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    posted a message on The Future of Item Selling
    I want everyone to read Nekrodrac's post quoted here.

    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.
    -Nekrodrac

    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.

    And then-
    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.

    So-
    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.

    Peace. :)
    This is the most self-indulgent post, rationalizing the "legitimacy" of cheating, that I've ever read.

    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.

    Source: http://www.diablowiki.net/BlizzCast_Episode_5
    Posted in: News & Announcements
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    posted a message on The Future of Item Selling
    Quote from Nekrodrac
    A shit game probably not. A good one, definitely yes. ;)
    So you're disagreement is either that a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store will not cause at least one of the points in the list below, or that the effect of all 6 of the below points will not cause D3 to be a shit game.

    1) It renders the main point of the game meaningless, that is acquiring and collecting gear.
    2) It trivializes game content as one of the primary reasons to run content is for a chance of getting gear.
    3) It delegitimizes PvP when a major contributor to winning or losing is the gear you've bought.
    4) It destroys fairness because those who are willing to spend more real life money can get more gear in the game.
    5) It destroys the sense of escapism that game should offer.
    6) Some people who do not want to play a game ruined in this way will quit.

    So which is it?

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Isn't a subscription model much more suitable for MMORPGs that have considerable server costs? I really can't see how the expenses involved in D3 would warrant one-
    Your hypocrisy is laughable.

    Firstly, if we use your bad argument that Blizzard can use the money they made from their item and gear selling store to continue to make patches and support the game, why can't that same argument be applied for the money (or excess money) they obtain from a subscription model. The difference here is that making money with a subscription model won't destroy the game.

    Secondly, you claim that a subscription model is associated with high server costs, yet you don't see how the "expenses involved in D3 would warrant one", which would imply that you know the expenses in making D3. But clearly you don't.

    Thirdly, a subscription model is not an all or nothing affair. If $15 a month is excessive for D3, then they could go with, say, $3 a month.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    which is why I deem a simple vanity store to be fair(your favorite word) as a form of constant revenue and why a subscription-based system never crossed my mind.
    We're still on the topic of a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store here, not a vanity store, as this is still a response to Sixen's post. Also, by definition, vanity stores would not be fair since players will have unequal access to vanity content dependent on whether they pay real life money for it our not. More on vanity stores in the next post.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    I don't know, man. I would love to think the poll is representative of what the majority of players feel about the whole thing but I haven't seen anything so far that would suggest that the people who voted constitute a normative sample. I might be totally wrong though and only 400 or so people are going to play D3.
    I don't appreciate your humorless attempt at satire.

    I never claim that the poll is a representative sample, nor do I require it be to make my point. You said that:

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Whether it is worth playing to you is completely irrelevant since my point was that more money can lead to more improvements. And that's pretty much a fact.
    And I agree that in the grand scheme of things, whether the game is worth playing for me is irrelevant, but the poll demonstrates that I'm not the only person who wants no stores at all, and a majority of respondents in this website, which constitutes probably the more devoted Diablo fanbase have the same opinion. A representative sample is not required for these mere inferences that I've made.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Also nobody knows the exact financial model D3 is going to be based on and the level of control the team has over it,
    Why does this matter? How is it relevant to the discussion.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    in the case of imminent failure as you have predicted should item-selling stores form part the game. Best bet is to wait and see I guess.
    A game doesn't have to be a financial failure to be a failure. I will guarantee you that D3 will not have a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store, as Blizzard has always been unambiguously opposed to cheating and buying and selling gear for real world money. Blizzard has no plans to attempt financial suicide by introducing such a store.

    Therefore, my purpose has mainly been to convince you, and others, how idiotic your opinion is.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on The Future of Item Selling
    Quote from Nekrodrac
    As for the possibility of the in-game economy being affected, I'm assuming the range of items offered in the store will be limited.
    Quote from Nekrodrac
    I know that bit was nowhere in your argument but I'm just considering the different aspects of the game that can be hit by the presence of the store.
    It is unclear why you've brought the in-game economy into this as it is not related to any of the points previously discussed.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Other illegal sites can profit from that
    What is the purpose of this statement? Why are you even mentioning other illegal sites, and in what way is it related to the argument you are making?

