Diablo III’s RMT Removed For South Korea

By Jim Rossignol on January 14th, 2012 at 12:20 pm.


A thought-provoking little story, I think. Diablo III’s auction house will allow real-money trading (RMT) for items found in the game world. The fact that you can trade in items and then “cash out” and make money (minus Blizzard’s cut, of course) caused the game to clash with South Korea’s anti-gambling laws. Blizzard have resubmitted the game for approval with this feature removed and it has been accepted. (This page proves it, apparently.) The thought this issue raises, however, is how much this will change the psychological experience for Korean players. If they can’t get $$$ for epic loot, what does that mean for their response to acquiring it? Will the game be less exciting for them? Or do they get a “cleaner” experience, because it doesn’t have that connotation of cash, and of the world outside the game?

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112 Comments »

  1. mouton says:

    The only way to win is not to play

    • Gnoupi says:

      How about a nice game of chess?

    • Quine says:

      Fear my epic purple pawns!

    • Abraham says:

      you cannot lose if you do not play

    • bfandreas says:

      +1 for M*A*S*H

      I’m not surprised at this news. A lot of the really good stuff in the later stages of D2 was very, very rare due to drop chances. A rare circlet with +2 Assassin, life and mana leech and resistances and faster attack/cast(forogt which one) could go at a very high price. We are talking about trading a very high level rune for something as rare as that and if you were not good at convealing your excitement.

      I don’t wnat to know about the amount of money people wold be willing to spend on that. And since SKorea has had its moments of violence due to video game items I’m not surprised they’d prefer this can of worms staying shut. Prices may become weird when shady organizations in the business of making money enter that game on the legit side of being despicable.

      I do know that I will have to stay away from that auction house.

    • Lionmaruu says:

      I Agree!

      And that’s what I’m doing. I still regret profoundly buying SC2, its way worse than the origin/steam problem, also, I’m not buying mass effect 3 nor another tittle by EA/Blizzard/Ubisoft so soon.

      It’s a bless that I’m more a Fallout/ElderScrolls/Minecraft/Street Fight gamer, well, at least at the moment, the world can get worse I know…(Capcom is ridiculous too, but still I’ve bought only Super sfIV almost two years ago ^^).

  2. pakoito says:

    Next step: europe.

    • bfandreas says:

      I’m not quite sure that I wouldn’t share our beloved leader’s concerns. Thankfully they are very inefficient about it and will get in the way around 2015. So that is pretty much sience fiction.

  3. Davee says:

    I don’t like a Free-to-Play game that has a very large influx of pay-to-winning (yes, I think there are alternatives, albeit maby not as much of a money-sink).
    I do like the sense that everything (?) bought comes from another player however, so I’m kinda torn on the way D3 does it…
    Maby Blizzard would be kind enough to give us the option to choose one of the two types of server/gametype? Probably not. Less money for them if they do.

    • Subatomic says:

      You can always play the hardcore (=permadeath) mode, which hasn’t the real money auction house, just the regular one with in-game gold.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Desire to not play a pay to win game and desire to play a permadeath game are not the same.

    • Davee says:

      Yeah, permadeath isn’t something I was looking for either. And I think the removal of RMT in hardcore mode is more due to removing the possibility of real-money losses rather than giving us the choice of skipping RMT.

    • Nevard says:

      D3 is at heart a single player or cooperative game, the PvP is tacked on.
      If you want to buy gear you are not paying for any tangible advantage because the meat of the game is not competitive.

    • HothMonster says:

      ^

  4. Garoshi says:

    Europe will probaby get the same treatment. Heck they had to remove gambling machines in Pokemon Platium

    • Eclipse says:

      I hope so, this RMT seems like shit

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      I dunno, making a bit of cash just for playing the game seems pretty cool to me. I never would spend real money myself, but apparently there was a demand for that stuff even when it was illegal in D2 or whatever.

    • jrodman says:

      If so, maybe I can somehow buy this game in the european edition to get the experience I want.

      Oh wait.. online-only. Nevermind.

    • Lionmaruu says:

      If I wanted to exchange money for broken dreams, regrets and experiences with no actual utility in real life I could just go to Las Vegas… It would surely be more interesting…

      No to gambling in my games, except if those gambling are like Fallout New Vegas :)

      I can’t see this going well, too much stolen credit card numbers, too much crime just waiting for be better explored by scammers, the gaming community don’t need that, we already have these fucking micro-transactions and gold farming…

  5. Serge says:

    To be honest here, I dont really care anymore.

    When they announced Real Cash Auction House, I was just as mad as the next guy.
    But it the end, this is not a MMO. And I will be playing with my RL friends mostly. So who cares if some person somewhere desides to buy some fancy pants in game for real money?

    I think I’ll be buying and playing it anyway. If it comes out before Torchlight 2.

    • Bhazor says:

      You won’t be able to play with just your friends anymore, they got rid of private servers.

      Look forward to chinese guys yelling at you in the hub town spamming chat, not to mention the hackers, bots, multi-boxers and racists that make MMOs such a “special” place.

      I’m especially worried about the hackers. Now that every single item has a monetary value you literally have a price on your head. I can not see that ending well.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “You won’t be able to play with just your friends anymore, they got rid of private servers.”

      Huh? Did they remove that out from the beta or what?

    • Starky says:

      No they didn’t remove it, he’s wrong.

      Make an invite only game.
      Friends list > invite player. Simple as that.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      He was probably thinking of the lack of LAN

    • Serge says:

      Thanks for the info, Starky!

      Yeah, I don’t care about LAN. Though for some games its the only way out(Servers down anyone? Like Sacred).

      Anyway I doubt Blizz will take down D3 servers. Hell(no pun intended), D2 servers are still up.

