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The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 Market & Economy Discussion Forum' started by Azzure, Sep 24, 2011. | Replies: 36 | Views: 2939

  1. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Before the Beta came out, I always thought to myself that pricing on the AH is going to be absolutely crazy when it comes to Rare and Magic items (random items)

    For example, how do you price a sword that has literally hundreds of other swords listed with SLIGHT variances in its stats? What do you price your Sword that might have precision and life leech against another that is listed that has similar stats but instead has +attack and Increased attack speed?

    Well it turns out that the Beta AH is just as inconsistent as I predicted. There are items that are totally contradicting each others values. You have a good item that is priced at 10,000g and another similar item that is priced at 4,000g. You just need to keep playing with the search parameters to find the cheaper item.

    This is only a problem for random equip-able items, not commodities. Commodities won't have varying prices because they are easy to find the value of simply by looking at what others are selling for.

    The root of the problem is the nature of how the AH works and how the item system works. They are unintuitive to each other which greatly impedes players ability to find exactly what they are looking for.

    Yes you can search for the exact stats you're interested in, but what if there is a sword for half the price of the ones you searched for just because it has a Precision stat instead of an Attack stat that you put in your search? What if there's another sword that doesn't have the stat you searched for, but has a better one that you didn't search for, and is cheaper?

    The answer at the moment is either spend hours upon hours shopping around for the cheapest/best deal, or just pay the extra cost for a potentially inferior item.

    What is everyone's thoughts on this? Do you think the AH will be a nightmare to navigate for Random items?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  2. Grayson Carlyle

    Grayson Carlyle IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    I think the best solution is a stat valuation formula like is done in WoW for items (SEP, AEP, etc...). Attack is worth 10 points per stack, Precision is 8 points, Fire Resists 5 points, etc... Then sort auctions based on item score from adding up the stat values.

    How feasible would this be though? Currently the list is generated by a server-side sorting and you just get to see a part of it. Setting up stat values and sending them to the server for it to formulate the final item value might not be a quick solution, as it has to calculate everyone's different values on every item. Blizz could re-write the client to get the entire AH list, every few minutes only, then we could do all kinds of stuff client-side. Otherwise, we're going to be limited to when they release the web API to get the list where someone could set up a quick javascript service so that everyone can run client-side calcs on the whole AH list in a browser window, then go in-game to find the item you want from there.

    Using the AH as it currently stands to find good rares though, when there will be several hundred thousand listed at any time? I don't even want to think about it...
  3. Bigfish

    Bigfish IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Well, the first thing to keep in mind is we're talking asking prices and there isn't really enough of an economy for players to get a good grasp on what any given property is worth. Unless we see some closed sales data, we're going to be left with not much of a picture as to the real value of these things.

    I'm thinking this would all be able to be calculated if we could get our hands on a good dataset. At least what people are asking for a given property anyway.

    I imagine when it comes time to buy though, people are going to need a very specific idea of what they want, and say "I want a sword with A,B,C,X,Y, and Z as its properties." Or be looking for a specific unique. Its probably all going to be about the filters. Prices will likely stabilize as well, once we start seeing 10 copies of an item with a particular set of properties.

    The big thing is going to be getting the culture going, probably where some website or other out there tells people "This is the item you want".
  4. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    I think the filter issue will actually help people looking to play the market. Yes, it'll take a bit of extra effort if you're trying to find something specific, but if you're going to be sorting through all those items anyway (which I certainly will - not sure about you guys...), it's not a problem at all. The fact that many people will be too impatient to hunt down some of the better rares, opting to go for a set or unique instead, can only help.
  5. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Totally agree, this opens up a huge opportunity for buy-low sell-high trading. You have to remember though if the game has 5 million players (very conservative estimate), there are going to be thousands of similar items to look through. And things will be added during the time your browsing through it. So the people who play the market the hardest by spending the most time research, analyzing and recording the market will be the ones making very good profits.

    Which is fair because it takes long/hard work to do this kind of stuff effectively enough to make consistent profits.


