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Auction Houses To Be Removed From Diablo III

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the reversing-course dept.

The Almighty Buck 219

An anonymous reader writes "When Blizzard built Diablo III, one of the controversial features was the inclusion of an auction house for players to buy and sell gear. On one hand, it created a safe environment for trading, which had been rife with scams in Diablo II. On the other hand, gathering loot was one of the main points of the game, and the auction house trivialized that. According to an announcement on Battle.net, both the Real Money auction house and the Gold auction house will be removed from the game as part of Blizzard's revamp of the loot system in Diablo III. The target date is well ahead of us: March 18, 2014. Blizzard said, 'We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.' Unexpected news, to be sure."

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219 comments

I always thought Auction house is what make Diablo (4, Funny)

ID000001 (753578) | about 7 months ago | (#44876281)

I always thought Auction house is what make Diablo III relevant and rewarding since the game play focus on being grindy. Now that you can no longer exchange gears for actual money, what is the point? Is the game play itself fun enough?

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 7 months ago | (#44876361)

The lack of an auction house is what made D2 (and Borderlands) such a success. Precisely that you had to grind endlessly to perhaps get the good stuff gave people a sense of achievement.
When all anyone needed to do was to flip out the credit card, that disappeared.
P2W does not give much satisfaction.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876499)

P2W does not give much satisfaction.

You sorely underestimate the super-rich and their ability to derive self-satisfaction from things that involve money. I mean, apart from the fact that they play a P2W game called "real life"...

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 7 months ago | (#44876697)

P2W does not give much satisfaction.

depends on who you're asking. some people like seeing big numbers and don't care how they got there.

Grinding for hours only to have the RNG give you something for a completely different class also sucks. Does D3 have a feature like Torchlight, where you can convert rare items from one class into a random rare for your own class?

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (5, Insightful)

Steve Humiston (2823879) | about 7 months ago | (#44877115)

Yes, it's called trading

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877629)

What if you hate other people and bought a single player game to not play it with other people?

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877837)

In that case... You're stupid.

You can't fix stupid either. You are shit out of luck.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 7 months ago | (#44878139)

Then you probably shouldn't have bought an online, multiplayer game.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 7 months ago | (#44878073)

That makes me think of my gamer customers, they'll spend truly insane amounts of money just to get to the top of some leaderboard which means exactly jack shit when it comes to real world application performance, but they treat those numbers like its some sort of E-peen measuring contest or something.

as far as you getting stuck with something you can't use? I have to give Gearbox credit as that is one of the nice things about the Borderlands series, any character can use any weapon. sure if I'm playing the assassin I can get some sniper buffs i can't if I'm a gunzerker but my gunzerker can snipe just as well as the assassin and can use the same weapon loadout. My only gripe is whomever built the share locker needs their ass kicked...4 slots? Really? And no way to get more? It makes it a real PITA when you get multiple items you want to share with your other characters, as you have to do a LOT of switching to get it all moved.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (4, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 7 months ago | (#44877307)

This makes an assumption that everyone pulled out a credit card. You can play without it and still get the sense of achievement by grinding, and it's irrelevant what other players are doing (especially if you don't compete against them).

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

_UnderTow_ (86073) | about 7 months ago | (#44877435)

I completely agree with you, D3 lost its luster for me when I realized that getting good gear was trivial done by using the AH. Instead of caring about what dropped, the only metric that seemed to matter was gold farmed per hour.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 7 months ago | (#44877689)

I stopped playing Diablo 2 after a half dozen or so complete runs through the highest act/difficulty combo my character could complete failed to drop any upgrades for my character. no futher progression. lots of time wasted.

I stopped playing Diablo 3 after I beat the game on the highest difficulty, using gear I bought off the AH with gold dropped in-game and from items I myself sold on the AH. not a single real dollar spent. reasonable playing time. fairly enjoyable.

Then I went and played other games. you know there are other quality games out there? seriously there are!

The AH was a solid addition and I'd miss it if I still played the game.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877861)

I sold a ring for $175 bucks prior to the patch that nerfed everything. Just used the last of it to buy a chromecast. Still a complete ripoff because Blizz takes 15% of every auction and 15% when you transfer to paypal. It's such a scam that I'm glad it's dead now.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#44877703)

So now they flip a bot and walk away until a flashing message appears: Item now in inventory.

Grinding is no achievement. In a cosmic sense, it's even lamer than buying good items. At least cash reflects real skill in some wierd way.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 7 months ago | (#44877923)

Actually I'd say what made Borderlands a success (other than the fact its damned funny, something we haven't had in shooters since No One Lives Forever) was the fact that trading with your friends made ANY high level gun a good thing. for example I suck at CQB and prefer to stay and stand off distance so i favor rifles and revolvers but my youngest prefers shotguns and battling CQB so if he found a good rifle it wasn't "oh crap I don't use those" it was "meh I'll trade it to my uncle" and the same would go for me and shotguns, this made hunting for the good loot all the more rewarding.

