The Diablo 3 Podcast #94: D3 Year One: Story, Auction House, Gold, and Economy

Flux, Xanth, and Aahz discuss the major issues, pro and con, surrounding the Diablo 3 Auction House, especially in light of the v1.08 gold dupe bug. Also, how does D3’s story stand up after a year’s evaluation?

This is part two of TDP #93, but the episodes are edited to stand independently. Approximate segment start times:

  • 1:30 — Hacks and gold botting. Increasingly in Hardcore? Economic ramifications of cheaters.
  • 5:30 — Story. Everyone was disappointed by the main story but most loved all the smaller details. Why? Flux thinks it’s intentional; that the main story was made like a Michael Bay film, so anyone could understand it while paying no attention. Everyone tries to explain Magda. No one can.
  • 20:50 — Auction House. People say they don’t want it, but 3 days of AH downtime while they fixed the v1.08 bug had people going crazy. Could players really stand to go back to the barter system? (No. No no no.) Lack of currency for sales? WUG was hell. The AH does a great job establishing fair market value to facilitate trading. Will the v1.08 in-AH item tooltip compare/display change prices and sales?
  • 35:50 — v1.08 gold dupe bug and Blizzard’s recovery efforts. Restore vs. rollback? The gold duping underscored the problems with the AH, and then the next 3 days of AH-downtime underscored how utterly addicted to the AH are so many players.
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    20 thoughts on “The Diablo 3 Podcast #94: D3 Year One: Story, Auction House, Gold, and Economy

    1. If some of this was already said in the podcast then sorry for missing it.

      1. Of course the world stopped when the AH was turned off – in gear terms we’re so rich that we now depend on it to get richer. Think of a Wall street day trader looking to make enough money to buy a new Yacht, and one morning the electricity goes out. Does he immediately get a much lower paying job that isn’t dependent on electricity, or just wait for the power company to turn it back on.
      2. That using the AH is easier than face to face trading isn’t some self-evident point in favor of the AH. How easy or difficult trading should be is the question at the center of this whole discussion, because ultimately videogames are about putting the right kind of obstacles in front of the player to create good gameplay, not tearing them down whenever possible.
      3. The polling results only show that the AH is a popular strategy, not why it is. I didn’t farm Act 3 almost exclusively until 1.0.8 because I just really love Act 3.

    2. Maghda mentions in her journal entry “When I joined the Coven, it was weak and idle. The leaders were content to do nothing, while the prime evils were imprisoned. I convinced another witch to help me poison them and together we took control. She… left some years later, but I continued, bringing the Coven glory under Lord Belial.”

      I just assumed that this other witch she mentions was Adria and that is how Maghda knew to go to Tristram and all that. Mind you Diablo 3 is the only entry in the series that I’ve played so I don’t know if there is something contradicting this in the earlier games.

      Also as far as her being all over the place, she seems to project illusions most of the time? And is only actually present in Cain’s House and at the final showdown in act 2. I think the wizard character mentions about her not having any illusions to hide behind before the boss fight begins.

      • The mention of “explaining Magda” was a more metaphorical thing. You are correct in your plot summmary…

        The question is more about why anyone at Blizzard thought having a tittering butterfly queen act as the main plot driving bad guy in Act One, and making her responsible for killing the series’ most/only archetypal character, was a good idea.

    3. I hate the Auction Houses. I want the RMAH gone because pay-to-win has no place in a video game. The GAH, I want it to stay. However, I want it changed. All items purchased from the GAH should become account bound. It’s the price of convenience. Items need to be removed from the economy. And stock market item flipping needs to go. D3 is supposed to be an action RPG not Wall Street Online.

      • I agree with you that they need to keep the AH, but limit the amount of times gear can be recycled through it. Flipping needs to be much more difficult to accomplish – so much so that it is very hard to monopolize gear or fix prices without having many accounts. If AH bought gear had a 1 week ‘no trade’ flag, that would go a very long way to making flipping time inefficient.

