One of the concerns players have repeatedly voiced about the RMAH is the potential for Blizzard to create items from thin air and sell them for instant profits. We talked about that Bashiok replies with an explanation during our big RMAH debate show, but most of the speculation at that point was on Blizzard potentially creating uber items. After all, with the anonymous nature of the auction house, there’s no way to know who is selling anything, and if Blizzard started hacking top items into existence, there’s really no way we’d ever know.
A fan brought that issue up today, but went for an even more untraceable method; gold sales for currency. Bashiok replies with an explanation of how stackable auctions work, and again assures us that Blizzard will never hack items into existence just for the profits.
In short, no, we don’t generate any items or gold on the auction house. It’s a player driven feature and the items you’re buying are from what other players have found and placed on the AH for sale. There can certainly be a situation where you may want to buy 1 million gold and only 850,000 is available in total from all current auctions. You’d be informed of this when presented with a final purchase price.
Thank you do much for giving a response Bash. Any word on whether we will have better search features in final release?
We do want to have a full search, and not just drop down selectors, but it’s a feature that may or may not make it in for the initial release. We think the drop downs do work pretty well right now, especially considering the randomness of the vast majority of items.
While the conspiracy theory stuff about Blizzard hacking the D3 economy for quick profits is fun, I think the second issue is more important. As all ofour opinioned from their beta experimentation, the Auction House is basically unusuable now, in terms of searching out items with mods that you want. There’s a drop down menu that lists dozens of potential mods, but it’s hard to use, there’s no text entry interface, the search returns aren’t properly sortable, etc.
That Bashiok says it’s not going to get any better for release is bad news for the AH functionality…. but good news for the release date, since it seems to indicate they’re not going to continue pushing the game back indefinitely.