Anyone Want to Unearth the RMAH Debate?

A fan brought up the whole “pay to win” issue of the RMAH, and got a half-hearted reply from Bashiok.

does it not bother anyone that while you are gearing your character legitimately over a long period of time, there is gonna be those guys who have bought the best gear possible within minutes? im sure this has been mentioned already, but i missed it.
Bashiok: It’s interesting to think about, for sure. There’s certainly a separation for most people in that obtaining currency outside of the game, and obtaining items worth currency within the game are exclusive concepts. That if you’re playing the game and obtaining items, they are of a higher value than having a job and being paid for it. Which is kind of strange as real world currency is by far more widely valuable and usable than an in-game item. Obviously there’s an exchange rate of sorts that will be worked out by players to match the two, but I think it’s interesting that conceptually someone who works to obtain currency in their job and buy an item is perceived of as less than someone who was able to obtain it by playing the game. Logically it’s backwards as a real world job is not the fun and enjoyment of playing a video game, but that gets turned around within the context of wanting to compare skill and aptitude.

I still think drop chance puts so much randomization into someone’s acquisition of items that there’s no true test of aptitude to be had, just luck and time. What’s to say working to earn money to buy an item is easier than launching the game and getting that same item on your first kill? Also, I love my job, but it’s still not as awesome as just playing Diablo III.

I don’t even know how someone can attempt to place value on the way someone obtained their items, at what cost, in what Act and difficulty was it found, what their magic find was, are they more skilled than me, are they using a ‘cheesy build’ etc. There’s too many variables.

In regards to PvP, that gear didn’t just appear out of nowhere. If my opponent bought his gear that doesn’t change the fact that it dropped for someone else somewhere. That gear was going to make someone beefy in PvP regardless of whether it was sold or not so what’s the point? Is it really worse that I fight someone in PvP whom bought all their gear versus fighting the player for whom that gear originally dropped before they sell it? If anything, the person that bought their gear is more likely to be at a disadvantage because they haven’t invested the time to get really good at their skills. Overall I think it’s a moot point.
Bashiok: I like the way this all makes sense inside my brain.

These read like the training wheels versions of this debate, which raged hot, deep, and nuanced last August, after the Auction House and the RMT aspect of it were first revealed. If you’re interested in a bit deeper discussion, click through; I briefly offer counters to the points made in this blue effort, and provide links to some of the better discussions of this topic from last year.

Here’s a quick summary of how the main pro/con RMAH debate points would be applied to the surface-scratching version of the discussion in this blue post.

The Anti-RMAH Argument

Bashiok’s wrong because a game world is not the same as real life. It’s a closed system, where where players are rewarded for their skills and effort in the game, not for having access to their dad’s credit card. That a player can use outside, real world resources to “pay to win” feels like cheating, to many.

An analogy I’ve read is that it’s like sitting down to play Monopoly with some friends, and one guy pulls out actual cash money and hands it to the banker, buying Boardwalk and Park Place right at the start. Though in the case of D3’s RMAH, I suppose it would be more like that guy throwing down a fiver to buy those properties from the other player who had earned them fairly. Fine for him and the seller, but ruinous of the game for everyone else.

The Pro-RMAH Argument

On the other hand, the argument I find most compelling for the RMAH is the time-is-money counter. Since item quality and character level in a game like D3 is determined on an almost one-to-one sliding scale with “time played,” many RMAH supporters point out the inherent unfairness of that system. (Bashiok’s, “You could get lucky and find super items in one drop!” is a logical fallacy.)

Given how the loot in D3 works, there’s simply no way an adult with a job and a family and real life responsibilities can compete with the stereotypical 14 y/o playing 14 hours a day on his summer vacation. So isn’t it “fair” to allow that adult to spend a small % of his real life earnings to buy gear that gives him some parity with the kid who plays all day?

One has the the advantage of time while the other has the equalizer of money. A game economy that finds a way to balance out those resources should be fair for everyone. And the RMAH system in D3 should do that pretty well… in theory.

The above is a very quick summary of two aspects of the argument. Check our RMAH tagged news items from last August for much more, from back when the feature was first revealed and passions ran hot. A few of the better ones include:

  • The DiabloWiki has very thorough coverage of this issue in Diablo III and more generally in online games, on the DiabloWikiReal Money Trading article.
  • We did a whole podcast debate on the RMAH, with Wolfpaq arguing pro RMAH, and Nico arguing against it. I moderated in my always impartial and fair-minded fashion. *cough*
  • Bashiok and other blue voices joined in quite a bit of spirited debate with fans who hated the AH and especially the RMAH. See this post and this one, for example.
  • This survey of opinions from other game developers (most of whom were jealous that Bliz could get away with it) stirred some debate.
  • If you want a larger sample size, our vote on the RMAH issue had around 5000 replies and wild disagreement in the votes and the comments.
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124 thoughts on “Anyone Want to Unearth the RMAH Debate?

  1. “Given how the loot in D3 works, there’s simply no way an adult with a job and a family and real life responsibilities can compete with the stereotypical 14 y/o playing 14 hours a day on his summer vacation. So isn’t it “fair” to allow that adult to spend a small % of his real life earnings to buy gear that gives him some parity with the kid who plays all day?”
    To me this is the most compelling argument, and not just because it applies to me!

    • Easy fix: have a kid and force him to play all day and give you all his stuff… i call it the medieval method of childrearing…

          • sorry dudes, i will adopt an asian child, and hell yeah, he will punsh the shit out of ya pocket with his imba-asian skills, until you can’t remember what a penny looks like!

    • The way I see it If someone wants to pay for items and skip what I consider to be the entire point of the game then that’s on them. Me I will play the game, find my own items, and will enjoy the game much more for doing so. To me the issue has nothing to do with the RMAH, it has everything to do with being given items. I would not buy a single thing from anyone nor would I take it for free. If I have it I found it. I have no problem with anyone buying from the RMAH nor do I care if they are handed items for free from someone, neither affect me in any way shape or form. If I join a pub game and its filled with people who bought items and are amazing gear then….good for me? this will only mean things die faster which means I get loot faster.

      • Exactly, the most important thing to me is the thrill of the hunt for these items …. not the items themselves. 