  6. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Yep, I'm with you. I spent a long time cruising the Maple Story markets (also populated by millions) every day, but it was well worth it. I see this going well for us. :)
  7. Hubriss

    Hubriss IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    This might be one of the reasons why there is the 15% fee on GAH right now... and perhaps the flat fee on RMAH as well... Blizzard is going to really want to curtail a lot of this price gouging, because it simply ruins the economic experience for most players.

    I think the flat fee needs to be changed to a % to open up the RMAH to lower level items like blues. The diffusion of items between both auction houses will reduce the list for people who know they want to spend one of either gold or $$.

    Something else they could do is give people listing items more information, like the average price the item type sold for in the last 4 days or something.
  8. Naviaras

    Naviaras IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    The only problem with this is the huge variability of all items even Sets and Legendarily since most of them include at least 1 random property.

    The closest we could come would be to put a value to each affix. But that would take weeks to months of playing to find out which ones are truly valuable. This is something we'd have to do as a fan site. The cost/profit to pay someone at Blizzard to do it would probably be too high. I truly believe Blizzard want us, the players, to set the economy. They would only set in if something was broken.


  9. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Right. There is truly not a lot they can really do about this issue due to how the affix system works. Virtually every item is different, (even Legendaries now!) and there is no easy way for a user to interface with the system to show them exactly what they want to see. Too many variables!

    Legendaries will be fine though, because you can simply keyword search the name of the item and see all the variances of it and prices. So they should be fairly consistent in pricing. Rares on the other hand...


  10. Concupisco Quaestus

    Concupisco Quaestus IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    My initial thought is that it is beta, the AH isn't what it will be upon release.

    My second thought is that the basic model they are following seems appropriate, it is up to the playerbase to manage their own prices, the markets will naturally be all over the place at the beginning because nobody really knows what's rare and what isn't, the "desirable" items haven't really been established yet and our "real" economy won't exist until at least the 6 month mark.


    I think we need to consider what they are tackling in all this, I think it might be wise to "mix up" search findings a little so people have to "dig" for what they want or find the best price for it, that way you can stave off race for the bottom Wal-mart economics longer. By forcing people to do a little "work" to find that item or best price you create an environment where it's not about who is cheapest, it could just be about who happened to pop up earlier on the search list... Is it perfect? No... But when you consider how devastating it would be for Blizzards planned revenue stream if items in D3 became so low value that you can't even sell them for real world money it starts to make sense that they may "sabotage" the AH a little.

    For this business model to work Blizzard needs the in-game items to maintain a desirability that warrants a real cash purchase, I could see them manipulating things to enhance that whole experience because let's face it, this AH is worth millions to them but it is going to be a very tricky balancing act not only to keep people buying but the incentive needs to be there to sell too.

    People need to feel like they've "worked" on their character and as messed up as I'm sure it will sound to some, to others searching an AH for 2 hours to find that perfect bracer is the same time and energy investment you made looting your not so-perfect bracers, the only difference is they spent their 2 hours looking at text while you was out clicking till your finger turned purple.

    If people can feel like they have worked on their character it will naturally evoke a sense of pride and when you start pulling emotions out of people it usually gets much easier to pull money out of them. I have no doubt Blizzard has a behavioral psychologist on their payroll who's trying to figure out the best way to manipulate the playerbase into pouring money into their characters and a "funky" AH might be the way they're planning to do it.

    If they make things too easy for people to gear up they lose the pride aspect, with a loss of pride comes a loss of respect and the overall "mood" of the community can be irreversibly damaged, take Star Wars Galaxies as the extreme example, they made a big boo boo like 6 years ago and to this day their players hate them for it, the game never recovered, not because the game was overly bad, it had it's problems but it was still a decent enough game, the real problem was the damage inflicted on the community, a game is just code, you can rewrite it... People on the other hand LOVE holding unhealthy grudges... Every economy has a symbiotic relationship with its respective community, if you damage one too severely the other will feel the pain, if one falls they both fall and when trying to analyze the business component of any decision being made it is important to look at the human component and predict its reaction to the best of your ability.