  6. Drake Sigar says:

    I just want the release date. :/

  7. Blackcompany says:

    I think this raises another key issue, where the MMO is concerned. And especially for pay to play, subscription based MMO games. What, exactly, is the MMO? Is it a Role Playing Game? Or is it gambling? Evidence exists to support only one of these perspectives, and perhaps surprisingly, it is not the RPG.
    .
    Consider the typical MMO. By typical, I mean WoW/Rift/SWTOR and MMO games built on this same formula, with the same systems in mind. I choose these three because they require players to pay money in order to access content, and thusly, to receive rewards. That bears repeating: These games require players to pay money in order to receive rewards.
    .
    Think about that for a minute. How are these rewards “doled out?” Gradually, over time. Randomly – you might win some mediocre “reward” that provides little to no satisfaction for hours on end before coming across something really satisfying. Rewards are randomized, and the longer you play – and thus, the more you pay – the better you chances of coming across increasingly satisfying rewards.
    .
    You know, kind of like the slot machines at your average casino.
    .
    Of course there is a more intriguing similarity even than this where the typical MMO is concerned. See, MMO’s dole out rewards in much the same that drugs “reward” the frequent user. At first, a small sample – and thus, an initial purchase – of the drug provides a euphoric, satisfying high. Each successive time one partakes of the substance, however, one must use longer and with increasing frequency in order to receive that same level of satisfaction, that same level of pleasure. Increasing use – and increasing expenditures – are required in order to receive the same euphoria as that initial, small dose.
    .
    so it goes with the typical MMO. In much the same way as gambling or drug use, MMO’s dole out rewards slowly, over time, and in randomized or semi-random fashion. For instance, some areas may always drop a rare reward, but getting to these areas usually requires time and effort – and thus, money. If you want to win – or even have the chance of winning – something rare and shiny, you must pay first. And the more you pay, and the more you play, the better your chances of winning shiny, rare rewards.
    .
    Sort of like gambling. Sort of like drug use.
    .
    The more you pay, the more frequently you will reach those rare, euphoric highs.
    .
    This begs an earnest question: What, exactly, is the primary purpose of the typical MMO? Entertainment? Do MMO games seek to keep people happy and rewarded and having fun throughout their time spent in the game? Or is the primary purpose something far more nefarious? Addiction, perhaps?
    .
    It seems to me the case could be made that the typical MMO is more akin to gambling or even a virtual drug than to entertainment. Korea seems to have cottoned onto this fact, with the aid of real money auction house to turn their attention to the matter. (And make no mistake, the new Diablo III is an MMO.) I wonder, now that an entire nation has begun looking at this matter, how long it will take others to join them in examining the structure and purpose of the typical MMO from a different perspective.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      What a ridiculous comparison.

      Firstly people pay for MMOs for all kinds of reasons – they might be social reasons, exploration, they might enjoy the PVP element of the game, they may simply enjoy the core mechanics of the gameplay elements and combat. I’m sure very few MMO players pay purely for the grind. Therefore people are attracted to MMOs for a whole complex variety of reasons, it is not simply a ‘cash in -> chance of reward out’ situation of gambling.

      Secondly, you pay for any computer game and (hopefully) get a thrill out of any computer game. An MMO has such a vast amount of content and upkeep that it requires a continued subscription, and in turn provides a continued thrill if the content it has to offer is your cup of tea. There are very rare exceptions, but it would be extremely hard for many MMOs to provide this experience without this payment model.

    • Chris D says:

      @Blackcompany

      Nice try but I think you’re reaching a bit. Paying money over time to receive rewards also describes a large number of non-gambling activities such as renting anything, almost any hobby and having children.

      If it was the “random or semi-random” nature of the rewards you particularly wanted to highlight I think you’re a bit off there too. I don’t think the real rewards for playing an MMO are that rare piece of loot you might find if you’re lucky, it’s the experience you have along the way, learning the system, exploring the world, the challenges you overcome, the friends you make and the stories you have to tell. The whole thing.

      Now where you may have a point is that by introducing a cash value for loot it does become all about the loot and therefore ceases to be a game but depending on how you look at it becomes either gambling or a job. That’s something which only applies to Diablo 3 though, not MMO’s in general.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Paying rent and working a job do not stimulate the brain in the same ways that gambling or drug addiction do. And make no mistake – MMO’s dole out rewards with an aim toward the same sorts of neural stimulation that one receives from gambling and drug abuse.
      .
      Now, I won’t claim this works with everyone. Some people, as we know, possess a certain affinity for the sorts of satisfaction derived from gambling, collecting or high-risk behavior. I ought to know – I fought that battle before, and I study it rather thoroughly now as a result of this. Gambling and MMO games are looking to get people hooked by convincing them that they will “win big” one day if only they keep paying to play. There is fundamentally no difference, aside from context, between the two.
      .
      just because one person defines winning big as spending his life savings and trying to win millions at the card table, and the other defines at as spending $15 a month and getting that Ultimate Cuirass of Badness +5, doesn’t make it fundamentally different where the brain is concerned. To the pleasure centers, its winning big, either way, and the same chemicals keep flowing as a result in either case.
      .
      I would be shocked if, behind every MMO, there is not a psychologist or two who knows this very, very well. Something I just think people ought to consider when they sit down to play a never-ending game of “maybe I’ll find something rare today” is this: Am I the sort of personality type who is likely to find this kind of hobby particularly addicting?”
      .
      I am, which is perhaps why I recognize the structure so well.

