Josh Mosqueira (Game Director) and John Hight (Production Director) appeared on video to announce the Auction House and Real Money Auction House will be shutdown on March 18, 2014.
Team 3 wants to preserve the integrity of Diablo III which is to kill monsters and to be rewarded in-game with the best items.
This was something that could be seen coming considering the PlayStation 3 version lacks an Auction House and when Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was announced at GamesCom -- Loot 2.0 gave a glimpse of things to come.
There are many questions about this decision no doubt. Will there be a way to trade items Diablo II style or else?
Will the third-party market thrive or will Blizzard implement ways to prevent it?
The removal of the Auction House and Loot 2.0 will definitely change and redefine the Diablo III experience for many players. Check out our GamesCom 2013 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls panel videos.
During the video, John Hight says a cryptic message: "We'll be giving you more information down the road, but for now we want you to know that both the real money auction house and the gold auction house will be shut down on March 18, 2014. That should give you plenty of time to settle your affairs and be ready to play Diablo III without the Auction House."
If we decompile that sentence, it is hiding something. It implies something. How can you be ready to play Diablo III without the Auction House if the Auction House is still operational until that date? Does that make any sense?
The way I read it is ... that very soon Blizzard Entertainment will deploy a patch with Loot 2.0, and other systems while keeping the Auction House operational until March 18 -- so that players get used to not using the Auction House because they will be getting even better rewards with Loot 2.0.
That's what makes sense to me in that sentence. During our GamesCom 2013 interview with Josh Mosqueira and Kevin Martens -- they revealed these systems will be released in a patch for free for the core Diablo III game, before Reaper of Souls goes live.
We already know that you are going to patch Loot 2.0 before the expansion gets released. Are you considering to add any other features like the Paragon 2.0, and such before the expansion is ready?
[bluepost]Josh: Yea, we are considering all of the features, and tinker out which is more appropriate. Anything that is broadly systemic like that tends to be added in the game anyway. There is no reason for us not to give it up free. Probably a lot of more stuff will be free before the expansion goes live.[/bluepost]
To add more depth to my speculation, just a couple of weeks ago, Josh Mosqueira teased in Twitter the following:
[bluepost]Josh: Release day!!! Welcome to Hell console players… stay a while and button mash. Fret not PC loyalists, lots of surprises inbound… soon.[/bluepost]
I don't know about you, but conspiracy theories should be popping everywhere. According to John Hight you will have time to settle your affairs and be ready to play Diablo III without the Auction House. And two weeks ago Josh mentions lots of surprises for PC players soon. To me this sounds like Loot 2.0 is going live very soon. Likely shortly after BlizzCon (November 8-9).
That would give players a taste of the new systems, and feel less compelled to use the Auction House which might have a slow death until March 18th.
What do you think? Will Loot 2.0 be with us long before March 18th? Do you welcome the removal of the AH?