Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
A second opinion

The Psychology of Video Games blog has a post on Diablo III and dopamine which says very much the same about random loot causing more happiness than a steady stream of gold to buy loot with in the AH as I said a week ago.

Interesting solution proposed by the author: Bind on Pickup loot.

I've already stopped playing Diablo III partly because I believe the Auction House ruins the game. I find this quote from the article especially representative of my feelings:

"...the loot that dropped was no longer a reward. It was just gold in a slightly more inconvenient form..."

If you watch the streams, you'll notice many top-level players - those already geared enough to farm Act 3/4 Inferno -- don't do it. Instead, they're equipping full "% Gold Find" gear and grinding trivial content so they can more effectively use the AH. Blizzard has created a game where the most effective way to progress (by far) is to not actually play the game.

And the article is correct, at least for me; the game very quickly stops being fun. I've already stopped playing.
My solution is to shop on a budget.

When I check the AH, I set an aggressive "low maximum buyout"/"high stats" filter. This way, any AH-acquired upgrade becomes a particularly lucky and unexpected good deal. Poof, instant dopamine.
Diablo 3's business model is a bit weird. They get all their money up front and then they have only the running costs. The longer they run the game, the less money remains for Blizzard. The most profitable route in this case is bring down the game once initial influx of players dies out.
Real money AH however can provide running revenue from AH cuts. So maybe if AH itself is disrupting for the game, it's best to close gold AH, up the global magic find and leave only RMAH running?
@ souldrinker one way to keep the AH alive is to nerf certain item stats (like IAS or life on hit). This changes BiS items or "perfect rolled" items therefore this creates new market and turnover. Turnover rating means 15% of gold/money is going to Blizzard, and 15% of more transactions means more profit.
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