Of course the down side of that is there is still a few legendary items that are frankly game breakers, you can farm the Bee legendary if you have the Tiny Tina DLC and frankly with that shield you can just slaughter anything in your path, with a decent SMG I was just obliterating creatures that were so high level they had a skull next to their name but with the Bee? two clips and they are toast. Thanks to the ability to farm all it takes is one guy with a bee to farm and you can quickly have a whole team loaded with Bee shields and then the challenge is gone, you can just blow through the entire game like it was nothing.

As for D3? Until they get rid of the "always online" component they can count me out. for those that feel like me I STRONGLY recommend Torchlight II, it gives all the diablo style hack and slash goodness (made by one of the guys that did D2) and unlike D3 not only is it offline if you want it also has LAN and co-op and supports modding, the community has already made a ton of killer dungeons, new monsters, enhancements, all kinds of good stuff. It even comes with a mod manager and supports up to 10 mods at a time, so you can mix and match and make the game YOUR way. I don't mind online only in a MMORPG, that is kinda the entire point of those, but I'll be damned if I pay good money for a single player game I can't play without a connection.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

Tukz (664339) | about 7 months ago | (#44876403)

The problem is, with Auction House loot didn't matter much.
You could always exchange it on AH immediately.

Completely ruined the sensation of actually see something nice drop.

There was a long long article explaining this phenomenon, done by some psychiatric I believe.
Unfortunately I cannot remember where it is.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (3, Informative)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about 7 months ago | (#44876699)

Completely ruined the sensation of actually see something nice drop.

Which would be a valid point, if anything nice ever dropped. I played through the game 6 times, on two characters (one through hell, one half way through inferno), and never saw a single legendary item drop. True upgrades to gear petered out after Nightmare, which pretty much forced you into the AH to just be able to advance without being slaughtered. Diablo has always been about buckets of trash and vendor loot, with the occasional gem thrown in to make it worth your while. I found none of that in D3, just mounds and mounts of garbage. Unless they tune the loot rates to account for NOT having the AH, it'll be even less desirable for me to give the game another shot.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about 7 months ago | (#44876849)

Your saying of "give the game another shot" after playing through it 6 times (no less!) kind of becomes a paradox...

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876947)

I played through D2 hundreds of times during my lan-party-every-night phase. I've played through D3 four... maybe five times, with four characters. Its replay value next to its predecessor is negligible, raw numbers aside.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 7 months ago | (#44877605)

I played through the game 6 times, on two characters (one through hell, one half way through inferno), and never saw a single legendary item drop.

So you played through the game 5 times without seeing any legendary items and though to yourself "ehhh... I'll give it one more shot." Sixth time's the charm, right?

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (1)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about 7 months ago | (#44877719)

So you played through the game 5 times without seeing any legendary items and though to yourself "ehhh... I'll give it one more shot." Sixth time's the charm, right?

Even if a legendary dropped, the chance of it being of any use to me was extremely small, so I wasn't holding my breath. I just realized after I quit playing, that I had never seen one drop, ever.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 7 months ago | (#44876493)

If the gameplay isn't fun enough for someone, having the AH available will only burn them out faster because they'll have less to work for. None of the Diablo games have ever had much of an "end-game" or anything. It's like Mario; you play because you enjoy the game, even if it's a bit grindy at times. It's also not like an MMO, where you can at least strut around showing off your gear to random people...

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#44876525)

with an AH system the loots are weighed so that maybe one in 1000, or maybe one in 10000 gets that nice loot.

if you can get actual money(£$) from it that one player isn't going to even use it himself. it becomes just a way to show that you have cash in the real world. that breaks the 4th wall and makes playing the game feel stupid quite frankly.

because you might just as well go grind the burgers at the mcd to earn that loot.

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (5, Informative)

ibmleninpro (2859905) | about 7 months ago | (#44876533)

After playing for 500+ hours, I think the AH did the opposite. The game was grindy because grinding was the only way to develop a bankroll large enough in order to interact with the economy, which was centralized essentially only at the AH (assuming you don't put actual money into your bankroll).

But since the itemization and character design in D3 was so poor that in order to reach end game -- each item type only had one set of ideal attributes to make it valuable, the prices on the AH were absurdly inflated. It made it worse that each class really only had one or two viable builds -- so even having small variations in ideal item attributes was rare, and getting good rolls on those build-specific attributes made items even more expensive than "standard" end-game items.