    • Blackcompany says:

      To address your concerns more specifically, Hexagonal, I will admit, not every person is drawn to an MMO for is more addicting properties. Some people generally are drawn into it for the social aspects. Others for PVP. This is very true.
      .
      And yet…
      .
      And yet…there are those people for whom this model spells near-instant addiction. And it is a model set up for that reason: because there are people who become hooked on it. Its a very fine, very delicate ethical line. You know your model addicts some people; you know it is structured in just such a way as to guarantee that as a fact. And yet you use that model all the same.
      .
      The problem here is one of personal responsibility versus outside responsibility. Sodas addict some people, too. As do sweet foods and any other product which contains caffeine or alcohol. Hell, collectible card games are especially addicting to me, and I do not say that sarcastically. Very serious.
      .
      Which is why I urge people to know their personality type. To ask themselves whether they are the sort of person who may find this variety of entertainment to be addicting. Not everyone will be that sort of person – something I should have clarified more in my additional post, granted, and I am glad you pointed that out.
      .
      nonetheless, there exists, as we have seen, that subset of individuals – that personality type – that finds the MMO structure extremely addicting. That becomes hooked on this virtual world. Those people need to know who they are, recognize that there is no shame in having such a personality type and move away from these sorts of games into other hobbies and interests. Don’t try and beat the habbit by kicking it – it will probably beat you that way.
      .
      Instead, do what I did when I kicked CCG’s to the curb and find other, more engaging things to do.

    • Chris D says:

      @Blackcompany

      If what you’re saying is that people need to be aware of their personality and when something is becoming a problem for them then I agree. I still think you’re over reaching by trying to apply this to all MMO’s though.

      You’d have a much stronger case if you stuck to Diablo 3 and it’s RMT or games like Farmville. People play MMO’s for a variety of reasons and even for those for whom it is about the loot I suspect it only becomes a problem for a minority of them. Warning against all MMO’s on this basis seems a bit like saying “Some people are alcoholics therefore no one should drink alcohol.”

    • Blackcompany says:

      Fair point, Chris. But I wouldn’t say ‘no one should ever do it.’ Or perhaps I did come off that way. What I get for trying to get all intellectual on roughly five hours of sleep, while sipping from terrible workplace coffee.
      .
      I generally prefer to advocate personally responsibility over outside regulation. I believe – or at least, I want to believe – that most people have the strength to self regulate and to monitor their own behavior. Therefore I would urge individuals to ask themselves, as I once had to, ‘am I addicted?’ Doing this from time to time, at least if you find yourself spending hours playing a single game of any sort, or doing so all weekend long without pause save perhaps to sleep and eat, and then seeking an honest answer, might really shock you.
      .
      It shocked me. It was a wake up call and to this day I avoid CCG’s because of this. Too easy to get sucked back into that monetary black hole. Sure you tell yourself you want to compete ‘on an even keel’ with others. But really…its just another pay-to-win game.

    • sqparadox says:

      Yes, MMO’s are purposely made to be addicting. They do this by triggering as many pleasure circuits as they can possibly reach. The “slot machine” aspect is only one of these, and while it may in fact be the biggest factor in terms of player motivations, for many it’s not a factor at all.

      I spent years playing WoW, I’ve played STO, Eve, and currently have a SWTOR subscription. I couldn’t care less about the item “slot machine,” it’s not why I play and it never has been. This may be because I hate slot machines and gambling in general; I do not enjoy it. (I live in a city surrounded by Native-American Reservations with Casinos; I speak from personal experience). That’s not to say that MMO’s are not addicting; they certainly are, but this is only one of the ways they go about doing that.

      However, the biggest flaw in your argument is that the same kind of purposeful addiction can be found in single-player games that do not charge a subscription at all. To name a couple off the top of my head: Borderlands and the X series.

      Borderland’s primary motivation while playing is the “slot machine” effect. It’s the exact same gear system, but with no money spent anywhere, save the initial purchase. This somewhat undercuts your argument about this activity truly being gambling; because if I can do the same activity without paying anything, then I would think I’m paying for other reasons than simply enabling that activity.

      The X series triggers another form of addiction (which MMO’s also use) and that is the self-ascribed goal. Unlike the “slot machine” it is not at all random. The goal’s location and requirements are known, it’s simply a matter of achieving them. In the X series this can take the form of new ships, new factories, whatever you want it to be; but unlike the “slot machine” it is known and concrete, not random. The reward is not in fact in reaching the goal but in the journey to it (reaching the goal is usually anti-climactic, hence the selection of a new goal). To use an example from MMO’s, it’s like saving for a mount in WoW, or pushing for level 10 in SWTOR to unlock your advanced class, or slamming through class quests in SWTOR to get your ship or unlock new companions. These are not random, they do not trigger the same pleasure circuit as the “slot machine” effect; they are however addicting.

      MMO’s use these aspects and many more to be as addicting as possible; and McDonald’s puts chemicals in their food to make it addicting, you’re surprised? Paying a subscription to access these things is not gambling in and of itself. However, these games do have a form gambling in them; but I don’t see how you can really connect the two.

      What Blizzard is doing here however, is a completely different issue; and frankly, it’s disgusting.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-skinner-box

      This has been covered in many places. Most MMO’s, indeed most GAMES utilize the Skinner Box findings to influence volition. Anything with randomized returns does it.

      D3 is doing nothing additional in this reguard. All they’re doing is providing the OPTION of Instant gratification if one spends In Game Gold or RL Money to aquire it. Interestingly enough, Instant Gratification or Constant Reward decreases the compulsivity of the Skinner Box system. Effectively, they’re reducing the long term addictiveness of the game. When you first have a go you’ll -probably- blow a bunch of money on shit wot you don’t need, but these spending habits will reduce over time as the thrill of aquisition decreases.

    • PopeJamal says:

      @Blackcompany: Very well articulated and spot-on. Thank you for that.

    • HothMonster says:

      All forms of entertainment have addictive qualities. Being entertained makes us happy, we like being happy and try to make our brain feel that way again. People are addicted to jogging, building model planes, sky-diving whatever in just the same way that people are addicted to doing heroin or gambling. The difference being the addictions ability to ruin your life (or for drugs the chemical reactions that cause you brain to not be able to function normally without them) . People can and do jog an unhealthy amount and end up blowing out their legs or doing other harm to their body just like some people can gamble for recreation and control their impulses.

      The physiological rewards of gambling are the same as being a antique hunter. Its just about what triggers those effects in your brain. It all about the suspense and possible rewards, ups and downs. Its the same line that is crossed when someone turns into a hoarder or an out of control gambler. Its a personal issue and a matter of control, recognizing the symptoms or having loved ones that will recognize the change in you and do something about it. Be aware of your actions and what drives you to do them.

