The Diablo 3 Podcast #112: The Auction House Shutdown


Flux, JrMint, and Xanth discuss the surprise announcement that the Diablo 3 Auction House is shutting down in a few months. Loot 2.0 and everyone going self found, D3 console test bed, economic shifts, BoA everything, the transition to RoS, and why gold will probably be worthless in the future?

  • 0:30 — Intro, Auction House topics, and the new Diablo III community manager that was almost Xanth.

  • 2:50 — Auction House shutting down 18 March, 2014. Did they finally give up on implementing commas and scrap the whole system? First impressions from JrMint and Xanth include considerable surprise.
  • 7:15 — What will the trolls say now, that they can’t blame all of Diablo III’s problems on the RMAH?
  • 11:00 — Transition to RoS. New Loot 2.0 has to be in place when they shut down the AH since the current game economy doesn’t adequately support self finding. Will we see the expansion around March or April? Or the D3C version of Loot 2.0 for months and months until the eventual expansion?
  • 12:50 — Can we transfer characters and gear to the new system? Or do we need to start fresh, like players now into the Diablo III console? Will gold have value when the AH is gone? Many players now have far more gold than they’d ever need for in-game expenses.
  • 16:00 — JrMint describes the Diablo III Console economy and why he doesn’t miss the AH at all. Portent of things to come in Diablo III PC version?
  • 21:00 — Auction House was a vast improvement over WUG in D2. Can Diablo III improve trading over what D2 offered, even without an AH? JrMint rhapsodizes over the joys of self found upgrades. Will players do that, or run to third party black markets once the AH is gone?
  • 29:00 — Gold in Diablo III today has some in-game use, but primarily it’s a material you use in the Auction House. If the top gear in RoS, and everything crafted or Mystic-fied becomes BoA, what value or utility would gold have?
  • 33:30 — What to do with gold now? Horde it and hope it’s got some use? Buy mats or gems? Spend it on upgrades to level faster, since we know experience will carry over into Paragon 2.0 and RoS? Gold should have value; not just be something shiny you use to decorate the ground in Tristram.
  • 38:20 — Auction House made it easy to assemble specialized gear for certain builds. If you needed 3 specific legendary items with the precise skill bonuses, which you’d never find yourself. Is this ruined by no-AH? Third party sites and trading forums made mandatory? New B.net features coming at Blizzcon. How about an “Inspect” gear where each person can put their top 5 items for trade so anyone can view them?
  • 43:30 — Shed a tear for the Ironborn. Selfounders are out of business now that everyone is Ironborn? If the game is tuned for self finding, has Blizzard killed the Ironborn with kindness?
  • 46:10 — Blizzard’s long term financial outlook. RMAH was set to provide them with ongoing income from Diablo III that they didn’t see with D2. What will replace that? DLC? Item shop selling special gear or transmog looks? Could D3 go F2P at some point in the future with an item shop or monthly fee for extra services, more stash space, etc?
  • 54:20 — What to do during the last five months of the Auction House? How to prepare for the transition? Will all AH prices fall or rise over time? Will gems and other in-game expenses be lowered? They are cheaper on the console, and only 2 gems required for each level up all the way to Marquise.

The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in DiabloWiki.net provides download links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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  1. “everyone going self found”

    Trading will still be possible. 🙂

    • For how long? At this point, they might just make take away all P2P trading, or make everything BoA. There might be a lot more BoA in RoS, but if it’s non-zero, d2jsp is still going to make a mint. If they’re serious about their new-found “virginity,” they have to disable trading, period. No trade windows, no public re-drops, nada. After yesterday, I think they’re considering it. The only half-measure that might actually work is game-bound gear; if you find a Manticore in a game, you can trade it w/ those in your current game, but as soon as you leave the game, the Core becomes BoA. This system exists in WoW, and it actually works pretty well.

  2. So console really was a testbed for DIII:RoS and incoming features…

    • So it was said on one of the recent console podcasts. People have been saying that D3C was the beta for the console. Actually, you could more reasonably argue that the console was the beta for Loot 2.0 and RoS…

      • Flux, when you first saw the news that the AH are getting shut down did you think that you were dreaming and went back to sleep?

