RMAH and it's Effects on Item Balance Hi, This topic strikes me as rather obvious, but I haven't seen it addressed too much. So hopefully this thread will add something new to the discussion. With Diablo II, we saw numerous patches changing the overall game balance, including skills and items. Since the RMAH is about items, this topic will focus only on them. The RMAH introduces ways to acquire a digital objects with real money. As such, many legal aspects arise in case the object is lost or changes. I haven't got access to the BETA, so could please anyone confirm if Blizzard's user agreement includes a paragraph stating something along the following lines? "Game content, such as digital objects, only belong to Blizzard and by agreeing to these terms, you accept that you do not own the contents of the game in question but acquire the right to use the game and its contents under these terms." I believe there to be such a paragraph, which makes sense to me. Otherwise, Blizzard would run into various issues; for example the unwanted deletion of items and their "owners" pressing charges. i don't think they will not confirm their code to be bug free (and realistically, it will never be). 1) Let's continue and let's assume that such a Disclaimer exists. Users would then have the chance to read these terms and be aware of them. After reading it and figuring out if they want to spend money on the RMAH, would a potential user of the the RMAH not think: "Will purchased items always be as powerful as they currently are? Not necessarily. There is no guarantee for that." If I am aware that items could change in the future with upcoming patches, wouldn't that make me more hesitant towards real money auctions? And would such a situation of more hesitant, potential buyers not go against Blizzard's goal to lure more people into the RMAH? (No matter the reasons-if they want to provide a secure market or if they want to actually make money with it). (I am excluding thoughts on how or how fast the market could become aware of the situation and how buyers could react to the scenario. But I even find it likely that this could create a situation when User X sees the changes after installing Patch 1 and going rampage on the official Blizzard Forums, where a lot of people might realize it.) Example: Diablo 3 retail includes an exceptional bug allowing monsters to drop an immensely overpowered rare item, which is then sold on the RMAH. Will Blizzard delete or nerf such an item? 2) If we on the other hand assume that once rolled items will stay in the game, will that not go against the goal to create a healthy and intact long-term game environment? How could imbalanced items (includes buffing and nerfing) not be addressed by Blizzard? Leaving them in the game as they are would probably ruin the game sooner or later. They have stated on numerous occasions that they are not going to intervene in the market, except for the general auction terms. They apparently hired economists and experts to ensure a viable gold economy. Gold has the function (amongst some others) to provide an independent means for the exchange of goods. You will invest a major part of your gold to craft or buy items. They will not introduce a D2 ladder system with ongoing ladder resets. A functioning economy is thus necessary in the short and long term. The whole game is about items or at least it is an immense long-term factor. I am convinced that Blizzard creates a fun game, but I am not convinced that the overall balance will stay that way after launch for the entire life cycle of the game. Drop rates of future items and gold can be adjusted on the server side. But once an item is created, it is part of the (entire) economy. Sidenote: Following the reasoning above, one could also say that not legal issues of the RMAH caused the release delay (if it is a reason), but balancing issues. I would argue that Blizzard sorted out the vast majority of challenges before announcing the RMAH. It wouldn't make sense to announcesomething that was not analyzed in much detail by the legal department before the newsflash. Nerfing powerful items might influence potential RMAH users, while not balancing them out might drive away the rest of players. So, which route will Blizzard go? Thanks!