The Diablo 3 community has been buzzing with Tuesday's news that the Auction House (both gold and real money) is being shut down on March 18, 2014. This is an extension of “Loot 2.0,” announced at GamesCom in August and designed to roll out just before the game's Reaper of Souls expansion.
The community has been vocally opposed to the real money aspect of the Auction House, and some are hoping that its removal will mean the game is tuned to drop more loot. This won't exactly be the case, though, since the mantra for Loot 2.0 is “Less, better, more epic.” Loot drops are also supposed to be smarter. As Steven Bogos from The Escapist said, “You should no longer be getting all those Wizard hats with +strength.”
In interviews, two Pennsylvania players expressed opposite feelings about the announcement. Ben, who plays a Witch Doctor, said it will make the game more fun. About the Auction House, he answered, “It does make the game too easy by lowering the adventure level. If they don't find the most powerful weapon for a level 50 WD... they want it immediately, so they go to the AH for it.”
Ben continues, “I do like the challenge of a difficult game. More hours into the game means more investment, and the more likely I would be to buy the next expansion.”
Matt, who plays a Monk, feels that the Auction House is a way to combat being unlucky with the randomness of loot drops.
I'm always looking for gear drops and never getting them. For people, such as myself, who have bad luck and get a ton of gold but no gear, the Auction House is really good. Taking the Auction House out is only going to cause people to spam General Chat.
While it is true that trade will continue within the community, a more personal method of trading has the added benefit of being harder to exploit. The game experienced a gold-duplicating exploit back in May, and while Blizzard hasn't brought it up lately, some speculate that it is one more reason the game is better off without the Auction House.