## No, they won't replace the AH. Trade needs to be painful.

• Upon reading about the RMAH/GAH removal, I am shocked. Shocked that Blizzard would admit they made a mistake, and shocked that they would fix it. That takes a huge amount of chutzpah, and I give them a ton of respect for it.

I've heard a lot of people argue that "barter trade is really painful" and therefore it is a mistake to remove the AH's. I beg to differ.

To put it simply, trade needs to be painful or else itemization will suck. It doesn't matter what they do with Loot 2.0, the AH removal is actually the most important part. And here's why:

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*** THE MATH ***
The simple mathematical fact is that AH's dramatically skew itemization. Let's assume there are 2 versions of the game with identical itemization: self-found and AH:

*Self-Found*: I find an "awesome" item every 20 hours of gameplay. However, 80% of the time, it's designed for a different class or spec. So I equip one "awesome" item after 100 hours of gameplay. Once I have one slot occupied by an "awesome" item, the next one that drops has a 1/12 chance of being a sidegrade. After two slots, each item has a 2/12 chance of being a sidegrade, etc.

Mathematically speaking, it will take me an average of 3,723 hours to find an "awesome" item in every slot.

*GAH*: I find an "awesome" item every 20 hours of gameplay. 80% of the time it's designed for a different class or spec, so I sell it on the AH and get 85% of the Gold required to purchase an equally awesome item. Better yet, I know exactly which item slot needs the upgrade. Even if I have terrible luck and never find a usable item in my life, on average I only need to play for 23.5 hours to earn enough Gold to purchase an "awesome" item.

Mathematically speaking, it will take me 306 hours to earn enough Gold to purchase an "awesome" item in every slot.

Using the GAH decreases the time needed to gear out your character by a factor of 12! Remember that this is a paper napkin estimate, completely ignoring the increase in kill speed and MF/GF for the GAH user.

If itemization was tuned to be "reasonable" for self-found characters, an AH user would have every item BiS after 2 weeks and could never get another upgrade again. In order to prevent this, Blizzard has to intentionally tune itemization to be extremely slow. (ie 3700+ hours to get all-BiS, the real number is probably even higher)

This is the reason why itemization is so bad on PC.

***
There are other reasons why the AH is so bad for itemization. One reason is that the AH is equally efficient regardless of your gear/wealth level. A player with 500k to his name can buy a whole bunch of 50k items just as easily as a player with 2B can buy a bunch of 200M items. This causes three harmful effects:
1. There is no gear level at which AH'ing is not optimal (by an order of magnitude or more). D3 players are AH dependent from "cradle to grave".
2. There is no change in optimal behavior from "poor" to "rich", therefore no sense of progression for the player.
3. Since it is easy to turn items into gold, players sell all their items and don't just drop them on the ground. Think about how often you saw people give away stuff for free in D2, and compare to how often it happens in D3.
This is completely different from a barter economy. Bartering requires time and effort, and is highly inefficient - this is exactly why it is good for the game:
1. Bartering takes a large time investment. At a poor gear level, you will get more items playing the game rather than hanging out in trade chat. Only high-value items are worth the time and effort required to barter them.
2. Therefore, the optimal behavior changes dramatically when going from a "poor" account (never barter) to a "rich" account (frequent barter). This gives a sense of progression.
3. Bartering requires a huge amount of game knowledge. Therefore, the "real money player" does not have an insurmountable advantage over "in game players", unlike with GAH/RMAH.
4. Bartering is a huge pain in the ass and a lot of players would rather play the game self-found. This is a good thing if you believe that videogames should be about gameplay.
5. The players who don't barter because it's too much hassle give away their items for free. This feels really good for the newbies in their games and generally helps the sense of "friendliness" and "community".
So anyone who thinks that Blizzard will introduce another "efficient" method of trading, I beg to differ. They may put in trade channels and game names, but they will remain inefficient, spammy, and painful - just like D2. It's not a problem, it's intentional.

Trade needs to be painful. It's the best way to improve the game.
• Expect for one thing... the more painful trading is, the more attractive it becomes to use 3rd-party sites that make it less painful. Those sites are infested with scammers, which adds a real cost to Blizzard's ongoing support for D3 and to our enjoyment of the game.

