Thursday, September 19, 2013
No More Auction House
So there was some pretty big news revealed on Wednesday. If you didn't here is the official statement from Blizzard.
When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we've mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we've decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.
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.
We're working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process.
So like I said pretty massive news. I do have some concerns though. One of the reasons the auction houses were put in place was to avoid 3rd party sites from selling gear to the masses. To avoid people feeling to compete they would have to go there in an insecure manner to buy gear. Blizzard gave us the auction houses to avoid this process. I praised them for doing this. What they did wrong though was make it so playing the game at higher levels especially Inferno became about upgrading your gear through the auction house so you can actually progress in a timely manner.
This was the thing that got many people aggravated with the auction house. So when the expansion was announced along with loot 2.0 people where excited because they would actually be able to progress in a timely manner using self found gear. There would also be the option of the auction house for the best of the best, which I believe was the purpose of the auction house in the first place. Then we were dropped this bomb.
Now the problem is if everything else were to stay the same this goes back to 3rd party sites and spamming of trade channels to sell pieces of gear. To me this is back to the stone age. The 3rd party site thing is a problem. The spamming of trade channels makes the game unfun to play and is why auction houses in games at least gold ones are an option. If Blizzard where to keep this method they would be going back on everything they said before Diablo III was first released. This is why I think they are going in another direction.
I really think Blizzard is going to be scrapping trading with everything besides commodities. Gear is somehow going to be bound to the account of the players in the game when the gear dropped. This is going to allow players the option to share gear with those in the game if they so chose or they will have the option to use it for alts. I actually like this idea sure it has an MMO soulbound type feel to it, but if there isn't going to be an auction house and we are not going back to the stone age of gaming then this is the only option which makes sense.
That is at least my thoughts on it. I know we will be learning more about this whole thing in the coming months and Blizzcon and I do look forward to knowing more.