The Hammer Falls: Diablo III Auction House Closes

Kumquat-complexioned entrepreneur David Dickinson shoulders you aside as he storms the corridors of the Diablo III Auction House. “How can they shut it all down?” He barks, beads of butter springing from his forehead where only sweat would be visible on a lesser man. “Where will I be able to offload this Wicker Chair of +7 Discomfort and Old Tin Soldier of +2 Melancholy Reflections About The Interwar Years?” The items in question are firmly secured in his gargantuan trouser pocket.

“Well, Sir Dickinson.” You begin, struggling to keep pace with his powerful stride. Dickinson hasn’t been formally knighted by the monarch but the ‘Sir’ is fitting – the silver gavel of a higher power still has often caressed the lint from his shoulders behind the carved doors of certain secret chambers. “Nothing will be lost, at least not yet.”

He turns to you, actual bolts of lightning sparking across the damp crevices of his brow. “Explain. And then show me a very noisy trailer for Reaper of Souls.”

“Active auctions will expire as normal and items/gold will pass to the high bidder or return to the seller, landed in the Completed tab. From there, they can be claimed at any point up to June 24th, when they ‘will be consumed by Treasure Goblins, never to be seen again.'” You pause, out of breath.

“I knew there’d be goblins involved.” Quoth Dickinson, pulling a battleaxe from beneath his lapel. “Let’s get to work.”

Ding dong, the house has closed.

Reaper Of Souls production director John Hight explains:

It became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the Auction House system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core gameplay: kill monsters to get cool loot.

To learn more about the decision, you’d be wise to consult Nathan’s interview with the soul reapers.

And now that the Auction House has closed, that’s precisely what Dickinson will be doing. Killing monsters to get cool loot. May the gods help us all.

The killing of monsters in order to get cool loot is demonstrated by this over-excited trailer for the Reaper Of Souls expansion, which lands any day now and aims to redress more gripes about the base game.


  1. MrNash says:

    Good riddance. The thing made finding loot feel a lot less special. In D2, the fun was finding something with just the right stats on it, as well as finding one where everything was great but one stat that just borked the whole piece of gear, then laughing with friends about it later. With the auction house in D3, it largely became a matter of pouring over what was on offer and dropping a big chunk of gold on it, making the whole process just boring.

    • Shuck says:

      The auction house was a reaction to what was happening with D2 – people were selling gear through third-party sites like eBay, and the buyers were making support demands from Blizzard, especially when they got ripped off, etc. So Blizzard was seeing all this money being made but getting nothing but headaches and expenses out of it. “We should build a damn real-money auction house into the game” was a semi-serious response born from frustration more than anything. (So it’s really not surprising it didn’t work out.)

      • bleeters says:

        I’m sure making money hand over fist without really having to do anything had nothing to do with it.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      See I can’t help but think that since the Loot 2.0 patch the AH had been fine. You could use some gold to upgrade particularly bad pieces of gear etc but it was 100% unnecessary. The problem in the first place was not the existence of the auction house, it was the fact that Blizzard made 99.999% of the loot so utterly shit so that people were FORCED to use it, the loot hunt was non-existent, you had to grind gold to upgrade your gear, that was crap, it ruined the game in order to justify the AH and create a market for Blizz to make money.

      I feel that the decision to remove the AH was slightly rash as it was a nice place to buy and sell gems, rares, gear for crafting mats etc. With legendary items now account bound the AH didn’t affect those. I get the feeling they have removed the AH to drum up publicity for the expansion rather than to improve the game because since Loot 2.0 all the AH became was a nice, optional tool for people to trade stuff with, unnecessary to remove it completely. Having said that the game is still good without it.

  2. Velko says:

    *applause* I couldn’t care less about the actual news behind this article, but the way it’s delivered is simply marvellous.

  3. Funso Banjo says:

    Some ignorant, culture-deficient people are going to come in here and say something bad about David Dickinson.

    I can feel it.

    • Lacessit says:

      Oh, you’d only get that at the Bar. The gain of reading RPS is that we hunt out those luddites before they spread.

    • Jalan says:

      I’m just glad there’s no way to work Janice Dickinson into the article. Not even remotely. Though given her age, she could certainly pass for an antique. One of dubious worth at that.

