Diablo III: Developer explains new in-game ‘Auction House’ service

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Blizzard Entertainment made a couple of interesting announcements regarding the much-anticipated Diablo III game – due to be released for the PC and Mac – recently. Not only did they explain the new in-game ‘Auction House’ service, the developer also revealed that players would have to be connected to the Internet in order to play its upcoming action role-playing game.

According to Michael McWhertor from kotaku.com, the new ‘Auction House’ service will enable players to buy and sell loot for real money, as well as for virtual gold. Rob Pardo – executive vice president of game design and designer of Diablo II – said that the Auction House will provide players with a safe environment to sell, exchange and search for in-game items.

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However, he also pointed out that it is not a Blizzard store that’s designed to sell items directly to players. The Auction House, which is built into the game’s client, will allow players to swap items such as weapons, armor, runestones, gems and even characters, for other items, in-game currency or real-life cash. Transactions between players will be handled anonymously.

The service will enable buyers to search by item type or character class, as well as giving them the option to auto-bid on or instantly buy virtual items. On cash-based transactions, the developer will charge the seller with both a listing fee and a nominal fixed transaction fee if a buyer is found. Blizzard says the listing fee is to prevent users from selling every item they own.

Blizzard does however plan to offer an unspecified number of free listings to players who may want to experiment with selling their virtual goods. Those who opt to sell in-game items for real world cash will have the option of storing the proceeds in one of two accounts: an e-balance that they can use to buy other Blizzard products, or an unannounced 3rd party payment provider.

The third party payment provider will enable players to cash out their earnings, although this option does require them to pay another fee to the third party. Gamers who play in the still unspecified ‘Hardcore’ difficulty will be restricted from using the in-game Auction House service, which according to Pardo is something that Diablo players want in the game.

As for the other revelation, Blizzard said that they implemented the constant Internet connection requirement to improve the overall multiplayer experience and to combat cheating. Do you like the idea of the new in-game Auction House service?