Auction House Acceptance: Flux Goes Shopping

I did not use the Diablo III Auction House at all for about six weeks after launch. I didn’t want to, I didn’t need to, and I saw the way so many heavy AH users had burned out on Diablo III, largely since they could never find any gear that was better than the stuff they’d bought. I was self found and proud of it, since my l33t skillz were enough to (eventually, arduously) defeat the content that lesser mortals were blowing through in seconds, thanks to their ill-gotten goods.

Did I stick to my guns (or at least my pistol xbows), and remain self found? Did I score enough loot playing solo and making wise use of the Artisans to pull myself up by the bootstraps and succeed without delving into the corrupting trading market?

Read on and find out.

What's the origin of the gear on your Inferno characters?

  • 2) Mostly from the Auction House or friends. (43%, 2,118 Votes)
  • 1) All from the Auction House or friends. (30%, 1,463 Votes)
  • 3) Mostly self found. (13%, 645 Votes)
  • 5) I don't have a character in Inferno. (9%, 457 Votes)
  • 4) Everything self found. (5%, 240 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,921

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The Diablo III Auction House

Early Auction House display.
I agreed with the (by no means unanimous) community consensus that trading sucked in D2, and that an Auction House would be a cool feature in Diablo 3. And I joined others in assuming/predicting that we’d get an Auction House in Diablo III long before it was confirmed. I didn’t object to the GAH, or even the RMAH, on pragmatic reasons. Despite that, I still elected not to use it when the game launched back in May.

I’d almost never traded in Diablo 2, and not just because the trading system sucked. I played a lot back in the day and was very proficient at Magic Find, so I was able to supply virtually all my own needs. In fact, I can only remember one actual trade, when I swapped a Stormshield for an Eaglehorn, mostly since I had found 4 Stormshields and was sick of using a Buriza back in the v1.09 days, and wanted a different bow for cow running. (Naturally, I found a Windforce about a month later, and this was all in the Hardcore economy, where items held a lot more value.)

So no, I didn’t want a Diablo 3 Auction House from some sort of “God I wish D2 had one” desire. But the D2 system was inarguably awful, since even if you avoided the wug-infested hellholes that were trading channels and games, the lack of a standard currency complicated things, and that’s not even mentioning the massive corruption from illicit RMT, which was largely fueled by duping, hacked items, Pindlebots, etc. After that, the idea of a clean, clear, official, legit Auction House in Diablo III was a pleasing one, and I looked forward to it.
Once the game was out though, I had no interest in using it.

Self Found, For Reals

It wasn’t a difficulty temptation to resist in those early days, since I didn’t hurry through the game and hit the Inferno gear-check-wall that frustrated most early rushers. I played more slowly, mostly solo, and alternated my time between several characters (my Wizard, Barbarian, and Demon Hunter were all around level 50 back in late-May), regularly passing items between them in a sort of we-are-a-solo-party arrangement. I never bought or sold anything on the AH though, neither gold nor real.

I wasn’t making some big moral stand, since as I said, I didn’t object to the AH, in principle. I just didn’t need items other than those I was finding, plus I wanted to experience and evaluate the game as it was designed and balanced, and not use the GAH to paper over any flaws in the balance, rate of progression, difficulty, economy, prices, crafting, and all the rest.

That theory soon looked very wise, in the sense of preserving my enjoyment of Diablo III, as numerous people I knew rushed one character into Inferno, found it way too hard without better gear, and found the GAH the only source of that gear. Others didn’t even wait for Inferno to start GAHing, and turned their full play through into something of a glorified god mode tutorial by using bought gear to wildly overgear their characters.

This was probably fun at the time (I recently finished Act 4/Hell with my neglected Wizard while using a 1289 two-handed sword — obliterating everything in sight with .2 second bursts of Disintegrate was ridiculous and yet fun.) but was ultimately a recipe for dissatisfaction, since buying such gear meant that they never found any upgrades in Inferno, and that really amplified the issue of Diablo 3’s underpowered sets and uniques.

I eventually worked my Demon Hunter through Hell and into Inferno, and found it less than a stone wall of gear check, but far from a happy fun experience. And this was after the v1.0.3 nerf that made Act One Inferno much more item rewarding and much less one-shot misery. My Demon Hunter wasn’t getting one-shotted, but my killing speed was far from acceptable, since my weapon was far from excellent. Everyone “knows” that Diablo III’s uniques and sets are underpowered, and the in-game item drops and Blacksmith recipes are underpowered as well… but only in terms of weapon damage. Armor, on the other hand, isn’t that poorly balanced, and you can craft some pretty good rares once you’re into the high 50s, even before you’ve got Inferno materials or have found any of the supremely-uncommon crafting plans.

That’s a relative statement, of course, as the armor you can craft or find is plenty good enough for Hell, and maybe Act One Inferno. You’ll need to farm farm farm if you want to advance through Act Two, though. Farm or Auction House.

Just surviving isn’t enough, of course. You need to kill things to get loot, and you need killing power to kill things. My Demon Hunter had a good build and decent armor when she got to hell, but even after several Hell/Act 3 and Act 4 runs at level 60, with full stacks, and numerous scratching and clawing and desperate efforts to get through the first half of Act One, with NV stacks active, I’d never found better than a 550 DPS crossbow, and it was one of those lumbering, 1.10 Attacks per Second xbows. Ugh.

So, earlier this month, I finally decided I was wasting time sticking to my “all self found” mantra, and visited the Auction House late one evening. (In disguise, so none of the neighbors would recognize me.)

Succumbing to Temptation

Dream of more than 3 affix filters.
As anyone (everyone) who uses the AH knows, a 550 DPS blue xbow isn’t exactly top of the line for level 60. I looked at the top of the line, 100 million bows, just for shits and giggles (there more giggles), before filtering down the buyout price to 50k and doing some bargain seeking. I had nearly 2m gold in my account, and could easily have bought a pretty good bow, but I was intentionally going low end and looking at just blue bows with damage. No IAS, no +Dex, nothing. Just damage, and this after my old xbow had great stats, with over 140 dex, critical hit chance, vit, and more.

Moving quickly, I settled on a 1086 DPS bow. No frills, no bonuses other than the lightning damage, for 50k on the buyout. I must admit to some excitement as I transferred the purchase to my stash, and waited to equip it to see what my character window DPS would do.

Believe it or not, that number went up. I don’t remember the exact stats, but it was something like from 8800 up to 17k (without DiabloWikiSharpshooter selected, since that bloats the Demon Hunter’s displayed damage to meaninglessness), plus the faster firing rate meant much faster Hatred generation and better projectile avoidance.

I wasn’t just shopping for better numbers though, so I quickly went and played… and laughed my way through most of Act One, as all of the encounters that had formerly been all but impossible became routine. I’d been struggling against almost every boss pack since I took so long to kill things that I had to kite like a windy day at the beach. This made my margin for error very thin against almost any boss pack, and when I got DiabloWikiBoss Modifiers like DiabloWikiWaller, or DiabloWikiFast (much less both), I had no chance. I was forever running out of Discipline, or I’d miss one Smoke Screen and take two hits and drop dead, or run a burst of damage to try to finish a Champion off and wind up just short and out of gas. Worst of all were the fights when I’d run away, scramble, struggle, and finally kill one or two monsters, or die when I nearly had the pack dead, and by the time I got back to the scene of the battle all the surviving monsters had completely regenerated their hit points.

