Astral Diamond Farming Guide for Mod 13

Astral Diamonds are probably the most important currency in the game. Free-2-Play players can exchange them for ZEN, and it’s the currency you need to buy stuff on the Auction House. So naturally having a lot of ADs directly equals wealth in Neverwinter. In this guide I’m looking into the current ways of farming Astral Diamonds. What are the viable paths, and the best ones? Let’s find out!

List of Farm Methods

Rough Astral Diamonds

  • PRO: Can be done with any item level, any experience
  • CON: Capped at 36,000 Astral Diamonds per day; requires VIP to be most efficient

The Rough Astral Diamond refining limit serves as baseline for how much ADs a you can earn. Any character on any item level can earn RADs using the Random Queues or other dungeon runs. Only 36,000 of those however can be converted into “real” Astral Diamonds per day. With this hard cap the devs control how much free Astral Diamonds players can add to the economy. Once at level 70, you normally shouldn’t have any issue hitting the cap, but lower levels might not get there consistently.

There are two main way of accumulating RADs on characters. The first one is running the available Random Queues. The skirmish and normal dungeon queue are a must, but I’d avoid epic trials and Hero’s Accord. For AD farming purposes it also hardly makes sense to play FBI or mSP within the epic dungeons queue. What most players do is form a team and abandon the queue if they get drawn into them.

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After completing your random queues, you should still have a few thousand RADs to go. That’s where method #2, so called “salvage runs” take over. Players use the fastest dungeons (currently Temple of the Spider and Shores of Tuern) to quickly farm end chests and the salvage that comes with it. Unfortunately this is only really viable if you’re VIP. Because buying daily keys from the vendor at least severely cuts into your profit, and could even end up being a loss. Surplus salvage can by the way also moved to alt characters and refined there. It’s a popular way to use alts to bypass the daily cap.

Farming Event Rewards

  • PRO: Little requirements to claim / farm free stuff that you can turn into ADs
  • CON: Events only show up every once in a while; items get devalued rather fast

Another way of making a few ADs is by participating in events. The bigger seasonal ones offer unbound rewards that can be flipped for currency on the Auction House. Since most entry requirements are low, all levels can often fully participate, and make as much ADs as veteran players. Unfortunately great AD-making events are rare, and the items get devalued rather fast. Call-to-Arms companions for example used to sell pretty well, but merely go for pennies nowadays. The longer rewards exist, the less valuable they get.

A general advise in terms of events is to stash away the items for a while. During the event days supply gets up and prices go down. Waiting a couple weeks or even months could net you significantly more.

VIP Farming

  • PRO: Easy to set up and scalable
  • CON: Setting up accounts requires some effort; not completely in line with the ToS

Setting up VIP farm accounts that sole purpose is to claim the daily Enchanted Key and sell lockbox drops is profitable. I’ve extensively covered the method in my guide to alternate characters. You can check it out here.

Hunting

  • PRO: Trophies and gear sell for nice amounts, especially at the start of modules
  • CON: Can only be traded, not sold; items get devalued rather fast; farming can get annoying; need access to Chult

Limited to Mod 12/13 is farming and selling Hunts. Players both sell Trophies and even specific gear that has a change to drop from the Hunts. It can net you a nice amount especially at the start of modules, but you obviously need access to Chult. Additionally, the farming process is rather dull, items get devalued fast as supply rises, and the process of selling the items is a bit more complicated since you can’t simply put them on the Auction House. A few players still report nice incomes from Hunts.

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Playing the Auction House

  • PRO: Minimal time investment
  • CON: Need deep knowledge of the market; capital gets tied up; varying profit margins; need a few million ADs to start

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In case you don’t really have time to play the game, you can still play the Auction House. With market knowledge and a sufficient stock of Astral Diamonds you can generate a nice profit margin by just buying low and selling high. There are a couple things you can do, but the most basic one is buying items when the supply is expected to go down, or the value is expected to go way up (because of a gameplay change etc.). Current lockbox items are always cheap, and usually get up in price once the market has moved on to the next lockbox. The same applies to items that are currently available through events etc.

