What removing the Auction House means for the future of Diablo 3 (Diablo Digest)

  • #1
    NOTE: YouTube is taking forever to process the video, but the visual component is just filler as this really is a podcast. Feel free to "stay a while and listen" and not worry about the vid quality :)

    Ladies and Gentlemen I have been gone and quiet for a long time. :) I think it's time I start getting back into the forums and being active with D3 again, it's a pretty exciting time with a looming expansion.

    I've made another Video Podcast and I'm focusing on the removal of the Auction House this time around (isn't everyone?) because I think it has far reaching implications for Blizzard beyond the whole "buy gear now, lose carrot on a stick" issue we've been seeing.

    As always, because I love Diablofans and this is a forum, I'll give a synopsis here.

    When Diablo 3 hit there was a lot wrong with the game, but certainly there was a lot right. Gameplay, music, sound, animations, everything that made a game feel good to play was there. The game, however, was plagued by always online requirements, impossibly high difficulty walls, and loot that gave no real satisfaction.

    Many issues have been resolved and while I bear no hatred to Jay Wilson, I'm glad to see the Diablo 3 team moving in a positive direction with the new expansion pack. With Loot 2.0, we're going to see it become easier to get loot that's self found and we're going to see items that offer changes in how we play the game. This creates a problem with an Auction House.

    So when they add in all these cool procs, the first thing someone's going to do is find out which is more efficient and players will go buy that item. They will forget about all the other cool procs and how they could make fun builds and just go for what works the best, it just seems to be in human nature. I submit that not having an Auction House will cause people to experiment more. They will have a hodgepodge set of gear that isn't optimal and they will find a set of skills they find fun and start enjoying the game.

    The second issue I see being resolved is the hard to balance skills and items that have plagued Blizzard since day 1. When IAS was nerfed there was a huge outcry, and I can't help but wonder if this would have been such a big deal if people hadn't gone out and bought all this gear to be efficient. If it was a nice to have stat that you had to find for yourself, would you have cared if it was nerfed?

    Let's take that a step further and look at the Monk skill One With Everything. This skill has been a terror for Blizzard because most monks use it and they can't nerf it without making all that gear people BOUGHT become useless. So they tell us over and over again they want to change it but can't figure out how to do it fairly. Now that the AH is going away, it's going to be harder and harder to find that perfect set of gear to use with One With Everything and it's going to lose it stature and people will start finding other skills to use.

    I think this is probably the biggest obstacle that Blizzard had to remove. Without the Auction House, Blizzard is free to think about skills and gear without worrying about what people bought, without having to be fair about what you traded for it. They can make changes that they feel will balance out the game as well as open up some creativity with how some of these skills work. They won't have to worry about "what happens if someone stacks this type of gear" because it will be rare. Certainly there will still be trading and 3rd party sites will pop up, but that's not Blizzard's problem anymore. If someone trades or buys on a 3rd party site, Blizzard isn't responsible for that transaction and doesn't have to change their skills to reflect that anymore.

    I, for one, am really interested to see how this will play out and think Diablo 3 can have a bright future. Now Blizzard just has to follow up with some good gear for the xpack. Diablo 2 didn't become the game people know and love until after Lord of Destruction, so let's see if Diablo 3 can follow suit. Diablo 2 had about 3-4 years of tuning (expansion pack and additional content after), so it's not like there isn't time.

    So now that I've brought this discussion into play, I'm interested to see if it's changed your thoughts on the AH going away for good or ill. Please by all means leave some feedback and discussion I'll be actively watching here and on the YT comments.



    Video Description (and time stamps):

    The Diablo 3 Auction House is going away! Find out what this means to you and, more importantly, what it means for Blizzard.

    NOTE: I misspoke about Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction's release being a few years after D2. It was released only after a year, but D2 did have 3-4 years of tuning even after LoD's release.

