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Crafting right now is utterly useless because the items that are craftable have to compete with items from the auction house.
Items arent being removed from the economy, that means that the overall quality of items in the auction house is increasing, while their relative price is decreasing due to over saturation.
This means that there are plenty of items that are better than craftables while being cheaper, and since the quality of craftables doesnt increase over time, crafting becomes worse and worse as time goes by.
The root problem therefore is that craftables have to compete with items from the auction house.
If this wasnt the case, then crafting would be viable.
Fixing this isnt as simple as improving the quality of crafted items however, because its just a matter of time until the new craftables over saturate the auction house aswell.
The actual fix is to change crafting products in such a way that they dont have to compete with items from the auction house and to not be items that stay in the economy forever, otherwise they diminish in value quick resulting in crafting becoming useless again.
What needs to be done?
Change crafting products from items that are equippable to items that are consumable/usable.
These "consumables" wouldnt have to compete with the usual auction house items (a war that is unwinnable) but instead only compete with their own kind, namely other consumables.
Since these consumables are used up on use, they disappear from the economy, thus never diminishing the value of crafting, period.
Now what kind of consumables are we talking about?
How about a potion that grants magic find for x minutes?
How about a potion that increases the run speed of the character by 10% for x minutes?
How about whetstones to sharpen your weapons, thus granting a few % critchance for x minutes?
How about a potion that increases exp gained by a certain amount for x minutes?
The idea is simply to provide craftables that help your character farm those paragon levels/items faster without actually having to compete with normal items from the auction house.
Their price would be stable due to the nature of consumables not staying in the economy forever and their initial price is dependant on how strong these potions are OR how easy it is to farm their materials.
An auction house is the perfect place to trade, buy and sell consumables or their materials.
I would argue that an auction house is actually pretty bad when it comes to trading finished items when there are no new items entering the economy and old items are never leaving the economy thus resulting in a stagnant market.
The reason why items in diablo 2 are still selling for thousands of dollars is because items are actually leaving the economy there: its called ladder reset.
The reason why the world of warcraft auction house works so well, is because both concepts are utilized: new items are entering the economy from time to time (new content introduces fresh equippable items: this is akin to a diablo 2 ladder reset) AND there are items that basically never lose value because they arent permanently staying in the economy: consumables.
Crafting consumables would not only breathe life into crafting, but also into the auction house.
There could even be extremely rare potions that grant a permanent bonus to your character.
The materials for these potions would obviously have to be rather rare and while we are at it, why not make it the gold dump of choice?
Make the creation of these permanent bonus potions rather costly, thus taking gold out of the economy FOR GOOD while incentivicing players to do so.
Edited by gh0un#2493 on 11/18/2012 7:06 PM PST
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