To be clear you have always been able to pay to win. There is TONS of sites for D2 that sells items and still is. So pretending it never existed until d3 is only denial. Good luck Jay ! Love the game ! Its always been about treasure hunting for items and pvp. Luckily there is other things you can do on top of those. Even tho pvp wasn't launched at the start its worth the wait ! Great game !
D3 is built around Pay2win, D2 was not. Sure you could buy items in D2 but it wasn't necessary because the skill system was diverse enough that medicore gear would be sufficient to make headway.
D2 had a much much larger database of items. D3 had access to all this code yet negated to use it. In D2, people built classes around items they find. In D3, there is maybe 1 or 2 items that everybody strives for.
Are you more likely to buy an elite item in D2 when there were many others that fairly easily farmed or traded for that were nearly as good? Probably not. Are you going to buy an item in D3 when its clearly a BiS item and clearly far better than the rest? Probably yes.
Hence, D3 pay2win, D2 is not.
Exactly. I played D2 for about 4 years and never once paid real money for an item. I farmed, swapped gear with friends, muled items between characters, and occasionally did trades with strangers (item for item / gold for item). I had a great time and had a Level 89 Druid Shapeshifter by the time I quit playing.
Paying money for items seemed odd to me and I never bothered with it. I just kept running games with friends and hoping for great drops while watching my level meter inch forward (and sadly occasionally backward)
Adding the RMAH really screwed the game hard for the simple reason that people could add resources to the game without playing it. This is different from the GAH, which I am a big supporter of. If I play for 2 hours, I'll end up with some combination of gold and rare gear. At the GAH I can turn these game-generated resources into other game generated resources that are better suited to my character - totally worth it to farm for 2 hours and get an upgrade. This seems fair.
I admit that over time the availability of items will drive their prices down, but this clause is itself absurd to me. People talk about "wrecking the economy" but this is just silly. The ability to use that 2Mil gold you've accumulated to buy an upgrade item for your character is a nice optional feature and a pleasant way to "reroll" your drops. People complain about having to use the AH, but I've never used the RMAH (nor paid more than 10Mil for an item on the GAH) and leveled up just fine. So that wicked helm that you're listing isn't selling for what it would have 2 months ago? NEITHER IS THE INGAME ITEM you're going to spend that income on. What else would you do with the gold that you slowly stockpile?
This contrasts sharply with the RMAH, which has turned the game into a makeshift stock market for some people, and surprisingly not drawn more attention from the SEC. It's a market with real profits that are altered every time Blizzard makes a change, meaning that Blizzard has to be extremely careful when making any change, no matter how minor. The end consequences are:
1) Obvious changes have to be considered for how they'll affect the bottom line.
2) Blizzard employees are probably legally restricted from participating in the RMAH as it would constitute insider trading, so they can't first-hand witness its effects.
3) Players can jump the game without even farming their own resources, which they do, then they complain about the way the game is built.
Don't blame the GAH, blame the RMAH. And more than that, blame the fact that they chose to release a shoddy product rather than spend another month in an open beta to get the kinks out.
BTW, if you're paying to win, you're doing it wrong. I've heard all the arguments in favor of it, but to me it's like buying a 1,000 piece puzzle that's already assembled... now what?