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RMAH sounded like a sweet idea. For a couple of bucks you could maybe pick up a nice upgrade on a character to get him up to par to play with your friends.. or maybe sell some cool item you dont need for a little bit of cash here and there. Only $60 for the game and you could maybe make that back over the next few years while just having fun? The idea alone was pretty sexy, right?
Then the reality set in, RMAH may very well kill this game.
- Teams of bots have been farming this game since launch, hording millions of gold a day. When RMAH hits, billions upon billions of gold will suddenly go to market.
- Players, capable of picking up all the gold they want for next to nothing, will suddenly not care about dropping a few million on an upgrade. Inflation for items selling for gold in the AH will sky rocket.
- Your only alternative? Buy and sell weapons for real money on the AH. Gold becomes worthless. The gold AH crumbles.
- Not to mention that the promise of easily making real money off a game by removing some of the shadyness is attracting hackers and scam artists in droves unlike anything Ive ever seen before in a game.
so yeah....... maybe Ill be wrong about some of my speculation. But the signs are already there. RMAH is a clear stab by blizzard to get a piece of the gold selling market, and a pretty clever attempt at installing micro transactions that are entirely optional and therefore seemingly less controversial. I cant and dont blame them for that, but their model of how theyre going about it seems foolish and poorly thought out at best.
Heres how it should have been done:
- Gold will not be sellable in the RMAH. Players will be limited to no more than 10 transactions per week in the RMAH. Items in the RMAH may be canceled.
Gold becomes near worthless, I sell drops for a lot more gold, then use said gold to buy the stuff I want. Inflation may not be healthy but it won't ruin the GAH anytime soon. (Assuming of course that the limit on the amount of gold you can ask for is high enough. If we get to the point where it isn't, THEN the GAH will crumble.)
Unfortunately it is likely they will still make a profit off it, and it may become a more standard thing that we see in games in the future. Valve did something similar with the whole hat business in TF2, and they pull 2 million a year. That's only 2% of their total revenue but it requires next to nothing to keep it running.
If you could make 2 million a year doing next to nothing, would you?
Actually if the goal is to get people to spend the D3 gold they farm, then inflation is a "healthy" thing.
Why? Because people have less incentive to hold onto something that declines in value over time. The faster the decline in value, the greater the incentive to spend it as soon as possible.
In countries with hyperinflation, people rush out and buy their necessities as soon as they get their script because tomorrow, the same necessities will cost 5%, 10%, 20% or more in script.
What happens if you buy an item from the RMAH and the seller turns out to be a botter/hacker and blizzard decides to take the item from the buyer? If you have played wow you will know what happens to most people who purchase an item from the AH that was placed there by a hacker/botter the items get taken away and no gold refunded. I wonder if this will still be the case for d3.
They're not trying to "get a piece of it", it only makes more sense from their point of view if you're going to "buy gold" (like people have been doing "illegally" in WoW for years) to have to go through Blizzard instead of the shady black market. It kinda reminds me of a small piece of the US "decriminalize marijunana" argument; so many people do it anyway, they want to do it legally and would be willing to buy it from the government if they'd sell it. So instead of dealing with massive account hacks from everyone who tries to buy gold, now its all completely controlled by Blizzard, in theory making it "safer". Obviously they haven't quite worked out all the kinks yet though (lol.)
Whats funny to me is at the same exact time, everyones freaking out about them nerfing gold drops from the vases in Royal Crypts to help curb the farming/botting.
I'm no fanboy, but it's pretty obviously that their overall goal is on "our side"'; giving us what we want while also helping keep customers accounts safer (as opposed to buying gold from a 3rd party website). I've been pretty pissed from day 1 about a lot of other issues with this game, but not this one.
I just thought of another slight comparison: I live on the state line in a state that sells alcohol on sundays. The state next to ours, until very recently, did not. Did everyone in the other state just not drink on Sundays? Of course not, they drove over to our state to buy it instead. So, now they can buy it in their own state, so that their own state makes the revenue from it.
Vice versa with fireworks. Everyone in our state had to drive over the border for fireworks every July. Last year they finally changed it. Now we pay our own state for fireworks.
TL;DR: PROHABITION DOESN'T WORK! (lol)
Edited by Fruhauf#1708 on 6/9/2012 5:57 AM PDT
Just so this doesn't get lost in the mix anyone else got thoughts on this?
Despite what the "doom and gloomers" say, I think RMAH is going to be pretty interesting. What transpires with the pro gold sellers i definitely something to watch. Blizzard knows who's boting, they know who's hoarding gold, its all on their servers, they have transaction records, they have the data. I'm expecting a huge ban hammer to drop during overnight patch maintenance when RMAH goes live. I'm sure the gold sellers are anticipating this and are trying to figure out how "hide" their spoils. It all boils down to a pretty interesting match up. I'll wager my bets that Blizzard comes out on top.
People making real money off digital 'loot' is nothing new. WoW gold? D2 item purchasing?etc.
All Blizzard did was take this inevitable phenomenon and regulate it under their terms and make a profit off it (and rightfully so). It cost them more to regulate and ban gold sellers in World of Warcraft than it was worth.
If you can't beat them; join them, rule them, then tax them.
Step 1: Buy game
Step 2: Purchase end game gear for character.
Step 3: Find new game to play, nothing left to do.
My thoughts on the RMAH which the OP references. I am not a Bliz rep so obviously I concocted these under my own tin foil hat with a spinning propeller. Take as you will.
1. Customers want the ability to buy in game items for real life money. This is clearly demonstrated by the third party groups selling gold in WoW/D3 and from the item selling sites in D2. If there was no demand they would not exist.
2. Using said third party sites means going to organized criminals who compromise accounts to get the goods.
3. This black market in turn drives user account theft through keyloggers, phishing, fan site compromise, etc.
4. By offering a legitimate way for those players to spend real money on gold/items Blizzard gives a safe alternative to the gold sellers. "If you can't beat them, join them"
5. If they can work out the bugs, it would greatly deplete the market for third party illegitimate goods.
6. The model they are using, with a small percentage taken, is a very common one...see Ebay, which people were using anyway for D2.
7. The prices are set by USER demand, not by Bliz. (and you can pass on the Bliz fee to the customer)
8. What bit Bliz gets helps maintain the servers and RMAH.
Seems that if they get it working properly that the gold sellers would take a huge hit and that the players who want to use real money would have a safe alternative(Bliz has not been compromised to date) to the criminals (100% compromise rate eventually)
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