I really want to buy your expansion Blizzard, I do, but all the "exciting new details" you've been teasing have done nothing for me. Here's why.
I didn't buy Diablo III when it came out. I played Diablo II for all of ten hours or so with a friend's copy back in the day, and I thought it was fun, I did. But it wasn't so much my style. I get enough of grinding loot to get BiS and beat the same bosses over and over again on harder difficulties when I pay you guys $15 a month for my three annual months of WoW. I don't need to do it on a game that I can play - literally - without ever seeing another person or so much as getting to /wave.
Once the bugs were worked out, however, one of its features did draw me in - the RMAH. Now, I don't care about gearing my character, as I've just said. But if it's fun - and if it means the potential of earning real money while playing a fun game, I can certainly care about gearing other people's characters.
So I bought D3. And I got lucky, in a way - I sold some level 13 rare wand on the RMAH for like $2.36 or something. I never expected it to sell, honestly, I was just throwing anything I had on the RMAH that seemed cool because I loved the concept. But that hooked me. The fact that I had real money sitting in PayPal because of a virtual item was a great feeling. I kept playing, until I was crashing through Inferno with the new Monster Power levels and waiting for the epic legendary that would basically pay for my entire investment into D3.
I never found it, and I'd burned myself up getting the levels and gear to grind, so I took a break. A few weeks that turned into a few months to recharge my batteries. The hell, I figured, the game isn't going anywhere. But I come back and install the game, excited about the new expansion coming and so hopefully the promise of selling brand new drops, just in time to see the announcement that the Auction Houses are going to be shut down in early 2014. Basically FOR the expansion.
I'll be honest, I haven't even killed an enemy since re-installing, and I'm already ready to uninstall the game and forget it ever existed. If it wasn't for the RMAH and the idea of making money selling Legendaries, I honestly don't think I would have started playing Hell mode. I might not have made it through Nightmare, and I DEFINITELY wouldn't have played through Inferno. It was the only reason I was excited about drops. Where, exactly, am I supposed to be excited about killing Diablo? No offense, but I killed him at levels 15, 30, and 40, Blizzard, I don't care about killing him at Paragon 100 on MP10.
If the RMAH was shut down alone, I guess I could live with that. Worst case scenario I could always just mass gold and sell it off to a gold-selling site, or something. Which, honestly, is about the only reason I would buy the expansion at this point.
I'm really wanting to play the new expo, Blizzard, I am. I want to see your new and improved D3. But I'm not going to buy it so I can play it 30 times over, Loot 2.0, Loot Runs, or whatever else you throw at me in a vain attempt to break the left button on my mouse. I want what I had - promise or at least potential of real world gain. This isn't WoW; I don't have to gear up to beat the game, I beat the game so that I can gear up. That's not a good enough motivator any more.
TL;DR - I don't get the satisfaction you want me to from killing Diablo for the 18th time, nor from the "great feeling of getting that perfect drop". I get that great feeling of getting the perfect drop that someone else will shell out $20, $50, hell, $200 for. I'm not going to buy the new expo, and I may even uninstall D3, if a compromise isn't made for D3, whether that is re-instating the gold auction house at least or even separate servers where BOTH AH are still available. No game has ever made me want to become a gold seller or use a 3rd party auction house website before, but Diablo III did it. I hate seeing spam messages and the Starcraft 2 Friend Requests with price lists I'm constantly getting, but your removing the Auction House has legitimately made me want to become one of them. Please come up with at least a compromise.
P.S. Because I'm sure someone's going to bring it up (I've seen it multiple times on these forums and on the Reddit threads), asking for a server for AH isn't the same as asking for self-found servers. You guys can play self-found, on your own, while the AH still exists, by just pretending it doesn't. We can't play "Auction Mode" by pretending the Auction House DOES exist, unless we resort to third-party websites. Which, newsflash, is exactly what people like me are going to do, if we buy the expansion at all.