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The Almighty Buck Games

Auction Houses To Be Removed From Diablo III 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the reversing-course dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Blizzard built Diablo III, one of the controversial features was the inclusion of an auction house for players to buy and sell gear. On one hand, it created a safe environment for trading, which had been rife with scams in Diablo II. On the other hand, gathering loot was one of the main points of the game, and the auction house trivialized that. According to an announcement on Battle.net, both the Real Money auction house and the Gold auction house will be removed from the game as part of Blizzard's revamp of the loot system in Diablo III. The target date is well ahead of us: March 18, 2014. Blizzard said, 'We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.' Unexpected news, to be sure."
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Auction Houses To Be Removed From Diablo III

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  • by ID000001 (753578) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:10PM (#44876281)
    I always thought Auction house is what make Diablo III relevant and rewarding since the game play focus on being grindy. Now that you can no longer exchange gears for actual money, what is the point? Is the game play itself fun enough?
    • by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:15PM (#44876361) Homepage Journal

      The lack of an auction house is what made D2 (and Borderlands) such a success. Precisely that you had to grind endlessly to perhaps get the good stuff gave people a sense of achievement.
      When all anyone needed to do was to flip out the credit card, that disappeared.
      P2W does not give much satisfaction.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:23PM (#44876499)

        P2W does not give much satisfaction.

        You sorely underestimate the super-rich and their ability to derive self-satisfaction from things that involve money. I mean, apart from the fact that they play a P2W game called "real life"...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by flayzernax (1060680)

          Well I can imagine some rich guy with the "best of everything in diablo III" that use to grind in d2, who just logs his computer own to show his friend his shiny virtual pixels and doesn't "play" the game.

          It is better to invest money in an MMO and time into RL endeavors. You can effectively achieve everything in an MMO with a few hard hours of work, rather than years of work. With a little left over to spare for pizza.

          The "achievement" most MMO's provide is just an illusion and it does lead to less producti

      • P2W does not give much satisfaction.

        depends on who you're asking. some people like seeing big numbers and don't care how they got there.

        Grinding for hours only to have the RNG give you something for a completely different class also sucks. Does D3 have a feature like Torchlight, where you can convert rare items from one class into a random rare for your own class?

        • by Steve Humiston (2823879) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @03:13PM (#44877115)
          Yes, it's called trading
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          That makes me think of my gamer customers, they'll spend truly insane amounts of money just to get to the top of some leaderboard which means exactly jack shit when it comes to real world application performance, but they treat those numbers like its some sort of E-peen measuring contest or something.

          as far as you getting stuck with something you can't use? I have to give Gearbox credit as that is one of the nice things about the Borderlands series, any character can use any weapon. sure if I'm playing th

          • by smash (1351)
            Meh. I think the 4 slots is fine. Yeah it sucks having to throw stuff out, but really - if you could keep every legendary you ever found, starting a new character would be no challenge at all. A maximum of 4 slots gives your new character/alt a little bit of a leg up, but you're not going to be a walking death machine right out of the blocks.
            • 4 tabs is a joke. In Path of Exile you can have as many tabs as you can afford, can color code them & name them. Don't under-estimate the ability to organize all your phat loot where a games sole purpose is to collect loot.

              PlugY was a godsend custom plugin for D2 that allowed infinite stash tabs.

              • by smash (1351)
                And? What's your point? Is it a better game because of it? 4 slots is part of the challenge. If you could have unlimited slots it would make running up a second character quite trivial.
      • by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @03:32PM (#44877307)

        This makes an assumption that everyone pulled out a credit card. You can play without it and still get the sense of achievement by grinding, and it's irrelevant what other players are doing (especially if you don't compete against them).

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          You don't need to use a credit card. A small amount of in-game gold was all that was needed to kit your character up to beat Diablo on Inferno.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            But you don't need to do that either. You could just play the game normally.