    Not only is this statement completely irrelevant, it is also misleading. In what way do illegal sites profit from Blizzard running an item and gear selling store? By undercutting them? By selling items not available on the Blizzard store? Surely, these sites would be more profitable if they did not need to undercut or compete with Blizzard, in the instance where Blizzard has no store.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    but my point is that blizzard can earn substantial revenue from selling a good range of gear
    Blizzard is better off earning that revenue in a way that doesn't destroy the game, such as either increasing the price of the game, making more frequent expansions charged at a higher price, or using a subscription model.

    You've also made no account of the fact that Blizzard would lose money from people who quit because their item and gear selling store has destroyed the game.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    so that if ever buying items from the store becomes common-place, there will still be items in the game that will have a high fetching price, thereby not completely invalidating your farming efforts.
    I find your analysis crude and simplistic, to the point of deceiving. Even if I were to accept your idea that only a limited range of items were sold from a Blizzard-run store, those items could then be sold for gold, up to the point where everyone who wants the item has it. This means that even selling only a limited range of items is equivalent to selling gold, and since gold is common currency, any item can be bought with gold at some price. Therefore, selling only a limited range of items is, in effect, selling all items.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    So I'm expecting the economy to adjust by itself.
    Do you even know what this statement means? I have no idea. Your language is imprecise and the meaning is completely ambiguous. Explain this statement, and then justify how you can claim it to be true.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    The way Sixen worded his post made me interpret it as there being a market out there for buying items with real-life money. And these items make it into the game.
    No, those items are *already* in the game. Item selling websites won't be able to poop or clone items into existence.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    With a blizzard hosted store, that market will still exist but this time the game developers will benefit from it.
    If by "benefit from it", you mean destroy the game causing points (1) to (6) in my posts above, then yes.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Of course, there's always the issue of competitive prices but that's a whole another matter.
    Why are you bringing "competitive prices" (whatever this is) into the discussion? In what way does it relate to your points, or the topic?

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    They key difference is that this time, it's in the open and not a backyard deal. If D2 was not broken due to that, I find it an exaggeration to claim that D3 suddenly will be unplayable because of the store.
    You've completely missed the fundamental difference between D2 and a D3 that will hypothetically include a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store. Firstly, whether illegal item selling destroyed or harmed D2 is debatable. Secondly, and more importantly, selling items in D2 is against the ToS.

    This is the fundamental difference. In legalizing this practice by opening a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store, players will be encourage to buy items, instead of getting banned for buying or selling items. The amount of damage that backroom deals did to D2 is thereby directly tied to the effectiveness of Blizzard's efforts to ban these cheaters. In contrast, if D3 had a Blizzard-run item selling store no action will be taken, and as a result it will waste the efforts of collecting gear, ruin the in-game economy, trivialize the game content, undermine fairness, and in general utterly destroy the game.

    Rob Pardo on microtransactions:
    "We've taken the approach that we want players to feel like it's a level playing field once they're in WoW."

    "Outside resources don't play into it - no gold buying, etc. We take a hard line stance against it," he continued. "What you get out of micro-transactions is kind of the same thing and I think our player base would feel betrayed by it. I think that's something else you have to decide on up-front instead of implementing it later."

    When it was suggested micro-transactions might make it easier for casual gamers to maintain pace with more serious players, Pardo said, "They aren't going to be the ones spending the money."

