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Diablo III real money auction house announced, gold farmers stunned

So what’s Blizzard’s cut? The studio has not released exact figures for fees to use the real money auction house service. However, Blizzard has confirmed that a “nominal fixed transaction fee” will be charged for any item sold on the auction house. According to Blizzard, “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.” Blizzard will also collect a separate “cash out” fee if you choose to use the unnamed third-party service for your transactions. Remember, if you use your Battle.net account for a sale, you won’t have to pay this fee, but you also won’t be able to “cash out.”

According to Blizzard, the listing fee is designed to discourage players from overloading the auction house with low-quality items while encouraging players to post high-quality items at a reasonable price. What’s reasonable? That’ll really depend on what players decide. A “smart search” feature promises to make browsing convenient for buyers, allowing players to refine their searches for specific upgrades to character slots or to search for items that cater to a specific character build by prioritizing search results with certain stat boosts.


Above: An early look at the real money Auction House on Battle.net for Diablo III. Head here for more images of the real money and in-game gold Auction Houses

The listing fee for sellers on the real money auction house will be waived for a limited number of transactions for your Battle.net account. That’s one way Blizzard hopes to make the system less intimidating for new users, but the company has not settled on the exact number of list fee-free auctions it plans to offer.

Of course, if you don’t like the idea of a real money auction house in Diablo III, you won’t have to use it at all. It’s also interesting that if you will not be able to use the real money auction house for items heading to Hardcore characters in Diablo III. “We wanted to save players from themselves,” explained Blizzard’s Rob Pardo. Hardcore-mode characters will be able to access items from transactions on a special Hardcore-only in-game gold auction house. When characters created with the Hardcore difficulty setting die, they lose all your equipment. And yes, that also applies to any loot acquired from the in-game gold auction house. According to Blizzard, it didn’t seem to make sense to allow players to trade real currency for in-game items that may eventually be deleted from the game.


Above: Want a new weapon for your Demon Hunter? You can get one immediately on the auction house… for a price

As with Diablo I & II, Diablo III loot will have level restrictions, preventing players from blasting through the campaign with real money loot. With fewer “soulbound” items than MMOs, like WoW, players will have a lot of freedom with any item acquired from the auction house, allowing you to re-use, trade, and even re-list items back on the auction house.

Traditionally, the black market for in-game items has been the elephant in the room that game developers just don’t talk about. That’s why the real money auction house for Diablo III marks a huge shift for how game studios handle player driven economies in online games. By taking the cash-for-item trades away from traditionally sketchy gold farmer sites and putting it under the official banner of its Battle.net service, third-party gold farming businesses and services may become a thing of the past if more online games adopt a similar business model to Blizzard’s moving forward.

Expect more on both the real money auction house and the actual game as Blizzard’s “it’ll be ready when it’s ready” launch date for Diablo III approaches. In the meantime, be sure to check out our beta preview of Diablo III and a ton of new screens showcasing the auction house and gameplay.