  4. lowprices says:

    Hmm. The comment system ate my comment. There was nothing rude in it, in fact I was cautiously optimistic. However I’ve heard dark whispers of a filter that removes any comment with the ‘D’-word. If that’s true this could be a pretty barebones thread. You could say we’ll have a Devil of a time commenting.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I think you mean a Diabl— oh wait aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    • Velko says:

      Damn, it’s true! I tried, and the comment went nowhere. :(

    • Syra says:

      If you read it’s backwards you will understand what Olbaid is all about.

    • Philomelle says:

      Yup, happened to me on the article about the Loot 2.0 patch as well. I was not aware of the mystical and awful ban on the name of the fat red beast at the time.

    • drewski says:

      Yep, all posts which name the name which shall not be named get eaten by the guardian troll.

      Abbreviations are fine though. So click here for all your D3 gold farming needs, my sister’s boyfriend’s uncle made $666.66 an hour using this neat D3 trick etc.

    • melnificent says:

      Diablo is a banned word? Why?

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        The infinite fist of Horace’s Tyrannical Rule, and the gulag for all that still tell of The Great Dia(blow) II Review Massacre.

    • lowprices says:

      Feh. I remember when a pun of that calibre would have kickstarted a mighty pun thread. Kids these days etc…

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Puns of that calibre? No need to go ballistic. I’ve rifled through your post and yes it was a barrel of laughs. Now don’t go off half cocked though.

  5. RCoon says:

    The game still sucks, new patch did nothing to help that fact. People are still farming the same generic thing they were 6 months ago, only with more drops and nowhere to sell them in an overpriced fashion.
    And David Dickinson is still my hero, and was in the greatest band in the whole of history.

    • ShadyGuy says:

      I have to disagree with you there. People have been finding items with unique properties that makes them reconsider their build and change up their playstyle, making the game feel fresh. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about loot 2.0.

      • Amun says:

        Oh look everyone, Blizzard sent a damage control drone.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Please tell me you’re cynically mocking people who say such stupid things. Please.

      • frightlever says:

        Yeah, I’m loving the new loot system. I’m not going to spend forever grinding for loot, but I expect to get another 30-40 hours out of the expansion. And that’s fine for me.

      • RCoon says:

        As far as the best builds go, all I can see is full ham-mode crit/crit 40K+ HP builds for every class. That leaves nothing in terms of switching your build up based on an items implicit stats. Everyone is still looking for attack speed, damage and crit, with life. Which by design, is identical to how things were before loot 2.0 only now more legendaries drop, most of which are worthless low level stuff. There are ARPG’s that allow you to try extremely different builds which all use completely different items. DIALBO however just seems to have a specific set of BiS items for every class, which made for a very boring game for me personally.

        • derbefrier says:

          This. There are 2 kinds of D3 players. The ones that liked the shallow Character building and just wanted more purpz. Those people are now happy and loot 2.0 is the bestest thing in the world. Also if I understand correctly item rolls are much tighter, as in its a lot harder or impossible to get gear with low stats further increasing the easae at which maximum facerolling is aquired. Which again makes this subset of player extremely happy.

          Then on the otherhand you have those who were never happy with the perk/leveling system. Those who thought it was very shallow and offered no real uniqueness to characters and no real options as far as builds as you pointed out. This didn’t change with loot 2.0 in fact its arguably gotten worse from this perspective.

          Some else said it best so I will just repeat it. Blizzard finally realized the rpg was getting in the way of their action game and took farther steps to make the character building part of the game as streamlined and easy as possible. Some will think its great and for the rest of us there is Path of Exile.

          • Rizlar says:

            That’s a problem with builds though, not with the new vs. old loot systems. Presumably it was easier and more ‘streamlined’ to just buy desirable gear off the AH than having to wait for it to drop?

          • Moraven says:

            Having boring perk systems that give minor % dmg increases per point is the one all definition of a RPG system. I am glad they were willing to move onto something else and not simply reinvent the wheel. Some like shinier wheels, others like something new.

            And needing to start a new character for a full respec…

          • reggiep says:

            Next time you start an argument with “There are 2 kinds of…”, just stop. Those arguments can always be generalized as “There are 2 kinds of people. You and me. You suck. I’m awesome. Nuff said.”