So it was a vicious circle of grinding -- you had to grind to get good items that were worth selling by default in order to participate in the AH, but since the attribute requirements for sellable items was such a short list you have to grind more and more to find drops that actually meet the requirements to actually get it to sell. I'd say I would sell maybe less than 10% of all uniques dropped, and the majority of that 10% I would sell for maybe 1-2% of the cost of the end game gear that I actually had, so it takes FOREVER to recoup costs unless you're lucky.

Even worse, in order to get good drops consistently you needed to grind at the highest monster power levels, and in order to do that you need end game gear! So vanilla D3 with the auction house was an eternal worthless grind unless you decided to put 20 bucks into your character to make him decent.

Now, hopefully with better itemization and better loot tables it will become less grindy to participate in the economy. Without the AH, trading will hopefully be more like D2 where the currency (SoJs back in the day, and later end-game runes) was much more stable than "gold".

Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877259)

The real money auction house was intended as a money-maker for Blizzard. The gold auction house was intended to palliate the accusations of the game being ruined by pay-to-win mechanics.

As it turned out, the costs of having the auction houses outweighs the money they make, meaning the real profit vector is making the game itself as appealing as possible (to drive sales of the expansions).

Eliminating the auction houses, and modifying the game design to focus more on fun gameplay, was obviously the right decision from the get-go, but now that the numbers have crossed the desks of the right executives, corrective action is being taken.

huh... it's the only reason people still play. (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 7 months ago | (#44876297)

Of the people I know who still play the game, most of them only do so to sell items for cash. Frankly, the game itself was short and not that interesting.

Re:huh... it's the only reason people still play. (4, Insightful)

guises (2423402) | about 7 months ago | (#44876421)

Of the people I know who still play the game, most of them only do so to sell items for cash.

Apparently that's something they'd like to change.

Re:huh... it's the only reason people still play. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#44877875)

Of the people I know who still play the game, most of them only do so to sell items for cash.

Apparently that's something they'd like to change.

Usually the goal is to bring in more players, not get rid of a group of paying customers...

Re:huh... it's the only reason people still play. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876637)

Of the people I know who played the game, everyone stopped once the real money auction house came out.
The auction house was also a crutch that allowed players to survive the ridiculously unbalanced gameplay.
The auction house reduces the game to finding enough gold to buy the next item on the AH, or just spend your way to the next level.

Re:huh... it's the only reason people still play. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876997)

There was never a problem with finding enough gold: hold all your rares and uniques until you log out, then hock them on the AH. It's not tough to bring in several million gold per hour of gameplay. Anyone who spent real money on that thing was just dumb -- and, honestly, I have no problem separating dumb people from their money.

Re:huh... it's the only reason people still play. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44877271)

I played a few months ago, and it was nothing like that. Most rares and a lot of common legendaries were worth fuck all on the AH, and nobody bought them.

Re:huh... it's the only reason people still play. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877673)

I see it as you being separated from your money to play this "game".

Attribute points (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876305)

Now they just need to bring back the ability to choose where your attribute points go on level up.

Re:Attribute points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877889)

And some system where you can choose which skills you are interested in persuing at each level rather than being awarded certain skills at pre-determined levels.

Social Features (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876321)

I still hold the position that the auction houses reduced the overall "social" feeling that I got from Diablo 2. Engaging players for trading by discussing in chat and meeting in game had a special feeling to it. Of course, there was also the downside of being spammed and scammed.

What? (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 7 months ago | (#44876331)

Isn't it too late? Who plays this anymore?

Also, why didn't they do any testing with groups to determine if this was needed or even wanted?

Re:What? (4, Informative)

Jartan (219704) | about 7 months ago | (#44876543)

It's not too late because an expansion is coming. Most likely that will include ladders with a fresh economy.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 7 months ago | (#44876813)

Isn't it too late? Who plays this anymore?

I'd say given that they just released the game for PS3 & XBox 360 on September 3rd, there's bound to be some people playing it.

Re:What? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 7 months ago | (#44877829)

That would be truly depressing if it were true. Diablo 2 was a staple of many gamers' diets for a decade, and retains a loyal following to this day. If Diablo 3 couldn't survive a year, it would be a terrible fail indeed.

Diablo III's auction house sucks (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#44876339)

The auction house in World of Warcraft is perfectly usable except for a few minor details, but Diablo III's auction house just plain sucks. I don't care if it is two different development teams, it is still two Blizzard games.

So, any other changes Blizzard? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876369)

So the reason for Diablo 3 being always online was the auction house. They are removing that.

Does this mean that Blizzard will remove the always online requirement? I don't think so, but I can dream...

Re:So, any other changes Blizzard? (5, Interesting)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 7 months ago | (#44877561)

First thing I thought, too. If they do remove the requirement, I'd go out and buy it right away.

