Diablo 3 and the Real Money Auction House (Diablocalypse?)

Yesterday, Blizzard disdained the notion of adjusting potential customers’ expectations for an upcoming game gently in favour of dropping a PR bombshell during a press/ fansite preview day for Diablo 3. There is a lot to like about the new game, with features that I think players will enjoy, but that is now going to be eclipsed by the more attention-grabbing news.

The headline reveals were:

  • Diablo 3 will have an auction house facility via Battle.Net (players will be able to trade under game IDs and this will not require realID)
  • There will be an auction house that allows trading via in-game gold. There will also be a facility to trade via RL currency. Players will also be able to trade in-game gold on the AH for real currency (ie. sell gold to other players)
  • There will be no offline solo mode for Diablo 3, running the game will require a permanent internet connection.
  • Mods and addons will be prohibited.
The Escapist posts comments from Rob Pardo explaining why the cash AH is such a great idea. My view is that each of these things can be carefully and logically justified on its own, but taken together they may force a large change in how the typical player approaches the game.

Speaking as someone who mostly played Diablo 2 solo and offline, I understand the issue of preventing piracy but I will still miss the offline mode and the relative quietitude and non-competitiveness of playing alone. I understand that it’s still possible to play solo online, but much like soloing in an MMO, it’s harder to avoid the ubiquity of online achievements and pressure to compete or keep up with friends when you’re in a multiplayer game. (I don’t buy any connection with this and cheating, since it’s easy enough for them to keep offline characters out of the auction house or online PvP games.)

The in-game gold AH is a great idea and something that was very needed in Diablo 2, where there was a clear desire for players to be able to trade drops but no real mechanism for allowing it. Even swapping items between alts needed some quick logging in and out and leaving the item on the floor in the meanwhile. The real money AH is a sensible way to legitimise the grey market that would inevitably form for D3 goods and characters. People are still buying and selling D2 items on ebay and that game is now 11 years old (I do not know who these people are who buy the stuff from ebay – if you’re one of them feel free to explain why it’s worth it to you in comments.) However, the people who bought and sold D2 goods were a small and hardcore minority of the playerbase — this playstyle is now going to be pretty much forced on everyone else.

Scrusi comments   that most players fail to recognise opportunity cost in MMOs, I prefer to think that players are quite well able to value their own time and some of them get more enjoyment out of grinding and creating their own goods and materials than they would from ‘industrial strength crafting and trading.’ However, once real money enters the picture, I think people will become very sensitive indeed to opportunity cost.  Because any time you are not farming valuable items as fast as is humanly possible and then selling them on the auction house, you are leaving money on the table.

So while I have no doubt that many many players will be delighted by this development, I’m left feeling that I won’t much like the evolving game community that this spawns and since there’s no offline mode, I won’t have the option to opt out either. Maybe I’m the aging gamer with odd ideas from an earlier age here and the new breed of online gamers wants nothing more than to be able to buy and sell random items for cash. I’m thinking you might as well go and play poker.

The decision not to allow adds or mods follows from the previous two choices. With no offline mode there’s no room for a non-competitive/ non-real-money-selling gameplay where players might easily experiment with interesting new mods or addons. So this also makes sense, but it’s a shame in an area like PC gaming where the modding community has added so much to the player experience (including previous Blizzard games like Starcraft) in the past to rule it out completely. I don’t think PC gaming died with this announcement, but it’s a sad day.

Now I’m not saying that Blizzard announced this cash item auction house today just to wind me up because they knew I posted about the pointlessness of gold accumulation in WoW, but you have to also wonder whether they are considering developing WoW in the same way. As things stand, you’ll be able to cash in proceeds from the Diablo 3 AH to pay for a WoW subscription or other items from the cash shop. I don’t think it is likely that things will go in the other direction, but if they do, I’ll have to eat my proverbial hat and admit that the goblins were right.

And that since I’m not one, I fail at online gaming.

54 thoughts on “Diablo 3 and the Real Money Auction House (Diablocalypse?)