    I have the utmost faith in Blizzard and while I do not think they are perfect, (stopped "playing" WoW after BC and don't even own a copy of Starcraft) I do regard them as being one of the few truly competent game studios and when it comes to making money, they're going to do whatever they can and considering they are making money through us making money, well, it's the start of a beautiful relationship. *sheds a single tear*
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  11. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Nice write-up. I think Blizzard's plan is less about "manipulating" players into spending money on their characters and more about making the game (particularly the item-game) very fun, meaningful and therefore appealing to players. That's always the most effective way of achieving their goal and fits in with their other philosphies. Blizzard make great games, and the rest just fits in to place.


  12. Concupisco Quaestus

    Concupisco Quaestus IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.


    NOTE: I meant this to be a short reply but... well... I failed miserably... Hope you like reading! :whistling:


    While I don't think Blizzards "goal" is to flat out extort their player base I would personally find it very hard to believe that any modern corporation is going to overlook any opportunity for revenue... The developers might not care one way or another but I can pretty much guarantee there is a room full of bean counters scrutinizing this whole thing much the same way we are with the sole goal of increasing "profit"... Corporate business is never about "as much as we need" and always about "as much as we can get" in my experience.

    Maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself in all this but from my own personal perspective I view this new RMAH system as the emergence of a new country on our existing global market because for all intents and purposes that is exactly what it will be, a "virtual" country with its own economy and I can't help but feel Blizzard is going to be looking at things the same way, or at least the people they have advising them on the financial aspects should.

    I feel like a lot of people are kind of downplaying what is going on here, unlike games like Entropia Universe where the "real world" economic ties are largely regarded as a joke seeing as the only people who make any real money are the ones who got to take advantage of opportunities early in the games life while any new people coming in are pretty much going to lose any money they invest into the game due never having the opportunity to catch up to the guys who started years ago, Diablo 3 will not have that, it's not going to be an early-adopter/eleetist market, it is going to be totally open and free to everyone and that in combination with a franchise like Diablo is going to make some ground breaking changes in how we view world economics... I can even see a "Virtual" exchange within the next 5-10 years where you will flip on the news one day and us gamers will be up there selling our little swords and coins right next to the Nasdaq... I don't think people understand how HUGE the legitimization of the RMT industry is.

    The RMT industry as it stands right now is a very cloak and dagger, behind the scenes, standing in a dark alley selling your "wares" type of business and it's currently worth billions worldwide, legitimize that market and you legitimize billions of dollars in revenue that are no longer being funneled into countries that don't play by western rules. You're basically taking an industry OUT of Asia and putting back into the hands of your friends, families and neighbors... Seriously, who in their right mind would be against the people they know having the opportunity to pay some bills? and instead be in favor of supporting foreign economies while pissing and moaning about all the jobs going overseas... I mean it sounds ludicrous right? RMT is going to be there regardless so by being against it you are actually siding against your fellow gamer and SUPPORTING overseas RMT... At the risk of sounding overly "frank" it's right up there with "I'm not going to support a real cash economy so I'm only going to trade in gold" argument as far as mind numbingly ignorant statements go.

    This RMAH is going to be a massive success for one very good reason, these days even if you yourself are lucky enough to have not fallen on hard times, odds are you know someone who has and have at least glanced upon the sobering reality that even for you and the people around you things can go south very quickly, this RMAH system gives people the opportunity to make money regardless of their "working" status, it may not be a whole lot of money but for someone who's got a rent payment due and no money to pay it with ANY money is good money and even pulling 20$ out of a game you've played casually the past year could mean the difference of feeding yourself or going hungry in a bad situation... Do people REALLY think pulling 20$ out of their neighbors mouth justifies their silly little "hookups" on living some dumb fantasy life in a video game? Hate to break it to you folks but this isn't introducing reality into your games... It's introducing you to the fact that you have an unhealthy utopian delusion in regards to these games and the reasons they are developed that will always leave you disgruntled with one thing or another... Whether we make money or not "they" will be pissing and moaning in a corner somewhere about how unfair everything is.

