Blizzard has made a couple quick posts in the last week. One covers changes to the Skill and Rune systems and the other to the Auction House systems. I will just layout the main points here as I have done previously. You can read the full text for more detail.
Skill and Rune systems
- Skills are now separated into categories (Primary Attack, Secondary Attack, Defensive, and special “Unique” which depends on class like Mantras for Monk).
- The bottom hotbar and the skills interface are now linked. Selecting your 6 skills and 3 passives sets the abilities on your hotbar at the same time.
- Runestones have been renamed “skill runes”.
- Skill runes do not drop. They are simply unlocked as you gain levels.
- This new system features unlocks across all 60 levels whereas the old system only had unlocks up to level 30. You had to find or trade for runes to unlock new skill variants.
Runes are essentially just part of the Skill system now. The Rune system was the main thing extending development time. I think it is safe to say that the game is pretty much ready for release. They just need to do a little bit of bug testing on these new changes, and it should be good to go. They have likely already tested a bunch of this internally, so there should not be that many bugs.
Auction House systems
- No more listing fees!
- Transaction fees are increased to $1.25
- Minimum listing price is increased to $1.50
- Only 10 active listings per Auction House (Gold and Real Money)
These changes are titled as “beta changes”, but I can’t see them changing much for release. The lack of listing fees is a big one. You will now be able to put things up without having to worry about whether it will sell or not. At the same time that 10 listings limit prevents players from abusing this to auction massive amounts of items.
I was mainly going to use the Real Money Auction House for casual selling. This works a lot better for the way I will play the game. This is probably very disappointing to the people that were planning on making a living off this, but I think this is better for the game.
We still don’t know how much PayPal is going to charge for each sale. It’s possible you can still lose money if you choose to turn the sale into real money and not Blizzard Bucks fake money. The minimum you can make from a sale based on those numbers above is $0.25. PayPal could set a flat fee of $0.25, but I think they will probably go with a percentage fee that pays off a lot with big sales. With a 10% fee an item sold for $2.50 already pays them $0.25. Anything above that is more than what the flat fee would pay them.