Early Days of the Economy [Diablo 3]

The world of Sanctuary is an inhospitable place.

Every corner is filled with the denizens of evil, eager to tear its citizens limb from limb, or defile their corpses in horrific rituals.

Fortunately for the locals, powerful armaments of every kind are randomly distributed throughout in the wild, waiting to be revealed. Every barrel, every pile of bones, every slightly suspicious-looking bush can conceal an epic instrument of the heavens. Tens of thousands of items and millions of gold pieces all rain from the sky on a daily basis.

Indeed the abundance of such rewards and the ease of trade between players have led to a number of commenters suggesting that the Diablo 3 economy is currently in a bad way.

The fact that weapons and armor do not degrade are being used and sold on endlessly means that Auction House prices are in a downward spiral. It is now far cheaper to buy an item rather than craft it through the random blacksmithing process and it makes better financial sense to vendor magic items rather than salvage them for crafting materials.

In addition, many of the Legendary items, the ultra-rate, highly desirable status symbols and weapons of great power,  are in fact badly itemized and therefore less beneficial to players than their more common equivalents.

Of course, we are still in the early days of the game economy, with the Real Money Auction House yet to be launched and the majority of players yet to reach the higher levels of difficulty. Nevertheless I believe that Blizzard needs to take a look at the crafting game to ensure that it has a value to player – or just make it more fun if it isn’t intended to be a proper source of items. They could also consider methods for limiting trades (say an item could be exchanged a maximum of 3 times) or having items destroyed after 60 days.

Otherwise overabundant supply and rampant price erosion will render all items virtually worthless; a thought scarier for Sancturarians than the aforementioned demonic hordes…

About bernardparsnip

Gamer, Blogger, Poet
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2 Responses to Early Days of the Economy [Diablo 3]

  1. Professer says:

    Online game economies never do well. Most games aren’t designed to support a thriving economy, excluding some sandboxes, and are plagued with inflation and other problems.

    Did no one else see this coming from afar? I mean, gear doesnt degrade…

  2. Agreed – the economy needs to be a core part of your online game with considerations as to how supply and demand will vary over time. Too often this is added on as an extra.

    I would however suggest that Eve Online offers a counter example of an economy done right.

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