The Diablo 3 AH is Dumb

The Auction House in Diablo 3 is stupid. By which I mean dumb. Idiotic, even. Both Auction House and whoever designed it. And not because of what it may or may not do to the entire balance of the game, but because it is poorly designed period.

You can sort by Buyout price, but not Bid price. Presumably the latter is disabled because the Bid mechanic itself is broken. Much like eBay, you specify your top bid amount and then things are auto-bidded up until someone has the new highest bid. Except the Bid price is not updated in the main auction pane, nor is it reliably updated when you hit refresh. The only true method of discerning the new high bid is to bid once so that it goes to your Auctions page and looking at it there.

By the way, you cannot sort by Time Left either. At first, I thought Blizzard was doing this for our own sakes so as to not recreate the eBay-esque last-second sniper fields. But it occurs to me that the sellers actually win when people do last-second bid wars; the losers would be Blizzard themselves when they get 100,000 people spamming the Refresh button and eating up all their bandwidth.

The AH has a 46-page limit. It is thus possible that if you are searching for any old magic weapon in your level range, sorting by lowest buyout price may leave you with no auctions with buyout prices at all since “null = lowest.” If you want to ONLY look at auctions with buyout prices, you will need to specify a maximum price. Put something cheeky in there like 10,000,000g or whatever, and then sort from there.

Want to sort by weapon DPS? Good luck.

Because that makes sense.

Apparently the “Sort by DPS” script only looks at at the vanilla weapon DPS without factoring in any bonuses, such as +damage or +weapon speed. Which would be one thing, if some secondary script did not compute that exact thing in the DPS column. So if you are using this method to look for weapon upgrades, make sure you check several pages in to be sure some errant +10% weapon damage stat doesn’t outclass all of the items on the first two pages. And, of course, don’t forget how your class’s primary stat will likely further affect things.

Also, big props for the Blizzard designer who thought it would be a keen idea to have the Repair All button not apply to items in your Stash. Since you cannot sell items on the AH with durability damage, it becomes a fun Hide-n-Seek mouse-over minigame (or a Memory one, I suppose) each time you are forced back into the game when the item you want to sell has 48/49 durability.

In other news, I beat the game on Normal with the Monk. Because, hey, Barbarian was fun but I have played the first Act nearly a dozen times already. The pop-up after the final boss reminded me of something though…

Must have been brothers from another mother.

My current time /played says 14 hours and 5 minutes, but that includes however long it took to breeze through Skeleton King in Nightmare. I remember the very first zombie in Diablo 2 kicking my Necromancer’s ass in Nightmare – the weakness of any skeleton army build is needing unused skeletons – but perhaps my ill-gotten AH goods have been keeping me ahead of the curve. Or perhaps the difficulty wall is down the road.

Regardless, I will probably keep playing the Monk until I’m forced to kite as a melee character, at which point I either see if I can stomach another character through the campaign or simply play something else more deserving of my time, as the case may be.

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Posted on June 4, 2012, in Diablo and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Dissapointing that Blizzard hasn’t learned from 7 years of WoW Auction house and taken that knowledge into Diablo.
    Especially since rares can have so many random magical abilities, I pictured the AH like the search from WoWhead:
    Looking for specific level range, +x on skills, fire resistance > 15%. Some filters like that to scan whats actually available.

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    • There are in fact such filters, though limit of exactly three modifiers is sometimes not enough.

      Also, level range filter doesn’t include items with “required level reduced”, which are actually best option for weapons while leveling.

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  2. Yeah, the AH seems only half done. Parts of it still don’t even work at all. I don’t share the common view that the AH will ruin the game–it’s not as though trading for OP items wasn’t rampant in D2 and that didn’t seem to kill anyone’s enjoyment.

    I haven’t bought a single piece of gear off the auction house and my barbarian has died a few times in nightmare act 1. It’s a smoother transition than D2, where Act 5 normal was quite a bit harder than Act 1 nightmare.

    I enjoy the game, but it really does seem like it was released about 80% finished. The story in particular takes a bit of a nosedive past Act 2. Act 3 starts out well with the defense of the fort, and breaking the siege, but then you just go through a bunch of samey dungeons while Azmodan waits for you to come kill him. If they had merely tacked the old Durance of Hate onto the end it would have made little difference. And my god; stop talking to me, demons…it only makes them less threatening.

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  3. Indeed, the AH in D3 reminds me of the AH in SWTOR at launch, horribly designed UI making it a pain to find anything. I mean how are we supposed to know which class to select to find a given item unless we go mad with alts early on?

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  4. Wow, I just noticed you have to specify rarity, colour AND stack size (i.e. quantity) of gems to be able to search for them. So if you search for 1 gem you’ll not see any stacks of greater size???? Unbelievable.

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  5. I agree with every point you made, and have many points myself regarding the AH search. There are also quite a lot of other annoying problems.

    For example if you spawn and immediately get one shot.

    Or if you have an hour free time, manage to get 5 valor stacks, and oops you gotta go. Later in the evening you again have an hour free and the same story. You cannot save the game, or save your valor stacks. Completely casual unfriendly.

    However Blizzard is addressing various of the points you (and I) have made: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5593230830?page=10#189

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  6. Agreed about the AH. It’s a horrible user experience all the way around.

    More complaints: can’t compare AH items against your items that aren’t equipped, and item comparison doesn’t include the useful info at the bottom that you get when in-game.

    Want to get a good idea as to how much to sell your item for? Good luck. Prices are all over the map and since stats are (semi) random on everything, getting a good idea of what you should sell an item at is basically a crapshoot. The other day after wasting 30 minutes trying to figure it out I ended up arbitrarily putting 10000 gold buyouts on 3/4ths of my stuff and 25000 gold buyouts on the other 1/4th. Half of it sold and half of it didn’t. Can’t decide if it’s more cost effective to just do that and be done in 5 minutes and go get more items to sell or do the 5 minute hunt per item to figure out the best actual price. Hm.

    Searching is often worthless. I can’t even look for a “source” off-hand for my Wizard. The search just fails completely.

    Regarding the difficulty–it gets quite a bit harder in Act 2, particularly if you are under-geared or under-leveled. Molten/Arcane/Fire Chains Jailer Vortex elites are the worst.

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    • Barbarian can play nightmare w/o kiting, I know that much. Don’t know about monk or hell.

      “Molten/Arcane/Fire Chains Jailer Vortex elites are the worst.”

      Depends on your role/spec. For melee, sure. For me as wizard in a spec I can kite with (different from a tuned spec vs a boss) and depending on space I have: usually a piece of cake.

      I’d have far more issues with minions/horde+fast+invulnerable/shielded+vortex(+sth, vampiric comes to mind).

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