1000000 vs. 100000000 in the D3 Auction House

One of the first things most players notice while using the Diablo III Auction House is that it’s really hard to tell how many zeros you’ve typed in. There aren’t any commas or periods to break up longer numbers, and with the small font you literally have to count arrow clicks to tell if the price you’re setting is one milllion, ten million, one hundred million, etc. A fan brought up this long-standing issue in the forums, and got some not-very-useful blue replies.

Blizzard’s first sample AH screenshot.
Commas when listing items

Why can we not have this simple thing hotfixed into the game. I dont design/code games at all so i really do not know how hard this would be to implement so correct me if im wrong when i say it seems like it would be an easy fix. While this has not happened to me personally but i have had friends and other people on the forums have stated that they have posted items for less than they meant to because of the fact they cant see commas. It seems that Blizzard has waited till patches to release these simple updates to the game like searching for 6 affixes on an item instead of 3 just for an example. I think alot of people would like this hotfixed into the game sooner rather than waiting till patch 1.0.6.
Lylirra: One thing to keep in mind is that Diablo III is a global game, available in multiple regions around the globe. And, across those regions, the decimal style varies.

In the US, for example, decimals are identified with periods (ex: 1.23). Whereas in a lot of places in Europe, decimals are identified with commas (ex: 1,23). This means that a number like one million would look a bit different in each of those regions. In the US, it would look like “1,000,000” and in Europe it would look like “1.000.000”.

So, which decimal style do we use? That question is actually one of the main reasons we chose not to include commas initially, since it could be confusing to players in other regions outside North America.

That said, we do agree that not having any method of breaking out values in the auction house isn’t ideal, so we’re currently discussing how best to address the issue (without hopefully creating MORE issues for players in other countries).

You know which decimal style you should use? Any style at all that lets players tell the difference between 5 and 6 and 7 zeros!

I don’t care if they use periods, commas, spaces, My Little Pony heads or just make every three digits a different color — put something between the long numbers to break them up, so players can easily tell how many digits they’re using when setting prices, making bids, setting parameters on searches, etc. It’s really not that complicated.

Click through to read more of the blue excuses and vague suggestions about possible eventual improvements.

Isnt the game split into regions??? use the correct decimal style for the region…
Lylirra: It’s actually not that simple, but fair suggestion even still.

(We are also considering spaces, yes.)

Make it region-specific. It’s frankly pathetic that this hasn’t been implemented already.
Lylirra: There are three gameplay regions for Diablo III:

North America

Many countries within those regions use different decimal styles, so unfortunately it’s not as simple as making it “region-specific.” Also, making a change apply to only one region and not another isn’t always ideal or an available option.

Now, like I said, we agree it’d be nice for players to break out values in the auction house (at the least the values that they enter themselves). In the end, we may just add commas, since that’s what the service already uses in a lot of places. We’re also considering other options (like spaces) that are more universal.

Hey guys, this discussion is getting a little out of hand. =/ If you want to figuratively shoot the messenger (that being me), that’s fine, but let’s please try to keep the conversation as civil as possible.

Also, it looks some of my follow up posts may have been missed in the excitement, so I’m going to quickly reiterate a few points:

– We agree with your feedback and want to make it easier for players to tell the difference between 1000000 and 10000000.

– We have considered simply adding spaces.

– We have also considered just adding commas, since it’s what the auction house already uses.

– We didn’t originally add commas to begin with, because we were concerned about regional differences and didn’t fully realize how not having separations would impact players. That may have been the wrong call, but we’re looking to amend it.

Remember this issue, and the fact that much about the AH wasn’t working very well at launch, when someone lazily vomits out one of those “Bli$$ard sucks D3 sux b/c RMAH!” comments. As the saying goes, never blame evil when incompetence is a more obvious explanation. I bet Blizzard thought 10000 was a big bid during their internal AH testing, and they could read the numbers easily on their 28″ monitors, and just never considered the issues that players would have with an AH rapidly going into 9 and 10 figure prices, viewed on monitors that cost less than the items being viewed on them.

Bonus points if anyone can find the old quote (I think from Bashiok) where players were joking about the traditional Diablo problem of, “I can’t tell l from 1 from | in spammer names and that makes them impossible to ban/mute” and Bliz assured us it wouldn’t be a problem in Diablo 3.

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77 thoughts on “1000000 vs. 100000000 in the D3 Auction House

  1. this is getting so out of hand. “i keep selling my items”, “i can’t tell how many zeros there are” “inferno is too hard”

    …really now…..

    does anybody remember how hard video games used to be?!?!!? blow on the cartridge to get the dust out, play for 3 hours to the final level, die. start at level 1 all over again. <—– real gaming

    im disgusted at the helpless nature of these new gamers whining to blizzard every 10 seconds.