    Source: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/81640-Blizzard-VP-Says-No-Micro-Transactions-for-World-of-Warcraft
    Posted in: News & Announcements
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    posted a message on The Future of Item Selling
    I want everyone to read this (which is why I've emphasized it):

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Because not everyone is willing to consider spending real-life money as one of the variables to their approach to the game. You can see it this way- if you have time to farm and luck is on your side, you don't need to spend money. In the other case, you always have the option to spend cash and save yourself time.
    This is precisely the problem. The utter unfairness and inequality in this is akin to cheating, in the sense that out of game resources are brought into the game, in order to give one an advantage in the game.

    Your argument is absolutely absurd and revolting. By your logic it is acceptable for players to use power-leveling services in WoW, because it is merely spending money to save time. Consider the fact that Blizzard is unambiguously against this, and will ban you if you use a power-leveling service or bot.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    One possible advantage(I'm only speculating) is a faster way to build a PvP character.
    How is this in any way an advantage? The point of PvP is to compete with your character, in the gear that you've acquired, not the gear you've bought. This is the sort of nonsense that makes a mockery of PvP, particularly since a major contributor to winning or losing is gear, or as you suggest, the gear that you have bought.

    Have you even thought this through? This idea is at worse forcing everyone to buy gear with real life money to be even competitive in PvP, and at best, asking casual players to buy gear with real life money before attempting to PvP. Who do you think you're helping here? This is the sort of ill-conceived nonsense that will make PvP have no legitimacy at all.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    You can argue it will be unfair but the counter to this is that you won't get someone in the arena until you feel they are ready, independent of how they acquired their gear.
    So you would have players buy their way to gear, rather than to earn it in-game and on an equal playing field like everyone else? If you or anyone is too lazy to play the game, within the constraints of the game, in order to acquire the gear to effectively PvP, then you do not deserve that gear.

    It is categorically unfair, by all sensible definitions of the word, to the person who has legitimately acquired this gear in-game that another player can simply buy that gear for real life money. In many ways, your position parallels an argument in support of cheating.

    Consider the following idea: There is a "standard gear" arena option. When a game uses this option all classes are put into a standard set of gear, so that gear has no factor in the outcome of the battle.

    Now lets evaluate this idea compared to your idea of selling gear for PvP. In what way is your idea superior to mine? None. You would destroy the essence of PvP competition to give Blizzard some more money, just as quickly as you would trade away the soul of this game for some extra patches.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
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    posted a message on The Future of Item Selling
    Quote from Nekrodrac
    How do the latter come into existence? Magic? I doubt it.
    It's well-known fact that it is usually gnomes and elves at blizzard who work tirelessly through the night, away from human eyes, to make it possible.
    Don't be sarcastic with me. How did you get the idea that I think that games are made and supported by magic? How could you possibly come to this conclusion when I said that raising the price of the game is better than a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store?

    Blizzard already charges for the game. Better that they charge more for the game, or make more expansions that are charged at higher cost, or even use a subscription model like WoW, than to run their own item and gear selling store.

    The reason for this is because, unlike a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store, charging a higher price or even implementing a subscription model doesn't destroy the game. It doesn't cause the following:

    1) It renders the main point of the game meaningless, that is acquiring and collecting gear.
    2) It trivializes game content as one of the primary reasons to run content is for a chance of getting gear.
    3) It delegitimizes PvP when a major contributor to winning or losing is the gear you've bought.
    4) It destroys fairness because those who are willing to spend more real life money can get more gear in the game.
    5) It destroys the sense of escapism that game should offer.
    6) Some people who do not want to play a game ruined in this way will quit.

    A Blizzard-run item and gear selling store will do all of this to the game.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    More money means
    -that blizzard can now buy more candy for the gnomes and elves that are hired from Santa Claus to do the work
    -and has also a stronger incentive to give us 'regular' updates.
    I said it in my first post- this is not an automatic course of action but a probable one.
    I don't appreciate your tasteless sarcasm.