            • by Altrag (195300)

              Which is where the RNG boss kicks your ass. Based on the drops I was getting, I estimated it would take around a month per act to get good enough gear to progress through the next act (hell mode). Now I'm definitely not a top player so people who are better at dodging crap might not require quite as much gear in order to progress, but it'll still be a hell of a long haul to do what? See the same levels and ending sequence you saw in hell (and nightmare and normal.)

              I personally think Blizzard is doing the

        • by smash (1351)
          Exactly. Depends how YOU play and who you play with. I treat it like a LAN game with friends. That said the whole online only thing can eat a dick.
      • by _UnderTow_ (86073)
        I completely agree with you, D3 lost its luster for me when I realized that getting good gear was trivial done by using the AH. Instead of caring about what dropped, the only metric that seemed to matter was gold farmed per hour.
        • I stopped playing Diablo 2 after a half dozen or so complete runs through the highest act/difficulty combo my character could complete failed to drop any upgrades for my character. no futher progression. lots of time wasted.

          I stopped playing Diablo 3 after I beat the game on the highest difficulty, using gear I bought off the AH with gold dropped in-game and from items I myself sold on the AH. not a single real dollar spent. reasonable playing time. fairly enjoyable.

          Then I went and played other games. you k

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Actually I'd say what made Borderlands a success (other than the fact its damned funny, something we haven't had in shooters since No One Lives Forever) was the fact that trading with your friends made ANY high level gun a good thing. for example I suck at CQB and prefer to stay and stand off distance so i favor rifles and revolvers but my youngest prefers shotguns and battling CQB so if he found a good rifle it wasn't "oh crap I don't use those" it was "meh I'll trade it to my uncle" and the same would go

        • by JMJimmy (2036122)

          Borderlands was a success because it was fun to play and fairly unique. D2 was fun because of building different types of characters with different gear setups. D3 eliminates that in a huge way so no matter what they do with the loot system the build system is so boring and stupid that it doesn't matter what loot you get. I found it closer to Dark Kingdoms or RAW in terms of gameplay than any sort of Diablo game. D3 console version isn't always online which is nice.

        • by smash (1351)
          they fixed the bee.
        • Torchlight 2 is not bad, not bad at all. The free Path if Exile is better yet: Custom color coded and named stash tabs, 6 linked sockets, items as currency, tons of custom builds, skills as gems, Official ladder seasons, etc.

      • by JakeBurn (2731457) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @05:37PM (#44878641)

        Its sad when otherwise intelligent people say things that are in the realm of 'full retard'. There is absolutely zero reason why anyone playing a video game like Diablo 3 should care what other people do outside of plain and simple jealousy. Do I care if someone else has 250k DPS? Not at all because that has zero impact on me or the game that I am playing. Is your jealousy so out of control that you demand that not only your own sense of achievement be kept 'pure' but everyone else's? I can only assume that you are sitting around waiting for a reason to get angry regardless of how stupid you look in making your argument. If there was PVP in the game from the start you would be right. That is the kind of P2W that kills games. In a purely PVE game there are no valid reasons to remove the AH except to appease the crybabies. In Diablo 3, what are those players paying to win? There is no end game and nothing to win. If someone pays cash for gear to farm faster, the only person who is hurt by taking that away is the lucky guy who won the lottery of ROG for an item he didn't need.
        Why do I care? Because the RMAH allowed me to buy WOW for my kid and SC2 for my girlfriend. I got lucky and it turned out that someone else was willing to pay for what I didn't need. Other than being butt hurt over knowing someone else has better gear than you, what is the point in claiming you were hurt by that?
        The worst part is, Blizzard is in the business of making money. With the amount of cash they make off of the AH, they will have something else in the works to recoup those lost monies. Knowing Blizzard, the only reason to do this is to change all items to bind on pickup and open their own P2W shop where they create the items and keep all of the cash.

      • " Precisely that you had to grind endlessly to perhaps get the good stuff gave people a sense of achievement."

