Diablo 3 Real Money Auction House – Is it Good for Gaming? A Diary of Sorts Begins

Get your fingers ready folks, the real money auction house launched in Diablo 3! Some entrepenurial spirits(myself included, not gonna lie), saw dollar signs when we first heard of the possibility of making real cash for playing a game we love. It just makes sense. When you play a game like this(or most MMOs) long enough, you start getting drops that tons of players would love to have pretty often, why not monetize on them? Is this a good thing? Here are my views and experience.

The real money auction house launched last week, and I was damn excited to try it out. I was in the last act of the game, and figured some of the rare gear I found would be worth some cash to some players. I put up eight auctions before Fidel and I went to AM2 this last week. Two of them ended up selling a day later, and I made $3.20! I was damn excited! Yes, it’s not much money, but its money nonetheless, from playing a game I enjoy! The items I sold were of no real use to my character, so it was like selling those unwanted weapons you picked up in Final Fantasy, except I got real cash for them. You can see the potential right?

Here’s the thing: selling items to other players that are not easily earned has always been frowned upon by the gaming community. It’s almost like cheating, getting something easily that others worked hard to get. Here’s my view on this though…all this gear is randomly generated. How the hell would you know the gear was bought? Given? Twinked? The thing with randomly generated is just that: they’re random. Some players may not be good enough to get by without items, and this can be a hard game if you don’t know how it works. Why not help out strangers and make a profit? It’s better than Blizzard selling items to them.

$3.28? Really?

 

So how do you decide the value of an item? Blizzard has an easy system in place. Whatever the value of the item is in gold in game, is the default dollar value in the auction house, at one penny per gold piece. Obviously this is a very simple system, as certain combination of bonuses are more valuable than others, putting the gold value to shame. This however, is a player run economy, so things will continue to evolve and change. What is worthless to me is worth something to you, so on and so forth. Inflation will hit, and we will have lowered values on items as time progresses. I am very curious as to how this will turn out in the coming months. Also, will Blizzard start selling items through bots for a larger profit? Not that farfetched if you ask me…

Over $200? Yeah sure buddy…

That being said, there are lots of people asking for outrageous amounts of money for not so awesome items. It’s expected, like I said, it’s a player run economy. Since I sold my last two items, I’ve tried to sell better items for less money, and none of them have sold. Granted they weren’t that much better, but still, it’s a sign of how things are evolving. Diablo 3 thought these two items were worth over $5, and I couldn’t get $1.50 for either of them. When I first started selling things, I was level 31, just finished the game in normal difficulty. Now I’m level 40, going through Act 2 in Nightmare difficulty. The game is still addictive as far as loot is concerned. Always looking for one more gem, one more page of jewelcrafting, it’s addicting!

I will continue playing Diablo 3, and trying to see how the auction house evolves. It is an interesting system, and I think it’s a sign of things to come. People get really upset at companies for selling us DLC, claiming sometimes it should have been part of the game for free in the first place. Granted some companies just screw the pooch on this one(cough, Capcom, cough), but it’s still a gray area when it comes to gamers’ opinions. Blizzard just got through this hurdle by making us the pushers, and they get a cut out of all our sales. What’s to say that in the next big console RPG, we won’t be able to sell weapons to each other for money? You all won’t be so mad when it’s us ripping each other off will you? Well done Blizzard, I will be keeping a good eye on this program for a long time…

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