No Shit

Former Diablo 3 Director Jay Wilson discusses Diablo 3's Auction House

He thought they would help reduce fraud, that they'd provide a wanted service to players, that only a small percentage of players would use it and that the price of items would limit how many were listed and sold.

But he said that once the game went live, Blizzard realized it was completely wrong about those last two points.

No shit.

That, said Wilson, made money a much higher motivator than the game's original motivation to simply kill Diablo, and "damaged item rewards" in the game.



"I think we would turn it off if we could," Wilson said during his talk.

no shit sherlock 2

Blizzard, Wilson said, doesn't want to remove a feature that lots of players will be unhappy to see go. But he did say that the team is working on a viable solution, without giving any other details about what that would be like.

Buy Torchlight 2.

Last 5 posts by Derrick


  1. Diablo says

    YES! Your hatred and anger only fuels my diabolical schemes. NOW ENTER MY REALM OF TEAR-ROAR.

  2. Diablo says

    The pitiful house of Grantham will FALL. By their own hubris, I have forseen this. Now we shall face your tear-roar in Game of Thrones.

  3. Peter says

    But Torchlight 2 is just nowhere near as good as the first one was. =(

    Legendary items? Yay! Oh wait, the only legendaries are weapons? Boo. Level cap of 100 and no good mods to raise it? Boo. NG+ system sucks? Boo. I'm just not impressed. Everything I liked about Torchlight is gone or watered down.

    Also – "The ancient art of gem combining is lost in this age."

    Dude. The story of the game has us following a character from last game. "Ancient art"? This was like, last week, in game lore.

  4. says

    Torchlight 2 is great though there is a Free and amazing solution too.

    Go take a look at Path of Exile [ ], a New Zealand made online Action RPG very much like Diablo (but so much better) and Torchlight put together that is and always will be FREE! Yep Free to play, free to do anything, though there are Micropayments they are ONLY for cosmetic pieces (colours, etc) and do nothing for the skillsets/weapons/etc

    Oh and for those OCD people who need skills, PoE has 1350 of them that will boggle your brain! :) [ ]

  5. That Anonymous Coward says




    Kingdom of Loathing is a much better game… my other car is made out of meat.

  6. says

    Also – "The ancient art of gem combining is lost in this age."

    Dude. The story of the game has us following a character from last game. "Ancient art"? This was like, last week, in game lore.

    Did you ever do the math to figure out how many gems you'd need to find to upgrade a single set to its highest grade? You had to decide whether to use your gems or save them for upgrading. You couldn't do both. Good riddance, I say.

    Also, would anybody like to save me some Google time and give me a quick synopsis of the problems with Diablo 2's Auction House? Never played it.

  7. says

    Still better than the economy problems of Diablo 2.

    Erik, I don't agree. In Diablo 2 you could entirely ignore the economy – which was based on duping and of course more duping – and subsist on your own. I played HC for a year, with a lot of notwink characters, and I got several to hell without too much difficulty. That simply was not possible In D3; it would have taken an absurd amount of time to grind up the necessary gear for inferno progression without the AH. Now, 1.4 and beyond have allegedly changed this, I haven't played in awhile.

    But that's the biggest problem I have with Wilson's commentary. He says Blizzard didn't think that many people would use the AH. And yet they specifically tuned drop rates to account for the presence of the AH.

    He's also being revisionist when he says all the complaints before release/early on were directed to the RMAH. Gaming Jouralism focused on it, sure. But if you went and checked out all the hip places to go talk about D3, there was talk about the impact of having an in-game currency auction house would have. Particularly after they made it known drop rates had been adjusted.

  8. Luc says

    I'm curious as to what Derrick thinks of Path of Exile, which has the "always online" part of D3 (mainly due to being Free-To-Play with a cosmetics-based monetization scheme), but not the Auction House.

  9. says

    @David Aubke – D2 did not have an action house. What it had were rampant duping issues, even on servers. There were also, at times, exploits in trading. All of this mean trade with strangers was rather dangerous. Blizzard fought like hell to combat the duping, but it was a difficult fight.