      If we don’t want anything addictive in our lives we can all just go be puritans and do our chores and churn some butter pray a little and go to sleep. But even that won’t really work because a good days work can be rewarding and addictive. Some people do get so addicted to work they lose the ability to relax.

      tl:dr
      Of course video games have addictive qualities everything does. Offering you an experience you can become addicted to is not a problem, taking advantage of you when you are addicted, or trying to get you addicted so you can be taken advantage of is a different issue. Blizzard is no more an evil crack dealer than an author who writes a good series of murder mysterys.

  8. HexagonalBolts says:

    In some ways it would be cool to find an amazing item that, as usual, isn’t for your class (groan) you have to sell it to the shop at a grossly undervalued price (groan), instead you could sell it to whatever strange person is willing to pay $2 to use a slightly better imaginary sword than their current imaginary sword for a few hours. But then that seems like a huge amount of immersion shattering for the sake of a paltry $2.

    • MondSemmel says:

      Well, if it was a really high-end item, the way to do it in D2 was trading it to other players for an item suited to your class. But due to a lack of an auction house or similar, you mostly did this kind of trading via forums (e.g. indiablo.de in Germany), i.e. outside the game, and similarly immersion-breaking.
      It would be great if they have somehow managed to keep this kind of trading inside the game. (Of course, for that to work properly requires them having made duping mostly impossible.)

      I’m not convinved of the cash-auction-house mechanic myself, but the out-of-game trading scene in Diablo 2 was enormous, and pulling that scene into the game itself might help the in-game market stay more balanced. Or less so; we’ll see.

    • Nevard says:

      Personally the ability to sell things to more than one person doesn’t grate my immersion all that much

  9. Dana says:

    Hopefully Ill get low ping to Korea.

  10. InternetBatman says:

    I wouldn’t buy any multiplayer game where you can just pay to have the most powerful items, and they don’t have a single player component now. Quite honestly, I doubt I’ll even pick this up when it gets cheap. Oh well, back to more indies.

    • Nevard says:

      There is a single player option and the multiplayer is cooperative and therefore not competitive, so you are not buying any particular advantage over anyone else

    • Olddan says:

      The no single player moan is getting annoying now, it’s just not remotely true.

      No offline play is not the same as no single player. If you want to play through by yourself, as many will, you just create a private game and off you go.

      Want a friend to jump in for a bit? invite them. Want to jump into a friend’s game? Message them and they can let you,

      There’s nothing making you play in any form of public multiplayer way.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Multiplayer was clearly given much greater weight than single-player. When you have to be connected to a social network, with an auction house (unless single-player removes the auction house), you are soloing an MMO, not playing a single-player game.

    • alundra says:

      Multiplayer was clearly given much greater weight than single-player. When you have to be connected to a social network, with an auction house (unless single-player removes the auction house), you are soloing an MMO, not playing a single-player game.

      This +10

      It’s so obvious that only Actilizzard rabid fanboys can be in denial.

    • HothMonster says:

      Time and money are both forms of currency. Some people can spend tons of time playing a game to get better gear. Some people don’t have a lot of free time so they can invest a little money to get a more rewarding experience. This isn’t a competitive game why does it make a difference if other people invest money or time into the game? Should they limit the game so you can only play 8 hours a week to make it fair to people with less free time?

    • derbefrier says:

      “Multiplayer was clearly given much greater weight than single-player. When you have to be connected to a social network, with an auction house (unless single-player removes the auction house), you are soloing an MMO, not playing a single-player game.”

      ok calling this game an MMO is the most ignorant comment i have seen. i actually got to play the beta this weekend and you know what if you think D3 is an MMO than you must think D2 is an MMO too because it also has the same multiplayer components( co -op and pvp). making th the multiplayer more easily accessible does not make this an MMO. you can completely ignore the multiplayer components just like you could with D2. just give it a rest this is Diablo 3 not World of Diablo. adding a friends list and the ability for your friends to drop in and out of your games does not make this an MMO,. This is an ARPG with a more streamlined multiplayer component nothing else.

    • jrodman says:

      As for whether it is like an mmo or not; it’s not just like a wow/rift/swtor game, but it has a lot of similar systems in place. Denying the comparison is weak, and doesn’t really advance the conversation.

    • Nevard says:

      It is LIKE an MMO, but unlike an MMO all multiplayer aspects are completely and utterly optional.
      So the OP was wrong.

  11. tkioz says:

    Really don’t care anymore, Blizzard has burnt too many bridges with me, it was all well and good to say “when it’s done” but there is a limit to how long I can wait for stuff before I lose interest, I haven’t brought or even played (not pirated! friend has been bugging me to play it on his PC) Star Craft 2, because I simply couldn’t stand the idea of it being cut into three games, and the massive long development cycle just irked me to the extreme.

    D3 they managed to tank me off even more with the No LAN, always online, and RMT in addition to the staggeringly long development time, I really just don’t care anymore, I wont be buying it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I wouldn’t even say they’ve burnt bridges with me. An entertainment company is only as good as their last and next products to me. It happened to Lucas Arts, Interplay, and even Bioware with Dragon Age 2 and Neverwinter Nights (without expansions).

      Their last product was basically a third of a single-player game and story, a flimsy excuse that falls thin because they don’t have the writing talent. Their next two games are an expansion based on an April fools joke, and an ARPG shackled by forced online and real money transactions. If they make better design decisions, I’ll play them. If they don’t I won’t.

    • neolith says:

      My thoughts exactly. Somewhere between the less than stellar route WoW took, the new battle.net, SC2 and D3 improvements like no LAN, always-on-DRM and the real money AH I reached the point where I don’t want to play any Blizzard games any more at all. I’ll put my money somewhere else.

