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  1. #1
    IncGamers Member chriscowart's Avatar
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    D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    I believe there's a good possibility the D3 RMAH won't be the last RMAH from Blizzard we see (assuming it goes well, of course, which I believe it will be fine).

    Here's why:

    disclaimer: I don't play WoW

    Recently, Blizzard has been selling a mount in WoW that can be traded on the Auction House. This is a big change since every previous mount was tied permanently to the owning account. Anyway, this means one could arrive at a dollars per WoW gold figure since real money can be "injected" into WoW through the mounts. Essentially, they're selling gold! So, Blizzard feels safe with WoW gold as a real-money analogue, to some extent.

    Also, WoW had the auction house in it from the beginning. I'd imagine running such a beast is a lot like running a free eBay. There are servers, server maintenance, potential transaction issues, bandwidth consumption, and not to mention the development time. I think they felt it was a good feature, and it is, but they might have overlooked the maintenance cost a bit. Surely they've nailed it down to a science so its smooth to operate now. It costs money to operate an auction house, even if its free!

    Regardless, once real money is introduced, the system must be essentially bug free, and they must to succumb to "the customer is always right", potentially handling slews of customer issues (i.e. I bought the wrong item; I want a refund; Where's my item? ... ad infinitum).

    Diablo 3 will no doubt be a big game in terms of sales figures and concurrent users, however its safe to say it won't top WoW. So, the system must be thoroughly tested to handle such a massive audience.

    So, to me, Diablo 3 would be a great test bed for a new profit center for Project Titan so they can have all the systems in place to reduce the massive cost of developing the beast from the ground up for just one product. In fact (err, speculation?), they could be testing much of the same technology right now in Project Titan. Why not develop the system in two products instead of one, thereby reducing the development costs, and along the way, create ways to get money into the system and maybe keep it there (Blizzard Balance), create good relationships with third-party internet money machines (PayPal, and incidentally, eBay), and put a stop to Chinese gold farmers? Instead of being a liability (like old school Diablo BNet and WoW AH), RMAHs will be an asset!

    That just seems logical to me.




  2. #2
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    It's probably also a test bed for the SC2 User-Made-Maps Marketplace, which was noted as still being in the pipeline on a recent investor call (possibly for Heart of the Swarm). Likely every future Blizzard product will have some type of similar transaction system in place.



  3. #3
    IncGamers Member Azzure's Avatar
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    I think Titan at the very least will support Player to Player currency selling. And that's not really a bad thing, since in WoW many many players buy gold from gold-selling sites.



  4. #4

    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    If successful I think there is a pretty good possibility of the RMAH making it's way into Titan, but I wonder... If the RMAH is successful enough, would Titan need a subscription fee along side the RMAH profits?


    "The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    IncGamers Member Pheal's Avatar
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    Quote Originally Posted by Neinball View Post
    If successful I think there is a pretty good possibility of the RMAH making it's way into Titan, but I wonder... If the RMAH is successful enough, would Titan need a subscription fee along side the RMAH profits?
    If they don't go with a subscription fee the playerbase will be waaaaaayy higher. Most people (including me) don't like monthly recurring fees =).



  6. #6

    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    That's my thinking behind it. "How do you get bigger then WoW?" One of the biggest barriers to entry for most people to MMOs is the monthly fee, get rid of that and you open the market to a much larger audience. If the RMAH is able to cover the cost of D3 server upkeep and cut a profit on the side, it'd be a greater way of bringing down that barrier and get more people in the game.


    "The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." - Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    IncGamers Member AKUder's Avatar
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    I had the same thought, about no monthly fee for Titan. Diablo will be a bit of a test ground for them to gauge how much popularity/use the RMAH gets. Assuming success, it will be implemented into Titan and possibly allow Titan to have no monthly fee, or at least be cheaper than WoW. I seem to recall reading somewhere that more and more MMOs are moving to no monthly fee.

    I have a couple of friends who wouldn't play WoW because of the monthly fee. To be honest, that's why I only played it for a few months. Maxed 1 character, didn't feel like I had the time to put into raiding, so I just went back to other games.



  8. #8
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    If anything, more and more MMOs are moving towards micro-transactions, which is something Blizzard fans will most likely never accept in a Blizzard game or any other game, and is probably against what Blizzard believes makes a game good.

    Of course, the people who won't even pay monthly fees will be even more reluctant to pay micro-transactions. And making a f2p micro-transaction based MMO playable for those who don't pay anything while still keeping it profitable is probably impossible (see: World of (fail) Tanks).




  9. #9
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    It's like I've been saying, the D3 RMAH is just the tip of the ice berg, once someone (namely Blizzard) steps out and shines a little light on exactly how much money is floating around in RMT and exposes how blind the industry has been to keep their death grip on monthly subscriptions going for so long it will become an avalanche of legitimized RMT, once those in the industry who are completely void of all creative thought (which let's face it is most of the industry at this point) are shown "how" to do it they will all start doing it.

    Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the "fans" think or even what the "developers" think... It's what the bean counters think that decide what will or will not happen... Keep in mind that even for the industry this "stuff" isn't new, there have been successful micro-transaction/legitimized RMT options available on the Asian MMO scene for years, it's just here in the west we've been dragging our arse beating the monthly subscription horse to death.



  10. #10
    IncGamers Member chriscowart's Avatar
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    Re: D3 RMAH as testbed for Project Titan RMAH

    You're right. The big guys are dragging arse. In the mean time, there's plenty of microtransaction games also paving the way in the West. Here are a few biggies:

    League of Legends - probably the fastest growing esport; primarily cosmetic micros
    Gunbound - 'import' game -- one of the first games I've seen F2P w/ micros
    MapleStory - same as above
    Project Entropia - probably the first game to have a real money economy; you can buy PEDs (ingame currency), or cash them out. Interesting fact: a real estate investor decided not to invest in real life real estate, but instead bought a space resort in-game and taxed transactions etc. and made more money than he would have in real life. Sold for ~$600,000!
    Team Fortress 2 - weapon and hat sales

    Anyway, I was bored and thought you guys might find this info interesting.




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