More damage fixed most of those problems, and in less than an hour I blew through the second half of Act One, killed the Butcher on my first try, and even earned the achievement for doing him in under two minutes on Inferno.

Naturally, more damage wasn’t enough for everything, since when I moved on into Act Two I and found the gear check a reality. Suddenly the one shot days were back, as those yodeling Lacuni bomb throwers were happy to show me in the canyon. I pushed on, eventually earning five stacks in Act Two and making it almost to Alcarnus, but there were many deaths on the way, and I had to ditch some mobs, including a group of 4 Champion Sand Wasps with DiabloWikiMortar, DiabloWikiArcane Enchanted, DiabloWikiVortex, and DiabloWikiIllusionist.

How I wanted to beat them, as my Demon Hunter always takes Mortar as a personal insult and challenge. Alas, I could not. The confusion of so many Illusionist wasps (their baby wasp BBs do no damage, but are indistinguishable from the real ones) was a huge pain, and they kept Vortexing me into the midst, forcing me to hit an instant Smoke Screen and run. But where to run, with Arcanes turning, slot motion BBs everywhere, real and fake Wasps floating in every direction, and a dozen Mortar shots coming at me from every direction the second my SS wore off. (Just writing about it now I wish I could go back and try again. If only Diablo III had some kind of “save game” state in a single player mode that could be revisited at your leisure.)

So no, I couldn’t beat Act Two Inferno with a decent damage bow and crappy gear. What I could do, after a bit more practice and some better gear (all self found) was run Act One quite efficiently, clearing out 90% of the bosses in about an hour and earning a good 20 or 25 high level rares per try.

Resigned to My Fate

And that’s what I’m still doing, when I get time to play, a week and a half later. I’ve not found any bow upgrades, though it’s possible. I have found damage two-handed weapons for a variety of other weapon types that I will never, ever equip, other than as a joke.

I have found a ton of upgrades for pretty much every other item slot though, and have found numerous upgrades for my level 60 Barbarian and Wizard, including weapons that should be more than enough for them to work through Act One. The Wizard just finished Act 4 of Hell, and had a laugh doing it with 35k life, over 450 to all resistances, and a two handed sword that was just short of 1300 DPS. I haven’t done more than 10 minutes of Inferno with her yet, but she moved through everything up to rescuing Cain without so much as having to activate her Diamond Skin, and I’m sure I she could advance to Act Two without any real difficulty.

From a purist PoV though, those items I used to overgear my Wizard, along with everything else I’ve found since I bought that bow, are tainted. Impure. Unclean. Since they were enabled by me using a non-self found bow that more than doubled my damage. Even though it wasn’t a very good bow and had damage equivalent to that of a sword, two staves, and a polearm I’d found, while still scratching along with that 550 xbow.

Luckily, there are no purists in Diablo III, so no one knows or cares about this but me.

Vote Time

As far as I know, I’m fairly unusual in not using the Auction House constantly, and doing it since shortly after Diablo III’s release. I’m also fairly unusual in that still enjoying the game, even the Inferno end game. (There’s almost certainly a strong correlation between fact one and result two.) And why wouldn’t I? It’s challenging enough to keep me on my toes, and since all but one of my items are self found, I’m not bored and depressed by the item hunt, since I’m forever finding upgrades. Every yellow question mark is a delight and a thrill!

(Okay, not really. 1) the game desperately needs an “ID all” button, since JFC, no one wants to stand there right clicking for 45 seconds every time they return from an item run with 5 stacks. The 3 second wait just adds annoyance most of the time, “Oh look, another ilvl 62 weapon without a single +damage mod on it!” 2) Imagine how much fun it would be will be when you can find unique/sets more than once a week, and if they’re better than average quality rares are now?)

So, how unusual am I in my Auction House usage? Survey time.

(By request, I moved the vote up to the top of the article so it would be visible on the main page without requiring a click through.

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91 thoughts on “Auction House Acceptance: Flux Goes Shopping

  1. I feel kind of dumb over the AH. I lobbied hard for it during development, suggestions about it, etc, but I didn’t really have the vision or foresight to see what it would do to the game.
    Now I remember all those barter system suggestions that I sneered at and feel kind of sad.

    Granted that part of this issue comes from a poorly-designed item system. There’s no point in having six-affix rolls if only three possible affixes are desirable anyway. Almost all the mods are junk mods barring a precious few.

    I went even farther than Flux and bought some items with real money. I’m pretty desperate to get this damn legendary wiki project done and I shuffled around ten bucks, getting almost every legendary in the game, which is sad. Moving it from RMAH to GAH and back through liquid funds.
    Which is way worse than the GAH in how it impacts the game. I feel filthy. πŸ™

    • In your defense, there was really no way to know the item system would be so broken that the AH / RMAH would break the game. But it wasn’t just that, it was a confluence of 3 factors:

      Bad Item Design (randomness / rares)
      Difficulty Curve
      The existence of the AH

      The idea of the AH in the game is a great one, but it comes with an implicit assumption: that you have actual options when gearing your character. The idea is that you would find things which are good that you DON’T want, which you could sell for items you DO want. And this would be beyond just a DH selling a Barb item, etc. It also came with another implicit assumption: That inferno would be challenging but doable with a variety of tactics and gear styles.

      Unfortunately both of those assumptions turned out false. Everyone wants the same 3 or 4 item mods, meaning there is little “variety” in how you build your character. Just as an example, as for why we assumed there would be, we all are D2 vets, and in D2 resistance was a static number, meaning you had choices: Do I want to get a lions share of it from armor, or shield, or amulet, or a combination of all 3, or is there a specialty weapon, etc. Diablo 3 doesn’t really have that type of decision to make because there’s no real alternative to all resist, so it’s best to have it everywhere possible.

      As for the difficulty, this further confounded the problem by making very few stats suitable to clear inferno. Not only is it preferrable to have resist all in every slot, it’s almost required to progress past act 2.

      In short, I don’t think it was the AH that is to blame. It’s the way the item system works at its core that makes good items so exceedingly rare that the difference between good and amazing is trivialized, because anything usable seems amazing when 95% of everything that drops is utter trash by the time you find it.

      • Precisely. I fully believe that the AH isn’t really the problem. I would expect the AH would work fine if it was implemented exactly as it is in D2. The problem has to do with the poor item system and limited value in legendary items. An item in D3 is either valuable or trash, there are no mediocre items.

        The rate that stat requirements scale so quickly also forces item upgrades as well which in part forces you to the AH unlike D2 where progression was more in the hands of the player. I actually went into a lot of depth on this issue on the D3 forums recently. Check it out if you want the full details.

        • Well I think the lack of a “currency” would keep it from working if it were just dropped into D2. But other than that I agree with the sentiment.