        Not quite, what made borderland and diablo was the combat and SECONDLY getting awesome stuff. In diablo 2 the combat for melee classes like paladin acted closer to traditional fighting game mechanics (sword + shield bash + dash). Diablo was beginning to do interesting things with combat that balanced more action oriented game style with ease of use interface that is missed by the non-observant po

    • by Tukz (664339)

      The problem is, with Auction House loot didn't matter much.
      You could always exchange it on AH immediately.

      Completely ruined the sensation of actually see something nice drop.

      There was a long long article explaining this phenomenon, done by some psychiatric I believe.
      Unfortunately I cannot remember where it is.

      • by twotacocombo (1529393) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:37PM (#44876699)

        Completely ruined the sensation of actually see something nice drop.

        Which would be a valid point, if anything nice ever dropped. I played through the game 6 times, on two characters (one through hell, one half way through inferno), and never saw a single legendary item drop. True upgrades to gear petered out after Nightmare, which pretty much forced you into the AH to just be able to advance without being slaughtered. Diablo has always been about buckets of trash and vendor loot, with the occasional gem thrown in to make it worth your while. I found none of that in D3, just mounds and mounts of garbage. Unless they tune the loot rates to account for NOT having the AH, it'll be even less desirable for me to give the game another shot.

        • Your saying of "give the game another shot" after playing through it 6 times (no less!) kind of becomes a paradox...

        • The article does state that the loot drop rate will change... or in D3 lingo: Loot 2.0
        • I played through the game 6 times, on two characters (one through hell, one half way through inferno), and never saw a single legendary item drop.

          So you played through the game 5 times without seeing any legendary items and though to yourself "ehhh... I'll give it one more shot." Sixth time's the charm, right?

          • So you played through the game 5 times without seeing any legendary items and though to yourself "ehhh... I'll give it one more shot." Sixth time's the charm, right?

            Even if a legendary dropped, the chance of it being of any use to me was extremely small, so I wasn't holding my breath. I just realized after I quit playing, that I had never seen one drop, ever.

            • Even if a legendary dropped, the chance of it being of any use to me was extremely small, so I wasn't holding my breath. I just realized after I quit playing, that I had never seen one drop, ever.

              This.

              Before the first loot patch I NEVER saw anything drop for the class I was playing. No problem eh? Switch to another class to get loot drops for your preferred class. Right. More grinding. Despite this I still played it through to the end without buying anything on the AH and without grinding classes I didn't want to play.

              After the first loot patch I picked it up again for a day. Since then I've only played a couple of hours.

              Now Blizzard is going to start patching the game to make it what it shou

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      If the gameplay isn't fun enough for someone, having the AH available will only burn them out faster because they'll have less to work for. None of the Diablo games have ever had much of an "end-game" or anything. It's like Mario; you play because you enjoy the game, even if it's a bit grindy at times. It's also not like an MMO, where you can at least strut around showing off your gear to random people...

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      with an AH system the loots are weighed so that maybe one in 1000, or maybe one in 10000 gets that nice loot.

      if you can get actual money(£$) from it that one player isn't going to even use it himself. it becomes just a way to show that you have cash in the real world. that breaks the 4th wall and makes playing the game feel stupid quite frankly.

      because you might just as well go grind the burgers at the mcd to earn that loot.

    • by ibmleninpro (2859905) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:25PM (#44876533)
      After playing for 500+ hours, I think the AH did the opposite. The game was grindy because grinding was the only way to develop a bankroll large enough in order to interact with the economy, which was centralized essentially only at the AH (assuming you don't put actual money into your bankroll).

      But since the itemization and character design in D3 was so poor that in order to reach end game -- each item type only had one set of ideal attributes to make it valuable, the prices on the AH were absurdly inflated. It made it worse that each class really only had one or two viable builds -- so even having small variations in ideal item attributes was rare, and getting good rolls on those build-specific attributes made items even more expensive than "standard" end-game items.

      So it was a vicious circle of grinding -- you had to grind to get good items that were worth selling by default in order to participate in the AH, but since the attribute requirements for sellable items was such a short list you have to grind more and more to find drops that actually meet the requirements to actually get it to sell. I'd say I would sell maybe less than 10% of all uniques dropped, and the majority of that 10% I would sell for maybe 1-2% of the cost of the end game gear that I actually had, so it takes FOREVER to recoup costs unless you're lucky.

