Blizzard Admits Diablo III Auction House Was a Mistake

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Fappy:
Now just remove the AH and always online requirement and I may actually check out your game, Blizz.

"Just play the PS3 version", they'd say.

Andy of Comix Inc:
"Yes, the auction house was a terrible mistake. That's why we continued to sell the game anyway."

Reminds me of when that SEGA guy said Aliens: Colonial Marines was a developmental failure. And he was saying, "oh, Gearbox screwed us over and the game is pathetic and disappointing and we're sorry." But they weren't, I suppose, sorry enough to stop selling the game.

This industry is ready to apologize for broken products, but more than willing to sell them. Even when they know their product is broken, they will lie to sell it, get their profit, and then apologize. That... does that seem wrong to anyone else? Like, the most disingenuous bullshit ever?

Yes that is why I have become so shady to the point where I believe this one guy believes it was a mistake but those that made the decision don't. It is basically a PR move to safe face for when the expansion is announced but DO NOT BE FOOLED, blizzard hasn't learned a damned thing.

GAunderrated:

Andy of Comix Inc:
"Yes, the auction house was a terrible mistake. That's why we continued to sell the game anyway."

Reminds me of when that SEGA guy said Aliens: Colonial Marines was a developmental failure. And he was saying, "oh, Gearbox screwed us over and the game is pathetic and disappointing and we're sorry." But they weren't, I suppose, sorry enough to stop selling the game.

This industry is ready to apologize for broken products, but more than willing to sell them. Even when they know their product is broken, they will lie to sell it, get their profit, and then apologize. That... does that seem wrong to anyone else? Like, the most disingenuous bullshit ever?

Yes that is why I have become so shady to the point where I believe this one guy believes it was a mistake but those that made the decision don't. It is basically a PR move to safe face for when the expansion is announced but DO NOT BE FOOLED, blizzard hasn't learned a damned thing.

I find it amazingly hard to believe they didn't intend for everyone to use the auction house. All the drops are for about 5 levels below you when you play the game until you get to inferno and high monster levels. If they didn't want you to buy and sell your gear on the AH then why make it so that in order to progress to the hardest difficulties in the game you have to use the auction house.

I've a hard time believing that was by accident. Blizzard is a lot of things but they aren't stupid. They understood what they were doing.

Adam Jensen:
Well look at that. Another case in point that fans know what the fuck they're talking about. Auction house was a deal breaker for me. I knew it would ruin the game.

I'm also sitting smug on the money I saved by not purchasing this dog-pile. We were telling Jay Wilson how stupid it was, why it was stupid and to please cease being stupid months before the game released, so the fact that he's now talking about seeing his error in hindsight makes him look even more pathetic, ignorant and useless than he did while keeping his mouth shut.

Not that we didn't all know how pathetic and useless he was from the moment he said "fuck that loser" of Brevik.

It's bewildering that this POS is still employed, in my opinion. Oh well. Perhaps he's contractually obligated to deliver another certain-to-be abject failure or two before he's released. His works are at least fun to piss all over.

Right you didn't know what would happen, purposefully gimping the entire game so people will be forced to AH and give you more money was completely accidental... not the intended design all along.

Buddy some of us weren't born yesterday and we know bullshit when we see it.

Evil Smurf:

Beautiful End:
I really feel bad for everyone here. I feel bad for the developers because it must be hard to admit that your creation just didn't quite live to everyone's expectations. And I also feel bad for the Diablo fans because you could really see how excited they all were for this title.

At the same time, I admire the fact they admitted it wasn't exactly what they had in mind. Most developers would go "Oh, it's the audience's fault" or "Figures they wouldn't like it if its not CoD". So props for that?

It makes them seem human and not like a sociopathic Corp. While this may be just for good PR, it will work to bring back some good will and gives hope they won't do it again.

No it doesn't. This was a former employee. Not someone who works there now. You honestly think if he was still employed there he could've said any of this?

I don't think I can laugh hard enough.

Mr.K.:
Right you didn't know what would happen, purposefully gimping the entire game so people will be forced to AH and give you more money was completely accidental... not the intended design all along.

Buddy some of us weren't born yesterday and we know bullshit when we see it.

No, they knew. They just didn't think the average player would figure out just how broken the game is.