          I’m not sure if I agree with the conclusion that this was an effort to shift more commerce to the RMAH, but in reality it does kind of work out that way.

          I actually wrote a lot about the economy and itemization, but determined that no one would really care so I never posted them anywhere (still have in google docs). But the fact of the matter is that three things are so interconnected, that a game problem is likely one of the three but often all 3: Difficulty curve, Economy (Gold / Real money), Itemization.

          The fact is, each one seems messed up, and each one is in part messed up because the other 2 are messed up. There are other problems though, the lack of control you have over your character’s stats, the lack of leveling up as well. And I think all 5 of those factors coalesced in a way that made the end-game unbearable (for me).

          I would love to see them do something radical like take all primary stats off gear, and shift all primary stats to gems (adding more sockets, 3-6 per item slot).

    • I’ve played\advanced four (4) toons (Barb, Demon Hunter, Monk & Wizard) from level\day one to Inferno Act I pretty much as you did. Tended to share gear found by one toon with another. Was (and pretty much still am) a rabid purist but sadly I’ve had no choice but to hit the GAH for class-specific weapons upon my arrival in Inferno.

      In some cases I grudgingly accepted hand-me-downs from my guildies and I still vehemently refuse to patronize\shop the GAH for anything other than weapons. As a matter of fact, I felt almost as if I’d *cheated* when purchasing the weapons; not to mentioned totally fleeced by the *ridiculous* prices.

      My guild (Holy Knights of Westmarch) used to maintain several mule accounts as a guild armory of sorts. We’d stash and share goodies found with each other and it was cool. Obviously this sorta thing isn’t possible in the present game.

      I’ve been farming Act I Inferno now for the past three weeks. Average stats for my people:

      Vitality: 1,100
      Resists: 350
      DPS: 18k

      Any one of my people can clear the entire act in approximately two hours; (Cemetery, Festering Woods, Leoric’s Manor, Warden, Butcher). Last evening I played my Barbarian three hours, made 250k (GF 115%, MF 129% with NV5) and died six times. Found a buttload of magic & rare vendor trash, with only one keeper (a pair of britches if memory serves). Finished the evening off by making eight (8) perfect square gems (2 of each color) for 240k (am gradually building up my gem stock).

      Yeah, stuff drops … but the majority of the drops are pretty much worthless except as vendor trash, e.g. a ilvl 63 xbow with +150 str, +75 intel, 6% to Zombie Bears and *110* dps … wow wee

      I remember actually *finding* useful gear in Diablo 2 … this hasn’t been the case (so far) with Diablo 3. I still totally dig the game and love the challenge, but gear itemization and drop rates are a joke, legendaries are worthless in their present state, and the prices with the GAH are completely ridiculous.

      Commander, Holy Knights of Westmarch

  2. Mostly self found. Could be 100% self found, but I decided to get some minor upgrades from Hardcore GAH.

    This gear was enough for me to clear Hardcore solo, but certainly not enough to faceroll through later acts. I think if my goal now became to obtain gear able to faceroll A3/A4, I’d die trying to self-farm it.

    I do have a feeling that the drops/quality is going to get improved in 1.04 soon, as they promised to reduce reliance on the AH.

    • Quite frankly, I don’t see that happening unless they drastically alter inferno to not be progression-based.

        • I don’t know if they’ll nerf it. I imagine they’ll leave it much as it is, because I just don’t see them having the time to do that kind of design while also working on PVP and the item game.

          I really wish they’d have just kept inferno the way it originally was.

        • That’s not a feeling, that’s 1.0.4. underused skill buffs.

          Guaranteed that the balance guys are going to create hilariously OP new synergies or overbuff many of the currently weak skills based on an incomplete understanding of what makes the current good skills good.

  3. AH simply appears to be the most efficient way to gear (and profit, for those who manage). I do not have an inordinate amount of time to put in gaming any more, so time is an issue. AH saves time, even with the interface issues.

  4. “I was in agreement with the community consensus that trading sucked in D2”

    Since when has this been the consensus of the community? One of the best parts of Diablo II was the player-to-player trading in my humble opinion. I agree that it’s not the easiest thing to get into for new players, but for long-time traders it was awesome.

    Trading is also one of the main reasons I’ve been visiting this site on a weekly basis since the release of Diablo II (ETF ftw!)

    What happend Flux, you used to be cool:\

    • The trading did suck. There were no systems in place to support it besides spammy chat rooms and trade games where you’d probably not find what you’re looking for.
      The evidence that it sucked is sites like d2jsp. It needed a drastic overhaul, and there were two ways to go about it: a barter system, or an auction system. They simply went with the latter.

      WUG wasn’t fun, and it didn’t work well at all. It was time consuming and frustrating.

    • ? You’re describing what would be a large shift in perspective for him. I don’t see how his writing reflects either that he was “cynical” before or that he’s “sunshiny” now…

      • Not cynical before? You must be blind mate.

        Not sunshiny now? Look at the title “Auction House Acceptance: Flux Goes Shopping”. This is something straight out from a children’s book.

        • Well sure, the title is meant to be kind of silly and cutesy, but 1) I suck at titles and names in articles or fiction, and 2) it’s just a title. The content is what it is, and nothing in this article was written with any kind of, “I better make this sound positive about D3 or Bobby’s check won’t clear this week.”

          It’s obvious that a lot of people have decided they hate D3 and want to spend their online time informing other people of that fact. I am not one of them and in fact I’m getting more sucked into the game lately than any time since launch, since my DH is now well geared up for Inferno MF and my item finds are increasing in quality.

          I played my Barb through almost all of Act One Inferno last night, using 100% self-found gear, and it was a lot of fun and quite challenging. The Barb has pretty good armor and defensive stats, but not a great weapon (740 dps 1H) so there were a lot of long, tank-fest struggles against tenacious bosses.

  5. I have to comment on this, as I followed pretty much exactly what Flux had above. I actually levelled all 5 chars to 60 and to Act 1 inferno, then took the wizard forward to try and progress.

    One of the reasons for this is the lack of space in your stash, I knew I was going to level all chars at some point so was saving some useful stuff I found along the way, I bought all the stash quickly and it was full.

    I also wanted to learn the mechanics of all the chars, I had played the beta but it wasnt extensive enough for me to choose a character to play long term. (I played D2 for 7-8 years before moving to WOW)

    For me the big problem was Act 2, I cleared Act 1 self found and then hit a brick wall in Act 2, I got very frustrated seeing all my money drain away for repairs when my 15k damage on my wizard just wasnt enough to kill stuff or to beat enrage timers. I spent 100k on a weapon to take me to 20k damage and managed to progress (eventually) to Belial.

    Hah – this was a joke, I had 300 tries to beat him, always dying before phase 3. This week I gave up and gave in to the AH, I spent 2 million on a new weapon and some more gear that had resist all and more damage to take me to 25k. I killed him on the 10th attempt and realised it wasnt my playstyle it was my DPS problems. Now bearing in mind at the same time I am running Act 1 with 300 MF and regularly vendoring 100 rares at a time as they are so rubbish – I concluded I just couldnt self find through the game.

