Jay Wilson on Hardcore RMAH and More


DiabloWikiJay Wilson has kept up his steady stream of answers to questions posed via twitter, even after the D3 release date announcement.

So has there been enough support for a HC RMAH? 🙂 –CorruptPsy
results are split. As many seem to hate as love the idea. We still plan gold only at ship. Too late to change now. –Jay Wilson

what are the chances of D3’s date getting pushed back again? –Wiggl_jesus
0.1% (the .1 is accounting for acts of god). We’ve never given an actual date before, because we don’t do so until we are sure. –Jay Wilson

Hi Jay, I was wondering if you will be holding a special midnight launch event for D3, like they did for SC2? –Nyzaris
of course! –Jay Wilson

If Jay or anyone else from Blizzard has addressed the whole, “We’re not enabling DiabloWikiReal Money Trading for DiabloWikiHardcore to save you from yourselves.” issue, I missed it. I’d be curious to hear why that’s no longer considered the knock down argument it was last summer, when the DiabloWikiRMAH was announced and Jay definitively ruled Hardcore out of it.

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  1. Blizzard might as well have an RMAH for HC, because if they don’t there will be plenty of sites to fill that void just like d2 now.

    Most people that argue against the HC RMAH live in this fantasy world that as long as blizzard doesn’t implement it, then nobody will. 

    • Yeah, why would they let that money go to 3rd parties when they can secure a large chunk of it for themselves. Doesn’t make much sense. If the normal RMAH is even moderately successful I predict that we will see a hardcore RMAH within 6 months, tops.

    • I have to agree. Leaving RMAH out of HC is a head in the sand move and it goes against all the reasons they have stated as to why they are implementing RMAH in the first place. If there is no RMAH in HC, then there will undoubtedly be 3rd party sites offering the same service, so the ‘purity’ of HC will be just as diluted if Blizz were to do it officially or not. 

      Perhaps all they are waiting for is the 3rd party sites to proliferate, then they have justification for enabling it in HC and can get away with it without being labelled greedy. 

      BTW I bet Bobby’s office has a “Greed’s Domain” plaque on the front door! 😉 

      • RMAH is the ultimate “head in the sand move”, coming from the company who publically and vehemently opposed RMT to begin with. RMAH is the digital manifestation of Blizzard’s failure to regulate these types of organizations.

        • Blizz isn’t doing it to protect the community from third party sites or whatever their PR spin was. It’s to make money.

        • Exactly. The funniest thing is that some years ago when ppl asked about Real Money in WoW Blizzard were like: “No, never!! Blizzard isn’t like These Other Companies!! We ain’t gonna HAVE REAL MONEY till you pay to play our game!!”.
           
          Looks like a change. Or should I say “polish”. Lol?

        • Because policing those who hurt themselves EVER works?
           
          War on drugs wants a word with you, my friend.
           

          • You can’t create magical restrictions against crinal behavior in real life, but that’s easy to do in the virtual world with a few command lines. Find a better example or GTFO!

          • Uhh, no you can’t. Blizzard can’t shut down 3rd party selling, period. Best they can do is take over the game themselves – a smart move.
             

          • @AlexanderBarin: Yes they can. Just remove the option to drop items for other players. That would leathally cripple third party websites, making RMAH basically the Monopoly. Players won’t be able to trade with their friends, but it would be a small cost to pay – if Blizzard was serious about getting rid of third party sites, instead of just having a piece of the action.

          • @ElBozo: That would simply move the focus from item selling to account/power-leveling/grinding selling. Remember that 3rd party sites specialize in providing services, not just items. Not only does your solution simply delay the inevitable, but it puts a needless restriction on the game.

          • @Moradon: And that would be easier to track then Players dropping items on ground and wiring the money in the background. And it’s more of a general idea, which you have to agree, would cripple Third Party item selling, wouldn’t it?

          • @ElBozo: Well there are two problems with the solution.
             