  1. Some of the magic of videogame playing in the early days of this type of activity was that the player would manufacture his own story. Items fall into the same category: each item you obtain has a story for the player to be prowd of, being either it dropping from a hard boss or purchased after long hours of making said resource. The satisfaction of even pure grinding for the outcome of a longed for drop is available only in a game where your in-game well being is directly correlated to your in-game effort.

    A game where a player is not interested / motivated to put in effort will bring much less satisfaction and eventually burnout. Whenever I start using cheat-codes for a game, that game has run out its interest for me and it will be shortly after that I will quit said game.

    Bringing over real-money transactions to Diablo will simply mean that the overall effort of people to go out there and find gear, build more efficient characters and play the game will be diminished. We can just fool around for a while, and let the kids from the poorer countries in our region to farm all the gear for us to buy.

    You can most likely, level up a character, cough up 100 bucks to buy the best gear available and you’re done. You have finished the game. This is very disturbing to me as I feel that the magic I felt when playing the video-games of my youth is being gradually sucked out by the current market forces that are flocking around today’s game industry.

  2. I have to be honest, the combination of things there kills it for me. The perpetual onlineness is irritating for a single-player game. It was a real hassle to have to log in to play DA:O, and the game and certain items linked to quest pacs and such would break if the log-in didn’t take, etc.

    The RMT AH bugs me as well because I can see far more people trying to take advantadge of that than of the non-RMT AH, which leads to a lot of the issues you mentioned. I’m sure there will be a dedicated group of players will to forego the RMT AH, but even so… just the inclusion of that makes me question the motives of Blizzard. Of course they want to make money, but do they want to make a good, quality game that generates 11 years worth of continuous income (Diablo 2), or do they want to make a product whose sole focus is continous cash generation with fun tacked on to it (see any casino game)?

  3. I was looking forward to Diablo 3 afterseeing a pretty walk-through video a while back. But I am not attached to the game any more than I am to StarCraft. The forced online play alone might have given me pause. But the Cash Shop has broken any motivation play this next iteration for me.

    The only redeeming aspect of the RMT AH seems to be an effort to pre-empt illegal gold farming. But I suspect it may only legitimize it.

  4. Gold-sellers and farmers have never had it easier. At least I’ve read that gold-selling is a great way for underdeveloped countries to get a paycheck, at least compared to the sweatshops. So yea on that.

    Will I play the game? Not sure, for me this has soured the game greatly for me. If you think of how much gold-selling spam WoW used to have, coupled with how difficult it was in that game to sell gold, think of the madness this will bring! Oh and you can’t get addons to filter it out either.

    And I was looking forward to this.

  5. Here’s an idea that just popped to mind that might curb some of the concerns about the RMT AH, at least some of my concerns. What if Blizz took a page from Google Ads and only actually paid you out when you reached X dollars of sales, say $50 or $100. This would obviously benefit Blizz, as they would get to use their earning off your sale immediately while collecting interest from the remainder of your earnings (which would be held in some large, combined interest-bearing account). But it could benefit those of use who are not as excited about the RMT AH option.

    If the motivation to use the RMT AH is immediate gain (payout), then adding a delayed gratification might stiffle most players from taking advantage of that option. Afterall, if I know I can pop up uber drop #6 onto the RMT AH and get $5 for drinking money tonight then it’s a no-brainer decision. BUT, if I have to wait for that to sell along with 10-20 other uber drops before I get a pay out, well that might make me think twice. I can probably put that same drop on the non-RMT AH and sell it right now for some in game money, which I can use right away.

    I mean, that’s the allure of Google Ads on blogs, right? That you can earn money just for doing something you enjoy (blogging). But really, who actually makes much money from that except Google? The really dedicated do, but most bloggers chose to skip them altogether because they aren’t likely to see the payout. And I think that same mentality would bleed over into Diablo 3 if it were in place. And really, I think that’s a win-win, assuming that there is no way to avoid the RMT AH being implemented.

    So then it just becomes another meta-game for those interested in playing it. Buying, selling… all very EVE-esque. And lets be real, the people that will dominate the RMT AH will likely be people dedicated to playing that “game,” not the farmers. The farmers will feed that “gamers,” but the gamers will control that market. They will likely not spend much time in the game itself. They’ll buy the market out on certain items and re-list them for higher prices (assuming prices aren’t fixed). If people do that in MMOs now without the benefit of getting for real cash, they will certainly do it when there is a more tangible benefit.