        My favourite way to describe it:

        “Now that you’ve found it, its gone … now that you feel it, you don’t” — Radiohead 

    • I think I’ll just work 40 hours a week and play 8 hours a day (15 on weekends?). That leaves me with enough time to sleep. I have no plans to buy any items with the RMAH ever, unless it’s RM I earned by selling items. I don’t think I’ll be too far behind the average 14 y/o, just the good/dedicated ones 🙂

    • Yes, because there won’t be a lot of people playing for 6+ hours daily AND buying the entire RMAH to make them even stronger….

      I understand the frustration of people that don’t have much time to play, each year that passes I get more and more busy, preventing me to play so much like in my golden days in high-school, but that doesn’t mean I want a handicap to let me compete with people that have a lot of time to play. Justifying the inclusion of item selling to help busy people is a lame argument, I don’t even know why people try to use it. The inclusion of the RMAH is purely a solution to let Blizzard make more money, period. There’s no such thing as Blizzard is trying to do that because they are nice people, almost like angels, and they are including the item selling only to help busy players to have a chance inside the game.
      Also, I don’t even know why people ask Blizzard employees about the problems of the RMAH. Its obviously that they will ALWAYS try to defend the RMAH and say there’s absolutely no problem with it. Even if you point out strong arguments against the RMAH they will just evade your arguments, like they always do.

    • Well people with all those responsibilites perhaps video gaming is not what they were meant to do. Life isn’t fair, life doesn’t cater to everyone and neither should a video game.

      • Life isn’t fair, life doesn’t cater to everyone and neither should a video game.”

        So you’re saying that you’re cool with the RMAH, then? 

  2.  If you get your ass kicked in PvP by someone who got his gear with money and only played a few hours and you had gear that is just as good that you got from playing for 500 hours then you suck at the game… 
     As long as there’s no items that are better then what you can get from normal drops there’s little to complain about…

     And if you’re one of those people that feels forced to spend money so you can PvP early, then you have bigger problems then a video game…
    Heh, “mad science” indeed capcha…

    • “feels forced to spend money so you can PvP early”
      Really big problems I’d say, given that there isn’t even going to be PvP for a while.

  3. “Bashiok’s wrong because a game world is not the same as real life. It’s a closed system, where where players are rewarded for their skills and effort in the game, not for having access to their dad’s credit card. ”

    I’m a dad, I got a job, I have skill, I have a credit card. I wont buy stuff on RMAH because it’s not fun. Bashiok is not wrong.

    • That’s your subjective opinion, daddy. I don’t have time to farm 8 hours a day because I got family and life to attend to. Maybe you’re not spending as much time with them as you should..

      • What kind of statement is that, Curik? He doesn’t say how much he’ll play or that he is going to farm, just that it isn’t fun to buy items. Way to make baseless value judgements.

        • Did you even read his comment? Maybe you didn’t understand it. He says the article author is incorrect that Bash is wrong, and then goes on to say he’s got THE SKILLZ and credit card, + kids and whatnot – which has nothing to do with what Bash said, or what the author said.

          Bottom line is, you can’t compare D3 economy to a real life economy.. which is what the original statement is about.

          • Your interpretation of the comment is logical, but it’s far more likely that he was making a response to the immediate part of the comment he quoted, and wasn’t taking the rest into consideration.  It really did sound like he was simply saying that he wasn’t going to use the RMAH.
            It’s not an issue of your logic here; it’s just that your accusation was really viscous and condescending, and seems to project a lot of the anger surrounding the debate unfairly onto a single, not-that-controversial comment.

          • @ endarion: That was so well stated. I can’t ever find the words when my brain is scrambled by someone being so dense. I’ll have to follow your model.

      • “Maybe you’re not spending as much time with them as you should..”
        to CURIK :
        your argument is irrelevant and disrespectful.

    • I love it when my comments spur such important debates.

      All I wanted to say was that there is nothing wrong with having a feature like RMAH. Yes it’s evil blah blah blah. The bottom line is the game is there for you to have FUN not to run around and brag about how awesome your gear is and how you wasted 3 weeks of your life to get this or get that. 

      People have lives. If someone wants to spend his cash to get an in game item, LET THEM.

      I was 16 when D1 came out. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and intend to play this game a lot. It may take me years to get to inferno. But i will have fun and thats the important part.

      PS: That comment about me not spending time with my kid. WTF was that all about? 

      PPS: capcha – senior citizen. Some times i feel like flux is just fucking with us. 

      • I think you hit the nail on the head with one particular word in this post: brag. The primary motivation of much of the staunchly anti-RMAH crowd is that they want bragging rights. They want to have items that you don’t have, because their fun is dependent upon putting other people down. I can’t help but think that’s pretty petty.

  4. but what if your not in the: high paying job / less time or no job / lots of time bracket. i work a full time job, i dont have money to or want to buy/cheat items. i want to feel the reward of finding any item and trading it for 1 that suits me. am i going to be completely left behind in this game and find myself un-competitive in pvp unless i play allot more or buy items. at least if there was no real money i would know that guy with better items is better coz he has no life, now pll that are better than me in real life are gona be better than me in diablo3 too =(  

    • It is unhealthy to put a value on being better than someone else at a hobby, in my opinion, and therefore, Blizzard should not design their games based on the premise that one should place a value on it. Of course this is subjective, but if you look at Blizzard’s body of work, they certainly lean towards this type of ethic.

      • Well, it’s unhealthy to put an *obsession* on being better than other.  It’s very normal and healthy to have a value though.  That’s simply called “the spirit of competition”, and it’s a main motivating factor for all of society.
        A person who does not have any regard for their own output or success in regards to those around them is likely suffering from psychological issues, and is likely not a very happy person on average, since humans are inherently social.

        • Being social = seeing yourself as better then someone else… 
          Then again the majority of humans still live in incredibly crappy conditions, so that is about right…

      • Crudesash you can’t be serious? sport? competitive games? life in general? if Blizzard starts designing games that hav no element of competitiveness they would go bankrupt.

    • Left behind whom?

      Does your enjoyment of Diablo games come from being ahead of other people, or from what you’re able to accomplish on your own?

