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Blizzard to close Diablo III Auction House

Blizzard to close Diablo III Auction House

Diablo III's controversial Auction House, where items can be traded for in-game currency or real-world money, is to be closed down for good in March 2014.

Blizzard has announced it is withdrawing from its real-money Auction House service, and will be closing down Diablo III's most controversial feature in March next year.

The Auction House has been controversial since its announcement back in August 2011: while the service, like those available for rival games including World of Warcraft, can be used to trade items for in-game currency and vice-versa, Blizzard launched a secondary service which would allow players to trade in-game items for cold, hard, real-world cash.

Its critics claimed it was another instance of the 'pay to win' mentality which plagues free-to-play (FTP) titles: players who couldn't be bothered putting in the hours to find the best loot could simply pony up some cash and kit their character out in total finery. Some countries even rejected the system outright: Blizzard was forced to remove the real-money Auction House from the South Korean version of Diablo III due to the country's strict anti-gambling legislations.

The attraction to Blizzard was obvious: for each real-money sale that took place on the Auction House, the company skimmed 15 per cent off the top - and, considering that the items themselves were simply zeroes and ones the company had constructed anyway, that was pretty much pure profit.

Following the game's launch, however, the real-money Auction House continued to attract criticism with Jay Wilson, who had worked as the director of Diablo III at Blizzard, even stating that it 'really hurt' the game and that Blizzard would 'turn it off if we could.'

Well, it seems that Blizzard can turn it off - and intends to do just that. In a video released to fans, Blizzard's Josh Mosqueira admitted that the real-money Auction House was a mistake. 'At the core of the Diablo experience is a promise of killing monsters, killing demons, for the promise of finding those epic items,' he explained. 'The Auction Houses made that experience way too convenient and really short-circuited our core reward loop.'

As a result, the Auction House is being shut down - but those who use their talents in the game to supplement their income with a little rare item trading have until March 2014 to sell off their inventories, after which the system will be closed down for good.

The announcement video, with Josh Mosqueira and production director John Hight, is reproduced below.

30 Comments

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GuilleAcoustic 18th September 2013, 11:37 Quote
Finally !
Draksis 18th September 2013, 11:42 Quote
I assume the normal AH will stay?
Gareth Halfacree 18th September 2013, 11:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draksis
I assume the normal AH will stay?
No: both the real-money and in-game Auction Houses are to close.
rollo 18th September 2013, 11:48 Quote
Not sure i agree with this personally. Shutting down the ah means new players in inferno are gonna struggle majorly. Never used real money ah but sold plenty on other ah.
Harlequin 18th September 2013, 11:48 Quote
quite likely this will remove the `allways on` part of D3 for PC as well.
ZeDestructor 18th September 2013, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
quite likely this will remove the `allways on` part of D3 for PC as well.

They've said they won't

ARGH!!!!

I'm in Australia... and the lag.. its bad!
GuilleAcoustic 18th September 2013, 11:58 Quote
that would be nice. I'd also like that characters could be less stuff dependant. Being able to choose where we place our point when lvl up would be awesome.

Also, they must completly rewrite the magic item attributes randomiser. +200 str on a wand or +200 int on a warrior only weapon is ridiculious.
barny2767 18th September 2013, 12:24 Quote
Woop Woop might buy the game again or try and get my ban taken off (I was band for boting but hadn't). This game may turn around now and be more fun to play, although the people that have 1,000billion gold will now be trying there hardest to sell as much as possible and the Chinese botters will have to find another job for there D3 bot farms. I did spend some time on bot sites after being band to see what people where doing and some people said there buying 500 keys so they can run 100 instances of the game and swap account 5 times a day to reduce the risk od being caught and seeing this just made me not want to play the game again.
rollo 18th September 2013, 12:43 Quote
Blizzard to remove the always online requirement would actually have to give us the AI files and a few other things as they are not stored locally on your pc. 3-4gb of data is missing acording to people on diablofans who have done the actual research.

