The concept of gold farming has, alternately, amazed and horrified me by turns. I love the thought of people being able to make money by playing video games
, by finding things and offering them up for sale so people can cut down on the time spent questing and grinding levels. While the exchange rates have been less than accommodating, perhaps even less than the game makers themselves who have cracked down aggressively on the sale of in-game items. Diablo III
, meanwhile, has embraced the concept with a real-money auction house, and has just brought it online.
In order to use this service, however, users will have to have an authenticator tied to their battle.net account. The authenticator will come in either the form of a free mobile app, or as a real-world device that's available for $6.50.
Personally, I love this idea. People with time on their hands can go out and get in-game stuff, which they can promptly convert into cash, whilst those with less time can save time and get the cool stuff they need to make the most of their gaming experience. And everybody, regardless of time need or cash need, can sell off their unwanted gear and maybe get something they'd rather have.
Hopefully this move will get the rest of the RPGs moving in that direction, because I generally approve of any move that provides added value for the customer, or in this case, the player. The thought of playing a game that potentially pays for itself is quite a bit more thrilling than I'd thought it would be, and as a result, Diablo III is suddenly starting to look a lot more attractive, even with its server issues.