Quick Thoughts: RMAH   12 comments

I just wanted to toss out a few quick (ha!) thoughts today regarding the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) in Diablo. For those of you who aren’t aware of what this is, basically it’s an auction house supported by Blizzard that allows players to sell gear from actual, spendable currency. The way it works is that you can list items that other people can purchase for real world money. You receive payment in the form of “Blizz Bucks”, that you can then cash out via paypal for US Dollars (or whatever your currency is).

I didn’t really have much of an opinion on the RMAH when it was announced, and didn’t have much of an opinion as the game released and it was delayed. However, now that I’ve gotten farther into the game and invested more time, I was surprised to realize that I had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to it when it went live yesterday. I think this stems from the fact that I have zero desire to pay money for items, or to use a second currency (blizz bucks) or a second auction house to advance my character in the game. I am already somewhat cash poor – and my gear upgrades on the AH cost an obscene amount of gold (I bought a ceremonial knife last night with mana regen and no IAS, that was a 1700 dps upgrade, for the bargain basement price of 500k gold). I am now worried that with the addition of the RMAH, and eventually the ability to purchase gold, that it is going to cause a massive inflation in the cost of items on the gold auction house to the point that you are forced to utilize the RMAH to obtain upgrades to your gear. Not only that, but I am now also forced to utilize a currency that isn’t innately found or earned within the game itself.

I understand that I can utilize the RMAH without ever investing a dime of my real world cash, but there is just something…offsetting about the whole process. I don’t even know if I can exactly describe why I dislike it so much. To me, the fun in the game has been playing it. Not farming the AH for steals and deals. Not “flipping” items on the AH. But actually participating in the game play itself; you know, going out and smashing things in the face with my dart gun and having my ass handed to me in return. I don’t want to be misleading, I’ve certainly used the auction house to acquire upgrades; but the auction house isn’t what draws me to sit down at my computer and log in.

I guess, ultimately, I have a sinking feeling that if I want to improve my character to its maximum potential I am going to have to participate in a system that I don’t think I agree with. There is just something…cheap about buying gear for real money. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just old fashioned or short sighted. But I have realized that I pretty strongly feel that I should be able to earn my rewards through the time, effort and work I put into my game, and not through how much pocket money I (or anyone else) have to spend on any given day.

How do you feel about the RMAH?

Posted June 13, 2012 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Diablo

12 responses to “Quick Thoughts: RMAH

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  1. It’s here and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Some peices are going for $250 dollars so I see the farmers jumping on this. I just don’t want to see this come to WoW, will rune the market

  2. I think why you dislike it is similar to the reason I do: it feels like cheating that is way to easy. It feels dirty. If someone wants to drop a bunch of money and get perfect gear… kudos. I don’t want to do that since it removes all the fun (killing things, hunting packs, smashing barrels, etc). My use of the AH is firmly in the “fill gear holes to cover bad RNG” camp. Buying gear to skip content or overgear to remove the challenge isn’t something I’m interested in.

    The worry that the “perfect rolls” sky-rocket to a price bracket that is just too far away from anything practical (only available to those that have amassed large sums of gold), I think that’s valid. If coupled with being “blocked” in progression (i.e. you’re stuck mid Act 3 or something), it becomes even more harsh/frustrating.

    In the end, the option still exists to just keep farming and hoping something drops. By doing this you are acquiring gold you’re not really spending since you’ve surpassed the need for items in a lower price bracket. At that point two things will happen: you get enough gold to buy, or you’ve found your upgrades.This is essentially how I’ve managed to acquire about $2.5M only doing some farm runs and selling rares that look ok (no AH games).

    Right now ~750k buys me gear that is equivalent offensively but an upgrade defensively (and vice versa). If the price of upgrades continually climbs so that I can never reach them, I’m not sure how I’ll react since this situation hasn’t really cropped up yet.

    • To further clarify, someone acquiring large sums of gold, cash, or items, doesn’t really affect how I play the game. I don’t think the best items are so rare that they are going to be caught in this trading circle of the super rich. Eventually enough will exist that the price will drop just due to the large number of people playing the game.

      At one time I looked at 500,000 items like they were Bentleys. Now those aren’t even viable upgrades for me.

      /mini-blog-off

  3. I dislike spending real money on this type of stuff too, though you can always just limit spending to the money you make selling on the RMAH. My boyfriend was adamantly against spending his hard earned cash, but he did put up some items he found to test the waters. He made $18, which is enough to buy quite a few things last time I checked. At that point it just feels like the gold AH but in a different currency.

    • That’s basically how I plan to use the RMAH, throwing random stuff up and hoping for a couple of bucks to fund my WoW sub. The $250 items aren’t going to stick around, it’s just a new feature and people are trying to guage the market. Give it about a month, everything’s going to come down in price.

  4. I doubt I’ll use the RMAH. It feels like you’re paying money to cheapen the experience. Like when you’re playing in multiplayer and your buddy wants to turn on god mode to get ahead. (And it sorta pushes the bounds on what is cheating – using something outside the game to get ahead is ok, so long as the devs say so?) Not my cup o tea.

