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?