I tried not using it for the longest time, but I was getting murdered on Act 2 Hell. Not even inferno and my gear was underleveled. Got frustrated and used the auction house, jumped from doing ~8000 damage to ~19,000 for about 10000 gold. The fact that I had to use it at all to progress is what really kills me. At least they acknowledge the mistake though.

RatherDull:
You finally admit a mistake in Diablo 3's design, but it wasn't always online? I'm disappointed in you Blizzard.

The reason why it was always online was mainly the auction house as far as I know.

Man, I felt a real sadness reading that. It just seems the guy is genuinely regretful about the AH.

On the other had, his comments on how they didn't expect the players to use it this much make me wonder just how out of touch some people in Blizzard may be.

okay, here's the thing

this albatross is still the reason why people can't go offline

and until both this and that are satisfied, you're not really there yet

if they didn't think people would use the auction house for the wrong reasons than

why did they do it

why was this part of their design

there's this huge, glaring hole in their plans

as to what logic was behind this development in the first place

frankly it's baffling

this is like square enix levels of giant hole in game design ignorance

I found it arrogant, how he only talked about the AH, and not the terrible gameplay itself. I don't even want to talk about the writing/story.
It's painful, this contrived farce of an apology.
"We have expansions for this failed game! So, go out and bullshit people with miserable apologies. Maybe, just maybe, we will get some suckers to buy it."

Vhite:

RatherDull:
You finally admit a mistake in Diablo 3's design, but it wasn't always online? I'm disappointed in you Blizzard.

The reason why it was always online was mainly the auction house as far as I know.

No, it was to prevent piracy mainly. Because they did this BS before in Starcraft 2 by removing LAN play specifically to prevent piracy. Despite the fact that Starcraft was one of the most popular LAN games ever.

Now if only another developer *cough*Gearbox*cough* admitted their mistake. I, at least, admire their courage to own up.

RatherDull:
No, it was to prevent piracy mainly. Because they did this BS before in Starcraft 2 by removing LAN play specifically to prevent piracy. Despite the fact that Starcraft was one of the most popular LAN games ever.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA No.
If they actually wanted to prevent piracy, they'd offer a better service. Use control-F "Russia" in this:

http://www.geekwire.com/2011/experiments-video-game-economics-valves-gabe-newell/

So you can see the point I'm making.

Always-on is there to prevent Item duping, that would drastically impact Auction House pricings. Since they had a Real Money Auction House implemented, having people produce money out of thin air with duping was a very understandable concern, so an always-online requirement (and thus, game saves being server-side) was implemented to prevent it.

Let me see if I got this straight:

They would rather it wasn't in the game because it made the game worse...

...but they don't dare just shut it off because some players might be enjoying it...

...but a lot of players are NOT enjoying it and at best feel pressured into using it.

So on one hand we have a mechanic that's making the game worse and players aren't enjoying it, and on the other hand we have the removal of that mechanic (which would likely make the game better) which MIGHT upset some players. In the end, someone isn't going to be happy, but one option leaves you with a better game. And that's the option you will NOT be taking?

Yeah, bullshit.

This statement basically translates as "We know we fucked up, but we really like the moneyz we're getting from the AH so we won't be turning it off. You know, "for your sake" *wink*".

This is a PR stunt, nothing more. Ignore it and move on.

Yan007:
-Remove inferno difficulty and replace it by a difficulty modifier. For example, you could create a game and enter 10% in the modifier field and now monsters are 10% stronger than they were in Hell difficulty and may yield items more often and so on, but not absolutely better than what we already had in inferno difficulty.You would play this mode for challenge and more frequent yellow and better drops. You could then brag about beating the game at a higher modifier than your friends and so on.

Oh, you were doing so well until you revealed that you haven't actually played the game - precisely this modifier is the entire point of the Monster Power system.

Um. Yeah. Screaming "PR STUNT!" at this is missing the point that you can't just put the toothpaste back in the tube. The auction house is out there now, and without a complete restructuring - so complete that it might as well be called Diablo 4 - they can't simply up and get rid of it.

