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  1. #1
    IncGamers News Service
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    Apr 2013

    Diablo 3 Expansion Changes to AH and Always-Online?

    The Diablo 3 Expansion is the perpetual topic of interest for everyone in the Diablo community, and since IGN coughed up an article focused on it today, we might as well have at it. The article gives some summary of the Diablo 3 plot and basic game features and suggests what we might see in the Expansion plot, but it's not one of those, "my top ten expansion wish list features" forum posts.

    Rather, the article discusses how the expansion might change Diablo 3 structurally, mostly in terms of he Auction House and the always-online requirement.

    As the updates to Diablo 3 already released have shown, though, smaller foundational changes are more meaningful to the exact nature of the game and a full expansion will likely be no different. Lords of Destruction's biggest change to Diablo 2 wasn't the addition of Assassin and Druid classes, but how it overhauled the gameplay. An expansion could conceivably remove Diablo 3's most divisive features, particularly the need for a persistent Internet connection and the game's Auction Houses.

    An Auction House-free Diablo 3 on PC certainly sounds like the dream version of the game. Rather than a delicious, engaging adventure that yielded the best rewards as its difficulty scaled, the biggest problem with Diablo 3 was how the Auction House drove all of the game's long-term systems. The very best loot didn't drop regularly enough for even the most diligent player, so they were forced to farm gold or pay out actual cash for the gear they wanted. This reliance on the Auction House even crippled the game's campaign, and Blizzard's known it since the game released. While the new crafting system was brought in to “refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters,” it's still only a half step.

    So really, this isn't an article about the expansion. It's about how the author doesn't like the Auction House or always-only requirement, and how he hopes those are changed in the future. Which is a valid set of topics, but it's not like we don't see 50 posts a day about one or both in the forums already.

    I wasn't a fan of either feature when they were first announced, but over the year of release I've come to like the AH and not care about the always-online. I suppose a SP-offline mode of D3 would be useful once in a while, such as during the weekly maintenance periods, but all my characters are online (obviously) and I have friends on my list I like to play with and talk to and public games are nice once in a while, and if we ever get a decent dueling system I'll be all over that. And all those things require online-only characters for security. Plus, let's be honest, Blizzard isn't going to give up on the online only thing unless/until some magic occurs and PC games stop being pirated at a 90+% rate.

    As for the Auction House, like most players today, I feel like it's essential for my characters to progress, and I quite enjoy selling and reselling and flipping and get more excited by the "your item sold" pop up than most anything else during a play session. (And I really wish I could hover on the text to see which item it was and how much it sold for.) That's much less true now than it was upon release, after multiple patches of Inferno difficulty-nerfs, but there are so many super-rare, highly-specialized items required for most builds in the game that it's infeasible to find them all yourself. I'd love to see an Ironborn mode (though it didn't sound like Travis or Wyatt were really grappling with the separate-ecosystem requirement of such a feature), but I think it should be optional.

    Of course that's talking about the game as it is now. As the IGN article points out, the Diablo 3 console is *not* going to feature an AH, and will presumably make big changes to the item quality and drop rates in order to let characters find enough good gear, and find it quickly enough, to enjoy Inferno. And a game with such generous drop rates basically wouldn't work with an AH, barring lots of binding or other such features (items reduce in quality when sold/gain a buff while kept?) since the AH would instantly flood full of all the best gear, with the over supply driving prices down to pennies.

  2. #2
    IncGamers Member Sir_Matas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Frozen Tundra

    \"I quite enjoy selling and reselling and flipping and get more excited by the “your item sold” pop up than most anything else during a play session.\"

    This is the problem with the AH. It has rendered combat kinda useless such that it has become like an e-bay simulator with an RPG mini-game attached.

    The thing is, I don\'t want to play an e-bay simulator and that is not what I paid money for.

  3. #3
    For the console it would be much easier for Blizzard to nerf the difficulty level of the game overall and keep the items as they are now. Yes, there will be horribly overpowered items that way, but they will be very rare and I suspect the game won\'t last as long for a console gamer as it might for a PC player, so many players decked out in full uberepics seems unlikely.

  4. #4
    I\'m sorry when you get the most excited for D3 is when you see your items on the AH are selling, I think it\'s safe to say development went wrong somewhere.

  5. #5
    IncGamers Member TheDestructor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Detroit, MI
    BattleTag Ignatius-1870
    They should increase drop rates to a point where the AH doesn\'t even cross your mind anymore. However, when that happens, everyone will get the loot they want in a matter of months, (if they don\'t go and buy it up for cheap first) and after that\'s all over and done with no one will have reason to stick with the game anymore since it\'s not like you\'re going to roll a new character or anything.

    They banked on people grinding for loot at a less than glacial pace and obviously that didn\'t work out. I mean, Diablo players like the loot grind, but their masochism only goes so far.

    I hope Travis has a magic wand to fix this.

    The game needs varying levels of reward beyond finding that one in a million GG item. I few ideas I have: Add something that drops fairly often and gives you small boosts in power, whatever that may be. While at the same time, fix the randomization on legendaries, add a TON more, and make them drop slightly more often. And beyond that, add \"grailer\" items that are stupidly rare, but equally game breaking (similar to Zods) so that the truly dedicated hyper masochistic can go on for months.

  6. #6
    \"Plus, let’s be honest, Blizzard isn’t going to give up on the online only thing unless/until some magic occurs and PC games stop being pirated at a 90+% rate.\"

    Holy crap, source please? (or is this sarcasm?)

  7. #7
    IncGamers Member Peter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    ) ( =`/\`_Inferno_`/\`=
    The AH sucks, I\'ve been playing blizz games since the 3 vikings and pay-to-play ALWAYS ruins games.

    d2 trading/bartering was the best, if they would simply create a \"barter\" ah where you post something and other people can offer gold, items or a combination of them it would go a long was to creating trade diversity.

    500 soj for a dual leech ring, sure!

  8. #8
    IncGamers Member Katniss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Boston, MA
    BattleTag Leviathan-1356
    I wish I could up vote this 100 more times.

  9. #9
    I played an \"Ironborn\" character from the start and played like this ever since.
    I may not be the fastest (~pLvl 30), but i have a lot of fun and dont feel like loosing out on anything. Also the droprates are really well balanced IMO... I can farm mp3 with my MFgear and am nearly maxed on MF. I find about one or two upgrades every session. So i think they actually did a pretty good job (legendaries may be boring, but its always exciting to find a new one)
    I dont want to say that the AH is bad by any means... but its a personal choice to use it or not.
    My friends and i chose not to and we have a lot of fun playing and will keep on dooing so (i guess).

    Our \"Ironborn Policy\" as a group is as follows: everything found in a game can be shared. I absolutely support a seperate self found mode (like hardcore on character creation) but I think loot found as a party shall be tradeable.
    Its manageable in aparty with friends, but you never know where an item came from in a public game... Thats why i still have to earn the \"join a public game\" achievement

    I dont think we will see an Ironborn mode in a patch, but hope for one in D3X.
    I love the idea of decreasing stats when trading (through the AH). Another suggestion would be decreasing max durabity with every trade.
    What i would LOVE to see in a patch though would be some kond of tagging on items.
    Like a \"found by character XYZ\" kind of info on every item (or rare or at least leg).

    Just some thoughts

  10. #10
    That was probably the best feature of D2, having to barter for items. It was nice to have some currency like SOJ\'s but really it was super fun to show someone an item and see what they have to offer for it. I got some good trades through that.


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