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8-08-2011 @ 6:21PM
I think you're underestimating the impact on the demand side. While you are surely right that the legit marketplace would bring in new sellers ("some 15-year-old in Ohio, a mother of four in San Diego, and some dude in Pennsylvania who lives in his mother's basement"), it also would bring in new buyers. Imagining that we are talking about WoW rather than Diablo, I think many raiding guilds with adult professional members would find it highly desirable to pay cash for consumables rather than having to farm them. I think the real-cash prices for consumables that must be farmed through raiding (ie Maelstrom crystals) would be sustainably quite high, as the marginal cost of product is the hourly labor wage rate of the people with the capability to get them, divided by the average drop rage. One of the things I observe is that today, it's impossible for anyone to pay more than $15 a month to Blizzard (legimitely) to enhance their raiding experience, and I know there are many many raiders with the financial ability to pay significantly more. I think this factor is the single biggest inflow into a real-cash marketplace, and it could just get split up among relatively few farmers per server.
8-08-2011 @ 10:42PM
Definitely. I could see professional guilds such as Paragon having their items paid for by their sponsors.
8-25-2011 @ 12:19AM
As long as the real money AH was ENTIRELY player supplied and 100% of the money in it came from and went to players using it, I wouldn't have a problem with it and think it would be a great addition to the game. Devil's advocate though: How much could you really trust a company not to keep their hands off and "supply" items to the AH for their own profit?
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