Blizzard recently announced plans to shutter both the gold and real money auction houses in Diablo III. The decision comes as the company prepares to release the game’s first expansion – Reaper of Souls – which features a revised loot system, among other things.
In a blog post on Battle.net, Diablo III production director John Hight said they initially designed and implemented the auction houses to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. Despite the benefits of the system and the fact that many people around the world use it, Hight said it ultimately undermined the game’s core task of killing monsters to collect loot.
I was immediately turned off by the idea of the auction houses when I first started playing the game. Just as Hight said, having the ability to obtain the best gear money can buy certainly takes away from the fun of hunting down loot on your own. I stayed away from the shops as long as possible but eventually I had to cave in as the group I played with online all had very high level gear and I didn't.
Loot drops in the revised system known as Loot 2.0 will be less frequent as to not constantly fill a player’s bag with items they don’t care about. Instead, drops will be better suited to the class they drop for and the odds of getting a worthwhile item will also increase.
The company is currently ironing out the details but the auction house shutdowns will occur on March 18, 2014.