Will Diablo III be pay-to-win? The Kerfuffle Kicks Off

by on August 1, 2011


Well, I’d like to thank Blizzard for making my job easy today. Because let’s be honest, the only thing I’m going to be featuring is the news that Diablo III will, on release, have a real money-based Auction House.

Yarly. You know that guy in your guild who is 50k from gold cap? In a few months, Diablo III could be his job.

Needless to say, the blogosphere has opinions:

  • Welcome to Spinksville: “While I have no doubt that many many players will be delighted by this development, I’m left feeling that I won’t much like the evolving game community that this spawns.”
  • Matthew McCurley at WoW.com: Remember when I talked about how the Battle.net account has been changed to something that Blizzard wants you to keep into perpetuity, adding value to through all of its games and services? This is the huge beginning.”
  • MMO Crunch: “Diablo III will introduce RMT – hooray!”
  • Broken Toys: “As a player – I have no interest to pay to win. At all.”
  • Procrastination Amplification: “I’m more afraid of what this move will do to the psyche of the players. Once you assign real world value to in-game items, you add a layer of seriousness to the game that might not be appropriate”
  • Short pieces: Nils doesn’t really care, whilst Tobold thinks it’s an interesting new business model.

I’m absolutely certain that these won’t be the last blog posts on the subject we see, so if you know of more good ones out there, post them below!

Great idea, or Pay-To-Win? What do you think?

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: General MMO Interest

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Edenvale August 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I’m not sure I understand the concept. Can you recommend a post that explains how this works?

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Tesh August 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm

It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the game and the community… but I want no part of it. Then again, I’m not a Diablo fan, so it’s easier to simply be professionally intrigued.

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Gazimoff August 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Personally, I have no interest in a game where the size of your wallet is more important than how much skill you have.

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Ben Sanders August 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I think I quite like the idea. I’ve always liked the AH sub game, and it might add some extra spice having it involve imaginary currencies that everyone believes in (also known as ‘real’ currency).
That said, it still has to be a good game, and if the in game gold isnt valuable, then the economy still wont work.
From what I have heard, though, both gold and items (or the disenchanted equivelent) will be used in crafting – if this can produce real top end results, then the games economy could stay interesting for a good while.

Only the very top end items will genuinly sell though – other things will probably get crushed by the listing fees, and people will probably only want to buy best-in-slot type items with real money. And if there are random variations to top items, then there will be big price differences between the ‘perfect’ windforce (if there even is a windforce) and an average one.

It will also be interesting to see how the gold/cash exchange rate results, and if it constantly varies.

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Ben Sanders August 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm

On the negative side, though, there is the possibility that cash transactions will place a value on things. When I open my mailbox in WoW and get lots of sales, and they add up to several thousand gold, its cool. I’m not sure it would seem so cool if it was about a dollar.
It’s good to have the ‘cool’ for a rare item. Playing Magic the Gathering has taught me that sometimes having cash values for everything removes some of the ‘cool’.

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Hugh Hancock August 2, 2011 at 1:49 am

@Edenvale – SImply put – where WoW has one AH, Diablo will have 2. On one, you’ll bid for items in gold. On the other, you’ll bid for items in dollars – real dollars.

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Carson August 2, 2011 at 4:47 am

I think it’s a pretty interesting idea for a different ongoing revenue stream for Blizzard. Assuming this means, like Diablo 2, it’s buy to play and then subscription-free. If you want to spend money, you can, if you don’t, you don’t have to – you can even try to make money from the game. And all the time, auction house cuts are giving Blizzard a revenue stream to encourage ongoing support and development.

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Shintar August 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I’m not interested in Diablo myself, but as others have stated, the same system might be adopted for other games if it ends up being successful, so it’s still relevant.

I’m not that concerned about the whole play-to-win thing actually, but I’m thinking along the lines of what Procrastination Amplification posted about: suddenly keeping a rare item instead of selling it will effectively be the same as wasting real money, and that scares me. I don’t want to have to think about such things when playing a game. :(

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Hugh Hancock August 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm

@Shintar – Yeah, that’s one of my concerns too. If I happen to be going through a not-super-wealthy patch, I don’t want to have to feel guilty for using that epic that dropped rather than selling it.

If every epic says “hey, if you use this you’ve wasted money you could have used to buy food/petrol/rent/whatever”, it’s likely to kinda suck.

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