The fact is, people want to trade. A lot. The AH proved that beyond all expected measures. That desire won't just evaporate when the AH goes dark, and it sure as hell makes good business sense (for numerous reasons) for Blizzard to try and satisfy that desire in the best way they can, or they're going to have a huge increase in compromised account issues.
• Quote from Catalept

Expect for one thing... the more painful trading is, the more attractive it becomes to use 3rd-party sites that make it less painful. Those sites are infested with scammers, which adds a real cost to Blizzard's ongoing support for D3 and to our enjoyment of the game.

The fact is, people want to trade. A lot. The AH proved that beyond all expected measures. That desire won't just evaporate when the AH goes dark, and it sure as hell makes good business sense (for numerous reasons) for Blizzard to try and satisfy that desire in the best way they can, or they're going to have a huge increase in compromised account issues.

Well tbh i hope so, if you get a compromised account it's your fault for not playing the game and trying the "free market" ^^
Those Who Do Not Know True Pain Cannot Possibly Understand True Peace...
• Quote from Catalept

The fact is, people want to trade. A lot. The AH proved that beyond all expected measures. That desire won't just evaporate when the AH goes dark, and it sure as hell makes good business sense (for numerous reasons) for Blizzard to try and satisfy that desire in the best way they can, or they're going to have a huge increase in compromised account issues.

These victims just aren't as angry as everyone on the internet, ever, that has given D3 such a terrible name thanks to the AH. Blizzard's willing to put up with this if it gets them another 10 mil + copies.

Regardless of whether you think OP is right, I think this describes the current Blizzard's stance on why they are doing this.
• Quote from Kallizk

Well tbh i hope so, if you get a compromised account it's your fault for not playing the game and trying the "free market" ^^

Well yeah... If Blizzard's response to hacked accounts was "tough shit, we won't reverse any charges or restore any items, and you can't have your characters back. Buy another copy.", none of this would be an issue, but would that be better than the status quo?
• Balancing the game only around selffound makes it way too easy.

Trading must be taken into consideration. But obviously enugh people whined just like you did rigth here. You'll see when the changes go live that the gameplay does not offer you more long term motivation, but the traders will just pull further ahead of you.
• Quote from Twoflower

Balancing the game only around selffound makes it way too easy.

Trading must be taken into consideration. But obviously enugh people whined just like you did rigth here. You'll see when the changes go live that the gameplay does not offer you more long term motivation, but the traders will just pull further ahead of you.

You should always be more motivated to play and find new items rather than to browse the AH or any other comparable item source.

The AH was just too simple, too easy, and made playing obsolete. This is why OP is absolutely right. As I mentioned somewhere else, if they allow some "AH in the nutshell" via the vendor where you can put up some items like on the AH and random other items show up, it could work, as it doesn't allow for millions of items being searched and traded, but only a few occasional trades.

The fact that people were trading items for ~10k gold and every single legendary ended up in the AH made 99% of legendary drops useless. The removal of the AH (and possibly introducing a new but more complicated trading system) was the only fix.
• As a real life comparison this sound like a "we need to go back to the 30th" with self found food and building our own house. Maybe walking to the town once a weak to exchange our eggs for sugar.
• Quote from Catalept

Expect for one thing... the more painful trading is, the more attractive it becomes to use 3rd-party sites that make it less painful. Those sites are infested with scammers, which adds a real cost to Blizzard's ongoing support for D3 and to our enjoyment of the game.

The fact is, people want to trade. A lot. The AH proved that beyond all expected measures. That desire won't just evaporate when the AH goes dark, and it sure as hell makes good business sense (for numerous reasons) for Blizzard to try and satisfy that desire in the best way they can, or they're going to have a huge increase in compromised account issues.

+1
As i said in another thread, i hope Blizzard completely abolishes trading.
• Quote from huertgenwald

Quote from Catalept

Expect for one thing... the more painful trading is, the more attractive it becomes to use 3rd-party sites that make it less painful. Those sites are infested with scammers, which adds a real cost to Blizzard's ongoing support for D3 and to our enjoyment of the game.

The fact is, people want to trade. A lot. The AH proved that beyond all expected measures. That desire won't just evaporate when the AH goes dark, and it sure as hell makes good business sense (for numerous reasons) for Blizzard to try and satisfy that desire in the best way they can, or they're going to have a huge increase in compromised account issues.

+1
As i said in another thread, i hope Blizzard completely abolishes trading.

Perhaps we should start a poll how many people would be in favor of disabling trades as well.
• Quote from Bagstone

The AH was just too simple, too easy, and made playing obsolete. This is why OP is absolutely right. As I mentioned somewhere else, if they allow some "AH in the nutshell" via the vendor where you can put up some items like on the AH and random other items show up, it could work, as it doesn't allow for millions of items being searched and traded, but only a few occasional trades.