    • That’s an interesting thought.

      One other thing that might make people more comfortable is knowing that if you play in ‘hardcore mode’, you’ll be limited to using a separate gold-only AH.

      This may result in the first game ever where the hardcore mode is played by more casual players and the normal mode is played by the hardcore (so they can earn money.) Or at least a very different definition of hardcore which would be closer to ‘gaming purists.’

  6. I never played Diablo 1 or 2 and I have no plans to break that tradition with D3 so in a sense this doesn’t affect me directly.

    The direction of travel that it indicates for the wider genre, though, is worrisome. It does seem that the boundary between “work” and “play” is being eroded fast. As you rightly point out, once you’re aware that the otherwise pointless “play” activity in which you’re engaged could easily be earning you real money, it’s going to be that much harder to do it just for the fun of doing it.

  7. why should there be goldspam, the farmers would use the gold to buy stuff in the gold AH, then sell it in the $ AH, next step is cashing out. Marketing isnt needed anymore.

    I see more a problem with account hacks, stealing all the stuff on a high lvl char (nothing is soulbound) and selling it at the $ AH seems like a better business to me then to steal gold and sell that.

  8. The RMT decision seems like an invitation to lawsuits over virtual property disappearing or being changed in some way. I’m not sure they’ve thought through the obvious problems. (I hope so, but past performance from ActiBlizzard makes me doubt it.)

    The lack of an offline solo mode was about what I expected this time around. They obviously wanted to do the same thing with StarCraft II but felt that the market wasn’t quite ready for it. I don’t like it, but I have to admit I spent most of my solo time in Diablo II online anyway so I could trade drops between my characters.

  9. It is disappointing now that this triangle of time/ingame gold/RL money is getting more prominent, (EVE, spiral knights, other F2P I’ve not played). Before, there was fun to obscure it but it’ll get harder and harder to get past that triangle to actually enjoy these games.

    What probably annoys me more is that in the interviews blizzards reasons are a bit on the flippant side. One thing is that if this RMT was a grey area in Diablo 2, what’s the reason to legitemise it as to remove it from the game. Saying things like this:

    “One of the reasons I’m really excited about this feature is, we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. That, for us, is very cool. We haven’t been in that position for a while where we were going to put something out there that felt very new to us, like new ground. So we’re very excited to see what happens”

    For something that could be quite divisive to potential customers, that kind of outlook is more likely to blow up in your face.

  10. Just a side question: So Diablo III now being insistent you do everything community wise online, is this version now an MMO (MMORTS to be more precise)?

      • Which to my understanding, World of Tanks is a MMO. Perhaps I should start bugging the folks who run Massively to start covering Diablo III then.

        Thanks for answering that, Spinks. 🙂

      • I feel something of a Cassandra here. For many years I’ve been saying games companies should ban gold buyers and games players should boycott ebayers and gold buyers and have been whistling in the wind. Now, inevitably, Blizzard has decided to take a cut of an industry so large it forms a substantial part of the economy in many developing countries and people are up in arms.

        “Ha!” I say, scathingly, “Ha!”

  11. Assuming that Titan is what Blizzard views as the cash cow to replace WoW, one must then deduce that the success of this feature in D3 is being regarded as a test run to see whether to implement it in Titan.

  12. The “no offline solo” would be the dealbreaker for me… if I cared about the Diablo IP in the first place. I get my dungeon crawler itch scratched by Torchlight.

    It’s still a bit troubling, though, as is the “no mods” angle. Not because I care about D3 itself, but I think that’s a bad trend for games.

  13. I kinda agree with Tesh here. I’m becoming increasingly inclined to buy into the Torchlight franchise purely because it feels that Blizz aren’t listening to my needs, instead focusing on what the existing D2 community does.

  14. I think I can see one benefit of this. If Blizzard isn’t charging you directly for items, then it would seem there would be little reasonfor them to make changes to the game which require the player to fork over (more) cash. The option for any individual to spend money is dependant upon player actions/choices, not developer ones.

