Blizzard has re-opened up the lucrative commodities market in the Diablo 3 real-money auction house, but has temporarily held off on allowing players
to trade gold outright.
In the newly implemented Patch 1.0.3b
week, Blizzard allows players to get back to trading their commodities such as dyes, crafting materials, blacksmithing plans, jeweler designs and
pages of training. Prior to this patch update, only weapons, armor and other equipment could be traded and sold between players.
The commodities market was opened after the Diablo 3 launch but was temporarily closed down
due to the tremendous traffic that bogged down the system. Blizzard has since made hardware and software improvements that
will accommodate the huge demand for commodities trading without ruining the gameplay experience with lags and bugs.
The Impact on RMT Sellers
For RMT sellers, the opening of the commodities trading market leans has positive or negative implications depending on their business models. RMT
sellers with in-house farming operations can start selling commodities for real cash, supplementing their income from Gold sales on their websites. On
the other hand, Gold sales might weaken as customers divert their purchases to commodities, which are arguably more useful for powering up.
Commodities are the main ingredients for crafting, and many crafted weapons compete with rare drop items in power levels.
The Threat of Player-to-Player Gold Trading
Even though commodities trading might dent Gold sales in RMT shops, the greatest threat is still looming: The opening of gold trading in Diablo 3. By
allowing players to sell gold directly to one another, Blizzard effectively cuts off the middleman role of RMT sellers, converting each Diablo 3
player into a potential Gold seller. This will undoubtedly flood the market with Gold and drive down prices, whichaccording to our official tracker
currently stand at $166.63 per 50
The end result: RMT sellers lose their high margins and patrons, while Blizzard rakes in the profits.
The immense profit Blizzard stands to gain in the gold trading market is probably the reason why it is taking due time before rolling out the feature.
“We had to keep commodity trading inactive longer than anticipated in order to add the hardware and system optimizations necessary to handle the
overwhelming popularity of the gold auction house, and the number of trades that resulted,” said community manager Kaviax.
A consoling thought for RMT sellers is that maybe the market for Gold selling will be big enough for everyone, although even that is being put under
serious question, as more
players stop playing (and spending on) the game
due to a supposedlack of
and a disappointing item system
About the Author: Frank
Frank is MBX's resident virtual currency researcher who takes charge of gathering information and data about the current status of the virtual game economy. Frank has been working with MMOBUX since its establishment back in 2006, observing the supply and demand for the virtual cash. In doing so, Frank published several articles online such as: The competition for Diablo 3 gold and items, the implementation of BitCoins or the increased demand for gold after the game adopts the free-2-play model.