I bought it, and although I'm only level 40 on one character so far, and still having fun, I think my predictions about what the AH would do to the game are going to hold true.
I hate to rain on anyone's feel-good parade, but bottom line is the challenge and mystery of finding drops that advance your character and keep you coming back for more is gone.
It is now all about farming gold so that you can go to the auction house and pick and choose items to upgrade your character with. I personally enjoy this in general, but it definitely takes some immersion and fun out of the game. And as for the people that do not like auction houses, this could be a game breaker.
The chance of getting a very good rare drop that is going to advance your character has proven to be so minuscule that it only took me about 25 levels to realize that if I wanted to advance at a steady rate I had to go into the AH and find some gear (being that success is so heavily gear-dependent).
As I just mentioned, success is so heavily gear dependent (which I have no problem with), and when I can just go farm some gold and find a helm selling for 20,000 that increases my life by 600 and my damage by 200, where's the fun in that? (For most players.. As I said before, I am mixed on the AH. It's fun for me to look for deals and sell stuff, but it also takes something out of the game for me).
I have noticed that most of the time, gear that drops in a given act is more appropriate for a character that is currently in the act or two before. I think this, combined with the low percentage of high quality yellow drops drives people to the auction house (which, of course Blizzard has intended all along so they can get a piece of the gold-farmers pie). They made very good rare drops much harder to find, knowing that with thousands upon thousands of people playing the game, there will still be a large market for great rare drops, but they will not FLOOD the market. Therefore, everyone is going to basically be forced to visit the AH at some point because you just are not going to find upgrades to all of your slots by simply adventuring. I believe this was Blizzard's intent the whole time. Everyone has been complaining about the quality and frequency of great rare drops.. Well, there's a reason that an A+ rare drop is infrequent, and Blizzard knows it.
Overall, fun game but I think the auction house is going to kill it's long-run success. People are not going to feel as immersed. Medieval Ebay..
Last edited by bolinp78; 06-20-2012 at 10:23 AM.