    E.G. – In World of Tanks, you can play for free. Grind up the tanks without spending a penny. But a player with a premium subscription (~$12/month) grinds that out litterally 4 times faster in the upper tank tiers. Wargaming.net could – if they wanted – make changes to make it litterally impossible to grind up for free.

    Also regarding no offline mode:
    In D1 and D2, it was fairly easy to dupe gold and items. You could do this online, or “offline” via a LAN connection to your friend’s PC. In a game where you could charge real money for these duped items, it’s best to have all events logged.

    “Legoleas has 15x ‘Epic Bow of Leetneess’ up on the AH. Isn’t that a 1% drop chance?”

    I would be very surprised to see a game with RMT having an offline mode.

    I do agree with bhagpuss though. I remember back in the day when games used to be made, and used to be played just for…what’s that word again…..? Oh yeah, “fun”.

    • I thought it was quite interesting that in Scott Jennings comments on this, he notes that he designed a similar system for a F2P MMO but it isn’t what he’d want himself as a player. So you kind of wonder which MMO/ any other game designer is designing the sorts of systems we (as in people who don’t like this idea) might want as players, if the original generation of players/ designers have decided to design for a different crowd. Maybe it’ll be the indie studios like Runic, but how long can they resist the lure.

      • I guess it depends on what one considers “pay to win”. Assuming D3 plays much like D1/2, we’re assuming players can only play for item drops. It’s not something that can’t be acquired by those that play for free, it’s just that those willing to spend a few extara $$ can get it quicker than those that aren’t willing.

        In my eyes, it’s in the same boat as paying for XP boosts, or other similar items. You’re not getting/doing anything that free players can’t do, you’re just getting it/doing it quicker because you’re willing to spend. That’s not “paying to win.” (IMO)

        Something like premium ammo in World of Tanks is an example of “paying to win” IMO – as that is something that’s impossible for free players to get.

        Although for what it’s worth, for me, spending real money to advance in a game is a bit like paying the usher an extra $5 to fast foward to the last scene of a movie. The whole point of paying for the movie is the experience – the entire movie – not just the part before the credits roll.

        As a player, I’d much rather pay for a more expensive subscription (up to $50/mo), than paying a couple dollars here, couple there. It seems like with micro transactions (can we call them “micro” anymore?) there’s less incentive to make the game as a whole better, and more incentive to make 1 or 2 features better – so that you pay extra for those.

  15. You can sell D3 items to pay for WoW subscription:

    How will the currency-based auction house work?
    Players will be able to make purchases in the currency-based auction house using a registered form of payment attached to their Battle.net account. As with other popular online-purchase services, players will also have the option to charge up their Battle.net account with a balance of funds that can be drawn from for purchases of any digital product available through Battle.net — this includes not only auction house items but also things like World of Warcraft subscription time and paid services, to name a few examples. On the flipside, when players sell an item in the currency-based auction house, the proceeds of the sale are deposited into their Battle.net account and can then be used as described above. Note that this process might be different for certain regions; we’ll provide further region-specific details as we get closer to launch.

  16. So, are people going to be paying income tax on stuff they sell on the auction house. Legitimizing the exchange of cash for in game items in this fashion may have some interesting consequences.

    • Income tax, and perhaps local sales tax, too.

      Also, once you have a way to transfer real cash between players, it opens up the possibility of RMT-for-service. You want to group with me? Buy this $10 trash item on the AH first.

      This kind of service payment might actually be good, since boosting services have intrinsic value, and allowing a market in them will increase their availability (like GDKP, only more so).

      • I’ve heard it speculated (and I agree) that one of Blizzard’s goals will be to force regulatory frameworks to find a way to deal with this. And they have the legal backup to do it.

        I also think there are easier ways to transfer real cash between players than buying tat off an in-game auction house. And especially when you can sell in game gold for cash, it’s probably easier to just ask for a gold transfer and then sell it later.

      • I agree there are better ways to enable service for cash between players. My point is that the presence of the RL $ AH enables this kind of interaction between players, even if the game designers didn’t intend it to.