Diablo 3 was clearly built around the idea of RMAH, so I am not buying for a second this supposed apology. If you played through to Inferno at least once, you would know beyond the shadow of doubt that this is true. After every patch Blizzard deliberatly crashed gold AH and did nothing to prevent inflation of gold AH, to force players to use RMAH. Always online is also used to this purpose.

The main reasons this game failed was the always on DRM which was not necessary for what is in essence a single player game and the shitty canned progression of your characters. It was anemic compared to Diablo 2.

You know what was messed up about D3? The AH made those of us who prefer regular gaming suffer. I may be forgetting the specifics here, so forgive me.

I went through the entire game on what was the normal difficulty. As I usually do with games, I went through every dungeon, I swept every map. I am quite thorough when I play games like this. I left piles of dead creatures strewn in my wake. And during that entire time, I saw not one item classified above "Rare".

Okay, I thought, this game won't drop anything better than rares at this difficulty. So I started again at the next difficulty up. I got through a little over half the game and I hadn't found anything any better than the equipment I already had. Nothing.

It was at that point I came to the realization that this wasn't the game I was looking for. This game was meant to be played by farming encounters for super rare drops and then posting those drops on the AH. Regular players such as myself were never going to find anything of interest on our own, we were expected to buy it off the AH.

As I am utterly uninterested in such "gameplay", that's the point at which the game was shelved. I am of the opinion that if I can't earn something in a game myself, I don't want to have it. I play MMOGs the same way. I do not want other people to earn stuff for me. For me, that is akin to cheating, and it sullies any future victories I might have (did I really kill the Foo, or was it just because I bought that awesome bit of armor off the AH?).

As that was clearly NOT the attitude of the D3 developers, I said "See ya!" and moved on.

No amount of fixing can cleanse the sin you have committed, Blizzard.

This is the nature of the AAA games industry. Tone-deaf developers realizing far too late what players could have, and often tried to tell them during the development process.

To late

Its done, Diablo III is now known as that one game with the AH. Its done it is over.. the whole planning and strategy that one could go into in Diablo II, Diablo III doesn't has it anymore.

Hell with patches that lower the amount of decent drop they are driving players to the AH.

And now Diablo III is just a .. well.. it losts it charm.

RoBi3.0:
Oh man I hope they don't remove they real money auction house. I like being able to sell the things I don't need to people to lazy to play the game for real money. That money I then use to pay my WoW subscription.

People referring to others as "lazy" for what they do in a video game never grows old.

Ever stop to think that maybe these people are too busy busting their butts at work to be ABLE to spend much time in a game? And because they work so much the bit of extra money means less than the time they could spend doing fun things instead of mindlessly grinding?

Anyhow. The admission is nice, though at this point it just seems like some very late damage control to lull lost gamers into trusting them again for their next games.

I mean, they state they had no idea the Auction House would be so big, yet they purposely restricted drops to such a low level to make the AH a necessity. Something tells me they don't really regret this move--what with the piles of cash it doubtlessly made them--but regret the customers it lost that they want to buy the next big thing they do.

Kinitawowi:

Yan007:
-Remove inferno difficulty and replace it by a difficulty modifier. For example, you could create a game and enter 10% in the modifier field and now monsters are 10% stronger than they were in Hell difficulty and may yield items more often and so on, but not absolutely better than what we already had in inferno difficulty.You would play this mode for challenge and more frequent yellow and better drops. You could then brag about beating the game at a higher modifier than your friends and so on.

Oh, you were doing so well until you revealed that you haven't actually played the game - precisely this modifier is the entire point of the Monster Power system.

Um. Yeah. Screaming "PR STUNT!" at this is missing the point that you can't just put the toothpaste back in the tube. The auction house is out there now, and without a complete restructuring - so complete that it might as well be called Diablo 4 - they can't simply up and get rid of it.

I played the damn game, but mp10 is bullshit. I really meant scale back to Hell difficulty and put a modifier field that can go up to infinity for shits and giggles.

I personally don't think the AH was the problem so much as other design decisions relating to gear that pushed the AH to become more integral than it needed to be.

The way they made the gear and the stats, there was very little variety in what people needed. And because of the way they designed the skill system, all gear gave you was more damage or more survivability. There was nothing about the gear that could define a new build.