It’s however not always easy to identify opportunities and requires a deep knowledge of the market and the game. You also have to monitor the preview patch notes and evaluate changes appropriately. Even if you do it right your capital can get tied up because you may not be able to flip the items for profit for a certain time.

Leadership

  • PRO: Minimal time investment after initial setup
  • CON: Leveling to 25 is a pain; refining points are no longer as valuable

Talking about a minimal time investment, Leadership is another one. Once set up all you do have to do is start tasks on all your characters once or twice per day. The Leadership boxes (ideally stashed away and opened during x2 enchantments) contain unbound refining points that can be sold on the Auction House. That sounds easy, but getting Leadership to level 25 is a pain. It literally takes months and since the best tasks unlock on the last levels, you can’t profit at all for the vast majority of the leveling process. So this is pretty much something you gradually work towards and profit way later. Since you can’t really do anything else with the professions system, leveling Leadership is a no-brainer. But it’s not the money-maker it used to be since refining points are no longer as valuable as they once were.

Use Discounts to Make Profit

  • PRO: Usually a “safe bet”
  • CON: Only show up every once in a while; capital gets tied up; need to know best items to buy

Whenever there’s a major ZEN or Wondrous Bazaar discount, you should check whether you might be able to buy certain items and flip them on the Auction House for a profit. This is especially true if there’s a backlog on the ZEN/AD exchange and players have to wait for days and weeks to get their orders filled. That’s why anticipating the sales during the Jubilee and Winter Festival and stock up ZEN early is key. You can then buy and resell items like Coalescent Wards. What players also do is buy tons of Marks of Potencies during sales and discounts, stash them away, wait for the market to recover, and profit.

Usually going with sales and discounts is an easy bet, but you have to know the items to go for. Also your capital can get tied up because you have to wait for the market to recover.

Dungeon Farming

  • PRO: Steady income even though “RNG” is involved
  • CON: Need to be able to not only run, but farm the latest content

Good news guys: Dungeon farming is a thing! As much as the chest loot changes at the start of 2017 sucked for those that farmed for specific items in dungeons chests, at least farming endgame dungeons and selling the unbound loot can be quite profitable since then. Also some of the Masterwork resources that drop from bosses sell for a decent amount. Granted, you won’t get something valuable every time, but items like Ultimate Enchanting Stones can add up to a nice profit over a few days.

The viable dungeons are limited to the true endgame content though. We’re talking about Fangbreaker Island, Tomb of the Nine Gods, Cradle of the Death God, and to a lesser extent Spellplague Caverns. We’re also entering elitist territory here. The faster you can farm those, the more ADs you’ll be able to make. So in case you’re not part of the current endgame meta, tough luck.

Explorer’s Charts Farming

  • PRO: Major AD-making capabilities; perpetual motion machine in some cases
  • CON: Requires Explorer’s Guild structure, Guild Mark farming, market knowledge

On of the best ways to make Astral Diamonds is Explorer’s Charts farming. You should farm Guild Marks on as many characters as possible, buy the charts, and sell the resources. Double events play a crucial role in the process. Here’s how chaining x2 events can multiply your earnings:

  1. Continue to Farm Influence / Quartermaster Drops
  2. Buy Stronghold Chests during a ZEN sale
  3. Open them during x2 Shards
  4. Continue to Farm Influence / Quartermaster Drops
  5. Donate everything during x2 Guild Marks
  6. Farm Charts during x2 Professions

This however takes a while as you have to wait for the events. That’s why the best way to earn Guild Marks is still using “dummy guilds” as shown in this video. You basically need four friends (or alt accounts) to continuously create guilds, fill up the Voucher coffer, and delete them. This way you can make hundreds of thousands of Guild Marks during a single x2 GM event. And the best thing? The profession assets you use to fill the coffers cost less than you’ll be doing with the Guild Marks you earn. We pretty much talk about a perpetual motion machine here.