    • In the UK only if they are actively “trading” in the online items. Realistically I don’t think that the tax authorities would ever take the point as if they are taxing you on your income from the trade, they would also have to give you tax relief if you make losses.

      There would only be VAT if your annual sales were over the threshold of about £70k per year.

  17. Pingback: Will Diablo III be pay-to-win? The Kerfuffle Kicks Off

  18. It would be a tough decision to use that extremely rare rune to craft something, or use that shiny new armor instead of selling it.
    It’s the little voice in my head telling me “Don’t use all those items! They are way too valuable, sell them instead” that probably does a pretty good job at destroying my game experience…

    Mixing virtual items with real life is never a good idea. And I don’t even want to talk about legal problems with that

  19. I found the no add-on policy interesting as I think add-on were part of WoWs success. And, to be honest, Blizzard really sucks in interface design. I can’t imagine WoW being still alive without all those interface add-ons.

    • It is interesting, but I think you have to bear in mind that Diablo was never as heavy on addons as SC/WC/WoW have been. Yes, there were some, but not having them isn’t as huge a deal for this particular game as people make out.

  20. Not sure I understand why people are bothered about this. You say yourself in your post that it has always been possible to turn Diablo items into real world cash and vice versa, via ebay. This will continue to be the case, except you will now no longer have the risk of getting ripped off and so arguably therefore nothing has changed except for the better.

    If you didn’t sell or buy items or gold before, you don’t have to do it in future. It doesn’t have to break the game for you unless you let it.

    You might argue that by making it more organised in this way Blizzard are “legitimising” the activity, but do you really think that gamers are so naive that they need an international corporation to say something’s ok before we do it? I would perhaps argue that the opposite is true!

    You also say that gamers are able to value their own time, but will feel pressured to “keep up with the Joneses” and spend all their time farming. Firstly I think that those statements are contradictory, and secondly the one effect of this is that you DON’T have to farm. That’s the point. You don’t have to grind if you don’t want to – you can go to the AH. If anything, this will make it easier to value your time (“I could spend 3 hours farming foozles for the mats, or I could buy them online for £8”).

    Don’t get me wrong – I think that this is an interesting idea, and I enjoyed your post as I always do enjoy reading your posts – I merely think that this is a typical conservative “change is bad” internet reaction. I think the cash AH is a good idea.

    • Well, as I say, I think it’s a good idea in its own right but I don’t think I like the way it will drive the community. If you only play solo or with friends this won’t be an issue.

      I guess one of the issues for me is that previously, yes some people did buy and sell goods on the grey market but it wasn’t ever the majority of players. I think the gamer base will change a lot in tone when the majority of players do this, and they will.

  21. It’s a deal breaker for me – Owned D1 – D2, D2 exp. – SC1 – WC – WC2 – WC2 Beyond dark portal – WC3 – never did pick up the addons for SC or WC3.

    I didn’t pickup SC2 (even though I played in the beta – didn’t want online only play.

    Even though I’d been wanting D3 for the longest time – as soon as they made it online only it was a ‘meh’ from me.

    The RMT AH seals the deal – went from a ‘OMG can’t wait 3 years ago’ to a ‘won’t touch with a 10 foot pole’

    This from someone who loves MMO’s (sub’d to 3 atm) plays FTP MMO’s as well (money spent in another 2) and has no issue with RMT AH as a option.

    But the combo on a game I play 99.9% of the time as an offline thing (D2 here’s to you!) I am no longer interested in it all as a package.

  22. It’s a peculiar thing to see people swearing off the game because of this. I wasn’t interested before, and now I am. Blizzard are paying attention to the bits of game worlds I like!

    • For me personally, I do like the economic game but have learned from WoW that there are people so much more hardcore than me that it takes a lot of my fun away from actually playing that side of things. ie. I’d pretty much have to avoid glyphs or gems on our server, there’s no point in trying to figure out what people might want because hardcore economic types will flood the market with everything.

      I don’t begrudge them their fun, but I don’t think the D3 AH is going to be one of those ‘Oh cool, I lucked out and got a neato drop that will pay for next month’s WoW sub’ because it’ll be dominated by hardcore farmers and econo-players.

