I’m sure anyone who’s spent more than 15 seconds in the D3 AH or in the forums regarding it is aware of these problems. Feel free to skip the rant on buying. I’ll follow up with a selling one.
Pro – You can select a character to compare gear to. Since you can’t access the AH from in-game this is pretty much a necessity. Otherwise my desk would be even more heavily strewn with little scraps of paper covered with tiny, near-incomprehensible scrawlings of vital statistics.
Item Type and Level Range selection all seem to work fine…
Con – Rarity is a bit sketchier. There are 2 main categories that are worth shopping in – Magic (blue) and Rare (yellow). Anything less than that won’t be worth it and Legendaries (orange) tend to be way out of my price range. (Plus no guarantee that they are really awesome either.)
Due to the random nature of item generation, some yellows are terrible and some blues in the same level range are excellent. But you can only select one rarity at a time to search.
Between factors of laziness, not wanting even more scraps of paper, people buying auctions out from under you in the time it takes to run multiple searches, and the low probability that you’ll ever find the item again if you swap between searches, I just run the search for Rares and hope for some cheap spoils.
Pro/Con – Preferred stats is an excellent way to help narrow down the plethora of items a simple search will return. But with many items having 4 or more properties, only having 3 criteria slots feels very limiting.
And if you want, say, an amulet with a straight plus to damage (ex: + 6-12 damage) good luck. There’s a choice for All Damage, but that will return zero results every time.
I realize this is probably asking for a bit much, but some sort of “OR” logic would be helpful. As a barbarian, I really enjoy my gear having some sort of life regen on it. I’m not terribly picky, I’ll take a flat regen or life on hit or percent of damage converted to health (which is called Life Steal in the search criteria even though it’s never called that on an item). I’m not keen on life after kill as it’s not terribly useful in longer fights with fewer mobs. But of the 4 life-gaining choices, I’ll take any of the first 3. But there’s no way to search like that. So multiple searches it is! More scraps of paper and never finding that one item again!
Pro/Con – Max Buyout… This is a pro in the fact that it is there and it appears to work as intended. The con really comes in from the community’s use of the AH. I’ve noticed a (to me) disturbing trend of people NOT putting in a buyout price.
Think about this for a second. You’re allowed 10 sale slots at a time. They are always posted for 48 hours. That means it will always be 48 hours before you can post a new item in its place if you don’t allow the option to buyout.
When I want a new piece of gear, I want it right NOW. I’m looking to upgrade to make a current challenge a little easier. (Or out of boredom because my gear hasn’t changed in a while. My gloves and pants are still level 21 or so and I’m 44. For shame.)
Without a buyout available, I’m forced to bid on multiple items and watch them for the next 2 days. During which, hopefully, I’ve gotten an upgrade the old fashioned way of killing things and can let my outbids slide on by.
But let’s back up just a bit and pretend that I’ve been able to adequately set the parameters for my desired item and am viewing a list of search results.
Con – If you’ve been very specific (or that particular market is small) you may be able to tell that you only have 1-4 pages of results to wade through. If it’s hit 5 or more pages, there is no indication of how much trash you’ll have to wade through. A simple “Page x of y” indicator would be very helpful in determining if I need to tighten up my search.
Con – You can set your criteria up to search for all armor types. I’m not really sure why you would want to, but you can search for all armor slots at the same time. But with the tiny icons that reflect what the item looks like, there’s no fast way to tell what slot that piece is for without hovering over it. A column for armor type (or weapon) would be very handy – not so much in the search but later on in the bids section. More on that later.
Con – Sorting! What? How can sorting be a con? Because you can only sort by the DPS (or armor) and the Buyout amount (which we’ve already covered may not even be present).
I’m a bit cheap in the AH. Since there are rarely buyouts posted (and the ones that are generally aren’t in what I would consider the realm of appropriate for the item), I spend a lot of time bidding on items. But, remember that I want the items NOW. So I’m looking for items that are very near their expiration time.
Unfortunately, I can’t sort by that so end up scrolling through 30+ pages (because I didn’t know how many results there were… maybe the next page is the last page?) and still end up bidding on multiple items that are tempting… but still have 1d23hours to go.
If I could sort by Bid, I could really save myself some time. If there is no buyout listed, the bid is the most important value. If an item is already above my margin, I don’t want to get my hopes up about the awesome stats, just to see that the minimum bid is already sky high.
Let’s stop whining enough to bid on some items, we’ll say 5 pairs of boots and a handful of other items.
Great! Off to the Auctions tab to track them.
This whole page is a bit of a con.
I see that I’m winning 2 of 12.
2 of 12 what? The names usually aren’t descriptive enough to tell me what the item is and I can’t quickly tell what the icon represents. (Seriously, some of those shoulder icons look like hand crossbows, how does that even happen?)
I can’t see the whole list because the page is sharing space with my auctions being sold.
I can’t sort the list in any way.
When I do re-bid on an item, it goes to the bottom of the list.
If I’ve been outbid on an item and it’s now too rich for my cheap blood, there’s no way for me to stop tracking it.
Since the AH isn’t accessible in game, there’s no way for me to keep an eye on close auctions without spending time out of the game.
Yes, the AH uses a proxy bidding system, much like eBay. But ultimately, proxy bidding just drives prices up faster. Great for sellers, bad for cheap buyers.
When I bid, I just bid the next minimum increment to get the item on my watch list. If I’m immediately out bid, I know that a proxy is in place. All I have to do is wait and watch it over the next day. If the price skyrockets, I let it pass.
But if the price stays low, I might have a chance.
When the auction gets close, say, within 15-20 minutes, I’ll bid again. People that have used a proxy generally don’t keep an eye on the item.
Hopefully that’s it and 15 minutes later I’m sporting new duds.
But if it pops up again, that’s when I’ll make use of the proxy bid. I’ll enter my cut-off price and let the chips fall where they may.
Why not enter my proxy sooner?
One, it just drives prices up faster as people respond to being constantly outbid. In some cases, I think people will go above their original spending threshold just to “beat” the bid. Vegas could do well to add some eBay machines.
Second, I’m bidding on 5 pairs of boots. I don’t need – can’t use – all 5 pairs if I happen to win them. If I were to proxy each at 10k, I might walk away with 30k worth of boots and will not be able to flip the price back. AND I would have to use up my precious few sale slots to try to make something back on the extras.
But let’s say that I’m lucky and just got the one pair of boots that I wanted.
I find them on the Completed tab.
Click Send to Stash…