Aug 1, 2011

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26 comments

  • Wolf_priest13 - April 15, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    To EVERY moron that said they no longer want the game. FOR ONE EVERY ITEM will be able to be found so there is no real issue there, and BLIZZARD would have to take a cut of the money its there freaken system this is to help prevent people getting spammed and scammed for what there already going to buy SO please go play diablo 2 and learn that you are the dumbest people in the world for saying this will ruin the game. Blizzard is greedy but there doing games as a business so knock off with the crying because they wanna make money on what THEY own, they built the game they are building the Auction house, PS. ebay and so forth takes a cut of what you sell too for there service are they greedy too? its called A real live auction house and the person supplying the service of the AUCTION HOUSE is blizzard, so they are legally allowed and obligated to ensure that it runs smoothly with the money you pay to put stuff up, Also on that note Diablo 3 is free to play its not a 15 dollar a month MMO you pay for it once you own it for life, you have no need to use the real money auction house you can use the in game gold one to become uber powerful, and GOLD is so much more important in d3 because you pay to level up your crafting abilities and it costs quite a lot to do, So everyone that reads this understand blizzard is being realistic with taking a cut because a real live auction house takes a cut for showing off your item even if you don't sell it, I will also add THANK YOU BLIZZARD I swear to god the spamming in d2 was horrible, Mind breaking horrible and you hopefully put a stop to half of it since now item farmers can just sell it straight to the AH without huge amounts of spam, and people that are gonna be assholes to do the easy way out on getting gear can get there gear and have no purpose in the game and wasted all there money on NOTHING FUN. SO I laugh at you all bitching and moaning saying i won't get the game now because of this. You never were gonna get it if something that will help us enjoy the game free of spam makes you upset One last thing tho, the loot is not free for all so some uber guy coming in and wrecking everything can actually help you get gear your self easier so its a win win situation no matter how you look at it
  • pedro-smith - March 8, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    This makes me so happy. Im so sick of retard in diablo 2 who think they can come into my game and fill it with spam about their shitty website. Keeping it all focused on an AH is a lazy way of banning the stupid bots, but if it works im all for it. If the bots werent your least favorite part of diablo 2, then you shouldnt be excited for diablo 3 anyway.
  • StoneDreadnaught - August 2, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    I am cautiously optimistic about this idea. It's certainly a strong step in the right direction to lessen/get rid of gold farmers, but I can see how this could go wrong should enough players start abusing the AH. If Blizz does managed a reasonable grip on this AH, and this 'nominal fee' isn't sky high, and the 3rd party system for 'cashing out' works, it just might be adopted by other MMO's. Now if only they'll take this idea and apply it to a particular in the real world... *glances at a poster of Cheech and Chong*
  • wrayday - August 2, 2011 12:09 a.m.

    this has the potential to rank up with the disasters of the Hindenburg and the titanic for colossal bad ideas. I cancelled my WoW account after repeated brute forcing attempts made it impossible for me to log in without having to constantly reset my password to unlock my account. Now I would have to contend with the loss of real world income. I hope somewhere some lawyer stands up and says "This is a bad idea!"
  • D0CCON - August 1, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    @Hobojedi It doesn't look like it. It costs some money to put up an item, even if it doesn't get sold, so most people aren't going to waste their time and money offering crap to people. I'm guessing you didn't read the full article.
  • PimplesInYourAsstista - August 1, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    Don't like paying real money? Then don't. Stop bitching. db1221 hit the nail on the head here.
  • ShadowFoxNinja09 - August 1, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    Ok so anyone who played Diablo 2 knows that the presence of Gold in that game was of no real consequence. It was used to revive your mercenary and buy potions. The only way you got good items was to find them and then make a Trade game and hope someone would trade you- ala the Barter System. This would lead to lots of "Wuw?" (What do you want?) and "Wug?" (What do you have/got?" conversations. So my question is, is Blizzard trying to make money have much more of a purpose in the game? Since apparently selling your items in the Auction House will only get you gold, not other items? Or will you be able to trade items for items based on an items pre-determined base value? If you look at other games with successful economic components like Runescape, gold does play a major role. To quote Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Man's Chest, "Currency is the Currency of the realm." Instead of items having all the power, the only way to really get good stuff is to buy stuff with cash. They did, however, implement a kind of central stock market known as the "Grand Exchange," or GE. This got rid of the whole WUW?/WUG? problem that plagues Diablo 2, and for a time, Runescape also. It did this by allowing players to put their items up for sale at the GE- like an auction house. This also kept new players from getting duped in bad trades because they could see the base value of their items. So is blizzard going to try this method? And if so, how will they balance the issue of the barter system still taking place? Will they encourage it or discourage it?? Furthermore, in Runescape the practice of "Merching" became a fairly common occurrence. Because the base price of items was based on supply and demand of that item at the time, a large group of players would get together and begin buying up all of a particular item that was fairly expensive. This made the Grand Exchange calculator to think the item was in extreme demand so the price would SKYROCKET by upwards of several million gold coins. Then they would sell back their bought up items back to the GE and- here's the kicker- PEOPLE WOULD BUY THEM BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THAT WAS THE NORMAL BASE PRICE OF THAT ITEM!!! So these groups of players would make fortunes in game through what was essentially what we call in the real world, Insider Trading. They were controlling the prices of the in game stock market! Will Players in Diablo 3 be able to run a similar racket? How does Blizzard plan to counter-balance these known issues of a centralized auction house? Please Games Radar give me an answer!!
  • GoshDarnFreakingMetal - August 1, 2011 5:33 p.m.