          • xenoss says:

            I disagree. I like the system in D3 more than traditional ARPG build trees. I’m not a Bliz drone, I don’t play WoW, WC3 or SC2; and I hate Activision. The only reason I even play D3 was because of the beta weekend; I downloaded it just to see how bad it really is after all the laughably bad decisions they made (like the ones you’d mentioned yourself). I just wanted to have a laugh. But I ended up buying the game… because I really had fun.

            Don’t get me wrong, after I played the real game I quickly lost interest. It was boring. When I looked back at why it turned out that way, I came to the conclusion that for me, it was the insanely bland story and most of all, the shitty loot. I didn’t realize at the time how bad shitty loot would turn me off to the game, because I thought I played for the playing of a game, not the looting of virtual items. But when you feel the sense of disappointment every time you pick up an item? That added up. I had to go to the AH to get items that are anywhere near good. There was no sense of discovery, no excitement over what I’d find next.

            Loot 2.0 changed that. I actually feel that excitement for drops now. I want to see what I got and what I’ll get next.

            And the character builds were never a problem for me. I like it like this. It is like building a deck for a card game. I can constantly experiment with new builds and play style instead of being stuck with just one.

            The traditional build trees are deeper? Define deep. I think D3 is deeper. And my definition of it is I can keep playing with it and keep changing it all the time. It takes longer to feel like I’m bored.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            Yeah I really don’t understand how putting points each level into increasing stats by 1 or increasing a skills damage by 1 is less boring that the D3 system where you can constantly experiment with skills to your hearts content.
            Want to change your playstyle even remotely in something like Torchlight (which I still love btw) or PoE. Welp best start a completely new character and grind all the boring early levels again where you run around spamming one skill. I don’t have 20 fucking years to dedicate to one video game, most people don’t, and unless you do rerolling new characters from level 1 just to try out a certain build absolutely sucks.

            The new loot system in D3 is great, really don’t know why people are criticising it. Even at max level and once you have good gear there is an incentive to keep playing as you will see gear with slight stats upgrades, slightly better stat combinations etc.

            To the guy saying
            “Also if I understand correctly item rolls are much tighter, as in its a lot harder or impossible to get gear with low stats further increasing the easae at which maximum facerolling is aquired. Which again makes this subset of player extremely happy.”

            Loot rolls are just no longer 99.99% useless. You are not in any way getting ” easy maximum facerolling” quickly. I’ve played about 30-35 hours since the patch on a previously max level character. I have a long way to go to compete with my friend’s character who has played the game a bunch before 2.0. If you are suggesting that 60+ hours to fully gear an already max level character to be able to compete on the highest difficulty somehow makes it “easy mode maximum facerolling” you are just being an idiot, that is more time than most people want to spend on ONE character in ONE video game.
            If you don’t like the game that’s fair enough, your attempt to portray yourself as being better than those that do like the game, however, is pathetic and makes you look like an idiot.

    • thesleeper7 says:

      I have to agree with you there. People have been finding items with unique properties that are just plain bad compared to the cookie cutter crit/crit dmg items, therefore they briefly reconsider their build only to realize it underperforms and revert to their original build/playstyle, making the game feel old. I’ve heard positive and negative things about loot 2.0, and having experiencef it, I’m leaning towards negative.

      • Moraven says:

        My leveling monk got a helm that allows me to kick fireballs. So now I use kick and fireball everything to death.
        Be interesting to level a 2nd monk and see how what items I find affect how I play.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        I got ONE unique in my entire PC D3 playtime (over half a dozen characters and at least 150+ levels when you add em all up.
        I got more than a dozen unqiues on my single level 30 character on console D3 (which has always had the non-auctionhouse loot rate).

        Loot 2.0 is simply better than the old rate.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Well in fairness that’s exactly what D2 was like and people loved it. They’d grind the same boss ad nauseum to get slightly better loot. Saying that D3 still sucks when it’s become essentially like D2 is a bit of a non-criticism to be honest.

    • Sulkosaurus says:

      I think you might mean Bruce Dickinson…. :/

      • RCoon says:

        Guess you didn’t watch him on Saturday Night Takeaway then?

