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Jay Wilson: Auction Houses "Really Hurt" Diablo III

Former Diablo III game director Jay Wilson admitted the real-money and gold auction houses "really hurt the game," as Blizzard underestimated the number of players who would turn to auctions to outfit their characters. Joystiq has details from a GDC talk where Wilson said they thought the auction houses were a service players of their action/RPG sequel wanted, and that hosting them in-house would reduce fraud and abuse, but as in the end, they created an environment where collecting money was a primary goal over defeating Diablo and his hordes. He also says they would turn off auctions if they could, but they have "no idea" how many players this would disappoint. His contention that Blizzard thought only a small number of players would use the auction houses is hard to fathom in light of the game's design, which, for a considerable time before a series of balance changes required the very best gear to complete on the highest levels, even though such gear dropped so rarely it was impractical to try to collect it without using the auctions. Blizzard has a GDC talk scheduled for today discussing their iterative design process for Diablo III, and their preview of that mentions a number of systems that were reworked during the game's design because they were unsatisfactory, but all the examples they use are gameplay mechanics, and not things like auctions.

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93. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 20:17 Asmodai
Flatline wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 14:08:
Sad thing is, I uninstalled Path of Exile. It seemed fun and then I... just lost interest. Other things came out worth playing, and my time is at a premium. I guess the Diablo-style games just aren't doable any more for me. I don't have that kind of time to waste farming shit.

Diablo 1 and 2 came out in a relative vacuum, the only other ARPG's at the time were pretty basic and you literally waited months for a good game to come out, and you certainly didn't have digital distribution for the most part (unless you count FTP warez over dialup "digital distribution" ;).

The ARPG formula works well when there isn't much competition, or if you're playing co-op. The games themselves don't really bring any serious storyline to the table, it's just "kill everything between you and the end and get loot".

These days? You have quite literally more options than you can poke a stick at. Hell, I've taken a break from online stuff just to knock over a bunch of steam sale games I've been "meaning to play" for up to 2 years. ARPG's are fun but the fun peters out quickly when it turns in to a grind. I didn't even make max level in the D3 demo before losing interest (and in retrospect, I'm pretty glad I didn't bother).
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