Ever since its introduction, controversy and criticism has surrounded Diablo3’s Auction House(AH). Players have expressed concern over how the AH is adversely affecting the game. Blizzard agrees with this sentiment and announced that come March 18, 2014, the main hub for Diablo 3 gold trading will be shut down. Both the Diablo 3 Gold and Real Money Auction Houses will be closed with no plans to re-open them in the future. While some players laud this decision, some are left wondering how they’ll get all the Diablo 3 items and D3 gold they need.
Easier Diablo 3 gold makes for poor gameplay
Being able to trade Diablo 3 gold and items easily and securely was the initial goal of the Diablo 3 Gold Auction House. For the most part, this was successful. Somewhere down the line however, particularly when the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) came about, things started going downhill.
The focus of the game shifted away from hunting and killing monsters for loot, to Diablo 3 gold trading. Players would spend hours farming D3 gold and items so they can sell them for real cash on the RMAH. Even worse, this system enabled players to just buy their way into the game. Dedication and skill was no longer required. To be good at the game, you just needed a fat wallet to buy Diablo 3 gold and powerful items with. Some members of the community have gone as far as deem use of the Auction House as cheating.
What can happen once the Diablo 3 Gold AH is taken down?
Gameplay issues caused by trading and in-game economy aren’t unique to Diablo 3. In Diablo 2, gold ended up being useless due to its high drop rate. Diablo 3 aimed to fix this by lowering rates, and putting in D3 gold sinks. With Patch 2.0.1 disabling Diablo 3 gold trading among players however, they went back to square one.
With the in-game economy seemingly regressing, many are looking to go back to the old ways: trading forums and third-party websites. Through these trading platforms, players can connect with other players who are looking to trade items. A barter system, similar to what is being used in Diablo 2, will most likely be used due to the trade restriction on Diablo 3 gold.
Barter isn’t the only trade system available now however. Many digital asset trading platforms allow for exchanges using real life currency. Blizzard’s stance on RMT will be put under scrutiny again once players flock to these sites to get their Diablo 3 items.
Making Diablo 3 gold useful again
Amidst all the praise, there are still those who are unhappy with the removal of the AH. Some are skeptical of the security of third-party trading platforms, while others opine that the game should have a built-in means of trade. After all, what’s the use of currency if it’s not useful for Diablo 3 gold trading?
Thankfully, Blizzard announced that players will have access to an in-game trade window. It’s yet unclear however, whether this will allow players to exchange Diablo 3 gold for items, or items for D3 gold. Regardless, an in-game trade system can help prevent the emergency of cheap Diablo 3 gold because of currency devaluation. It will also keep the focus on hunting as the primary way to obtain items.
The Auction House, its existence and eventual closure, is an eye-opener for Blizzard and the Diablo community. Convenience is not always a good thing, especially if it keeps us from knowing the true value of diligence and skill.