      If their PVP matchmaking system is anything like the matchmaking in SC2 you shouldn’t have to worry too much about being left behind in that regard – not to mention the fact that you’ll have many months post-release to farm PVP items before that system goes live.

  5. “In regards to PvP …” 
    There is no PvP. I doubt we’ll see PvP before November. 
    Blizzard, in all their wisdom, intentionally delayed PvP so that everyone would have 6 months to find items so that people buying items from the RMAH wouldn’t have an advantage.

  6. I concur with Alex. I won’t buy gear to fill holes in my setup…what I may do, and probably will do, is buy items I can’t find with the funds I earn selling stuff I don’t need, but no real money trading hands…unless, naturally, the prices become so high that it would be impractical not to cash out. If items are selling for a few bucks, it isn’t worth the time and hassle to cash out for a dollar here or there. 
    Note, this is the opinion of someone who will not be playing the game to try to make money; those who do will find value in every sale.

  7. Its hidden gambling imo. You play to hit the jackpot then turn that into cash. The only difference is that a poker machine never pays a profit to its users. If you can show me that the money you make from harvesting D3 items to be sold to the masses is more profitable than work then I’m wrong. I don’t see why Blizzard shouldn’t have to pay for a gambling license for development of products that now fit into gaming. I’m not for nor against it, I just believe in calling something what it is. 😐

  8. Oh god not this again…
    Some people need to look up the difference between a store and an auction
    then they need to take a chill pill
    and take a walk
    and go to bed
    and stay there permanently.

  9. “I think it’s interesting that conceptually someone who works to obtain currency in their job and buy an item is perceived of as less than someone who was able to obtain it by playing the game. Logically it’s backwards as a real world job is not the fun and enjoyment of playing a video game, but that gets turned around within the context of wanting to compare skill and aptitude.”

    One of the best things Bashiok said so far…i was actually going to maker a thread about it! As a matter of fact he makes great arguments in this entire post. Also, I dont give a s*** about what items other people have nor should anyone else except people who conisder charecters in compuetr games to be significant life achievements and i pity those people!

    P.S. My favoutite are tools who claim how they have done a lot of “hard work” getting the items! Furthermore Diablo games were never games that require significant skill (Unlike Blizzards RTS games for example)

      • Don’t cry. Maybe you could enlighten us on where he contradicts himself? Because I can’t see, oh almighty WhiteGiant! 😆

        • lets follow his train of logic and its implications.
          -he does not give a shit about other peoples items. 
          -he does not consider the Hobby of Diablo 3 and its hundredths  of hours of gameplay to be a significant achievement in its own right.

          -yet it is ok to buy virtual items off other people for real money with a significant real currency in an insignificant virtual fantasy world ? that totally makes sense.

          the RMAH seems to be a feature which obviously offers gamedepth which could not exist in the game without spending money. 

          • 1. I (Igoral) dont give a s*** about the items other people have and i care little about my own items!
            2. I play the game for fun and not to be better than other people in a game where time spent in front of the computer screen is much more important than the actual skill or intelligence (the skill required to play a Diablo game is minimal compared to Starcraft for example)
            3. Since I dont give a s*** about the items in a computer game I will not buy them for real money but if anyone wishes to do so i dont have a problem with it because its not my money and…here it comes:I DONT GIVE A S*** ABOUT THE ITEMS OTHER PEOPLE HAVE AND HOW THEY GOT THEM.

            For me the chase is better than the catch and if that changes i will not play the game anymore! I dont play WoW because it has retarded gameplay and it is all about the items! I like Diablo because the gameplay is quick and fun (mechanicly) and when the gameplay stops being fun i will not play it solely for items. As i said before i pity the people that do care about other peoples gear and consider gear in a computer game a significant life achievement willing to spend real money on!

            All the arguments aginst RMAH would MAYBE make sense if getting the items required significant skill but since it doesnt but rather you can simply do it by staring at a computer screen while repeating the same game content(which because of repetition and good gear always becomes easy) over and over, i dont see why is that more valuable than people who have actual jobs(which as Bashiok states are much less fun than D3…hopefuly :)). Add the random nature of Diablo games and the elemnt of luck and s*** really hits the fan when you ask the question : Does that person deserve those items?!

            RMAH sounds like a worse idea for hardcore though but with the third party sites around…well…Blizzard will introduce it eventually!

            Got it?

          • there is nothing to get ; you still said nothing which refutes my points or validates Bashiok’s brainfart. 

            I dont care wether you in particular use it or not. It’s still breaking the immersion of the game ; even if you smear pretty pictures with the crap that is the RMAH. 

            though it makes no sense to discuss depth of the rmah if its creation is based on money-printing and not on depth.

          • @WhiteGiant
            You must have some kind of soft-boiled brain to even care about the RMAH. How it breaks immersion for you personally, I’ll never know.

            For me the immersion stems from enjoying the game-play, and not worrying about what other people did or did not do with their own money.

          • @WhiteGiant: You’re not making “points” and he doesn’t have to contradict them; you were criticizing his points, and so he re-stated his opinions in a way that shows that he is not contradicting himself. You didn’t make any points about “immersion” here, you just (falsely) accused him of self-contradictions.

          •  @WhiteGiant
             Why that’s almost as illogical as saying you don’t like to have sex with other men, but you don’t care if some other men do… total nonsense…
             (what, ppl spending money on irrelevant bs irl not affecting me personally was too easy)
            EDIT: I did think twice captcha, and i stand by it…

  10. So someone bought their items on the AH. Big deal. Diablo 3 is NOT a competitive game, it is a cooperative game. I don’t understand why people are all up in arms about this.  

    • There are many reasons why people care but i belive that this is a major one. I dont want to sound like a jerk but in todays world the young people that are not “cool in school” and people that are different and refuse to be like everyone else are being often pushed to the side and discriminated in a way. They are not very socially popular and generally feel bad bout themselsves.  These people than find a more satisfying world inside a Hard Disk…a world which in this case is called Sanctuary (How fitting!). In this world these people achieve what they often cant in the real world and a feature like RMAH is a threat to those “achievements”.

