From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Blizzard have announced the end of their real money auction house for Diablo 3. After a slow-motion train-wreck of announcements followed by a less than stellar response to the game (on PC), Blizzard have finally faced up to the reality of their mistakes with this game.
I think the final straw were all those reviews for the console version of Diablo 3, which had a far different reception. Reviews praised it for two things – the great control system which really worked for the console version, and its missing features. Yes, it seems strange that reviews should praise a game for what isn’t there, but that is what happened with Diablo 3. No auction house to destroy the pacing of the game, and a loot system that drops items you may actually want to use were two “innovations” seen in the console update that were’t present in the PC release.
While it would be better has this whole debacle never happened, it is positive to see a company finally listen to what its customers are saying, and move to provide the kind of experience people expect. The auction house is going, with six months’ notice so no one should be taken by surprise. Those who will miss the online shopping experience previously provided in Diablo 3 will find something from Zynga to please them. Those of us who were expecting a game may like to see next March as the real release date.
There’s been no announcement on the auction house’s companion, the always online play requirement. This is probably less popular than the auction house was, and is yet another “feature” that reviewers were praising Blizzard for dropping for the console release. The history has been amusing. The announcement was made like it was no big deal, tantamount to saying Diablo 3 would feature monsters to kill. Then it was to protect us all from the hackers. On release the game was hacked to pieces by people eager to strip players of their loot and take it to the auction house. Apparently we were supposed to expect this. Hmm.
With the real money auction house going, it would be nice to see the online requirement go too. Then Diablo 3 would be a game I may buy.