    The world is in economic turmoil right now and it is that turmoil and uncertainty that is going to have people gravitating to this like flies to... well you get the idea. I personally feel the introduction of an RMAH is a WAY more calculated move by Blizzard than people are giving it credit for, this isn't just some silly cash grab... This is HUGE, we're crossing a threshold here where "virtual" reality is merging with "real" reality (TekWar by 2015 anyone?) and I feel very strongly that Blizzard is doing this now after taking such a strong stance against RMT in WoW because some nerdy guy with glasses and a calculator pointed out that with the evolution of technology and the devotion of your fans you can stop making silly little video games and start making independent countries.

    The scope of this thing is much greater than people are giving it credit for, this isn't just a simple cash grab, it's the start of an economic change that will be brought about by people's unwillingness to participate in a real world economic system that is overrun by corruption and fraud, instead favoring systems where the people monitoring the markets are making money from all trades and as such have a personal investment in trying to maintain the market as a whole instead of just manipulating individual "stocks" for personal gain... For many Americans I could see this as being their first real introduction to socialism... The political and educational implications this could have on the less-educated masses could be fairly profound... But that's a whole other topic.

    Our modern real world economy is so fubar because many of the entities that are supposed to be unbiased and in place to keep the market healthy are corrupt and paid to look the other way while the sharks gut it raw, basically walking into wall-street is like signing up for an MMO that has absolutely no GM's or moderation, it's just anything goes and as such you naturally end up with an environment where the people with a conscious can't compete and the sharks are all VERY well fed but always hungry for more.

    The moment D3 starts making money it will open the flood gates on this whole RMT industry, if you thought the "WoW cloning" was bad that's nothing compared to what's coming when Blizzard shows this model as "working"... and this model WILL work because like I said, as firm and naive as some people may want to be in their purified stance against "reality" seeping into their delusions of heroism and grandeur, that person will still know at least 5 other people who wouldn't bat an eyelash at the chance to make an extra 20$ here and there just for having fun... Heck I'd be willing to bet that for every person who has complained about the RMAH at least one person read/heard that complaint and thought "Hey! I'm gonna have to check that out! I need money!".

    The D3 RMAH is, for the most part an emerging socialist country, it has the chance to fail and die or flourish and grow into the next major first world nation, I can't see the Blizzard suits being content to throw the dice on something with repercussions of this scale and not engage in RMAH manipulation, not necessarily for their own profit "directly" but with the way they are doing things what's good for us is good for them so they may manipulate the RMAH in ways that are highly beneficial to the player base which in turn is highly beneficial for the company.

    Blizzard has essentially opted to establish a symbiotic business relationship with its player base, we are not subscribers, or members, or users any more... We're partners... Guys like us who plan on making money this game bode very well for Blizzard but if the AH is too easy, or too hard to use that relationship could become tainted.

    Let's suppose for a moment we're 6 months into the game, something happens and the market crashes making prices so low on items that people just don't bother with the RMAH, I would fully expect Blizzard to come in on the behalf of the players to remedy the situation, this is where manipulation comes in and where this becomes a "socialist" regime. I could see the AH going through a series of revamps until the right balance is found because otherwise they stop making money, the developer looking into the issue might not feel he's fixing the problem for his own company but rather fixing the issue for the players but the bottom line is anything they do for us they do for themselves.

    I'm sure there are people out there who would hand me my tinfoil hat, nod, smile and back away but the "case-study" material is already there, games like Entropia Universe have TONS of stories of people doing things like taking out second mortgages on their houses to invest into the game, sinking tens of thousands of dollars into a "virtual" investment like property or opening a store front in Entropia and losing it all... and that's in a game where the "economic" system was never really fleshed out, there wasn't anything to really "do" in the game besides try to make money and the overall game play experience was right up there with the worst I've ever played, I mean it wasn't really a game most people would have fun playing but it's still what I would consider a great success for MindArk.

    Most of MindArk's success game about by having a handful of people to stand as the "examples" for the world, they are the ones who got in early or did something that worked out which ended up making money, I don't know if he's still their "prime" example but Neverdie was the EU golden boy, he was the fantasy that everyone thought they'd live out by pouring money into that silly game... His success alone had a very heavy hand in MindArk's success, both of which lead to people ruining their lives... Corporate responsibility at its finest.