    Topics that are included in this broadcast:
    • Stay awhile and listen (00:08)
    • Reason for the lack of Diablo 3 content (00:52)
    • Blizzard announced shut down of Gold Auction House and RMAH (2:22)
    • What was wrong with the Auction House (4:08)
    • What Diablo got right (5:07)
    • The problem with loot (5:35)
    • Precursor to Loot 2.0 (7:14)
    • Loot targeting the class (7:44)
    • Case Study: Improved Attack Speed (IAS) (9:39)
    • Solving the problem of "One With Everything" (12:00)
    • Not being able to buy items encourages experimentation (15:50)
    • Trading player potions for game health and longevity (18:28)
    • No more need for Diablo to be always online? (21:25)
    • Challenges with the Auction House change - Goldsinks (22:48)
    • Adjustments for drop rates of patterns (23:22)
    • A request for more sets (and higher set drop rates) (23:48)
    • Diablo hitting its stride with an expansion pack (24:54)
    • Far more challenging than just turning it off (26:20)
    • Speculation on the Shut Off date - Loot 2.0 release date? (27:47)
    • Possible Loot 2.0 PTR for this year (29:01)
    Diablo 3 playthroughs and guides via Kagekaze's Domain or Twitch TV
    Come on by and comment on YouTube or chat on Twitch, twitch chat is often watched
  • #2
    Welcome back, buddy!
  • #3
    Quote from maka

    Welcome back, buddy!

    Thank you, sir. Good to be back.
    Diablo 3 playthroughs and guides via Kagekaze's Domain or Twitch TV
    Come on by and comment on YouTube or chat on Twitch, twitch chat is often watched
  • #4
    Well, I must say this is the best way I have seen the removal of the AH being a good thing worded. Thanks for helping me see it another way :Thumbs Up:
  • #5
    Have my +1 :)
    Very good read, might come back for the video later. Really like your creative approach to the topic. You went past the typical "the game has to feel rewarding" vs "trading without the AH will be a hassle" and put a focus on how the AH diminished a lot of the uniqueness of each individual player's experience.

    The only thing I can't fully agree on is the part about D2 having that much time to finetune and applying this as an excuse for the bumpy road D3 has been heading down so far. I did enjoy D3 from the start and have had my fair share of playtime so far, so this is as much a first world gamer problem as it can get :) But I feel that certain things could have been handled differently from the start. Especially regarding the player feedback and even the chance to give it. Let's think back to the original beta that only had content up to the skeleton king. Content should have been tested on a much broader scale. Even now Blizz is reluctant to give access to PTR builds. The community has a lot of creative feedback to offer, admittedly requiring quite some filtering effort. But still, a lot of it even comes to them practically for free via fansites, streamers etc. Maybe I'm just very impatient considering this is a business giant handling a record setting AAA title; yet I sometimes feel things could have gone faster and smoother with a little more regard for the helping fans from the get to.
  • #6
    Quote from KageKaze

    I think this is probably the biggest obstacle that Blizzard had to remove. Without the Auction House, Blizzard is free to think about skills and gear without worrying about what people bought, without having to be fair about what you traded for it. They can make changes that they feel will balance out the game as well as open up some creativity with how some of these skills work. They won't have to worry about "what happens if someone stacks this type of gear" because it will be rare. Certainly there will still be trading and 3rd party sites will pop up, but that's not Blizzard's problem anymore. If someone trades or buys on a 3rd party site, Blizzard isn't responsible for that transaction and doesn't have to change their skills to reflect that anymore.


    +1 for originality, but this is pretty minor in the grand scheme. Blizzard does not want D3 to be a "hard" game anymore, and it still has no real PvP. They aren't going to take balance all that seriously, beyond "let's make everything equally overpowered" as has been the mantra of late.
  • #7
    Hey there...long-time caller, first time listener, ;-)

    Great post! As a player with a Monk main, I can definitely sympathize somewhat with the OWE situation. I was using it for a while, because it gave my character a pretty tremendous boost in resists because, during all my gear hunting, I hadn't even noticed that I'd equipped a ton of gear with both a ton of Resist All AND Lightning Resist.

    However, it didn't take me long to realize how much this had seriously pigeonholed me...I saw the difficulty I'd have further upgrading my own gear, regardless of any changes Blizzard applied to the game. So while it took an incredible amount of work, I finally did manage to urge much of my gear away from the Lightning+AR setup I accidentally had leaned on, and while my total All Resist is a tad low (at least, I see it as low), I'm still able to handle MP7 entirely without One With Everything.