    I was going to buy Diablo III until I came across this, fuck that.
  • Spacegrass - August 1, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    @kassmageant "true, there will be players that will simply buy uber-items from the go - but who forces you to play with these players?" If you're playing with random people online, I highly doubt that the game will have a "don't play with cheating bastards" feature that will exclude people who buy gear with real money from your game. "if you immediately went for conclusions that you are forced to do something that you don't want to do, i think you weren't that much into this game in the first place, 'cause you're saying BS : )" I actually was that into this game in the first place; ever since it was announced over three years ago, I've been anticipating Diablo 3 like no other. That's why it hurts all the more that Blizzactivision's boundless greed has taken a huge shit over what should have been a great game.
  • kassmageant - August 1, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    @ Spacegrass i agree with you only about that matter that for normal person, it will be impossible to make " serious" cash, unless you'll find obama kenyan birth certificate somewhere in the dungeon. but i don't get your other complaints - how is that greedy? who the hell FORCE's you into using auctions? true, there will be players that will simply buy uber-items from the go - but who forces you to play with these players? if you immediately went for conclusions that you are forced to do something that you don't want to do, i think you weren't that much into this game in the first place, 'cause you're saying BS : )
  • Spacegrass - August 1, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    P.S. Don't be deceived for a second by the idea that you can make money from this. There will be millions of people in China playing this game in sweatshops all day long, and they'll be able to sell items very cheaply due to economy of scale. There's no way you'll be able to compete.
  • Spacegrass - August 1, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    Am I the only one stunned and nauseated by how greedy this is? It isn't enough for Blizzactivision to make a game that sells millions of copies, they need to squeeze every last penny out of it. So now, players with a lot of money and no lives will be able to load up on the best gear and win every battle, while people who actually have to work for a living, or have better things to spend money on because they have social lives, will be screwed. Worse, this will set a precedent; when this system is successful (and it will be, because a sucker is born every minute), every game will start using it. I'm suddenly a lot less interested in Diablo 3.
  • etherealshadow - August 1, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    Hmm. I'm not really sure about that. It sounds like a good business model, and probably will help a lot with the farmers and bots trying to make a buck off of stupid people. I guess it depends on how "nominal" the fees actually are. If they're too much, it won't even be worth trying to sell anything that isn't worth a good bit. They'll probably be a percentage scaled to how much the item is listed/sells for, though. We'll see.
  • schiapu - August 1, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Well, Blizzard really seem to have put a lot of thought on the problems that plagued the Diablo 2 multiplayer and WoW. They're learning fast how to make great systems for players and market exchange. And it's not something out of greed either, unless they start charging something like 5 bucks per item. Well played.
  • rabidpotatochip - August 1, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    I think this is brilliant. They've stopped the gold/item spam market cold by taking the bottom right out of it.
  • IceSickle - August 1, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    Hmm, not sure how I feel about this one. Whilst I'll never buy an item for real money, it would be awesome to actually make some money by just playing the game. But the 3 separate transaction fees (if you want to 'cash out') seem pretty steep to me. I hope it isn't so expensive that you can barely make a profit off of your sale (mainly as they're fixed, i.e. an item selling for x dollars will always be charged 2 dollars etc.). Maybe it would be a better idea to charge a percentage rather than a fixed fee?
  • mockraven - August 1, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Sounds like Blizzard's willing to experiment and that's good. Could this also be the future of free-to-play non-cash shop games? All those "nominal fees" could add up quite a bit when spread over a large player base, and this would make it so that Blizzard got a small cut of the market as opposed to dubious gold-farming "companies" getting a huge profit from gouging willing victims. I'm really curious how this will play out. Also, Diablo III news! Yay! Wooo! (And other phrases expressing great amounts of excitement!)
  • db1331 - August 1, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    This will actually make the game more exciting to play for me. I have never and will never pay real money for a virtual item in a game. For me, the fun of playing the game is finding or creating the items myself. However, just knowing the next monster I kill could drop some rare item that some dude with more money than sense would pay $300 for would be a huge motivator to keep grinding through those dungeons. I mean imagine getting a lucky drop, making a quick sale, and then treating yourself to a PS Vita or something.
  • ElGuybrush - August 1, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    So, you're saying I should be buying up some blizzard stock right about now then?
  • oni - August 1, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    What about the permanent internet connection required for Diablo 3, ala Ubisoft's? Even for SP. And no mods.

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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