Diablo 3 RMT

Behold, the future of Blizzard games!

You’re living under a rock if you haven’t seen the news about Blizzard creating a player to player real money auction house for Diablo 3.  Players will be able to place items that they find in-game up onto the auction house and allow other players to bid on and buy those items with real money.  The massive wave of negativity in response to this idea should be absolutely no surprise to anyone.  Honestly, the idea itself isn’t a surprise to me.   Blizzard is still working on their custom map shop for StarCraft 2.  Diablo’s very nature does, as Rob Pardo said, lend itself easily to the idea.  There’s a reason why websites exist to auction Diablo items already.  Yes, ebay style websites do exist for Diablo 2 and they are very, very popular.  Blizzard wants a cut of what is already out there.  Why not?   It’s a business to act as the middle-ma, and a lucrative one at that.  Blizzard will take a cut from the buyer -and- seller.

Personally, I don’t like the idea.  Can I put my finger on why?  Hmmm… it just doesn’t feel right to me.  Does it change the way I play Diablo at all?  No, not really.  I’ll still play for the fun of completing the story, killing monsters, finding items, and seeing how strong I can become before I get bored with the game.  Nothing about letting some guy that I will likely never, ever, play with (like I would know if I did) buy his halberd for $4 really impacts me.  Reasons being, 1) it happened already for years,  2) someone found it and traded it for rl money instead of an exchange in-game, and 3) it does not change how Diablo is played.

Diablo is designed such that it won’t be hurt by this system.  Anyone able to use an item they buy could have found that item anyway.  Any item they do find, doesn’t change how individuals enjoy the game.  Don’t like the 3 people you’re playing with?  Leave and join a new game.  Diablo 3 will have a competitive PvP arena type system to facilitate PvP easier than making small rooms to play in.  This impacts that significantly, but honestly if you’re going into the competitive PvP you better have the best stuff anyway, found or not.

A persistent game or one where other players interacted with me on an unavoidable level, with this kind of RMT, would be cause for concern.  If they bring this to WoW, for example, the entire thing unravels and suddenly innocent bystanders are harmed.  There’s just not much at stake in Diablo 3, though.  There’s really no economy to care about.  It’s not Blizzard opening a store.  It’s players trading amongst each other.  Bottom line, if someone wants to pay $4 to another player for the axe that’s their prerogative.  Just don’t tell me.

If I’m lucky, I’ll find a rare and sell it for enough that the game actually pays for itself.  I would consider that “beating the game”.

  • I will be steering well clear of the shop then. This will change the game in my view IF Blizzard manipulates drop-rates to make sales (and thus their cut of those sales) common if not almost required.

    Thankfully I have no plans to play this multi-plaer or competatively so won’t care if there’s tons of better gear available for me that’s not dropped but is in the shop.

  • Not a shop, an auction house for player to player sales. That’s a necessary distinction.

    Something worth noting is that the news also came out that you must have an internet connection. Not like I’ll ever be without one, but that bothers me more than the RMT.

  • That’s exactly the way I see it, too.
    It’s not good, but if Blizzard wanted a way to introduce RMT into D3, that is one of the best ways.

    If they added this to a virtual world, I’d be shocked. Luckily, nowadays, Blizzard isn’t in the business of virtual worlds anymore. So no danger here.

  • @keen – the no internet thing should have been expected. they did the same thing with sc2,absolutely zero surprise they do it with diablo.

    as for all the QQ about the RMT AH, who cares. if you think this is something new to the diablo franchise then you’re ignorant (or oblivious) to the fact that D2 is pretty much run on RMT. like MOST online games today, you can buy d2 items with real money on shady, gold farming websites. this has been going on for YEARS. Blizzard is/has been aware of this for the entirety of D2s career.

    they are only taking something that was sketchy and shady and giving you an offical/safe place to do this.

    i want to say that this AH is more for the hardcore fan base (not the mode hardcore, but the gamers who’ve been playing since launch, hardcore mode players dont even have access to the RMT AH)and that it wont appeal for the casual diablo player (obviously, it doesn’t already from all the QQ).

    this is a great way imo, to put some extra cash in your pocket or bnet account if u want that sparkly $25 wow mount if you happen across some rare items during your adventures.

    i honestly dont really see what the big stink is about. its not like they’re holding the gun to you’re head forcing you to use it.

  • If it bothers you enough you can also play on hardcore. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it will be interesting to see what kind of difference there is between the two communities since Hardcore is completely cut off from this AH.

  • I think it would be cool to sell a rare you don’t want for real money. The Diablo games are mostly solo anyway. If you need to spend hundreds to kill Diablo himself, thats fine & doesn’t really affect me.

  • Income tax repercussions have more impact then any stupid game design blizzard makes. Over the last few years they’ve turned into one of those crack addicted prostitutes doing anything for money that they would never have done previously.

