Well if you haven’t heard the news by now, Blizz plans to give Diablo 3 an auction house that is capable of exchanging virtual goods and currencies for ACTUAL money! Now, I’ve seen quite a bit of rage and support for this in some forums, but I’m kind of on the fence with it. On the one hand, you’ve got people wanting to trade all sorts of items and they’ll do so through ebay or via less than reputable companies. Yeah, I’m sure all those gold sellers we see in wowlands have a nice 100% satisfaction rate… But on the other side… It’s kinda sleazy. Something just seems wrong with it. I mean, they’ve told us (us being the wow peeps) that transferring cash for items/gold/accounts was wrong and naughty and we’d get a time out for it. So to 180 on us like this seems a bit off.
Then you’ve got China. Sorry guys, gonna have to pick on y’all a bit more. I’d almost expect to see more than half (and that’s generous) of the sales being made were from item/gold farmers on the red shores of our big northern cousin. Seriously, it just legitimized their transactions. So was the whole gold farming = bad thing just wrong because the big brass wasn’t getting a cut? I know this is all a money game, but still… seems shady.
But then again, lets not forget that, so far, this only applies to Diablo 3. Granted the playstyle is very different than that of wowville, the morality and logistics of having a “player cash shop” might not be all that severe. It’ll probably end up being a decent thing for the D3 players anyways. HOWEVER, this does worry me some… given the small hit to subscription levels in our wows, the 1-20 F2P, and ever ambitious shop, I can’t help but wonder what the next step is. I’m all for making money off your IPs, but there are some limits. That said, I hope the good folks at Blizz HQ will NOT ever bring this system to wow. It would be a huge blow to the game and its subscribers. So… uh… fingers crossed. Cause all it would take is a guy in the conference room to say “oh hey, we made like a few million dollars with this D3 auction house… how bout we do it to wow?” and the investors would start work on building a large silo to house all their gold coins… for swimming purposes… cause… you get the idea.