D3 for me was always awesome co op not sure how much fun it would be solo.
Harlequin 18th September 2013, 12:53 Quote
xbox and ps3 have them on disk already :(
LordPyrinc 18th September 2013, 13:07 Quote
The Auction House really ruined the game compared to the previous titles in the series. It became both too easy and necessary to use the AH for item mining. There likely isn't a single item on my Inferno level monk that I didn't purchase through the gold AH. I had to in order to survive. That really sapped the fun out of the game. Instead of running quests for better items, I was simply doing gold runs in order to buy better items. It really took the fun out of discovering really good items on your own.

Too little too late in my opinion. I still don't see getting back into the game now that the damage has already been done, even with the planned expansion on the horizon.
Draksis 18th September 2013, 13:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
No: both the real-money and in-game Auction Houses are to close.

YES! Now I'm interested in playing the game again Will actually find like D2 for starters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic

Also, they must completly rewrite the magic item attributes randomiser. +200 str on a wand or +200 int on a warrior only weapon is ridiculious.

I haven't played D2 in ages, but seem to remember it was like that back then. Stupid I agree, but I suppose they keep it like that to make the randomiser truly random. Down to personal choice I guess.

/2cents
Yslen 18th September 2013, 13:25 Quote
I doubt this is going to help the game, unless they plan on increasing loop drop rates too. I never had an issue with other players buying and selling items, it was the stupidly low chance of finding anything good by actually playing the game that ruined it.

Of course, all the loot in D3 is mind-numbingly boring, so it's a moot point anyway.
fix-the-spade 18th September 2013, 13:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor

They've said they won't
A week ago they were insisting that the Auction Houses were in it for the long haul as well.

RMAH and it's attendant DRM have cost Activision Blizzard a lot of money, since the PS3 version is actually working out fine without either, maybe their last desperation move to get some money of the PC version will be to kill the DRM too.

Live in hope.
Bonedoctor 18th September 2013, 13:47 Quote
Already sold the game for real money in real world. Too little too late is right.
ZeDestructor 18th September 2013, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen
I doubt this is going to help the game, unless they plan on increasing loop drop rates too. I never had an issue with other players buying and selling items, it was the stupidly low chance of finding anything good by actually playing the game that ruined it.

Of course, all the loot in D3 is mind-numbingly boring, so it's a moot point anyway.

From what I've read around various places, the drop rates will be raised accordingly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fix-the-spade
A week ago they were insisting that the Auction Houses were in it for the long haul as well.

RMAH and it's attendant DRM have cost Activision Blizzard a lot of money, since the PS3 version is actually working out fine without either, maybe their last desperation move to get some money of the PC version will be to kill the DRM too.

Live in hope.

Let us hope indeed
Krazeh 18th September 2013, 15:15 Quote
The whole loot system is getting overhauled prior to the AH being shut down. As I understand it there will be fewer drops but the drops will be higher quality. Items should also have a primary stat that is relevant to the class they'll be used by. Blizz will also be adding a reforger that will allow you to change one stat on an item.
Corky42 18th September 2013, 16:45 Quote
Whats the betting that it will still be plagued by bots and people running around with uber gear. Just because they are closing down there own AH does not mean trading in items for real money will stop, it will just hand more $ to third party web sites that sell items and in game gold.
play_boy_2000 18th September 2013, 16:58 Quote
I gave up on d3 when I had to buy virtually everything just to make it to inferno act 2, which I couldn't get past. I then proceed to make another character and started out using the auction house right away; it got boring super quick.
t5kcannon 18th September 2013, 17:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordPyrinc
The Auction House really ruined the game compared to the previous titles in the series. It became both too easy and necessary to use the AH for item mining. There likely isn't a single item on my Inferno level monk that I didn't purchase through the gold AH. I had to in order to survive. That really sapped the fun out of the game. Instead of running quests for better items, I was simply doing gold runs in order to buy better items. It really took the fun out of discovering really good items on your own.

Too little too late in my opinion. I still don't see getting back into the game now that the damage has already been done, even with the planned expansion on the horizon.

That's exactly how I felt. As a result, I quit D3. The real money AH ruined the game for me.
digitaldunc 18th September 2013, 19:14 Quote
Good.

This combined with the itemisation fixes they promised may tempt me back.

Apart from the flaws discussed ad nauseum, I thought D3 had the promise of a pretty decent game.
Digi 18th September 2013, 20:17 Quote
This will be implemented alongside ''Loot 2.0'' which the console version has already got. This includes much better gear with persistent (recurring) stats (a la D2's uniques) and the ability to change randomised stats with a chance to give a better stat for your char on whatever piece it is.