    • Blizzard has not shown they are responsible enough with previous games

      D1 – item dupe hacks, hacked accounts, bots galore
      D2 – item dupe hacks, hacked accounts, bots aglore
      WoW – there have been item dupe hacks – hacked accounts – bots galore

      In the case of the first two Diablos – I wouldn’t play online because of that environment. I had fun for *years* only playing with my father or other friends in private lan games.

      In the case of WoW – there is a ToS – nothing in the game is worth real money – hackers can’t rack up bills on your account once hacked – the beast sucked but there was limited exposure.

      Now with D3 – I can’t play with my friends without using a battle net account. I will always feel like I shouldn’t use that shiny new longsword +1 because it might be worth money.

      If I do participate in the RMT AH then my financial details are linked to an account that Blizzard frankly doesn’t have a history of keeping secure.

      I don’t play games to worry about money – I don’t enjoy the thought of a profit/loss statement playing in my head every time I log out – and even if I avoid the damn thing – my mind would go there. So I will avoid the game – C’est la vie

  23. My internal jury is still out on the RMT aspect but I am bothered by the lack of a single player, offline mode. I understand how developers feel like they need it these days due to piracy but….

    ..I LIKE having single player games specifically for the times when I don’t have internet. Diablo 2 was great for that since it allowed for online play with your friends or a single player mode.

    I wish they would add an offline single player that CANNOT interact with the RMT shop. At this point it seems it will be another Blizz title I won’t pick up and instead go for Torchlight 2 or something.

  24. Seems to me that Blizzard are trying to deflect the criticism for selling “pay to win” items by letting the players sell the items to each other while they sit back and take a cut. How much this affects game play depends on how Blizzard tune the game – they could make the game too hard/not drop enough loot to get through without either having to farm gear for hours or buy from someone willing to do so… which would drive up demand for AH items and put money in Blizzard’s pockets. Or do I just have a nasty, suspicious mind?

    • I don’t want to be a “professional” game player. I want to have fun playing games, and save all the stress of being a “professional” for being a professional call centre designer. Spending my gaming time with people getting dramatic because any setback messes with their “professional” gaming income (which will be less per hour than they could earn at Burger King) is not fun.

  25. Pingback: The Daily Quest: Cha-ching!

  26. I have purchased high level Diablo 2 runes for real money. The reason being the ABSOLUTELY RETARDED drop rate made it pretty much out of the question to farm them yourself. And as well, people finding them on their own didn’t happen that often. As a result, high level runes themselves were worth nothing less than high runes meaning trading them was pretty moot.

    My knowledge of how the supply of these items is maintained is outdated, but the main methods in the past have been botting and item duping. Botting will easily get you banned, and if you found a good bot online, chances are Blizzard did too and will get you eventually. Also, dupe methods are highly guarded secrets so you won’t find any to employ unless you discover a method yourself as most of the methods posted online (again, back when I played several years ago) were either bogus or patched. (I don’t know if there are dupe methods that still work today, but with as broken as D2 is I would be shocked if there isn’t).

    The point is, high runes were simply inaccessible for me since the drop rate was SOOOO STUUUPPID-LOW, I didn’t have a dupe method, didn’t have a bot and little desire to learn how to run one, and didn’t know anyone that had these things to help gear me up. So for $5, I get 20 high runes and totally pimp out my character OR, do seemingly endless and fruitless Baal runs and maybe get 1 high rune after 2-3 weeks? The choice was easy. Not to mention, playing Diablo was my hobby. I can think of a lot more expensive hobbies to sink money into, so it really is far from a waste of money as far as supporting hobbies goes.

  27. So, basically:

    a) they are legitimizing gold-selling so any rich scrub can become more powerful than me in seconds;

    b) they are making it online-only, without making it a proper MMORPG;

    c) they are making it purely PvE game and balancing around PvE only.


    No, I’m not going to buy that.

    Online game without PvP is like an expensive car without suitable roads to drive it on.

    Online game that promotes items-for-cash is like a racing event where you must bring your own car and any car is allowed. If you don’t have the money to buy a better car than your competition – your problem.