And where did you get the value to trade in the AH ? Oh, by playing the game you say ? Oh the irony.

"only a few occasional trades" is a illusion. People will just trade outside the game. Removing the AH does only make it more time consuming, nothing else. Which is great cause that way we will spend less time playing the game, that's what we always wanted rigth ?

You guys just dont think it trough. Nothing new on this site though...
• Quote from Catalept

3rd-party sites that make it less painful. Those sites are infested with scammers, which adds a real cost to Blizzard's ongoing support for D3 and to our enjoyment of the game.

Well, truth be told, I believe that people who use 3rd party sites and get scammed deserve their fate. It's just like in real life - you want to get something, you can either try to do it legit, which is hard but not so risky, or try some shady stuff that can get you what you want much easier, but there's a risk that you'll end up screwed.

I think that they should put a giant banner on the login screen the first time you start the game that would say that unless you use the in-game trade chat, Blizzard won't refund/restore anything in case of account hack or trade scam.
• Quote from huertgenwald

+1
As i said in another thread, i hope Blizzard completely abolishes trading.

And what would that accomplish? If you abolish trading, you're back to console version where legendaries rain from the sky, so that you can beat the game quickly and shelf it, because that's how console games work. Or, alternatively, drop rates will be slow and it will be a whole lot of grind, which will make people whine and quit the game. Both variants are silly.
• Quote from Grafikm_fr

Quote from huertgenwald

+1
As i said in another thread, i hope Blizzard completely abolishes trading.

And what would that accomplish? If you abolish trading, you're back to console version where legendaries rain from the sky, so that you can beat the game quickly and shelf it, because that's how console games work. Or, alternatively, drop rates will be slow and it will be a whole lot of grind, which will make people whine and quit the game. Both variants are silly.

1+. abolishing trading completely is just stupid. and i really hope blizz got rid of the AH to try and make the game better, not to satisfy all the self found cry babies out there.

let people trade if they want, the monster that is AH will at least be gone so the item progression wont be so screwed up by trading in the future
• you DON'T find a good item every 20h with this itemization...

Itemization at launch IS what killed the AH. Not the easy access to it.

We had NO CHOICE other than to use both AH's because items that drop are just EXTREMELY BAD unless you run a bot and manage to have tons of each items to ID and roll one good.

Fix the goddamn itemization and people will leave AH by themselves! or maybe only using it to buy crafting mats and gems.
• Quote from Twoflower

"only a few occasional trades" is a illusion. People will just trade outside the game. Removing the AH does only make it more time consuming, nothing else. Which is great cause that way we will spend less time playing the game, that's what we always wanted rigth ?

You guys just dont think it trough. Nothing new on this site though...

If you consider browsing the AH as playing the game, you have a rather individual opinion.
If trading items will in fact take much longer than it used to, we'll have a "working as intended"-situation, where time spent actually playing (=killing stuff) might be as (or rather: more!) effective as (than) time spent browsing some sort of item-database. Whether this database is integrated into the game menu or not, who cares?
• Quote from Grafikm_fr

And what would that accomplish?

I thought that's obvious: D3 would be used for actually playing the game
in contrast to D2 where in my perception 99% of the games where
• Quote from huertgenwald

I thought that's obvious: D3 would be used for actually playing the game
in contrast to D2 where in my perception 99% of the games where

Ofc it's obvious. What is less obvious is the fact that such a "solution" will create a lot of other problems (see "drop rate balance").
So no, it's not a good idea.
• Quote from Zeon1129

you DON'T find a good item every 20h with this itemization...

Itemization at launch IS what killed the AH. Not the easy access to it.

We had NO CHOICE other than to use both AH's because items that drop are just EXTREMELY BAD unless you run a bot and manage to have tons of each items to ID and roll one good.

Fix the goddamn itemization and people will leave AH by themselves! or maybe only using it to buy crafting mats and gems.

it i the other way around.
"A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever." Shigeru Miyamoto-nintendo boss

"I think it's hilarious because gamers won't be getting watered down anything.
This is flat out Diablo 3." -Anonymous discussing the console version
• Thank you, brx, for pulling out this picture. I'm gonna bookmark your post, I feel it will come in handy a couple of times within the next few days/weeks ;-)

It's been a long time since I've read the original post.