    In 250 hours I have found 3 legendary’s and no sets, only 1 legendary (string of ears) is remotely useful.

    Sad but true – for all my chars I just cant see me getting through all of the inferno acts without spending.


  6. if only max level wasn’t 60, at least you could be leveling and gaining stat points in Inferno

    be interesting if 1.0.4 introduces gems that increase Hatred and Discipline

  7. I actually liked trading in D2.

    Something about bartering with real live people was fun to me, I would see stuff i wasnt really looking for sometimes that i would be like “damn that is nice i didnt even know that existed”. Helped educated me on on the uniques, runewords and set items by seing them in the trade windows. I enjoyed communicating with people asking how much an item is worth. I enjoyed being able to farm for items runes or keys instead of gold to use as barter tools.

    That whole experience has been taken away in Diablo 3.

    I dont know if anyone here has played 2moons (Dekaron) but i loved the system they used and i havent seen it in any other game. You would leave your heros sitting in town and he would open his own shop which you could place items in your inventory and set prices and people could click on your hero see the items in your shop and buy them. It was pretty neat, gave your hero a purpose in the world as a merchant while you were afk instead of just dissapearing. Yes there were alot of people sitting in town with shops open but it gave you something to do running around looking for items for upgrades or to flip.

    • Actually, Final Fantasy XI Online was probably the first to do that back in 2003. They have an AH where you can list up to 7 items at a time (per character, not account), but you can also open your own “Bazaar” on your character with I believe up to 20 items for sale (I haven’t played in a while, so I’m not entirely sure what the limit was.)

      Anyways, my point is that it can definitely be a successful part of the game, and if it were implemented in Diablo 3 it might have encouraged people to join Public Games more often. Or, they could have done a “special” Act in the Public Games list that was essentially a giant lobby or town where people left their characters. I’m assuming something like this would have greatly increased the server demand, though.

      • Lineage II (came out roughly the same time as FFXI) had those personal shops (both for buying and selling) too, and jesus god did i LOATHE that system.

        Maybe it’s because in L2, you had to shop for a crap load of ingredients for crafting and/or just buying the item directly, but good god did it take FOREVER to sift through all of those shops. People would usually AFK in the main towns (Giran/Gludio), and there were easily over a 100 of them, clustered all in the center of town. So not only did it lag like crazy, it usually takes 30-60 minutes to check all of the shops for something you might need/want – not to mention keep track of how you would logistically check all of the shops (there was collision detection too so it makes that much harder to navigate)… Now that I think about it, it was similar to trying to find something you want via a trade forum, except instead of having a nice orderly list, it was a clusterfuck of individual playershops with signs above their heads…

        Not only that, but the system basically forces you to go \AFK\ if you want to sell something… That or spam in the trade channel like in D2 – except there was only one trade channel so the spam was unbelievable.

        My first experience with an AH was when WoW came out, and needless to say, my mind was blown by it’s efficiency. There’s a reason why every recent MMO I can think of adopted the AH instead of the other alternatives… And one of the reasons why I was surprised FFXIV adopted the Bazaar/Playershop system instead of an AH, which i recall them having in FFXI… though I could be wrong – i only played the beta. Well at least at launch, anyway. I haven’t kept up with the game after it’s massive fail.

  8. Poll should be viewable from the front page, ’cause I think the people who would read this whole (great) editorial to get down to the poll may be skewed vs. everybody who visits the site…though I can’t figure out which way…
    That, and it would draw more people to read the editorial.

    • I set it to display in the sidebar, but maybe you’re right and I should put it near the top of this article as well, so it would be visible without the click through from the main page. As I type this, about 5 hours after the article went up, there are 1500 votes and many, many times more views of the full article. So either lots of people haven’t voted, or the same 1500 people have reloaded the article repeatedly to read/post comments.

      • Thanks! Seems to me that it’s getting a lot more votes now but unlike what I thought, the percentages aren’t moving.

        • I’m often surprised that the vote percentages don’t fluctuate much over time. I guess it means the readers here are fairly homogenous, in that the first 500 voters are more or less identical to the next 5000, but very often vote percentages after a few hundred votes are little changed 10000 later.

  9. The AH is good for the game because of the wug mentality of most D2 players. These forums were amazing for trading. D3 needs a better trade interface. There are times when people in the trade channel are actually trading items, and it is a good way to score some deals. The worst thing about the AH is if you see an item you want, but they put the bids too high, it is gone forever.

    D3 would be great at trading as well because it has a meaningful currency!!! That is so important. Too bad when trading there are no freaking commas (17500000 for that? I have no idea what that number is 17,500,000 aah, I see now). It would also be nice to be able to access your RM account balance when peer to peer trading.

    All these lovely thoughts of trading and currencies will only hold true if there are notable desirable items. It is a lot easier to say “looking for x stat Dracul’s Grasp” compared to “Need gloves 100 str 50 vit 25 crit damage 50 res 400 armor 6 crit chance”.

  10. My barb who has beaten inferno is about 70% AH items. He is the gear farmer. I have a dh in act 1 inferno using all found gear and doing nicely. I have a wizard at 60 but I don’t enjoy the playstyle as much as barb or dh.

    I really appreciate the ease of the AH for trades. If you want to beat inferno quickly, it is clearly the most efficient way to get there. But I definitely take more ‘pride’ in the items I have found and use.

    The people who ‘hate’ the AH simply lack self control and patience, or don’t critically think about what upgrade will provide the highest return.

    I can spend millions on a single piece of gear, but that enables me to kill faster and bumps up my earning potential. It’s never wasted.

  11. I have mostly self-found gear, but to be able to farm Act 2 Inferno (A2I) with my Monk I had to buy gear from the GAH. My Monk playing in A2I has geared the rest of my level 60 characters, which allows them all to play easily in A1I, but none of them can farm A2I. My Wizard is somewhat close to being able to do it, but still not there yet.

    Anyway, my problem now is, I cannot find any equipment upgrades. Every piece of equipment I own has 3, 4, and sometimes 5 of THE desired affixes. But the numbers are mediocre. When I find stuff with bigger numbers, there is always a draw back, such as, 2 of the numbers will go up, but the other 1 to 3 affixes don’t exist on the new item, making it impossible to find an upgrade. For example, Dex going up 50 and Vit up 25 is not an upgrade if I’m going to lose 60 all resist and/or +crit chance. There is nothing left but the GAH, but at this point, I refuse to buy. I’m not spending millions of gold on something I already have which just has bigger numbers for 2 or 3 the affixes. Granted it would help move my Monk into A3I, but I’m not spending my gold to do this.

    Hopefully 1.0.4 will fix some of this. It would be nice to actually find a set or legendary item. My hours played continues to go up and I’m still sitting at 0 sets and 4 crap legendaries.

  12. You can still barter in D3! And price checks are at your fingertips with a few searches…

    Early on I found a good caster belt with my barb. I posted it on the AH and sold it for a few million. Then I searched for barb belts and allocated those funds to buy the best barb belt I could. I still use this belt and think of it as one of my best ‘trades’ even though I did not need to make a trading game to achieve the swap.