      Even worse, in order to get good drops consistently you needed to grind at the highest monster power levels, and in order to do that you need end game gear! So vanilla D3 with the auction house was an eternal worthless grind unless you decided to put 20 bucks into your character to make him decent.

      Now, hopefully with better itemization and better loot tables it will become less grindy to participate in the economy. Without the AH, trading will hopefully be more like D2 where the currency (SoJs back in the day, and later end-game runes) was much more stable than "gold".
    • by Nyder (754090)

      I always thought Auction house is what make Diablo III relevant and rewarding since the game play focus on being grindy. Now that you can no longer exchange gears for actual money, what is the point? Is the game play itself fun enough?

      How fun is it to do the same things over and over and over and over for very little reward? Seriously, that sounds like a minimum wage job that barely covers the bills.

      But then, I play EQ2 and you can argue i do the same crap over and over and over and over. So I guess each his own.

      But then I bot in EQ2, i control 6 toons at once (have to, no one plays anymore). In a guild with a few other botters and some live people. We have fun and do decently well. So it's all in the fun you make.

      Still have

  • Of the people I know who still play the game, most of them only do so to sell items for cash. Frankly, the game itself was short and not that interesting.
  • Attribute points (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Now they just need to bring back the ability to choose where your attribute points go on level up.

  • by xevioso (598654)

    Isn't it too late? Who plays this anymore?

    Also, why didn't they do any testing with groups to determine if this was needed or even wanted?

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jartan (219704) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:26PM (#44876543)

      It's not too late because an expansion is coming. Most likely that will include ladders with a fresh economy.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:44PM (#44876813) Journal

      Isn't it too late? Who plays this anymore?

      I'd say given that they just released the game for PS3 & XBox 360 on September 3rd, there's bound to be some people playing it.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      That would be truly depressing if it were true. Diablo 2 was a staple of many gamers' diets for a decade, and retains a loyal following to this day. If Diablo 3 couldn't survive a year, it would be a terrible fail indeed.

    • by Laxori666 (748529)
      My cynical side is saying this was their plan all along - make as much money as they can from the AH knowing people will hate it, then pull it back to let the game go on a bit as it should have been from the start.
  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:12PM (#44876339)

    The auction house in World of Warcraft is perfectly usable except for a few minor details, but Diablo III's auction house just plain sucks. I don't care if it is two different development teams, it is still two Blizzard games.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:15PM (#44876369)

    So the reason for Diablo 3 being always online was the auction house. They are removing that.

    Does this mean that Blizzard will remove the always online requirement? I don't think so, but I can dream...

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Meat Boy (1951992) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:16PM (#44876377)
    Haaaaaaa. I can't believe they're actually doing this!! Honestly, I'm sold. If the new system for loot is actually any good at all, I may actually start playing again. Hoping they give us the option to at least try out the gamepad configuration they made for consoles too, but that might be a stretch... Anyway, really an overall good announcement. Guess Microsoft isn't the only one who can do 180s these days. :P
  • By 2-years.... Virtually everyone quit last year when they realized Inferno was broken.
    • Inferno wasn't broken. It was intentionally made impossible unless you bought RMAH gear.

      With the removal of RMAH, I assume Inferno difficulty will be adjusted as well.
      • Inferno wasn't broken. It was intentionally made impossible unless you bought RMAH gear. With the removal of RMAH, I assume Inferno difficulty will be adjusted as well.

        It was meant to take months to clear inferno, regardless of how you received the gear. You don't see end-game dungeons in MMOs being cleared within a few weeks of a game being launched.

        Problem was Diablo players are used to mindless fun, not excruciating difficulty. The other problem was some classes were based on avoidance, while others mitigation. Better mitigation comes from better gear, meaning these players were behind the curve. Players who played the avoidance classes well were able to clear

        • by Jack9 (11421)

          > A game that can be completed solo should not favor one type of class over another.