That by the way also applies to other scenarios. There’s a decent chance you can buy Stronghold Shards on the Auction House, trade them for Guild Marks, farm Charts and end up with more ADs than the Shards did cost. Rinse, repeat.

As awesome as this sounds, maximizing the revenue from Guild Marks requires the Explorer’s Guild Stronghold structure (which doubles resources from Explorer’s Charts at Rank 6), a few spreadsheets, and knowledge of the market. You need to know what items net the most Guild Marks per AD, and what Explorer’s Charts are currently the best to farm. But if you do it right, there’s tens of millions of ADs to make during x2 Profession events.

Masterwork Professions

  • PRO: Best way to earn massive amounts of ADs
  • CON: Need tens of millions of ADs to start; deep knowledge and theorycrafting required; fierce competition at the top

The only ones that probably make more ADs than those that farm Explorer’s Charts are the ones that buy the resources from them. Mastercrafter’s profit margins are off the charts. There are people that literally make millions of ADs per day just by crafting and selling Masterwork products. The competition at the top is fierce however and unless you set up some spreadsheets and know what items net you the most profit, you have no shot at competing. Masterwork Professions are not exactly easy to understand, and knowing the cost of recipes and how to get resources the cheapest is crucial.

Additionally you can’t just start crafting. The way to the current MW V recipes requires millions of ADs. It’s truly a system for the rich to get richer. It can’t hurt though to level Masterwork Profession if you have a few ADs to spare (probably because you’ve been following our guide!). If you make it to the top, there’s a decent chance you’ll get your investment back and are going to make much more!

Conclusion

The best way of making ADs for you personally depends on your level of commitment. The Astral Diamond farming “endgame” is Masterworks (chart farming or crafting), but not everyone is willing to put in the effort and theorycrafting to be successful there. Your level of activity also dictates how successful VIP and Leadership farming can be. Players that are unable to login daily and claim keys don’t get as much as they could out of VIP subscriptions for example. I’m also not sure Leadership makes much sense in case you can’t start tasks at least once per day.

On a more casual level you can’t do wrong with the Random Queues, salvage runs and dungeon farming. It’s steady income, but not the absolute best way to accumulate wealth. You should at least look whether sales, discounts, or events offer better opportunities for your time spent. In most cases they do, first and foremost because you’re not limited by a hard refining cap there.


That’s my guide to Astral Diamond farming. What are you doing to get rich? Have I missed a viable method? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board.

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j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter inspired by the DPS builds of Envy and Rokuthy, he has built up ALTs of all classes and finished Module 5 with five characters in full legendaries and BiS/near-BiS level.

3 thoughts on “Astral Diamond Farming Guide for Mod 13

  • April 30, 2018 at 7:24 am
    Permalink

    Amazing guide. However the guild mark farm video posted is very old and misleading. Prices on his video are 700ad for profession people. Also he shows a very long extended version of how to deposit the ppl I to the labor and exit quickly. Other than that it is a very well thought out guide. GG

    Reply
  • April 30, 2018 at 12:15 pm
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    i have 7 characters, each day i run mauraders on one character followed by 7 epic hes (one for each character). That nets me

    700 Mauraders Influence = 700 GM
    70 Hero Shards = 700 GM
    7 HEs = 1050 GM
    23 Adventure Shards = 233 GM
    total = 2683 GM

    Save for 2xGM = 5366 * doesn’t include voucher drops, builder quest progress from quest overlaps, 2xShards, 2xInfluence, etc

    the result is 5366 GM a day in a halfhour

    at 59 AD per GM that’s 316,594 AD, not a fortune but a solid income without stepping foot into a dungeon

    bonus is i’m helping my alliance/guild with maurader and sh he calls doing something i actually still enjoy in the game

    Reply
  • May 1, 2018 at 11:41 pm
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    Start grinding and Use Discounts to Make Profit ❤

    Stop using ADs/ Zens to increase stuff for a while, save all for discounts events and oohh… you will end rich
    Even more reliable when ZAK is going crazy.

    Then play just for the fun not the grind 🙂

    Reply

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