Diablo III Update Gives Crafting A Higher Purpose, Lessens Auction House Requirement
The crafting system in Diablo III has been granted a higher purpose in the game’s latest update.
A vast majority of high level Diablo III players acquire their weapons, armor, and assortment of equipment from the auction house—more so than they do from anywhere else.
Rather than naturally acquiring their gear through normal play, players are more or less encouraged to peruse the game's auction house for the best equipment possible. This is due in part to the rarity of the items you need for your character class. Often times, the items you acquire through normal play are either substandard or don't particularly fit your character build.
As such, players are given the option to use the auction house to find equipment most suitable for their character class and pay for it with in-game gold, or real money. The issue has been a point of contention for many Diablo purists, who find the addition of the auction house a detriment to the game's core mechanics, as it throws a wrench into the game's balance and difficulty. Without equipping the best items, it can be almost impossible for any traditionally geared character to make any progress in the game's hardest difficulty mode, Inferno. The bar is substantially lower when equipping items acquired through the auction house.
Blizzard is aware of the problem, and they intend to do something about it through the implementation of the game's new and improved crafting system.
"We don’t really like that, for most players, all of your current gear is very likely to be something you’ve found on the Auction House,” said senior designer Andrew Chambers. “This can create a situation where it doesn’t feel like you “own” the gear you’ve obtained; instead, it feels like you are renting it."
"Making the new crafted items account bound was done for one very distinct reason: to give players more incentives to play the game rather than the Auction House," added designer Travis Day. "Something we discuss frequently is how the Auction House has impacted the game and how we can refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters.
“Demonic Essence was made account bound to encourage players who wish to create the new items to play the game instead of simply going to the Auction House and buying all the mats necessary to mass produce the items.
“For that same reason we wanted the product of the recipes to be account bound as well. We want players to not only find or produce their own items more often but also diminish the impact the Auction House has on the game, and we felt like this was a good opportunity to take our first steps in that direction.”
The designers were answering questions posed to them by the Diablo III community through the studio's new "Ask a Dev" monthly Q&A session. The rest of their responses can be found on the game's official forums.
More changes and improvements are expected to be made to the crafting system, which will see the addition of even more account-bound recipes in the near future. The first changes to the crafting system are now online with the release of Diablo III's 1.0.8 title update.