            1. It wouldn’t stop 3rd party sites entirely since there are always other ways to provide services for money. It will definitely mitigate, but not stop them.
             
            2. Your solution would only be in the game for a few months at best until Blizzard removes it. Putting restrictions on players in the name of stopping criminals has never sat well with gamers. The hatred of DRM proves that quite nicely. You’re severely underestimating players if you consider the removal of trading a “small price to pay”. To put things into perspective, Runescape implemented a solution very similar to yours, only instead of prohibiting direct trade they made it so you couldn’t make trades that were “imbalanced”. To make an example, you can’t give another player a legendary unless they trade you a legendary in turn.
             
            The outrage was nothing short of massive.  Causing not only a million+ size petition (within one day!), but also a large-scale protest on the servers. The changes to trade were later reverted because of this. There were other issues than just trade, but the changes made to Runescape were all in the name of stopping rule-breakers. People want to stop rule-breakers, but not when it effects innocent players. In all honesty I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been if they removed direct trade entirely like you are suggesting, especially with a fanbase like Blizzard’s.

          • @Moradon: The thing is, i don’t view it as an end-all be-all solution. It was merely an idea in response earlier posts. Of course there would be backlash from the playerbase, but Blizzard handles those very well. Their PR can sway the general opinion of the playerbase – which can be observed by the Introduction of RMAH. Before it, i doubt many would expect Blizzard endorsing what they were so vigorously fighting (i.e. Third Party sites). But now there’s multiple defenders of the idea in question! And same thing happened on multiple occasions with controversial things, such as art style, hc unlock, chat rooms and so on. With such fanatical fanbase, they could implement/cut many things and get away with this, because most people just want to play next Diablo game. I can relate to that too, after all, it’s been a long time.
             
            As for the solution to the 3rd party problem… It will never go away. As long as some of the players support or even demand such services, there will be supply for them. So the issue runs more deep then “people are buying gear in a game” or “players buy power leveing services”. It has more to do with “why the process of obtaining new pieces of gear isn’t fun” or “how can we make leveling a new character more interesting”, or just plainly “why people seem to think that items have some inherit RL currency value attached to them”. If i were Blizzard, i would try to adress those things, instead of making what 3rd Party did mainstream and acceptable by EULA.
             

          • @ElBozo:Players’ opinions didn’t sway because of Blizzard PR, they swayed because players discussed the game amongst themselves and came to the conclusion on their own. I myself wasn’t a big fan of the RMAH until I read several fansites discuss the pros/cons of it themselves, and I’m willing to bet that many RMAH supporters have a similar story. If anything Blizzard has a bad record of using PR to convince players. Gamers do not simply “come around” just by waiting it out. If a feature has nothing good going for it, gamers will hate it until the end of time regardless of the company’s support. A look at Blizzard’s history shows several examples of this happening:
             
            – The RealID forum fiasco
            – No chat channels in SC2
            – Dishonorable kills in WoW
            – Popularity-based custom game UI in SC2
             
            All of the above were all things that Blizzard PR supported and pushed for. All are also features that were eventually removed or changed when player complaints were unwavering despite PR. Again, you’re underestimating players by portraying them as idiots who mindlessly believe everything a company says. People can think for themselves.
             
            As for your second point, the reason why people resort to shortcuts isn’t because they find leveling or finding items unfun. People just like shortcuts. As an example, League of Legends allows you to grind for champions or simply buy them instantly with money. I’ve bought quite a few champions, but it’s not because I find LoL unfun. On the contrary, it’s one of my favorite games to play, but I buy because I’m just impatient, and I want my carrot on a stick ASAP. Diablo is the same way. People WANT items to require effort to acquire. Nobody wants “welfare” items as WoW players can attest to. But it’s also true that putting hours in a game is time consuming, and many people often “give in” and use a shortcut. In a way it’s a double-edged sword: we love the idea of some items being rare because it gives the item a quality of being special, but at the same time making it rare adds frustration when you’re one of the have-nots and don’t want to spend hours to get it. It’s not a problem at all, it’s human nature.