So many other things should be fixed before this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876371)

There were sooo many other things wrong with this game, the AH, while retarded (despite its potential for awesomeness in theory), was the least of why I stopped playing it shortly after release.

Whale Oil Beef Hooked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876375)

I see we've reached a tangent with a sane and rational universe

Seriously? (4, Interesting)

Meat Boy (1951992) | about 7 months ago | (#44876377)

Haaaaaaa. I can't believe they're actually doing this!! Honestly, I'm sold. If the new system for loot is actually any good at all, I may actually start playing again. Hoping they give us the option to at least try out the gamepad configuration they made for consoles too, but that might be a stretch... Anyway, really an overall good announcement. Guess Microsoft isn't the only one who can do 180s these days. :P

Too late (1)

Luthair (847766) | about 7 months ago | (#44876433)

By 2-years.... Virtually everyone quit last year when they realized Inferno was broken.

Re:Too late (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 7 months ago | (#44876733)

Inferno wasn't broken. It was intentionally made impossible unless you bought RMAH gear.

With the removal of RMAH, I assume Inferno difficulty will be adjusted as well.

Re:Too late (2)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 7 months ago | (#44877203)

Inferno wasn't broken. It was intentionally made impossible unless you bought RMAH gear. With the removal of RMAH, I assume Inferno difficulty will be adjusted as well.

It was meant to take months to clear inferno, regardless of how you received the gear. You don't see end-game dungeons in MMOs being cleared within a few weeks of a game being launched.

Problem was Diablo players are used to mindless fun, not excruciating difficulty. The other problem was some classes were based on avoidance, while others mitigation. Better mitigation comes from better gear, meaning these players were behind the curve. Players who played the avoidance classes well were able to clear Inferno very quickly. A game that can be completed solo should not favor one type of class over another.

Re:Too late (1)

Jack9 (11421) | about 7 months ago | (#44877551)

> A game that can be completed solo should not favor one type of class over another.

Er? Why not? The rogue is favored over the melee-only Hunter in WoW. It's almost impossible to balance every dynamic variable to be equal across classes. Why bother trying? It doesn't happen in a multiclass game very often that they are all equal.

Re:Too late (0)

Steve Humiston (2823879) | about 7 months ago | (#44877217)

It already is and it's insanely easy.. however, you can make it more difficult as you have levels you can set to play at.. inferno: monster level 1 - 10.. making all things that drop level 63. Or you can turn monster level off and play at insanely easy inferno mode

Re:Too late (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877411)

How do you even run Diablo 3 on that typewriter?

Re:Too late (2)

ildon (413912) | about 7 months ago | (#44878079)

Inferno was already nerfed into the ground nearly a year ago. You can go straight through Inferno on your first playthrough without using auction house gear (unless you're not very good at the game or extremely unlucky with drops). They added a "monster power" setting which exponentially increases monster difficulty and drop quality on Inferno (and linearly increases difficulty and reward on normal/nightmare/hell) for those who still want to grind ad infinitum.

Re: Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877547)

I beat inferno shortly after launch using only dropped gear before any nerfs, really wasn't that bad. Then when the rmah opened I sold my stash of gear and pocketed a quick 1200 bucks... I still think of d3 fondly.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44878045)

The game has only been out 16 months.

Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (5, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#44876457)

When there is an auction house that lets you buy end game gear then all that happens is people grind gold and voila, the game is beaten.

If you make it so the auction house won't let you sell gear, but crafting materials to craft end game lewt(Guild Wars2), then suddenly you make random crafting items desirable to trade with, but end game stuff can still be bought.

The auction house is almost a detriment to keeping your game survive if you allow it buy end game content. Instead of allowing people to buy their end game content(and subsequently quit because they're max powered), you maybe only let early/mid game be bought and sold on the AH.

There's two main ways to allow end game content and that is to allow people to buy crafting pieces on the AH, but instead of 100% always crafting the most powerful weapon, you give them random stats of randomized power. And you even say,"If you throw more crafting materials in the forge(more lucky rabbits feet and purple horseshoes!), you get better chance for better random stats." That way the ah goes strong even end game, but people can't just buy their way to perfect end game gear.

Of course my theory is to never let them reach max power, but constantly get incrementally powerful, at lower and lower amounts of the time. If you're worried this impacts PVP, it does, but PVP can be more dynamic than just 1v1 in a zone you can't gain power in. Anyway if you want to read more about my end game MMORPG ideas, you can read here [crystalfighter.com]

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#44876613)

I've always wanted a way to earn skills that become a permanent part of your character (as EQ2's class epic weapons can), or perhaps part of the account (as some stats in Wizardry Online.) This came from the old school MUDs where equipment was nice, but learning a critical spell/skill was the way to go.