          Er? Why not? The rogue is favored over the melee-only Hunter in WoW. It's almost impossible to balance every dynamic variable to be equal across classes. Why bother trying? It doesn't happen in a multiclass game very often that they are all equal.

      • Re:Too late (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @03:44PM (#44877411)
        How do you even run Diablo 3 on that typewriter?
      • by ildon (413912)

        Inferno was already nerfed into the ground nearly a year ago. You can go straight through Inferno on your first playthrough without using auction house gear (unless you're not very good at the game or extremely unlucky with drops). They added a "monster power" setting which exponentially increases monster difficulty and drop quality on Inferno (and linearly increases difficulty and reward on normal/nightmare/hell) for those who still want to grind ad infinitum.

    • by antdude (79039)

      I quit after trying the beta.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @02:20PM (#44876457)
    When there is an auction house that lets you buy end game gear then all that happens is people grind gold and voila, the game is beaten.

    If you make it so the auction house won't let you sell gear, but crafting materials to craft end game lewt(Guild Wars2), then suddenly you make random crafting items desirable to trade with, but end game stuff can still be bought.

    The auction house is almost a detriment to keeping your game survive if you allow it buy end game content. Instead of allowing people to buy their end game content(and subsequently quit because they're max powered), you maybe only let early/mid game be bought and sold on the AH.

    There's two main ways to allow end game content and that is to allow people to buy crafting pieces on the AH, but instead of 100% always crafting the most powerful weapon, you give them random stats of randomized power. And you even say,"If you throw more crafting materials in the forge(more lucky rabbits feet and purple horseshoes!), you get better chance for better random stats." That way the ah goes strong even end game, but people can't just buy their way to perfect end game gear.

    Of course my theory is to never let them reach max power, but constantly get incrementally powerful, at lower and lower amounts of the time. If you're worried this impacts PVP, it does, but PVP can be more dynamic than just 1v1 in a zone you can't gain power in. Anyway if you want to read more about my end game MMORPG ideas, you can read here [crystalfighter.com]
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      I've always wanted a way to earn skills that become a permanent part of your character (as EQ2's class epic weapons can), or perhaps part of the account (as some stats in Wizardry Online.) This came from the old school MUDs where equipment was nice, but learning a critical spell/skill was the way to go.

      That way, equipment wouldn't have to keep being mudflated as much. Instead, characters could earn some permanent abilities on endgame raids that would always be useful, even in future expansions. Of course

    • by dj245 (732906)

      When there is an auction house that lets you buy end game gear then all that happens is people grind gold and voila, the game is beaten. Instead of allowing people to buy their end game content(and subsequently quit because they're max powered), you maybe only let early/mid game be bought and sold on the AH.

      There is quite a huge market for frivolous items which make your character "look cool". It was a long time ago that I played World of Warcraft, but there was a certain % of people who paid vast sums of in-game money for basically cosmetic reasons. Similarly, Valve's Hat Fortress 2 has had great success in selling purely cosmetic items.

      • That is one of the reasons cosmetic enhancements are one of the best ways of doing microtransactions. They don't affect game play, so they don't skew PVP balance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      CrazyJim, you so crazy!!!

      Tell me, what games have you designed? I guess saying, "speaking as a game designer" doesn't imply you've actually built a game or anything, so you're in the clear here.

      Give God my regards.

    • by Luthair (847766)

      This really depends on rarity. In the first expansion or two nearly everything in EverQuest was droppable, however items were actually rare, content wasn't instanced and had only a single location where they could drop. Thus for late game items a server might only see 0-2 of a particular item a day, for end game items a month or more could pass without one entering a server.

