Diablo 3 and Real Money Trading


Diablo 3 was discussed over the weekend and the Internet exploded in rageful concern when these three main changes were announced:

  1. Diablo 3 will require an always-on internet connection ala Starcraft 2.
  2. No modifications will be allowed
  3. There will be a real-money trade auction house.

I am assuming that the need for an internet connection to play at all, (as well as the modification ban) stems from security issues associated with the including real-life currency in the game. Or perhaps, it could be thinly veiled DRM plus Blizzard pushing their real ID social networking bit. If I recall correctly, the Diablo franchise has never been all that big on modding, certainty not in comparison to their other franchise (Warcraft and StarCraft). It’s worth noting that I have a reliable internet connection (knocks on wood) and had only ever intended to play Diablo 3 online (yay co-op). Thus, I could care less about needing a persistent internet connection since it does not affect my style of play. That said, what’s wrong with having an offline only mode ala Diablo 2, as lon gas players are sufficiently warned that the offline-mode characters can never be ported over to bnet?

Blizzard has been fighting the good fight against gold selling/trading and I guess if you can’t beat it, you may as well legalize and tax it. This announcement wasn’t all that surprising. It’s not as if RMT did not exist in Diablo 2; It was fairly rampant and to be honest, had a low to non-existent impact on my gaming experience (from what I remember). They may as well offer a legit channel for real money transactions as a legal alternative to any number of shady 3rd party sites (that may result in a ban or being outright scammed). If you don’t like it, then ignore it.

But that said, I wonder how RMT will affect the game’s atmosphere and culture? Any drama with loot gets ugly fast; I imagine real money magnifying the drama by at least 100 fold. *shudder*. I can’t put my finger on it, but real money trading feels sleazy. There’s nothing explicitly wrong with it, but it feels taboo and dirty. Part of me feels as if it moves Diablo 3 one step away from being a game and one step closer to being an occupation. Despite what I have said, I kind of still don’t like it.

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