      • Excluding members of game development teams and people that play games that are considered to be e-sports (both earn money to play), I would agree that most peoples’ game-playing-time is inversely proportional to the state/success of their real-world social/personal lives.

      • That’s quite the generalization… I consider myself the opposite of such a person as you describe up until “these people…”. However, I am a competitive person, and in most item-driven games (which Diablo is whether you like it or not) having the best or among the best items do stand out as an achievement for most players regardless of how you got it (and it has nothing to with my social life outside Sanctuary or any other game world).

        Pay-to-win is a bad concept in every competitive setting. Taking drugs to perform in IRL sports is generally seen as cheating with serious repercussions for the involved athlete. Similarly, this is why paying to “win” in D3 also spurs a lot of debate. I know I don’t have anywhere near as much time as any teenager to farm items in D3, which is why I will never be among the best geared. However, I can still feel some sort of achievement if I do find SOMETHING that is good, given that the rest of the player base isn’t able to credit card the same/or better in an instant. THIS is what bothers me with the RMAH.

        I see most other people mentions PvP as a reason why the RMAH is bad. That I don’t get – given that Blizzard sticks with the plan to not show any player statistics. If someone with a Gold Amex wants to spend cash on gear, and at the same time happens to have somewhat equal skill to what he would have if he farmed it himself – you would never know because you wouldn’t be matched up against him/her (given your skill level is about equal but you have worse gear). In the other setting, if someone purchased gear, but lacks the proper skill you would expect from a player with that item-level (a skill-level below yours, but he has better gear), you may be matched with him/her. But, in such a scenario, it is not given that he will win because of his better gear. That is why you are matched up in the first place. 

        Without player PvP stats and with a well functioning MM-system, I see no problem in people purchasing gear. Either they are ranked higher or lower than you, but you will never know that so who cares?

        People running around with awesome gear because of their deep pockets though, that do bothers me. I can afford to buy gear, but I won’t. My fun comes from finding my own gear, but people who will just purchase it takes away some of that fun since mine will suck in comparison. I accept it (and all Blizzards reasons for putting it in), but would rather be without it.

      • Today’s world… right, cool cats and squares are totally a 21st century thing… back in the old days one was too busy walking uphill to school both ways in 32 feet of snow to care about being cool.

  11. Gear is often shared among friends and guildmates for free in all games that allow it. Players will form regular raiding parties to help each other get the gear they need. If you’re playing solo, you’re at a huge disadvantage. On release morning I’ll be playing with at least one friend. His Barbarian will get all of my good melee weapons that we don’t salvage, and I’ll get all of the wands. It’s like getting twice as many drops.
    Money is a substitute for friendship. If you’re going to allow two friends to cooperate then you have to allow two strangers to cooperate. And that’s where currency trading (Stones of Jordan, $) comes in. Because you and the stranger don’t have a give-and-take relationship. And cooperation between strangers is a good thing that should be encouraged.

    • yeah right and Blizzard the samarita takes only a 15% cut for commodities and for Gear $1.25 + paypal-checkout  
      as you can see blizz is all about the game depth , friendship, the children , and the troops coming home… 

      i also heard that a good social communication network can be a great feature to forge friendships ; OH wait Blizzard does not support that. we have to be content with tiny clumsy chatwindows which cannot even compete with IRC of 20 years ago.

  12. An essential point which nobody has mentioned so far, is Blizzard’s main reason, why they implemented the RMAH: They want a piece of the delicious “items-for-money-black market” cake. They asked themselves: “Why do other persons/ companies benefit from our products and we are earning nothing from these processes?” So Blizzard invented the RMAH and of course defend it now with the whole “family dad”/ “real life money so much harder to earn” yadda-yadda.
    In my opinion, they are not primarily concerned with the “equalness” of gamers, but with the desperate legitimation of their money-making system.

    As for me, I will primarily play Hardcore in D3. I hope that the RMAH will not be introduced in near future in HC (but as there will exist a black market in HC soon, Blizzard could probably desire to have their share in that field, too). At least, Hardcore (especially in Inferno) will provide one decisive advantage over Softcore: Bad players with big wallets will die even with endgame items, and these equipped items will then be erased from the item pool. 😈

    • “An essential point which nobody has mentioned so far, is Blizzard’s main reason, why they implemented the RMAH: They want a piece of the delicious “items-for-money-black market” cake. ”

      I think you’ll find they actually were looking for a solution to the problem of naive players going to third-party websites, and potentially getting scammed. I’m sure Bobby sees some money to be made in the auction house, but so what – as long as Blizzard don’t sell items themselves (apart from maybe entirely cosmetic ones), I’m quite excited to see how the RMAH turns out!

      • Listen, I don’t want to cynical, but the Blizz “solution” to avoid poor players to get potentially ripped in the blackmarket is just another poor excuse to install the RMAH. Blizz did not care about these players in the past because it obviously happens at their own risk if they buy stuff at the black market. Nobody really can complain if they get ripped there. What about the big WoW money market, does Blizz interfere there (aside from banning once in a while some farmers)?
        Blizz main intention purely is to avoid that other companies benefit from their products and they’re not involved or that Blizz has to install expensive counter systems to prevent this black market/ “real money for items” system (e.g. by banning players/ scanning PCs/ etc.). So Blizz is not PREVENTING this system but thinks: “If you can’t beat them, join them!” And the profit they are getting from this procedure is more than “some money”\…

        • You’re contradicting yourself a bit without realizing it here.
          Blizzard has grown quite a bit since D2, and now has a gigantic amount of customer support expenses.  By helping people avoid scams, they actually save a great deal of money.  In a common real-world comparison, insurance companies generally are very positive about helping pay for birth control, if only because its far, far cheaper for them than paying for medical expenses related to people becoming pregnant.
          A penny saved is a penny earned, and so forth.  I’m not disagreeing that they want the money up-front though.  I just think both interpretations are quite valid.

