Blizzard Posts on RMAH Issues

A big thread of blue replies about the Real Money Auction House in the European 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.

Whats to stop spam bots shouting “X item in RMAH £14 now”, just because we cant see whos selling, dont mean they will stop shouting that they are indeed selling X item.
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.

The reason for the RMAH being implemented is not because we want to force you all to use it, this is because we want to give you a safe, secure and Blizzard supported way of selling and buying Diablo items using real currency. If you choose not to use it because you feel it would have an ill-effect on your gameplay or for any other reason, then you do not need to. I do not feel that there is a requirement to segregate players who choose to and do not choose to use this service as it might diminish player experience or cause other problems. For example, if your friend wants to use the RMAH and you don’t, then you cannot play with them 🙁

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.

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26 thoughts on “Blizzard Posts on RMAH Issues

  1. “We have many knobs and controls at our disposal to ensure that everything works out fine!”
    They just forgot to take in consideration that people can openly use gold and especially real money to buy the best items in the game, different from WoW where only bind-on-equip items can be traded/bought, and that will create a shit storm later on. Mark my words Blizzard.

    The amount of money that people will spend buying items in D3 will be astronomical. Money currently used in WoW will be nothing but a spare change compared with the amount spend in D3.

    • ” They just forgot to take in consideration that people can openly use gold and especially real money to buy the best items in the game ” ??

      isn’t that kind of the whole point ? Blizzard wants people spending lots of money so Blizzard can make lots of money when they take their cut. I don’t have a problem with that

      • No, that wasn’t my point.
        What I was saying it that the inflation caused by the real money will be difficult to control, especially because players can buy any item with money, not only high tier BoE items like in WoW. I predict trying to buy items only with gold will be something very frustrating in this game.

        • And I predict that you’re wrong. Gold will be the main currency in D3 and since you can buy gold with money and vice versa, it will always be a viable way to buy items.
          It may be difficult for some people to wrap their head around the concept that gold and money are essentially the same thing and they may end up not using gold just like they would not use money, as they don’t want to spend actual cash on the game (which gold would be in that setting), but that is not a restriction that the game imposes, it is their own decision.

          • I’m not talking about currency, I’m talking about INFLATION god damn it!! All rpgs have inflation, WOW has mega inflation, trow in mixed currencies (one of them being a real money one) then you will have UBBER inflation inside the game, and that will be difficult to control no matter how many bullshits Blizzard tries to tell saying they have magical ways to control it.

  2. Can you sell gold for cash currently? Is that going to be in at launch? I know full blown character sales aren’t in at launch, but they want to add it in later.

    • If you’re dealing with game files, you’ll still call the unique. All of the legendary items are referred to as unique within the actual MPQs, so even the development team is doing that.

      • I’m not dealing with game files, but I’ll still call them uniques as well. Blizzard, however, feels differently, hence the 🙁 🙁 I’m frowning twice, and I just have once face. See the pain?

  3. I always love their excuse for the RMAH.  “Players are gonna do it anyway, lets make sure they are still doing it instead of fixing the underlying problem in the first place!”

    • i agree thats such a bullshit argument ; they could just aswell say – we were ok with item sellers in D2  we were just upset that we got no cut of it.

    • And what would be the underlying problem? The only way to eliminate that sort of thing would be to remove any sort of “value” attached to anything in the game.
      Example? TL2. Complete freedom and as a consequence no value for items or characters.
      It’s an interesting concept, but they are essentially doing the same thing that Blizzard does: They’re following a logical train of thought and go through with it. If you have things of value in the game and don’t allow them to be interchangable with other things of value, then you run into a whole lot of problems (evidence? Any online game imposing such restrictions, such as WoW), because value is an abstract concept that is by it’s very nature “tradeable”.
      So these are the two options: Either you go with a value based game and as a consequence allow trading between all sorts of value (as real life currency is pretty much the accepted form of value all around the world, the RMAH suffices for this), or you abolish all sort of value from the game and impose no actual restrictions such as time spent or luck (a simple mod kit suffices for this).

  4. @tommerbob
    there not almighty, blizzard can’t solve every issue.. gl shutting down all those third party sites forever…. 😯

    • You don’t need to cancel 3rd party websites. AH with gold currency make them pretty much useless. And only very very minor part of the community where using real money to buy items/FG. So Blizzard introduced RMAH just to help those ~0.001% of people who where buying stuff for real money? LOL

      • Its not gonna be minor part of the community anymore. And it wasnt just 0.001%. Baseless observation.
        No, AH with gold currency doesnt make them useless, look at WoW, retard.

