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Why removing the auctionhouse will probably keep me off D3EXP all together.

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 Trading Forums' started by Punkonjunk, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Yes, but at what cost? Please read my whole post before you answer.

    I feel that at the root of this discussion is the time required to acquire items, or in other words the balance between drop chances and the effort required for trading.

    Increasing drop chances would help things, but only temporarily, in the really short-term. Eventually prices would adjust and then you would be back to choosing between getting an upgrade right now for pennies (figuratively speaking... kinda) or going back to rolling the dice and possibly not getting that upgrade at all and not necessarily only when you already have high-end gear.

    Of course, you could raise drop chances or change how affixes are rolled to the extremes as well (to balance effortless trading), to give players not interested in trading a comparatively good way to acquire their gear. With the current trading system though that would devalue items probably to a level that you could buy perfect Legendaries (only preferred affixes with maximum values) for a few millions of gold. However, you can achieve the same balance between item acquisition methods if you restrict trading. That way items will retain more of their value. In both cases the number of traders would drop and that's exactly the goal here, to make the game less about trading, to have a better balance between finding things yourself and trading for them.

    No matter what people say, Diablo was never about trading, it was all about items. If that's not true, then why do you trade? I'm sure some people simply enjoy the social interaction of it, but I think the majority of traders are in it for the items. A game about items should balance every way of their acquisition well.

    I don't think Blizzard wants to eliminate trading completely (I certainly don't), they just want to make it less of a requirement. Right now trading is the only viable way to progress after a certain gear level for many people, which is not the problem in itself. The problem is that this gear level starts really early in Inferno. I think the long-term success of D2 was largely due to the fact that you could play alone and still have a good chance of finding gear in your lifetime not only to finish Hell, but even to faceroll it. Trading helped this process if you wanted to invest time in it (which was important, because it balanced the time invested into farming), but it never overshadowed self-found quite like the AH does in my opinion. If D2 had an AH, there would have been almost no need for duping, the majority of items would have been at the fingertips of every player after a few months (probably not Zod runes though, those would have required slightly more time :)).

    As kinda an aside, item binding of course serves the purpose of making trading less compulsory as well. Its introduction into the game was a clear indication that Blizzard wants to break our overreliance on trading in general.

    I hope that I demonstrated clearly that the implementation of trading is always a compromise, it has pros and cons. Currently the game punishes people who don't like to trade by almost forcing them to do so in Inferno. The solution necessitates that traders will have a harder time, either because trading will require more effort or because drop chances will have to skyrocket. In either case less people will be trading. Since the first solution better preserves the value of items I think traders should be happy that Blizzard went this way. As I've already said, it's the lesser evil (kinda like Andariel compared to Diablo :)).
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  2. fsj

    fsj IncGamers Member

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    Am I the only one who thought that was the best thing about D2 trading?

    Not necessarily the way in which it was done, (games/channel spam) but haggling for the right deal, rather than everything decent costing 2 billion, you knew that if you found the right person after a particular item that you had you could get a rewarding deal out of it. To someone who wasn't chasing that item though it was trash. The value was determined by how badly someone wants something rather than going onto the AH, searching similar items and just slightly undercutting the most similar item.

    Then the more you trade the more you learn what everything is worth, rather than it just being sated in a flat amount of gold/$$.

    For me item for item trades work far better than item purchases for gold in an ARPG. I was all up for a barter house in D3. You place your offers and needs (in the form of items only - no gold). People can then select an item, show what they are willing to trade for it. If you see a deal worth your while you accept and the items are swapped.

    I would have much preferred that to the AH/RMAH how it is.

    Probably just me, though :D.
     
  3. fnaxqtr

    fnaxqtr IncGamers Member

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    i am glad you dont play d3x
     
  4. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Just out of curiousity, how would you guys feel about a trading system, which would have an AH-like interface, but with nearly all the barriers a barter system has? Here's what I propose in some detail:

    As a seller, you could flag items you want to sell right in your inventory (even outside of games) and these would appear in an AH like list (from any of your characters). Items would appear in this list only when you're online, so no posting items to the market (giev moar stesh). On the other hand you could flag as many items as you want for sale, not just 10. The limiting factor would be how much free space you would be willing to give up for trading. Specifying a target price should still be possible, but the trade would happen in-game or possibly directly through the chat, where you could still haggle or negotiate to use items as payment. No buyout price or bidding.

