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My first character, my first 10k of gold. What should I be doing with it?

  1. Bigger stash
  2. Level up the blacksmith
  3. Gamble
  4. Purchase key items when available
  5. Save for later
  6. Something I haven't seen yet

This was partially answered on my previous question but I'd like to put all the choices I see out there for advice. My gaming time is limited, so I'm not likely to fire up a dozen characters to try out different things. Thanks for any assistance in making the most of this character!

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5  
Welcome to the other side of Gaming Pat. =) –  bwarner May 16 '12 at 18:17

5 Answers 5

up vote 41 down vote accepted

So, the absolute first thing that I would spend money on is a pair of rings. Specifically, if you can get your hand on two rings with the Wounding property (with +2-4 Damage on it) as soon as you reach level 6 (which should be the minimum to equip them), you'll notice a dramatic increase in character power. These two rings will cost somewhere between 3500 and 4500 gold, depending on the exact properties (a Scouting Ring of Wounding, with +Magic Find as well is a particularly great grab). Of course, the vendors inventory is random. Fortunately for you however, it refreshes every time you exit the game and create a new one. Once you've rescued Deckard Cain from the cathedral (which is the prerequisite to access the vendor in question), you should log in and out a few times while checking the vendor. Once you see a ring that appeals to you, snag two of them, and you're good to go.

After that, The Blacksmith is probably your next priority. Specifically, you'll want to make sure that you always have him trained up to produce gear either at or just above your current level. That means you'll want to have pumped 8,000 gold into his training by level 10, another 20,000 by level 20, and so forth. You can keep track of all the numbers, as well as the recipes available at each tier over on Blizzards site.

Assuming you're keeping the blacksmith current, at this point, any additional gold can be spent as you please on upgrading your equipment. Whether you do that through crafting, the auction house, or browsing the various shops of Sanctuary, is your call. There are advantages to all of them, and at this point, the game opens up enough that one-size fits all answers are no longer easy to provide. Just remember to keep your artisans (the Blacksmith, and eventually, the Jeweler) up to date, and you're good to go.

And whatever you do, don't worry about the Stash unless you're at the point where you have more gold than you have uses for it and the convenience is suddenly of value to you. Don't expect that to happen anytime soon though.

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You were completely right about the Wounding rings. I found them on the first try and they got me back to one shotting things with my barbarian. Bonus points for noting to buy TWO. I never would have assumed that two could be purchased. Thanks again. –  Pat Ludwig May 16 '12 at 18:54

Just for a different opinion, I would say DO NOT upgrade the blacksmith. Instead, look for rare auction house items with low buyouts that replace equipment that is weak for your level.

Right now, almost everyone is spending their money on the blacksmith. This means that there is relatively little action in the auction house, and I've been able to find appropriately leveled rare items for my character for 1-2K gold. Not only is this way cheaper than upgrading the blacksmith repeatedly, but when I upgrade, I can sell this item to recoup most if not all of my cost, possibly even making a profit.

Eventually I'm sure that upgrading the blacksmith will be helpful. But the nature of this game means that there will be a ton of inflation going on. Items that sell for 1,000 now might sell for 10,000 in a month just because gold will be so much more plentiful. The cost of the blacksmith upgrades will remain fixed forever, so the "true cost" will continue to go down as inflation continues, and thus you're better off waiting to upgrade until you really need it.

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Very interesting theory! –  Pat Ludwig May 16 '12 at 18:56
    
This is definitely the best way. Gold is and always been useless in Diablo 2 cause you get so much of it just playing. Auction House is perfect for spending it on jems, items and legendaries. –  Mikle May 20 '12 at 9:46
    
This is an interesting take. Many people were saying that prices would actually drop because of market saturation, but the limit on the amount of items you can auction at a time probably makes your theory more likely. –  Koviko May 21 '12 at 19:52
    
@Mikle: Blizzard has gone out of their way to make sure that doesn't happen again (they have full-time economists hired to make sure the economy for WoW doesn't crash, I'm sure those guys had some input into D3's economy as well) –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 24 '12 at 16:36
    
@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft I'm not sure that convinces me. Maybe in the long run everything will balance out, but for the next few weeks/months it will still be the same, because they are too busy fighting fires and nerfing builds. –  Mikle May 25 '12 at 17:22

Level up the blacksmith. Crafting lets you get the items you are looking for instead of suffering the callous hand of the Random Number God.

Since the blacksmith is shared between all your softcore characters, investing in the blacksmith on your first character means he will be already trained for your successive characters.

And you should also consider that crafting items is already a lot like gambling, except with fewer risks - you have a better idea of what you're getting, and thus will wind up spending less money when trying to upgrade a specific slot.

As LessPop mentioned in your original question, it is much better to create Mules (level 1 alternate characters) to "increase" your "stash" size than actually upgrading your stash, so give your gold to Haedrig, and let your stash lie languid until you're raking in more gold than you know what to do with.

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I think you mean "...let your stash languish until..." –  JamesCW May 16 '12 at 17:20
    
@JamesCW I think he means linger tho? –  Lyrion May 21 '12 at 11:20
    
@Lyrion linger sounds good. –  JamesCW May 21 '12 at 14:27

Getting a couple rings at level 6 from the vendor in the north of New Tristram can be a big boon. If you're lucky, he's selling ones with +MF. I've also seen vendors out in the world who sell rare items; having enough money to snag one if desired (~3-4k) may be prudent.

Blacksmith upgrades can be a good way to fill in gaps in your gear if you have a slot that just doesn't seem to get an upgrade.

Look on the Auction House, see if there are any good buys for your character; as it's real people putting stuff up, the prices are extremely variable.

Whatever you do, I'd recommend spending your gold; it's not making your character any faster, better, or stronger while it sits in your wallet.

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Getting a couple rings with +damage is definitely top priority. However since no one's mentioned this yet, I'd like to bring in another opinion, leveling the jewelcrafter.

I don't know about other classes, but as a demon hunter I'm constantly making better gems to increase my damage and after each upgrade I notice the difference almost immediately. After playing the game on normal you tend to find better gear than you can craft, and by hell difficulty you're finding normal items that are better than most of the magic items you craft.

The blacksmith feels like a money pit, only moderately useful around level 25 or so.

Always check out vendors, though. I'm still occasionally finding upgrades at level 56 (and I'm pretty well geared to begin with)!

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The problem with the Jewelcrafter is that I can buy a higher level gem off the AH for less than the crafting fee to process three that I already have. Until you get to level 60 and start dealing with gem qualities that are incapable of dropping, it makes more sense to sell any gens you find and buy what you need on the auction house. By the time you actually need to level the jewelcrafter, the cost to do so is pocket change. –  LessPop_MoreFizz May 21 '12 at 15:02

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