    • Tolkfan says:

      I dare any of you to go play the Starcraft 2 campaign and then say that it feels like 1/3rd of a game. I DOUBLE DARE YOU! Go find a better argument, because this one was alrady idiotic at SC2′s launch…

      And stop crying about the RMAH. This is a co-op game, not an MMO where you’re forced to share a persistent world with other players. The items aren’t sold and produced out of thin air by Blizzard, they have to be found by players.

      Who gives a crap about people buying gear for money in Diablo? How does that effect you? Do you compete with them for world/server first kills? Do you have to stand next to them in Stormwind/Orgrimmar? Oh, you’re afraid you’ll meet them in PvP? No you wont, because there’s a matchmaking system that pairs people with equal gear.

    • neolith says:

      “I dare any of you to …”
      Well, I can only speak for myself, but I don’t think SC2 is only 1/3 of a game. However that’s not the point for me. The thing I liked the most about SC1 was that the campaign was devided into three parts, one for each faction. I loved that you had to re-learn and change you tactics twice. It was great fun for me to see the story from another perspective again and again. This is what I expected from SC2 – but it didn’t deliver. SC2 might be a good game, but it doesn’t have what I loved SC1 for.

      “And stop crying about …”
      I beg to differ. D3 seems to behave just like a MMO in every single way. Always online, AH, no pausing the game etc. It’s just that it allows less players than a MMO.

      “Who gives a crap about …”
      In my book a payed game and P2W don’t mix well. If I already payed for the game I should be able to aquire all the loot in it if I’m good enough. Having to pay extra is a ripoff for me.

    • Yihka says:

      But you don’t have to “Pay to win”, you should see the RMAH as a feature, not something you HAVE to use. People who sell items on there have acquired it by playing normally and so can you. You still have to level up to use the best gear and you can always get it yourself.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Yihka: absolutely – how can you win at Diablo? Killing Diablo? That’s easy, everyone can do it…

    • Vagrant says:

      Yeah, screw them and their, ‘split game up and sell it to you in chunks over several years’ mentality! Damn you, Newell! Wait, wrong company.

      I want to skip Diablo 3 and play Torchlight 2 instead, but when all my friends start playing D3 I’m sure I’ll not be able to resist.

    • Timmytoby says:

      The items aren’t sold and produced out of thin air by Blizzard, they have to be found by players.

      I don’t have anything to say about this discussion, since Diablo is not my type of game but I found this quote hilarious:

      On the contrary: That’s exactly what they are. It’s not like there’s a huge workshop full of tiny men building items for Diablo that are then magically digitized.
      They are indeed produced out of thin air by changing a number in some files. Will Blizzard resist the temptation to sell rare and pretty items in their own auction house seeing that they are the only ones who have a limitless supply? I somehow doubt it :)

  12. Dominic White says:

    So, no mention that the game is region-locked and that I can’t play with my (many) friends in America? Or have Blizzard backed down on that, too?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “Backing down” is a weird phrase to use. They’ve said at last BlizzCon they’re working on cross-region play. They are sure taking their time, but it’s Blizzard, so not much surprise there.

    • Starky says:

      And as I’ve said many times on this matter, X-region play is NOT a simple technological fix, it isn’t like they can flip a button and it’s all okay.

      B.net 2 is built on the backbone of WoW, it uses cloud computing and instances (basically every game of SC2, or D3 is just a WoW instance). It is not a trivial redesign for blizzard to allow one instance in a virtual server in a cloud in one region, to link up and share information with another instance inside a virtual server inside a cloud.
      If nothing else the increased bandwidth strain on their network would be considerable.

      And there is not a chance in hell they will make any changes to the fundamental network design of Bnet2 if there is a 1% chance that it will damage WoW. Which is very well might.

    • Dominic White says:

      “And as I’ve said many times on this matter, X-region play is NOT a simple technological fix”

      It wasn’t a problem that NEEDED a fix until Blizzard made it into one. The internet lets you connect just-about seamlessly with anyone, anywhere in the world. There are no regions, just IP addresses. Blizzard have implemented a region locking system and it has fucked a great number of customers. The RMT stuff is scummy, but not entirely dealbreaking for me, but there’s no chance in hell that I’ll play Diablo 3 if it’s region-locked.

    • Starky says:

      Spoken like someone who really has no idea how networking actually functions in any real enterprise scale.

      Listen I hate to break your nice idea about internet freedom, no regions just IPs. It’s a nice, but false idea shared by many, along with that all data is equal, and the internet is some kind of one computer connected to all computers system – it’s not. The internet is basically a few massively powerful backbone lines owned by several massive companies.
      Or how you think blizzard implemented that system to fuck customers over, but the reality is you’re wrong.

      The bottom line is “region locking” WoW saved them million of dollars per month in bandwidth, in hardware, in memory footprint and cpu cycles on those servers – a system that was designed LONG before blizzard knew WoW was going to be the earth shaking monster success it eventually became – when they were hoping for 300-500k subscribers.

      Blizzard probably has deals with major backbone ISPs for dedicated fibre lines from major ISP backbones to their data centre’s (say for example on the London to Paris line) – basically renting their own portion of the backbone for their traffic (or at least Blizzards ISP has those deals on behalf of blizzard).

      Even if they don’t, it’s not a trivial matter to send bulk data from one data centre on one continent, to another data centre on another. ISPs tend not to be too happy when companies dump terabits per second through one of their switching servers, congesting an entire backbone of the internet and forcing them to spend hundreds of thousands (if not millions) adding in additional hardware specifically because of the traffic from one company. They show that displeasure in their invoices.
      Localization (region locking) allows for a fairly even distribution of bandwidth requirement (taxing all area’s of the network equally rather than focusing all that stress on a few elements.

    • jalf says:

      Spoken like someone who really has no idea how networking actually functions in any real enterprise scale.

      No, spoken like someone who knows that goddamn every other game for the past 20 years has been able to offer this feature.