This is going to be great. Although, basically, it will be liked a direct gfx update of D2 now without the stats and skills flexibility. This is not necessarily bad, but it remains to be seen if it will be fun.
Anfield 19th September 2013, 00:21 Quote
Cheating (even in a legalized form) ruins games, good to see Blizzard finally has seen the light, now if only the rest of the industry followed their example.
ZeDestructor 19th September 2013, 04:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digi
This is going to be great. Although, basically, it will be liked a direct gfx update of D2 now without the stats and skills flexibility. This is not necessarily bad, but it remains to be seen if it will be fun.

It's the opposite actually: D3 has much more flexible skillsets in the sense that you can change out your skillsets anytime you want vs D2's very persistent point-based, non-resettable system. If anything, this just makes D3 character-building less involving...

Honestly, all I wanted from D3 was D2, with 2012 graphics... This was the case for most oldtimers who stayed around since Diablo 1 as well...
SchizoFrog 19th September 2013, 05:47 Quote
The problem with these games is that the game side of things are based on an internet gaming business model that doesn't exist any more (Diablo II came out 13 years ago) and updating the dynamics to work as a modern day online game breaks the original concept of the game.
It's like having the very best online racing game ever and then adding in upgrades that can be applied mid race via a pit stop for things like over taking, clean laps or other various achievements, while then adding in a real money pit stop feature for advantages such as double speed boosters, perfect grip tires that keep your car on the track no matter what... ect. The point is that the achievement upgrades don't compete with the paid for upgrades and the paid for upgrades completely remove the competitive nature of the game.
Draksis 19th September 2013, 08:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor

Honestly, all I wanted from D3 was D2, with 2012 graphics... This was the case for most oldtimers who stayed around since Diablo 1 as well...

+1.

Mentioning D1 made me remember my various saved characters, with piles of gold all over town, cause back then up to 5000 gold (correct?) took one inventory block! :)
Gareth Halfacree 19th September 2013, 08:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draksis
Mentioning D1 made me remember my various saved characters, with piles of gold all over town, cause back then up to 5000 gold (correct?) took one inventory block! :)
Remember the unofficial third-party expansion? Added a monk character, and - more importantly - the ability to run. Revolutionised the game!
GuilleAcoustic 19th September 2013, 10:48 Quote
Probleme with D3 is that damages is based on a single main carateristic (DEX for Monk, INT for Wiz, etc.), but worse the crit chance + % crit dmg is far superior. This leave almost a single build viable for ALL classes : MAX main carac + atk speed + crit chance + crit damage !

I had great fun in D2 playing with my trap specialised assassin, my spear rogue or my curse / bone / morbid explosion necro. With D3 you finally end up with the same stuff and skill + rune setting than the other (if you want to play in high MP level)
ZeDestructor 19th September 2013, 11:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draksis
+1.

Mentioning D1 made me remember my various saved characters, with piles of gold all over town, cause back then up to 5000 gold (correct?) took one inventory block! :)

5k gold indeed...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Remember the unofficial third-party expansion? Added a monk character, and - more importantly - the ability to run. Revolutionised the game!

Thanks to you two, I'm now setting up a Windows XP VM just for Diablo/Diablo 2......
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Probleme with D3 is that damages is based on a single main carateristic (DEX for Monk, INT for Wiz, etc.), but worse the crit chance + % crit dmg is far superior. This leave almost a single build viable for ALL classes : MAX main carac + atk speed + crit chance + crit damage !

I had great fun in D2 playing with my trap specialised assassin, my spear rogue or my curse / bone / morbid explosion necro. With D3 you finally end up with the same stuff and skill + rune setting than the other (if you want to play in high MP level)

I forgot about that... Then again, in Diablo 2, the way to do it was just enough strength and dex to hold your items, then just spam vitality (health) and some into energy (mana) if you really had a rough time getting items that increased your mana pool...
GuilleAcoustic 19th September 2013, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Thanks to you two, I'm now setting up a Windows XP VM just for Diablo/Diablo 2......

D2 is great fun, I still play it :D ! That's prolly the only game I play that is not Linux native.
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