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Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 5

Thulg the Barbarian and the Blacksmith

In  this installment, we're going to cover the basics of forging and using the auction house. The latter is actually up and running, but for now beta lab rats are only allowed to trade weapons. To be honest, I really haven’t done any business in the auction house simply because I’ve generally found what I’ve needed within the campaign. What's more, I’ve collected just over 23,000 gold pieces between all five characters, so I really don’t need the money. Still, you’ll discover that the wares offered by the New Tristram locals are a bit underwhelming, so in one sense, the auction house makes up for that... and probably on purpose.

The inventory houses the Nephalem Cube which is needed for forging.

For starters, the player character’s inventory features three items. First there’s a Stone of Recall, which essentially replaces the Scroll of Town Portal, allowing users to teleport back to New Tristram for whatever reason, and then return back to the dungeon. The inventory bag also contains the Cauldron of Jordan that lets you sell items on the fly rather than having to head back to New Tristram and unload the collected goods to the local merchants. Then there’s the Nephalem Cube which will break down armor and weapons into materials that can be used in crafting.

This is essentially where the crafting starts: by breaking down the useless junk you gather in the dungeons. Regular armor and weapons are reduced to common scrap and magical armor and weapons are reduced to Subtle Essence. Both of these are required by the Blacksmith to forge armor and weapons. For example, the Apprentice Oak Wand, a one-handed weapon for the Wizard class, requires eight pieces of common scrap, four pieces of Subtle Essence, and 220 gold coins. The Apprentice Leather Cuffs require six pieces of common scrap, four pieces of Subtle Essence, and 220 gold coins.

Setting the Blacksmith up to create a cool weapon.

Currently in the Witch Doctor’s game, the Blacksmith is a Level 1 Apprentice. In the closed beta I was able to uncover "recipes" that the Blacksmith was able to learn by right-clicking on them in the Inventory (while the Blacksmith’s window is open). However, he can also be trained by acquiring five Pages of Training and then binding them into a book. To reach level 2, the Blacksmith requires one Tome of Training, five pieces of common scrap, and 500 pieces of gold. By attempting to level up, he’ll learn two additional recipes, which include the Apprentice Leather Hood and Apprentice Leather Doublet.

For a while I suspected that the Blacksmith may remain consistent across all saved games, and after loading up several other characters, that seemed to be the case, as my Demon Hunter had several Apprentice Rope Fist recipes stashed away in his inventory which stated that it was already known - this was taught to the Blacksmith by another character (I forget who). But to prove my theory, I acquired the Pages of Training from all my characters by using the Stash chest, and then bound 5 into a Tome of Training. In addition to dipping into the same cash (gold) box, player character also share the same Stash chest. This means any weapon you come across as a Wizard, but is slated for a Barbarian, can be stashed away and withdrawn later by your Barbarian character. The same goes for any item you come across, including Pages of Training.

After all that work and then submitting the required materials, the Blacksmith gained experience but didn’t advance to level 2, yet he did learn the two armor recipes. Even more, he remained consistent across all five characters, meaning that any leveling up you do with the Blacksmith as one character in any part of the game will apply throughout any game and any character.

The auction house is limited in the closed beta.

As for the Auction House, players must be out of the Campaign in order to access this area. As previously mentioned, most of this is disabled in the beta save for selling and purchasing equipment. All items that you have packed away in your Stash chest show up in the Shared Stash section. To sell one of these items, simply highlight the object and press the "Sell Item" button. A window pops up asking for a starting price and an optional buyout price. Blizzard also warns users that 15-percent of the final sale goes towards the
"Posting Fee." Honestly this should be free as compensation for not allowing customers to play the game offline (but that’s another rant).

The Auction House itself is essentially broken into four parts: Search, Buy, the aforementioned Sell, and Completed. In the Search section, you can find items for specific characters, and in the case of equipment, narrow down the search options to one-handed, two-handed, offhand and whatnot. Bids on the items you’re currently selling will show up in the Bids section, and the Completed area keeps a record of all completed transactions.

That’s it for this installment. There are other aspects that still need attention, so I’ll do that in the next installment.

If you missed them:Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 1Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 2Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 3Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 4