        • If I was Blizzard’s CEO, I’m not, but if I was, I would totally add bind on account in D3. FU pay to win!

    • Exactly. I bet the large % of those against HC RMAH are actually WUG FG users who want D2 all over again.

      • Now why would that be? Those “WUG FG users” are not affected by HC RMAH at all, since they used third party sites in D2, and will go to them in D3. Why would they go to use RMAH when it’s more expensive (exactly by the amount blizzard takes per transaction)? Not to mention that they have their FG stored waiting for D3, so what RMAH has to offer to this crowd? Safe transaction? Safety from Blizzard Persecution? They didn’t need those things in the first place.

        • They don’t want competition, duh.

          • What competition? RMAH users and Third Party users will be 2 separate entities, and the only thing that will drag from one to another will be prices. And sadly Third Party can lower prices beyond RMAH’s capabilities

        • You forget that people will actually pay for the convenience of not having to go to a 3rd party site (using itunes rather than torrenting all your music?), so the price difference will probably be lower than you think. Also, it will auto stabilise because people would otherwise just buy loads of cheap 3rd party items, and sell them for more on the RMAH….which lowers the price etc

           

    • Difference is they could go after those sites and try to stop them.

      And third party sites will have much less of an impact anyway.

      Let HC be a place where we can avoid the RMAH bullshit.

      • The problem is that “try to stop them” has a 100% chance of failure. You can never stop gold sellers anywhere near the rate at which they appear. What’s the point of celebrating the shut down of a website when a new one takes its place the day later? It also doesn’t help that most of these places are in China, and China simply doesn’t respect copyright laws.
         
        Blizzard has been trying to stop gold farmers for ages in WoW. Now do a google search for “WoW gold” and see how successful it was.

    • You are a tool for making the same arguments without even critically thinking about it. You do realize, that if RMAH was implemented in HC, then people would use it a lot more than they would take the risk to go to the shadowy 3rd party sites?, and if they do take the risk of buying there, then that´s their gain/loss.  

      You sound as if you care more about where the money goes, than how the player would feel if he lost a lot of money, the game ethics and what the consequenses would be to the gameplay.

  2. Too late to change? Sign of release.

  3. If everyone’s internet connections never went down, and they were sure to have a 100% guarantee that their servers would never have an issue then sure have RMAH for HC.  As for now, I say let the third parties do it.  That way Blizzard doesn’t have to spend every day in court defending themselves over why the servers were slow causing Joe Brown’s lvl 60 almost fully Inferno geared Monk to die.

  4. Eventually their desperation to get pre-WoW-decline numbers will return and they’ll ruin HC with an RMAH. Hopefully not for a while.

    • time to migrate to the korean Server ! who is with me !? no ? ok.
       

      • If I was sure they wold never enable the RMAH there I would think in consider to maybe start playing D3 officially, even with 300ms pings, but what guarantees I have they won’t throw briefcases full of money to the Korean authorities to allow the RMAH on D3 later?
        I’ll just wait for the emulated servers.

    • So in 7 years? Fine by me!

    • Refresh my memory about how RMAH will ruin any portion of the game? 

      • One day you get into a game with someone who has super nice gear, so you assume they bought their gear, because that’s where all good gear comes from, and this makes you angry because you’ve spent the last 4 months of your life farming your gear, so you start pounding the keyboard in a fit while screaming in German (because that’s your angry voice). Eventually you end up destroying your keyboard by slamming it against the desk several times, and to think, all because some punk kid (who is probably 12) bought his gear (with what is likely daddy’s credit card, because no one has jobs or disposable income). This is just one of the many, many real and meaningful problems the RMAH will cause for players.

