September 21, 2013
Diablo III Planned Auction House Closure
Earlier this week Blizzard announced the news that it would be closing the Diablo III Auction House after strong pressure from the community had made it clear that the auction house was in fact undermining the core gameplay. Many players felt that the ability to log in and buy upgraded items both in the gold and real money auction houses had killed the essence of the game, leaving you unable to upgrade your character without using the AH facility, after all what was the point in grinding away and working at a profession when it didn’t actually pay off, you could make more gold selling items, and you could get better upgrades in the AH. Also, when you do reach a challenging level, all you had to do is buy some more gear in the AH and then blitz through it, but that misses an essential part of the game, learning how to exploit your abilities and working out the tactics required for success. Not to mention the feeling you get when you get that drop from a mob. To be honest, the AH has made it less enjoyable for me to play Diablo III and so I’m personally looking forward to the shutdown date of March 18, 2014.
There are of course players whose gameplay is based on the AH integration and feel that Blizzard are taking away a part of the game that means that their style of play will be affected and feel that this will reduce the number of players once the AH is removed since that is what some players signed up for when they bought the game. Although I don’t agree with this sentiment, I do understand it, and understand that the removal of the AH will have an effect on trading perhaps leading to an increase in scamming. But I hope that the majority of gamers will play the game for the features that make it the great game that I know it to be and will get the most out of the experience by fighting for every level and gear upgrade. Also, the planned roll out the new Loot 2.0 system, being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls, should mean that drops will be that much better and go some way to offset the loss of the AH.
Blizzard is currently working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down and have said that they will keep us informed as they work through the process, the video clip below provides more information from Blizzard on the reasoning behind their decision. Blizzard have also stated that “We do not have plans to implement an offline mode. While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection. The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.” RPS.