    It didn't affect me. I was (and, strictly speaking, still am) a member of a clan named the Amazon Basin. I played with my clan mates for the vast majority of my D2 multiplayer career. I never had any issues. Notwink games were easily done in D2. If I wanted to make a twinked character, I had a wealth of resources to lean on (and building specifically for wearing Sigon's entire set at level 6 is a real teat, let me tell you).

    @Dirkmaster – I'm fond of Path of Exile, but it's quite quirky. I do recommend it to any ARPG fan, though.

  10. Luc says

    (Ignore the above post: Many people said what I said before I said it, although I am still interested in Derrick's view on the matter.)

  11. Blah says

    "He's also being revisionist when he says all the complaints before release/early on were directed to the RMAH."

    Yeah, that would be really impressive considering (unless I'm horribly misremembering things, always a possibility) the RMAH didn't launch until weeks after D3 was out.

  12. says

    @Blah, it was known that the RMAH was coming well before the game's launch. And there was a lot of chatter about it. Especially from games journalism.

    However, there was plenty of talk about the other auction house, just not in those "lofty" circles.

  13. Derrick says

    I really like Path of Exile. Like Grandy said, it's a bit quirky… but I like it overall. I'm pretty wary of ftp games in general but it's definitely got potential.

  14. says

    FWIW Path of Exile's freemiumness largely revolves around cosmetic stuff and inventory upgrades. Existing stash is generous – 4 big tabs. You can keep adding them, and then buy special filters for tabs. They're doing it the right way I think.

    PoE's passive skill tree is rather daunting (and I still don't think theyr'e doing anyone any favors with that interface), however it gives a lot of build flexibility. More than D3.

  15. Ranulfo says

    "But he did shay that the team is working on a viable solution,"

    Yeah, no shit its called D3 on the PS3 with no AH and no always online DRM. Which means you blizz guys were lying the whole damn time. It was always about the RMAH and DRM.

    Gameplay videos came out last week.

  16. princessartemis says

    I have to agree with Grandy. If there was an economy problem in D2, it was utterly ignorable. I only ever played multiplayer by connecting directly to my friends, and I never encountered the problem D3 has with finding my own stuff.

    Blizzard would find it far easier to shut down the AH if they retuned the item drops as if it didn't exist, made base items strong enough to be viable, and narrowed the ranges on how affixes can roll. As it is, the reason people use it is because it's far too difficult to find something useful on one's own; when the rare weapons that drop the majority of the time in Inferno wouldn't be useful in Hell, there is a problem!

  17. Blah says

    For what it's worth, Diablo III was pretty fun for the…playthrough and a half that I played it. I never got into DII so I didn't go in with the expectation that I'd be playing DIII four hours a day three years from now, and I just don't have enough free time/willpower to grind out the harder difficulties.

    I know, it's me, I'm the problem with the games industry.

  18. says

    FWIW, I just sourced discussions about the impact of the gold auction house dated to 8/16/2011 on Qt3 at Qt3.

    That is how hard I rock.

  19. AK says

    Yeah, D3's problems were visible from the outside, so I really wonder how they didn't see them coming.

    I liked Torchlight, but something about Torchlight 2 just didn't grab me. I played it for like 10 minutes then moved on. Path of Exile though – that shit's addictive.

  20. kmc says

    I played the crap out of Torchlight, and now I've played two craps and half a shit out of Torchlight II, but I keep finding myself missing the scenery and pacing of the first one. As far as DIII, I played the beta like crazy and then actually played the game a fair amount as I had just had a baby and it's a game you can easily play during your middle-of-the-night nursing hours. But I just woke up one day and never logged on again. TLII scratches all my itches for those kinds of games. As for my husband, once he finishes the story on one character, he's usually done with Diablo-like games, so we did DIII, then TLII, and now we're on to Titan Quest. When it comes down to it, I guess I'm not particularly picky.

  21. Will Nobilis says

    The crazy skill tree in Path of Exile is one of the reasons I just signed up. Thanks G Thompson.

  22. slambie says

    I really despise Blizzard for the steaming pile they made of DIII. I played through 2.5 levels of difficultly before soul-sucking boredom and complete disinterest hit. The entire game is designed to drive people to the auction houses. At the upper difficulty levels, the only time I got a gear upgrade for my main toon was through an auction house purchase. And with the staggering amount of stat variablilty combined with no gear comparison tool (at the time I was playing), 50% of the time what looked like an upgrade purchased from the AH turned out to be not. They basically removed all the fun from the loot pinata killing that was DI and II and turned DIII into a gold farming app.