    As a buyer, you could still filter items by equipment slots, rarity or stats and you could initiate the trading games right from the trading UI. Just right-click on the item you want to buy and select an option that would display a popup for the seller that a buyer has been found, with your name added. After this the sellers could decide how to proceed. They could invite you to their current game, a new game, or choose to facilitate the trade in the chat. Ideally all of these should be options right on the popup message and sending items through the chat should be possible as well.

    This is basically still a bartering system, but with bells and whistles. No named games or chat spam necessary. I think a system like this would still require enough effort from traders that trading wouldn't be so ubiquitous and feel as necessary as does now and so drop chances could be adjusted to better suit non-traders, without the global economy (which would cease to exist) becoming flooded by items. This way trading and farming could be much better balanced.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  5. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    Harassers could annoy the hell out of sellers, by offering to buy and then leave after the trade game was created.

    It would certainly lower the amount of trading though. Which is a goal.
    But, as long as you would have a global search for all items available (which I assume you would), I think trading would still be very substantial.
    It makes huge difference I think, that you can directly compare all available items, both as a buyer and seller.

    In a classic barter system you cant really know if you could have gotten a better deal elsewhere. Both as a buyer and seller.

    Theoretically true in D2 as well - although the small variation within the unique items made it simpler - and also having items that were "perfect" as currencies; runes, and to some degree SoJ (SoJ wasn't exactly perfect as a currency. That just happened anyway).

    Forums will arise where people can get an idea and compare items, but those will never be truly global. Far from it even.

    Note: Not saying the above is necessarily preferable, just pointing at differences :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  6. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Those are great points. Feel free to point out differences like this. Maybe I should create a new thread for this idea though, as it's kinda off-topic here.

    Anyway, harassment would indeed be a problem in this system. This crossed my mind as well as I wrote my post, but I only wanted to talk about the outlines of the system first. First of all, perma-ignore should be an option on the trade popup for occasions when it's one guy that harasses you constantly. Furthermore, while you are in a trade game (Battle.net should be able easily flag an track games like this) you wouldn't get any more popups until the buyer or you leave the game.

    As for the global search, well, it wouldn't be global anymore if you think about it. Items wouldn't be listed when the seller isn't online (or possibly not even when he or she is AFK), so at any time you would only get a small subset of items available for trade. Comparing items would be of course still easier than it is in the old-school bartering system (you would see a much larger subset of items), resulting in more stable prices, but I think a certain level of stability is a good thing. This should help budding traders as well, by enabling them to learn the value of things faster.

    EDIT: Will start a new topic for ideas like this soon.

    EDIT2: New thread is up: http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?849041-Alternative-trading-systems
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  7. RyTEK

    RyTEK IncGamers Member

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    Is this some sort of joke?

    AH ruined this game. It is easily the driver of:
    1) Online only (rather they admit it or not)
    2) Quick boredom (boo hoo why can't I find a drop as awesome as this item I bought for $100M gold!?!?)
    3) Lack of item affix complexity so that items could be listed based upon one of the 4 core categories.
    4) Lack of bnet chats which would promote in-game trading instead of AH listing.

    Took me 20 seconds to rattle those off, I'm sure I could think of 10 more.

    IMO AH is the worst thing that could have ever happened to this game and I am glad there is a new game director who sees that there were about 2500 people trading on d2jsp and dii forums and hundreds of thousands of others who didn't give two craps about RMAH or GAH.
     
  8. JEB90

    JEB90 IncGamers Member

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    Any bartering system will develop its own currency over time for the simple reason that not everyone wants the same thing at the same time. All your trading system (or any trading system) does is inject arbitrary time sinks. No thanks.
     