  5. Oh, there is no doubt Blizzard WILL implement the RMAH. Anyone who thinks Blizzard will pass up on the Mastercarders’ bucks to preserve Hardcore integrity has their heads buried in the sand. Blizzard is no longer a company committed to quality and game integrity.

    • We got it, you hate Blizzard and Diablo III. Why are you still posting then?
       
      Oh right, see you May 15th.
       

    • Out of curiousity since I’ve never bought items in D2 (and won’t in D3), can you buy items from 3rd party vendors in D2 hardcore ladder.. I’m assuming yes since there’s no real difference. So what hardcore integrity preservation are you referring to specifically

  6. Maybe just maybe they will use some of the money they make from the RMAH to pay for the upkeep of D3. Why is the RMAH so bad? … They basically existed in D2 except they where in the form of 3rd party sites? 

    Most of you are just as bad as Blizzard for jumping on the Band Wagon. Your just all jumping on the one going the other way.

    • The money will go to Blizzard coffers.  Whatever they use it for is up to them.  Does the existence of the RMAH increase the likelihood that Diablo 3 will have better support/content patches than Diablo 2?  Not in the slightest.  

      Diablo 3 will have ongoing support.  It has to, simply by reason that it is now entirely online.  It will also likely have decent content patches once or twice a year.  

      But all of this will not be because of the RMAH.  You are comparing apples to oranges.  

      • Are you implying D2 had bad support, or that it can’t get much better? Blizzard has always done an amazing job. I applaud this move, it’s a radical brave idea for a business model that has no negative side effects for consumers. It might very well power the next 10 years of PC gaming.

        • Yes, monetizing the most important part of the game couldn’t possibly have any negative side effects.
          I have money, can i buy a bot from Blizzard please so that i don’t have to waste time “playing” this abortion of a game? Thanks.
          Captcha: easy-peasy 


  7. @satheron: no problem..at release, ebay is your friend for item trading.
    and for all REAL hc player, we have ah and luck at the hunting!

  8. I imagine that it will only take a few months until we see HC RMAH. As others have said, the reasoning for not having one is based on the faulty assumption that HC will be “pure”. If hardcore players decide they want items for money, then you WILL see plenty of 3rd party sites take up the mantle.
     
    The only real issue is probably that Blizzard just doesn’t want to be swamped with complaints from angry customers who spend money on the RMAH and lose their hardcore character. I’m sure plenty of customers will attempt to sic their lawyers on Blizzard regardless of whether it’s their fault or not.

    • you just put a nice big disclaimer notice, plus a couple of waivers in the EULA or service agreement, (a bit more would be needed imo, than it is there now when HC chara is created), you defend one lawsuit, and you’re covered. no big deal. some  seem to overestimate the legal threat…

  9. Split? AFAIK the majority of players are opposed to adding the RMAH in hardcore mode. For gods sake blizzard, most of players will play softcore, the big money will be there, have a little dignity and leave those that dislike item selling alone with their hardcore characters. I know there will be item selling with third party sites but the impact will be far lower than adding the RMAH there.

    • If the incgamers community is any indication, the community seems pretty split on it to me. Lots of people here oppose it, and lots are against it. I can’t say I’ve counted the posts or anything though…

      Could be an interesting subject for a new poll! 

  10. Many people used FG in Diablo 2 (not me but I have friends who have used it). The point is, Blizzard has every right to make money off of their intellectual property. Anyone buying this game should know that capitalism is all about greed and the big bucks.

    • Perhaps, gravity, but people will look back at Blizzard’s commercial peak in the first 6 years of WoW with nostalgia, and realize that the integrity of their game space was a big part of making that happen.
       
      They are never going to make that kind of straight profit again, and the fact that they’ll never have the moral authority that came with their previous stance again is part of it.

    • Integrity is a pointless word to use. Integrity how? What does even mean in the context of WoW? Not only is it a vague argument, it’s not even a valid one considering WoW experienced massive growth despite adding numerous microtransactions over its lifespan. WoW only started to decline in Cataclysm, and even then most people simply blamed it on game difficulty, not money grabs.

