Earlier today, Production Director of Diablo 3’s new expansion, John Hight, announced that the Diablo 3 might no longer support an Auction House feature after March 18th, 2014. In the post on Battle.net John explains:
“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.”
This could be one of the biggest changes to come to Diablo 3, alongside the “loot 2.0” update that will be rolling out after the new expansion Reaper of Souls, and could ultimately change the game in ways that can be either good or terrible. From a player that put almost 1200 hours into Diablo 3, this could be something that might bring me back to the game. The developers seem really excited and had more to say in a video, and look to be in high spirits about the changes they are bringing into the game with the newest expansion, with these changes and the new things added we might just see a big rise in players on the Diablo 3 servers. In the video Below John and Josh, the two big guys behind Reaper of Souls and all of these big controversial changes coming to Diablo 3, explain more, and say that even more information will be given at Blizzcon.
Diablo 3 is essentially the biggest loot and grind fest in any game that I have ever seen. The entire game is built upon revisiting old chapters on harder difficulties to get better loot, make a ton of gold and have the best gear in the game, it is the biggest E-peen simulator and it’s fantastic. When Blizzard introduced the real money auction house and gold auction house players were none too pleased, the auction house essentially took any need to go out and farm for your own gear, but also at the same time made the game more available to people that didn’t have the time to go and farm for 8 hours a day to walk away with nothing.
While offering a great service to players instead of having to spam the trading chat or use other outsourced websites dedicated to trading, they could just buy and sell things with ease at the click of a button and the input of a few key stats or key words. There was essentially no need to even log into your character at all, all you had to do once there was a bit of gold was buy and sell items you thought might be extremely valuable and you could make a ton of gold or real money by just logging in for an hour a day. It essentially became a gold farmers biggest dream come true, the Auction House promoted laziness and completely removed the need to even play the game anymore. There was no need to go and farm for the legendary pieces you wanted or needed to look good or do tons of damage and perform, you could just buy it for $5 or a couple million gold.
My thoughts are that Blizzard just wanted to help the community by adding the Auction House feature and even the Real Money Auction House. Of course with the RMAH they were taking a cut of every sale and were profiting off of it, so there is a slight possibility they might not be profiting as much anymore and the upkeep outweighs the profit. At its core however the Auction House single handedly killed the thing that made Diablo 3 so fun, and that was the fact that after the endless hours, the mindless grinding and the finger numbing, that legendary drop you got made you exhilarated and it was an addiction. Finding the next biggest item in the game is the crack of Diablo, it’s the entire reason some people play the game. With the ability to take a small chunk of your paycheck and just throw it onto that 1200 dps weapon you wanted, you completely negate all desire for those items.
Loot 2.0 makes it even harder too, with the changes to the looting system as well, offering less loot drops instead of seeing a legendary every 5 runs, devs project everything will be even rarer, and it’ll make everything feel much better. The fact that you won’t be able to buy that epic weapon on the Auction House now, combined with the reduced drop rate means players will most certainly have a reason to log in and play now. Further combine that with a whole new expansion adding way more content and you then have the set up for a perfect comeback for Diablo 3. This could skyrocket sales for Blizzard again and might even be the move that single handedly sweeps all the cards off the table and make Diablo 3 a competing ARPG in the business again.
It’ll be nice to finally be able to play Diablo 3 without the worry of how much gold I’m going to make off a drop, or why my items aren’t selling on the auction house. Without the need to constantly recall every hour to go and check if anybody got any new drops and is trying to sell them on the Auction House so I can try to perform better. This is definitely a change worth looking forward to and I wouldn’t be surprised if I got sucked back in for another 1200 hours into the grindfest that is Diablo 3.