    • RedViv says:

      The Sword Wot Throws Spirit Axes and its friend, Blade Of Everbleeding, do disagree with you rather heavily, mate.

      €: Okay, and now I found gloves that rain gold on Lady Smash after every Massacre. So there. Eat your comment now.

    • Moraven says:

      If you played the game to death already, of course the new loot system will not really offer you much. You played it a bazillion hours! Reaper of Souls offers that more content. lv 70, Adventure mode, Act 5, NV portals. Along with other ways to get more loot.

      For the majority that do not play the game to get top 5% loot, 2.0 is a great change to the base game.

    • Nenjin says:

      The difference is this: you can actually play the game and earn the loot you need to advance. Prior to loot 2.0, you would get owned on Hell and Inferno, to the point you were getting 1-shotted by whites. The only way to advance was to buy gear from the auction house, both because the drop rates on usable gear were so low and diluted with other class drops, and because you couldn’t kill anything.

      Now, you actually find gear you can use on a regular basis. Legendaries have interesting abilities you can create builds around. Many of the stupid restrictions like overly nerfed skills, being unable to swap a build around, that stupid Nephalim Valor buff that was the whole crux of their farming design…all of that crap is gone. The game is as close to D2 now as it’s ever going to get and it actually manages to be fun rather than frustrating. If you found no redeeming qualities in D3, obviously, you’re going to take this news like a whiny stick in the mud. For people that had problems with the game and wished those problems had been addressed, the game is very playable now.

  6. HadToLogin says:

    So, now they will work on offline mode, right? They spend hours and hours and hours talking how always-online was critical for auction house, so now they have no excuse.

    About that quote: no, it’s not Action House that was bad. It was shitty loot system that made it bad. If you’d put Loot 2.0 from start there wouldn’t be a reason to go to Auction House to get STARTER equipment. But you decided to make good equipment drop once in a year, which would inflate their prices in RMAH, which was supposed to inflate your pockets.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Fuck that, it’s 2014, if you don’t have a persistent online connection you should probably move out of Shitholistan. I care more about it being a good game…

      • Syra says:

        An intelligent and well rounded view of international infrastructure.

        • Llewyn says:

          Or mobile, transit and hotel connections pretty much anywhere in the world. So apparently written by someone who never has reason to leave his basement.

          • 65 says:

            Neither do I but last year alone I had almost a month of internet downtime, due to a mixed bag of ISP issues and broken routers.

          • drewski says:

            Blizzard’s servers aren’t exactly paragons of reliability either. The last 5 times I’ve tried to play Hearthstone the servers have either been down when I tried to start, or have gone offline before I otherwise would have ended playing.

            Obviously there’s a reason for HS being online only, but if I’d been playing single player D3 I’d have been steamed.

      • Distec says:

        Right ON, dude.

        It’s 2014. The year of the FUTURE. Get your fuckin’ jetpack on and move out of that cave you dwell in. Are there really still people that don’t have high-speed fiber optics in their areas?


      • Wisq says:

        Is it wrong that I take some sort of perverse gratification out of briefly unblocking someone out of curiousity and discovering that they’re still a troll and I’m glad I blocked them long ago?

        • tormos says:

          this is why I wish RPS let you use res tags like Reddit (it’s pretty much Reddit’s sole redeeming quality)

    • thesleeper7 says:

      Offline? Why? That’s not the game they build. They would have to make massive changes to the game architecture to accommodate offline play. That might take billions of man-hours, or a new console to appear.

      • CarnivalBizarre says:

        Console is not always online, so obviously you are wrong.

        • Rizlar says:

          Perhaps read that again with sarcasm-mode enabled (but don’t forget to disable it again afterwards, that’s caused me a lot of problems in the past).

    • Rizlar says:

      It’s a credit to how stupid the RMAH and accompanying drop rates were that it felt even worse than the online requirement (to me, at least). Hopefully the backtracking over this and SimCity mean the edge has been taken off big publishers’ obsession with pushing ‘always online’ as far as it can go.