    I can only imagine how much gold people paid EN MASSE to lean on a skill with hard a cap, thinking Blizzard wouldn't change it. That's part of the problem. The Auction House not only made it insanely easy to get ITEMS, but it also made it insanely easy to get GOLD to get MORE or DIFFERENT items. Meaning, anything you want in the game is pretty much at your fingertips. The moment people hear about some popular build making the rounds, suddenly there's a rush to buy every piece from the AH, instead of just farming more and keeping eyes peeled.

    To the AH's credit, some extremely high end Plvl 100 players, with billions of gold on hand, have used that resource wisely to come up with fascinating, interesting and deeply cool and unique builds, that really show what kind of amazing things can be done with the freedom this game allows.

    But most people use the AH to just stack a ton of DPS, IAS, CC, CD, LOH, LS, mainstat, and Vitality so they can faceroll MP10 as quickly as possible....pretty much, just so they can say they did it, so they can feel superior over everyone else. And the majority of those people? Pretty unsatisfied with their progress...bored...unhappy...can't stop QQ'ing on the forums.

    My big concern, though, since hearing about Loot 2.0 being official...what will the updated gear mean to people with 800k dps, who are already facerolling? I'd like to think some of them might sacrifice a few hundred thousand to equip some gear they find during a run that can allow them to finally use skills they like, but feel underpowered...but I don't know if many of them are willing to do that. Their mindset is likely..."why bother working on my build, when I'm already facerolling?"

    Hopefully, with Loot 2.0, Paragon 2.0, enchanting, and the skill balances and updates coming in Reaper of Souls...people will really start coming up with cool builds, and show off unique styles, and don't all just equip the same crap over and over.

    I'm proud of my Spirit Regen/Transcendence Monk, I've put a lot of work into him, he's come a long way. He makes me feel bad for all the folks who lean on cookie-cutter builds because they're "easy."
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit Regen build, used only found and crafted gear and gems, could handle MP7.
  • #8
    You get a +1 simply because your videos are always well-done and not just some knee-jerk dogshit to fuel the fire. I appreciate your general objectivity.
    p427 :: 89.1k EK :: 2.47m TK
    Planet Express <PlanEx>
    (V) (°,,°) (V)
  • #9
    Excellent video! I think I agree with you 99%, but you made your points very well regardless. Subscribed and browsing your archive now!
  • #10
    Excelent video podcast kagekaze! I want add a point of view that AH is bad... its about Monster power.
    Blizzard wanted to add some diffculty to the game with it but then the AH comes to destroy it by selling the best stats gear to any class...some people do it easly/faster others do it slowly but they still can do it
    In my opinion if AH didnt exist you propably wouldnt see many people doing MP10 as we have with AH now for sure.
  • #11
    Quote from FoxBatD2

    Quote from KageKaze

    I think this is probably the biggest obstacle that Blizzard had to remove. Without the Auction House, Blizzard is free to think about skills and gear without worrying about what people bought, without having to be fair about what you traded for it. They can make changes that they feel will balance out the game as well as open up some creativity with how some of these skills work. They won't have to worry about "what happens if someone stacks this type of gear" because it will be rare. Certainly there will still be trading and 3rd party sites will pop up, but that's not Blizzard's problem anymore. If someone trades or buys on a 3rd party site, Blizzard isn't responsible for that transaction and doesn't have to change their skills to reflect that anymore.


    +1 for originality, but this is pretty minor in the grand scheme. Blizzard does not want D3 to be a "hard" game anymore, and it still has no real PvP. They aren't going to take balance all that seriously, beyond "let's make everything equally overpowered" as has been the mantra of late.


    But they do have to make everything equally overpowered :)

    I think OP has a valid point, especially in the context of 'build-changing legendaries'... not having an official economy frees Blizzard up to add, remove and tweak stats and skills without the inevitable well-reasoned responses and rational feedback from a well-informed community who always keeps their perspective.

    And by that I mean incoherent forum shitstorms.
  • #12
    A big "thank you" to everyone that stopped by with comments and feedback, since Diablofans frowns on multiple posts to the same thread this one might get a little long ;)

    Quote from Mjumnito

    Well, I must say this is the best way I have seen the removal of the AH being a good thing worded. Thanks for helping me see it another way :Thumbs Up:


    This was the first thing I thought of when the AH went away, I knew they had problems with skills because of the AH so it just clicked for me that this could really clear those barriers.

