Why the auction house might "break" the balance in Diablo 3
Items don't disappear, because none of them bind to your character. By that notion they just change their owner, but stay in the game. Which results in the market being swamped with items.
As I've mentioned in my previous Diablo 3 Review, I have some doubts concerning the auction house.
At first I didn’t think much about it, well at least not about the auction house itself. Everyone (me included) seemed to focus on the real-money aspect, instead of thinking what an auction house might do to the old Diablo formula.
It changes how we can get our gear and could change our grinding behavior altogether. You may use the auction house quite frequently; since it’s much easier to buy the item you need rather than waiting for it to drop. Getting a legendary item in a dungeon becomes a secondary option. The main objective is to get gold in order to spend it.
That in it wouldn’t be necessarily bad, but different, everyone has their own opinion on the matter of course, but it’s at least something that works in its own way, right? Well, not exactly.
Gear and especially gems are cheap, so cheap in fact that it has the potential to “break” the balance in Diablo 3. The problem is that these already cheap items will get even cheaper because of the flawed item system. Let me explain:
When I first thought of an auction house in Diablo 3, World of Warcraft obviously came to my mind. And there it works. So what’s the big problem with Diablo 3 having one? Pretty simple actually. This.
In WoW, good equipment usually binds to your character, whenever you pick it up or equip it. That’s exactly what Diablo 3 needs, gear that binds to your character when he or she equips it. Why? Because all these legendary items in Diablo 3, rarely get sold to an in-game merchant but get traded in the auction house. These items stay in the game and just switch their owner. Thus they will only increase in quantity. It’s basic economics. The more items there are the less they cost. Sure there is a high demand for certain items, but these will eventually fall in price if they don’t decrease in quantity.
It’s much worse with gems. In fact, it costs more gold, time, and recipes to make a good gem rather than just buying it for cheap. These gems can also be un-socketed, so again, they don’t disappear they simply change their owner.
Also, in comparison to the auction house of WoW, Diablo 3 has split their bidders into fewer regions. Thus the increase in items is much stronger.
Diablo 3 has an unsteady difficulty, at first it’s rather easy and later on, starting nightmare, thinks can get quite hard when you meet a powerful unique or elite. But if these prices in the auction house keep on falling so much, everything will become a cake-walk!
A few things you could argue against my theory,
1. “Items increase but so are the players!”
True, for every legendary, 20 new people might start to play the game. However, this increase in players will most likely dwindle over time and the quantity of the items, is not. But yes, the new players will surely lessen the “impact” at first.
2. “The new real-money auction house will split the buyers!”
Again, true. Some people are probably just waiting until they can relief their wallet from all the money they are carrying. But still, it’s the same as with the second argument. It buys time, nothing more.
3. “You talk about economics, but fail to see that these prices will balance themselves out, since nobody will sell a legendary for 1000 gold!”
Yes, that is also a valid argument and my hope concerning this topic. At some point people won’t care for selling a good item anymore, because it’s not even worth the effort. Thus the growing numbers of players will outnumber the cheap items. The only problem I have with this is that at that point, a lot of people will already have their gaming experience ruined because they bought their items already for cheap.
The best solution would probably be not to use the auction house at all, but that is easier said than done, when every one of your friends is already doing it. Peer pressure is a bitch.
I don’t want to try to cause panic or be all pretentious with this... What I want is to hear your thoughts on the matter, since it has been on my mind for the past few days now. Maybe there are some things I failed to see or there is something essentially wrong with my theory? But for now, thanks for reading my short rant on the auction house of Diablo 3.
my answer... try it once, and thats all, just play the game...
I am in yes and no on the AH, its yes because i am glad when it comes to Diablo 3, its no WoW, not everyone has the same gear, they differ. Its no because well, you highlight all of it there XDD
I'm with DespoticNewt here. Once we see the PvP Arenas, we're fucked.
I don't think were going to see any extreme issues with the auction house IMO. I rather enjoy the way it functions. Makes it so you can always make forward progress, you can search for items, craft items or grind gold and AHable items. I love it.