      Spoken like someone who knows that bandwidth is ridiculously cheap, and multiplayer gaming does not require that much bandwidth.

      Spoken like someone who knows that is not, and has never been, a technological limitation. Sure, cross-region play will have higher latency, but that’s the players’ problem to deal with.

      But really, if the cost and complexity of sending data between Europe and America was as crippling as you suggest, then I don’t see how Steam or Google can even survive.

      Please, this is not about technology. It’s about control.

      The bottom line is “region locking” WoW saved them million of dollars per month in bandwidth, in hardware, in memory footprint and cpu cycles on those servers

      1: that’s not a bottomline, it’s your claim, for which you have provided no evidence, Saying it is “the bottom line” does not make it so.
      2: it certainly saved them *some* bandwidth, but not much The majority of people prefer to play in their own region anyway because of the improved lag. At least for a persistent game such as WoW, people pick one region and stick with that.
      3: this has nothing to do with Diablo 3. WoW is not Diablo.
      4: even if the bandwidth was as prohibitively expensive as you seem to believe, they could simply offer the option of direct IP games. Allow me to host a game for my friend to connect to. And the bandwidth cost is no longer any of Blizzard’s concern.
      5: Terabits? Not bloody likely. Just how much bandwidth do you think a single game session takes? How many *billion* people do you think are going to play cross-region simultaneously?

      Really, that makes no sense whatsoever. You’re using you own made-up claims about a different game to show that it is technically impossible for Blizzard to do with Diablo 3 what games have been doing for the last 20 years.

    • Starky says:

      You are way too angry for this, I wasn’t going to reply to your ranty trollish reply, but what the hell.

      I never said it was technically impossible – I said it was technically difficult given the current system Blizzard have to work with.
      No company in the history of gaming has ever made a system like B.net 2.0, with the exception of X-box live which charges to cover it’s overheads, blizzard charges WoW players too, but again, this system was designed in what, 2002? 2003? Given WoW launched 2004, bandwidth certainly WAS an issue then, hell it continues to be for all but the largest companies.

      Back in 2002 companies were going bust all over the place due to having massive bandwidth overheads and no income to cover those costs.
      There was a reason Youtube ran at a loss for YEARS until google bought it and figured out how to monetise it – hell I’d be willing to wager it doesn’t make them much profit today, it might break even in some territories where internet video advertising has seen growth in the past few years (largely thanks to google) and there is money to be made, but globally – I’d still wager it runs in the red.

      So yes bandwidth was an issue in 2002 when this platform was designed – and yes terabits was hyperbole but it’s not impossible that a WoW/b/net2.0 reaches those transfer speeds, though probably not cross continent granted. It’s not just people gaming* but digital distribution, of maps, games, updates etc etc.
      *Which itself uses probably 50-80 kbps per user, so even at a million users you’re “only” talking 60 Gbps, trivial today, but again 2002.

      Anyway, the real cost, and what has always and remains today the real cost is CPU cycles, memory and latency.
      Yes Blizzard could allow everyone who buys a copy of SC2 or Diablo 3 to get a world wide account (one for each region) like they give SEA buyers a free NA account.

      Remember though this system was designed for WoW, then adopted to become B.net, giving worldwide access like that would open all kinds of issues with account sharing and sales (buy an EU account sell/share the NA/Kor one) amongst other issues.

      Would it have been impossible for Blizzard to design a system that allowed the cloud based instancing they needed for wow, along with the regional controls that then allowed other games piggybacked into the infrastructure to function seamlessly across territories?
      Sure.
      But they didn’t – and they are stuck with it, I call it lack of foresight, some rant how they are doing on purpose because they’re some kind of evil entity out to deny basic internet rights.

      Again, not saying it is impossible, not saying it’s technically difficulty and would require a redesign of their entire server infrastructure and platform – something they’d be loath to do if it risks any instability for WoW customers.

      Finally:
      1: It’s a bloody phrase.
      2: Bandwidth, CPU cycles AND Memory access, bandwidth may be trivial now, but it wasn’t in 2002 – and the latter 2 are both very important today.
      3: Diablo3 is built on B.net2 as is SC2, which is built on WoWs networking infrastructure, so yes, it has everything to do with WoW.
      4: They could, but they clearly don’t want too for a number of reasons – you may not like the lack of LAN, hell I don’t like the lack of LAN, but I can totally understand how from the PoV of a company getting rid of LAN is a business decision with vastly more upsides than down. hell lets face it for every game they lose who cares about LAN, they gain 5 more who will buy the game because they can’t play multiplayer with the pirate edition over Hamachi or the like.
      5: Hyperbole, sue me.

      Again, it was my opinion, so yes it was “made up claims” no one but Blizzard’s network engineers know the truth – I just have some experience with MUCH smaller scope networking solutions and fibre optics, so took some educated guesses.

  13. FunkyBadger3 says:

    I like the idea of the RMT – were I to play the game, I could generate cash for myself by selling bits and pieces I come across in the game to other people who want to pay for them. Sounds awesome – the more I enjoy the game the cheaper (in effect) it gets.

    What’s not to like?

    • Blackcompany says:

      “What’s not to like?”
      .
      The fact that a real money auction house is bringing the sort of attention to video games that the games industry does not need. In this age of SOPA and government babysitters, we don’t to introduce more reasons to try and regulate games. We don’t need online game curfews. We don’t need to be told by others what is dangerous or unhealthy for us. We need the freedom and the accountability to make those decisions for ourselves.
      .
      Except…we might not always have it.
      .
      Introducing real money into games in this way comes too close to crossing a line into gambling territory. I told my girlfriend weeks ago that this sort of thing would happen with Diablo III. And now it has. And it will continue, all the while ramping up the level of scrutiny video games receive at a time when people are already seeking to regulate the online worlds we play and work in.
      .
      Don’t need it. Don’t want it.

