If you’d like to read a wildly-biased rant against the business practices of the Diablo III Real Money Auction House, you’re in luck, since one has just popped up. The author structures it like an unethical lawyer offering a vicious closing argument; it’s close enough to the truth that you can’t point to any outright lies or errors, but he shades everything away from objective reality, puts the worst possible interpretation on all events and motivations, discards all mitigating facts, etc.
For bonus points the comments are full of haters who lap it up and shout at anyone who points out some of the dubious claims. A quote to give you a taste of things, and you can read the rest if you feel the need. Thanks to Paul for the tip.
In other games, where black market trade is rife, bots are obviously frowned upon. In D3, where there’s a minimum price for gold — where Blizzard always gets at least 15% of every transaction — bots don’t matter. They can’t ruin the economy — they just stand to make Blizzard more money. The best bit, with regard to bots and gold farmers, is that they’ve known from the start that the RMAH would come — and so they’ve saved up billions of gold and awesome magic items for one truly epic payday.
Blizzard even gets its pound of flesh from quitters: If you quit, of course you’re going to sell all of your items on the RMAH. Furthermore, Blizzard has said that, in the future, you’ll be able to sell entire characters on the RMAH.
…Finally, just to tip you over the edge, think about this: What if Blizzard itself started selling gold and items on the RMAH? The FAQ states that “at this time” Blizzard doesn’t do this — but in the future, who knows? The Diablo 3 auction house is anonymous — the seller is never listed — and so Blizzard could easily sell gold and items without anyone noticing. What if Blizzard decided to sell special items on the RMAH? Uber-fans of games and franchises will pay almost anything for unique or exclusive items.
Ironically, the Auction House remains one of the more popular features of the game, with lots of disenchanted players spending more time in the AH than in gameplay. This despite the fact that (IMHO) the AH has done more than anything to ruin the gameplay experience for thousands of fans who played too much, too fast, too easily, thanks to too good of equipment (courtesy of the GAH) and have thus already grown bored with the game.