      • Integrity comes from the latin word for “wholeness” – it means lack of conflict between your interests and actions.  It isn’t complicated, the cost of buying a game or paying for a subscription came with a solemn commitment on their end to preserve and enhance the game as a legitimate forum for achievement in the context of the game.  It may seem nerdy, juvenile and/or naive, but that sense of integrity was a huge part of what made Bliz take the leap with WoW to a company with almost a billion a year in profit, from one that no one wanted to buy, in whole, for that amount a couple of years earlier.
         
        Once blizz started sliding down the path of extra-subscription monetizing of WoW  with overpriced server transfers, mounts, etc, the cracks started to really appear.  The RMAH is the bursting of the dam.
         
        It really is puzzling, as well – any of the old, senior Blizz guys will tell you all day that the integrity of the brand is their greatest resource, trumping any particular employee or IP.  But the reality is that they started to run out of creative gas when their senior leadership left a decade ago, and finding new forms of monetization is really the only kind of creativity the current regime has to offer.

        • Or perhaps they took their best people and moved them on to other projects, which I believe is what happened with wow (Wasn’t it Jeff Kaplan who was the creative director and is now working on an unannounced project). Regardless, as others have stated numerous times, blizzard has generally supported games way past their monetary revenue generating lifecycle. Name another company that has generally supported 10+ year old multiplayer games without shutting down their servers or non-patching games? I dunno.. I understand that people are angry over the business model of micro-transactions, and I’m not a big fan either, but what else are they to do? They are popular, they grew fast, they had a monthly income supply. These are all things that generally lead to a company “losing sight of what got them there” functionality. Blizzard could very well be on that road, I’m not sure. But I just don’t see the lack of dedication they have to the customer. No one is forcing you to use the RMAH. Just seems this entire argument is baseless considering they aren’t planning the game as an esport-type venture 

          • Very well said.

            And yes, Jeff Kaplan was one of the lead designers of vanilla Wow and the Burning Crusade, and he is now working on their secret project.

          • I love it that every guy who defends Activisionblizzard is bringing up the commitment of Blizz of 10 years ago. Mindboggling.

          • I often think that the people being extremely negative towards Blizzard simply have no experience with other developers. Blizzard WAS and still IS the undisputed king of customer care. I can only conclude that too many people simply have no clue what they are on about – it is THAT unbelievable.

        • Server transfers and faction transfers are things that the WoW community begged to be able to pay for. Can’t just put all the onus on Blizzard for that.

      • Unfortunately your argument really has no weight since there’s no way to back your statements up, and is basically just one giant “Correlation=causation” fallacy. People blame a TON of different things that caused WoW’s decline, from difficulty, battlegrounds, dungeon finder, or simply age. I see no reason to accept your argument of “integrity” as more valid, especially since I’m sure your interpretation of integrity is not the same as everyone else.

  11. If pvp in hardcore isn’t permanent death, RMAH for hc would be quite safe for people who pvp.
    What would be different for non-hc and hc pvp then? Should be less items available for hardcore, then again there might be less players playing also : )

  12. The RMAH doesn’t make its users legitimate players.  It just makes them official cheaters.  Leave HC for the true gamers.

    • Am I a “cheater” if my friend gives me a great item he found?

      What if we give each other great items that we find?

      What if he gives me a great item he found and I buy him a beer the next day? 

      • “What if he gives me a great item he found and I buy him a beer the next day?”
         
        Haha, love it.

      • Then that’s his prerogative.  Users of the RMAH aren’t being gifted items.  They’re using real-life wealth to increase their status in game.  That’s cheating, and I’m not interested in playing with cheaters.  Plain and simple.  Stay on softcore.

