Blizzard has made a few updates to the Diablo 3 Auction House FAQ, answering questions about the DiabloWikiAuction House shutdown. And really, I should say “imminent shutdown” since March 18th is just on the other side of this weekend.

    Q. On what day and at what time will the gold and real-money auction houses be shut down in all regions?
    Answer: The gold and real-money auction houses are currently scheduled to shut down in all gameplay regions at approximately 3:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, March 18. Please note that this schedule may change and that the auction houses could be shut down a little earlier or later on March 18.

    Important to note that while the AH is not going to allow any more buy/sell transactions after the 18th, players will be still be able to access their Completed Tab until June 24th. You could even activate Reaper of Souls, buy the 4th stash tab in-game, and then dump your Completed Tab into it, if you had that dire a shortage of storage space.

    Click through for the rest of the updated FAQ.

    Q. Will the shut down process require maintenance?
    Answer: No, the shut down will not require maintenance. However, the current shut down time will overlap with scheduled Tuesday maintenance for the Americas gameplay region.

    Q. What will happen to my current auctions when the gold and real-money auction houses are shut down?
    Answer: All active auctions will expire as normal following the shutdown of the gold and real-money auction houses on Tuesday, March 18. Once the shutdown is complete, items will either be delivered to the current highest bidder or returned to the seller, appearing in each player’s Completed tab. Unclaimed gold will also appear in the Completed tab. Players will be able to claim gold and items and from this tab until June 24, 2014.

    Successful transactions involving Battle.net Balance and/or PayPal will be processed normally and all usual fees will apply.

    Q. What happens to my unclaimed items and gold in the Completed tab after the shutdown?

    Answer: Players will be able to claim gold and items from the Completed tab in both the gold and real-money auction houses until June 24, 2014. Items and gold not claimed by this date will be consumed by Treasure Goblins, never to be seen again.

    To avoid any unintended loss of gold or items, we strongly recommend that players clear out their Completed tabs prior to March 18, 2014.

    Q. How will I be able to access the Completed tab after the gold and real money auction houses are shut down?
    Answer: The auction house window will remain available for all players until June 24, 2014; however, the ability to Bid, Buyout, and list new auctions in the gold and real-money auction houses will be disabled on March 18, 2014.

    To access the Completed tab after the gold and real-money auction houses have shut down, simply click on the gavel icon and select which auction house (gold or real-money) you wish to access. The Completed tab will appear in its normal location on the far right of the auction house window.

    Q. My Completed tab is already full! What will happen to outstanding items after the gold and real-money auction houses are shut down?
    Answer: Each Completed tab can display up to 50 items at a time. If a player has more than 50 items to claim from the gold or real-money auction house, those outstanding items (including unclaimed gold) will remain in the Completed tab “backlog.” As items are removed from the Completed tab and additional space is made available in the UI, items in the backlog will begin to appear and can be claimed as normal.

    Please note that items and gold in the backlog will be removed permanently from the game after June 24, 2014.

    Q. What will happen to my existing Battle.net Balance?
    Answer: Your Battle.net Balance total will not be affected by the shutdown of the gold and real-money auction houses on March 18, 2014. In addition, players will still be able to use their Battle.net Balance to purchase a variety of services and Blizzard games from the Battle.net Shop. For more information, please visit our Battle.net Balance support article.

    Q. Can I convert my Battle.net Balance into cash after the real-money auction house is shut down?
    Answer: No. Funds added to Battle.net Balance are not refundable (except as otherwise provided by law) and cannot be converted into cash. For more information, please visit our Battle.net Balance support article.

    After playing a couple of weeks of D3v2 with Loot 2.0, I have grown only more confused as to why the Auction House needs to be shut down. The current game actually seems a pretty nice mixture of finding and trading. All the best items (legendaries and sets) are BoA, which makes the AH a nice secondary market to buy/sell lower tier gear (Rares). And it’s very convenient for trading materials, allowing poor players to sell what they find for a steady gold gain.

    Work you way up while you still can.

    Work you way up while you still can.

    The counter argument would probably be that the AH is still too good a way to gear up. Legacy legendaries can be AH-sold, and they are as good or better than Loot 2.0 items in some slots. Also, the AH makes crafting very easy for players with gold to spend. All plans can be bought and sold, as can all materials but Demonic Essences (which now drop quite often) and legendary materials which are only required for a few recipes in D3v2.

    That’s true… but it won’t be in Reaper of Souls. In the beta at least, all crafting plans were BoA, as were all materials, all gems, and all the crafted items you produced. White, blue, and yellow items could be traded in the RoS beta, but not legs and not leg mats and not gems, and those were required for almost all crafting.

    I think the RoS economy would be a lot more interesting if the AH remained and if materials and gems could be traded. All the best gear would still self found or self-crafted, but at least there would be some economy and some ways for poor players to turn their finds into gold at a rate above the tiny returns offered by in-game merchants.

    Everyone who spent all of their imported gold in the Beta had no way to pick up enough to ever get ahead again. This resulted in players with hundreds of each type of Marquise gem, thousands of each material, and not enough gold to upgrade the gems or craft the materials, while players with lots of gold had nothing to spend it on and would happily have bought mats and gems. Perhaps in the live Reaper of Souls, Bliz will ease some of the excessive binding restrictions and at least allow players to trade/sell materials and gold, even without the convenience of the AH. It would be a nice perk of Clan membership; easier ways for buyers and sellers to contact each other without enduring trade channel spam.

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