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My Four Cents -- Bye, bye, Auction House


Diablo 3's been out for quite a while now, but it appears as if things are shaping up quite nicely in the form of a console release, a new expansion and the removal of the Auction House.

Having played Diablo 3 on the PC for a time, I once had an interest in the Auction House.  I felt it served a purpose for players who did not want to spend time fishing through dungeons and grabbing random loot.  It wasn't until after I had recalled memories of my time with the original Diablo and Diablo 2 that I realized -- that was the whole point of Diablo 3.  Hardcore players understood the principality and declared it a notable feature in the franchise proper, as it contributed to the replay factor when people delved into the unknown perils of randomized dungeons and grabbed randomized loot like Christmas presents from strangers.  The loot system has been copied by various imitators and even games that aren't in the same category.  (Darksiders 2, for example.)

So, in a way, I applaud Blizzard for trying to make things right with Diablo 3.  This is a trend that has been occurring as of late -- when developers and companies actually listen to consumer concerns and take action.  With Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the whole game got rebooted as a result of backlash and negative reviews -- since then being completely transformed into a more pleasurable experience.  Sim City is reportedly considering an offline mode for a game that was online-only, and we all know how that turned out.

I'm a little upset, too, that Diablo 3 could have been fixed before it needed to be fixed.  The Auction House was a good idea in theory, but a horrible plan in practice.  If Blizzard knew the AH would have become detrimental to the gaming experience, it should have been either reworked or outright scrapped before it devastated the in-game economy.   Everything that they are doing now to fix the problems and issues that occurred during its initial run could have been dealt with before the game was released.  That is the purpose of beta testing -- where players can play the game in a pre-production phase and voice necessary feedback to the developers.  Going back to FFXIV, if a Realm Reborn were to have been released three years ago instead of the abymsal product that was merely FFXIV, there may never have been a real need for A Realm Reborn.

At any rate, I'm hopeful.  Developers are, at least, listening to the necessary concerns of consumers -- within reason, of course, because I do not want for anyone to have to compromise their vision of a game, or anything else for that matter. Entitlement is a gray area, but fixing a product for the better of both the consumer and the distributor?  I'm all for that.