      • Nenjin says:

        I kinda doubt it. They still want to control the space where the game occurs, and they still want to validate all users via an online connection. Hopefully what this has taught them though, is they can’t be so obvious about their non-gameplay motivations for always online. I caught a lot of flak from others when I said Blizzard had a monetary incentive to manipulate drops rates, to push people to the RMAH in D3. They envisioned the RMAH as a recurring revenue stream, possibly to replace WoW subs. Millions of users spending real money, trying to make real money, and Blizzard taking a small slice of every transaction.

        Turns out, I was right and the drop rates pretty much proved it. People that refused to use the AH in any form found it pretty much impossible to progress just solely on in-game drops.

        So in the future, I expect the same thing to keep happening, but the margins that are set for it being less obvious.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        It was so obvious from the outset that they ruined the game to facilitate the AH. The AH itself didn’t ruin a thing, as I commented earlier it was actually a nice little tool since 2.0 and didn’t need removing, they did that for the good publicity because of the initial backlash towards it. The loot system was broken because they wanted the AH to work, not the other way around.

        Personally as far as always online goes, I think it works in D3. The drop-in, drop-out play with your friends works really nicely, it stops any kind of hacking or cheating and keeps the community together (i.e. it would suck if I wanted to game with friends but we can’t because we all have offline characters and they aren’t compatible with the servers). There is a small % of people that would like to play on a train I guess, but I get the feeling that a lot of people just have to bitch about always online because its the cool thing to do (similar to the “Origin/UPlay = no sale” bunch).
        All of those people saying “not everyone has fibre optic connections”, stop talking out your arse. I had a 100 kb/s down connection when I started playing D3, played online for years on that terrible connection. People have been playing online games lag free since dial-up was replaced. There aren’t a massive % of PC gamers without stable connections fast enough to play games on.

  7. Philomelle says:

    Good to know they’re setting the game on the right path, albeit at the cost of murdering player immersion by turning the entire game world into the player character’s glorified personal sports gym. Now if only they could do something about the game’s insultingly bad writing.

    • frightlever says:

      “turning the entire game world into the player character’s glorified personal sports gym”

      Which is why I play video games. For fun.

      • Philomelle says:

        It’s possible to have fun without the entire bloody game bending over to lick my ass.

        “Oh, are you sure you’re not overdoing this, Mister Player? Did Bobby the Ogre there hit too hard? Don’t worry, he’s a nice guy, you can just adjust this slider over here and he will pad his club out with some pillows. Also, he’ll make sure to always carry the loot perfect for you. Monster or not, he’s a considerate dude, that Bobby.”

        Just ugh. It’s possible to create a fun game without every single aspect of it revolving around the player. It’s possible to balance loot without flipping a switch that makes the game drop loot specific to that class, and it’s possible to balance combat without every single monster adjusting to the player’s level. There is none of that in D3. Every single thing adjusts itself in order to fit you, not in order to challenge you. Ugh.

        I’m glad you’re enjoying your gym with padded walls, but some of us would like to be a part of the game world, not for the game world to revolve around the player and pat their arse every step of the way.

        • SavageTech says:

          “Every single thing adjusts itself in order to fit you, not in order to challenge you.”

          If you play on Torment VI the game will adjust its boot to fit into your asshole. That’s why the difficulty slider is there.

          • Philomelle says:

            That’s… nice?

            How does that address my complaint that absolutely everything in the game exists to revolve around the player and adjusts itself entirely to their wants, again? Or are you confusing “game difficulty” with “player immersion”? Because my issue is more with the latter. That D3 is really damn obsessed with reminding me that it’s a game every step of the way, and everything in it exists to accommodate me.

            I don’t like games obsessed with holding my hand to the point of refusing to let me feel like a part of their world. No amount of difficulty adjustment will fix that.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Some of your points are silly tbh. While I will agree that I would like to see some more randomness to the loot drops, the game is regularly giving you stuff that you just toss away because it’s not very good, even legendaries.

          “Don’t worry, he’s a nice guy, you can just adjust this slider over here and he will pad his club out with some pillows.”
          Then don’t fucking adjust the slider, it’s literally that simple. You are breaking your own immersion at that point, if you set out to beat the game on a certain difficulty and it kicks your ass you have the option of playing the game only at that difficulty until you progress. Nobody is forcing you to make the game easier, the slider is there to give you an appropriate challenge given the vast difference in gear/character power that is possible and it’s stupid to criticise the game for offering a wide range of difficulty settings.

