Will Diablo 3 Need New/More Gold Sinks Post-Auction House?

As something of a follow up to yesterday’s commentary about gold sinks and gold prices for upgrading gems, a fan on the European forums asked about the removal of the DiabloWikiAuction House as the end of the ultimate DiabloWikigold sink. Blue replies were forthcoming:

Now that the Auction House is being shut down what will be the new gold sink?
Vaneras: The AH isn’t a goldsink indeed, as the gold is merely removed from the player but not the game.

The DiabloWikimystic and crafting should serve as fairly efficient and solid gold sinks in Reaper of Souls, and with the AH gone, a lot of gold will go into crafting, enchanting, and transmogrification. Also, since BoA will serve as a kind of item sink, the item game should feel much more meaningful and interesting in general than it does today.

When Reaper of Souls is out. you will actually need to evaluate your loot more carefully than you do today, because not only will you have more options on what you can do with your loot, but your decisions on what to do with said loot will be much harder to undo. For an example; a decent item today that has one or two main stats wrong for you might be an obvious trade or salvage, but come Reaper of Souls that same item might actually be an item that you could instead enchant into an upgrade or sidegrade for one of your characters. But should you chose to enchant it, then that item will become BoA and will no longer be tradable.

As someone immediately pointed out in the Blue thread, for most players the AH functions as a huge gold sink when it skims 15% off of all gold sales. Does that really count as a gold sink, though? Vaneras replies with a “no.”

It seems hair splitting on the definition to say that a 15% gold reduction isn’t *really* a gold sink if the gold goes player to player. I’ve definitely lost much more (potential) gold to that 15% AH fee than to all of my crafting and repair and gem upgrade costs combined…. and yet Vaneras sort of has a point, since I’ve also gained the vast majority of my wealth via the AH. Thus the AH has cost me most of my gold, but it’s gained me much more gold on the whole. So does that make it a gold sink? Or a gold producer? And is that answer different for everyone depending on their own economic history? *confused*

That aside, what do you guys expect once the AH is gone? Will the game need more gold sinks? Or will the lack of an AH serve as the biggest gold sink possible, since we won’t be (so easily/conveniently) getting rich selling items anymore, and item/gold farmers won’t have such incentive to keep inflating the economy?

Vaneras made another reply on the topic in the same thread:

Ehr. What about that 15% cut you take from me every time? =)
Vaneras: True, the 15% cut does serve as a goldsink, but I would still not call the AH as a whole a gold sink since most of the gold being traded merely changes hands and thus actually stay in the game. I will not protest if people insist on calling the AH a gold sink though, but in that case I will agree to call it an ineffective gold sink instead 😉

The economy stuff will be quite interesting to see in RoS and even in D3V once DiabloWikiLoot 2.0 comes and the AH closes. We’ve debated whether gold will retain value, but there’s still no telling for sure with so much yet TBD in terms of feature changes, new gold sinks, potentially bigger gold drops, etc.

Tagged As: | Categories: Auction House, Blue Posts, Economy, Loot 2.0


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  1. Well at the moment, I’ve personally found crafting to be completely useless and a huge gold sink if you keep trying at it. You can spend 100,000s (or maybe add another 0 on there for some) on crafting complete crap, or spend that on a definite upgrade on the AH. So it occurs to me that once the AH has gone, crafting will seem more appealing and its natural “gold sinkiness” will come to the forefront. Not to mention it also being an item sink, which is a gold sink in a knock-on effect kind of way.

    • And this makes the “majority” of players happy? I see no reason that I would craft more just because the AH is gone [assuming crafting remains as useless as it is now]. Makes ZERO sense. There is going to be inflation folks no matter if you remove the AH or not. Its not a real economy.

  2. First we got the AH, now we got BoA instead. Seems they simply can’t let go of bad ideas.

    • There was nothing wrong with the AH. The problem is that they tied drop rates *presumably* to its existence. They did not have to be tied. Its not a real economy. The GAH could stay even with Loot 2.0 and there would be little consequence imo. I agree with the BoA being bad. But since there will be 80% [at least] less trading with the removal of the AH, it really does not matter.

    • BoA (or even better, BoCharacter) is the only way an AH even works in the first place. D2 screwed this up; you had to flush the entire system down the toilet every Ladder season b/c of how bad it got. The only time they should “flush the economy” is when they put out an expansion and add new tiers of gear to shoot for. No item sink can compete w/ forcibly removing the ability to trade something whatsoever. I’d have more respect for Blizz if they removed the trade window/drop trading in RoS than the half-measure wussiness they’re giving us, an economic stimulus for d2jsp better than what d2jsp could do by themselves.

  3. First of all, looking at the economy as a whole the AH was definitely a gold sink. When you trade an item through the AH gold leaves the economy. The amount of gold never increases or even stays the same, therefore the AH is a gold sink. Saying that it’s not because most of the gold only changes hand is a non-sequitur. The key word in that argument is “most”. Without the 15% AH fee gold would have been even more devalued by now.