          • Sorry, but this comparison is to compare apples and oranges. True, Blizz has gigantic support expenses. But, every Blizz game has a paragraph in it’s “General Terms and Conditions” which clearly states that all money/ item interactions with other shops/ persons aside from Blizzard is prohibited and under own risk and that Blizz cannot be held responsible by any means if some thing happens. Players have to agree to these general terms before they play the game and customer support can immediatly refer to this paragraph when somebody complains, ergo no additional costs. 😀

        • I don’t believe that profit is the major motivation here, but so what if it is? What’s wrong with a game company making profit? They’re not doing so to the detriment of the game – by your own admission the black market would exist anyway, and players would buy items there if there wasn’t an RMAH – so what’s the problem? Do you just hate success?

      • oh yeah right ; blizzard was concerned about player who did break the terms of use of their own free will to participate in illegal trading.
        “as long as Blizzard don’t sell items themselves (apart from maybe entirely cosmetic ones), I’m quite excited to see how the RMAH turns out!”

         also very cute and naive 🙂 you do realize that Blizzard generates the entire market in quantity and quality and sets up the fees for trading ? Diablo 3 is a giant slot machine , and blizzard knows the odds for that slot machine very well; there can be made single cases which stand out for their luck / bad luck. but if you measure on a large scale you’ll realize that it is very much predictable; on a  level which is relevant for the market that is.

        so yeah i find it always amusing when people bring up this argument in favor of the legitimacy of the RMAH.
        as if that changed Blizzards Intention to create a RMAH to begin with.

        • Ahh yes, the conspiracy theory that Blizzard has rigged the system so that they’ll always get the money they want.

          The issue with that is that the RMAH is a completely voluntary system, it sits right next to the GAH which by the way is also voluntary.

          Consumers can do whatever they want with their money, the fact that you seem to care about what other people do with their money says more about you than Blizzard.

  13. The point is to that last white text that made sense in blue minds is that the guy it dropped for would have EARNED it and the argument that SOME do even if they pay and work hard doesn’t change the fact that for some money comes way to easy and to say life isn’t fair and let that inequality leak into this slot machine and killing the item hunt for some players isn’t right.

    It makes me womit and gag at the same time. It makes me gawomit.
    Here’s for HC, until the bullshit spreads there or I kill some people after dying in inferno.

  14. So… if I have a roomate who plays the game all day while I work and pay the rent… and gives me items for “free” in “return”… its okay… because my friend gave me free items… but if I use a credit card to purchase said items… it becomes wrong. Never had anyone in D2 complain and say that I was a noob for getting freebies from friends or in pub games.
    BTW: I don’t have a roomate, I don’t plan on buying items or receiving freebies, I’m just saying… People need to stop being… butthurt >,>

  15. The real question is how the time to rach top level of gear in Diablo 3 – without using RMAH – compares with the time necessary to reach that level in Diablo 2? Because I am 100% sure we all agree Diablo 2 was the best game for its time.

    If it is the same then RMAH doesn’t spoil the the fun of the game!! and doesn’t really matter for your fun.

  16. Oh hey, another Flux post with full-blown up positivity 😀
    The key to stay sane in this “oh-so-cruel” world is simple: stop caring whether others have “bought” items or not. Only care whether you are having fun or not. Or, if you really are so keen on caring, why not care about WHAT computer they are playing on? And how do they got that computer? Do their parents pay the electricity bills? *Soooo unfair, right?*
    Nope. Not unfair. Life is different for everyone, deal with it.

    • The computer argument: D3 runs even on olders systems quite well –> no real benefit for owners of high end machines. The reason, why Blizz designed this system? To have more customers = more profit. No prob with that.
      Life is unfair, ok. But D3 is not “life”, it is a product shaped by Blizz. The reason, why Blizz designed the RMAH-system? To earn more money/ avoid the black market/ get their piece of the cake = MONEY. I can understand even that. But listen, then they should at least call it by it’s name and cut the crap with equality/ “poor working gamers”/”protection of gamers” arguments. This BS is just not honest but only fooling people.

      • Real honesty should start from within. Even if we compare D2 to D3, we NEED to accept the FACT that there were people who either hacked their way through the game, or bought items for real money – and there were those that lived on the principle of no hacking, no real money getting involved.
        That is one thing. The other is: I tried to show you how the line is purely imaginative: it can start here with one, there with someone else. The only person liable to your principles is yourself, nothing else. In Diablo 3, you can choose that reality for yourself, because it is not an MMO in a sense that you do not need to be in party with those that do not align to your moral code when it comes to item buy.
        And if one still decides to retain the sense of fairness: the pure difference between free time of players already shows how unfair things can be perceived, and the only thing that can stop that negativity is You : )

  17. I have said it before and I will say it again, the solution to the RMAH dilema is quite simple.
    Original Looter ID.

    Loot drops, player picked it up, the loot has now a very small text at the bottom of the tooltip that says “looted/found by __”.

    That way, elitists can brag about the fact that they are wearing all of their precious spoils. Casuals can buy all the gear they want and not give a damn about wether they bought a gear or not because, well they are casuals.

    It is like how trading in Pokemon works. You don’t really care if someone’s name is on your newly-traded shiny pokemon. But the elitists will avoid trading for them at all cost and would rather find/breed their own shiny. The elitists cannot mock the traders because trading is a general part of the game and likewise, the traders cannot say that finding/breeding your own pokemon is stupid either. It is a scenario that works for different kind of players

    • Thats actually a great concept! 
      It’s wierd how Blizzard can’t figure these things out… Since the RMAH won’t get trashed (sadly) they could ATLEAST make a small fix like this?

      I also hate how the PvP is going to be affected, ppl just buying their way to success… And NO! I won’t win because I “spent more time playing”. Since the ppl bought their gear out of RMAH likely spent that “saved” time in PvP instead… (Im tierd of that broken Blizzard argument without any logic).

      How can they go on about stuff like ‘brag’ and ‘showing off’ when there is NO way to do that? Anyone can with ez just buy their way to the top. Anytime you’ll see someone with top notch gear your mind will immediately draw one conclusion… Dad’s credit card.  🙁

  18. That’s a great analogy, just imagine if someone could buy Park Place and Boardwalk with real money… well, it’s a good HALF of an analogy, you just left out the part where this is happening in another game, down the street, that doesn’t effect the game of monopoly you’re playing with your friends in the slightest.

