Bashiok made a number of posts today, arguing that Diablo 3’s trading system and in-game tools will be so awesome that RMT will be (virtually) nonexistant. Bold claims, and they’re all quoted below:
With this, I am refering to the fact that Diablo III item-trade will be strongly affected by the third-party sites that govern the underground item-world.
Bashiok: Hah. No it won’t.
In a nutshell (skipping the poetic elements): People with insane amounts of money on item-trading sites will have the upper hand when the game comes out, item-wise, which will not give all players the opportunity to evolve equally on neutral grounds.
Bashiok: All of the issues that exist in Diablo II that essentially force people to use these kinds of sites in order to establish a base economy and help concentrate the playerbase to a centralized trading location will all be completely unnecessary when we achieve our economic and trade goals with Diablo III.
So.. Tell us about the magic Bashiok
Bashiok: We’ve always said we intend to have some type of in-game auction house feature.
That alone would remove almost all desire to alt+tab and trade outside of the game. People use these sites because they centralize the trading community, and they establish a base currency. If there’s no reason for people to leave the game, then they won’t. It’s as simple as that.
And since most people who play Diablo2 are using for trading and have aquired vast amounts of FG, it will be one heck of a beast to take down.
Bashiok: Some arbitrary currency on some forum that no one buying Diablo III will have heard of except a small number of hardcore Diablo II players does not ‘a heck of a beast’ make.
Can you give me numbers for how many actual people are playing Diablo II and using that site? Because I can guarantee you they will be outnumbered 100 to 1 (at least) when the game releases. So if they can each convince 100+ people to alt+tab and use a weird forum system to trade instead of what’s right there and available to them in-game, then sure. But good luck.
There will always be fringe RMT sites, and there will always be a tiny number of people looking for game-to-game trades, but to say that something like this will have a hold on the entire economy for game with a stable currency and auction house-type system is highly illogical.
Again, what assurances are there that the in-game currency will be stable?
Ladder resets completely destabilize the economy. Is that feature not transferring?
Bashiok: There’s no reason for Diablo III to have ladder resets. They’re a quick and dirty method of resetting the economy to 0 in Diablo II. It works. For a while. Then the great purging begins again.
We’re designing a stable economy, we have the knowledge and experience to do so. We have people in-house with doctorates and degrees in statistics and economic analysis and all the know how to pull it off. I think we’ll be ok.
Removing references to specific sites and locking. Any further references I’ll consider advertisement which would warrant a suspension, so don’t do that.
I like his energy and the fact that the D3 Team is working on a system that will be so good that most of us never bother to leave it, but seriously… every online game with any popularity has an illicit Real Money Trading element, since there will always be players who want to exchange real money for top items and/or or the time required to level up a powerful character. I can see a good Auction House system largely replacing, but there’s a gigantic RMT market for WoW, despite Blizzard’s best efforts to curb and control and ban it, and short of Blizzard running RMT trading right through Battle.net for Diablo 3, I’m sure we’ll see the same with D3. Like it or not.