Can You Play on Korean Servers? Blizzard Clarifies

Since the announcement this morning that the game has been approved in Korea now without the RMAH, some of you have been asking about whether you can play on Korean servers. Risingred popped over to the official boards to get some clarification on region cross-over and got this response.

With an NA account you’ll be able to play everywhere, but you’ll only be able to use the currency-based auction house in NA.

Just for normal play, imagine it like Diablo II. On every region you have access it’s a completely separate database, different gold auction house, and you have a different set of 10 characters available. Each region is a separate ‘realm’ of the game. We’ll have more information about the whole cross-regional play closer to launch.

Trying to read through this…ugh. So is this subject to change, or concrete? And as per your updated post, can we change these regions in-game since you invoked the D2 example? That would be surprising and pleasant, for once.

Sorry, it’s a bit confusing to explain even though it’s extremely simple and obvious in practice.

Pretty solid, of course nothing is guaranteed. Yes the whole point is you can change regions in-game. You’re welcome. 🙂

So as an australian does this mean I’m only allowed to use the SEA rmah? That’s kinda terrible for a lot of people.

I’m unaware of all the regional breakdowns. I’d wait for the more info I referenced.

I am not sure why you would want to play on the Korean servers unless you were so adverse to playing with other gamers who could be buying their way into good items.

Update: Bashiok added several more replies to this thread, clarifying confusing the issue. According to him, Korea does have an RMAH that generates (and spends) Bobby Bucks. You just can’t cash it out for real money. This is confusing and apparently incorrect, as it contradicts news reports on Blizzard’s latest attempt to win approval from the KGRB.

Click through to view Bashiok’s follow ups.

From what the blue said, you wouldn’t have access to their RMAH anyway. But it’s good to know that we have access to at least one purely gold-based economy.
Hrm. Well Korea still has a currency-based auction house, there’s just no current cash out functionality. They can buy and sell items and still build up their balance to buy Blizzard goods and services from the store.

Deleting my response until I can verify what actually occurred. Maybe I’m incorrect in my understanding of what was submitted for approval.

…So, I was right, they have an auction house that uses balance, which is separate from the gold auction house. There are some details I’m still fuzzy on because the Korea balance works a bit differently from ours.

In any case, it won’t be the currency-free option you’re looking for.

The thread was subsequently locked, then deleted, which seems an indication that Bashiok’s information was incorrect. No further clarification has yet been issued.

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50 thoughts on “Can You Play on Korean Servers? Blizzard Clarifies

  1. I want to play on the Korean servers. I honestly don’t care who buys what with their IRL monies, but what I do care about is how the RMAH will “warp” the economy of a gold-based auction house.

    The mantra by people who like the RMAH has always been “then don’t use it if you don’t like it” but it isn’t that simple. There will be a very large impact on the gold-based economy due to this, and I simply want to play the game in a gold-based economy that isn’t impacted by real-money transactions. Like hardcore. But due to lag I doubt I’ll be playing hardcore until I get a better connection (which is currently unavailable in my area).

    Edit: Aaaand hope crushed. They still have bnet balance in Korea.

    • You seem to forget the Korean black market on 3rd party trading sites, which will of course influence the Korean gold AH, too, even if there is no RMAH (for now).

      • The impact of that wouldn’t be as accessible or direct. I have zero knowledge of third-party Korean selling sites.

        • I honestly don’t see the difference. The very fact that they wont have an RMAH will demand more 3rd party sites to sell gold just simply because of the fact that people will know there are other countries buying items with IRL money. If anything 3rd party sites will cause more damage than the RMAH would ever cause to the Gold based currency. Having a small group of people (3rd party websites) control the majority of the gold currency has a more negative side-effect than letting players control the market. In fact, many mmo’s suffer because of this. I didn’t think this way at first, but RMAH is a *good* thing even for players that only use Gold based currency in game.

          • Yeah no.
            A good thing would to have zero sales of virtual goods for money to begin with. A good thing would have been for Blizzard to at least try to combat it.

            In a 3rd-party market you do not have direct accessibility to this in the game. You are deterred by the shady nature of these websites, and those affected by it will say so by word of mouth, warding off this crap. There’s a hundred different reasons why it would have much less of an impact than the RMAH but it should be plainly obvious and self-evident.

