Why I’m not going to play Diablo III
People have been waiting to play Diablo III for years. They want it in the worst way possible. I wasn’t quite on that spectrum. I enjoyed DII, and would love to play DIII, but I’m going to stick by my morals and beliefs and not play DIII. (How boring is that, right?) I’ll get to the dirt and smack talk in second, don’t worry. This is going to get dirty.
I love the idea of micro transactions as a new business model for the video game industry. It’s great; I love me some innovation. But, there are ways to screw it up, and Blizzard is doing that. The problem is not that they’re doing it completely wrong, their problem is that they’re fixing one problem, and creating another problem.
What is Blizzard solving?
Blizzard is attempting to solve the problem of gold selling and gold farming. (See Chris’s post here for a run-down) Also, I recommend this article as a great way to understand some of the motivations behind gold farming.
The idea is that, with the new in game auction house in DIII, allowing players the ability to use real money on the auction house, it will prevent, or lessen the ability, of gold farmers to sell gold inside the game, because who needs to buy gold when you can buy all the items you want for real money on this auction house? Very innovative, and meant to hurt a group within the game dedicated to messing up in game economies for real world gain (while also helping to line Blizzard’s pockets a bit more).
The real money for in game items AH in DIII also has the benefit of eliminating third party sites that duped items to sell in game for real world cash. (Well, if not eliminate, give Blizzard a piece of the spoils.)
I can dig it. That’s good stuff. Push the envelope.
But, I have a problem…
Remember when I said micro transactions shouldn’t affect game play or game mechanics? Well, guess what? This AH is going to do exactly that. The biggest difference between micro transactions, and the AH Blizzard is setting up, is that Blizzard is not the one opening a store with the items that can be bought with real world cash, they’re allowing players to run that store themselves, with any item they find in the game. So, a brand new player can feasibly log into DIII, input their credit card info to battle.net, and buy all the gear they need to be an omgwtfpwn character, with no effort to obtain that gear through playing the game. This is seriously allowing game mechanics to be influenced by real world currency, since the primary way to make your character stronger in the Diablo games is with better gear. (Except in hardcore mode)
So, if people won’t play games because of the influence real money can have on game play, why are so many people lining up to play DIII? Because it’s Blizzard? Because they’ve been waiting for DIII for years? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
Yeah, Blizzard has said, quote, ”Use of either the real-money or gold-based auction house is completely optional.” The problem is, it still changes the entire landscape of the game for everyone if the option to buy stats (through gear upgrades) with real money is implemented!
So, I will not be purchasing, nor playing, Diablo III.
If someone can buy a character and/or gear that’s the best in the game without actually playing the game? I won’t play it.
Ding! You’ve leveled up! Please see your local librarian for training.
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