I FINALLY crafted my first Hellfire Ring. I can't believe that it's taken me this long, but normally I only have time to sit down and do one key run at a time when I play. A normal key run for me takes about 15-25 minutes, depending on how quickly I find the key warden. I'm keeping my Diablo 3 time down to about 45 minutes a day if I'm going to do any farming and I only spend about 15 or so on the auction houses when I don't farm.
With the help of my friends at Gimmic Gaming, I've jumped from struggling with mp3 to killing it at mp5 and mp6. I quickly saw more key drops and had better luck on my UBERs drops, which resulting in...
*cue epic entrance music*
It's not the best one I've ever seen, but it's a start and I'm enjoying the 35% increased experience bonus. I'm paragon level 12 now (a bit short of my goal for December, but I'm ok with that) and the 200+ strength is nice for my build. I'm on my way to another one, so hopefully I'll get a better roll next time.
I've invested quite a bit of gold (and some real money that I spent on Gimmic's Barbarian guide) into my character in the last couple weeks, not to mention the time I've spent playing him. I think that to truly know what's going on in the game and in the markets that I'm trying to make consistent money from, I believe that I have to be up on what other players are doing, what is working, what's trending, etc. The only real way to do this is to actually hop on my Barb and get into groups with other players and mow down some hellspawn.
...At least, that's my excuse :).
In truth, if I spend 45 minutes every day playing the auction house, researching, reading Markco's Gold Forum, instead of spending a portion of my "play time" whirling around with my Barbarian, I would be making more money. The real money in this game is in the auction houses. There is plenty of good information out there, especially in guide's like Markco's, that can help you make consistent money from playing Diablo 3. Unless you put a ton of time and/or money into one of your characters, there isn't much money in farming and frankly, it doesn't make financial sense.
But who can resist hacking away at demons for a few minutes every now and again?