It Came From The Weekend

And finally – as always, the weekend saw some really interesting blogging of all kinds, so here’s our summary of Other Cool Stuff…

  • The Mighty Viking Hamster made a really interesting point – wouldn’t it be great if non-active subscribers could still communicate with Battle.net and other MMOs through an IM interface?“First and foremost players will benefit. It would allow them to keep in touch with the community even though they are not subscribed to the game. This would foster a stronger sense of community since buying a particular MMO would not only mean getting involved in the game, but also having easy and unlimited access to a social network of like minded people.”
  • Fannon at Dwarven Battle Medic writes a lament for the soon-to-be-fallen Theramore“What will become of the small stories? Who’s going to take the time to cleanse Jarl of his demonic possession in the middle of a battlefield? Is someone going to walk “Stinky” Ignatz home with Horde siege engines laying waste to the landscape? “
  • Klepsacovic at Troll Racials Are Overpowered is a one-man Modest Proposal factory of late – today he’s proposing making WoW gold completely non-tradeable. Including on the Auction House“As for the auction house, allow players to create trade offers. Initially this would be chaotic, with a billion linen being asked for a truegold bar. But eventually, players would settle on some new medium to use.”
  • And Ironyca has a new project – cataloguing WoW’s myths and urban legends“This inspired me to go look for more myths and urban legends in WoW, and there are many of varying themes from how to acquire certain items, to misunderstandings on how fx resting and healing works.”

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

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?

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Blacksen predicts higher AH prices in 4.01

Blacksen’s got a very intelligent article up today on his expectations of the patch’s effects on AH prices, and specifically the effects of the changes to mods like QuickAuctions. As of 4.01, posting auctions can no longer be done automatically – instead, each AH interaction will require a hardware event.

It might seem like this levels the playing field on the AH and is generally good for everyone, but Blacksen’s of the opinion that, by reducing competition on the AH, it will cause global price increases – and make it more difficult to play the AH at the same time.

Personally, I’m ecstatic about the changes. I’ve been talking with the other auctioneers on Zul’jin, and they’re all equally happy. Isn’t this the first sign that Blizzard is making a huge mistake? We’re not going to have to compete with average Joe anymore simply because he won’t have the skills and time to actually participate in the market. In fact, average Joe is probably going to lose money to us when trying to enter. Price is expected to go up, and with that, total revenue is probably going to go up as well. The 10% margins on gems and 1% margins on enchanting materials will all disintegrate. The consumer is probably going to suffer, and ironically, Blizzard thinks they’re helping them.

Is he right? I fear he may well be. Certainly, there are ways to automate AH-playing, perfectly legitimately, still – they’re just harder work to set up, and that’s going to create more of a distance between the established auctioneers with the knowledge, skill and hardware to do that, and those who don’t. And economically it’s very hard to argue against his analysis that prices will rise again – although that might mean it’s actually possible to make money on enchanting mats occasionally.

Overall, this seems to be in line with Blizzard’s ongoing very heavy-handed interventionist attitude to addons. Is it a good idea or a bad idea? What do you think the effects on the economy of 4.01’s changes will be?

Quote taken from http://blacksen.com/archives/687.

Find Blacksen’s homepage at http://blacksen.com/

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