That way, equipment wouldn't have to keep being mudflated as much. Instead, characters could earn some permanent abilities on endgame raids that would always be useful, even in future expansions. Of course, something on an endgame boss this patch can be moved to a quest arc for solo/small group content the next, so it wasn't a be-all and end-all like Journeyman's Boots or some class epics were in EQ1.

Of course, there is another way to deal with mudflation -- have one expansion's gear work in a diminished capacity in the next. That way, the BiS item would still be useful, but nowhere near as useful as something with similar stats in the next expansion. EQ1 also did something like this when the corruption resistance stat was introduced, making all new gear necessary to survive endgame raids with that stat only on newer items.

What I like best is multiple paths to end game gear. Raiding is one of the quickest paths, but PvP is another way, so are tradeskills/professions, and finally, good old fashioned quest arcs. That way, someone who spends their time making armor can do OK in a raid until they gear up.

Of course, real money should have no effect on stat gear. At best, it should allow appearance items, mounts, and perhaps XP potions. I know a few PTW MMOs that do OK, but most just die out because there isn't any real fairness nor point to play.

Leave the AH in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877055)

If trading of items is allowed, then not having an AH just makes it harder and riskier for people to do what they're going to do anyways.
I hate nodrop. I make lots of new characters, play them, and nodrop just makes it so I can't transfer gear to other characters/friends I play with.
Another way to discourage trading of end game loot is to prohibit decoration of traded items. Give traded items a really cheesy color scheme, so you can tell just by looking at a character whether or not they "just bought it".

Re:Leave the AH in: (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#44877219)

I hate nodrop. I make lots of new characters, play them, and nodrop just makes it so I can't transfer gear to other characters

That was solved ages ago, with gear that could be transferred to your other characters via shared bank slots. "heirloom" ?? is maybe the term used in EQ2 instead of nodrop... I forget.

friends I play with

Yeah... as one of those "friends" who constantly got gear tossed my way, thanks but no thanks. Your not REALLY doing me a favor ensuring that every time I log in everything I loot myself is worse than what you've given me.

I had the discipline to tell my friends no more gifts. But few people do... I can understand finding something that's really great for a friend and wanting to help them out, and similarly I still remember someone giving me a steel longsword in EQ1 when nothing I could kill even in a group dropped better than rusty. But honestly, nothing sucks the sense of personal achievement out of a game quite like being someone elses garbage dump.

There's plenty of stuff my play-all-the-time-with-50-max-level-alt friends can do to help me along without trading gear.

The trouble with mmorpgs is figuring out an economy that makes sense. It still hans't been done. High level characters are stupidly wealthy compared to low level ones. Eve is probably the closest ... but even there established players can and do completely bankroll newer players without even thinking about it.

Another way to discourage trading of end game loot is to prohibit decoration of traded items.

Not going to work in most modern games which separate appearance and equipment, which seems to be the trend, for better or for worse. (Especially since they can real-money sell you appearance items all day long without outraging the playerbase too much)

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 7 months ago | (#44876911)

When there is an auction house that lets you buy end game gear then all that happens is people grind gold and voila, the game is beaten. Instead of allowing people to buy their end game content(and subsequently quit because they're max powered), you maybe only let early/mid game be bought and sold on the AH.

There is quite a huge market for frivolous items which make your character "look cool". It was a long time ago that I played World of Warcraft, but there was a certain % of people who paid vast sums of in-game money for basically cosmetic reasons. Similarly, Valve's Hat Fortress 2 has had great success in selling purely cosmetic items.

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#44877043)

That is one of the reasons cosmetic enhancements are one of the best ways of doing microtransactions. They don't affect game play, so they don't skew PVP balance.

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (1)

Trimaxion (2933647) | about 7 months ago | (#44877095)

There is quite a huge market for frivolous items which make your character "look cool". It was a long time ago that I played World of Warcraft, but there was a certain % of people who paid vast sums of in-game money for basically cosmetic reasons. Similarly, Valve's Hat Fortress 2 has had great success in selling purely cosmetic items.

Yup, vanity is alive and well in these games.

In World of Warcraft there's now a "transmogrification" feature where you can apply the look of older gear to your current gear. It lets your character continue to look cool after a new expansion comes out and you're replacing your awesome looking epics with ugly vendor trash. The transmog feature costs some in-game gold to use but not much in the grand scheme of things. Some players spend a great deal of time running old dungeons to get gear for the purpose of acquiring a certain look.

Then there's a huge market for pets (critters that follow you around and do nothing useful), mounts (critters that you ride to travel more quickly, and some look better than others, but they almost all fly/travel the same speed), etc...

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 7 months ago | (#44876935)

CrazyJim, you so crazy!!!

Tell me, what games have you designed? I guess saying, "speaking as a game designer" doesn't imply you've actually built a game or anything, so you're in the clear here.

