Anyone else thought about how easily the RMAH will take advantage of impulsive buyers?
With the GAH, if you don't have enough gold to buy something you're forced to invest more time in farming, etc. You can go to a gold site, but most people consider those unsafe.
I think the RMAH will be able to take advantage of people's impulsive tendencies very easily.
A player is going to be sitting there, with terrible gear in A1 Inferno. He can either farm gold and use the GAH, or spend real money, even though it may be ill advised, and get all the items he wants instantly.
Of course, it's definitely possible that the GAH won't even matter from Inferno on when it comes to item sales because maybe most people won't bother selling level 60 items for gold.
I originally thought the RMAH would do poorly because I wasn't sure people would even care enough about Inferno gameplay to invest real money into it. But after playing the game for a few weeks, I feel like the RMAH will do very well, at least for a while.
It really capitalizes on impulse buying. There's always going to be a temptation hanging over a player's head to spend like $100 to get their items instantly in order to avoid heavy farming with bad gear. And like I said... I'm not even sure there's going to be an alternative past A1 Inferno for buying good gear. The GAH might just be filled with lower level items that an Inferno player wouldn't want.
Meaning that the only way to get ahead quickly is to use the RMAH.
Some day, somewhere, some guy is gonna accidentally buy the wrong item for $250 and be devastated. It'll happen, and while it'll technically be his own fault, it won't be his own fault in the way it would if he had gone and lost a $250 bet at the racetrack.
Yesterday I was looking at helms on the AH. I wanted one with reduced crowd control duration because I'm putting together a set of that, so I had searched for strength, allres and reduced duration. I sorted by price so I wouldn't have to look through a bunch of crap items. The first twenty-six helms, in order of price, had sockets - that's why they were the most expensive, of course. None of them had strength, vita, allres and reduced duration... until the 27th helm. Bingo! The right stats, and at the price I was expecting to pay! Buyout.
Instant dread. It didn't have a socket. It was worthless, I knew that and could have told you so two seconds before I bought it and two seconds after. But at the very second I saw that helmet, finally spotting one with str/vita/allres/ccdr, my mind decided that this was what I was looking for. All the previous 26 helms had had sockets, so I subconsciously assumed this one had as well. Wasted two million on a worthless item, a helm without a socket is unusable and almost unsellable. My fault, my bad, but not because I'm too stupid to qualify to play Diablo or don't know what stuff is worth. Just a regular brainfart - we all have them, don't claim you don't.
Two million gold is no disaster. I cursed, shrugged, and put it up for sale at the same price just for the off-chance that someone might buy it. I'll be lucky if it ever sells for half of that, of course, but I've written it off as a loss already and moved on. If that had been a $250 item, I'd have been devastated. Or what if I'd misclicked instead of misjudged? What if I'd left the computer to mop up a broken glass and my little son had randomly clicked and bought a bunch of crap (I don't have a son but that's irrelevant) or any number of other ways one might accidentally buy the wrong thing?
There's no checkout, no purchase process beyond click+confirm, and certainly no chance of a refund. Two clicks and you've irreversibly purchased an item. I don't actually know of any other purchasing process so potentially unforgiving, and it's already a lot easier to make mistakes when you're in a video game playing with virtual currency rather than standing in a shop with physical cash in hand and a professional cashier to finalize your purchase and give you a receipt. You can generally protect yourself from mishaps with a bit of care and most responsible people will never have to worry about it, but somewhere, somehow, some guy is gonna accidentally blow months of work with a misclick. It's so easy to mess up on the AH, and so much more severe now that we're not just dealing with worthless gold coins in a video game.
I think it might be just too easy to buy something on the AH. I wonder if some business bureau has anything to say about this. You're dealing in real-life money but there's no shopping basket or checkout counter, no receipt, no possibility of a refund, nothing. It's a little too primitive for something so consequential, and I think we'll see Blizzard forced to make some changes in the future. I for one think events like the above will end up causing them to implement a grace period in which you can revert a purchase if you haven't irreversibly accepted it (by, say, sending it to your stash and entering the game to equip it). I mean, there are laws requiring a vendor to offer refunds under certain circumstances, right? It must apply here in one way or another. The fact that you're even able to irreversibly blow up to $250 on junk in a split second of inattentiveness is a little irresponsible of the designers of this virtual economy.
Riot Games any many other companies which utilise the game shop have been very successful as a result of such. It really is a good business model. I myself am an impulse buyer, but luckily I have a mindset of not soaking extra money into games.
Blizzard and Diablo 3 is not the only organization/individual/etc to take advantage of such a basic concept in human psychology. Perhaps this concept is new to you and video games, but this is no different that spending disposable income on some other activity or hobby to make your life more fulfilled.
Not everyone who is in debt or can't afford to own cars and property or retirement savings has a - for the lack of a better word - "legitimate" reason for being in such a bad spot. Some ppl dig the hole themselves but are oblivious to their impending financial doom.
Yes, blizzard thought of it. These mechanisms are exploitive and expose people to ways of feeling good for cash that they'd never otherwise initiate themselves.
Hope federal legislation on this stuff comes soon. Most of it is no better than gambling.
Now there's a great idea. Pass a national law that regulates people's behaviour while playing video games. What's next, frderally mandated ingame timers that shut the game off after so much time elapses? I mean all this time spent playing video games can't be good for one's health much less interpersonal/familial relationships. Why it's downright destroying the very fabric of our nation. How about this instead....pay attention to what you're doing.