    Sometimes all people need is a dream or vision and the willingness to follow through but most of the time you need to have some kind of edge. Historically speaking it has already been tested and proven that you can get people to spend ridiculous amounts of money via "virtual" investing without really offering them much of anything but a dream... It's like being the Bernie Made-off-with-your-money of the gaming world, they know full well they're only giving out a small percentage of what they're taking in and the delusion they are feeding people is total BS... But they did it, and are still doing it.

    When money is involved you don't really "need" things like flawless game play and a perfect execution, sometimes all you need is that dangling dollar bill on a stick and that's exactly what the RMAH is, every game no matter how horribly bad in game play is always going to have participation when there is money involved, EU has proven that and while I do not doubt Blizzard developers take a huge amount of pride in what they are doing and aren't out to "screw" the player in any way we must also consider that high level "suits" just don't think in those terms.

    Game companies do not make games for the players, they make games for profit, like any company they'll try to feed you this mom and pop BS but a corporation is a corporation, they don't "really" care about you, they care about your wallet but it's like being on a first date, you know what you're after but you can't just "go for it", you have to pretend like there's some kind of meaningful relationship going on, sure some dates might put out without the nice meal and chit-chat but you can't base your life on that kind of relationship, even Charlie Sheen couldn't pull that one off... No, you have to engage in that make believe world of dating before you get what you're after, deep down everyone knows it's total BS and 3 months into the relationship the person you met on the date will be long gone but corporate business functions in almost exactly the same way.

    Billions are spent on advertising and propaganda to make you feel like they "care" because they know if you think they "care" it makes their job of "getting to your goodies" a whole lot easier... You do not survive in modern corporate business by being "nice" and doing things "for" the people, the bottom line is always the bottom line and everything else comes after... By that premise alone we can be pretty sure that Blizzard is going to have a very heavy hand in their economic system.

    Think of Blizzard as your socialist government, for the sake of the country and the "greater" good they will intervene when needed and try make sure that any business is healthy business and that everyone has an equal chance to participate without having to worry about some morally corrupt entity coming along and in doing so they take their "cut"... Will it be perfect? No... Nothing is but they will have to maintain a fairly heavy amount of moderation in order to ensure that things like what is currently happening with the U.S. economy doesn't happen in game.

    It may take some time before the "average" American is fully on board or willing to "trust" investing money into something like this but for us Canadians and I imagine a lot of Europeans once fully exposed we'll subconsciously identify it as being the economic system we are used to and as such will slide right into it... The anti-ism crowd in the U.S. will likely take much longer to come around and likely continue to go on about how evil and wrong everything is but that will never stop and I imagine most of the world will just ignore the 3 ring circus "debates" and go about our healthy little business lives.

    Anywhoo, I could go on but I already feel like I should apologize for my wall of text so I'll cut myself off here. :wave:


    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  13. viledevil

    viledevil IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    its not socialist... they will optimize the tax rate to bring in the most revenue and could give a **** about the inhabitants of their world outside of damaging their current or future revenue flows.
  14. TheOatman

    TheOatman IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Sounds pretty socialist to me :-O


  15. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Holy Christ, that was long. I think your perspective on Blizzard and its customers forming a symbiotic relationship, as you say, is an interesting one. In fact, such a relationship is probably necessary for the RMAH to be successful. Nobody is going to list items if he can't profit from it in one way or another.
  16. Hubriss

    Hubriss IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Nice post Concupisco. It's one of the reasons why I proposed my own economic plan for D3.

    I view D3 as a potential test of socialism. Because you're right, Blizzard does have to make the player base happy, because they can just opt out of the game if they are not satisfied. There's no alternative when you opt out of real-life.

    The only difference between D3 and the real world is economic growth in real goods is finite, whereas D3's is practically infinite. As Concupisco alludes to, the difference between Entropia and D3 is that characters and items have actual value to players, the foundation of a real economy, rather than just perceived value. The rarity of items, regulated by the God-Hand of Blizzard, increases their value.

