The Auction House is handy for getting a gem really quick, searching for a possible upgrade, and selling something quickly. The problem with the AH is that is inflating the economy too much. It dictates too much what I'm going to pay for an item. This system works for MMO's like WoW because trading is not an important part of the experience. Everything is BoA/BoE minus a few items. In WoW you use the AH to trade gems, recipes, crafting mats, enchanting mats, etc. But none of your end game gear will come from trading. In Diablo trading is how you gear up. We don't raid, do Arena for rating etc.
With that being said the whole experience from 1-60 can change from an increased emphasis on trading. Lately I have been leveling my low level characters up to 60 and working on getting them through Inferno. Taking a nice break from the Paragon/Gear grind. Monster Power has made this experience amazing. Going to the AH, dropping 500k on some really good leveling gear, cranking the MP up to 6-8 and just having a blast playing through the acts. However, this gear takes FOREVER to resell. People just are not leveling characters. My point is .. you can make a name for yourself trading low lvl sets. You just don't see things like "Selling Hell MP7 Monk Set", "Trading DH Nightmare MP10 Set for Wizard".
You could also see things like that at end game, "Trading MP7 Wizard Set for Monk MP7". Or you could do "Trading MP9 Barb Set for MP4 Monk set + gold". There is so much possibility in an increase in trading. More social interaction is a primary reason, and a unique offer the Auction House cannot provide. Last night I saw a weapon I would have loved to buy for my Wizard - it was really greatly itemized, no it wasn't the best weapon I could get, but it was exactly what I was looking for. The problem was it was 5m which was overpriced. I would paid 2-2.5m because that's what it was worth. I could not message this guy because the name is not displayed. I am willing to bet his item is like many of my items, I put them up for 6m and they just sit, then 5m, and they just sit. If someone messaged me and said I'll give you 2.25m. I'll bite. This doesn't happen though. I am sure this person would have taken what I was willing to pay. The only items people advertise in trade are the 100m super items.
Look, I have no solution to this problem, I just know what the problem is. If emphasis can be moved away from the AH in terms of trading it could bring a lot of new ways to trade and obtain items in ways the AH cannot offer. This somehow needs to be created. After I drop that 500k on my leveling set I usually just vendor it because it takes forever to sell. If a person wants to switch from DH to Wizard they will take a week or so to sell off all of their gear and repurchase it. Because gold dictates item value so much right now it may be more expensive to gear on character than another and a person could be penalized for wanting to switch classes and be able to still do MP 7.
Edited by Serpenth, 18 January 2013 - 06:40 PM.