    • I agree. It’s really not that hard to simply count the zeroes…
      This shouldn’t even be an issue.

      • Just make the 3 sets of zeroes color coded. For example, the last 3 would be red, next 3 would be blue etc.

        A very easy visual solution to the decimal style dilemma

      • Yes, but it’s just silly they didn’t incorporate thousands separators since they already planned on allowing prices in the millions.

        Also, their excuse is ridiculous: “So, which decimal style do we use? That question is actually one of the main reasons we chose not to include commas initially, since it could be confusing to players in other regions outside North America.” and then they say, “Many countries within those regions use different decimal styles, so unfortunately it’s not as simple as making it “region-specific.”

        Actually, yes it is that easy. This problem has been SOLVED FOR WELL OVER A DECADE. In modern programming languages, it takes LITERALLY ONE SINGLE LINE of code do to do this. The solution uses the user’s locale and currency settings in Windows.


        and here’s the line:

        GetCurrencyFormat(LOCALE_USER_DEFAULT, NULL, TEXT(“123.40”), NULL, g_szTemp, MAX_STR);

    • Regardless, is it acceptable for blizzard employees to slam any suggestion made.

      ”its actually not that simple’… ACTUALLY it is. Send the suggestion to your localization team. They could whip it out in a jiffy.

      But instead as usual blizzard employee needs to make a comment that 1. Either belittles the original poster or 2. Makes said blizzard poster seem all knowing or superior in some way. Or 3. Various combinations all of which generally include snark, or some other superior tone.

      The responce should have been, thanks for the suggestion. Ill pass that on. Done.. No more words needed. No ‘explanation’ required

      • So you didn’t read the bit about different countries within each region using different representations?

        • 1. Im from the us. If i read uk symbols i understand them. The fact is that each region has a common denominator that all of the different dialects can understand. Even just spaces or monkey heads would suffice. The issue is that Blues point was irrelevant.

          2. The issue i see here is the need to ‘explain’ why OP was wrong. Blizzard csr’s are paid to troll. Something as simple as ‘ill pass that on.’ blue later say that the conversation is getting out of hand. If blue had been the mature party from the onset it never would have been an issue. Blue posts are consistently posting why the the OP are wrong. The fact of the matter is…usually blue is wrong. Look at d3 development. They were wrong about just about every single feedback topic during beta. Yet they feel the need to argue with a superior attitude. Thats not customer service. Its trolling

          • Alright, I haven’t had time to post in the past several weeks, but this one has irritated me enough to find the time.

            Like meanchris, I’m from the US and am perfectly capable of dealing with a “.” instead of a “,”. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most folks in Europe are capable of figuring out the reverse. And I’m damn sure that no one is going to mistake 100,000,000 (or 100.000.000) for 100 gold with a bunch of unnecessary zeroes and an extra decimal thrown in for no reason. I’m not usually one to pile on Blizzard but this is just either the worst excuse ever, or ridiculously demeaning in regards to how intelligent they think their average customer is.

            All that being said, I also want to chime in in agreement that the whining has gotten out of hand again (see nebb1234’s comment). I understand the need to cater and market to casual gamers to turn a profit, but I never cease to be amazed at how easy, thoughtless, and effortless some of these people want games to be. I’d love to see their reaction to something like Super Meat Boy.

            Given, this is coming from someone who has unhappy with invulnerable minions being removed… but still, c’mon already. This honestly makes me very thankful that Blizzard came up with the Monster Power system instead of just leaving things as they are on 1.0.5 with no MP. Looking at the current volume of whining, Blizzard should look into producing a ‘virtual mommy’ that can hold people’s hands while they play.

        • I am from the UK. I have NEVER seen 1.000.000.

          I always see one million written as 1,000,000.

          Perhaps im looking in the wrong place?

          Sound like blizzard bullshit unless im missing something.

    • Also, I would like to point out that auctions are not immediately listed. So, if you do make an error in listing such 6 vs 7 zeroes or something [which I’ve done btw], then you can cancel the auction from the auctions tab [which has the commas placed in your listings] and immediately fix it. Now wipe those tears.

  2. “So, which decimal style do we use? That question is actually one of the main reasons we chose not to include commas initially, since it could be confusing to players in other regions outside North America.”

    That is the laziest, most pathetic excuse, ever. Any computer science graduate (any many who fail) could code this sort of system within 1/2 a day, that includes testing time.

    They have multiple different translations of the game, in different languages – decimal style is just an aspect of translation, same with date layout.