    Quote from Demon665

    Have my +1 :)
    Very good read, might come back for the video later. Really like your creative approach to the topic. You went past the typical "the game has to feel rewarding" vs "trading without the AH will be a hassle" and put a focus on how the AH diminished a lot of the uniqueness of each individual player's experience.


    Thank you, it was an easy decision to make as all the reactions so far have been focusing so much on the loot progression and trading. This decision to shut down the AH really makes sense when you think back to all the posts they've made on CM, OWE, life on hit, etc etc.


    The only thing I can't fully agree on is the part about D2 having that much time to finetune and applying this as an excuse for the bumpy road D3 has been heading down so far.(...) The community has a lot of creative feedback to offer, admittedly requiring quite some filtering effort. But still, a lot of it even comes to them practically for free via fansites, streamers etc. Maybe I'm just very impatient considering this is a business giant handling a record setting AAA title; yet I sometimes feel things could have gone faster and smoother with a little more regard for the helping fans from the get to.


    Certainly Blizzard is hit and miss when it comes to community feedback. It could have been done better, to that there is no doubt. I suppose my point is that we should expect all the cool features that are coming or might come in the future to be there on day 1. Every new game, even if a sequel is a new project with new challenges. Trying to get everything in at once would simply take too long, all game devs have features that get scrapped because of this. One of my favorite sites that really illustrates this is [The Cutting Room Floor](http://tcrf.net/The_Cutting_Room_Floor).

    Again, not trying to discount your argument, they did (at least seem to) ignore valuable feedback. I'm glad they seem to be listening more.

    Quote from FoxBatD2

    +1 for originality, but this is pretty minor in the grand scheme. Blizzard does not want D3 to be a "hard" game anymore, and it still has no real PvP. They aren't going to take balance all that seriously, beyond "let's make everything equally overpowered" as has been the mantra of late.


    I don't know if they don't want it to be hard, but I think they want it to be hard for those that seek it out and for the right reasons. Characters dying in one shot because they can't see attacks coming or because the damage is unavoidable just don't seem like the right reasons.

    They also want really tough obstacles to be a CHOICE not something that feels mandatory. Monster Power 10 specifically seems designed to offer that challenge for those who wish to seek it. There are some who will claim that MP10 is still easy, but I do wonder how easy would it be for most people without the AH there to get upgrades with.

    Quote from CardinalMDM

    Hey there...long-time caller, first time listener, ;-)
    (...)
    But most people use the AH to just stack a ton of DPS, IAS, CC, CD, LOH, LS, mainstat, and Vitality so they can faceroll MP10 as quickly as possible....pretty much, just so they can say they did it, so they can feel superior over everyone else. And the majority of those people? Pretty unsatisfied with their progress...bored...unhappy...can't stop QQ'ing on the forums.


    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story regarding your Monk progression. It does a far better job than I could about showing the issues faced by players when they need certain sets and how some skills designs enforce specific gear choices that feel mandatory. I've linked a few people to your post as it was well done.


    My big concern, though, since hearing about Loot 2.0 being official...what will the updated gear mean to people with 800k dps, who are already facerolling? I'd like to think some of them might sacrifice a few hundred thousand to equip some gear they find during a run that can allow them to finally use skills they like, but feel underpowered...but I don't know if many of them are willing to do that. Their mindset is likely..."why bother working on my build, when I'm already facerolling?"


    I worry a bit about this too. It's possible with the new act that they increase the scale on the difficulty modifiers. If inferno now makes all the monsters level 73, then the DPS everyone has now won't be enough, they'll have to bridge a 10 level gap. I'm hoping that it won't just be act 5 that get level 70+ monsters, I doubt it will, but it means that some people might have to go back to lower levels of Monster Power for awhile. So some might have a head start, but I think it might balance out in the end.

    Quote from shaggy

    You get a +1 simply because your videos are always well-done and not just some knee-jerk dogshit to fuel the fire. I appreciate your general objectivity.


    Thank you, I always do my best to try and stay objective and see both sides. Some times are harder than others :)

    Quote from miles_dryden

    Excellent video! I think I agree with you 99%, but you made your points very well regardless. Subscribed and browsing your archive now!


