Orlouge claim to earn tremendous gold per hour rates through item farming.
"I think item farming is always best," said user Orlouge. "You can farm 40m worth of items per hour but you cannot farm 40m gold during the same time," noting though that for this to happen, the characters engaged in item farming need to be decked in appropriate gear.
Profit Comparison: Diablo 3 Gold Farming vs Item Farming
By Frank Lewis, Dec 31, 2012