  13. I’ve no intention of ever using the AH… I’d quit first. Still don’t see the need to let someone else find my gear for me. I’ll consider the game beat when I clear hell difficulty with all 10 characters… 1 each class both HC and SC. By that time, the game will probably not even resemble the game we’re talking about today.

  14. @ risingred – I intended my example as a trade. You can barter in trade chat or forums just as you did in D2. It will probably be far more inefficient than the AH – even counting the fees.

  15. I’m with the apparent few who enjoyed d2 trading. I agree with MephedOut who said he enjoyed being able to farm for items and keys which had a set value, unlike constantly farming for gold. And since when did d2 not have a standard currency? If you traded at all you knew high runes were standard currency. I love this site and visit everyday for updates, but I think most of what Flux assumes about d2 is flat out inaccurate.

  16. I have 5 chars in Inferno of which 2 have finished it, incl all quests and events. Coincidentally I have 3 chars that never got anything from AH and 2 that have bought, extensively even and what do you know? The two AH-Geared ones are the ones that finished. The other 3 are struggling in Act2.

  17. Flux,

    Thanks for this post — it makes me feel better about myself. I’ve been playing entirely self-found, with no sharing of gear between characters. As a result, even entry in Hell has been a little annoying with my Monk — I have a lot of HP but my damage is paltry, and it’s hard to with a fight with a nasty affix combination without kiting. But the fact that other people had similar problems with self-found, that instantly seem to disintegrate when you get higher damage, is encouraging.

    I mean, I wish the game allowed you to have more vectors of participation than just damage and damage mitigation/health, but oh well.

  18. I’ve self found* all my gear and have just finished Belial with my barbarian in Act 2 with 140 hours, 89 on Witch Doctor. 55 hours on wizard (only started inferno) found 9 legendarys no set items.

    *I mostly play multiplayer with friends and items that are useful for my teamates I give and ones that they have which are good for me I take but I take that as self found because I killed the monsters which dropped these weapons, I just take this as an advantage of playing multiplayer it multiplies your drop rate by 2,3,4 πŸ™‚

  19. It’s kind of funny in that I do some gaming with one of the forum mods and he just bought some stuff on the AH recently for the first time. I must say it was a noticeable improvement!

  20. Its good to know I am not the only “purist” out there, im currently in act 2 with self found gear only with my barb =]. I’ve been tempted to get gear fron the AH this week but this got me to give up the idea and hopefully beat the game by myself someday.

    • Hang in there. Much better to beat the game with real items than to destroy the game with auction house candy like I did.

  21. I use a few self-found pieces in my HC inferno barb, but mostly AH goods. Some time, I may play a ‘hardcore’ HC character that will use only self-found.

    For now, however, I see the AH as a mini-game. Bargain shopping, selling good items to other players who can use them, etc.

  22. 100% self found, although for me, “self found” actually means anything my husband or I found. I have 2 classes at 60, and the other three at 52-54. The furthest I have actually gotten is the skeleton king in Inferno. I probably could have gotten further, but I’ve spent the last 2 weeks leveling my other 3 characters.

    I don’t have a problem with other people using the AH, I just like the challenge of self found. Never traded in D2, either.

    Oh, and so far, I have found a whopping 0 legendaries, and 0 sets. Fun times.

  23. *shaking my head*
    Flux… I’ve been commending you silently for refraining from gearing up via the AH.

    Am I condemning you now? Not at all, sir. The AH is without a doubt the fastest method to break through the gear check walls Inferno presents. I’m also a believer that Blizzard intended players to use it at will in order to improve some/most/all of their gear. I don’t blame anyone for taking advantage of a system that’s presented within the game.

    But for me, the AH is off limits. …At least for purchases, as I’ve sold items for maybe 500k in profit.

    My stance is one of familiarity, but also a sort of stubbornness. In D2, I was an offline single player only and to this day haven’t been on for more than ten minutes. I found the SPF in ’05, learned the tricks of MF, and for the longest time I was entirely self sufficient in terms of gear. I didn’t trade for the first seven or eight years I played; even then, the times I did trade were usually after forced restarts in order to get some basic gear that I’d find less than a month later.

    My play style in D3 is a result of those old days. As of now, I have yet to even look for gear improvements in the AH. If I ever want better items, I’m going to get them by playing the game.

    I’m not untainted, though. I MP much more than I ever did in D2 (about half my play time, maybe), and all of my friends have done a(n un)healthy amount of gearing through auctions. I will forever refuse to accept items they’ve bought from the AH and subsequently outgrown, but dozen or so times they’ve found an upgrade for me while playing I gladly accepted. Their purchased items were involved in gaining that gear. So I’m not entirely free of the AH, even though I’ve never bought anything.

    But… I can accept that. My friends’ AH gear has done nothing in the way of progressing me through the game. As of now, I can farm Act I Inferno easily solo, while Act II is still too difficult. So if my friends offer to push me through, I shall decline. If I can’t do it on my own, I’m not going to let their AH gear allow me to beat content I couldn’t defeat on my own.

    I’m an old curmudgeon, so I stick to my old ways. I know you’re an old hand with Diablo, too, Flux, so I appreciated you playing self found for as long as you did. I shall have a moment of silence now that your ambition to clear Inferno through sheer will and determination has died… but I completely understand your transition.

    Good read, thanks. And good luck BUYING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE REST OF THE GAME, YOU SELLOUT!!!! ;D [/joke]

    • I don’t know if this is an excuse, or I’m even trying to offer it as an excuse, but part of the problem was that so much of the community conversation was about Inferno and end game stuff, and given my “job” here, it was stupid that I couldn’t take an informed part in that debate.

      I had to play more in Inferno and item find at the end game, for better or worse, and I needed to play other characters into Inferno (this week’s podcast on the DH is just the first of 5). That’s possible doing it self found, as many others have testified, but barring huge luck, it’s a huge time sink and grind-fest, and I didn’t have the time to play.

      I *could* have gotten a usable bow; while struggling along pre-AH I’d found 2 swords, a staff, and a polearm all with 1000+ dps. I’d just had horrible luck with bows. Since I bought the 1086 bow, I’ve found at least 6 or 8 xbows and bows in the 800-950 range, any of which would have been good enough to farm (a bit more slowly) Act One. But nothing as good as the one I’m using. Yet.

  24. I don’t have much time to play, so my Monk is just starting Act II Hell. I had planned to avoid the AH for the reasons Flux mentioned. I wanted to have the fun of self-found gear, not speed-rush through with bought items, etc.

    I planned to clear levels completely, fight all bosses, periodically check out what the vendors had, and level up the Blacksmith ASAP.

    What I discovered, as others have said, is that the above did not really provide much good gear. I think after all the money and materials I poured into the Blacksmith, I maybe got *1* usable upgrade. I had much better success with gambling in D2. Monsters occasionally dropped rares but almost never anything useful. And vendors have blues which is usually not good enough in D3.

    I have a different view on the reason the item system has been such trouble. I think in D2 items had fewer “must have” attributes to be useful to an average character. A weapon *had* to have great damage, and hopefully leech/IAS or both. Armor had to have high defense and then hopefully some resists.

