A big thread of blue replies about the Real Money Auction House in the European B.net forums is worth a look. The first post by a CM is below the fold, since it’s just the same boilerplate PR stuff defending the RMAH, saying that players used 3rd party sites for that in D2, etc. The second and third blue reply were more interesting though, with some comments on issues we haven’t heard a million times already.
Nakatoir: It’s not really possible for people to spam players easily, to do so they will need to either have your Battle.Net as a friend or BattleTag ID and personally contact you, or even go and talk in a public channel you are in. If they do either of those though, you can simply ignore them and they will miss out in becoming friends or communicating with fine people such as yourselves.
the question I was trying to ask was how are you going to keep the two in balance?
Nakatoir:Well, glad you asked 🙂
Inflation in a particular currency is fine, and for things to increase on price depending on demand is good, however as you are asking about; we do not want worthless currency.
Take for example (excuse the comparison) WoW, gold is heavily inflated but people still use it for everything, just more of it. We have many tools to ensure gold remains a worthy currency in comparison to the RMAH and vice versa. Do not worry, we will be very carefully keeping an eye out for problems with inflation and one AH becoming less valuable ^^ We have many knobs and controls at our disposal to ensure that everything works out fine!
The issue of spamming and advertising RMAH wares is an interesting one. In our last podcast, Azzure described why spamming or advertising or even posting rip off prices will be impossible for currency type listings (this includes gold, materials, and other things that stack), since when players buy those they don’t even see the seller’s listing; you just see the commodity you’re buying and the price you’re paying. It won’t be anything like D2.
Even item selling shouldn’t be very spam-viable, since if you want Unique item X, you’ll just search on it, see 50 of them, and sort them by price and desired semi-random modifiers. If you want a rare item you’ll use the search engine in the AH, then sort the results by item type and desired stats. In neither case do you spam “WuG,” or wind up in some guy’s trade game, comparing your junk. That may happen with bartering trades, if someone wants Item X for Item Y, but even that seems unnecessary, since with thousands of listings on the AH, you’ll just sell your item for gold or $, and then buy the one you want for gold or $, picking one from the dozens available.
What will be spammed, or at least very active in forums (like this one for D2) are trade values. Finding out what your item is worth will be essential for players who want to get a fair price, who don’t want to overpay, and who do not want to waste their free listing or pay a listing fee for something that won’t sell. And with item values constantly fluctuating, trade value forums and an econ site like Diablo 3 Markets will be essential resources.
Here’s the original Blue reply from Nakatoir, defending the RMAH in words we’ve heard before, in slightly varied order.
It is our goal with all of our games to ensure that players have a highly enjoyable experience when playing. Due to this, we will not remove the gold Auction House, so that people can play the way they want to. One of the most important parts of the Diablo series is to obtain the best possible gear. In the past, some players would use external and potentially dangerous methods to perform real-money transactions for gear and gold in Diablo such as third-party real-money-trading organizations.
The transactions between these third-party organisations and players generally went awry, and led to a poor player experience as well as a large number of customer-service issues such as scams and item or account theft. Because we feel that it would be best to offer players an in-game and Blizzard certified way to perform these transactions in a safe and secure manner, we decided to implement the RMAH.
So just to re-iterate, even in Diablo 1 and 2, players were buying gear and gold with real-world currency, it’s just more visible and safe now. It will be no different than in the past, in that you do not have to use real money at all to improve your character, however if you do decide to, it will now be much more safe and secure.
I hope this explains why we don’t want to remove one Auction house or the other, nor segregate the player bases.