    Have fun. I’ll await for Torchlight development.

  28. Pingback: Valuations… » How to Murder Time

  29. Pingback: “Se7en Tidbits: Diablo 3 Edition!” or “Actually it’s More like Th13teen Tidbits!” « Are We New At This?

  30. Couple of quick points – the RMAH won’t change drop rates on gold or items, and blizzard isn’t selling items or gold directly, so what’s available on the market won’t be effected (unless tons of people decide to farm, which would increase supply, pushing down prices). Second, the gold AH will co-exist with the RMAH, allowing arbitrage to balance prices between the two. Gold and money will have an equivalency rate, and highly desirable items will be available for either – you won’t be required to spend real money to get anything.

    From what I’ve read there won’t be a cash out mechanism, so people won’t be able to earn money in any real sense, beyond covering their blizzard expenditures, like wow subs. If I can’t put money in my actual bank account by selling items I’ll be much less likely to sell things instead of using them myself.

    I think the end result of the RMAH will be what the poster above said about high-level runes – the player will have a choice between spending time (gold) or money when pursuing highest-level equipment. To me, that seems like an improvement over the old model, where cheating, 3rd party sites, or massive time investment were the only ways to get very rare items.

    Also, online-only doesn’t mean multiplayer-only; you can still create a closed game and play exactly as if you were offline. I can see how this would still be a negative for some people, particularly if your internet connection was unreliable, but from my experience with SC2 it’s not that intrusive to log in before playing.

    I don’t want to sound like a Blizzard fanatic but if they handle the RMAH properly it shouldn’t interfere with people who just want to play the game, and will in fact make for more liquid and accessible markets for players who want to max out their gear. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the implementation matches our best hopes or worst fears.

  31. I think most people disliking the whole idea of Diablo 3 having an auction house for real money are usually forgetting it is a choice and for normal mode only. I see the point of not being entitled to the gear you hold, but to me that’s a weak excuse. Games a meant to be played for fun, not to extent your epeen and flash of your gear nonstop.

    Truth is this auction house is going to push in a whole new world into an already huge universe. It’s going to be extremely awesome to see what the future holds.

  32. In my opinion, the Diablo 3 Real money Auction house will really help the game economy. Do you remember how the Diablo 2 economy was BAD? There was nearly no place to trade and people were used to sell/buy items outside of the games. The AH will help all of this. I cant wait to try it out.

    I heard that hey might release the Auction House for testing puproses in the beta! Im looking forward to it!

    Best regards,
    Diablo 3 barbarian skills

  33. I must first say this whole discussion is very interesting and so is the very concept of the real-money trade business, regardless of how it turns out in the end. Personally I think this was the best way for Blizzard to approach their (and all other game developers) previous trouble with 3rd party sellers and ebaying. Especially if there isnt a real “cash out” function.

    I mean why would any “goldfarmer company” farm diablo items for blizzard-only-money. the “worst” thing they could do with their money is pay for their gruntlings wow-subcriptions…

    For those who feel bad or gets upset by the thought of beeing “beaten” or “outgeared” by some one who has brought all their gear for real money, I agree to a certain point. But we must remember that isnt something new either…

    If if you automatically go around and think “that guy brought gold for money, or that one is ebay” you would not have been able enjoy online games the last decade, so I dont undertand why you wold think D3 was different to begin with. If you play WoW chances are quite high someone in your guild has brought gold, leveling, or items for real money atleast once and I dont think you can honestly say that that player has ruined your game fun / experience. No offence tough, I still dont support buying things with real money(its quite lame imo). I just think its something we have to accept and its somewhat better that its legalized than happening unsafe in the shadows.

    Regarding the last discussion point regarding offline/online play, I think this is something we have to get used to in the future. It is a effective vay to limit cheating and piracy. And who are we to blame in the end? Next time you download a game , remember why theese online requirements are getting more and more common. (Not that I think you download games but ya get the point ;). Anyway thanks for a good reading and see atleast some of you in D3.
    // Silver

  34. Pingback: » Valuations… How To Murder Time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s