Big news from Blizzard just came in, the Auction House (AH) and the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) used in Diablo 3 will be done away with completely. According to game director Josh Mosqueira the initial intention of the Auction houses was to create a safe place for players to trade items they picked up in the game (loot), but this “became a double edged sword” when players now skipped the most fun part of the game which actually playing the game and searching for good items.
We’re not surprised at this announcement at all (partly), and looking at the responses, most of the fans seem to be rather happy about this announcement. The addition of the auction houses was a big topic of discussion since day one of the Diablo 3 launch. Players have been moaning about this exact reason for ages. The doing away of the auction houses is essentially putting all the PC players on par with the Console PS and XBox players. How do they trade? How do they get the best gear? This is the future of the PC playing Diablo 3 player.
The main reason for this change seems to be to bring back the in-game earning of loot. Here’s the video:
It’s important to see this change by Blizzard in combination with the ‘Reaper of Souls’ expansion coming 2014. Without revamping the loot system, doing away with the Auction Houses is pure madness. But, if Loot 2.0 works, and it works well… then doing away with the Auction Houses may just be the best move ever.
To explain, here’s the problem:
Player A could buy gold from third party scammers, or simply use their credit cards in the Real Money Auction House to gear up their characters to have the best possible gear for his character level. This is done using both the AH and the RMAH. Compare this to Player B that actually play the game to earn gold by killing monsters, and do not use their own credit cards (because their broke or poor), these players have to put in hours of game time because the loot they pick up in-game is simply to crappy to use, or to sell in the AH for any profit. It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack. The main problem here is crap in-game loot.
How things will change after Loot 2.0 with Auction Houses
With the expansion Reaper of Souls coming sometime 2014, and loot 2.0, players will now pick up gear that is specific to their class, and the gear will be more ‘epic’ (apparently). Which technically means that the reason for using the auction house will change completely. If loot 2.0 really does work, then players will mostly use the AH only to sell epic items they’ve picked up in-game. By selling they make a profit, and with the extra gold they can once again skip the playing experience by simply buying better gear instead of earning it. This is the exact thing that Blizzard now made clear they do not want to happen (use the Auction house as a stepping stone jumping over the actual in-game playing and killing of monsters to earn good gear)
How things will work after Loot 2.0 without Auction Houses
Essentially there’s two scenarios:
Loot 2.0 is a failure: Then players will still be frustrated by the in-game loot and will want to bypass playing for hours in order to get good gear, and buy it somewhere. This is bad, because without an AH, players will resort to third party scammers, in game trades with other players and all kinds of other illegal matters.
Loot 2.0 is a success: Then players will be quite content with what they pick up in-game, they will actually be able to upgrade their character with what they pick up in game (has this ever happened to you??). Essentially then there will be no need for trading. The trading that will still be required will be for things such as potions, smaller gear, and other equipment that can be dealt with by the in-game merchants.
This is without a doubt one of the boldest moves Blizzard has made on Diablo 3. The success of doing away with the auction hosues depends 100% on the success of Loot 2.0. Personally we feel that Blizzard may have opened another can of worms for themselves here if Loot 2.0 does not work. Maybe the normal AH could have stayed, while the RHAM could have been taken away. How will players trade? Will their only option be to trade with merchants in-game?
We look forward to see how thing will pan out, holding thumbs for Loot 2.0! Blizzard to remove Diablo 3 Auction Houses.