Blizzard just released some details on the upcoming Diablo III beta test and announced that the game will feature an auction house that will let players sell and purchase items with either real money or gold. The beta will allow you to try out all 5 character classes and experience the early stages of Diablo III from the start of the game through the Skeleton King encounter. To sign up for the beta, head over to the Beta Profile Settings section of the Battle.net Account Management menu.
Two different versions of the auction house will be available in Diablo III: one based on in-game gold and one based on real-world currency. The gold-based auction house uses in-game gold for purchases and sales and will be available to test in the beta. With the currency-based auction house, players will be able to conduct these transactions using actual currency from an authorized payment method or from funds that have been added to their Battle.net account. Players can choose to participate in whichever version of the auction house they prefer, on a per-transaction basis.
As an advanced paid feature, players will actually be able to "cash out" and have the proceeds from the sale of items in the currency-based auction house deposited into their third-party payment service account. It's also worth nothing that players will be able to buy and sell gold through the currency-based auction house at whatever the current market price is, as established by the player community.
We're sure you have more questions regarding Diablo III's auction house, so be sure to check out Blizzard's lengthy FAQ after the jump.
Diablo III Auction House FAQ
What is the Diablo III auction house system?Acquiring epic new gear for your characters has always been a big part of the Diablo experience. Because of this, players have found a number of different ways to trade and otherwise obtain items both within and outside of the game. Many of these methods were inconvenient and either tedious (for example, repeatedly advertising for a desired trade in Battle.net chat channels and waiting for responses) or unsafe (e.g., giving credit card information to third-party trading sites). With Diablo III, we’re introducing a powerful auction house system that will provide a safe, fun, and easy-to-use way for players to buy and sell the loot they find in the game, such as weapons, armor, and runes. Two different versions of the auction house will be available in Diablo III: one based on in-game gold, which players acquire through their adventures, and one based on real-world currency.
What’s the difference between the gold-based auction house and the currency-based auction house?The gold-based auction house uses in-game gold for purchases and sales. With the currency-based auction house, players will be able to conduct these transactions using actual currency from an authorized payment method or from funds that have been added to their Battle.net account. Players can choose to participate in whichever version of the auction house they prefer, on a per-transaction basis.
How does the auction house system work?Players can open the auction house interface from anywhere in the game to make purchases or list items for sale. Items can be sold from the shared stash (storage shared among all the characters on your Battle.net account) or from any individual character’s inventory. When posting the item, the seller picks whether it will be sold in the gold-based auction house or the currency-based auction house. The item is then held by the auction house system until the listing expires or a purchase is made. Items that are not sold are returned to the seller’s shared stash, and items that are sold are delivered to the winning bidder’s shared stash. In either case, the auction house system will deduct a nominal fixed transaction fee from the seller, the amount of which is determined by whether or not the item was sold (see below). For the currency-based auction house, players will have a few different options for how to pay for item purchases and receive funds for item sales, as discussed elsewhere in this FAQ. There may be differences in how this system will work in different regions of the world. We’ll provide further details at a later date.
How is the transaction fee determined?
Why are you creating a currency-based version of the auction house?Our goal with all of our games is to ensure players have a highly enjoyable, rewarding, and secure experience. Acquiring items has always been an important part of the Diablo series, but the previous games have not had a robust, centralized system for facilitating trades, and as a result players have turned to inconvenient and potentially unsafe alternatives, such as third-party real-money-trading organizations. Many of the transactions between players and these organizations led to a poor player experience and countless customer-service issues involving scams and item/account theft, to name a few. To that end, we wanted to create a convenient, powerful, and fully integrated tool to meet the demand of players who wished to purchase or sell items for real-world currency, and who would likely have turned to a less-secure third-party service for this convenience.
How will the currency-based auction house work?
Can players choose to get cash from currency-based auction house sales, instead of having the proceeds deposited into their Battle.net account?Yes, as an advanced feature, players will have the option of attaching an account with an approved third-party payment service to their Battle.net account. Once this has been completed, proceeds from the sale of items in the currency-based auction house can be deposited into their third-party payment service account. “Cashing out” would then be handled through the third-party payment service. Note that this process will be subject to applicable fees charged by Blizzard and the third-party payment service. Also, any proceeds from the sale of items in the currency-based auction house that have been deposited into the Battle.net account will not be transferrable to the third-party payment service account. Not all regions will support this advanced feature at launch. Region-specific details, as well as details regarding which third-party payment services will be supported and the fee that Blizzard will charge for the cash-out process, will all be provided at a later date.
Is the currency-based version of the auction house optional?Yes, the currency-based auction house is available as an option for players who wish to purchase or sell Diablo III items for real money. Players are also able to buy and sell items through the gold-based auction house, and they can trade items with each other as well through direct character-to-character in-game trading.
Why would I want to pay real money to buy or sell in-game items?
Can I play on a server without a currency-based version of the auction house?We want to provide a secure, fun environment for our players to purchase and sell in-game items using gold or real money and have no plans to divide the community. Players are free to participate in the gold-based auction house or the currency-based auction house, or to opt out of using any of the auction houses at all, progressing through Diablo III using only the items they obtain through their own adventures or direct trade with other players.
Does Blizzard plan to post weapons, armor, and other such items for sale in the currency-based version of the auction house?The currency-based auction house is a place for players to purchase or sell items they’ve obtained within the game. Blizzard does not plan to post items that affect gameplay, such as gear or character-enhancing runes, for sale in the auction house.
Will Blizzard sell anything directly through the auction house?We don't have any plans at this time to post items for sale in the auction house.
Does the currency-based auction house signify a shift in Blizzard’s business and revenue model?We’ve always tailored our business models to match what we’ve felt would be most appropriate and effective for each game and in each region, and that’s the case with Diablo III as well. The item-based nature of Diablo gameplay has always lent itself to an active trade-based ecosystem, and a significant part of this trade has been conducted through unsecure third-party organizations. This has led to numerous customer-service and game-experience issues that we’ve needed to account for. Our primary goal with the Diablo III auction house system is for it to serve as the foundation for a player-driven economy that’s safe, fun, and accessible for everyone.
What’s Blizzard’s cut?As with other online auction sites and real-world auction houses, our fee structure will vary by region. However, we plan to collect a nominal fixed transaction fee for each item listed in the auction house. This fee consists of a fixed charge to list the item, which is assessed whether or not the item is successfully sold, and an additional fixed charge that is assessed only if the item is sold. The listing portion of the fee, which helps encourage sensible listing prices and discourage the mass posting of items that are very low quality or would be of little interest to other players, will be waived for a limited number of transactions per account. For players who opt to have the proceeds of their auction house sales go to their third-party payment service account instead of to their Battle.net account, Blizzard will collect a separate “cash-out” fee. Specific details regarding these fees will be announced at a later date.
Why would I even want to use the gold-based auction house?We recognize that not all players would prefer or have the means to participate in the currency-based auction house, and it was important to us to provide these players with a full-featured alternative.
Can we buy gold from the currency-based auction house?Players will be able to buy and sell gold through the currency-based auction house at whatever the current market price is, as established by the player community.
If I no longer need an item I bought in the auction house, can I relist it in the auction house?
FAQ for Functionality, Regional Details, Gameplay Issues and Customer Service on Page 2.