        • So is a person who works 60 hours a week and has nice things in life cheating at life? or say I buy the best computer money can buy (for the next month anyway) and pay a premium for a more stable and faster connection am I now considered a cheater? perhaps you should play alone and never join a group seems that would be the best option for an elitist such as yourself. This isn’t an angry post either you just seem to want to live in a bubble where things can stay pure just not easy in today’s market where money is what drives most people

          • Idiotic analogy. No, he is not cheating because he is PLAYING THE GAME OF REAL LIFE. He’s earning his dues in real life. Get it?

            What you do in real life should have nothing to do with your status in game, which can be considered a different world all together. There should be zero cross-over. What the RMAH does is make it so the man in your analogy essentially receives massive boons (cars, TVs, super model GF, etc) from an invisible hand while doing nothing in particular to earn those things. That IS cheating.

            It’s not an elitist to say I don’t want to play with cheaters. I want to play with people who earn their dues in game by playing the game. Period, the end. I hope the RMAH never comes to hardcore.

          • “living in a bubble”? We’re talking about PLAYING GAMES, the entire point of it is that reality shouldn’t interfere with it. Allowing people to buy ingame succes is the worst idea in gaming history ever, literally. It completely defeats the purpose of gaming. You might aswel allow robotic limbs in sports. “But people did it anyways”, and people will always try to cheat in anything, so let’s just allow them? BS. “But it’s Blizzard’s way to make their money”, and what’s wrong with selling games (expansion packs) to make money? “But they want to make MORE money”, then sell ingame advertizing space, anything is better then letting reality directly affect  the game.
            The one magic thing that made gaming special has been lost with this abortion of a game.
            Have fun “playing” it.

  13. Bring on the RMAH. I can sell items to bad players, they will die anyway, rinse and repeat for profit 🙂

  14. Act of God ? Why would god want to prevent the release of Diablo ? oh wait…

  15. Is there any legal issues with removal of a virtual product after it’s been paid for?

    If someone spent an absurd amount, say $200, on gear for a hardcore character.  Went out into the game world and a server crashed, or his internet died etc.  What happens then? At some stage i think they’d just have to make AH purchased gear permanent and that detracts from the hardcore element of it.

    If they didn’t make it permanent then they would get a large volume of complaints or asking for a refund etc.  Regardless of what it says in game.  I mean i’d imagine they get quite a few in hardcore as it is and that doesn’t deal with real currency yet.

    • They’d probably have to be very careful with their EULA, and I agree that the complaints would flow in regardless, requiring them to hire more customer service people to sort through them all and give back an automated response to the effect of “tough luck”, resulting in a net loss of profits. I’m not in the camp that suggests Blizzard is entirely motivated by “greed” (in some negative sense), but that doesn’t mean they will make obviously bad business decisions either. They’re not going to introduce the RMAH to Hardcore if they think the customer service costs will outweigh the consumer demand for the feature to be there.

  16. I guess Blizz wouldn’t be able to stand all the heat that they willl get from the hardcore community that blames their server for suddenly disconnecting them to the game and losing their precious, expensive RMAH loots.

  17. I’m surprised how many people are openly ok with cheating.  Pathetic.  Hey, people are going to bot no matter what, why doesn’t Blizz just create an official bot?  People can pay per month to use it!  It makes sense to have a safe way to cheat if people are going to do it anyway!  Give me a break.  I’ve heard every misconceived attempt by RMAH cheaters to prove that those are apples and oranges.  But at the end of the day, cheating is cheating to the real gamers.

    Besides, I seriously doubt it’ll be worth the trouble for Blizz.  Not enough players on HC to make any worthwhile profit, but just enough to cause a headache for the customer service department.

  18. Seriously I’m so tired of these people complaining there’s no RMAH in HC.

    HC is ment to be a —-> CHALLENGE <—- not a place where people can buy their way through inferno.

    If you want a RMAH so much play on SC. 

  19. I haven’t read anywhere, but is there no actual way to trade in this game (facilitated by trading windows, not by tossing the item on the ground)?  If there was I see no problem at all with no auction house.

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