The anticipation I felt during the lead up to Diablo III’s release was exactly as intense as I thought it would be.  It was something I had been waiting for forever!  One of the features I was most excited about was the auction house.  The idea that I could sell all my stuff and buy all the things I wanted was enchanting.  But alas, that dream never came to fruition.  The AH is a bust, and Blizzard seems to have figured that out, because on March 18th, 2014, the auction house will be closing its doors for good. 

At first it seemed as though the AH was going to be everything I imagined it would be, but it didn’t take long to realize that something was wrong.  The exorbitant cost of great items wasn’t what bothered me, it was the fact that in order to even come close to affording these items I had to farm for gold at a furious and relentless pace.  I was spending all my time doing runs that would net me the most amount of gold, all while scooping up every single rare item that dropped just so I could sell it to a vendor for quick cash.  Why sell?  Because nothing that dropped was worth using!
Diablo-3-Massive-LootIn Diablo I & II you would spend your time doing runs in hopes that a great item might drop, but with Diablo III runs became a second job, scrounging for every last penny.  In the previous Diablo games, even if you didn’t need a great item that happened to drop you could trade with someone for something you did need.  And while you still can do that now, with the best items people find going up on the AH for literally billions of gold, I still spend all my time on trying to find gold to afford stuff on the AH. 
Where has all the fun gone of dropping an item, putting it on, seeing it help even a little, and spending the rest of the night aglow with accomplishment?  The game itself has become simply a tool to spend time scouring the AH for items I hope to afford in the future.  And now that I’ve geared up my characters mostly from the AH, I don’t have any sense of accomplishment from spending countless hours playing the game. 
The other problem with the AH is how it effected the drops themselves.  With so many items flooding the AH from the millions of people playing twenty-four hours a day, dropping really great items just doesn’t happen.  I’ve gotten more gold selling unidentified items on the Trade Channel than from selling fairly good identified versions of the same item on the AH.  How does that make any sense?  No matter how good the item I drop is there are dozens of godlier versions on the AH that go for silly amounts of gold.  In the last several months I’ve dropped one set of shoulders that was better than what I’d already spent millions of gold on from the AH.  There’s something seriously wrong with that. 
So I think the decision to get rid of the AH is great, and in conjunction with Loot 2.0, I really think we’re going to see Diablo III return to the loot-based scrounge-fest the Diablo games have always been, and no longer be just a quest for the all-mighty gold piece.  
image source: [easydiablo3]