I believe Josh noted this in the video, but making the call to remove the gold and real-money auction house wasn't easy--and it certainly wasn't done in a vacuum. On the one hand, we invested a lot of time and resources into the development of the auction house system, and (for all intents and purposes) the auction houses achieved the goals we originally set for them when they were implemented. We also knew that many players appreciated if not outright enjoyed using the feature, be it because they worked long days and didn't always have time to farm, because they liked having a convenient way to sell off unneeded goods, or because they had fun "playing" the AH economy. These were all things we considered and debated heavily. (Keep in mind that we actually evaluated different options that would allow us to preserve the auction houses and just diminish their temptation. This was initially one of the big goals of Loot 2.0.)
On the other hand, it's become increasingly clear that despite the benefits the auction houses provide, they ultimately undermine Diablo's core gameplay and warp our ability to deliver a great in-game experience. A big part of Diablo is the thrill of battling demons and finding epic loot. While buying epic loot in the auction houses might be more convenient, it doesn't feel anywhere near as heroic as plowing through a pack of fearsome-looking monsters and having them drop that one awesome item that seems like it was made for your character.
Removing the auction houses is only one part of the equation, though. The other is Loot 2.0, which is aimed at making playing the game the best and most satisfying way to get items. This system focuses on better loot drops, targeted loot drops, and giving players additional ways to customize their items. We feel that these improvements, along with the removal of the auction houses, will improve the overall gameplay experience for all
of our players and help address the initial loot concerns voiced by our community.
Now, we still have a lot of technical and mechanical details to work out
, but we'll be sharing all that info once it's available.TL;DR:
The decision to remove the gold and real-money auction house wasn't about validating "self-found" or invalidating those who enjoyed using the auction house. That's a very binary way of looking at things, and I would sincerely encourage players to avoid falling into the whole "we win/you lose" trap. Locking this up.