Thus people primarily wanted the gear to clear the content, but they designed inferno to be a huge cockblock. Partly because of the above and partly because of how they designed the gear level vs. monster level drop formula, you could either farm Act 3/4 Hell endlessly in hopes of getting perfect rolls and none of the really good stuff (sets, recipes or legendaries) or farm inferno with substandard gear and likely die incessantly because you ran into a BS set of monster affixes that just owned you.

OR you could buy the gear off the AH that gave you a reasonable chance of beating inferno.

The gear just wasn't compelling so the only reason people wanted it was to clear the content, but clearing the content was hard until you got the gear which meant it was simply easier to buy the gear off the AH (for most people). I mean, it should have been a major red flag when all of the popular farming points in game for the first couple of months (until they nerfed them) were locations where people could spawn a chest with as little fighting as possible.

Gee, if only there had been somebody to warn them...

RonHiler:
You know what was messed up about D3? The AH made those of us who prefer regular gaming suffer. I may be forgetting the specifics here, so forgive me.

I went through the entire game on what was the normal difficulty. As I usually do with games, I went through every dungeon, I swept every map. I am quite thorough when I play games like this. I left piles of dead creatures strewn in my wake. And during that entire time, I saw not one item classified above "Rare".

Okay, I thought, this game won't drop anything better than rares at this difficulty. So I started again at the next difficulty up. I got through a little over half the game and I hadn't found anything any better than the equipment I already had. Nothing.

It was at that point I came to the realization that this wasn't the game I was looking for. This game was meant to be played by farming encounters for super rare drops and then posting those drops on the AH. Regular players such as myself were never going to find anything of interest on our own, we were expected to buy it off the AH.

As I am utterly uninterested in such "gameplay", that's the point at which the game was shelved. I am of the opinion that if I can't earn something in a game myself, I don't want to have it. I play MMOGs the same way. I do not want other people to earn stuff for me. For me, that is akin to cheating, and it sullies any future victories I might have (did I really kill the Foo, or was it just because I bought that awesome bit of armor off the AH?).

As that was clearly NOT the attitude of the D3 developers, I said "See ya!" and moved on.

I think every RPG fan goes and does the scouting for hidden stuff(which is useless here on the first 2 runs!). Problem for me was the way the game was structured, you have those first 2 difficulties that you can beat with one hand in your nose and the other in your ass, you get to the third one and in first 2 acts you realize that 1)hey this is actually rather fun, finally some challenge, 2)too bad I've already seen everything that's ahead of me and 3) that I'm fed up with my character. To top it off comes act 3 the third difficulty and gear score check from WoW. You don't have the gear you die (heck even pros spend so much time grinding locations to get to some decent gear lvl).

Wouldn't increasing loot drop percentages alone make the auction house less useful without getting rid of it?

He only notice the mistake now? (Well ok he notice it earlier but still.)

I guess he underestimate how much money a person have and willing to pay in return to not spending hours to farm rare loot especially when the loot in Diablo itself is broken.

Great, do those things in Diablo IV, coming out in 2025!

First steps to fixing a problem is admitting you have a problem :D

I'm torn between admiration that they actually admitted this and "Holy screaming duh, why didn't you listen to anyone who was trying to tell you this in the first place?!"

Sushewakka:

RatherDull:
No, it was to prevent piracy mainly. Because they did this BS before in Starcraft 2 by removing LAN play specifically to prevent piracy. Despite the fact that Starcraft was one of the most popular LAN games ever.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA No.
If they actually wanted to prevent piracy, they'd offer a better service. Use control-F "Russia" in this:

http://www.geekwire.com/2011/experiments-video-game-economics-valves-gabe-newell/

So you can see the point I'm making.

Always-on is there to prevent Item duping, that would drastically impact Auction House pricings. Since they had a Real Money Auction House implemented, having people produce money out of thin air with duping was a very understandable concern, so an always-online requirement (and thus, game saves being server-side) was implemented to prevent it.

Well, I'm certain that influenced the decision somewhat.

Also, why else would they remove LAN play completely other than to counter piracy and make money off of the Korean market?

What hurt the game wasn't the AH, but the fact that 95% of gear that dropped was useless for any class. It practically forced players to use the AH to gear up. The crafting was just as dumb, spend a bunch of parts from gear that you melted instead of sold to maybe get something useful.

It was idiotic.

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