Both gold and real money systems will be totally purged from the game.
Writing on Blizzard’s official blog, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls production director John Hight has revealed that come 18 March 2014 both in-game gold and real money Auction Houses will be eliminated from Diablo III.
“It became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we’ve decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.”
The source of much controversy amongst Diablo fans, Auction Houses effectively destroyed the traditional loot system that many Diablo veterans loved in games.
Originally intended as a way players could trade items, Auction Houses quickly became a meta-game where players could easily acquire epic and legendary items for cash. Rather than obtaining the best gear through skill or dedication, anyone with a credit card could posture as a Diablo champion.
Many players turned their backs on the series, accusing Blizzard of introducing a pay to win route to the endgame. They were further irritated by news that console ports were playable offline, and had abolished the Auction House feature completely.
The announcement coincides with revelations that the Reaper of Souls expansion intends to redesign the loot system. “Loot 2.0” is being touted as “a much more rewarding game experience”. The system will have fewer items, but more of them will be be legendary or epic.
Blizzard are hoping Reaper of Souls will be a fresh start for the notorious hack n’ slash adventure.