    • Slazer says:

      They actually do, they are bringing the new adventure mode that allows you to ignore the story completely, so you don’t have wait for lame NPC stereotypes to finish their bad joke and open the door for you anymore.

      CoD could take a lesson here

      • Philomelle says:

        That’s not quite the way I was hoping. After the very good writing in 1-2, I was hoping they would hire actual writers. Most of the time, D3 reads like someone tossed a notebook and some crayons into Bobby Cotick’s cage of chimpanzees, recovered it at a later date and put it into the game. I’m pretty sure several of my braincells screamed and set themselves on fire while going through that drivel.

        But being able to not read it is also pretty good. It’s not quite an improvement, but at least it’s a lack of exposure to badness.

        • Niko says:

          Yeah, at least you can press ESC when somebody starts talking. Still, it’s atrocious and it’s a good thing there are neural stem cells or we’d be facing a catastrophe.

          • Moraven says:

            Or click the auto skip box in options.

          • Niko says:

            That’s even better, thanks!

          • Philomelle says:

            I prefer to go through the game’s plot during my first playthrough, especially when playing a franchise for good writing. How the hell was I supposed to know that the series’ writing went bottom tier in one installment?

  8. Volcanu says:

    Wikipedia has just taught me that ol’ David not only served a 3 year prison sentence but also dabbled in heroin in his younger days. Whodda thunk it ay?

  9. Bull0 says:

    Game is actually pretty playable now that you get useful loot, but it looked dated at launch and the intervening years have been unkind. Worth a go, though, if you’re thinking about it. You aren’t forced to complete the thing on simpleton mode first anymore. Double XP right now.

    • Moraven says:

      Well the end end game 5% best loot was near impossible to get outside the AH, the game was in a good state by 1.05. Once they added paragons, machines, monster power, there was more to do and the game flow was overall better.

      I do like playing Expert, Hard and Torment on leveling characters. Makes things interesting.

  10. Pharos says:

    As an aside, if David Dickinson had been knighted, wouldn’t he be called “Sir David” and not “Sir Dickinson”?

    I don’t think “Sir” is attached to last names.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:



    • Sheng-ji says:

      I truly hope some non-brits google the man and let us know their thoughts on him… Ian McShane as cast by House of Wax, Great Yarmouth springs instantly to my mind!

      • Golden Pantaloons says:

        He looks like Stephen Fry’s evil twin in the wikipedia picture.

      • jonahcutter says:

        I was just wondering if there is a single non-Brit who knows what the hell you all are talking about.

  11. Noviere says:

    “Guys, the AH was totally awesome, made the game amazing, and people loved it! That said…”

    • Moraven says:

      It was good to have. I would have liked one in D2.

      But when your progress hit a brick wall with self find and/or not finding any good items to even barter with, then it had problems.

      Then the economy had no way to fight item inflation and it eventually became dirt cheap in gold to buy a decent set of items. By that time Inferno was balanced and we had Monster Power. But it was easy to buy a MP5+ set.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Velorien says:

    Apparently, getting a straight answer out of the RPS regulars on this issue is like getting blood from a Hellstone. All I’ve managed to establish is that link to is the last article with the D3 tag to have the game’s full name mentioned in the comments, and it’s gone in the next one (link to with no visible explanation.

    Edit: That was meant to be a reply to melnicifent asking about the filter. Also, thank the Greater Evils for the Lazarus extension for Firefox, which rescues my comments when stuff like this happens.

  13. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I’m still undecided whether to buy the expansion. I had fun for some time with Diarro (avoiding spam filter), but after a time it got boring and I stopped playing. Also, lag and other issues were just ridiculous, despite my usually rather good internet connection, so I’m not quite happy to further reward them for this tactic after having been burnt with the main game.
    There were several things that put me off, but the game’s criticisms have been discussed to death already. Is the game noticeably different now than it was a year ago? Or rather, is it enough change to get into it again if you’ve previously lost interest? If so, I might think about getting the expansion, but otherwise, I think I’ll pass.