The only time I"ll worry about it affecting/breaking the game balance is when they finally introduce the PvP arenas. I get far more satisfaction out of gaining loot and slowly building my character that way instead of just buying it off the AH from someone who plays the game 20x more than I do.
Blizzards view on binded items. Quote taken from "Bashiok" on the official Blizzard forums in April 2011.
"Yeah, we realized that binding is kind of a crappy way to pull items out of the economy. If you say that the average player produces 100 items an hour and maybe gets 1 upgrade in that time, then binding at best can account for removing 1% of items from the economy. And that's being very generous at high levels.
Binding isn't really substantial in making a viable economy, but it is really good at establishing item prestige. Which is how it's used in WoW.
We expect salvaging to be compelling enough to remove a good percentage of the most valuable items from the economy. High end components obtained from salvaging high end items are needed for high end crafting and enhancement.
We're not promising anything on patch content, but we also feel that keeping up on introducing new items consistently will keep it from being possible for a glut of the best items from building as 'the best' can be a constantly moving target. "
I didn't consider the salvage mechanic of the game (something I do quite frequently). But time will tell how things play out.
I will say this much, it saves me the trouble of having my inventory space getting wasted space on items that I really REALLY do not need. :/
The D3 auction house isn't design for any one to make money hell its designed against the seller since you can sell at a maximum 10$ per item, you can only have 200$ bucks in your account and your only allow to sell 10 items at a time. All it really is a counter to the black market that was in D2, even though you can still have a black market in D3 but the auction house provides a safer way of selling and buying in game items and the plus side for Blizzard to be a middle man to tax 15% of every transaction. Anyways I don,t really believe that it would break the balance its design to be against the seller.
Almost as if its different people with different opinions.
Diablo 3 is not an MMO.
>Most people complain about D3 becoming more like WoW
>They are now begging for item binds.
I actually play on hardcore, and there is a pretty *big* item sink there. We might wind up with a stable HC economy and and wild SC economy soon ;) It's possible that they could also implement something really cool from grinding up legendaries.
I completely agree with item binding (I figured this would be something they'd implement from the beginning), although I think it might be more practical to have items bind to account instead of binding to a specific character. While that might stifle demand a hair it likely wouldn't be too big of an issue since an awesomely-rolled rare (or near-perfect legendary) might not necessarily be ideal across all of your classes.
Who cares about things like "balance" and "challenge?" It's all about making that dolla-dolla bill y'all! *COUGH* *COUGH* *HACK*
....sorry....*gasp*...I think I had a little Bobby Kotick stuck in my throat....
I personally hate it, defeats the purpose of farming items.
I think the price for legendaries will deflate sure. But I think what you are forgetting is the *massive* scarcity of the truly rare items. A rare item with an *ideal* roll is always going to be massively scarce. I think the intense scarcity of the *best* items are going to keep the economy under control.
You are right though, legendaries are going to *really* deflate unless blizz does something about them.
I don't really think the Auction House will break the game balance, especially since the game was designed with that in mind, if it was simply tacked on it would be a whole other story. Blizzard is betting really hard in the Real Money Auction House, so they better have their bases covered.
I remember reading a Blizzard post saying that you can't post an item you just bought into the Auction House until a certain amount of time has passed, but it might be only for the Real Money AH, I have a feeling lots of those items will just go into the grinder/vendor instead of going back to be auctioned .
About binding items, they said it will happen with *some* items in the game. I don't like the idea of binding items on Diablo, it kills part of the social aspect of "Dude, I just found this awesome Barbarian Belt that has a bajillion STR, you want the one I had before?"
Personally, I don't even use the AH, I hated the way it presents the items, I just salvage most of my magic items and play with stuff I find and stuff friends find.
All valid points. Luckily for me, being a fan since the first game, I can't bring myself to use the auction house since I'm so used to just doing the work.
If binding an item like in WoW were to be implemented, that could increase the value of the item up a notch.
Speaking of which, I wonder if Blizz will patch the game to make Essences and Gems be ready for selling again?