TL;DR: any ingame AH makes the items look too common and less desirable while also ruining drops. "Classic" trading keeps the items looking exciting while allowing you to get them, only ruining the game for the ones who intentionally want to boycott themselves.
I've seen recently many posts across the official forums, this sub and other subs about "fixes" for an eventual AH. Ways to make it more secure, ways to avoid pay2win, etc. However I think that even in a perfect world where there're no bots, security is perfect and so on, having an ingame AH in a Diablo game would still be a bad idea. Not because of how good or bad is the implementation of the AH, but because of the mere fact of being an AH.
In the frequent "trade vs no trade" brawls, we usually see the "Diablo is about getting exciting items, so being able to get it for free or through credit card breaks the purpose of the game". And it's right, however what does make an item "exciting"? In my opinion, the most exciting items are the ones which best meet the requirements of powerful, iconic, fun to play, and scarce.
The basic carrot-stick theory confronts two concepts, the sensation of how hard is getting that reward vs the hope that you can get that reward. So the ideal thing is making the items to look the most scarce possible while at the same time giving you the feeling that you can get them, something that frontally collides, because improving one worsens the other and vice versa. However, and here's the main point I want to bring, an in-game AH is able to worsen both: makes the items look more common while at the same time makes them harder to get, increasing the frustration.
On the one hand, an ingame AH slaps a million copies of every single item into your face, making the item look less scarce to your eyes, immunizing you a bit and making them less exciting, and also unleashing the full power of the offer-demand law, sinking the prices, and making those ultra-rare items being too easy to get, legitly and in a way that's totally intended to be that way. On the other hand, drop rates get dramatically reduced in order to fight that "super-availability", so the game stops giving you carrots… And the few times when you get a carrot, it doesn't taste that good.
If you go to a 3rd party, you're intentionally looking for a shortcut, ruining your own experience on purpose. But if it's ingame, the game was developed to be that way, it's a feature devs put there with that purpose, and when you play a game, you always look for the path of least resistance, it's what's a game is about, doing your best to beat the game, and not using it is like playing wrong on purpose. It's like using a bad build on purpose and refusing to utilize the good ones because they're OP, it's against the nature of playing a game. So once it's inside the game and extremely accesible, it stops crossing the red line of the not allowed stuff and becomes "what you should do".
Meanwhile, "classic" trading fullfills the opposite: lets the items to be scarce enough to never get some of them through drops making them exciting, but lets you still get some of those scarce drops, excellent-tasting carrots, it's just that those carrots are not always for your character, but they allow you getting the carrots suitable for you through going after someone who has them. So you have the illusion of the stick being ultra long, while at the same time you have the sensation of being able to eat the good-tasting carrots.
I believe that trading should be treated like any other feature in the game, it can be overpowered or underpowered, improve or worsen the game. But I think that an ingame AH worsens the game, no matter which implementation you choose.
I know that downvoting is a trend, but please, I don't care if you do it if you give your fair reasons and make it civil.
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© Post "Why I think that an ingame AH is bad “per se”" for game Diablo 3.
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