    The effect of what you're suggesting is (1) to (6). What you want is to destroy the core and soul of the Diablo games merely for more patches. Patches are worthless when the game has been mangled beyond repair.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Regarding the store, it's not so much the integrity of the game at stake here but the integrity of the gamer as a person.
    The integrity of the game is destroyed when the core of the game, collecting items, is trivialized and circumvented by people simply buying items for real money.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on The Future of Item Selling
    There is so much nonsense in your post, that I have to point it out line-by-line, so I'll be taking several posts to respond to it fully.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Come on now. Let's be serious for a moment. You want me to say what specifically more money can do to improve D3 with the presence of a store when I have never played the game?
    Yes, I'm goddamn serious. This is what you said:

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Oh the irony.
    You accuse someone of short-sightedness when you've shown that you are clearly unable to factor in how more money *can* lead to the improvement of D3?
    I am not saying it will but you need to be pretty thick-skulled to be unable to grasp such a simple concept.
    And now you're telling me you cannot think of anything to back up that statement? Then why did you say it in the first place?

    I've made the claim that no amount of money can fix D3 if there's a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store. I completely stand by this statement, and I've already given multiple reasons why this is the case.

    1) It renders the main point of the game meaningless, that is acquiring and collecting gear.
    2) It trivializes game content as one of the primary reasons to run content is for a chance of getting gear.
    3) It delegitimizes PvP when a major contributor to winning or losing is the gear you've bought.
    4) It destroys fairness because those who are willing to spend more real life money can get more gear in the game.
    5) It destroys the sense of escapism that game should offer.
    6) Some people who do not want to play a game ruined in this way will quit.

    What the hell are you doing in this thread if you can't even think of a single point to counter my arguments?

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    If that is what it takes to make my argument valid, we'll need to wait a couple of years after release, see how the in-game economy is fairing and then only will we be able to resume this discussion.
    How in any way is the in-game economy related to what we are discussing here? Are you suggesting that how Blizzard uses the profits from their item and gear selling store is dependent on the in-game economy?

    Do you know how much attention Blizzard pays to the in-game economy in WoW? None, because it's a free market.

    You clearly have a problem writing a response that is relevant to the topic being discussed, and I will continue to point this out as I reply to your meandering post.

    Quote from Nekrodrac
    Since this is not a viable option, the next best thing is to be rational about the situation. What does a game need to be better? More frequent patches and content perhaps?
    And here we have the generic response of more patches and content, with absolutely nothing about how patches and more content can possibly fix a Diablo game that has been utterly destroyed by a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store. Be more specific.

    What will they patch in? What sort of content will they make? If your response is going to continue to be essentially "I don't know because the game isn't out yet", as you've done here, then don't even bother to reply. Why would you even make such a strong statement, when you don't know?

    Now let me repeat to you, with examples, why no amount of content and patches will be able to fix D3 if there is a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store.

    Quote from paralleluniverse
    What would they spend that money on? More PvP features such as ladders and tournaments? What legitimacy would this have when a significant contributor to winning or losing is the gear that you and others have bought? More dungeons and quests? What would be the point when you can just buy the gear anyway? To drag the lore out beyond the stories in the games already planned? At this point, D3 would have lost all legitimacy as a game and more importantly, as a form of escapism, because the items and gear you have can be determined by how much real life money you are willing to spend. It won't be a form of escapism, because at every frame we will be reminded that the items and gear of other players have been bought with real life money.
    I've looked at the last time you quoted this statement, and I noticed that you still have not given a single counter to it. These are examples of things that can be patched in. And I've shown why it doesn't matter: because there's no point in patching a game destroyed by a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store.

    You stated that D2 is stale due to a lack of patches. The game is better off being stale than utterly destroyed by a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store. Better the game be stale, than to let players buy their way to gear, and thereby destroying one of the most important facets of the Diablo games, the items.

    Stop saying more money from a Blizzard-run item and gear selling store is good for the game because Blizzard can use the money to make patches and content, unless you can actually back this up with something specific. Then I can tell you how delusional your idea is, because whatever is it that you think can be patched in won't matter when the core of the Diablo games is utterly trivialized, and by extension, ruined.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
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