  3. That was the most poor excuse I have ever heard… “Oh no when we build the house we did not put an entrance door there, because there are so many doors we didnt know which one to pick!”

    And to show this is just a stupid excuse – post an Item in the auction house for 1 million – go to your auction tab and look at the pricing and PRESTO there are “,” there WOW that was not so hard right?

    • It seems like something flux overlooked. The numbers are indeed broken up when looking at auctions but not when you type in the numbers.

  4. While figure clarity is an important issue I believe not being able to see the number of bids on an item is a much more severe issue and is breaking the AH.

    Without being able to to see the number of bids on an item we have no way of knowing the true value of an item. People are over pricing everything either because they do not know the value of item or because they know people will not know the value of the item.

    When I search for item in the AH that is similar to my item that I want to sell I get great variance in prices. How do I know which one is going to sell? and which one is just way too over priced and did not get a single bid?

    A lot of players including myself have been getting creative with starting bid prices to try and take advantage of this broken system. Instead of making a stating price of 1,000,000 you for example make a starting price of 984,475 so it seems the item has bids on it, which should look more appealing to buyers.

    AH is broken! I would be interested to know the percentage of listings that is actually selling. I would imagine it’s extremely low.

    • Back when I actually played D3, I always listed my items on the AH with non-standard, eye-catching prices (like 222,222 or 288,888) on the basis that when you’re looking at many similar items, you scan down the list of prices and the one with a different number is eye-catching.

      • That would be wise and helpful. I often see things with 199999999 type prices though, and I still have to count.

    • as soon as i click the bid button, if it shows 984,475, the same as your starting price, i know there are zero bids on it…

      if i click bid and the price scales above your price, there is a bid on it..

      how do people not know this?

      • Exactly, Sword9mm- been doing that since the first week the AH was out.

        But as far as a way to see how much an item is worth, it’d be nice to have a “Completed Listings” search tab, and if the number of bids were also included, that’d be awesome. It would increase the value of the best items, because people could see how few similar items exist, and it would drop the price of items with more common stats.

  5. I don’t think anyone really expected them to be too successful with their plans to make gold a more precious ressource for D3. And indeed, it actually didn’t turn too well, at least when you look at the auction house prices.

    While the crazy sums of gold may be something that was in Diablo II and while I’m not a fan of the whole “let’s make D3 a Diablo version of the WoW framework” approach, I do think that the game could benefit from currency splitting in copper/silver/gold (or similar).

    Seeing how they debased the whole unique/set item subsystem for the sake of profit, switching from gold to copper drops shouldn’t bother too much either. Readability of the 10000g00s00c format might in the end be a bit easier than handling 10????????0 gold.

    • Yeah Blizzard completely failed in making a viable gold based economy. That’s why we’re all using SOJs and P.gems for trades… OH WAIT!
      The gold inflation is one thing, but give credit where it’s due.

  6. /insert comment about stuff being pathetic /end

    Look at me! I’m part of the riff raf of this site. Wait!

    /bitter rant about D3

    There we go. I must spread my hate around for a game!


    Whatever floats your boat.

  7. Probably the best is to just change the color – first four digits are blue, at five digits its red, six digits for green and so on.

    • 1. Yay, lets invent a new standard, instead of just using an existing one.
      2. Doesn’t work for colourblind people.

      • 2) Diablo already doesn’t work for colorblind people, so what difference does it make?

  8. To hell with civility, this must be one of the easiest problem ever to fix for them. Do they really need a staff-meeting to make a choice?

    • I guess this is what they mean when they say large companies become slow to react and can’t think-on-their-feet.

      If this really is such a difficult and time-consuming problem for them (rather than something someone bangs together in 1/2 a day and shows to their colleagues before committing to the codebase) then it really shows why they took so long to make D3. And SC2. And HotS.

  9. Which decimal style do you use? Neither. You put more space between each set of 3 zeroes.

    I swear people over think things way too much.

  10. The rmah uses something to differentiate euro’s from cents, pounds from pennies and so on right?
    I haven’t used the rmah so not sure which they use, but which ever it is, they should use commas if it’s periods there or periods if commas are used there…. And if that is already different for different valutas, they can base it on the selected valuta in the rmah.

    Don’t really see why this is so hard to figure out for them

  11. I don’t understand why they always need to make fixing small issues like this and many other items on the laundry list of annoyances such a problem. People don’t need some BS reason or a long drawn out discussion group on why this small item got screwed up. We don’t need to consult with the United Nations on how to solve it without creating and international incident. If I set my region for MERICUH add my goddamn commas and shut up.