    As for the actual question: I don’t think so. Although I wouldn’t mind if repair fees would be a lot higher (so that death would matter a little in softcore as well), crafting alone should be a good enough gold sink, the devs just need to make sure that it’s actually a better alternative than finding items through drops. It kinda already is, since you can guarantee to get Rares with 6 affixes, but I don’t think this is enough of an incentive. Getting Smart “Drops” though crafting may work and I hope that with other Legendaries crafting recipes will become more common as well.

  4. I think the answer to this question depends on your account balance.

    Let’s say the AH is removed today does the player with billions of gold have sufficient mats to keep on crafting? If not, then that player might feel the need for another goldsink that isn’t so mat-heavy. For players with a few millions it might be spot on already.

    • This is a really good point. I firmly belong in the second group, which is probably why I feel that gold sinks are close to good enough.

  5. The reason the AH wasn’t a gold sink in practice is probably because of gold farming bots.

    • How does that change things? You bought gold from farmers and then proceeded to trade with it. You could of course circumvent the AH with direct player-to-player trade, but most likely the majority of players didn’t do that with a great frequency. The AH was definitely a gold sink, even if that wasn’t it’s primary purpose and wasn’t very effective at it.

      • It’s still a literal gold sink but it’s a very ineffective one when farmers are pumping so much gold into the economy.

        • But isn’t 15% of 10 gold is as much of a gold sink as 15% of 10,000,000 gold? I mean, whether a country trades in bottle tops or gold bars, taking away 15% of each person’s currency is the same. I’d see what you were saying if it was 15 gold, flat rate, originally on the basis that things would cost 100 gold each, but when they cost millions it becomes meaningless… But that isn’t the case.

          • But that 15% matters less and less the more money is out there. If you had a billion dollars and someone takes 15%, you’re still rich as hell and can buy whatever you want. If you only have one thousand dollars, that 15% hurts a lot more.

          • That’s the fallacy of flat tax morons. 15% for a family making $30K a year could be disastrous, whereas 15% for a guy making $30M a year won’t really stop him from being a rich douche. Remember Mitt Romney and his 15% tax rate?

        • Nobody said that it’s an effective gold sink. 🙂

  6. The Mystic is no longer BoA:

    Sounds like Vaneras may not have realized the change occurred.
    Follow-up question: Are there other BoA mechanics in the game? If so, what?

    *waits for BlizzCon*

  7. Imo, AH wasn’t created as a gold sink. The “sinking element” was there to make it look less efficient than farming, like some sort of income tax. The AH worked “so well” that the “not a gold sink” probably took more gold away from economy than everything else…

    I think the game don’t need gold sinks at all. The costs should be seen as mechanics, decent “priced”.

    Imo, they should get rid of repair (and indestructible). If you have a little idea of what you’re doing, it’s just annoying. There are no weapons that lose durability faster or cross-class skill charges; nor huge repair costs (like d2) to make the mechanic worth existing.

  8. So Flux, gold will retain its value in RoS then? Seems like it is worth to hoard it now based on the blue comments.

    • My main theory was that the devs won’t want to bake a huge advantage into the game for people who built up a ton of gold via the AH. So I figured they would implement features to limit the value of gold, the way DEs do on crafting now.

      I’m sure it will be helpful to have more gold than less gold, but I think (hope) that having a lot of gold won’t be by far the most important thing, as it is now in D3V.

  9. I’ve long since stopped crafting because the results are crap and as I’ve never used the AH I’m just building up gold. Other than repairs there’s nothing much to spend it on. No pots needed either.

    I expect to be using the Mystic’s enchant a lot and hopefully the Blacksmith will now be better than useless so I may be crafting more too.

  10. I use the GAH as little as possible and still do a lot of crafting, so I feel no need for gold sinks… I can barely keep up as it is. This is somewhat more frustrating when my perception is that GAH prices are plummeting and it’s getting harder to sell stuff on there. I couldn’t even sell a decent lvl 60 yellow with -lvl req this week.

    I think the bigger challenge for Blizzard will be to keep crafting appealing with Loot 2.0. Even now, drops are still better the vast majority of the time no matter how much you craft. With smart drops it’ll be even harder for crafting to compare.

  11. Get rid of gold.

    Give us proper currency system. Better then PoE, but not just dumbed down!

  12. I don’t craft not because it gives you crap (which it does) but because the hours I spent crafting where hours I couldn’t be playing. Selling mats I got from playing in the AH meant that I could spend more time playing than wasting my time crafting.

  13. I won’t shed a tear for the auction house, but I ask myself how they will make trading happen. I mean, Diablo 2 was more trade friendly because you could name games and the chat system was much, much better.
    Aside from that I know that a large portion happened through forums and search websites, but I’d rather not want it being the only option.

    As for the gold sinks: I think if the pricing of the crafting system is right it should do the deal. If not they could always fall back to old Diablo 2 ideas and introduce gambling.^^

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