          • “A good thing would to have zero sales of virtual goods for money to begin with. A good thing would have been for Blizzard to at least try to combat it.”

            This would never happen in reality. Virtual marketplaces are even harder to control than real world black market places that require the seller and buyer to physically meet up. Look at how the war on drugs is going and Blizzard wouldn’t even have that level of resources to fight it. Since they wouldn’t be getting any further revenue stream from the game (unless they charged a subscription or freemium), it’d end up exactly like D2 did.

            The only way to stop it for sure would be to prevent trading altogether.

          • While that may be true, I think a lot of it has to do with lack of legislation in the United States and abroad, in addition to the complete lack of definition over virtual property. We’re seeing this garbage in motion in the form of the SOPA bill, but if there were logic to be somehow crammed into the government, things like this would be avoided entirely through proper copyright and ownership laws.

            I haven’t seen any lobbying for this.

      • I don’t know why people compare item stores with the current RMAH. Back in D2 there were a few people (few = 1000+) who bought items, it has way less impact than 100.000+ people doing the same now that its safe to spend money with items.

        • I know people who use to sell diablo 2 items without being Chinese gold farmers, and i know even more that bought items… it’s certainly more then just 1000+ people doing that…
          Obviously making it legitimate will increase the number, but certainly not by as much as you think…

    • Hi Rising!

      Tonight I’ve been having beer with my friends and discussed economics, gaming, aging and psychology 🙂
      In particular, we were wondering, why would people want to go as far as to play in Korea. What aspect of gameplay would be twisted so badly as to warrant enduring grave lag and stuffz?

      And even… Why is hope crushed if they have no cashout in Korea? O_o Are people’s intentions that swayed by the possibility to earn thousands for Blizzard souvenirs?

      Let us let the truth be born!
      With all due respect, I’d like to engage in a passionate discussion 🙂 Is there a forum topic to switch to?

        • I am trying my best to read into your posts, sir!
          But re-readin your original comment only leads me to re-ask my questions… Can you please point me to something I miss?

          You “do care about is how the RMAH will “warp” the economy of a gold-based auction house.” I can totally understand that worry, I just fail to predict what kind of warp that will be. I want to be ready for it, after all! In your original post you did not say what this “very large impact on the gold-based economy” would be like.

    • You should change your name to “Risingheadupass” cause every post I see your head gets a little further up your ass. Basically your argument against RMAH is “lalalala I don’t like RMAH because I live in a fantasy world where battling 3rd party markets is a more viable option even though it’d be impossible to eliminate lalalala”

      • Pretty funny because while my head is up my ass, your ass in in your mouth, because all you speak is pure crap. Funny how internet anatomy works.

    • Flawless logic. Play on a server where items are purchased through illegal third party sites, ridiculous lag, no English speakers, and a sizable portion of the player base is a gold farmer all to avoid the RMAH that nobody is forcing you to use. Honestly, why can’t people accept that the RMAH is not infringing on their gameplay in any way, shape or form?

      • I see you didn’t bother to read the actual post and yet critiqued my logic. Funny.
        If you actually believe that the RMAH won’t impact my gameplay or the gameplay of anyone who wants to use the regular gold AH, then you are ignorant beyond belief, or else trolling. I don’t know which one you would prefer I accuse you of.

        • You can accuse me of whatever you like. I’ll still believe you are a myopic egoist. What difference does it make to you where someone acquired an item? Please tell me you aren’t in the “pay for win” camp. Are you trying to say the RMAH will somehow nullify the gold AH? Don’t you think the many people who don’t want to use the RMAH (myself included) will use the GAH instead? It’s quite possible that the two auction houses could actually balance each other out, slow down gold inflation, and keep gold valuable. Not to mention the fact that it will allow us to get regular patches and updates, all while not paying a monthly subscription fee. I think all these are good things, but go ahead and call me a troll if it makes you feel better.

  2. Oh, the below is made redundant given that the RMAH still exists in Korea, just without cashout, but I’ll keep it because I was correct.  You were screwed no matter what.
    Notice that you can still use the RMAH if you live in the right place.  Thus, Americans using characters in the Korean section can still sell and buy for their Korean chars using the American RMAH, thus defeating any RMAH-hater’s plan to avoid it.