  19. RMAH will result into child labouring as children will farm to get money which their parents arn’t able to give.

  20. An official RMAH doesn’t make its users legitimate players; it makes them official cheaters.

  21. While i’m iffy on the RMAH, I really think Bashiok saying that there’s basically no good objection to it, is rather some company bullshit. There’s a reason why it can be harmful to gameplay (lol causuals with uber gear) and there’s also a reason why the player base should not (or may not ) like such a thing (I for one, really enjoy games because we’re being treated fairly despite social economic brackets).

    To all the people making arguments about the mythical 14 hour a day summer break teen, I think thats the real imaginary argument. What about the mythical 40 hour a week worker who takes vacation time off  to play the game, what about the retired person, what about flex hours.  All these things will make a difference and WILL happen. I don’t see you worrying about that. 

    RMAH plus Shared Stash will equal an aconomy destroying glut of items. Why would anyone be bothered to trade for things they already bought for 3.99 microtransactions.  I really feel the whole microtransaction business destroys (or at least significantly changes) the feel of a game which is why I am against the RMAH. 

    That said, its done except the crying. IM not sure why the blues dragged this up again, but I really feel bashioks answer was poorly thought out, on the verge of idiotic and show him towing (what Im sure others feel is a ) stupid company line. If you gotta kiss a pig you gotta kiss a pig bashy, but couldn’t you dress her up a little nicer, and not act like we’re stupid for not wanting (or getting paid to ) do the same.

    I just hope this bullshit keeps out of Hardcore mode, althought im not sure with Hc being a toggle at 10 apparently. If someone wanted to go into detail why they had to have a seperate economy and everything for HC players but only after 10 (except maybe to act as some kind of itemsink from the main economy) I would be interested to hear it.  

  22. the main flaw in bashiok’s argument is that people using the RMAH have jobs. they do not, but they do have parents with credit cards who will cave into their begging. and i love all these people posting on a diablo fansite about how they have lives. oh the irony

  23. Weather people like it or not items will get sold for money with or without RHAH. Those who think otherwise are imo naive or just haven’t played D2 for very long.
    I however fail to see the point of this whole “But person A has bought items and Person B hasn’t it’s not fair”

  24. Not sure why you would buy items when you’re playing a game that’s all about finding them. Unless you’re only in it for the pvp, naturally.

  25. RMAH feels fine IMO, i don’t see any real difference between RMAH/Gold AH and the trading that happened in D2.
    I’d have to say that characters i geared with only self found gear where very very few, if any.

    More often then not the drops i got where not for the characters i was interested in gearing at the moment and i don’t think that will change in D3, sure i could send the gear to another character that i might maybe someday want to play but it makes more sense to me to simply sell items i don’t need and buy something i need instead.  

    if someone wants to spend real money buying an item instead of farming for gold to buy the items they want it’s the same to me.

    • But then again, trading is one thing. The chance that someone with that exact item you need joins your exact game, and that you in that moment has something he’s willing to trade if for is not that big. Especially when you compare that to an AH where you can search for items with special affixes and stats, and then buy it without even playing the game first.  😐

      • I rarely spent any time in trade games, spamming trade chat or trading on the trade forums here was the way to go.

        • Oh, well that evens it out alittle. The difference is still big tho, and the trading community then, was not near as big as D3 “trading” is going to be. And still, you had to have something to trade with right? Something you’ve got thru playing the game. 

          And by having a RAMH, “ofc” all the good stuff is going to be sold for real money instead of gold. So in the end, if you are not willing to pay with real money, you actually have to farm all your gear, since no one want’s to trade and the normal AH only got stuff that sucks?

          Well im not saying thats what’s going to happen, just that it could. 🙂 

  26. I agree with BAshiok’s reasoning.
    Also it’s not like people didn’t buy items in D2 lol. Even without RMAH there still would be d2jsp as well as d3 item shops. Truth be told it’s remaining the same as it always was.
    I can’t play 10h a day because i’ve got work so having an equalizer is good. As a person playing 10h a day i would not hold it against people who bought their gear. It’s not like i can’t get it myself. This is not RL where some things like Ferrari are out of reach of common folk. Here anyone can get the best sword.

  27. I don’t really care about the RMAH, wont make the game worse for me in any way, because I’m not very competitive and don’t really care what items other people have.

    But that bash reply is pretty much like saying doping is ok in sports, if you cant practice as much as the other athletes but you have money to pay off a skilled doctor to pump you full of drugs, because hey RL money is worth far more than any medal you can gain by playing fair …

    Also people whining that they cant play as much as a 14 yo kid because they have kids and family, is the WORST argument EVER. Seriously grow up LOL, you shouldn’t care that much about a freaking game if you don’t have time to play it and got a family to take care of … tards …

  28. Interesting for/against arguments — I’m actually annoyed at it for totally different reasons. Having a price tag on my character cheapens the game for me; I got excited when a Herald of Zakarum dropped in D2. In D3, I’ll just think \Oh look, $2 dropped. Another few days of D3 and I could buy a sandwich.\ Maybe it’s because I have a job, but it’s like the game is trying to convince me I’m wasting my time.

      • Not that it matters (there’s no way I’ll make a life-changing amount of money from D3), but that sounds like either an expensive site, or you were looking at a perfect HoZ.

  29. Come to me, I’ll supply all your warez “for a price” to pwn scrubs in the arena
    Farming inferno 16 hrs a day like a boss.

  30. A better analogy than Monopoly is solitaire. It’s like one guy whipping out his wallet and paying someone to give him the cards he needs in order to win, and another dude playing his own, separate, game of solitaire complaining about the first dude.

    • This is true. Until they release the floodgates and bad players start to smack around skilled ones, so how again doesn’t that affect you if someone is playing crap in front of your eyes and you stare into a “you are dead” screen? That would be detrimental to my experience at least. 
      I don’t think blizzard will shrug this off as a vocal minority by that time, although the outcry might provoke a seemingly easy solution of a non RMAH arena for instance. Also, I think their “people do heroin anyway, we might a well supply it” argument is thin.   Tony soprano would be proud, blizzard want’s a cut and the gun to your head is an awesome game. You’ll pay up anyway(play the game).

