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I've been training my blacksmith as far as I can for my current level (Im now Act 1 Nightmare, 34), I keep putting money and money on it and I've barely used it!

Wouldn't be better use all money I spend in training to buy something nice in the Auction House? Will blacksmith become more useful at higher levels? Does him provide me things that I cannot obtain in Auction House?

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Your question will call for a discussion and is thus not suitable for gaming.se. Until you really want to ask a real question, I'm voting to close this. –  DrFish May 23 '12 at 14:31
    
I tried removing as much as possible the subjective parts. –  Drake May 23 '12 at 15:11
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It's a very good question nevertheless. +1 –  Jim Thio Jun 2 '12 at 8:46
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+1 for good question and contains valid points. should not be closed as very useful. –  François Wahl Jun 2 '12 at 9:34
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4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You can make a very strong case that for the majority of users buying gear from the AH will put you further ahead as opposed to levelling up the blacksmith.

However, this relies on the prices in the auction house remaining low. This should be a safe, long term assumption as the supply should outpace the demand assuming people resell items they purchase.

The best gear that the blacksmith produces is certainly being hoarded by those who have invested the time and effort to generate it or will be offered for sale at an enormous price.

In the short term, yes, you can do better in the AH under the current economy.

In the long term, dependant very strongly on your luck in crafting equipment with the stats you are hoping for, the blacksmith may become your better source of equipment as the best Legendary items will almost certainly be absurdly priced.

Crafting equipment has always entailed some risk. In Diablo 2, the best players would hoard perfect rubies to try to create "Blood" gear (items with strong life leech). If your build calls for such a piece then it may be the small advantage you need to start succeeding in Inferno.

Many won't want to do this but will benefit from the few who are doing it. If they're looking for dex gloves and you want int, their failures are your opportunity to buy.

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So, I would think of the BS as a mid/long term investment? –  Antonio MG May 23 '12 at 14:08
    
@AntonioMG Under the current economy, I am thinking of him as such. I have crafted a couple of items with some luck, but I've gotten further ahead shopping for exactly what I wanted at the price I wanted. During levelling trying to buff gear is premature optimization anyway. –  Tharius May 23 '12 at 14:09
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Its important to keep in mind that the Blacksmith is Diablo 3's version of gambling from Diablo 2. It is meant as a way for you to use gold that would otherwise go unused. Most of the time, that gold will be wasted and you will get nothing out of it, but every once in a while, you might "hit the jackpot" and get a really good item.

Training the Blacksmith essentially allows you to give up some money in order to increase the size of the jackpot. It is an "entry fee" in order to play for the big bucks.

With that said, training the Blacksmith is only useful if you are at a point where gambling is a good use of your gold. Given the prices on the auction house for low and even mid level gear, there's no reason to be gambling at lower levels. You can get a sure thing that will help you level up for a tiny fraction of the cost.

Once you reach higher levels, the jackpot gets big enough and the auction house gets expensive enough that gambling becomes a reasonable way to spend your money. At this point, you should level up your blacksmith. This has the added side benefit of unlocking the blacksmith for all future characters, meaning you can use him at lower levels if the auction house were unable to supply your needs for some reason.

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I agree with this answer - when your only upgrade on the AH costs more than 5 million gold, burning 80k at a chance for a nice upgrade seems a lot more appealing than saving up so much. –  fcrick Jun 2 '12 at 17:14
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From my experience, at least at the moment(with many people selling stuff for gold) it is much easier and cheaper to just go to the Auction House and buy the items you want.

By the blacksmith you have to salvage many magical items, all of them would give you a nice goldboost if you sold them to a trader or on the auction house. You also have to upgrade the blacksmith, which costs a lot and of course, each item that you'll create will need some gold next to the magical items.

Then once you have put so much gold into one item, it may just be terrible. It may be good, but not for you because eg. it gives you DEX when you want INT. Or maybe it is good, congratulations, but chances are that you could have saved a lot of gold

If you are playing the game as a single player experience and don't want to use the Auction House, then the Blacksmith is well worth it however, because you will (naturally) get many magical or rare items you don't need and items made by the blacksmith tend to be pretty good, espiaclly since you can just create a few items of the same thing until you get the 'perfect' item, if you've acquired enough useless magical and rare items.

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For anyone still wondering if he should upgrade his artisan, with the patch 1.0.7:

A new crafting reagent, Demonic Essence, has been added to the game

This reagent is account-bound and can be acquired from Elite monsters, Treasure Goblins, and bosses in Inferno difficulty

Four Rare recipes have been added to the Blacksmith:

Archon Spaulders (Shoulders), Archon Gauntlets (Gloves), Archon Armor (Chest Armor), Razorspikes (Bracers)

Each crafted item will have the following characteristics:

iLevel 63
6 Affixes
Account-bound
Similar to the Hellfire Ring, it will have four variants, each guaranteeing a fixed core stat which will have the highest range available in the game

And

A new Rare recipe has been added to the Jeweler for an Amulet

This amulet will have the following characteristics:

iLevel 63
6 Affixes
Account-bound
Similar to the Hellfire Ring, it will have four variants, each guaranteeing a fixed core stat which will have the highest range available in the game

Crafting the item will require the 1 Demonic Essence as well as:

100,000g
1 Perfect Square Gem (varied depending on which core stat you select)
1 Fiery Brimstone

Of course, in order to craft them, a lvl10 blacksmith and lvl10 jeweler are required.

So you have now the possibility to craft some best-in-slot only for you, so the AH won't be flooded with them. I think it's a nice way to make your own upgrade without farming the AH.

So considering the cost of upgrading both artisans to lvl10, 313k gold and some books, I think it's definitely worth it. Since the recipes are not Account-bound, you can buy them for some gold, less than 10k currently on EU servers.

Source

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It's worth noting that few of the new recipes have the potential to be best in slot, depending on the class (i.e. most classes would be best served by a good Lacuni Prowlers over crafted razorspikes, or set-piece chest over archon chest). For those that do have the potential for best in slot, the chances of rolling those stats are still exceedingly slim. –  Beofett May 8 '13 at 13:42
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