    In D3 it seems like equipment has way too many “must haves”. It is much harder to get adequate resists in D3, so you end up needing +resist all on practically every piece of gear. Due to the nerfing of leeching, everyone has moved to Life on Hit. But a single item cannot provide enough Life on Hit, so that needs to be on a lot of items. In D2 getting a stat boost from an item was somewhat useful. In D3 getting a stat boost makes a huge difference. Thus, a bonus to your primary two stats has become a requirement.

    Suddenly you need to have 5 or 6 attributes for a piece of gear to be any good. That means, with random gear generators, almost no items are going to be any good.

    The AH solves this since it has removed a major item sink from the game. In D2 you didn’t have space for a lot of extra items and few people traded non-optimal stuff. So good but not great gear often was twinked to lower level chars or else sold. Those items eventually were leaving the game, causing the pool of available good items to be somewhat small. With the AH, those items are staying in the game and getting sold, bought, resold over and over. As a result, supply is high and getting higher, meaning these rare items with 5 attributes that you want are actually somewhat available and affordable.

    Blizzard also does not want to flood the market any more than it already is, so they are loathe to increase drop rates. Raising it enough to use self-found gear would probably mean the AH would be flooded with near perfect stuff for 5000 gold. And they would not be making money on the RMAH.

    • I’ve talked about Inferno gear issues on the podcast a few times, and during the audition conversations as well, and even more than weapon damage, res all seems to be the biggest hurdle to clear. As many have pointed out, you basically have to have 300 res all to have any survival in Act 2, and you need more like 400 to thrive there, or 600 to survive act 3, etc.

      The required amount will vary some by class, but it’s almost a hard gear check, where below X you’re doomed, and once you exceed it you’re just laughing along.

      This is a huge diff from D2, where resistance wasn’t essential, and since it had a hard cap there was a point where you didn’t need to worry about it anymore. Thus you didn’t need res all on every piece of equipment, which freed your gear up to do other things, and didn’t require such a gear check for survival in the end game.

  25. I think fixing this would require changes to the way life leech, resists, and bonuses due to stats work. A few suggestions:

    * Reduce the amount of resists necessary to survive, or increase the possible bonus per item.
    * Offer resists only on a few item types. e.g. a good shield has resists. A good weapon cannot.
    * Increase the usefulness of life leech.
    * Increase the amount of life per hit that is available on a single item.
    * Offer life on hit/kill/etc only on a few types of equipment.
    * Reduce the benefit of increasing your primary two stats.
    * Increase the base damage of weapons to offset the reduction in stat-based increases.

  26. Flux, I understand exactly how you feel about your items being tainted. I dipped into the AH once for my DH in late Nightmare…loved the upgraded killing power but regretted the instant (un)satisfaction it gave. I opted to stay away from the AH (made easier by finding a near identical weapon in early Hell)…yet I found myself drawn back there in Act III Hell. Like you, I purposefully didn’t try to find a top of the line item…just something that would be definite upgrade. Although I was able to easily get through the rest of Hell difficulty, it just didn’t feel right. The big draw for me in any game like this is finding items. So, I’ve sworn off buying anything from the AH – it just destroys the my whole motivation to play these games. Even if 99% of all the drops are garbage, the thrill of getting that 1% lucky roll is what keeps me coming back. The AH is a way to cheat the game and guarantee that 1% lucky drop every time you use it – I’d much rather earn my loot the hard way. I’m not guaranteed to ever get a super items, but I know if I do it will be much more satisfying.

    Granted, if you want to get through all the game content quickly, the AH is the only real solution. I tend to take my time with games, so I’m in no rush at all to get through Inferno – only managed to get through Act I with two characters…my only level 60 characters. I have had my share of frustration with the game and I know that buying from the AH can (help) solve that…but if I do that, it will give only empty victories with no sense of satisfaction.

  27. What was so bad about trading in D2? You want a item, name a game what you want. Nigma 4 COH. Whats so hard about that? I could find a Tyreal’s Might by the end of the day if I wanted one.

    • You summed up what was so bad about it right there. “By the end of the day”. I don’t want to have to spend HOURS looking for an item…

  28. The AH really messed up D3. It makes the game a gold grind instead of an item grind, the latter of which made D2 fun. And I too thought it was a good idea from the start.

    I avoided it from day one though, and like Flux, felt inclined to use it to progress. Sure, I can avoid it. But as the devs have said, the game’s mechanics (difficulty etc) very much take into account the AH.

    D2: Farm loot to get better to farm loot faster.
    D3: Buy loot on AH “to break A2 wall,” to get past A2 to farm loot to sell on A2 to people who want “to break A2 wall.”

    Difference: Buy / Farm

    D3: “Shopping”

  29. Since my post on the first page I’ve been reading replies with interest to see if other people have had the same issues I have.

    Its interesting that many of you are:-

    a) I’m never using the AH! I’m a self found person who will lose the feeling of achievement if I give in!

    b) I’m never using the AH! Oh wait, damn, I did buy a xbow to get me through hell…etc

    I’m wondering how many of you realise that you can sit in Act 1 farming for days and days and days with 300 MF and find 1 maybe 2 items that are upgrades. Later, you decide for a bit of progression and get slapped down straight away in Act 2 and beyond, costing you millions in repairs. You may soldier on to the next boss…and ultimately Belial, but I can guarantee you whether its Belial (or myself now in Act 3 at Ghom) that you will again reach a point where you cant progress. Back you will go to farming – and the 1 or 2 items you found farming before need upgrading again to do Act 3. How long do you think this will take, and how long will you enjoy it for?

    What amazes me is that obviously some people completed this game in a few days from launch with self found gear only, how they got past fights like Belial and Ghom (post 1.03) I’ll never know.

    In my dreams can I play that well in a computer game.


    • I’m fully aware. I got sick and tired of being stuck in Act 1 Inferno — with 4 different classes — and not finding anything after hours, and hours, and hours of farming that would allow me to play any of them in Act 2 Inferno. Thus, I bought some gear for my Monk. It’s not the best gear but allows me to play in Act 2 Inferno with the help of a party. 39K life, 14K-15K DPS, 500-600 all resist, 6.xK armor = playable with help, but not going to get past some of the harder affix combos or Belial. Simply don’t do enough DPS.

  30. It’s interesting to see all the different viewpoints about the AH and trade game in D3. When I login to D3, I don’t think about the gold I want to earn, I still think about the few great drops I’ve had and where the next will come from. I don’t farm gold – I farm items. It just happens that maybe 5% are marginal as A1 inferno gear, which sell on the AH to eventually pool enough to buy a great item. Every 4 hrs I may find something worth a few million.

    Significant upgrades are now in the 10+ M range now so I don’t bother looking for gear until I have enough saved. I play mostly alone so I progress as fast as I want.

  31. People who first beat the game on inferno had no enrage timers to contend with. Now bosses like belial and ghom are gear checks that likely would have slowed progress considerably. Other things like weapon racks dropping really well also helped first grouop through inferno.

    I wonder how long it would take people to beat inferno now after a complete wipe.

