I dont use the AH, and I dont have plans on using it, ever.
Why?.because, just like for many of us, it destroys the fun factor of the game, the simple fact that almost everything that drops on the ground is automatically trash, is overshadowing the game at what it makes it fun, the loot system.
I dont want to enter into an argue about if AH killed the game or not, it was discussed several times before, some agree, some dont, its ok with me, I also understand the ppl who enjoys playing the "AH game", but, its not for me.
Having that in mind, I propose to have a sub-section in this forum, so we can have a place for ppl who dont use the AH.
I also discovered a tendency lately, that consists in the following:
User A makes a thread asking about some mechanic in particular.
User B answers: Yeah, with my character siting at 120k dps, 50k hp, 800+ all resists you dont need it, just go full dps, it worked for me, here is my profile ->.
It's just sad, it's 100% gear-pennis, but more important, its a detract from the original topic.
So, I think that having a sub forum in wich only non-AH users can/want to participate, can be a good idea.
This is just an idea, I'd appreciate if you share your thoughts with me, if you agree, or not, and say why.
I'm sure it can be considered if there's enough feedback and interest in it. Although as was said (^) I think there's a very small fraction of the playerbase interested in that.
E-peen will always happen. I've said that before D3's release, and it's sad how much people think they're awesome (or how the game is easy/faceroll) on a mostly single player game that has 0 focus on competition. There's not much we can do about it, it's a characteristic of Blizzard fans (happens a lot in WoW and SC2 as well). The AH has no effect on "e-peen"ing.
I personally love the AH. If not for it, instead of being able to level a new character in 10-12 hours, I'd have to spend 30-40. Having to resort to the crappy trading that happened in D2 would be much worse imho.
The trading system in D2 was completly different in D3.
Here, for 50k, you can find a very good item that can make your life easier. In D2, you had to trade something that was VALUED similarly to what you wanted to trade. Making 50k gold in this game is extremly easy and fast, and the reward (AH) is way too much for the little effort.
Dont confuse yourself, you cant quote D2 trading system with the AH, are two completly different things.
The only way to solve that problem you highlighted (aka, gear is too good for its own price) would probably be to have a bind on equip feature, and if you know the playerbase, think about the feedback they would get for it.
I stand by the point that the AH is an amazing feature. And that D2's trading system was really bad and limited (and extremely unfriendly to users). There was absolutely no way of knowing whether or not what you were trading was worth something, except having that "underground" knowledge of visiting D2jsp or other forums.
And even with all the tools in the D3 AH, there are still people paying 10x more what an item is really worth. So in the end, even with a tool that makes valuing stuff really easy, some still haven't grasped its full utility. So I guess everything's working as intended.
Btw, I'd like to see a group of 50k items that can let you "farm" Act 3/4 Inferno. You see people complaining they can barely do Act 3 (let alone farm it effectively) and that their next upgrade is at 100 million, so I don't understand where are those 50k godly items. And for leveling characters, things are very expensive as well (50k for a bracer, 25k for a crappy ring, 50k for a top-notch weapon). Unless you're referring to base lvl 60 stuff (to farm Acts 1-2), then I agree with you (but then, these have always existed in abundance).
Making 50k is very easy on Inferno, where you can easily get to 200-300k gold/hour. But ask any casual player finishing Nightmare how much gold he has and how much gold he makes in 1 hour of gameplay. Barely 50k. 1 hour farming to barely be able to afford 1 upgrade (out of the 13 slots we have?). I've got a friend finishing Nightmare mode that has 120k gold and has farmed only 500k so far. He's in awe that I have over 20 mil. I guess things are working as intended there as well.
Being able to properly use it has made my life lvling new characters and getting to an acceptable power level (able to farm A2 and do Act 3) a lot easier than if I had to grind hundreds of hours to get the items.