Give God my regards.

From Your Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877113)

Hello, My name is Jim Sager, and I'm looking for a position as a Game Designer/Programmer for a MMORPG. I've tried to make my own MMORPG solo(tens of thousands of hours work), but I could not find enough art to fill the bill.

Sounds interesting! Oh, wait ...

Compiles with AS3 in Flash Builder 4.5 and above, may need to link libraries.

Never mind!

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (2)

Luthair (847766) | about 7 months ago | (#44877249)

This really depends on rarity. In the first expansion or two nearly everything in EverQuest was droppable, however items were actually rare, content wasn't instanced and had only a single location where they could drop. Thus for late game items a server might only see 0-2 of a particular item a day, for end game items a month or more could pass without one entering a server.

Later games fell into the trap of allowing everyone to do everything simultaneously and made drops significantly more common. Crafted items are an anathema to rarity, designers and players don't appear to have the stomach for the rarity required for the crafted drops and/or the failure rate to reduce their entrance into game economies.

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#44877885)

Right on. I said there was two ways of doing it, then I only listed one way: Crafting. Dropping super rare items with many randomized stats was the other way to do it :) Glad you caught that. I didn't think it was important to reply to my own post and correct it. I'm spoiled with Reddit that lets you edit your post.

Re:Speaking as a game designer, what I noted (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 7 months ago | (#44877779)

Square Enix took your ideas to heart with all their stupid randomly generated "augments" in the last year. Argh! You're right, we keep throwing the "upgrade stones" and our items and crossing our fingers that we get good stats. Over and over and over again. And no one ever gets them maxed out.

happens in real life too (2)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about 7 months ago | (#44876463)

all of america is trying to underbid one another for work these days. and the jobs are often short-term. certainly has trivialized the work experince. how are we supposed to gather loot when we're constantly underbidding one another for small short-term gigs that amount to peanuts?

Re: happens in real life too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876799)

Not only America. It's a global problem. A plot by the right wing assholes to increase and speed up the power and resource transfer from the bottom to the top. The end result will be modern slaves, working for just a bowl of rice, exhausted by the daily hunt for a 24h job.

Every year the disposable income is shrinking. This is not sustainable.

Re: happens in real life too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877109)

Just be happy you have a job.

Every Ayn Randian, Greenspanian, Liberatarian, Republican.

Let me know when they remove the DRM (1, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 months ago | (#44876583)

Meh, I'm too busy playing linux games from Valve to give a shit about proprietary nethack ripoffs like Diablo.

Re:Let me know when they remove the DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876773)

*tips fedora*

Re:Let me know when they remove the DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876837)

As much as I'm doing the exact same thing, you may want to clarify if you're being sarcastic or not, given the general dismissive attitude to Linux gaming 'round these here parts, as well as the NERD RAEG!!1!!!1! that pops up every time someone mentions Valve and DRM within ten pages of each other.

Re:Let me know when they remove the DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877057)

The Xbox 360 version doesn't require always-online, although it does check the disc when you start the game. For me the game just came out.

Could kill any casual interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876615)

It was the shitty itemization associated with the real money auction house that killed Diablo 3. Removing the gold auction house is a death blow for the casual gaming community if drop itemization isn't completely amazing (if it's like Diablo 2, it could work, but I doubt Blizzard is that smart).

If true, I might just buy myself another copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876631)

If true, this is amazing news!!! I really hated the RMAH and the crap loot system built around it that forced you  to crack open your wallet if you wanted to play Inferno.

I'll definitely create another Bnet account (sold the last one with D3, SC2, and WoW) just to buy this again.

AH was worthless for real players... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876761)

The cheapest piece of gear for anyone leveling was in the millions.... The AH encouraged less players and more bots.

Re:AH was worthless for real players... (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 7 months ago | (#44877039)

There were very nice tools in the AH, like being able to search for an item selling under a specific amount. So, you would set up the minimum skill points in the specific build type you wanted on the item, and set an amount for 'less than' at something like 40k (a few minutes of kills) and you'd then order the items by the main stats, purchase the best one, and be on your way.

Or, go for the best item, and look for the less time remaining on the AH. You could often snipe items for less than 1/1000 of their value this way. I've stopped playing and started again a few times, and I always got back up using only a small amount of gold using this method.

A Sliver Of Hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876787)

is what this news gives me. Now if they bring back OFFLINE PLAY, I'll be interested in the expansion. Until then, FUCK BLIZZARD.