  32. Items being mediocre or trash?? There are good and avg and amazing items in D3. The ‘problem’ is that usable items require many hrs to drop and require you didn’t already upgrade that slot. Check the AH – there are all sorts of items up of various quality…

    The ‘problem’ with the AH is that anything with a reasonable buyout is snatched up quickly, leaving mostly poorly priced items or stuff with no buyouts.

  33. I decided to play self-found through Hell (well, OK, self and a few things a friend found, mostly while MP-ing) and then let myself do some shopping on the AH when I started struggling with Inferno. So far I’ve only spent about 30k on a few items for my Monk (the only character I have in Inferno) and that help enormously in Act 1, but I’ve hit the Act 2 wall and I’m going to go back for some more (if not to let me progress, then the let me farm Act 1 with some degree of efficiency).

    I don’t want to get caught in the trap of buying such godly gear that nothing I’m going to find could possibly be an upgrade… but given the amount of gold I have available at the moment, that’s not likely to be an issue. πŸ™‚

    (Note that taint or no taint, I count items I find on my AH-equipped character as self-found for the purposes of getting other characters through Hell.)

  34. I think if you’re like flux and you try the self found gear thing – anything is possible. And I admire him for it. All the AH does is effectively hit the \fast forward\ button.

    Eventually you’d find a bow > 1K dps. Eventually you’d find gear to down diablo in act IV inferno. It would just take a SHIT TON of time in inferno. Not in Normal/Nightmare/Hell. But inferno is the tipping point where trying self-found gear now slows down so much (with self-found gear – or even friend-passing gear non-AH) simply because the gear check is so high.

    So perhaps a fun way to play D3 then, is self-found through diablo in Hell difficulty. And then at that point you choose. Do I want to reroll? or start buying into the concept of an AH.

    Mainly what I’m trying to do in inferno is farm gold (or items I can sell for gold) so I can shop the AH to find the specific items I want/need.


  35. I did more or less the same thing as flux. Upgraded my bow two times. First going into act I and the to actually beat it. I do sometimes find something that is a minor upgrade but that is rare. I think the time invested vs. reward for this game is just completely off and as such I should have written this paragraph in past tense; I paused playing – the game is just too boring πŸ˜‰

    When autumn hits summer in NW Europe again, I am going to reinstall LOD πŸ˜‰

  36. Easy way to fix the game would be to enable a new ladder server with no AH whatsoever and make it barter only. Hopefully by the time the inevitability of this idea arrives they will have nerfed inferno again and improved item affix pool and drop rates. THERE problem solved and we have a whole new game that is FINALLY playable.

  37. I also find it hilarious that so many people pushed for the AH in the forums then when the game actually starts they swear it off like it’s an evil game breaking mechanic. Good laugh. Now people understand what I was talking about when I said it would completely break the game.

  38. Someone please explain why easier trading (via the AH) is a bad thing? The rmah is a whole other animal, but what is *wrong* about the AH existing?

  39. Across all of my characters, I think i only use about 4 items that I’ve found myself. All of the rest is bought from the AH.

    I have to agree that I think the true culprit is the itemization in D3, and not the AH. We’re too limited on what we want on each item slot…

    In D2, it also helped that you have multiple avenues of getting money, whether is gems, runes, keys, ubers, or just boss farming… you can get something somehow that’s worth something. In D3, you’re pretty much forced to farm elites, and pray you get something decent to sell(which is ridiculously sparse/rare compared to D2).

  40. Well the fact that you can gear out completely for inferno by just sitting around sniping items on the auction house rather than playing the game makes it kind of a dull experience overall. It makes the difficulties up to Act II inferno laughable at best if you use it. Sure I could torture myself like Flux and self gear everything all the way but eventually you come to the realization that it’s just silly to do so when you know that you need the AH for end game. \Easier\ is not always better when it comes at the expense of gameplay.

  41. 1 of each chars in inferno all in either act 1 or 2… all items self found. game is great πŸ™‚ items sucks πŸ™ playing d2 atm waiting for patch whatever!

  42. Yes you can play the AH to get amazing gear, turning 100k into 1 billion with enough patience. You can play D2 the exact same way by making great trades. But no one is forcing you to do this. I get bored with the ah in about 10 minutes, so I stop looking and go play the game. If the game is so boring you don’t want to play it, don’t blame the AH – blame the other game systems.

    The AH is a tool for turning stuff you don’t need into stuff you do.

  43. Single character orientated – Wizard. Dived head-first into the AH since the beginning and was running Act IV inferno during 1.02. IAS-nerf pulled me up; regeared for crit in 1.03. Got bored with the item farming – it produced little of value. Started using my knowledge of wiz gear to buy under-priced items on the GAH and sell for large profits. This was more rewarding than playing the game.. and now that’s all I do. Recently started using the RMAH, but should have started earlier. Sold my wizards gear for around $500 since I wasn’t using it and have no plans to continue playing softcore. I mostly spend a few hours a day checking the GAH for listings to flip for either a) more gold capital or b) dollars if the item looks like one that’ll sell on the RMAH.

    As an interesting aside – my GF has become much more accepting of any time I spend “playing” D3 now she knows that my leisure time will also get her dinner at a nice restaurant πŸ˜‰

    Soon I intend to have a go at hardcore – in D2 that’s all I played.

  44. Only used self found loot. Haven’t touched the AH at all other than to sell an occasional item here and there. Have a WD and Wiz in act 3 inferno stuck at Ghom. And a DH about to finish act 1. I think not using the AH has kept inferno interesting with the subpar loot as I still have plenty of room to upgrade. But all my characters are doing well and although they’ve definitely hit walls here and there, everything was simple enough to overcome with some farming time. Hopefully 1.04 makes farming even more interesting as Act 3 loot has been a dissapointment so far from what I expected.

  45. (Mostly from the AH and friends) 45%
    (All from the AH or friends) 28%

    I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of you who bought my imaginary pixels in the RMAH and made it possible to triple my dinners at Maggiano’s.

  46. Even tho i do considered playing untwinked(no AH), i just dont have the patience for having a good drop.

  47. This must be the most constructive thread since the release. Almost no hate posts. What is this (Zoltan Kulle voice)? Its nice to see that there are people out there enjoying the game the way it should be.

    People who want to level quickly and spend time at the endgame have the AH. I prefer to find my own gear and i think all difficulty levels are tuned REALLY well except maybe Inferno which could use some changes. Once Blizzard improves itemization and tunes drops the game is going to be perfect (except the story and those damn cutscenes). Leveling the character is extremly fun! Im at work now and i cant wait to get home and play again!

    • The answer is simple. Only now they start playing the game in a serious manner and not some “I want to be max level in 5 hours, boosted by my lvl 60 comrades and then farm all stuff …”

      I always said how I play this game: One main in Inferno and only buying weapons, finding gems, some gear.

      One HC played character per time trying to reach lvl 60 with a shadow character to test things. I never even dream of buying something in HC on the AH… I simply run until I am decently upgraded.

      Playing the AH and while gathering gold, crafting stars+ and selling them for real money once or twice a week. In the last weeks at 10 euro per week.