  5. I can certainly understand the reaction, but as many people pointed out its really not based in reality.

    Fears:
    * RMAH will make it so I can’t progress without paying money

    This is very much a non issue, we have people complaining they can’t finish the game less than a month from release without fishing for upgrades in the AH. Yes, inferno is hard, and yes its more brutal to certain classes/play styles but remember A, its not been fully tuned yet by the devs, they have long posts about changes they want to make B, Its less than a month since this game has been out, have you really capped out your skill level at playing the game? and C, AFAIK this difficulty level wasn’t even in previous diablo games, its supposed to staggeringly difficult.

    If you like playing the game and not the AH, then play the game, if you’ve hit the inferno brick wall, then take the time to get better at your class, or farm for better upgrades yourself, or mess with another build, or start playing a different class. Saying that you can only get better by acquiring that top echelon of gear that has perfect stats is the same old wow raider excuse of “its my gear”, especially since you’ve not been playing this game very long.

    Also remember that since this game has no concept of soul bound, items are forever (unless they’re rotting in an un-played account). As time goes on there will be more and more “perfect” stat gear out there, continually driving the price down.

    * RMAH will kill the gold auction house

    This may be a real possibility, gold could lose it value completely as it has in many other games that don’t provide enough of a gold sink. It will be interesting to see what steps blizzard takes to maintain the gold economy if this happens. But if it does happen, you can still participate in the RMAH without spending any money. Put your items up for sale in there, and earn blizz bucks that you can then use to purchase other items, really no different than the gold AH, other than you no longer have vendor-ing and chests as income for the AH.

    The bottom line is that if you’re complaining that the AH is the only way for you to make progress in inferno at this point in the game’s lifecycle, I really think that you’re conjuring a tempest in a teacup.

    • Is you comment based in reality? :P

      I have absolutely no clue where half of the commentary in your reply comes from – certainly not my post. Not once did I say anything in this post about the difficulty of Inferno, or not being able to progress in it without the AH. In fact, I wouldn’t even say I, personally, have hit a brick wall as I’ve continued to make steady progress through Act 3. Perhaps your are inflecting other commentary that you’ve read into your thoughts here, but I simply offered an off the cuff, gut reaction in a total of four paragraphs on my initial feelings on the RMAH. Hardly worthy of the scathing “stop bitching you’ve not finished the game and go play if that’s what you want to do/L2P” response you’ve posted here (also of note, not one time have I ever offered a complaint about how quickly/slowly I’m progressing through the game – in any of my posts).

      • Obviously a lot of tone was lost in translation here :)

        I’m speaking to the general unease with RMAH, and how they’re very legitimate feelings for anyone to have but once we get into the swing of things, and we live in the reality of the RMAH world we’ll find that those fear were really unfounded. I never took your post to be one of complaining how you’re progressing in the game, my comments are directed specifically at the fear that you can’t progress in the game without paying for it in the RMAH as many people I know have expressed, and how you hinted that you may find yourself in that position with your comment “I have a sinking feeling that if I want to improve my character to its maximum potential I am going to have to participate in a system that I don’t think I agree with.”

        The point of my post is to allay the fears or trepidations that people have about the RMAH and even though you’re not in the position of “why do I have to AH myself to make any progress” you did express that that is where your concern lies with the RMAH when the time comes to that. Really no different that the fear and trepidation we feel with any changes that happen in wow, but after living with them the reality is a lot different than we thought it would be.

        Hardly worthy of thinking I’m launching a focused attack on something you didn’t do :)

  6. What a very strange game D3 is. What other game out there is this badly balanced, ridiculously random and basically unfinished? Personally, I agree with Beru. I’d never buy items with real money. Forcing me to browse the AH just so I can compete is bad enough (using gold I don’t have) let alone spending real money. This is about as unfun as I can imagine any game being. If I had paid $60 for this game I think I would have requested a refund. Thank gawd for the annual pass. Sad thing is, I like the basic gameplay and I find myself wanting to play the game (i am working on inferno act 1) but then I remember my gear sucks and I have no other recourse than to spend time in the AH instead of playing the game. Farming for gear? no thanks. I think the best thing that can be said about D3 and the RMAH is it’s cutting edge. Something only Blizzard could get away with.
    Oh well, back to wow.

  7. I think the idea is interesting. I will probably try it out and see if I can make some money (that is, if it will be available for me, which it might not – RAF isn’t available in Romania, for example), but I won’t pay real money for in-game things. I’m sure I will be fine with the upgrades I’ll get by playing and (maybe) buying off the regular AH. I don’t expect the RMAH to affect my gameplay in any way, honestly.

  8. Since I got the game for free and have been enjoying playing it, I decided to give myself up to the $60 game cost to spend on the rmah as a way of dipping my toe into this new water. I set a top price of $15 per item and bought some decent legendaries/set pieces that were upgrades and helped me take the next step in progressing. I figured I could pretty readily sell them for what I paid. I share, though, your general discomfort with the idea of spending money to buy gear as the general “means to progress”, as compared with an investment of time and effort to build skill and gear (whether via drops or spending gold gained through gameplay). It seems to pander to the instant gratification impulse in us.

    On practical terms, I think it is quite possible that the way many people will use the rmah will be to both sell and buy, with relatively low net dollars invested (or earned). At least that is how I can imagine myself using it moving forward. If I get a godly item that I can’t use, I would sell it and then use the proceeds to buy gear (as opposed to cashing out). I do worry about the impact on the value of gold once they enable buying gold.

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