        In the end of the day, selling virtual goods for real money will exist in any multiplayer game, that has them. Its evolution of the society and u can’t stop it.

        • Get a clue, kid. Only small amount of people were using 3rd party sites and the reason was because D2’s trading system was horrible. And even smaller amount of people bought items for real money. I don’t say there are not such people, it’s just was minority in D2, in D3 on the other hand it will be big part of playbase because it’s so easily available.

          • So you’re basically telling us that Blizzard was wrong when they said a lot of people used third-party websites to buy items?
            Sure, I’ll take your word over Blizzard’s.

  5. Strongly disagree. Gold was useless in D2. No 3rd party trading website sold the best in-game items for gold. 3rd party trading sites were all about real money transactions. — IF money will be useless in D3 as well, so will be the gold auction house. BUT Blizzard will adjust game mechanics to ensure this will not happen. They could lower gold drops and/or make sure gold sinks are more effective. That’s how I understand it.

  6. Inflation is not a problem, the problem is there is no way to control people purchasing items for an inflated price on the gold auction house in order to sell it on the RMAH.  Lowering the amount of gold in circulation does nothing to prevent this, making GAH useless for high end items.

  7. High-end items will probably not be sold on the gold AH. Simply because it’s inconvenient. Say a rare item is ‘worth’ 20 $. And 1 $ is traded for 1,000,000 gold (inflation, inflation). Who would ‘earn’ 20,000,000 gold to buy from gold AH? I know that I would prefer just to spend 20 $ rather than collect 20,000,000 gold. Remember that the whole trading issue is trading time for money IMO. One could spend hours, days, weeks, months to find that ultra-rare item or just buy it for cash immediately.

  8. Its amazing to see the correlation between a posters game and industry knowledge and their stance on the RMAH.  

    I hate to call people out, but honestly 99% of any post I read that is against the RMAH is either just flat out complaining with no justification, or are so flat out unfamiliar and uneducated about what they are talking about it makes it difficult to even finish reading their post.

    “~0.001% of the diablo population used fg”??  God this world would be so much more fun to live in if I was that delirious.

    • First learn to read, I didn’t say 0.001% used fg, I said bought FG or items for real money. Only minority of D2 playerbase used 3rd party websites, and out of those who used 3rd party websites, only minority bought FG for real money. Yeah that number is not accurate, it was just to show that it was very little number of players compared to whole D2 playerbase.

      And I am not against RMAH, I am for RMAH, it’s just funny how Blizzard says that they are solving D2’s real money trading problems when they are mainly just trying to increase their own income.

  9. Everything said, i dont quite like the idea of gold and money being transferable, meaning selling gold for money and vice versa. I means that if somehow some farmer in asia succeed in their farming scheme, they can sell it on the gold AH and you wouldnt know it. Then they can simply transfer the gold back to dollars. If gold and RM is not transferable, no farmer would go into the gold AH, hence giving us a farm-free AH……. Just my 2 cents.

    • and keeping the gold for sale sites alive….

      If you are going to fight it with your own AH/RMAH, you gotta go all in.

  10. Regardless of the peticulars of what you said, it sounds like we can both agree thats a ridiculous number.  Furthermore, FG comes from money, people dont just log onto that website and start shoveling it into their account, aside from gifts and promos, 95% of that FG was bought at some time, by various people.  

    So its still moving \money\ around in the game even if that particular player never opened his wallet. Now, The second part I can mostly agree with you on, in terms of yea its kinda of funny.  But what did you expect Blizzard to do, come out and say \hey we want to make a ton of money off you guys\ no, they obviously are going to be more subtle.  But yes, its kind of funny. Now that being said, the concept of FG and not having to spend money personally will still exist in this RMAH, since gold and money are transferable, they are one in the same (as far as worth).  Which that is probably a bit to complicated to get into.  A simpler example is, Joe sells a sword of pwnage on the RMAH spenidng no real money, and then uses that money to get another item he wanted off the RMAH.  While hes using \money\ he spent none, and its essentially FG.  All the while blizz is love that this money is just being \shuffled\ around their game because each movement of the currency means they get to take another cut. 

    Btw that is partially just me rambling on, I know you agree with some of those concepts/points in the first place.

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