Blizzard recently did a Press Event where the press was invited to another preview of the game. Normally, I would do a bullet-point list of the major announcements and what websites are saying about it. However, I found DiabloFans.com made an excellent write-up of the event and announcements. Specifically, the TLDR section is where to look for the main bits.
This biggest announcement was the real money auction house. Finally, Blizzard has decided to give in to players’ suggestions that a real money auction house might solve the gold selling problem. I think illegal gold selling is still going to be around, but hopefully its less of a problem than it is in WoW where players are losing accounts to gold selling scams.
The real money auction house opens up some interesting options to the player. Just playing the game normally and occasionally selling high demand items your characters don’t need, you will slowly build up a small sum of money in your account. So far there are 3 uses for this “Battle.net money” (besides the auction house itself):
- WoW subscription – If you play Diablo 3 enough you might be able to play WoW for free. At the minimum, you might get a free month of play here and there.
- WoW microtransactions – You can buy other paid services such as Name Changes and Character Transfers. Some of these (like Name Changes) might even apply to Diablo 3 as well.
- Real money – You could also just pocket the extra money you make from selling your items. Most likely Blizzard will limit this to a certain times per month or a certain minimum balance in your account.
One thing to note though is you shouldn’t expect to make lots of money. I am betting a minimum wage job is still going to make more money than the real money auction house. The most rare items in the game will probably cost around $5 with Blizzard probably charging a $1 listing fee and $1 sale fee. So this rare item it took you a month to find or craft gets you $3.
However, there is the opportunity to “play the auction house”, so maybe a few really smart people could make a lot of money. If they are that smart though, they would make way more money working for wall street though.
I wonder if Blizzard is testing this out with Diablo 3 before eventually adding it to WoW as well. If Blizzard ever makes WoW F2P, a real money auction house makes sense to continue their income even when players aren’t paying a subscription anymore.
As for the blog, look to tomorrow for my next Mass Effect 1 build.