This is the most self-indulgent post, rationalizing the "legitimacy" of cheating, that I've ever read.Quote from Nekrodrac
Alrighty then. First of all I understand my magnificent sense of humor has been kind of off-putting to you. I do apologize.
As a result I will try to keep matters as formal as possible in this post. However I am afraid I will have to do you the discourtesy of not replying directly to what you posted. My excuse is that I have grasped much of your standpoint. So instead of going back and forth on how I am right and you are wrong, and vice-versa, I will try to explain to you my standpoint and why item-selling stores won't be the end of D3.
Before we proceed, let's consider this famous statement made by this famous person-
Half a game is defined as how the creators designed it and the other half how the players will approach it.
Item selling has been around since D2 and it has been a reasonably successful and lucrative business albeit illegal. From here, we have identified that a market exists for this type of transaction.
Now while it is easy to jump the gun and cry- cheaters!, let's examine the following scenario-
This is entirely from my experience, though I'm hoping that when others read this, they will support this case with their own stories.
This is my gaming post patch 1.10 on D2 lord of destruction: I have leveled between 7-8 toons to level 75. I then proceeded to farm for the stone of jordan with ALL of these characters respectively. I seem to recall from reading a few guides that nightmare(?) Andy was the best boss. However I alternated between different best-farming places with at least 3 of these characters. Another point to note, one of the characters had over 700% MF while most of the others averaged 400%. I still managed to find and kill Andy in less than a minute. Between these characters I had totaled well over 200 runs.
Results- I have never obtained a stone of jordan though I collected a variety of other unique rings. It could be that I have just been really unlucky if not for the fact that I have heard a lot of similar stories. Then when duping came in and there were so many SOJs that the uber diablo event was created to address this issue, I understood that luck wasn't much of an issue here really.
Now the designers (and the very lucky players) of the game might argue that the rarity of an item is what makes it worthwhile to get which is an alright philosophy if people actually have the required patience to achieve this goal. The problem here is that inevitably only a small minority of (lucky!) players will legitimately acquire the rarest of items.
A good portion won't and it will not be due to their lack of skill or patience but that the roll of the dice simply didn't favor them.
So here we suddenly find ourselves in a position where skill verily doesn't count. And this is what causes players to turn towards a less direct way of obtaining items. For in their minds there is really no reason as to why they didn't obtain x and y items when they've spent the same amount of time as the guy who's showing off next door with all his gear.
This one of the ways how the market for item-selling eventually builds itself. Of course it is only part of it since there are people who simply view farming as an extremely unpleasant facet of the game and just want the gear that will maximize the power of their skills which will give them the thrill they are seeking. Yet another group sees PvP as their main way of having fun and going again through the process of farming to ready their characters becomes way too tedious and they look for the short-cut.
The thing is that all of this has been happening since D2 but it wasn't in the open. The point though is that players have created that market and it's a certainty that this market will be here in D3.
Some items in D3 are going to continue to be rare to keep the experience of finding one as exhilarating as it were in the previous games which will give rise to the situation(s) I described above.
Let us switch sides for a moment and see this whole matter from the game creators point of view-
We create a game. We tailor the experience of adventuring around looting and confronting monsters and other players.
We see that while we made all items (freely) available in-game, some of are actually going out of their way to buy them from third parties and they are making a decent amount of money too out of it.
If that's how part of the player base wants to approach the game, why not give them the option and we make the money instead?
You'll see that I regard item-selling stores as more of a natural response from blizzard rather than contrived attempt at making more money.
I also wish to impress upon you another point- item-buying is unlikely to become rampant or out-of-control. I suspect the same group of people who bought items in D2 will be the ones buying gear for D3- that is those who can afford it and are willing to exchange time(spent farming) for money.
The other group (probably the majority of D3 players) will find money a very strong deterrent to acquiring items through the store when these are available freely in-game.
I mentioned in-game economy because that is the only thing in my eyes that can be truly affected and from which you can actually collect quantitative data to examine trends and results.
You mentioned soul, integrity, fairness of game all of which are abstract/subjective and arbitrary concepts that I unfortunately cannot relate to. So I was not trying to evade any of your points but rather bring it to a level where our arguments can be more objectively compared.
End note- Item selling has been here since D2. Some players want to play the game this way- whether you offer them this choice through legitimate means or not.
D2 survived. D3 will too whether those stores are official or illegal. The decision for how to acquire these items will be made within the same mind-frame in either case except that in the former one, the money goes to the company who created the game. And you've already shown you know how the game can be improved with more money.
1) I suspect the reason you didn't directly reply to all of my points is partly because there are some for which you can't.
2) The legitimate way to get those rare drops after being continually screwed by the RNG is buy trading up to them.
3) If part of the playerbase wants to approach the game by buying items, Blizzard correctly bans them, because they are cheaters, their actions damage the economy, the people they buy from are scammers, hackers, and Chinese gold farmers, they undermine the core of Diablo as an item trading game, and because legitimate players do not want to play amongst a cesspool of cheaters.
4) Buying your way to the best items is cheating, it's not playing the game the way it is intended. Nor should it be the way the game is intended because striving for the best items by running content and trading is the core of Diablo gameplay.
5) You mentioned in-game economy in relation to Blizzard spending money on patching and developing content for the game. There is no connection. Blizzard doesn't gather data to see that the average price of a SOJ is 50,000 gold, and decides as a result of this that it's time to release a new dungeon, or make a patch to nerf the Wizard because she's overpowered, or open an item and gear selling store.
6) Yes, some people want to pay the game by buying and selling items, and those cheaters should all be banned.
7) The core and soul of Diablo is an loot and item trading game. Buying items circumvents the need to run content or trade, therefore it destroys the game.
8) You've failed to grasp the fundamental difference between D2 and the D3 you're suggesting. D2 survived because item buying and selling is illegal. D3 will not survive if item and gear selling is legal, because the game will have essentially no point when cheaters can simply buy the best gear for real life money, legally.
9) It is now apparent to me that you are a cheater, or at least a sympathizer of cheaters. Thus, I have no respect for you.
Jay Wilson, D3 lead designer, on the core of Diablo:
Jay Wilson: Well, Diablo, at its core is basically a trader's game. If you look at other types of progression based RPG games, World of Warcraft is a great example. In World of Warcraft the best items are you know, held by the raiders. In Diablo the best items are really held by the traders. You know those people that are really good at trading with other people. We have no intention of destroying that design or that group of players.