      Great game now, just the PvP needs being added and I will play this thing for the next 3 years along with some WOW.

      Who needs even more really? Having fun, challenge in HC, farm in Inferno Act 1 and getting money by playing a video game…

      The haters never played this game. It shows by their lack of ANY intrest to post something positive.

      Probably some GW2 fanatics who are afraid Blizzard will take the complete on line market.

      Silly boys.

  48. I think D3 is a worse game because of the much bigger focus on gear than D2. Part of that is a consequence of removing stat point allocation. Instead of allocating points during level ups you get them from your gear. However that means that your gear is the be all and end all of your power. In D2 you could finish Hell with a naked sorc without a merc (before they ramped up the difficulty anyway). But it wasn’t just that the game was so much easier. Gear helped a lot, but it was not nearly the boost that it is in D3.

    The gear wall that you hit in Inferno is a symptom of the game being so gear based and yet tuned to be difficult. To finish the game in Inferno without using the AH you either need to use exploits or put in long long hours into the game just doing farming. Because the AH is such an easier way of getting gear, it becomes manditory. However, using the AH to get gear is not exciting, it’s not something you do for fun. It creates a whole aspect of the game that is about economics whereas the game should primarily be about action and excitement about item drops. And these two aspects unfortunately cannot coexist in harmony.

    Using the AH has the same impact on game enjoyment as using cheats, except that in this game it’s not cheating. It is by design a way of circumventing a core game play feature: the item drop hunt.

  49. So after actually playing the game now after 10 weeks, the game isn’t so bad at all.

    The AH was even helpful but not game breaking when used smartly and the game sucked him in more than he ever thought.

    When oh when will people see that the hate for this game came in from non playing posters …as soon as one minute after launch…

    So thrall was right after all.

    The haters never even played the game.

    One could see this from the very start: no investment of time or effort. They just want to trash talk anything Blizzard puts out these days.

    As for D2 : seriously … No new player would touch this ancient piece with a ten foot pole anymore after playing D3.

    And I said …. NEW player.

  50. As an old player back in D2, item hunt is the fun. I have never acquired anything from AH since the launch of D3, although just like Flux, I am now being stuck in Inferno Act 2 for my DH and Barb. Blizzard just deliberately makes the game so difficult to drive as many players as most possible to AH and preferably RMAH. However, I think for my personal entertainment, no matter how hard the game is, AH is not necessary and I don’t mind proceeding slowly until I just lose the interest in the game (although I played D2 for more than 5 years, but D2 is a game different from D3). More sadly, RMAH is really the tool for Blizzard to squeeze more money from the game and it is killing the game at the same time.

  51. Great article, Flux.

    I’ve resisted the AH myself, probably as a “purist” type of excuse, and I’m loving the game. Not planning to buy anything either, as that would mentally spoil my progress.

    I haven’t reached inferno yet, but I’m in Hell and I like that I have to fight for every inch. πŸ™‚

    My hardcore characters are on Nightmare mode, A2 currently.

    Funny how my progession is so “little”, although I invested a lot of hours into the game, and many of my friends who invested just as many hours and bought all their gear on the AH (basically god-moding to Inferno mode) now all hate the game and feel it is broken.

  52. I’m with Flux all the way in this matter. Buying gear from the auction house just cheapen the experience. I could of course sell stuff there, if I found anything good, but I’m more likely to hoard that stuff for other characters or just for the sake of collecting. Which is why I find the stash woefully inadequate.

  53. I don’t really have an issue with the AuctionHOuse, more with the RealMoney aspect of it. It just invites more hate/controversy/attention than necessary.

    On the other hand, I feel quite at ease just ignoring the AH alltogether.

    I would have used the stach in D2 for collecting set items and trying out builds that only worked around certain items (or versions… 1.07 anyone?)

    This is obviously completely useless in D3, as
    1) I can change builds on the fly
    2) The equipped weapon has only a minimal influence on play (exept for DPS/Attack Speed value) (teardrop)
    3) There are no set/uniques (or I just didn’t find anything) That I’d use through normal/nightmare (teardrop)

  54. I love finding stuff and the freedom to choose to trade.

    I think the Auction house is fine, it just brings you to a different level of equilibrium. It takes a long time, even with trading, for me to upgrade gear but thats OK it will be like this for a long time unless they add a reset of some kind.

    I still find stuff that myself or friends can use which is great, even with the gear level I have (act 3+ farming).

    I do really enjoy Diablo 3 still and I believe you are not in a minority that ‘enjoys it still’.

    Every day I login and hope to find a massive 1hander or monster stat ring or necklace, or a skull grasp, or natalya’s items, etc etc etc. I can’t wait for new legendaries and sets to look forward to finding.

  55. I wish that I could go back to day one and swear off the AH.

    Your play time sounds soo much more fun than what I have expirinced.. although my initial playthrough being on the Wizard – I was able to progress with out the AH deep into inferno within days (the original Force Armor design made that possible) but by that point I was spoiled.. getting to Act 4 of inferno with so little effort made the whole game feel dumbed down for me.. even after they fixed that I was able to farm act 3 with the help of Tyreal.. by the time that got fixed my wizard had 75k damage and 600 all resists.. When I leveld my second and third characters I couldnt avoid the AH.. using high level gems to just deystroy the entire game up to act 2 of inferno.. absoltuely no difficutly.

    I would say I blame myself.. but No dang it.. its not my (our) fault. . that game is explicitly designed to push you to the AH.. horrible idea.

  56. I agree with Snow about being forced into the AH and I think we played in a public game once, at least it may have been you the DH’s name was snow.

    I am still playing D2 because I can play a untwinked hardcore spearazon and actually find items in the game through many means and all of them are available to me depending on the amount of time I want to invest. I dont need to be rich to start off with like in D3 to beat the game, in D2 the mechanisms are in place already and are completely accessible with only an investment of TIME.

    I can find a blue spear in hell with good mods just from a vendor, I can actually craft a weapon in about 12 tries that is endgame actually, I can find a unique or rare, imbue something, socket a okay item to make it good, plus there is gambling and RUNEWORDS. The list goes on and on and I am not even talking about trading I am talking about things that are gained through playing the game.

    In d2 no play through is the same when running self found and that is what keeps me coming back, I feel like I am rewarded for investing time in my characters. In D3 I am punished for not having 100-200 million to spend on my DH to progress through act 3.

    D3 needs more ways to get around the 4-6 stat on item straight jacket that it is now currently under. D2 did this through charms, jewels, runes, crafting, gambling, quest rewards and actual usable items by vendors.

    With that said I dont think the legendaries are going to save the game in that sense.

    Now every change is going to be weighed against the AH/RMAH economy and that just might kill this game.

  57. I started playing D2 back when it was released. I still play it today. I never traded. I don’t have D3, but if I did, I’d never use the AH either. I did ask that characters be flagged as “legit” so long as they never used the AH and only used items they found. But I never expected that to go anywhere. πŸ™‚

  58. I also suggested that all items be soulbound in D3 and eliminate trading altogether. I felt an AH would break the game. Which seems to be the case. An AH works in WoW only because a lot of the important items cannot be traded.

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