    Tired of all these mush mouthed excuses from them regarding common sense things that should’ve been present at launch. It was like pulling teeth from these idiots just to get them to make the AH search less of a nightmare by adding a few more criteria slots and make filters more functional. Something that was already present in the coding anyway.

  12. Not sure if srz? “I remember how hard games used to be” = bad interface?

    I agree that it would be nice, and I’ve had to restart auctions several times because I can’t count to 6 or 7.

  13. Typical Blizzard bullshit, hahahaha. Seriosuly, what’s the freaking difference betweeen 1,000,000 and 1.000.000. Don’t treat us like MORONS, Blizz!

  14. I’m programmer myself and this is actually very very easy to do: just use windows setting (!)
    It’s like few more characters in code or one line tops. That simple.

    • So true.
      This was such an lazy excuse that should be on dailywtf so every programmer can laugh at them.

      Here blizz, a free tip, use the registry “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\International\sThousand”. lol

  15. The Blue reply is asinine. FFS, use the user’s operating system’s regional setting for decimal separator. It’s one line of code to get the value.

  16. 1 000 000 is better than 1000000
    what’s confusing about that? credit cards use that system on a global scale so i doubt anyone would have trouble figuring it out..

  17. guys, guys!

    Use K, M, G. Like 199M Gold or 500K Gold, from within the AH. Of course since the average D3 player is STUPID one wouldn’t grasp the concept. AMIRITE Blizzard???

  18. Here (Brazil) we use dots for decimal/thousands/millions and commas for the cents. So BR$ 1.000,25 means a thouasand reais and 25 cents (or royals, if you know gambit special movie from psx games).

    I confess, the first time I used pay pal (back then, when we hadn’t a “brazilian version” of the whole thing), I got confused by the commas and dots, but that isn’t as hard to sort out as how to not get 1-shoted with your DH…

    Blizzard is on the US, if you want to use the comma system, ok for me. It’s not as ground-breaking for us as not using kg, km/h, Celsius or the metric system. E.G.: I still don’t understand the royale with cheese passage from Pulp Fiction, but yep, I got how to send dollars via pay pal using my credit card around ten years ago…

    (You should start using metric system… Seriously… :p)

  19. Why can’t it be part of the game localization just like everything else? And for another thing, my Auctions screen has commas on the bids and buyouts, why can’t the window for typing in numbers work the same as that?

    Having said that, it’s second nature now to carefully count zeros when I’m typing in a bid amount. Been burned by this a long time ago.

  20. Anyone else feel WAY more thought is going into this simple problem then needed? So many posts and comments. The answer has been posted countless times by now. Why reiterate when you can just read up from this point?

    Now it’s just a simple matter of waiting for an update.

  21. this may have been said, but how about put a apace after each 3 digits. bam problem solved? Also, this new verification makes it very likely that i will never post a comment here again. not gonna watch a video just to post something.

  22. “So, which decimal style do we use?” Are U F Kidding me?:)Who cares.

    , or . … lol! Yeah that’s really confusing

  23. Bullshit reasons from blizzard.
    Just use a space,. or make the comma between 000,000 a dark gray instead of white.
    Seriously, I can’t believe they are making such a fuss out of this.

  24. The whole commas vs periods idea is stupid.

    Let’s say I’m from a country where comma is the decimal point and I go to the gold auction house and see 10,000,000. If I think there is a fraction of a gold in the price or I think there are two decimal points in the prices, I’m a retard.

    Same country, but now I see $39.99. If I think its a thousands separator when there are only two numbers after it, I’m a retard.

    Truth is, no one would be confused if we implemented the american system (or even the “european” one) 10 minutes from now. It would only be a presentation thing. Blizzard hasn’t implemented this yet purely because it doesnlt look nice. What we need to convince them is that it currently looks worse.

  25. Have the option on settings to manually switch to use . or ,
    Let the player select whichever is the one they are use to, simple?

    • we need to take this to NATO… aaaand forget the election, this takes precident. (obviously)

      Where’s AL Sharpton at????? Jose Biase have an opinion???

  26. I just got off the phone with Nasa, they’re calling Prof. Hawking and then getting back to me after Bill Clinton e-mails them back. Leading minds are on the case people!

  27. This is just another extremely poor design decision in a long list of them. I still can’t believe the entire battlenet interface took such a giant leap backwards from diablo 2. Who decided to remove chat with your character’s avatar visible? Who decided to make it so your character names are completely invisible and you just use one battlenet name for all your toons? Really mind boggling decisions right up there with the failure to see a need for commas in the auction house.

