Let me start off by saying that there are still a number of unknown factors when it comes to Diablo III. The items involved, the drop rates, and plenty of other elements make it difficult to pass judgment on what a real-currency Auction House is going to do to gameplay.
But I need an outlet to express how I feel this system is going to change -- or possibly even ruin -- the game from the get go, and what more perfect an outlet than here right? With the Diablo III beta going on right now, this is a nice opportunity to revisit the discussion.
Access from Anywhere/No Soul Bound
The first two scary rumors I have read so far are that there will be almost no soul-bound items, and you will also have access to the Auction House from anywhere in the game. My very first thought was "Great, now gold farmers are going to be able to sit in the same exact spot 24/7 and sell that epic item with a very low drop rate as soon as they get it."
I think what some developers fail to understand is that people are actually paid in third-world countries to sit behind a computer on their shift and farm in that same spot for hours and hours. When the next person comes in, they jump right into that same seat and go from there. These farmers literally never log off unless they have connection issues or the servers go down for whatever reason. I remember back when World of Warcraft first started and farmers would sit in Scarlet Monastery farming nonstop for certain weapons. At least then they had to leave for a period of time to get to put their items up for auction.
The whole soul-bound issue is making this even worse. For the players that actually want to earn their in-game money like a normal person, this is great considering they can play Diablo III fairly and have a lot of different options to sell gear, but this is a disaster when you add in a real-life-currency Auction House. This is just going to increase the amount of farmers and bots used in the game because they will need to cover more territory.
The biggest problem here is that items worth a couple of dollars will never be farmed. They will be destroyed or vendored. The only thing the farmers will be after are items people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for and when you add in Auction House access from anywhere, the gold farmers will be able to spike up prices extremely high simply because they will be the only ones ever around to actually get the chance at that four or five percent rate.
This is Not Second Life
You know, maybe this is what Blizzard had in mind? It's quite possible. I am not sure how many of you have ever played or researched Second Life, but it can be a money-making machine if you are good with programming. It gives developers a platform to create just about any 3D item you can think of and you're able to sell those items in-game for currency which can then be sold for real-life currency. I have seen documentaries on television and many articles online of different people that have literally become millionaires off the game.
Or maybe it is just the fact that Blizzard knows so many people are willing to pay for currency playing World of Warcraft that they want to develop a system allowing them to cash in on the sale of currency also (as if 4 million Americans paying 15 dollars a month isn’t enough money for Activision/Blizzard.) It is truly difficult to understand the thought process Blizzard has in mind for a real-life currency auction.
I am very, very scared to see how this is going to pan out for Diablo III and Blizzard. In theory, this can be a great idea for both the developers and the consumers. The problem is that for it to be successful, you need restrictions and control over valuable items that go for high prices. The average person playing the game for fun will enjoy making a couple of bucks off that epic item earned every time they run a dungeon. The real problem will be seeing how the gold farmers are going to benefit from all this. I just hope Blizzard has some plans in mind.
|8:00 PM on 05.16.2013|
Diablo III uses the PlayStation 4 touchpad for inventory
In this video, Blizzard describes the work that's been gone into tweaking Diablo III for console gamers. In a strange turn of events, I feel as if every new detail we hear about the reworked title for PlayStation 3 and PS4 s...more
|1:30 PM on 05.16.2013|
Diablo III celebrates its one-year anniversary
Well, it's been a series of ups and downs (that could have all been avoided if the Auction House was taken down), but Diablo III is now one year old. To celebrate, Blizzard is adding 25 percent extra Magic Find and experience...more
|1:00 PM on 05.13.2013|
Diablo III auction houses return following gold exploit
Rounding out coverage of the gold-duplicating bug found in Diablo III last week, Blizzard has taken the game's auction houses back online following a fix for the exploit. Some players called for a full server rollback, but ul...more
|6:00 PM on 05.09.2013|
Diablo III auction house exploiters are being 'audited'
Let's take a quick jaunt through the recent timeline of this Diablo III "Gold-gate" crisis. First, patch 1.0.8 goes live, brought into the world as an innocent, doe-eyed update aimed at improving cooperative play. H...more
|2:00 PM on 05.08.2013|
Diablo III auction houses taken offline due to gold bug
Following the release of patch 1.0.8 for Diablo III, a bug that allowed players to duplicate gold through the auction house was discovered. And, naturally, some folks ran with the exploit. The auction houses were taken offlin...more
|7:30 AM on 05.08.2013|
Diablo III Patch 1.0.8 is now live, enhances co-op
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|3:30 PM on 04.29.2013|
Diablo III PS3 pre-orders include an exclusive item
Blizzard has opened up pre-orders for the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo III which is, rather strangely, starting to sound more and more like the Diablo I would've liked to have played nearly a year ago on PC and Mac. The pr...more
|2:15 PM on 04.03.2013|
Blizzard's plan for improving Diablo III's multiplayer
In a new blog post, Blizzard runs down a list of additions and tweaks to Diablo III's multiplayer that will roll out in patch 1.0.8. Running through the list, there's matchmaking tags which are intended to alert others t...more
|4:15 PM on 03.28.2013|
Diablo III director says the Auction Houses 'really hurt'
At a GDC talk today, Jay Wilson, director behind Diablo III, mentioned that both of the Auction Houses "really hurt the games," reports Joystiq. According to Mr. Wilson, almost every single one of the players in Diablo III&nb...more
|12:00 PM on 03.24.2013|
PAX: Diablo III on consoles 'was not compromised'
As pretty much everyone knows by now, Diablo III is coming to the PS3 and PS4 -- so naturally, I had to get my hands on it at PAX East. As soon as I tried it on the PS3, I felt immediately comfortable...more
|7:39 AM on 05.23.2013|
Grand Theft Auto V collector's edition, pre-order bonuses
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|7:00 AM on 05.23.2013|
Monster Hunter would be way better if it was like this
Sure, the meme is a bit old but the added sound effects to the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate video is what really made this spoof for me. Bravo, Capcom-Unity. [Thanks, Dale!]more
|3:00 AM on 05.23.2013|
You will fight a tiger in Killer is Dead
The latest barrage of screens for Killer is Dead focuses on two of the bosses you'll encounter in the game. First there's Hamadayama, who rides around on a freaking tiger. Yes, a tiger. How badass is that? Then there's Samura...more