        Be honest

        • I had to run some errands and do real life things after I got up, before I got on computer and saw the news, so no. But I was certainly surprised by the announcement. If it had been a dream it would have been more of a nightmare, since I like the AH and would have had no problem with it continuing. I just thought we’d get changes in RoS to make most of the top gear BoA, so the AH would have been mostly a venue for selling/obtaining low/mid gear, and materials.

      • For haters left ‘colour controversy’ and ‘always on DRM’.

    • If true, it was a really short test though for such a huge change.

      Also, would that be a bad thing?

  3. There will be gold sinks in RoS so there will be a use for gold, I dont think it will be useless and I really hope they will make all gold bind on account to prevent gold selling.
    Gold sinks would be the 3 artisans – blacksmith crafting, jeweler gem crafting and mystic enchant / item reroll and the other thing datamined that you did not mention on the podcast is the gheed gambling machine – I am guessing the gheed gambling would be back and would be a very big gold sink.

  4. 18 minutes totally agree. I hope the devs hear you guys out on that. The item hunt is a big part of the end game. They need to tier off their legendary’s like in d2 into 3 tiers, the highest tier being on the rarity of perhaps a Zod rune d2 version of tyraels might.
    Also on specific legendary’s for making fine tuned builds working and their rarity such as finding a skull grasp with 6 crit and -5 fury to hota, I agree that it would pose a problem if there wasn’t some way to trade of these items. I could see them using the match making system we have now to match people up in trade only games where 10 or 20 people could join at once. I’d also be ok with some kind of “barter-system” where people can post their windforce and they list what they would take for it such as a grandfather and it matches up and finds a person with a grandfather who would also take a windforce or something.

  5. “7:15 — What will the trolls say now, that they can’t blame all of Diablo III’s problems on the RMAH?”

    This is exactly what my first thought upon hearing the news was.

    • I hope that they’ll turn their attention to the bad itemization which was the root cause of the AH failures in the first place.

      • The AH (or any effortless trading system really) would destroy the endgame item hunt even if the itemization and drop chances would be amazing. The only solution is to place restriction on trading. Bartering does that. There are probably other solutions as well, but any good one would have included some kind restriction anyway.

    • That was kind of a troll statement to be honest it’s like saying if all cats are animals then all animals are cats so if only trolls complained about the AH then complaining at all automatically makes you a troll? the AH is legitimately an issue and a valid one to complain about so you’re grouping any of us that complained about the AH as a troll which is illogical.

      • Not everyone who dislikes the AH is a troll, but if you’ve ever read comments on B.net, or especially on general gaming sites there’s always someone (a troll) with a reflexive “D3 sux RMAH!” mouth fart.

  6. I don’t think that Blizzard can do anything to edit gold because people played real money (through the RMAH or other unsavory sources) to get large amounts and there would most likely be some sort of possible infringement on rights/law if they just wiped out your gold reserves one day. I don’t have anything to offer as to what they could do instead besides just letting people sit on it and perhaps not caring about what the state of the economy/gold looks like in non-ladder anyway, but I guess we’ll see.

    Like RPGGuy mentioned above, we still don’t know how the other integrated systems will work specifically in RoS, so they could very well create a new balance between how much gold drops and how much gold is spent on average per day by a player in game. If you feel the need to gamble, craft, transmog, mystically modify your gear, craft gems, and then there’s perhaps also some other reagents or things you might need to buy to get access to portals for end game content or something, that represents a LOT of gold sinks and if gold isn’t incoming fast enough to support those needs, then you will actually be broke quite a bit and gold WILL have value then because demand will trump supply.

    It’s all up to Blizzard to tune this correctly. We’ll see…

    But no matter what, no AH will present more pros than it does cons, so I think despite our wariness towards the return of WUG and frustrating trade chats, we should look optimistically towards an era where we won’t even need to focus heavily on getting rid of what we have because we’ll be enjoying what we find and needing it plus, again, the future of improved social features that could be coming to alleviate some of those pains.

    • I’m pretty sure that there is no infringement on law for wiping out everyone’s gold. The whole point of the contract that everyone had to agree to on day 1 to start playing basically said that Blizzard has the right to do whatever it wants to the game and its systems, and that if players buy items with in-game currency or real money, that this does not stop Blizzard from changing things and/or invalidating old purchases with game updates.

