Earlier today, the fine folks from Blizzard’s Diablo III office published a gaming decision that once enacted – set to go in effect on March 18th, 2014 – will finally put a long-discussed, and highly controversial aspect of the game to rest: the gold and real money auction house, which was established this past June, will be shutting its doors and closing its operation for good. Blizzard made their reasoning behind this decision pretty clear, stating “it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot.” Hit the link below for more details, more intriguing quotes from the men and women behind the Diablo curtain, as well as our own, in-house, slightly qualified thoughts!
Diablo Auction House: So What Was the Controversy?
Diablo III, much like its two prequels, is ALL about the loot drop; when I write the word “all”, I really, really want to emphasize that this game, or rather this series is completely, and utterly focused on the loot drop after you slay you some monster. You see, everything is randomized: the environments, dungeons, and monster locations will always change with every playthrough, and yep – you guessed it -, the loot is completely random as well. What the auction house did was essentially remove that randomization, or rather the “thrill” of seeing a yellow or orange item pop up in your loot drop, since you could essentially just jump into the auction house and either pick up said, rare/legendary items with in-game gold, or actual, real money. So what’s the fun of that? From the developer’s perspective, the auction house – while having its benefits – basically downgraded Diablo to the exact same experience you can get from just about any other RPG out there. Copy all, boss? Simple enough, right? Let’s follow that up with some more great quotes from today’s news drop:
“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,” said Blizzard’s John Hight.
John went on to say, “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.”
The SQ “So What” Factor
So what do we think about the move? To be honest, I side with the decision to shut down the auction. I liken it to using cheat codes back in the day with GameShark: getting invincible mode, and unlimited ammo is fun for like a half hour, and then the game pretty much loses all replay-ability after that.
Those of you that are pissed: well, at least you still have six months to wheel and deal. The rest of us will enjoy D3 the way it was meant to be played.
Leave us your thoughts below! On a depressing side note, the D3 servers are undergoing “urgent maintenance” until 1700 PST, so no one – including myself – can feed their D3 addiction right now.