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Diablo 3 Auction House to Close

/ Sep 18th, 2013 No Comments

[adsense250itp]In a surprising move, Blizzard announced the permanent removal of the auction house features in Diablo 3.

The change, which is intended to go live on March 18, will come with the new Loot 2.0 system, which will increase quality of drops across the board.

“[…]it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot,” Blizzard said in a blog post on the official company site.

Combined with the improvements to item drops and itemization with the upcoming Loot 2.0 system, the removal of the auction houses will put the PC version of the game more closely in line with the console version. Presumably, Blizzard waited to see how the console versions would handle their economies without the auction houses before making a final decisions on whether to remove them from the PC. With consideration to development and implementation timelines, one could reasonably attribute this change in design philosophy to the replacement of former game director Jay Wilson.

Fan reaction to the closing of the real money auction house (RMAH) has been overwhelmingly positive, with fans across Facebook, Blizzard’s official site, Diablofans.com and the game’s own general chat applauding the removal of “pay-to-win” from the game. The removal of the gold auction house has been met with more divisive opinions, with some cheering for a return to Diablo 2’s system of trading and item acquisition, but others saying that removing the gold auction house is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The latter group worry that this change will lead to higher levels of botting and scamming and a return of the notorious Diablo 2 black market. At this point, all such worries are mere speculation.

Regardless of the long-term implications, this move by Blizzard appears to have already begun to improve the company image. By removing the RMAH, Blizzard has shown that they are willing to learn from their mistakes and even take a cut to their own profits in order to deliver the game experience the fans desire and expect. Hopefully, this change will signify a mending of fences between Blizzard and the more disgruntled fans and will bode well for the future of the game as a whole.

  

Ethan Smith

Ethan Smith

A perpetual over-thinker, Ethan Smith spends all of his free time playing video games like an English professor reads books, writing a secret novel, and trying to actually finish a game of Medieval II: Total War.
Ethan Smith

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