Blizzard Doesn't Want Diablo 3 Players to Rely on Auction House for Equipment

Diablo 3 senior game designer Andrew Chambers recently said during an "Ask a Dev" session that players acquiring most of their gear through the Auction House is a definite issue. The team wants players to feel like they own their gear, and not merely "renting" the goods. This is why new crafted items are now bound to player accounts.

"Making the new crafted items account bound was done for one very distinct reason: to give players more incentives to play the game rather than the Auction House," added designer Travis Day. "Something we discuss frequently is how the Auction House has impacted the game and how we can refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters."

Day added that Demonic Essence was made account bound to encourage players who wish to create the new items to play the game rather than head into the Auction House and buy all the mats necessary to mass-produce the items.

"For that same reason we wanted the product of the recipes to be account bound as well," Day said. "We want players to not only find or produce their own items more often but also diminish the impact the Auction House has on the game, and we felt like this was a good opportunity to take our first steps in that direction."

Shortly after the launch of Diablo 3, former game director Jay Wilson defended the addition of both in-game gold-based and real-world cash-based auction houses, saying that the core of Diablo is a trading game. In Diablo 2, players bought equipment, but not in a service provided by Blizzard. He also said the best items to acquire will be through trade.

"My general response to [critics of the real money auction house] is if they didn’t think real money was involved in Diablo 2 then they were fooling themselves because it absolutely was," he said. "And it didn’t ruin that game so we don’t believe it will ruin Diablo 3."

But players have reportedly felt different, that they're spending too much time farming the listings for new items rather than playing the game itself. Blizzard obviously agrees in the latest patch, v1.03, which helps players focus on the adventure, not the auction.

"No matter what we do, some players are going to have vastly better gear than others, and that’s probably always going to be the case depending on your level of investment," added Diablo 3 senior technical designer Wyatt Cheng.

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  • master_chen
    Someone still "plays" FIALbo III? Didn't think so.

    Torchlight II-god
  • Oh that's rich, considering that the whole time I was levelling a character every item you would get is 5-8 levels below what you are currently using, so yeah nah I think I'll stick to auction house.
  • tobalaz
    I was scared to death to play D3 with all the issues it had on launch and in the first few months.
    Don't get me wrong, I loved D2, but I didn't want to feel like I was shelling out top dollar for something that sounded like it wasn't even beta worthy.
    Still waiting for an article that says "D3 finally fully playable!"
    Sounds like it might be getting there.
  • LOL the ONLY way I was able to get passed nightmire was to use the auction house for everything. good thing you can sell your gems and turn it into gold. Still though, on inferno I cant even play it unless I willing to pay real money for auction house items that do enough damage....
  • esrever
    2 options to get stuff. Grind or auction house. Since the game is basically built around grinding after you beat the story. Buying things from the auction house just means you get to play less.
  • wavetrex
    Too late b*tches!

    Nobody cares about Diablo3 anymore, losing playerbase to other games like TL2 and PoE daily.
  • master_chen
    10436281 said:
    Too late b*tches!

    Nobody cares about FIALbo III anymore.

  • bluestar2k11
    "players acquiring most of their gear through the Auction House is a definite issue."

    How did they not see this coming?
    What kind of idiots do they have working for them?

    Of course it's a problem, this was seen by most people before the game even launched. If players can buy their gear rather then spend 12 weeks farming it, of course their going to do that, every time! Why do you think MMO's have brokers and their wildly used? People want the easy way, and they'll spend money to get it. Which is why a lot of people don't craft.
  • bebangs
    10 months too late...
  • Kami3k
    Uh, so the whole reason you wanted online only play, is now something you DON'T want?

    Right, just like Tim Cook didn't want to sue Samsung but when Jobs died he did nothing to stop them.

    Blizzard is now suffering what Apple is, the lost of its cult following.