Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flat fee in D3 RMAH

As you might heard there will be a flat fee on the Real money auction house. You must pay it when listing. The official reason is to stop people spamming the RMAH with crap. However the reason is irrelevant for us, the important thing is the existence of this fee.

This fee makes listing of low value items pointless. However we don't have to give up on trading these. That's what the gold AH is for. I think many people will ignore the gold AH as "RMAH is the real game". However you can trade gold on the RMAH, so there is no point ignoring the gold and the gold AH. We can get lot of gold listing various low-cost items and then cash our gold in one big purchase.

It is also possible that certain players (or their parents) refuse to use the RMAH. They can only list what they find on the gold AH. You can buy these things up and sell it on the RMAH, if gold itself is undervalued.

So there is no reason to post anything on the RMAH but large quantities of gold, large stack of tradeskill stuff and expensive items. Everything else belongs to the gold AH.

I think the question who makes the more $ in D3 will be decided here, and not at the RMAH. That's just for cashing out our gold.


Anonymous said...

The question is:
Will people need to buy gold?
If they can directly get the best trough money i don't see incentitive to change currency into gold

Lars Norberg said...

This is how I perceive the situation as well.

I'll pretty much be doing the same things in D3 as I am doing in WoW. All my AH-strategies will be at the gold AH. While the actual gold - and some very rare items if I should come across those - will be sold at the money AH.

I can't really see any other profitable options here. The flat fee really makes it impossible to control or create any sort of market for anything but gold and the most expensive items at the money AH. Because very few people will be willing to dish out a lot of small money fees.

So basically what Blizzard has created is a way for players to sell and buy gold from each other.

Am I right?

Antivyris said...

Actually, here is where some working knowledge of playing Diablo 2 comes into play. On the legitimate item buying sites, specific items sold often and like hotcakes. These specific items were not the end-game best items. They were the mid-grade level 40-60 items designed for MFing. If you don’t know what MFing is, then likely you are going to make wildly wrong assumptions about D3.

MF, or MagicFind, increases your chance to get higher quality items. In wow terms, You can actually influence the quality of an item, and with enough MF that blue would have been a purple. These items will likely sell often and fast, as everyone from the casual to the M&S will thing ‘Hey, if I have the right MF, I can just farm my awesome items!’ Liken this to people thinking if they farm materials that they are free.

Unlike WoW, armor and items in Diablo can last 20+ or more levels, so having a good set of level 30-70 gear is what gets people willing to open their wallets. Many people I know that played D2 bought the 20$ ‘Magic Find Starter Set’ full of all the mid-grade magic find uniques, rares, and crafted items. I will likely do the same, since these will sell about as fast as a bloodthirsty pyrium armor set. The trick will be pricing.

Ferrel said...

I'm still all for this. I think you had a lot of this going on in Diablo II anyway. Why not use it as an extra avenue for funds?

I actually like the minimum listing fee idea but I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense. I suppose Blizzard is going for the idea that the RMAH is for "elite" caliber goods only.

Steven Riniker said...

I expect the most in demands items to ONLY be on the RMAH. Reason, AH businesses will have lots of gold. AND Will have bots(or cheap labor) searching the Gold AH all the time; as soon as in demand item is posted on the Gold AH at near market value it will be bought. Leaving only very overpriced items. Then the AH business can list on the RMAH for the equivalent of the gold overpriced items he didn’t buy (to market to people that have money than gold). Or try to control supply and thus price on the RMAH. That is buy EVERY (very rare so think ~three) "windforce bow" off the gold AH (for $100 in gold). Post 1 windforce bow on the RMAH for $300 (sell the rest later or trash em).

More people(casual) will list in the Gold AH (to avoid RM fees), thus supply is higher in the Gold AH and thus the price in gold is cheaper. Problem is business will find the “underpriced” items first.

Gold will be an ever increasing commodity. Thus ever losing of value. Thus most busnness will try to deal mostly in Cash. If in demand items are posted on the Gold AH it will be by a business and priced over the current gold exchange rate. To 1) drive more business to the RMAH, 2)Sell it for more than its RMAH value to someone who is unwilling to deal in RM.

Due to the RM fee the RMAH players will find niches. There will be much less competition from sellers as less causal players are willing to risk real money for unsold auctions (or link bank info)When people can't find what they "need" on the gold AH they will go to the RMAH (buy with a credit card). AKA: More buyers than sellers. Larger divide than the RM AH will have.

To sum it up instead of buying all the essences in WoW and relisting them at 2-5x market value. People will buy out all the essences in gold (for like $5 worth of gold) and relist them all on the RMAH for $20. If they happen to be the only seller than $50.