    By gamers, for gamers? That hasn’t existed in close to 5 years..

  • Like you already said, it was done with D2, just outside of Blizzards sight. I am excited about this – talk about upping the anticipation of loot pinatas!

  • I’m excited about the RMT. I don’t plan on trying to make a business out of it, but if I can a few bucks here and there from drops I don’t want, then why not? I’ve contemplated it with D2, but never did it due to the sketchiness of the whole thing. Now I’ll have a safe environment to do so. I do however agree with Intruder313. If Blizzard does begin manipulating drop rates to boost RMT auction sales, I’ll be very disapointed. Not surprised, but disapointed.

  • This would be a good money maker if (when?) they plugged this into wowcrack, gold farmers wouldn’t have to lurk around back alleys and Blizz could take a cut of their profits. People already sell their characters on Ebay, so cut out the middle men.

  • Bottom line, there’s no economy to screw up, they aren’t forcing me to use it, and I don’t have to play with the people who blow tons of cash on it so I don’t mind in the least that Blizzard is doing this. In fact, it’ll be fun to sift thru it and see what could drop, no need to hit a 3rd party database.

  • I hope you consider the fact, that if you create such a system, then it’s thought to work out or better – pay out.
    If Blizzard can earn money through this, they want to earn money and at last I see a chance that the game will be designed the way the auction house becomes more attractive and needed. So for example, if you play through the game with the sorceror, only few (and less than without auction house system) items for your class will drop. So you’d have to use the auction house (gold or money doesn’t matter).
    That’s just a small step I fear…

  • I’m kinda on the fence on this one. On one hand I like the idea that I could potentially find a really nice item and make a profit off of it, (my friends and I did this alot in EQ with Ebay back in it’s early days).

    At the same time D3 is going to have competitive arenas the last I heard. I could see some rich people buying all the really nice items and making super characters to play with competitively. I don’t really like the thought of that too much.

    I’d rather play arena in WOW then in a isometric style click to move game anyways though so it won’t affect me much. I can see how some people really won’t like the fact that their competition could be stacking the deck in theory though. So in that sense I’ll probably play the single player with small stints in the multiplayer, sell some items and pay for my WOW account and maybe make more profit on the side in my leisure. The more I think about it the more I like the overall idea to be honest.

  • It WILL alter my game expirence. It’s probably a tought decision if I really use that extremely rare rune to craft something, or just sell it for cash.
    The little voice in my head telling me “You shouldn’t use that! It’s way too valuable!” is probably doing a pretty good job at destroying the fun.

    Officially mixing virtual and real life currencies is never a good idea. And I don’t even want to talk about all the legal problems with that…

  • Quite surprised by the comments here, came expecting the rage i’ve seen else where and am greeted with the fact people are realising its actually not a bad thing :).

    As most have said item selling used to happen all the time in D2 and would have happened in D3 with or without this system, as the devs have already stated that they don’t want BoA items in D3 like they are in WoW.

    Also the PvP point is a null point, interview on Diablofans put up yesterday re-iterated the fact that they are NOT balancing pvp, as they see it its a fun addition to the brand but its not the main game, which is and always will be the PvE.

    If you’re thinking of playing diablo for the competitive PvP environment then you’re thinking of playing the wrong game.

  • Oh I’m happy to say I’ve been under a rock, more like a giant boulder: not only did I not know about this news prior to reading this blog article I actually had NO IDEA that people sold D2 gear for real money.

    So I can appreciate Blizzard taking control of such a grey market but I still find it sad that gaming has come to this.
    Increasing monetisation and SaaS is sucking the purity out of it for me. I accept that I’m an old fart.

    I pre-ordered D3 at the knockdown price of £22 and still cannot wait to get the game, but I’m definitely not straying into the AH to “pimp my Barbarian”.

  • Love me some Diablo but I wish they had not done this. How long before blizzard start selling items through this ?

  • I feel like this was necessary. Like has been pointed out, it will happen either way, and it might as well be controlled by blizzard in a way that’s safer for the gamers involved.

    It’s better than letting these folks stray onto goldfarmer websites to have thier credit cards stolen.

  • Where does the money for these items on the Auction House go?

    That’s my big question. If it goes straight back into my pocket, and as Keen said, “the game actually pays for itself,” then that’s pretty cool and interesting.

    What’s more likely is that the money goes into some kind of “Blizzard Wallet” where you can spend it on more Blizzard products/fluff. Call me cynical, but I think we’ve seen that Blizzard wants -all- of the cake when it comes to getting money out of people and -keeping- it in their system.

  • I haven’t followed all the D3 news too closely so I got a few questions.

    Can hardcore and regular players interact?

    Was this the first time a testing period was announced? That seems like a big deal to me, too. Sept-Oct testing points to a late winter or spring launch?