        I disagree that all items bought via the AH should become ‘bound’. Instead, I think there need to be more ways to improve gear you do have via crafting, but at the expense of that gear becoming bound to your character (or very costly to remove those enhancements).

    4. I really wish they would just implement a “No AH” mode that you could enable during character creation, similar to selecting HC/SC.

      I would honestly start playing again if they did something like that.

      • That AND a nice itemization optimization forthewination…aka Ironborn mode with the actual itemization is just like hitting a wall at some point, there you can spend 5 month playing with no progression at all…
        Let’s hope 1.0.9. would be EPIC, coz…its nice and fun to play the game, but once you are paragon 100 you can hardly call it FARM.

    5. Auction House

      The Auction House’s funcionality is essential and real money transactions is something you can’t escape from.
      The problem lies in Blizzard designing the AH as a business model for the company.


      The story is probably the only thing everyone agrees on: it sucked. The mythology since Diablo 1 was great. In-game lore, gossips, the books released, Sin War and Book of Cain all created a mysterious, exciting mood.

      Diablo 3 destroyed all that, epicly. The only really interesting/exciting thing is Covetous Shen’s side story. It really made me curious and excited to speculate as to what/who he is and what’s with the gem he’s looking for.
      Let’s only hope the real story lives up to it.

      Blizzard will continue with crappy dumbeddown story for the reasons Flux mentioned which is sad because they had a REALLY GREAT thing going.

      • I read your last line as “Dumbledown stories” which would have been awesome. So let’s pretend you said that.

        Dumbledown is the wizard of stupid stories. He waves his magic wand and all the smarts of plot twists vanishes.

        Expecto Metzenium!

    6. i want you to know that u hit on a very key and necessary stat in diablo flux. (as u were talking about the barb botter) life steal and life on hit is a MUST in this game. also resourse management. i took the time to understand the function of how barb and wizards work and implemented them on my wd. by slightly reducing critical hit chance on my helm (-6%) and replacing it with mana regen was my first step, i also boosted up my life on hit being that im stuck with a max of 3% ll 1h. this is where the barb become too overpowered with the ability to gain and extra 3%ll on a belt. the best option to gain massive life on hit would be on an ammy maxing out around 1000. id also recommend both rings.

      as of now i can pretty much herd a group of over 200 mobs on one screen, (id like to keep my build to myself at thispoint) but the group ups are so massive the game completly lags out. the mobs stop moving and they begin to line dance its hilarious.

    7. I honestly wonder if there will be anyway whatsoever to trade items remotely (as in, over the internet/Playstation Network) in the PS3/console version. No trading at all, not even drop on the ground trading, is the only way to keep 3rd party auctions out of the game. I can’t imagine the PS3 controls/UI have enough room for trading windows, anyway. It already looks cluttered up, and that’s w/o any numbers at all (which I still find really funny). But the only way to keep the 3rd party RMT people out of a game is to make it impossible to trade stuff between different characters/accounts, period.

    8. In regards to storyline, I advise everyone to expect more of the same come expansion because the man responsible for that disaster, Chris Metzen, sure ain’t going anywhere, and I imagine there’s no quicker way to lose your job at Blizz than to tell Chris his ideas are generic trash and that he’d be better off working for Michael Bay.

      • Yeah, but it would be nice if it kept getting repeated to him from other sources, like interviewers and such, or people previewing upcoming games at E3/Blizzcon etc. “Is this game going to have as terrible a story as D3?” etc. Maybe if he hears it enough times he’ll actually take the time to think before he writes, or maybe grow a spine to say no to the suits who want him to “dumb it down for the kids” in the name of accessibility…

    9. But….without Bruce Willis movies we’d never have such gems as, “Yippee-Ki-Yay M******F*****!”

      • Yippee-Ki-Yay Mister Falcon?

        Oh the joy of watching dubbed movies on basic television while young. Hearing Bruce Willis dubbed over by a big black guy is all kinds of wrong and all kinds of right rolled up into one…

    10. I bet that fan coming up with the dream scenario is a former Mass Effect fan recycling the Indoctrination Theory hoping he could again blind himself to the truth… There is no spoon…

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