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Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Hardcore Real Money Auction House?

Jay Wilson hinted at the possibility of a Hardcore Real Money Auction house being introduced if players want it. And it's sparked passionate debate.

It's a fascinating debate and I can see both sides of it.

Would a RMAH make the game less hardcore? Would it make it lose its credibility. Credibility is personal and subjective. When I played Diablo 2 hardcore I played with a no-dupe legit community. We did trade but only if someone in the commmunity we trusted said that they had found it in game. Especially rare drops were often screenshotted. I have never seen anyone from our community with an Enigma or a Zod.

So to us all the Hardcore people in the general population with their Storm Shaft Gaze or Enigmas or all wearing the same godly classic rare dual leech ring were not truly hardcore. We differentiated ourselves from them.

However there were even more radical ways to play. Not just hardcore but notwink or ironman or naked or even more than one of those restrictions. And I did some of that in static groups and it was fun too. There were also so wonderful mods that could be extremely difficult.

But I draw the line at stating I was a better person than someone who traded in public channels and used Maphack. Just because I used a set of values to enhance my playing experience didn't mean that they were moral values.

In the same way that people who do three-legged races have no moral right to assert superiority over 100m sprinters people who make the game more challenging by accepting certain limitations have no moral right to feel superior.

Is it like taking sports enhancing drugs illegally to win an event?

It's really not. Diablo isn't the Olympics. It isn't even an E-sport. If they introduced a HC RMAH it wouldn't be illegal, it wouldn't be done in secret, it wouldn't pressurise young people to take highly damaging drugs so they could perform now suffer later.

It's only a competitive game if you make it one, if your desire to be better than other people dominates your view of the game.

"You're not a real sprinter if you don't tie one leg to another person!"

For most players what you do and how you play wouldn't change. If you want to play no-twink or no AHing or ironman then your game experience wouldn't alter at all except for your relative power compared to other players. Does it really matter to you if you join a game and - gasp! - you're not the best character? It sounds a little egotistical.

For me I don't worry about which one of us is killing the most as long as I'm keeping up with the pace and doing a share, even if a small one of the killing. If I'm playing with friends and we're winning I'm having fun.

I do like challenge and that's why I played Hardcore D2 solidly for 2 years. Guardian of each class, yada yada.

But I have an issue with hardcore in Diablo 3.

The problem for me is that there's a chance, even if it's a small chance of finding something amazing and selling it for a big chunk of real money - in softcore. If I played hardcore I'd be thinking "what if that Windforce drops?" See in HC it would be just a toy, in SC it would be a holiday in Spain.

So for me, although I'm a high achiever player who relishes challenge and preferred D2 hardcore. I'll be playing D3 as Softcore because I can get real money. It won't dominate my game or make me have less fun. I'll still give drops to my friends that I play with if it's an upgrade.

And of course if HC RMAH does come in I'll switch over in a shot.
It's possible to be social and put your friends first, to be achievement-oriented and relish a challenge, to be good at the game but not mind if other people are successful too without being opposed to the HC RMAH.

At the end of the day, whatever they call permadeath mode in this game the real hardcore players are those who make enough playing Diablo 3 to give up the day job. Everyone else is just an amateur.

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