      That said, I doubt Blizzard would just wipe people’s gold, because that would piss players off and they might stop playing. This would be very bad for Blizzard, but I don’t think that in and of itself it would be illegal for Blizzard to do so.

      For a similar idea, Wizards of the Coast keeps up a list of cards that they will not reprint called the Reserved List, theoretically so that old collectors will not have to fear that their valuable cards will lose value. Wizards has said many times that they will not abolish the Reserved List, because they feel that it is a promise they have made to their players and they do not feel comfortable breaking promises, as it sets a dangerous precedent. That said, if they decided to break the promise and abolish the Reserved List, there is nothing illegal about doing so and reprinting old, valuable cards, no matter how hard old collectors would rage about their $1000 cards being reduced to $50.

      In the same way, I doubt that Blizzard would just dump everyone’s gold, since it would enrage the player base, but I’m pretty sure that they are legally allowed to edit gold and gear. After all, Blizzard can ‘give back’ gold and items lost to Account Hacks, so this is really just editing items and gold ‘pro-players’, rather than ‘anti-players’.

  7. When I got that email my first thought was “oh great my blizzard account was hacked again.” I mean, how is it since the new game director Josh has come on, they basically took out everything Jay Wilson had done? I’m not trying to be a fan boy and bury Jay or say Josh is Jesus, but this is a huge feature that they’re basically saying didn’t work. I was shocked and in still shocked. I’m sure they’ll have something in place to help with trades.

  8. What other features that Jay implemented is Josh going to just totally remove from the game? Does that make the awkward walking down the hallway moment any more awkward?

  9. When I first checked my email from Blizzard and saw the Auction House was closing my first thought was “oh great my account has been hacked again.” How many more features is Josh going to just slash and destroy that Jay had put in the game? Does that make the awkward walking down the same hallway in Blizzard offices anymore awkward for Josh and Jay? Can’t believe they’re closing it down, but I’m sure they’ll have some new system to help with trading and not just rely on spamming chat rooms and forums.

  10. I love these Podcasts. But…

    Please Flux stop the hate on WoW:MoP. Cataclysm was a worse expansion, and all that WoW subscription money helps Blizzard make more games. Lastly the brewmaster was part of Warcraft 3, pandas are part of the lore. DEAL WITH IT, and let it go.

    • Not only that, I’ve had way more fun in MoP than D3. If anything, they’re making WoW combat more and more like Diablo combat (constantly moving, massive AoE, match making short runs, even raids). Yes, there are a lot of problems in WoW, mainly goofy, silly time stretchers to keep you subscribing, and perfectly tailored, non-random gear, w/ very linear, boring stat progressions. But Diablo went the opposite way (purely random gear, super fast progression via AH) and just killed their own golden goose.

      But I think the biggest thing I like about WoW is that there is stuff to DO w/ the gear you can get. The gear isn’t the end game, and the end game has all kinds of stuff to do (although not as much there could be). These guys are hamstringing themselves and the game by focusing solely on the loot, and not on the stuff you can do w/ the loot. The lack of PvP is incredibly heart breaking; the most obvious and “easiest” end game option to crank out w/ little effort, and almost no extra art assets (which are usually the most time consuming to develop).

      • You guys misinterpret my opinion on the quality of WoW expansions. I don’t have one. Have never played the game, don’t follow it, don’t like or dislike anything about it. Pandaland is just a punchline reference, like sparklepony or too colorful or “everyone dies in Game of Thrones” or whatever.

        As with most references, they’re funny when they’re not about you.

  11. Completely agree that we now have an approximate release date for the pre-expansion patch. However I would not be shocked if we get the D3C version of Loot 2.0 for as long as two or three months before the expansion comes out.

  12. It is sad when people think that BoA will still exist with this change. Without an AH BoA should not exist at all. Assuming they have a decently robust trade window, 3rd party sites are fine to trade on, or even the D3 forums themselves.

    It isn’t hard to design a good trade system, and it is quite easy to sell your stuff or trade it on forums. If people don’t want to use forums, cry me a river, welcome to 2013.