  • @Cyprus Towards the bottom of the article it mentions a yet unnamed third part service that will handle pay outs to the player if they choose to take their earnings in cash.

    The money will initially go into an account that can be used to pay for any blizzard products but the option for payout is there, minus a fee of course.

    One interesting point I just really picked up on is the AH will be regional, dollars and euros. Does this mean they are making these AH restricted to a region, US only, Euro only, Asia only.

  • @bio there was also a bit about an interview with Rob Pardo which strongly implied no ringfencing of the Currency AHs, what he said was there will be so much going with each region players are unlikely to feel the need to shop around the regions.

    So you probably can if you want to.

    I forsee someone importing cheap Chinese digital swords!

  • @Verus – i can imagine they will sell fluff stuff in the future thru the AH system.

    Well, i don´t care much about this i have to say, i was considering getting the game, but i was not excited about it after seeing gameplay videos. Now came the announcement that the game requires to you to be always on, and now this, that pretty much killed any interest i had left.

    With this they are basicly creating an ingame market for the “gold/item-sellers”. It doesn´t matter that you can buy items now for D2, i´m convinced that only a minorty of players are using it. However with D3 you will be directly confronted with it from the first time you go to the AH, even if you had no clue about it before.

    It will be overrun with bots/farmers. I also heared the argument “and blizzard will monitor everything because of farmers” right, they won´t do much of them, they are in for the money. From a company´s perspective it´s understandable, but i can see much much annoyance coming for players.

    There is nothing good about this in my opinion.

    Anyway saves me some money for Torchlight 2 ^.^

  • I think this is totally okay for them honestly. People were buying and selling already, as you pointed out, and this not only gives Blizzard a cut, but it also adds security to the process.

    As others have said, this is probably the best way they could have implemented RMT because it doesn’t give them any negative incentives to say tweak drop rates or game the costs.

    RMT is the future. 😛

  • I find the whole thing at once laughable and repugnant.

    Firstly as Total Biscuit points out in his latest mail box video, the system is set up in a very underhanded fashion – you get hit with a fee when you post an item on the RMT AH, which you need to pay whether it sells or not. And given how these AH’s almost always involve a lot of undercutting by .1%, that’s going to mean a lot of people will be paying posting fees on items that they’ll need to put up multiple times to sell. Then you get hit with another fee if/when the item sells, and then another fee when you try to get your money out of their little black box system.

    Secondly this explicitly condones the gold/item farming business – Pardo even specifically says that prisoners or people working in sweatshop conditions aren’t really any different than “active players”. That comment by itself is disgusting, but it’s also horribly disingenuous.

    If Blizzard wanted to, I’m certain they could design this system in a way that would effectively lock out the farmers while still giving players a safe way to turn their spare RealMoney(tm) into in-game buying power. Make the AH in-game gold only, but let people turn their cash into in-game gold in a safe, Blizzard-controlled manner (how PLEX works in EvE, for example).

    That would lock out the farmers, let players with more cash than time buy some items in a safe way, and wouldn’t create the idiotic scenario where you don’t want to use a rare item that dropped because you might be able to sell it for a bunch of cash (to spend in the Blizzard store, of course). Hell, why not just let people buy gold directly from Blizzard so cheap the farmers can’t compete? At least that feels somewhat ethical and honest…

    As Blizzard constantly points out, a game like Diablo is all about the loot. You should be excited when something awesome drops and put it the hell on your character to see how amazing you look, not immediately go to the AH and try to figure out if you just found a nice steak dinner.

    Dunno, maybe I’m out of touch, but this whole fiasco just makes Blizzard look completely money hungry and tone deaf to me.

  • I kinda can’t help but feel “vaguely negative” about it. It FEELS sleazy. But honestly, intellectually, I can’t find any real problems with it. I was never a huge trader in D2, I just didn’t have the patience for it, I don’t have the spirit to just constantly try and rip people off. So…honestly it won’t effect me much.

    All it means is that if I ever get lucky and find an item that is great, I can sell it and make a few bucks. I don’t particularly like the idea of the posting fee, but since they mention you’ll have some limited no-post-fee auctions, I figure I can use those first ones to make some money in their system, and then use that as seed money to post later auctions.

  • Oh god I mean affect not effect. Lord in heaven forgive me, I can’t believe I made that error.

  • @Snafzg

    RMT is the future.

    i guess you are right. you dont think thats kinda sad though ?
    i play games for fun. i work to make money, if i can make money from playing games hell i am in. where do i get my fun from then?

    i am sure i could have made money out of games the last 12 years. i always knew it was there. i just felt it was wrong. i play a game that tells me its ok, i guess i am in.

  • I’d prefer if this auction house had no impact on the PvP games, which should be based on skill and your progression through the game, not on how much RL money you have to waste on the best gear someone else found.

    Otherwise, I don’t care.