    What Blizzard needs to do is provide protections from exploitation for its average customers. Sorry to prematurely burst your bubble guys, but that means keeping people like us from making too much money by simply working the market.

    -Naviaras

    How about this:
    When an item is inserted in the item-listing page, a bar pops up. Superseding the bar is a number indicating how many of the item type were sold in the last 3 days. The left end of the bar shows a snapshot of the cheapest selling item and its price. The right side of the bar has a snapshot of the most expensive item, and its price. In the middle, there is a number revealing the price of the median item that sold in the last 3 days (the middle-most item in the spectrum from most to least expensive). Lastly, a sliding indicator displaying the average price of all items sold in the last three days. The average should indicate whether the price trend is moving up or down, depending on where it is in relation to the median.

    You could have up to 3 bars for each of the last three days, which will indicate whether the trend price of the item is going up or down. Along with the trend, it could give players an idea of where their specific item might sit on the spectrum. This could be better thought out probably. I just made it up.. but something like that.

    Data like this should also be available to buyers so they can determine whether or not they're getting a good price. Especially for the rare and expensive legendaries that may only be up 1 or a few at a time. More data to compare prices would help buyers make better decisions.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  17. viledevil

    viledevil IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    while i hate to use wikipedia i am too lazy to get proper quotes:

    Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are either state owned or commonly owned and controlled cooperatively.


    the means of production are not owned by the state (bliz owns zero items, the items that are owned are privately held).

    Socialist economies are based upon production for use and the direct allocation of economic inputs to satisfy economic demands and human needs


    there is no redistribution of resources, literally... none. players selling items to each other have nothing to do with merit or need, merely what $ they have or other goods they have to trade (be it gold or item for item).

    THIS IS NOT SOCIALISM. I am sure there is a name for it, but believe me it is not socialism. It is some sort of free market subject to authoritarian tax regimes.
  18. Concupisco Quaestus

    Concupisco Quaestus IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    FYI the game is generating the items and currency, not you, you are not "creating" anything you are just reaping the spoils of something that has been created for you, every single item, pixel, sound and piece of text in Diablo 3 belongs to Blizzard, it is their property and you have absolutely no right to it, if you want to debate that I suggest you read an EULA from pretty much any game, they all say the same, Blizzard is permitting you the rights to run a sanctioned business for the purpose of profit and taking their cut off everything you do in exchange for that right, rights which at any point can be taken away from you should you engage in activities they deem inappropriate. You own nothing but the money they "permit" you to have.
  19. viledevil

    viledevil IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    your actions create the drops, you control them unless 'god' takes them away. god also does not redistribute them. there is no socialism here mate...
  20. Hubriss

    Hubriss IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Beta AH - Very Inconsistent.

    Socialism does not necessarily mean redistribution. Read the whole second paragraph of the wikipedia page you used:

    Socialist economies are based upon production for use and the direct allocation of economic inputs to satisfy economic demands and human needs (use value); accounting is based on physical quantities of resources, some physical magnitude, or a direct measure of labour-time.[4][5] Goods and services for consumption are distributed through markets, and distribution of income is based on the principle of individual merit/individual contribution.[6]

    This is all what Diablo 3 must have if it is to be first and foremost a successful game.

    Production for use: The purpose of items in Diablo is to be used, not to be mass produced and sold for maximum profit. If the latter were the case, there would be massive gold and item inflation, which would ruin the fundamentals of the game.

    Distribution of income is based on the principle of individual merit/individual contribution.: This is most important. Income based on speculation or working the market would ruin the game, because it takes income away from the people who are actually producing the goods, which is the purpose of the game.

    An important aspect in the first paragraph is relatively equal power relations. In Diablo, this would mean that power is based on a person's ability to play the game, not how much money they have. Of course, people can buy items with initial real world wealth, but where socialism needs to come in is keeping that from increasing further profits a player makes. Now of course you can't eliminate it entirely, but it has to be mitigated if Diablo 3 is going to be a good game first and foremost. If not, it would be just like Entropia that Concupisco talked about, where the people who were successful were the ones who had a head start in the beginning, and most new players got screwed over.


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