    • Garoshi says:

      Erm, the fact it makes a PAYED GAME (not f2p) Pay2Win, real money auction house might make sense in a free to play game, but in a payed game; no. This just shows the incredible amount of greed blizzard has right now, especially with all the decisions wow has had in the past year

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Play to win? How – I play through the game, kill Diablo etc. Normally I junk equipment when I get upgrades, now I can sell them for cash money.

      This is surely a good thing?

      Blackcompany: its not gambling because – as far as I can see – there’s no element of chance (presuming you can set minimum reserve prices etc.) Not really sure about your other point, what kind of regulation do you mean? As written your concerns sound a little paranoid, but I’m not sure I’m understanding them right…

    • Blackcompany says:

      Sorry. Articulation is not my strong point this morning, as I am noticing. My concern is that, in this era when at least one country has labeled the RMAH as gambling and another places curfews on online games, video games don’t need this sort of attention. We have the possibility of SOPA looming. Now Korea calls real money auctions and random loot gambling. Regulators the world over are seeking new excuses to monitor, censor and otherwise limit the internet. The internet does not need this sort of attention and neither does the games industry. Especially since some people out there would stop at nothing to over-regulate gaming into non-existence.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      BC: interesting point. This is a bit off topic, but I suspect that regulation is the ultimate steady-state of the “internet” and what we’re living through at the moment is the wild-west era.

    • Nevard says:

      Garoshi, if Diablo III was a free game and they tried to generate profit through the RMAH they’d make almost no money.
      It is not a cash shop, it is a player to player service. The items are sold by players to other players, and only a token fraction of that money goes to Blizzard.

    • jrodman says:

      Nevard, there’s no guarantee the player-to-player sales will be less profitable than a cash shop. Since people may view themselves as both sellers and buyers, they may be more willing to participate, and participate more often. I think it is yet to be determined how successful this model will be.

  14. aircool says:

    I don’t like the fact that Blizzard take a cut; they’re able to control the market by increasing or decreasing the amount of loot in game. You’ll end up running into more gold farmers/bots than players.

    You may as well just take your chances on the stock market.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Except there’s no speculation here.

    • alundra says:

      No speculation??? Don’t make me laugh, you haven’t seen the “market” for Dungeon Defenders rare items.

    • HothMonster says:

      Posting fees will help with that a little, but yeah there will always be speculation.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Speculation means the value of your investment can go down as well as up. That’s not how an auction works – certainly not one with free item listings.

    • HothMonster says:

      There is if you buy something low with plans to resell it high. Or if you try to corner the market on something, or buy up all of a certain kind of crafting material to be one the only people selling the crafted item. Shit like this happens all the time in virtual economies.

  15. MacGuffin says:

    It’s pretty clear that Blizzards directive is for continuous monetization for all their titles. The RMT AH is the way for D3 to remain profitable long after development is complete. The unpopular decision to remove offline play ties into it as well as offline players could not take advantage of the microtransation AH.

    As far as Blizzards assurances that they will not be adding desirable items directly to the RMT-AH, I’m not sure we have any reason to believe that will be true given that all auctions are anonymous.

    It’s really the worst of microtransactions, selling power while taking a cut of everything and making sure the highest levels of the game require the best items you can buy while making it so that’s where the best items drop so you can sell to other players and continue the cycle.

    • HothMonster says:

      Of course the hardest levels of the game require the best items, that is why they are the hardest levels. If you really want to play the game over and over and play the hardest difficulty levels that is your choice. If you want the best items you can spend time trying to get them or you can spend money to get them, whichever is more convenient for you. If you have free time, spend that. If you have money spend that. If you don’t want to play the game on x8 hard mode then don’t.

      I really don’t understand the constant whining about giving people more options for how they play a game. It’s not a competitive game, why does it affect you if I buy items to get what I want out of my game? Why does it affect you if I play for 16 hours a day to get the items I want and sell the ones I don’t?

  16. D3xter says:

    http://daeity.blogspot.com/2011/09/diablo-3-and-illegal-online-gambling.html

    There’s a pretty long article looking into the issue of how it could be considered gambling and why.
    it tackles things like: item drops/loot probabilities, player gambling and bets, in-game “gambling” mechanics like they’ve been available in Diablo 2, Blizzard “owning” items and gold like casinos do chips, and the Auction House itself (especially Blizzard earning hard cache for every try to sell an item if it succeeds or not).

    On a more serious note, is there some sort of European authority on the issue one could contact about it, and do you think they could look into the issue and do something about it before/after the game got released, especially considering the implications of the verdict in South Korea?

    I don’t really care about Diablo 3 or Blizzard games anymore, but I’d really rather not have this kind of thing in any game I might in the future.

    • wisnoskij says:

      Thanks D3xter: that kindof clears it up.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      That post is reaching quite a bit – it should also be pointed out that online gambling *is not* illegal in the UK, and most of Europe (as far as I’m aware).

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Dexter: this (http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/licensing_authorities.aspx) is the site for the UK – there’s not a similiar EU wide one I believe.

      The thing I should have mentioned previously is that although online gambling is legal (and regulated) – its adults only (18+) in the UK.

    • Timmytoby says:

      That post is reaching quite a bit – it should also be pointed out that online gambling *is not* illegal in the UK, and most of Europe (as far as I’m aware).

      Actually: In many EU countries Online-Gambling is illegal and in almost all others it’s heavily restricted and regulated.
      Germany is one of the countries where Online-Gambling is illegal with the sole exception of the state of Schleswig-Holstein (since gambling-laws are decided by the states, not the federal institutions).
      Worse for Blizzard: Profits derived from gambling are heavily taxed in all states. Usually this tax is around 80% (!).
      Not to mention that any kind of gambling is automatically restricted to adults and would lead to an 18+ label on the game.

      Blizzard will probably do everything they can to avoid any kind of attention in this case. I can only imagine the ridiculous frenzy in which their lawyers now exist since the news from South Korea.