      Later games fell into the trap of allowing everyone to do everything simultaneously and made drops significantly more common. Crafte

      • Right on. I said there was two ways of doing it, then I only listed one way: Crafting. Dropping super rare items with many randomized stats was the other way to do it :) Glad you caught that. I didn't think it was important to reply to my own post and correct it. I'm spoiled with Reddit that lets you edit your post.
    • Square Enix took your ideas to heart with all their stupid randomly generated "augments" in the last year. Argh! You're right, we keep throwing the "upgrade stones" and our items and crossing our fingers that we get good stats. Over and over and over again. And no one ever gets them maxed out.
  • all of america is trying to underbid one another for work these days. and the jobs are often short-term. certainly has trivialized the work experince. how are we supposed to gather loot when we're constantly underbidding one another for small short-term gigs that amount to peanuts?
  • How do you trivialize the fact that people, often adults, play a meaningless game to get fake intangible stuff. Why is buying the stuff with real money any different than playing a game to get stuff. It is being implied that there is some sort ranking system in the game where people with more stuff are somehow inherently better than people with less stuff. Does this extend to the real world where if I have a better car, then I am inherently a better person? Is the submitter upset that the egalitarian na
  • I played it just because the ad blitz made it sound interesting. I think I would've found the game much more interesting had it been sudden death beginning to end. Breezing through it to the end pretty much made it coaster after that.

  • by AceCaseOR (594637) <alexander.case@gmailPARIS.com minus city> on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @03:04PM (#44877031) Homepage Journal
    So, since the Gold Shop and the Real Money Auction House were the primary reasons they were giving for requiring the always online, does this mean that they'll be patching that "functionality" out as well?
    • So, since the Gold Shop and the Real Money Auction House were the primary reasons they were giving for requiring the always online, does this mean that they'll be patching that "functionality" out as well?

      The integrity of the economy was the reason more so than the auction houses themselves.

      However it would not be trivial to rearchitect a client-server game to be client only. Lot of code to move for relatively little reward. I doubt adding the offline capability would cause a rush of new PC purchases, especially after the Xbox/PS versions are out.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      So, since the Gold Shop and the Real Money Auction House were the primary reasons they were giving for requiring the always online, does this mean that they'll be patching that "functionality" out as well?

      They should.

      The console versions do not have an auction house nor are they always online [arstechnica.com].

      So the removal of the auction house should remove the need for always online since the consoles do not require it

      Otherwise from that overview, it shows that the console version is in some ways superior to the PC versoi

  • So, I don't get it. Does that mean everyone in Diablo 3 gets their gear reset? 2 years seems like an amazing amount of time for a game to be released yet still clearly be in Beta.

    Does PC get any other updates, like evade rolls, or larger portraits of toons? Sounds like Blizzard is attempting to completely gimp their PC version now to raise sales on console offerings.

    I know I'll be celebrating.
  • It's a classy move by Blizzard. It's not often a major game company admits a mistake and reverses a stupid decision. While the original RMAH/always online decision was stupid, at least they have the decency to realise that and backtrack. I can only assume that the reception of the 'fixed' D3 console release helped drive this decision.

    I recall reading that player activity in D3 dropped by 80% within two months of the PC release, so there's your RMAH audience. The other 80% (plus those who didn't buy) prefer

  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @12:08AM (#44880995)
    The RMAH was an unmitigated disaster. This isn't because it was a bad idea, it's because Blizzard made it one by trying to stick their fingers in the pie instead of just regulating the inevitable like they were supposed to.

    The GAH is the main thing that was missing from Diablo II.

    Trading will happen, with or without support. Trading, by itself, doesn't make the game any less of what it is. There was plenty of it in Diablo II. But because it wasn't supported, it was inconvenient, untrustworthy, and generally garbage. All Blizzard is doing here is opening the way for old-school scammers and farmers to screw everything up. They could just fix the problems with their moronic implementation of the auction house concept, 90% of which would be gone just by temporarily removing the RMAH, letting the market stabilize, and turning it back on as a facilitator instead of a goddamn business model.

    No, though. We'll just wash our hands of the whole goddamn thing and trade this set of problems we created for the set of problems the playerbase created years ago. Why fix anything if it'd take actual work and won't cause customers who have already paid us to keep paying? Screw that.

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