Unless Blizzard wants to pony up and build me some landline broadband out here in the boonies where I live, that is.

trivialize? (1)

fermion (181285) | about 7 months ago | (#44876845)

How do you trivialize the fact that people, often adults, play a meaningless game to get fake intangible stuff. Why is buying the stuff with real money any different than playing a game to get stuff. It is being implied that there is some sort ranking system in the game where people with more stuff are somehow inherently better than people with less stuff. Does this extend to the real world where if I have a better car, then I am inherently a better person? Is the submitter upset that the egalitarian nature of the game, where everyone had equal opportunity to get stuff if they invested the hours in the game, even if they were in the real world not as rich? I can tell you that premise is false. Even to begin to play video games one must has reached a lifestyle comfortable enough to afford the game, and have the leisure time to play the game.

They should have ditched the "easy" modes (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 months ago | (#44876847)

I played it just because the ad blitz made it sound interesting. I think I would've found the game much more interesting had it been sudden death beginning to end. Breezing through it to the end pretty much made it coaster after that.

Dumping the Always Online? (5, Interesting)

AceCaseOR (594637) | about 7 months ago | (#44877031)

So, since the Gold Shop and the Real Money Auction House were the primary reasons they were giving for requiring the always online, does this mean that they'll be patching that "functionality" out as well?

Re:Dumping the Always Online? (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 7 months ago | (#44877143)

So, since the Gold Shop and the Real Money Auction House were the primary reasons they were giving for requiring the always online, does this mean that they'll be patching that "functionality" out as well?

The integrity of the economy was the reason more so than the auction houses themselves.

However it would not be trivial to rearchitect a client-server game to be client only. Lot of code to move for relatively little reward. I doubt adding the offline capability would cause a rush of new PC purchases, especially after the Xbox/PS versions are out.

Re:Dumping the Always Online? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877289)

But can they at least reimplement LAN coop? This was the biggest turn-off for me. It looks like they did it for the consoles, but I'm not sure if they're still online-only.

Re:Dumping the Always Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877517)

All Blizzard's old solo/multiplayer games came with a copy of the server software bundled for hosting LAN gaming. There is no reason to believe that, without the AH and character saves cluttering server space, the Diablo 3 server would be significantly more cumbersome than the Diablo 2 server. Given how little Diablo 3 actually relies on the server for regular gameplay, they could probably enable single-player with no discernible change in resource needs by running a local copy of the server software with MAX_USERS set to 1.

However, taking either of those rational steps could lead to players actually believing that they own a copy of the game, rather than simply having rights to play it until Blizzard alters the terms of the agreement.

Re:Dumping the Always Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44878125)

Being always online is also an anti-cheating measure. Just ask some console D3 players how they like joining multiplayer games with cheaters who have 1000x more stats than are physically possible to obtain even with perfect drops.

No More Play To Pay? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877069)

Geez, what fun is it when you actually have to play the game to reap the spoils? No worries, I'm sure EA will make sure their hand stays firmly in your pocket for your never ending cash flow pleasure.

Loot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877229)

I hope they do not make everything bind on pickup. One of the draws of Diablo2 for me was trading with other players for the items I needed. Not only in game, but on reputable sites where you could trade items or sell for in game currency such as gems\runes.

If they make it where you can't even trade items then the game is pointless to play.

Shame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44877367)

Dumb DRM, RMAH, Always_Sim-City_Online, U Play, mother fuckers learn the hard way...

This move makes no sense. (1)

mindwanderer (1169521) | about 7 months ago | (#44877431)

The only reason I can think of for removing the auction house is if they wanted to do away with trading altogether, because old fashioned trading is just an extremely inconvenient auction house. Because I can't see them doing that, I am forced to conclude that they have changed the loot system so that you can rely on self-found gear. But if players are not forced to resort to the auction house in order to progress, then you cease to have a problem, so why remove this convenient feature?

The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (1)

uslurper (459546) | about 7 months ago | (#44877481)

In Diablo, the real problem was the loot itself. They were all random drops, and even the named epic drops had random stats.

To put it in perspective, there were about 30 different random attributes. All builds require 4-5 of these attibutes.
All resist
str/dex/int depending on class
crit
crit damage
vitality
If you dont have ALL of these abilities on most of your gear, you simply cannot complete end-game content.
Well what are the chances of finding an item with all these abilities? I estimate about 1 in 150,000 drops have all 5.
But also consider that each of these stats will havev a randomly generated value. So you may have All Resist +10 when you need +70. Consider about 1/10 of any needed stat has good values, and that is 1/10000 of 1/1500,000 drops will have usable equipment for the highest level play.

That is a shitload of grinding. It is much better to spend about 50$ and buy enough gold for the AH to buy your gear. Also, the top-end gear is hugely inflated! all farmers need to do is kep on the lookout for any end-level gear, buy it and then turn around and sell it for 100 times what they paid for it. There is not enough of the top-end gear to go around, so the market is crazy inflated. It is a great example of how a hyper-competitive market is bad for the consumer. Snipers with multiple accounts and bots leverage their strength to price things up to astronomical amounts. Some of these things cost billions of gold when my grinding yeilds a few thousand per drop. Economic teachers should use it as a case study.