    Once again, the RMAH is real-world-location-based (or, at least, based on the address info. you give to blizzard on your account), the regions are free to join for anyone.

    • ” Thus, Americans using characters in the Korean section can still sell and buy for their Korean chars using the American RMAH”

      No they couldn’t. Separate regions are treated like separate accounts, like in D2 or WoW.

      • There are most likely going to be six realms (which would indicate maximum of 60 chars, 6 common stashes, 6 groups of artisans, etc.), or rather, there are six realms in SC 2 right now, and there is high possibility of the same being applicable to D3. Realms in SC2 are:
        – North American, European, Chinese, Taiwanese, South Korean and Southeast Asian.

        There is the possibility of Blizzard adding more realms for D3, like, for example, oft requested (granted, oft requested for WoW) South Amerian realms, South African/general African, etc.
        And there is also chance of some realms not being present in D3, like, again for example, Southeast Asian.

        • There were separate realms for South America and North America in SC2 at launch, but they were merged later.
          Note that there ARE bnet servers in South America, and we (people from South America) use them to connect to the North American realm to minimize latency problems.
          More info on how it works in SC2 in the Region Linking FAQ

  3. Lag > RMAH
    I’m sure Blizzard will manage to slowly slip the RMAH inside Korean realms after some time, so I still won’t buy D3 because of that. The only chance I have to play it is if I get it for free, but for that I have to win the game in a contest. Let’s hope I guess the right release date, so I get free D3 from the contest i joined.

      • People not fully understanding what “lag-free” means in online games should stop spreading this nonsense.

        • That guy is playing on a satellite connection. He believes it is the bandwidth that is causing his lag, when it is not, it is the terrible latency inherent in a satellite connection that is doing it.

          • It’s actually point-to-point. You’ve not seen a single number I put up and yet make this judgement?

            Bloody hell I need to stop reading the comments for this post. It’s like the minimally exceptional are out in force.

          • The point is that it is the inherent latency in your connection that is resulting in lag, it has little to do with bandwidth.

            These comments in your youtube video are just ignorant:

            “Blizzard, you suck so hard.”

            Perhaps for not allowing offline play, but from the context of your blurb there (stating your bandwidth), it comes across as you blaming them for the lag. When it’s really your connection that is the problem.

            “To all those who were so adamant that they “changed” the combat to be “client side” yeah blow it out your ass. You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

            It is client side. You can easily see this in your video, despite the lag, for example at the start when you destroy the barrels the gold drops down *immediately*. In D2 there would be a short delay between the barrel being destroyed and the gold dropping. Clever client-side prediction as Blizzard is doing can’t compensate for your crappy high-latency connection, but for the average player it will make a big difference.

    • @Synchrotron
      Wait, why are you here if you are planning to *not* buy the game this website revolves around?
      Also, is RMAH the reason you are not buying D3?

  4. Admittedly, I’ve written some confusing things, or had my words misinterpreted a time or two. But this quote is Hall of Fame material:

    “Sorry, it’s a bit confusing to explain even though it’s extremely simple and obvious in practice. –Bashiok”

    Well, good thank dog he doesn’t work in PR, where his entire job would be explaining things via the written word!

    • Yes, let us thank dog that he doesn’t work in PR department. 

      legal disclaimer: I know this is an error that he is going to fix and it is accidental, I was being, or attempting to be, humorous.

    • I’m certain I could do a much better job than him at explaining things and doing it in such a way that isn’t ambiguous or not actually answering the salient point as he has often managed in the past.

  5. Aside from official reveal/explanation threads started by Bashiok, has he (any blue) ever given any useful piece of information ever in response to anyone on the forums?  I wish they would just not talk at all.  Too many people care too much about the game, have more Diablo experience, and analyze the given info too extensively for the moderators not to have to eat their every word.  They have to bother developers to get some tidbit of info, then get their response cleared by 47 different departments, then they state it unclearly, then backtrack, then the info changes since they wrote it, then people are mad, then thread locked.  Repeat tomorrow.

    • Not to blow my cover or anything, but I’ll say that yes, dozens of blue posts have contained useful info.  (Many times more have not, but I think that’s inevitable.)

      1) You have to define who it’s useful to, of course. People who follow the game closely and know all the info already will find most of the Blue stuff redundant, but many/most people aren’t in that camp.