  9. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    I think gold could be kept as the primary currency if people could still list their items with an asking price at a central market. It's much easier to just say how much gold you want for something than to negotiate a trade with items. Those have much more variables that would have to satisfy both parties and we already know how much people prefer to do things effortlessly.

    The point is that some people still prefer trading this way and they could do so in the system I proposed. Because trades would happen directly between two players they could do whatever the hell they want to.

    I can see why that would suck for someone who trades frequently. What's the alternative though? With the AH in the game, how would you solve the problem that Blizzard and many people have with the game, namely that "it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot"?

    That definition of core gameplay relegates trading to second-class status. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I definitely don't agree with doing things the other way around and feeling that trading is the primary way to get what you want. I don't think it's an either-or situation, trading and farming could be better balanced than that and the choice between the two should ideally be down to personal preferences. The current situation in my opinion could be solved through better drops or through a more restricted way of trading.

    I already said why I would much prefer something more along the lines of the latter. For example, at the 150-200k DPS gear level (I hate that this is just about the only thing that matters in the game) I can either spend god knows how many hours to find an upgrade or I can just spend a few to farm a few million gold (with trading on the side, because why the hell not?), go to the AH and buy an upgrade. How much would drops have to improve for this problem to go away? In my opinion the answer is: it doesn't really matter, because you will always be choosing between a chance to get what you want and a guarantee. Improving drops would also devalue items even more. Hell, with the way the economy is progressing, without the release of RoS you could probably buy MP10 gear for a few million gold in less than a year. If you're a Barb you can already do that if you like using builds that don't require you to pay any attention to what's happening on your screen. This is why I think a more restricted trading is the way to go: to better preserve the value of items, even with the new revision of the loot system that will include better drops.

    I definitely don't want chat spam again, even though I know that if the devs do their job right I won't be trading that much after the release of RoS, or at all. Trading through chat is way too messy. Not surprising, given that it was born out of necessity, not out of a clear design. I don't want to return to that system, which is why I proposed an alternative, that in my opinion would make things more manageable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  10. Jaster83

    Jaster83 IncGamers Member

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    Honestly, sounds like you're too lazy to go spend a few hours farming items, then spend 30 minutes trading them.
    Yes, AH obviously made it much easier to farm trash and upgrade it. The new system is supposed to reduce trash, increase useful drops for your toon, and the drops that aren't useful for your toon you will actually have to put a modicum of effort into turning into something useful.

    Go QQ to your mom, because I don't see a lot of people caring about your personal problems.
     
  11. Speedster

    Speedster IncGamers Member

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    Frankly this sounds great, but you've pretty much just described the AH with some tweaks and with gold removed from the equation. Remember in D2, high runes (often duped...) became the currency of choice -- not by design, but because most people don't find the item match-making process fun. We'd rather be off fighting evil.

    I think it takes more than 20 seconds to think it through.

    How did you get $100M gold?!?! I've got 1200 hours into this game and my total gold find is under $230M -- for the last year. That would buy maybe 1 or 2 godly items. (And no, I didn't whip out the credit card and do the RMAH --which WAS a bad idea.) Point is that you're going to have to play the game and find good stuff in order to make big money fast in the AH. And you have to know what's likely to bring big money in order to pick it up -- my biggest sales were rares, not elites, with great stats. Unless you want to spend more time trading instead of killing things, the AH is a better interface for moving items.

    Itemization isn't an AH problem either. It's more of an itemization problem. If we still had the +skills item system of D2, the AH would still work and in fact would be even simpler. Search on headgear with +2 skills, has sockets, for example; or search belts with fcr. The endgame items in D2 were pretty well known, so the AH would have worked well and saved a lot of us from dupes and scams. In fact it's wholly compatible with the old D2 itemization, but the kneejerk reaction in D3 is to blame the AH.

    And I didn't play D2 in single player mode after about 4-5 months of learning the game offline. After that I was always doing public games or ladder. That said, if someone wants to play offline I don't really care. Just have the AH available when you're online and let the loners go it on their own. Not really an AH problem.