    • the problem with that is Blizzard will probably still want to protect their customers from getting scammed. BoA pretty much stops the effectiveness of the scammers. We’ll see what Blizz wants to do. Hopefully all this info comes out at Blizzcon.

  13. I hope they buff the in-game vendors (and maybe add gamblers?!). I sorely miss stopping by vendors and checking over their wares to see if they have anything good.

  14. I think we are missing some critical information about loot 2.0. My prediction is that it is exactly same as in console, making all old items look bad. This patch happens same time as AH shutdown or week later.

  15. I think they shall do a soft economy reset. Everyone shall keep their current items but the post loot 2.0 items shall be so good that our old items shall become worthless. Act 5 monsters shall be balanced around the new items, people with old gear shall be slaughtered. It does basically the same thing as an item wipe but without the drama that would create. Without an AH is that ability to change an affix of an item extremely important, it is quite impossible that an item with all needed affixes and good rolls shall be self found, this shall be the big gold sink. I agree with the suggestion of banning trade altogether but that might go to far for many people.

  16. >>Spend it on upgrades to level faster, since we know experience will carry over
    >>into Paragon 2.0 and RoS?

    doesn’t carry over to ladder though, does it? i see people farming exp now for the expansion but if you’re gonna play ladder it’s pointless, cause it will only be shared between non-ladder chars.

    • Some people won’t play ladder. At least at the beginning. And they said that they’re thinking about moving ladder exp to non-ladder sharagon.

  17. One info about removing AH and mats cost go up. Maybe I’ll get rich after all 🙂 (greedy smile)

  18. I like the podcast a lot, but I cant figure out why you guys, when talking about big upcoming changes like the removal of AH, keeps assuming that everything else is going to stay the same.

    Take the issue of gold going useless for example. You are basing that on the current economy staying the same. Looking at the current economy, the majority of money that you make comes out of the auction house, or at least 50%. With that gone, the only money you will get is the money you pick up from the ground. Also, you are assuming that all the prices will stay the same. What if one enchantment would cost, let’s say, 10 million gold and 15 brimstones. What if crafting prices went up too, and they introduce a new tier of gems that will cost 120 millions to craft. Add gambling to that, and the new transmogrify feature. There is no way in hell that you will be able to afford all that with only the gold that you will find on the ground. Blizzard might even tune down gold drops if necessary.

    The reason gold was useless in d2 was because the only gold sink in the game was gambling, and that was a pretty crappy gold sink if you ask me. Well that and reviving your god damn mercenary all the time.

    The only issue is what will happen with the money players already have. When resetting an economy like this, keeping all your gold could be a problem.

    I don’t say that gold will be very valuable, you might be right. But to just assume that it wont be valuable is quite foolish when everything is a subject of change. What I mean, is that it would be more fun to listen to you guys discussing how they might tune the economy and prices to make gold valuable rather than just “Everyone, will run around with 5 billion gold, with nothing to spend it on, and that’s it, let’s move on”

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  19. Wow… you guys are just going to be destroyed without the AH. I never played PC D3, but I played a TON of D2LOD. So that’s all still pretty fresh on my mind. I did a ton of trading in D2.

    Gold did not matter at all, whatsoever in D2. It worked fine. Gems will be the new economy.
    “What will we give people for rushing us?” Dude, you’ll make friends through trades and you will rush each other, just like in D2. Christ. I had three friends on D2 and each of us had a Sorc (before Enigma, once that came out) to rush everyone else through.

    I loved the D2 trading because I could elevate my gear really quickly because I know how to trade. Go farm chipped gems and trade them for a single SoJ, get a good deal on something that was worth 2 SoJ and flip it, repeat.

  20. There is no way that you’re going to be walking around trading item x for item y. There will be a currency, and that currency will be crafting materials. With the current Artisan “transmuting” lower level mats into higher level mats, there’s already a set value of everything in relation to everything else. (Much like Runes in D2Lod.)
    Soon gems will be the currency.
    Easy thing to do with gold is to have all the new level 60-70 crafting items cost a ton of gold. Transmuting current crafting materials to level 70 crafting mats will tear down your gold reserves rather quickly.
    Am I the only one still around that was playing D2C before LoD? It completely changed the game. Neutered sorceresses with a cooldown on ice orb. Rares were no longer the best weapons… tons of stuff.

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