First post, decided to make it count
When I first heard about the RMAH I was thrilled! There is something about having a real economy within a game that really appeals to me, it creates all these possibilities and if done correctly "a game within a game"
Before I move on I need to say for reference that im a professional poker player and an exDiablo2 player, so I feel like when these two things in a way come together I should have some idea of whats going on. You might say poker doesn't have anything to do with the RMAH in Diablo, but it does. Its a game about money, where your decision is based on "is this profitable or not" and now when Diablo has the real cash thing as well, the same thing applies there. Some people wont take it that seriously but enough people will so that it will affect your gameplay regardless, and unfortunately in a mostly negative way.
So the main problem we all have been focusing on is how will the economy behave and will item prices decrease a lot or remain at an acceptable level.
There are some arguments for it working such as:
-There are a lot of cash sinks, taking gold out of the economy
-The best items drop very rarely, making the demand always higher than the supply
However, to me its evident those things wont matter as the arguments against are:
-There will be way more people willing to sell rather than buy, maybe not the first month but as time goes definitively. Like, even though its a great game the interest will fade, thats just how it is. This brings me to my next point.
-After a while way more people will stop playing compared to new players joining, and all those will (even if they are just taking a long break) be given this option: "Ill sell all my gear now, bc if I decide to start playing again I can buy it back for less money". Imagine what this would do the D3 economy in 1-2 years when like 1-2million players have left or something..
Now lets talk about the consequences and the solutions.
-Item value will drop, making the game lose a lot of enjoyment! It wont feel good playing after a while knowing you could just improve your gear a lot for 5-10usd. It will just feel like wasting time as now the item that was so hard to get in D2 is now obtainable for a few button presses + 1cheesburger.
-Blizzard has to release new gear via expansions that's better and at the same time increase difficulty. This will boost the economy, however those who bought gear previously and those who have made a solid effort obtaining gear will not feel great about this. Especially considering it would have to be done sort of frequently..
What Blizzard should have done:
They should have made a "marketplace" not an "auction house". This marketplace could be placed ingame in one of the towns and consist of two areas;
-In this area of the marketplace people could safely post trades and visit some UI that made it possible to search for the following: "I have x item, what are people willing to trade towards it" Then they would get a list from the best to worst items of people who have put up a trade with the following " I have x item and I want x item for it"
-to list a trade, the item would have to be locked in the UI until cancelled.
To complete a trade the other player has to place his item in the UI as well and click "propose trade" (only possible to place the item requested), Then the original lister can view the stats and he click "confirm trade" or "refuse" should the stats not be good enough.
-In order to decrease the number of players who propose bad trades there could be a gold fee
This could be the location in the marketplace where you could sell/buy items for gold with players, similar to how the auction house currently works, however with a big difference.
The gold earned could be exchanged for an amount of real money if the player wanted to, BUT should a player want to purchase gold instead it would be at a higher cost set by Blizzard. This would actually make the game better and more enjoyable as the economy would actually be functioning and maintain a higher value.
(the sell value of the gold could be calculated out from the cash amount players have bought gold for in the last 3months, or something similar)
In the end its this simple: Blizzard has to make it near impossible to obtain the best items without players either putting in a solid effort, doing great trades or spending a lot of money. If these alternatives are uneven, then the game falls apart! sadface