  31. This is strange. I have always thought that if someone invests more time into something, he gains some sort of advantage or just become better. It is like saying “I have a lot of work, children etc., I do not have much time to play football” and that is why i want to have a possibility to bribe/pay to referee/other players to win the match against guys who train a lot. This is unfair. The very logical point is: If you *insert one on the million reasons why you do not have enought time to play*, YOU WILL NEVER BE THAT GOOD. What is so hard to understand about that?

  32. It is a very hard concept to alot of ppl that, “having fun” and “achieving something” is different goals. Everyone has their own ways to have fun. I love running around D-world killing monsters and getting my loot. Which means RMAH is irrelavant and would spoil my fun. I love playing it alone, which means ppl who uses RMAH is irrelavant to me. I dont play PvP, so i dont care if anyone has better item. MY having fun is simple, it doesnt require achivement, and i am sure im not the only one. IF you love achievements, there are better things to aim for than items. Last time i heard, the hardest achievement is playing the whole game without any equipment used? Or play hardcore, which is a better kind of achievement than collecting item in softcore, and has no RMAH. 

    So pick one way you want to enjoy D3, and stick to it and ignore the rest. if i can accept D3 not having offline, surely u can overlook RMAH?

    If you are a supporter of always-online, then you are bound to interact with ppl, and i doubt the origin of their equipment is the biggest worry. In fact ppl who has a job and is able to spend money on RMAH would be easier to mix with that those mentioned 14 y/o who can sit there for 14 hours a day playing D3. i cant imagine those ppl spitting curses at others, rage quit, blaming and whinging, in an ill-manner.

    If you dont support always-online, you probly are a pro-single player like me, or will be eventually, and when you play alone (or with your friends) how will RMAH affect you if you dont use it urself? 

    I apologize if anyone wanna point out that RMAH and always-online are 2 separate problems, but to me, who plays from australia, it will always be the only problem, and is tie to everything.  

    • You have some points there. But still, if someone does not fit into that “achivement only” or “singleplayer” box. They are gonna have a problem with RMAH whether they like it or not. It’s not possible to just pick a way to play a game. You will always pick what you enjoy the most, and if that’s not possible… Well there is your problem. 

      And, as far as I know, Blizzard fixed the latency problem, so I guess you won’t have any problem even tho you are going to play from Australia? 🙂 

      • i tried the beta, and the latency is still there. half the sessions i get rubberbanding, atks from my side is not delayed, but atks from monsters are, item drop etc. The only time i joined a multiplayer game, we went to SK, and i jus stood there rubberbanding the whole time, not able to do even 1 hit, then SK was dead. When i have that kind of problem, i fail to see how RMAH is gonna make it worse. 

  33. Seansky, you forgot that Diablo 3 is a 99% game about items and you can actually buy those items using real money. Got it? Sure, some guy can have fun doing records on barrels breaking but that has nothing to do with what the core gameplay is based on. It is like saying “It’s all right that some guy can “BUY” better aim in Counter Strike, i can still have fun doing strafe jumps…”

    In the end, if it’s all about fun as you guys keep saying, why in the hell some guy would NEED TO BUY a really good item considering he will never fully utilize it because he will keep playing and having fun somewhere in Normal/Nightmare (because you don’t need to beat Hell/Inferno to have fun right?), thus he doesn’t need epic items to be viable AND TO HAVE FUN at all?

  34. Even though there are legit arguments on both sides, I found the OP on the forum’s posing of the question (he originated multiple threads on the same topic, some much more trollish) so insulting that I wrote a reply that got me temp-banned from that forum. Which made me even madder. I got smoke coming out of my ears.

    He just frames it as this whole wealth envy thing that just sticks in my craw. People who lose sleep over how other people spend their money, creep me out bigtime.

    Personally the way I see it, the auction house will mostly be used by people who are at a high level and have been farming for a specific thing they really, really need/want, and just can’t get it no matter how many hours they grind. They know they can probably find it in a matter of minutes on the RMAH, do so, drop a couple of bucks, and feel better. That’s the only scenario where I can see myself using it, and the reason I won’t promise never to use it.

  35. I don’t plan on buying items on the RMAH, but..

    I use money to buy food.. I don’t farm vegetables and raise animals myself. Should I so that my food is more legit and earned?

    Maybe I should make my own clothes too..


    • ‘I use money to buy food.. I don’t farm vegetables and raise animals myself. Should I so that my food is more legit and earned?’

      Playing Diablo 3 with RMAH is actually like pretending that you grown these nice vegetables yourself. Hope you get it.

  36. I love the idea of gold-based auctions and may use them if I spend hours and hours and cannot find an item I need. If you have three awesome swords and really need a hammer, trading is a great solution.
    I dislike the idea of money-based auctions as I think it is cheating.  Not “You are a bad person who deserves to go to jail” or anything.  But you are cheating.  If in Star Craft you could spend real money to buy 200 top level units, and then you win, did you not cheat?
    But what I hate is the rationale that “people are going to do it anyway, so why not try to support it.”  This line of reasoning is so ridiculous.  I can’t decide whether Blizzard has twisted itself into a moral pretzel or is just using this as cover to make money.
    It’s like major league baseball saying “People are going to take steroids to cheat at baseball anyway.  So we’re going to sell out own brand of steroids.  They are safer and more reasonably priced.”

  37. Well… it seems it’s better to go this “People will do it anyway.” route, introduce RMAH and make some bucks out of it, than trying to prevent it and thus making the game better.

  38. In D2 buying items was considered cheating. Now it’s supposed to be OK and people are cheering it on so Blizz can make some extra coin? Meh. I don’t think it’s that big a deal but the 180 that large portions of the community has performed is funny.

  39. I feel like I’m going to be playing a whole mess of Inferno for the next 6 to 7 months seeing as how I’ll be part time till next year. If I happen to find a high selling item that doesn’t fit my character, I’ll be very happy that the RMAH is there, or if there happens to be that one legendary that’ll make or break my build I won’t mind kicking out a couple bucks for it.

  40. The “time is money” argument is such a slippery slope fallacy, why is it this BS being repeated over and over and over again? You might aswel use the pro-RMAH “argument” that “the world just isn’t fair and cheating happens”.
    The moment you introduce outside valuta to buy things in a game that’s so heavily based on loot as Diablo is is the moment the game stops being a game, let alone a fair game.

