Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blizzard Shutters Diablo 3 Auction House

The big news today is that Blizzard announced that they will be removing both the Real Money Auction House and the gold Auction House on March 18, 2014. (Gee, I wonder when the expansion will be released.)

As you know, I am not a fan of the AH in D3. I still didn't think Blizzard would remove it entirely, though. Props to them for being willing to reverse course as needed. I think the major turning point was probably the release of the console version of D3, which did not have the AH. The console version has been very well received.

That being said, there are some people attacking Blizzard for putting the AH in the game in the first place. I think this is misguided. It wasn't an obvious mistake at first. The AH was put in to solve the problem of third-party scams, and by all accounts it did a very good job at that.

What I think will be most interesting is to see what measures Blizzard puts in place to stop the inevitable third party sales, scammers, and spammers.  Will there be some sort of secure trading? Will trading be disabled entirely?

By and large, I believe the console version doesn't have issues with trading because you trade primarily with local players in your living room. As well, the different networks are segregated and more controlled. But I think that free trading on the PC will lead to the same problems as D2.

But perhaps that's the better outcome. The positives gained by removing the Auction House might outweigh the negatives of spammers and scams.

3 comments:

Jameslikesgames said...

I think that loot 2.0 will probably have the biggest effect in terms of bringing back some of that old diablo appeal. It would be nice not too have to wade through so much dross only to find the one rare is not tailored to me.

However it will be interesting to see how both the Gold and RealMoney auction house react in the run up to closure, might see people stocking up on things they don't want to have to farm post closure.

Wilhelm Arcturus said...

The auction house and the hyper-inflation aspect of it certainly was not obvious right away. But the way itemization was driving people to the auction house in the first place was obvious after a couple hours of play. Blizzard saying they were surprised by this was a "WTF?" moment. How could they not have seen it? The game played from the get go like it was designed to drive people to the AH.

Yes, the AH was clearly put in to solve a problem, and it is one those problems that wrankles Blizzard, one that has been a sore spot for them that they felt they needed to do something.

However, when they themselves are admitting that their execution on that was bad and that they are taking the extraordinary move of killing off the AH entirely makes statement about it being not so bad ring a bit hollow.

Azuriel said...

It boggles my mind that no one at Blizzard at least entertained the notion that the AH would have a negative impact. They clearly knew the volume of items would be an issue, hence the 10 item cap. Then there was the resistance requirements for Inferno on Act 2 and beyond, which no sane person would ever be able to achieve without the AH.

As for how things work after, I read that they are basically making most (or all) of the items BoA/BoP. I mean, nothing less really makes sense.

The stockpiling ahead of the closing AH is interesting, but since the expansion is coming out at the same time most likely, they could simply introduce higher/different tiers of materials and render the old stuff obsolete.