Why Diablo 3 Is Better Without The Auction House

 

Last week, Blizzard announced that it will be taking down Diablo 3′s gold and Real Money Auction Houses on March 18, 2014. While the community’s response has been largely positive, it’s worth exploring how this monumental decision will effect the future of the game.

Firstly, without even factoring in Loot 2.0 — Blizzard’s promised new loot system that will result in better drops — Diablo 3′s item grind will be more fun than it is today. The Auction House currently presents you with a list of hundreds of items that are better than anything you’d expect to find as loot in a given play session, and many of which are available for affordable prices. Sure, you can grind for hours for an upgrade… or you can spend a little gold to obtain an even better upgrade immediately. Take away the Auction House, and just like that, the items you’re finding are suddenly better. Magic? No — psychology. Without a listing of easily-available, superior items as a comparison point, you perceive the items you find as more valuable — and perception is reality.

Of course, trading will still exist, from the black market websites that will sell gold or items for real money, to the legitimate forums where players will barter. But relative to the Auction House, trading will be difficult — tedious, even. The percentage of players who partake in the game’s economy will drop dramatically due to the higher barrier to entry. Gold may or may not remain a form of currency — it is still to be seen whether gems or crafting materials may replace gold as a trade currency — and if they don’t, then that barrier to entry becomes even greater, as players must learn the relative values of items or risk getting swindled.

The Auction Houses were convenient — too convenient, one might say. Without them, the economy will slow down considerably. With a less sophisticated economic system, far fewer transactions will occur on a daily basis, the market will take much longer to become saturated, and overall, people will mostly be getting items from loot drops rather than from trading. And isn’t that the way it should be?

One issue, however, is that the implementation of Loot 2.0 and subsequent elimination of the Auction House will make Diablo 3 into a completely different game. While the consensus is that it will be a better game, the fact remains that it will be different from the game millions of people have already paid for. Is it fair for Blizzard to alter a product someone has already paid for so drastically, without giving that customer the option to keep it as it was? Because there is no offline mode, players have no choice but to download the patches that will forever alter their play experience.

That said, Blizzard is willing to risk losing a few players in order to make Diablo 3 a better game. As someone who has logged more hours playing Auction House Tycoon than D3 itself, I know I will miss the Auction Houses, but it’s a concession I’m willing to accept for the greater good — a more enjoyable game experience that will bring in more players.

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8 Comments on Why Diablo 3 Is Better Without The Auction House

AxΣtwin

On September 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

“Is it fair for Blizzard to alter a product someone has already paid for so drastically, without giving that customer the option to keep it as it was?”

Doesn’t matter. When you signed on to play, the ToS/ToA you clicked “yes I agree” says they can change the game at anytime.

Also, I still maintain, getting rid of the AH will only result in new (by new, I mean old, decade old) issues. Many players have themselves deluded into thinking in D1 and D2 everyone farmed for their own equipment. Everyone thinks farming the same boss/area over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over for 3 weeks straight just to get 1 specific item is “fun”. Fact is it was almost impossible to find a public room that wasn’t either a Trist/Tomb/Baal Run or one of a hundred thousand trading post rooms. The problem with Diablo 2 is players never took off the rose tinted glasses.

yuke

On September 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Agreed on both points, but it’s still a better vantage point to fix the system then we are now and it’s even if we inherit every problem d2 ever had; we’d still be better off than now as the AH as it is basically ruins a core component of game flow.

Chris

On September 27, 2013 at 3:58 am

Yes. Lets take away the value of gold for the late game. That will be beneficial because? Most gamers won’t understand what they’ve got till it’s gone.

Randy Deresti

On September 27, 2013 at 4:15 am

New generation gamers want things handed to them. They want to feel like their always winning even though the lack the skill to win.

sadnerd

On September 27, 2013 at 5:32 am

It is not better for everyone. I loved making money while playing, I was able to earn from one of my favorite passions.

Kornkills

On September 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I am sorry you couldn’t control yourself and played the AH more than the game.

That is YOUR PERSONAL PROBLEM. I spend more time killing monsters than in the AH because I researched prices fast, and put my gear up, and moved on. I didn’t search pages and pages nor was I uber rich. I had enough though.

I fear loot2.0 will be like welfare, and there will be no point in trading because good gear is too easy to obtain. There will be no point in grinding because when you can do the hardest stuff in the game quickly, what is the point? This game is about finding loot, what do you do after that? What happens if the loot grind ends too quickly?

Justin

On December 19, 2013 at 5:53 am

“Sure, you can grind for hours for an upgrade… or you can spend a little gold to obtain an even better upgrade immediately. Take away the Auction House, and just like that, the items you’re finding are suddenly better. Magic? No — psychology.”

Retarded sense of logic here bub. The items I am finding are still just as much crap as they were with the auction house running. Red numbers, lesser values from drops before, same damn red numbers with lesser values after. or are you saying when the auction is removed every 10 games I will be getting attack 9//crit dmg 40// all resists // socket // dex 80 // crit chance rings? No stupid.. still gonna be some low value stat for a class I dont play like 25 int, 15 fire resist no socket attack 6… retarded logic. Where did you get your psychology degree? bathroom stall?

CJ Miozzi

On December 19, 2013 at 6:18 am

@Justin:

The psychological concept is known as cognitive bias, which leads to perceptual distortion based on personal observation. A quick look at the AH shows countless “good” items — this gives us the false impression that “good” items are easily found, or at least found more often than they actually are. This is not the case, as what we see on the AH is the product of thousands, even millions of hours of collective grinding.

Of course the items you find aren’t actually any better without the AH. But through social comparison theory, the AH makes you feel as though the items you find are worse than they actually are. Your ’98 Honda Civic may be a piece of junk, but it looks a hell of a lot worse when all your coworkers drive corvettes.