Diablo 3 RMAH, Ron Paul and Free Markets
Can The Diablo 3 RMAH last?
Inflation In The Diablo 3 RMAH
So I decided to go all in with the Tuesday release of the Diablo 3 roleplaying game. It was mostly nostalgia that caused me to head to the closest Best Buy and grab a complete desktop gaming system with an additional graphics card and 600W power supply to make sure I exceeded Blizzard's listed specifications. Having been doing most of my work from a laptop for years I used it as an excuse to get my first new desktop system since my university days. Sure, I'm used to having such things at the office, but I told myself that after the newness of Diablo 3 wore off I would be back to working hard from the system. I set up a home office area with a new desk just for that purpose. So Diablo 3 was probably the only game that could have motivated me to take such measures when I'm sure there were more pressing things calling for that money. Blizzard was probably the impetus of my computer career as I discovered Orcs and Humans hidden on a classroom system during my first high school programming course. Then Diablo and Diablo 2 emerged as a breakthrough franchise and I played those for quite a while. Sometime after that my interests became more academic and I fell from the gaming scene with only a few games here and there and an XBOX 360 occassionally. So needless to say I was ready to slay demons and race to Inferno.
The Diablo 3 lauch has been wrought with complaints from a very vocal selection of purchasers via the Blizzard forums. If you'd like to see what they are talking about just click over to Amazon and read the reviews. A lot of people are wanting a refund at this early juncture, but I feel things will settle down and it will get the rating it deserves. (About 4/5 stars from me). There were a few hiccups on the first couple of days during launch that caused the game to be unaccessible for hours at a time, and since Diablo 3 requires an internet connection to even play single player mode that meant a forced hiatus in the action. There were many complaints regarding that, but it seems that things have smoothed out now and everyone is back to rolling their characters. There are also those who say that Diablo 3 has been dumbed down from it's predecessor to make it more accessible to the World of Warcraft crowd. Opposing views state that Diablo 3 is not enough like World of Warcraft in that it is not a massively multiplayer online role playing game. Where WoW can have raids with up to 40 people and has an actual persistent world to explore, Diablo 3 is simiply a dungeon slaying game with 4 difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, Hell and Inferno. Part of me realizes that I did not do the proper research because I was really hoping that the game would be a MMORPG - a category of games that I have not really played much. I guess I will have to wait until the Elder Scrolls Online mmorpg or something of that nature. I understand where most of the complaints are coming from and in many cases they are valid to a point, but you can't please everyone and it just seems like many gamers have a sense of entitlement as to what the game should be. In a way though I feel like you just can't go home again, perhaps I've grown up, or perhaps the gaming scene has evolved. What worked for the early Diablo 2 game might work for the new Diablo 3 game, but I just feel that things could have been so much better if they had leveraged their knowledge into creating a persistent world. For one, the Diablo 3 real money auction house (RMAH) just does not seem like it will be all that interesting if there is no world to explore and build within. Perhaps, the Diablo 3 PVP mode will change this a little bit, but there is also the fact that weapons/armor/items do not decay but simply need occasional repair. Desocketing a gem from a weapon does not run the risk of ruining the gem. This plus the fact that there is an ever increasing amount of gold in the game will likely lead to swift inflation and the collapse of the Diablo 3 dollar.
But whatever complaints people may have with the game. there is one complaint that should not be addressed by Blizzard. On the forums you see a lot of people discussing how Blizzard should regulate the prices on the Diablo 3 RMAH so that magical, legendary and set items are not sold for outrageously high prices are alternatively (and more likely early on) outrageously low sums. Despite what people may feel about Ron Paul as a viable Republican presidential candidate, it is clear that his knowledge and expertise on economic policy is solid. The basis of his beliefs stems from the fact that free markets will regulate their own prices through competition and this is pricely what will happen over time with the Diablo 3 RMAH. It will be interesting to see how long people actually continue to buy items and if better things continue to be found and placed on the market. I'm not sure that the system as is can maintain a flourishing market with gold farmers and people putting in hours to catch perfect rolled legendary items, but I can assure that there are many already trying.