    All in all the core game play is very enjoyable, but as time goes on, these little things like commas start to really annoy me. They have a good game here, they just need get someone new to lead things in the right direction. I don’t know if this all falls on Jay Wilson or not, but I really hope they get someone new to run the development of the expansion. At the rate this current dev team has put together D3, this might not even be until Xmas of 2014.

  28. everything that comes in my mind when iam reading this lame blizz excuse is

    its not that hard to count zeros for me but ..
    come on blizz no one realy cares if there are ,.-;_ or something different

    if you search something you already got decimals !!!

    why not telling everyone something like …
    “fuck besides game balancing we havent thought about this window .. there will be a fix when the next patch arrives ”

    (everyone will be happy + better usability +its not that hard to fix ;))

    i really cant believe that there is a huge design debate about , or .
    thats ridiculous if its true

  29. What baffels me as a programmer is that WHY THE HECK ISN’T THEY RETREIVING THE DECIMAL FORMAT ASSIGNED BY THE OS! That is VERY easy to do and then You can specify the decimal/thousand separator to ANY character You want. That means that You also can have an american formatting if You are visiting a friend in Europe, by just adjusting the OS to display american keyboard and with american number formats. Or vice versa; me as an european can travel to america, adjust the os settings and have my swedish keyboard and decimal formats – and that will not affect the game in any way.
    Relly strange that they think this is a “big” issue…….

  30. This would be too hard to program

    if ($region==”usa”){$separator=’,’;$decimal=’.’;};
    if ($region==”europe”){$separator=’.’;$decimal=’,’;};

    • It is actually quite simple with Java, only two lines to retreive the decimal separator used by the os:

      DecimalFormatSymbols sym = new DecimalFormatSymbols(Locale.getDefault());
      char separator = sym.getGroupingSeparator();

      If You need to change to another country than set by the OS, just change the Locale.getDefault() to Locale.US for america, or Locale.UK for England etc…

      Amazingly simple and quite strange that this hasn’t been implemented…

  31. Well some type of parts would be nice, but for now
    I think this method is the best,

    100kk? => 99888777
    5kk? => 4888777

    110kk? => [ 110000000 < 109888777 ]

  32. Just.. implement all methods and let us chose which one we prefer..

    Seriously.. I’m also a developer and sometimes when struggling with a design issue it’s smart to look at how other developers handled the issue, draw your inspiriation from that. Transport Tycoon (1994) already handled this issue.. 18 years ago.. :p

  33. I code for a living. Its not that damn hard to put in an option in the “options” panel to choose Decimal or Comma seperation for Numbers. DING problem solved.

    • Directly related to my post right below…


      Would be great to be able to choose spaces/commas/periods in denominations of 3 or 4, or absolutely nothing at all.

  34. Just posted this over at the actual blizz thread, but one problem with commas, periods, colour coding might be different countries using different number groupings.

    Example that springs to mind is Japan, where they use groups of 4, not 3.

    1 000 000 000 (1 billion) vs 10 0000 0000 (10 oku)

    You might have to take that into account when deciding formatting. Or the fact that they might not even want spacing/punctuation on their side, since they don’t really use it anyway to separate denominations.

    • That is not a problem if You retreive the settings from the OS – then the user can set whatever grouping he likes and whatever separator he/she wants. Seriously – a really small issue that wouldn’t take much to implement…

  35. like really, if you have a hard time counting zeros, then perhaps you shouldnt be selling your garbage items for 1000000000 just because it is a legendary.

    what are you even going to do with that much money?

  36. This is one of the issues blizzard made for themselves.
    No one here will get offended or appalled by commas or periods.
    And I seriously doubt that anyone would mistake 1.000.000 for anything else than a million.

  37. oh gee its so hard to think what should we put commas or dots…If you don`t know give the option to the people! Let them choose!

  38. Glad I’m not the only one who found Lylirra’s response both ridiculous and asinine. What an unbelievably absurd and laughable response.

    They spent almost a decade on this game, but wait…. no, it’s not so simple: some regions have decimals and others have commas, AND WE COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

    Seriously, they balloon this situation into something so much bigger than it should be. Blizzard acts like they have to tip toe around this situation, as if adding commas could have drastic irreversible awful effects.


  39. this is a non issue, people are just trying to find things to complain about.

    like really, because there is no punctuation in their numeric values, who cares, get over it.

  40. Call me an idiot, but I actually suffered from this exact problem. Long story short, I listed something for 2 mil when I meant 20, I was estatic when it sold almost immediately, and then heartbroken when it was for 1/10th of what I was asking.

    This is not a major issue and it is entirely my own fault. But I think it is an easy thing to fix. Please Blizzard. Save me from myself.

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