However, less rare items will be cheaper on the RMAH, due to less demand. These less rare items will become the “what gear can you get without going to the RMAH” post on blogs. They will be very highly priced on the Gold AH, because everyone, plus everyone the refuses to use the RMAH wants them. Thus Cash>Gold, people willing to use RM will be able to get them cheaper. All I am saying is people that are willing to pay more RM for very rare items, than they are for less rare items. There will be people that will lol at people that pay RM for craft goods, but accept that the only place to get certain best in class weapons is the RMAH.

It will take a long time before people think goal=RM in their heads.

Lars Norberg said...


My theory, and I'm basing this partly on knowledge about how people think when it comes to money and gold, and partly on my experience from Diablo 2.

As Oscella said, it's not the best items that we would sell for money that is going to be the moneymakers. Nor is it what people will mostly be buying. In all games I've played, in all economies, even in RL from my consumer electronics sales experience, what sells the most and the best, are the good mid-grade items. The best of the mediocre. And with the flat fee at the AH, I don't see these being posted in large amounts at the money AH.

Since every auction will have a fee, a real money fee, we will only be posting things that we are very certain will sell. At least I will. I won't gamble with my money. Very rare items will always sell, because the people that want "the best", want it no matter what. And gold will always sell, given it's the right quantity. Because gold is the key to save time in these games. And time is the most valuable currency we have.

So my point is that the money AH won't have everything people need, and even the richest people in the world will need actual gold to get by in the game. Gevlin is as far as I can see totally right in his predictions here. The normal gold AH will be our playground. The money AH is where we cash it in for money, as well as sell the few collector's items we come across.

Also, gold is needed for far more than simply buying gear. Even in the world of Diablo.

And on a funny sidenote, I didn't know the term "MFing". I thought something dirty, of course! :) But yeah, I do know what it is. D2 had a very different loot and drop system from what WoW has. And from what I've been able to decrypt from the D3 forums, it's the same now.

For those that have NO idea, some of the main differences are:
- Everything is as close to totally random as you can get. You don't have limited exact loot tables per mob.
- The drop chance of magic items and even gold can be manipulated by having charms or items that increase the chances in your inventory
- Pretty much nothing binds on pickup. Since this is an instanced game, where the only ones except you in your world are the people you invite, BoP is a meaningless concept. The only way to get a lot of items, is by trading with other players.

We traded in D2. Now we get an AH to automate the process. Still the same thing though.

I3ig Al said...

Hey Gevlon just adding a bit, Blizzard said during Blizzcon that you will be allowed a few free posts on the RMAH each week, just to get your feet wet and see how it works without getting burned on fees over and over again.

This lines up pretty well with the strategy myself and others will be using; make big gold on the regular AH, sell it in large batches on the RMAH, along with whatever high end rares we find.

Ry said...

I don't think D3 will be quite as bot-plagued as D2 and WoW are today. We're not just playing with gold anymore; now that real money's in the equation, Blizzard has a very solid incentive to actually start banning the shit out of botters, instead of letting them run roughshod over the economy.

Steven Riniker said...

Nothing can be known until the fees are firm.

If the gold AH has a precentage fee (say 15%) that would mean the more gold something sells for the more the business losses to the void of blizzard for that one sale.

If the RMAH has a flat fee and the gold AH is a precentage than there will be a threshold where the sellers on the RMAH are at an advantage. For an item to make the business the same amount of money on the gold AH it would have to have a markup to account for any difference in fees. Pretty much if the value of something is equal to $20.
1)Via direct player 2 player trade you would expect to pay $20
2)From the gold AH you would expect to pay $20+sellers fee = $23 (at 15%).
3) From the RM AH you would expect to pay $20+flat fee.
If the flat fee rate was $1 the RMAH seller could list for $22 and make a larger profit while undercutting the Gold AH seller (better for the buyer and seller). If the flat fee rate was $5 dollars the RMAH becomes pointless for cheaper auctions. That is at a $1 flat fee anything that sells for over $7 could be sold cheaper on the RMAH, if the flat fee was $5 the break point is around $34. A $.50 flat fee around $3. Think, where does blizzard stand to make more money, from people listing and selling auctions with a high fee, or the fee being cheap enough for people feel fine with relisting auctions multiple times?

I also think the gold supply will always be saturated. Your only way of being able to "cash out" being to sell into a satuarted market, isn't a good position. Businesses will end up with more gold inflow than the RMAH demand will account for. Unless you deeply undercut your "cash out" lisiting it will be undercut. Pretty much selling gold on the D3 RMAH will be like selling your used games to gamestop - the lazy way to "cash out."