Debate of the Day: Will Diablo 3’s Auction House Ruin the Game?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBrESZJlNvQ

Yesterday it was announced that Diablo 3 is going to be plague with a number of things that piss people off. First, always online DRM, that requires a constant internet connection to play. Then, zero support for mods. Last, they’re crafting an in-game auction house where you can buy and sell items for real world cash.

That last point is what’s really sticking with players, and even though I think those saying they’ll boycott the game is ridiculous, it does come with some very legitimate concerns over how it will affect gameplay. The video above is video game caster Total Biscuit talking about the issue at great length, and it’s a good listen if you’re a fan of the game.

The point he makes is that this is essentially legitimizes Chinese gold farming, which has long plagued World of Warcraft. Blizzard is essentially rewarding the behavior by legitimizing it, but the greater issue is how it affects gameplay. The whole point of Diablo is random item drops, where you quest and trade forever to get that one special item you need. Most of the fun of the game was in trying to get those items, but now you can just shell out the hard cash for it rather than try actual strategy to try and find the items you need.

But the counterpoint, as TB lays out, is that it’s like legalizing drugs or giving teens contraception. You’re going to do it anyways, so you might as well be safe about it.  Also, it should be noted that the system is entirely optional, and if you can resist the temptation to plunk down cash for rare items, you can play the game like you always have.

When you see people in the game with rare items and armor now though, you might wonder if they actually earned it, or if they simply bought it. Further problems come in PvP, where you can literally buy your way to power with enough cash.

What do you think about the issue?