    Per a Blizzard shareholder friend who attended a shareholder meeting just prior to the the RMAH release, Blizzard execs were rubbing their hands together with glee over how much revenue this feature was going to bring in, so I look askance at any comments from the company that is what they expected to happen: "only a small percentage of players would use it and that the price of items would limit how many were listed and sold."

  23. Incunabulum says

    For me the AH is what killed the game. It was getting my DH all the way to the end, fighting Diablo for an ungodly amount of time (I was pretty squishy, specializing in traps and such) and then, after gettinmg him down to less then 10% health, almost done, lag death.

    After that I said screw it, uninstalled the game and have never looked back.

  24. Joe R says

    As one of those odd people still playing, and who keeps going back…

    I do wonder why Jay Wilson's opinion on this matters, seeing that he resigned months ago. Whether he was forced to or did so of his own accord is something I'm not sure we outsiders can know, but either way, I question the validity of anything he says at this point in regards to the game.

    FWIW, I actually liked the idea of the AH, but not that it has so severely hampered the self-found gear progression. Blizz has said they're going to be revamping items sometime after next patch, so maybe early summer we'll see some compelling reasons for more people to want to come back.

  25. Phillip says

    You know, they could've avoided that if Blizzard had any experience running a successful MMO.

  26. Andy (not Andy) says

    I've tried PoE, but, it just doesn't grab me.

    I liked the addition of Monster Power in patch 1.07 of D3, as I was one of those people who always played D2 solo on players-8. I still play D3 solo, and the always-online doesn't bother me a bit. I ignore the AH, gamble at the Blacksmith, and have fun with it, usually on MP10.

    I think where the AH really hurt was when people would buy up good gear for their level, then when they actually played, that made it hard to get drops that were upgrades; i.e. they screwed themselves, and didn't even understand why.

    There's also a subclass of people who somehow expected D3 to get update content and patches like an MMO. Not sure what they were smoking.

  27. Todd S. says

    I'm still playing, and have logged over 1,000 hours of D3 at this point. While the AH had (and has) a huge impact on the game, I never felt like it "ruined" it. I'm not dismissing it-I realize that with drop rates nerfed it killed the fun for some people. And there's still issues around itemization, character customization, and monster density. But each patch has made the game a little better and I enjoy most evenings chatting with friends over Teamspeak while farming Act 3 for new shinies.

    To pile on a bit, there were plenty of problems with the game at launch where you just scratch your head and wonder what the developers were thinking. As time has passed they've made many changes that emulate Diablo 2-so why did they feel like it was necessary to re-invent the wheel? Still, there are also several things Blizzard implemented in D3 that work better than D2, and the gameplay is fast and fun. I'd be surprised if I don't log another 1,000 hours.

    I will probably check out PoE at some point, but Wasteland 2 and Elder Scrolls Online are likely the next games that will get a lot of my attention.

    If any Popehat readers are interested in D3 grouping, drop a line here and we'll get some games going. I usually play 9PM – midnight Eastern.

  28. princessartemis says

    I still play, usually solo, but if you don't mind a quiet tagger on (I don't do well with voice chat, though might be convinced to try it sometime), I'm in Pacific time, usually play in the evenings. Hit me up at PAV#1876.

    I'm also giving PoE a look; just tried it yesterday. That skill grid! Someone played too much Final Fantasy X!

  29. Schmeeling says

    Best thread ever.

    I read Popehat for all of the thoughtful grown-up legal stuff. Then I send kids to bed and sneak in an hour of TLII. Thought I was alone living some sordid double-life: middle-aged thoughtful breadwinner by day, gamer by…

    Holy cow! I'm not alone ?!?!?

  30. Andy (not Andy) says

    Not at all. I'm 43, and an IT professional (security) by day, gamer by night, instead of TV. TLII, D3, SC2, Harpoon (naval sim), Civ 5, etc. I'm pretty much over my MMO days, though. Don't want to concentrate on one game to the exclusion of everything else anymore.