    Again, I like your ideas, but you're back to using gold and a central market where people list their items. Sounds kind of deja vu all over again.

    Also, trading in D2 was always the shortcut to gear up a character. People had a closet full of hammerdin gear and then asked to get rushed and power-leveled so they could use it. Even early in ladder, there were a lot of Enigmas, HoTO flails, socketed shakos, etc. The AH didn't cause that. People just want gear up fast, in general, and they will do that through third party sources if there is no convenient in-game option.

    Improving drops would devalue items, and that IMHO is a good thing. Keep the AH, improve the drops, solve the "problem". If anything, the way gems and recipes are handled in the AH is terrific -- and very similar to what you describe. The market sets the price and you just go back to gaming. That mechanism is next to perfect and could have been expanded to do much of what you describe.
     
  12. JEB90

    JEB90 IncGamers Member

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    The alternative is simple--divorce drop rates from the AH and keep the AH as it is. That way people will have good drops but still be able to trade easily. If you don't like the AH, you won't have to use it. If you want to trade, you still can. There is literally no down side of having an AH that does not affect drop rates for people who don't want to use the AH.
     
  13. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    Good droprates will still be bad droprates relative to using AH.
     
  14. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Exactly. I've said this already: no matter how much you improve drops, with the AH in the game the choice will always come down to either rolling the dice or getting what you want, when you want it. If Legendaries would be dropping every second that still wouldn't be enough to compete with the AH. Trading must have more limitations than it has now.

    My proposed system would indeed have a similar interface to the current AH, but one that would only serve to eliminate the needless spamming that comes with a chat-based barter system. In practice it would work nothing like the AH does. The main differences are the elimination of the global market and the one-click easy purchase of items.
     
  15. Steven Hazani

    Steven Hazani IncGamers Member

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    It will always be easier, because other players = more than 1, you = 1 player. Doesn't matter if it's an AH, an I can't believe it's not AH, or trade spam. You will always gear up faster with other's help than without.
     
  16. Darkflight

    Darkflight IncGamers Member

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    If they increased the droprates like they have on the console version the AH wouldn't feel as mandatory and less people would feel forced to use it just to play the game at all beyond normal and nightmare though. The problem isn't that the droprates for awesome gear is low, the problem is that the game doesn't allow people to overpower it with skill and knowledge. In Diablo 2 you could run naked hardcore characters through the game and kill Baal on Hell. In Diablo 3 nothing like that is possible, because your gear is everything and without it your character is worthless. Removing the AH, increaseing droprates and making the gear dropped more tailored to you will not make this problem go away. Gear should be a reward, not something that is a requirement to not be helpless.
     
  17. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Maybe, but I think that when you don't have a global economy to browse and can't purchase an item without negotiating with another player directly it will be much harder to find what you're looking for compared to the AH, even with my proposed system that includes quality of life improvements to bartering. When trading is set up like this you have to consider, that only a fraction of players will trade (the ones that actually like to trade) compared to how things are now, which will greatly reduce the number of items that are up for sale, even if we won't have a 10 item trade limit.
     
  18. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Well, when you trade through a chat channel it's a central market as well, but it's such a noisy one that you can't really find or advertise what you want. That's why I think an AH-like interface is a requirement even for bartering. It could allow players to advertise their items even during gameplay and while I think this is a good thing it's completely optional. Staying in the market UI could be a requirement to having your items listed in the market if Blizzard would so desire.

    As for the currency, gold would be optional anyway, but it's the only way to display a price in a manner that could be evaluated in a quick glance, so I think it would be the primary way the market should display prices. Maybe the list of wanted items (or better yet, stats) could be viewed in a mouse-over tooltip, when you hover your cursor over an item you want to buy.

    I don't want bartering to go away in my system. I think it would be great to find an item you want listed for 1 billion gold and even when you don't have enough money for it have something else to offer.

    No, from what I've heard duping did. There's no way so many people would have had access to such items early in the ladder any other way. I think things would have been very different if duping wouldn't have been so rampant.