BUT IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?
I mean really, after you grind away or spend your hard-earned cash to fully equip your character, what is your reward?
YOU GET TO GO THROUGH THE SAME CONTENT YOU ALREADY CLEARED OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
YAYYYY!!!!!

Re:The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (1)

uslurper (459546) | about 7 months ago | (#44877529)

One more thing.. after the initial release of Diablo iii, I expected the economy to collapse and the good gear would get reasonably priced. Instead, just the opposite happened. The gold got cheaper.. about 30 million for $10.. But the gear just inflated even more! -So say a wand that cost about 1 million gold during the first few months now costs 100 million.

Again, where are the economics teachers??

Re:The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (2)

petrus4 (213815) | about 7 months ago | (#44877611)

In Diablo, the real problem was the loot itself. They were all random drops, and even the named epic drops had random stats.

To put it in perspective, there were about 30 different random attributes. All builds require 4-5 of these attibutes.
All resist
str/dex/int depending on class
crit
crit damage
vitality
If you dont have ALL of these abilities on most of your gear, you simply cannot complete end-game content.

If there is one thing I'm becoming exceptionally tired of, where RPGs are concerned, it is this scenario where the end game is the only thing anyone talks about. I've spent some time on the Borderlands 2 forums. That has a fairly long levelling game. Not months long, but getting to UVHM took me probably a month, playing on and off; I've got about 270 hours logged on Steam, now.

In said forums, however, whenever newbies tried to get advice about weapons, the only thing that anyone would answer them with, was information about end-game named uniques or legendaries, for the most part. There was precious little info offered about the manufacturing corporations, the different elemental damage types, etc; stuff that people needed to know for the whole game. There was also the usual bullshit insistence that some character builds were not "viable," for end game content, when I've been going through UVHM with a Survival Commando, (probably the class/spec combo which attracts the largest amount of shit) with no problem at all.

We have a couple of different problems here. The main one, is that forums in particular, and possibly these games in general, end up infested with a certain type of person who does not actually enjoy the game, and who is not there purely in order to play said game, but is motivated purely by a desire to be viewed as good at the game, for the purposes of ego gratification. It got to the point in the WoW forums where people were admitting that fairly openly.

The second problem, as an extension of the first, is that you have a very large number of frankly terrible players, in terms of their actual level of ability, who criticise the developers for adding talent trees to the game which are supposedly not "viable;" when again, said trees are usually fine. It will be the players themselves who suck, not the trees.

I'm not saying that D3 in particular was not an attrocious game; although I haven't played it myself, everyone I've spoken to about it, has consistently said it was terrible. At the same time, however, it needs to be acknowledged that the above problems do occur; particularly on forums.

Re:The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44878151)

Diablo 3 wasn't outright terrible, it's just the time spent developing it and hype surrounding it were way way out of proportion for its actual quality level. Diablo 3 gave me about as much enjoyment a Torchlight did. But Torchlight was probably made in 6 months by half a dozen guys and sold for $20. Diablo 3 probably had a staff of a hundred and was worked on for the better part of a decade. That is more Blizzard's management fault I think.

Re:The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#44877775)

If you dont have ALL of these abilities on most of your gear, you simply cannot complete end-game content.

How did the first landslide of people make it through? I mean, I'm seeing that inferno/hardcore was beaten by June 20th, 2012 and then beaten regularly since then...in a game released mid May. Did they really all have a full sets of one in 15 billion drops? Of course not.

I'm skeptical that you need the best gear to win. To cake walk it, sure. To maximize your loot+gold per hour ratio absolutely... but by that point you've beaten the game soundly and there's no reason to play more.

The point of the game was to beat the game and get the good gear. If you buy the good gear, and then beat the game with it... like you said... what is the reward? Any player who does that is literally ripping themselves off.

Re:The LOOT sucked, not the auction house. (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#44877797)

If you dont have ALL of these abilities on most of your gear, you simply cannot complete end-game content.

To add to my previous post, I'm seeing that diablo 3 was beaten in 7 hours on normal on the same day it was released.

Blizzard (1)

SmaryJerry (2759091) | about 7 months ago | (#44878063)

I haven't really seen Blizzard make any good decisions regarding any of their games lately. They listen to their criticism but often it's the wrong criticism to be listening to. Feels like the wrong people are running the show right now or something. They need a serious mix-up or just to remove some of the "yes" men from their midst.

now remove the required connection to play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44878101)

and I might buy it

because I'm not paying $60 for a box where I have to get blizzard/activision's permission before I can play

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