  41. Bashiok, like many others arguing in this debate, makes a very bizarre assumption: that there is, in the Real World, some kind of equivalence between money and time at a job.
    That is just blatantly incorrect. While some people have money in direct proportion to the time they spend working, even those people get paid at vastly different rates, and those differences have only a tangential relationship to effort put in earlier in one’s career. Some people have access to lots of cash because they have wealthy parents, or a wealthy spouse, or a wealthy sugar daddy. Some people got it by illicit means. Some people just got really lucky, in the lottery or on the stock market. Conversely, there are lots and lots of people (the 99%, as the phrase is these days) who work really hard at one or two or three jobs, have very little free time, and are still either downright poor or just barely getting by. And lots of people who spend most of their time at unpaid labor: the time a mom spends caring for her kids or her elderly parents, or for that matter volunteering at her local animal shelter, does not result in cash she can spend on the RMAH. Neither does the time a student spends in class or writing a dissertation… in fact, those are time-consuming non-play activities that COST money.
    So any argument which posits an equivalence between time and money IN THE REAL WORLD, as Bashiok’s argument does, just fails, and not for a minority. I would say that as a proportion of the population as a whole, including people who are not in the workforce for whatever reason (a group to which a lot of gamers belong), the people whose income corresponds directly to the hours they spend at their job are a small minority.

    • Bashiok never even mentions the time you spend at a real job to earn money. He says that you can work a job to make money, but time never enters into his statements on that topic. Dunno where you’re getting this from.

  42. You know as long as Blizzard is getting paid it will fall on deaf ears. That is the reality of it. I personally will not use the RMAH because I believe in finding the good items on my own instead of paying to win. If I don’t get the good items right away then perhaps another day but I’m not going to spend real money in a hack and slash game. Blizzard somehow found a way to get a monthly fee out of a multiplayer rpg. Grats on them for being so clever but shame on you if you pay to win.

  43. Diablo 3 is not a “closed system”. As soon as you have real-world friends casually giving items to each other, the system is open. Claiming that some forms of real-world interference (such as friends giving items to each other) are OK while forbidding others is arbitrary and unjustified, if a “closed system” is our supposed reason.

    • What those real-world friends are doing is called trading. Even if your not giving an item back in that exact moment, you most definitely will at some point. So thats no diffrent than trading with an random person ingame. And I don’t even think that everyone would just give away those super rare lagendary items even to an real-world friend.

      RMAH is a completely diffrent thing, there can anyone, (without even putting a fair amout of time into the actual game) buy everything they need/want. Just complete normal difficulty and you are lvl 60, then buy the best gear and your done. Outgearing all the ppl playing fair for months if not years…  In most games thats called cheating.  😐

      • The only items available to buy are items people have found and decided to sell. The game doesn’t just generate items on the RMAH.

        What’s the difference between being given an item from a friend as soon as you hit 60 and buying the item on the RMAH? Why does it become “cheating” to exchange items when money is involved? Would it be “cheating” if I have friends who play this game a ton and just give me great items all the time?

        In any case, my point still stands that D3 isn’t truly a “closed system”.

        • Haha are you serious? Im not even going to comment that first thing you said…. -_-

          Well, if you read my post one more time you don’t have to ask what the diffrence is, because I made it pretty clear? Even if you have 10 friends giving you all the good items they find, you won’t even be close to the wast diversity of diffrent items you can access thru the AH. 

          So, a friend giving you some items (or friends trading amongs themselves) is not even close to the same thing as RMAH. I can understand if you aren’t against RMAH, everyone can have their own opinion. =)
          But you can’t say that it’s the same thing as trading among friends. That’s simply not true. 

    • HAHAHA, what? You equate playing with friends and sharing the loot with buying items with money? Wow,…
      pro RMAH arguments are getting dumber by the minute.

      • No… I’m saying that friends giving each other items means that factors outside of the game – i.e. friendship – affect the game, meaning that it’s not a “closed system”.

        Your posting nickname becomes you.

  44. I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal of this?
    Let me put to you what I plan on doing in-game.
    I work a full time job and will really only play an hour or two on a weekday.
    But let’s say of those 1-2 hours that I play, I get a super duper massively epic legendary item that will sell on the RMAH for $50.00.
    I won’t keep it. I will sell it for real cash.
    I will do this because, quite frankly, I would rather be one step closer to my 55″ TV than have a super duper massively epic legendary item on Diablo 3.
    Sure, you can say I’m not dedicated – but I will eventually get through all the difficulties, the same as the next guy. It will just take me a bit longer.
    I think that you will find it’s the spoiled kids paying for items on Diablo; not the people that have a grasp on the concept of money.
    But then again, people do irrational things with their money ❗  

  45. To have your cake and eat it, too.

    “Given how the loot in D3 works, there’s simply no way an adult with a job and a family and real life responsibilities can compete with the stereotypical 14 y/o playing 14 hours a day on his summer vacation. So isn’t it “fair” to allow that adult to spend a small % of his real life earnings to buy gear that gives him some parity with the kid who plays all day?”


    People who invest more time in real life efforts than in Diablo 3, as adults tend to do, value those things more highly than how awesome their gear is in a computer game. They will (without an RMAH) consequently and naturally not have the most awesome gear, but they have families and real life posessions instead. This was their choice. What’s unfair about that? “Fixing” the resulting ingame “imbalance” through buying at an RMAH is just trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

    We let kids be kids, meaning we let them play. Meanwhile, we clean the house and pay the bills for them. Kids will have better gear in D3 as a result of that (as long as there’s no RMAH for adults to spend their paychecks on) which is just a benefit of being a kid! What’s wrong with that?

    There’s also kids that don’t play D3 all day and instead spend their time mastering a skill that 20 years later makes them rich. By the above quoted analogy, these kids need to be compensated with ingame gear. (They don’t have the money to use the RMAH.) This would be nonsense too…they simply chose to value other things in life more highly and invest their time accordingly.

      • i have seen such system in some RPGs, where killing monsters in certain combo or in certain time frame, gives you better loots., 

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