Diablo III’s Virtual World of Money

Nice article on BBC.com about Diablo III, with a focus on the trading and economic aspects, especially with the DiabloWikiReal Money Auction House due to go online…. soon™… A quote, and thanks to Fmulder for the tip.

What Diablo 3’s auction house also represents, though, is a fascinating fiscal experiment in its own right – not least because it explicitly acknowledges something that has been implicitly true within online gaming for a long time: economics is an awful lot of fun.

Indeed, economics isn’t just “fun” like football or kiss-chase. It’s good, hard, complex, peer-to-peer fun, in the way that work ought to be but most often isn’t. As anyone who’s made more than a few purchase on eBay will know, electronic auction houses offer labyrinthine delight once you’ve learned their language of bids, deadlines, quests for rare purchases and sudden discovery. Match this with the option of earning your assets by teaming up with other players and slaughtering picturesque hordes, and you have a seriously entertaining business proposition. Not to mention the pleasures of making a sale and learning to read the market. Does it look like demand for high-end barbarian swords is rising? Buy now, hoard your product, then sell when prices hit their peak.

Are you guys eager for the RMAH to get going? Even if you’re not planning to use it, you must be curious to see how sales go and what prices get paid?

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6 thoughts on “Diablo III’s Virtual World of Money

  1. My take on it is just buy when I need to, and sell stuff for 10k or it won’t sell. And sell only worthwhile stuff, mind you. You really need to have a very good drop to sell. The amount of time required to read the auction house, the market, the items and all that is WAY better spent playing the godamn game. I may not make any more money that way, but I’m doing what the auction house is an accessory to: playing the game.

    Besides, I really don’t have time to spend studying the market 😛

  2. ^ It pointless trying to play the AH by buying stuff to sell at a higher price later, unless a newb has posted it at a price that clearly under the current market price.
    I probably will end up using it but I doubt I be putting money into it.
    PS i am the real The Rockman but site not remembering my account info.
    BTW the human test seems to be relevant fool’s paradise, that where I think the crazys who try and play the market are.

    • Pointless? I’ve raked in over two million gold the first few days on the auction house. According to gold farming sites, that’s about $80 worth. Hardly pointless.

      Also, I had nearly more fun playing the market than playing the game. I wish they’d get the whole damn thing back online.

  3. What i found is that you can often find pretty good items fr cheap if you look through auctions that are almost done, as an example yesterday i found two pretty good bows got 1500, later i sold each one for 25000 and it didnt take more than 10 minutes:)

  4. If I get a really good item that’s not for any of my chars I will probably put it on there just to see. If it sells that might spur me on to become an item hunter because it could easily become quite addictive if you have an addictive personality.  If it doesn’t sell that’ll probably knock the wind out my sails somewhat.

  5. I have to say, it’s really exciting finding cheap items on the auction house. Through level 59 I survived by buying <20000g items and there’s certainly a thrill when you get something awesome cheap. There’s also a real sense of disappointment when you see something like that and it says “The item is no longer available”. At level 60, the markets get pretty crazy.

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