B.NET Bucks are virtual rubles

Posted by Dave On Thursday, August 4, 2011

Transferred from paxdora.blogspot.com [LINK]
Original Post Date: 8/2/11

"It's highly unlikely that RMT will be permitted in Diablo 3, though it's certain that some players will choose to engage in it, as they have in every such game so far released." - http://www.diablowiki.net/Real_Money_Trading
In Blizzard's new RMT Auction House, each item you post for sale will cost a fixed rate. It's not a percentage of the value of the item either.. this way people will only sell valuable items and so the AH doesn't get overloaded. That's the reason they're telling people, but there are other reasons.

B.NET will now operate like PayPal where it will store your hard earned cash and you will have an option to "Cash Out". Of course, there will probably be restrictions in place as well as transaction fees, logistics, and shipping fees to cash out. They've learned a lot from PayPal. After all, they have a very loving relationship with PayPal.. they helped Blizzard destroy all of their RMT competition after all.

This is also a great way to get people's feet wet in anticipation of Blizzard's upcoming games and especially Titan. Rob Pardo said that this was the changing landscape of games and "it's more fun" this way. [LINK]

What Blizzard isn't saying about this is that there are a lot of negative impacts to running an in-house RMT service. Blizzard has already admitted that RMT destroys the economy, destroys the game, ruins the game playing experience, and encourages increased botting and account hacking. But what else is going on that hasn't been shared?

* Blizzard claims that all transactions will be between players but everything is done completely anonymous. What's to stop Blizzard from selling items themselves using their own conjured characters? They'll be practically printing their own money.
* There are many more incentives now to hack accounts, scam and bot.
* Because of the limitations in the AH and random generators for loot, Blizzard can control the quantity and costs of items at whim. Blizzard has found a loop hole to legalize gambling in Diablo 3.
* They get a cut from the amount of players making AH posts, but since they can basically control how often players make the posts, or find ways of encouraging them to make posts, they can control how much revenue they make from this new type of gambling.
* And it is a big gamble for the players. You'll post an item for $3, and someone will undercut you. To cancel and resubmit, you need to pay a new service fee. Each time they post an item, and it doesn't succeed, you lose money. And Blizzard can control all of these odds just like casino machines.
* It's a very dubious method of creating indirect virtual gambling without actually calling it gambling or applying for licensing. They can alter loot statistics to increase sales per person.
* All of this sounds highly illegal if you ask me.. but that's what loopholes are for. Blizzard is using a brilliant method of manipulating players; they can control the odds of how many unsuccessful sales there are, how many people are selling, and how many people are undercut. And each one of those counts as a win to the House (that is, "Blizzard").
* We'll be able to tell right away if they do indeed consider this gambling. For example, real auctions will last several days to weeks. But, if the Diablo 3 AH has auctions that only last for minutes or hours (less than 24 hours), then you'll know right away that they want players to post as many different auctions as much as possible since all of the unsuccessful auctions will generate revenue.
* Since they can practically print their own money, this is going to completely destroy the in-game economy.. just like what happened to the ruble. They're not selling gold directly, but they are creating virtual items of value and it's the same thing.
* This new feature will also make big changes to player attitudes. There's now a lot more desperation and consequences associated with auctioning items now. Players will be so desperate to sell their auctions (if it doesn't sell, they lose the down payment fee) that they'll advertise in "trade chat" with much more fervor. Imagine all of the spamming, tricks, and bad things associated with AH sales, and then multiply that by ten.
* Also, imagine the amplification of anger when things don't work out.. rather than fake money, you're now dealing with your own pocket.
* The other thing that happens is that this becomes a PAY2WIN game. You pay $5 for max gear, it's no fun, and unfair for all other players. If you're rich, you'll always to better than everyone else no matter how hard they work.

This will all be very interesting to see what happens.

One thing is certainly clear; the new B.NET bucks are a really awesome way to launder money in the real world. Thanks Blizzard for making things easier for criminals.