    I will fully admit you might have to dig for the good stuff, but I hope you enjoyed your time browsing. :Thumbs Up:

    Quote from Catalept

    But they do have to make everything equally overpowered :)

    I think OP has a valid point, especially in the context of 'build-changing legendaries'... not having an official economy frees Blizzard up to add, remove and tweak stats and skills without the inevitable well-reasoned responses and rational feedback from a well-informed community who always keeps their perspective.

    And by that I mean incoherent forum shitstorms.


    I do like the mantra that Blizzard wants to make everything powerful rather than Nerf, but I"m also happy that they will nerf when something is TOO good. It's a delicate balance and certainly no one likes to get nerfed, but game health and longevity are the most important things they have to consider.
    Diablo 3 playthroughs and guides via Kagekaze's Domain or Twitch TV
    Come on by and comment on YouTube or chat on Twitch, twitch chat is often watched
  • #13
    Always nice to hear from you, Kage. Looking forward to more of your videos.
    "Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the small death that brings total obliteration."
  • #14
    Great that you are back! I used to enjoy your videos and discussions alot. I'm looking forward to seeing some of you new content! :)
    Make your peace...Quickly!
  • #15
    In game chat need to be more active, specially in the Europe Zone, the closure of the system (AH) can bring back lot of game activity which in my opinion is good.

    Also I been working on a project ( still in beta version - mainly academic and personal upgrading skills ) that can answer the needs of all community, it's an house auction and also have a GLOBAL chat in it.. I had created a discussion regarding that that you can follow up @ http://www.diablofans.com/topic/103266-d3-community-auction-house-live/

    You can visit anytime http://diablo3.mmo-trades.com/ and feel free to send me any of message with questions, I'll answer asap.
  • #16
    I was already subscribed for some time to your channel on youtube and I liked this video as well. I didn't enjoy the final fantasy ones as much, but that's personal preference. I look forward to you making diablo videos more often again :) Your videos are done well and I enjoy watching/listening to them.
  • #17
    While well worded your article has the assumption that removing the AH will also remove out-of-game trading for the diablo community. IF there is an optimal build/gear, players WILL find it out and they WILL actively try to obtain it. Removing the AH does not stop this; it was more visible with the AH, but once it is gone if optimal gear exists people will just use forums instead. So far, the bind-on-account system seems like it would have solved most of the issues you presented, OP, even if the AH was left in the game.

    The diablo team does admit loot 2.0 has to be the other half of the solution to the AH. But really the only way loot 2.0 can help is if it gives every single player a statistically realistic-yet not too time consuming- way to obtain optimal gear.If im a DH, and I want a 2 socket max damage, max CD Manticore; there MUST be a way for me to obtain it after only a few hours of farming or I will seek to save time by obtaining such an item through out-of game means.

    In short you should not pass judgement on the "AH removal", good or bad, until you see what Loot 2.0 will actually do. So far we only have a vague idea.
    Blizzard used to care about releasing Diablo III, then they all took an arrow in the knee...
  • #18
    Welcome back, Kage. Saw your video day 1, but forgot to say hi. ^^

    Ha. Bagstone.

  • #19
    Quote from youwillneverknow

    In short you should not pass judgement on the "AH removal", good or bad, until you see what Loot 2.0 will actually do. So far we only have a vague idea.


    And yet you yourself in your post do immedeat assumptions and judgement upon what the likelyhood of how a significant amount of people WILL act?

    Without the easy access to AH - most people won't bother to go to other sites etc. Because the main driving force behind the AH was not optimization - it was leissure. If something is very easy to access and gives you plenty of reward -> It becomes a routine -> it becomes normal.

    If it's hard to access - the number of people who will even remotely go to a third party site or w/e to get items, won't even get CLOSE to what AH does at the moment. As long as the reward system keeps on par with providing a standard for which is not impeding on their progress.

    As for OP - Pretty solid view. Your choise of wording, pacing and what not all fits together to actually have me bother reading through all of it. And your thoughts , as far as i see it - are reasonable. I might even check out your YT Channel.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CrazyPoochification - Let's Play of Eastern Sun/Other stuff
  • #20
    I think it will be good but i hope they vome up with something else aswell
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