    • HothMonster says:

      Personally I like seeing companies doing stuff like this. It hurts the illegal gold market. The Plex system has done wonders for Eve and stamping out illegal gold sellers (who make that gold buy hacking players and running bots). Not to mention all the people that get scammed by fake gold sellers. Obviously the demand is there, some people have more money than time. Might as well give them a legal and safe way to make those transactions.

      If you don’t like it ignore it. It does not affect your ability to play the game or your experience while playing it.

  17. Suits says:

    I’m moving there

  18. Arathain says:

    Won’t that just create a black market, just like the thriving one that existed for D2?

    • Nevard says:

      Yes, which is why the RMAH was introduced in the first place
      The thing is that allowing a company to run an RMAH might show badly on the Korean government whereas allowing people to get scammed by black market sites is a problem that only Blizzard have to deal with, so the latter is more attractive to the Government

  19. Campaigner says:

    While I don’t like people powering up through paying, it’s not like it will affect me if I don’t play with them.

    I don’t have to USE the auctionhouse at all.

    In World of WarCraft I LIKED the AH. Selling 10 or 20 flowers for 10 gold was quite fun in that I got quite a bit of gold for very little effort. I like the thought of a playerdriven economy.

  20. Lone Gunman says:

    Now I have had chance to think about it I don’t really care about the auction house since I can just ignore it. It’s a shame governments can not let there citizens play games without interference. Honestly there are much more important issues to be working on.

  21. SirKicksalot says:

    The gold AH will be used because it’s a better, easier way to improve your characters. You sell an uber item for a couple of extremely good items.

    Also I absolutely don’t care if someone obtained an item through 15 hours of grinding or by paying two dollars. It’s his enjoyment, not mine. I can’t imagine the mindset of a person constantly wondering if some dude earned a weapon through grinding or the real money AH.

    Anyway, please read this: http://www.diablofans.com/topic/26397-the-auction-house-explained/
    It’s a very long and very good article that analyses the auction house using Real Science and Common Sense.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Nice link – the one slighty dodgy thing is the fact the AH defaults to giving you e-money rather than real money (after Blizzard get their fee), but that can be avoided and it seems like there will be x free listings per week. Seems utterly harmless.

    • HothMonster says:

      The fees are to deter people from gaming the system. If I want to buy all the uber items and resell them at a higher price there is now a greater risk associated with that. As well as many other ways I don’t feel like explaining. As long as you get some freebies per week they are doing more to protect the AH than rip off the people using it.

  22. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    Blizzard is acting like a virtual drug lord. You pay for the product, then you have an option to either become a user or a dealer…in any case Blizzard gets a cut. RMT should be banned everywhere, not only in S. Korea.

    Nowadays large companies that are in the MMO/Online biz spend millions on behavior and addiction research, so I’m not touching their games with a ten foot pole.

    • HothMonster says:

      “You pay for the product, then you have an option to either become a user or a dealer…” or ignore it entirely and enjoy the game with your friends.

      “Nowadays large companies that are in the MMO/Online biz spend millions on behavior and addiction research, so I’m not touching their games with a ten foot pole.”

      Better turn off your TV too. Every large company has been investing millions into marketing research to trick you into buying shit you don’t need, are pure crap, or even shit thats bad for you for ages. Not to mention the actual TV shows many of which spend more time trying to control your emotional responses and getting you hooked than making good content. Also stay off the internet and don’t go to the grocery store PHDs have been studying your behavior and thought patterns for decades to try to control your actions and emotions.

    • jrodman says:

      Thanks for the pro tip HothMonster, good thing I opted out of live television 2 decades ago.

  23. Aquamarine Jesus says:

    I really don’t understand the people complaining that the RMAH lets people pay for an advantage or makes the game ‘pay to win’. People act like d2jsp and the hundreds of item selling sites didn’t exist for D2.

    The only difference I see is that less people will get scammed and maybe I won’t have to look at D2items.com bot spam every time I make a public game.

    As to the argument that it is biased more towards multiplayer vs single player, as far as I am concerned it always has been a multiplayer game. Look at the drop chances on some of the unique items and runes in D2, it’s fairly obvious that most people would never have a chance to even use them if there was no trading. Point is even in D2 things were biased towards multiplayer.

  24. Shortwave says:

    The only way I will buy this game is if they do the following.

    -Remove real money Auction
    -Remove Region Lock / DRM
    -Add LAN

    I won’t buy another Blizzard game that won’t support LAN.
    Because of them we actually have to buy and setup a connection every time we rent a hall out now.

  25. Ted Brown says:

    More importantly, does the removal of RMT potentially lift the “always online” requirement? Especially if that was being used to help squeeze out item hackers?

    • jrodman says:

      Almost certainly not, Ted. The game is designed to find out about the world from the server. Changing that would require one of two things.

      1 – rewrite the client rather significantly so that it can locally create the world (which probably means redesigning some parts of the code)
      2 – ship some form of the server implementation along with the client, perhaps as a seperate program.

      Both are possible, but take a fair amount of work. Like, probably tens of employees working on the problem for a few months (factor in installation complexity, testing, etc).

      However, since both of these make piracy easier, there’s a fat chance of Blizzard doing either.

  26. Styles says:

    Why would the game be “less exciting for them”? It’s not like Starcraft’s lack of RMT made it less exciting for them, or Diablo 1 & 2′s lack of it for everyone else.

    The game is what matters. Adding addiction factors like the possibility of getting real life money is a poor substitute for good game content ….I really hope the game doesn’t suffer because of it.

  27. zeroskill says:

    The only reason i’m not depressed that a game I was looking forward to for ten years is going to be a “pay to win” game, is that there is more then enough games coming out this year to make me forget about this disappointment. Guild Wars 2, DOTA 2, Torchlight 2.

  28. jenniferloop says:

    Hey i love this game and just got a Diablo 3 download just waiting it to release internet is full of rumours about the diablo release

  29. jenniferloop says:

    nice article thanks for sharing it to me http://diablo3download.com