In the most recent patch with the level boxes we see Valve giving out boatloads of items as freebies as well as handholds to guide people through the game economy system (such as crafting and gems) but also making all of it soulbound. Chances are, future tutorials and loot giveaways will tend to be soulbound to prevent sinking the game economy. On the other hand, they are making determined and active steps to depress general prices, from the 75% sale to the creation of non genuine recipes. This brings down prices to within a more affordable realm, as well as influencing the volume. New tiers of “epicness” has also been made.

Alongside the creation of non genuines, there are also a lot of new tiers, such as the corrupted series which certainly brought down the lockless luckbox contents prices.

This is similar to the way Diablo 3 has gone, with reaper of souls not only cancelling the auction house, but also making sure that legendaries will be soulbound. (The difference being a market still exists in dota 2) The presence of soulbound allows the game developers to drop items without churning the economy, and cools down prices. The random crafts has also brought down the prices of many classical items. The new tiering also resembles diablo 3, in which each patch brings about a new series of items. Diablo 3 however makes the old items almost obsolete, whereas for Dota it remains cosmetic like a fashion trend of the seasons.

There seems to be an increasing will in Dota 2 to take down prices however. The golden roshan babies were followed by a stream of platinum roshans. The legacy ethereals were neutered from $38,000 to $4,000. Perhaps like they have made non genuine versions of promotional items, they may also make non immortal versions of immortal items such as alpine set. The numbers in Dota 2 trading have become serious business, and if items trade on the usual third party methods, steam doesn’t get its cut, nor do its original creators. Trading 5 digit items like the norm may also lead to angry litigants.

(one of the many complains about the auction house in D3 being that Blizzard would churn things so things gets moving on the RMAH, and blizzard gets their cut)

I suppose they want to toe the line between purely cosmetic decorations as a fun gaming experience, compared with a piece of art style of valuation for rare items that fetches serious money that would perhaps as a matter of course become less fun.

The wraith night shards are a bit grindy, another recollection to the horrible loot drops of diablo 3…