      2) Also, the CMs are limited in what they can say since they’re not permitted to reveal new info very often. So they basically have to respin the same old stuff over and over again. Which kind of takes us back to point #1.

      On occasions when Bashiok has been used to disseminate new info, his blue posts have been very useful.  And when he’s filling in gaps after a big announcement, answering questions on details not covered in the main Jay Wilson interview, or whatever. Presumably we’ll get one of those periods “late next week” after the announcement of the big system changes.

  6. I have no link yet but blizzard has stated some weeks ago already, that you can play on every server but only use the AH in your own region. This thread on the offical forums was again created by someone who hadnt looked up for some information before posting… but to clarify, the information could have been there more obvious, so its ok 😉

    • They said, some weeks ago, that the game wouldn’t be region-locked. They did not say:

      A: How to switch regions.
      B: Whether the change to the Korean version of the AH would have an impact on that decision.

      I didn’t need to look up information for a question that hadn’t yet been relevant.

      • “I’m just going to blatantly ask it:

        Is Blizzard going to block access to Korean servers from those who aren’t actually in the Korean region?

        As in, can I buy the game, and then transfer region to the Korean region?”

        is the thread I referred to where later blue posted in, and thats the question I meant 🙂

        • Again, that was before the Korean version was approved without access to the RMAH. Now that Blizzard had new information, it was possible they would change their decision with respect to the Korean server. It appears that is not the case, and what I would expect, but really Blizzard could do anything they want for whatever obscure reason (then turn around and portray it as being noob players who created single player characters by mistake, etc).

  7. i think this Korean exception for RMAH will just be the spark for 3rd party sites to kick in. Let me explain. Sometime in the future, 3rd party sites may be able to offer items at a lower price than the AH. Initially, 3rd party sites may even help to lower the RMAH prices by natural competition but since the RMAH has fixed fees, that profit margin players get from selling items will tend to zero.
    Heres an example:
    May 2013: Eaglehorn bow costing [email protected], [email protected] sites. Result= Players still prefer the AH. Note that with a fixed fee on $0,8, players get  a $0,2 margin. 3rd party sites still have 1$ margin.
    December 2013: Eaglehorn bow costing $0,[email protected] and $0,[email protected] sites. Result= players might be discoraged to sell items through RMAH because the margin is only 0,07 and 3rd party sites still take all profit from it. We now see some significant growth of the 3rd party sites, and the RMAH starts shrinking in activity.
    July 2014: Eaglehorn bow costs $0,[email protected] and $0,[email protected] sites. No need to extend myself, i think you get it now. In the end, 3rd party sites win again unless blizzard changes fees throughout the time.

  8. I certainly wouldn’t mind if all the people who insist on whining about this issue shipped them selves off to not-my-realm.  Win-win for every one!

  9. I’m prob going to be stuck with the SEA RMAH & SEA region even though I’d prefer the US as my latency is slightly better most of the time to US.  Can i buy a US copy of the game to get RMAH? what about a US VPN and an account made from the US.
    I wonder how blizzard will sort your RMAH region out…

  10. Hey Flux,

    How about doing a survey on what people’s plans are for selling on the RMAH? I think the big concern for a lot of people is that anything that earns a penny or more is going to end up on it. Here’s an idea for the survey:

    What are your plans for selling on the RMAH?

    (A) I’ll use it right from the start, but only to sell “high-end” items.
    (B) I’ll use it right from the start to sell anything that nets a penny or more.
    (C) After the market stabilises, I’ll use it, but only to sell “high-end” items.
    (D) After the market stabilises, I’ll use it to sell anything that nets a penny or more. 
    (E) I won’t use it ever.

    If we knew what people’s inclinations are for selling items, then we might get a better idea of where we are going to have to go (RMAH v. GAH) for the items we would like purchase – something that may or may not validate the irritation some people have at potentially being forced into the RMAH just to get access to some items.

  11. Just to clarify for everyone, later in that thread Bashiok confirms that they still have a RMAH, just without the cashout option:

    “So, I was right, they have an auction house that uses balance, which is separate from the gold auction house. There are some details I’m still fuzzy on because the Korea balance works a bit differently from ours.

    In any case, it won’t be the currency-free option you’re looking for.”

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