    Sure, but my system would be still better than a third-party site in my opinion. The negotiation part would work the same way basically. There would be less risks involved, because you couldn't list items you don't actually have, resulting in less scams. Mine would be integrated into the game as well, just like the AH, meaning it would most likely have the most players using it. Trading through third-party sites always have the problem that you can only reach a small subset of people playing the game. Ideally players shouldn't really want to use the third-party option, even though it will always exist. If I'm wrong in some way please tell me. It's entirely possible I haven't considered everything related to this issue.

    Except of course the increased effort trading would require, which is the core of my idea. I totally see why improved drops are seen as a good solution however, when you think even more devalued items are a good thing. It's just that I disagree with that. :)

    I think that even in my proposed system the trading of commodities for gold could be handled separately from other items, in exactly the same way as it's done right now. I'm somewhat against this idea though, because when commodities are handled like this their price can be manipulated by a few players working together. You also couldn't offer items for them, even though you could still offer commodities for items. I don't like that asymmetry.

    To finish off, I would really appreciate it if you guys would post comments about my trading idea in the thread I started for it: http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?849041-Alternative-trading-systems
    It would make it easier to me to follow the issues brought up if I wouldn't have to look for them in two threads. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  19. Punkonjunk

    Punkonjunk IncGamers Member

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    this thread has really carried on since I last posted, and I absolutely intend to read all of it and respond to what's interesting/at heart to me, but not right now, as I am very tired and working through a couple things for a bit here.

    That said, this came to me twice today, and now finally it does in front of a computer, and it's something I'd like to bring up.


    My home state, wisconsin, has been in the news a bunch during the whole scott walker fiasco. Many, MANY folks were angry about his policies and anti-union, even anti-teacher behavior. Screeching about hating him was all the rage, and everywhere, across the nation.
    It even got it's own wiki article! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Walker_recall

    But.... he won, and stayed. By a pretty good lead, too!

    Because while speaking your mind is important, those who speak it the most, or the most loudly are not, EVER, always right. (By no means am I voicing support for walker, just the fact that voting matters, and your vote is your voice, etc.)

    I think that's important to consider here.

    I was so pissed I ran over to D3inc's forums to post my ranty little wall of text. I'm still mad. I was super excited for RoS and this news really kicks me right in the dick.

    A lot more people are very vindicated, and give no craps about how this will set a precedent, or how it will effect everyone, trading, etc.

    True, things may improve, and massively.... but I still think we're losing a choice here, and what gets me is that it's a lot harder to scream about how much you like the auction house than it is to hate it.

    Bearing in mind, of course, that I know we've seen some poling, but it's never 100% against. I think D3inc's last pole was about 50% against, the rest split over the other options.....

    But I worry that the people following it so rabidly are really just the loudest voices, not the majority.

    But.... maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Blizz will see a huge surge in players as the AH drops off and attribute it to more than RoS.
    The precedent bothers me, but I'm an efficiency guy... I want the gameplay to be fun, the trading to be out-of-mind. the auction house was great for that, I likened it to D2's gambling, and it really was, in a lot of ways.

    I just wanted to throw that into the mix. I'll dig into all these huge replies later. Happy to see the discussion keeping up!
     
  20. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    It's no surprise that Blizzard decided in that manner, as it's best for business. They had to decide between disappointing an amount A and getting the consent of an amount B or the other way around. So the question was, which number is bigger?

    The question regarding whose voice is the loudest is obviously related to the question where you are listening. If you ask on bnet, you will certainly have much more support for the AH than e.g. by sending surveys via email to all account owners. Blizzard wants to get as many expansion sets sold as possible, so they will have to produce their statistics with as little bias as possible. Every account owner is a potential customer, not just thiose who are left playing D3 and happier with the AH than without it. That's certainly less than 50% of all those who bought the game.

    Right after the release of D3, their strategy was obviously different. They wanted to sell more copies of their brand new product and they had to keep a few promises. Even if they had realizied quickly that the AH wasn't such a clever idea, they had to do what they announced. In that situation, it was strategically better (or less of a loss) to make true what they don't believe in anymore than not to do it and get blamed for worse failures.
     

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