It is no secret that Blizzard has been at war with gold farmers for over a decade now. The third party vendors have plagued Diablo 2 and more importantly World of Warcraft from the beginning. One of the few ways to eliminate these vendors is to start selling the in game gold and items your self. It is simply the most effective way to eliminate the problem. However, that practice can become unethical and viewed as a pay to play alternative. So with Diablo 3’s new cash auction house, Blizzard is doing something completely different in their favor. They are creating their own market.
Think of this as a stock market scenario. Players are free to list items they want to sell and charge whatever prices seem fair. Blizzard regulates the market and enforces the rules. They also get a percentage. Once established now Blizzard controls the market fully. They can say who trades and who gets banned. They can work with options and ideas for players to benefit from the sales of items, and most importantly if the gold farmers want to get involved, they have to play by Blizzard’s rules.
At first glance I know everyone was shocked by this announcement. Blizzard is not turning Diablo 3 into a pay to play game by any means. They are just giving the players a place to trade and buy items that is safe and under their control. In many ways it makes perfect sense. Now what the players will do within this market is something different entirely. You will have loads of people all over the globe trying to create some kind of scams or rip offs based on this system.
As I think about it more, the idea of a Diablo 3 direct money auction house is not a bad thing. For one is uses real cash. It does not try to dilude players with gold chips or fluffy coins that mommy and daddy have to purchase with a credit card. Nope, there is a real world cash value on it. Just like the Magic: The Gathering secondary market, you pay real money, in some ways that might make people more cautious about their purchases.
Many people are upset about this aspect of the Battle.net and Diablo 3 at first glance, but when you really start to think about it somehow it doesn’t seem to be so bad. Again people are interpreting it as Blizzard is selling items, they are not. They are creating the market to sell items if you want too. Now, how players will use the market could be very dangerous.
This may stop some people from playing Diablo 3 but I think it is just an option for players to have a market to sell items that is not tied to some third party outlet. Hopefully, that is all it will be.