Real Money Auction House Coming to the Diablo 3 Beta

That’s the word from Blizzard this morning. Here’s the quote from their update.

As part of the ongoing Diablo III beta test, a trial version of the currency-based auction house will be available for players to begin using within the beta. Testers will soon receive 50 Beta Bucks to test the buying and selling of in-game items. The gold-based auction house will be inaccessible to testers during this phase of the beta test, and any currently listed auction items will be returned to the seller. For more information, please read the FAQ.

Click through for the full FAQ, and some commentary on the fees and other details therein revealed. Thanks to Neinball and Belor (who first sent news of this from Russia, which made the revelation seem like the punchline from a popular meme) for the tip.

Diablo III Beta Currency-Based Auction House FAQ

Q. What are you testing?
In order to make sure that the currency-based auction house is ready for the release of Diablo III, we will be providing each beta participant with virtual currency to test the buying and selling of in-game items. This will allow us to assess the way the auction house is used, identify bugs, and test the transaction fees.

Q. Why are you testing this now?
As we approach the release of Diablo III, it’s very important that we make sure the auction house meets our highest standards. We’re committed to providing a secure, user-friendly service, and this test period is an important step toward meeting those goals.

Q. What happens to my current auctions on the gold-based auction house?
Any current auctions will be canceled and the items returned to your stash.

Q. Can I still use the gold-based auction house during the beta test?
Initially the gold-based auction house will be disabled to focus player trading within the currency-based auction house. The gold-based auction house may be re-enabled sometime later on during the beta.

Q. How much money will I get to use?
All beta testers will be provided with 50 Beta Bucks.

Q. Is this real money? Will I be able to cash it out?
The 50 Beta Bucks are being provided as nonmonetary virtual currency for beta testing purposes only. It will not be possible to cash this money out or to utilize it for any services outside the Diablo III beta test.

Q. What if I spend it all? Will I be able to get more?
We may provide additional Beta Bucks at a future point in time during the beta test process.

Q. Is there a limit to the amount of Beta Bucks players can earn in the beta?
Currently, there is a limit of 500 Beta Bucks for the currency-based auction house beta.

Q. Can players trade gold using Beta Bucks during the beta test?
No, players can’t trade gold for Beta Bucks during this phase of the beta test.

Q. If you wipe characters, will you restore our Beta Bucks balance?
In the event of a character wipe, we expect to provide players with another 50 Beta Bucks for currency-based auction house testing purposes.

Q. What are the auction house fees?
During the Diablo III closed beta test, the Seller will incur a 0.15 Beta Buck listing fee and a 0.65 Beta Buck fee per successful transaction in the currency-based auction house. These numbers are not final and are for testing purposes only; they’re subject to change.

Q. Will we still get free transactions?
Yes, players will be given a set number of free listings per week. In cases where these listings lead to a successful auction, the transaction fee will still apply.

Q. Will the fees we see in the currency-based auction house beta test be final?
As part of the beta testing process, we will be assessing the final auction house fee structure. We’ll provide more information at a future point in time.

Q. Will I be able to access the auction house with a mobile device or through a Web interface?
No, during the beta test the auction house will only be accessible through the game client.

Q. Are these transactions secure?
With the Diablo III auction house, we aim to provide a safe and secure experience to all of our players. We strongly recommended that players utilize a Authenticator (either Mobile or the physical authenticator) as an additional layer of security. For more information on account security, visit our support page or view our YouTube video.

Q. Are other currencies available in the currency-based auction house beta test?
The only currency used for this test are virtual “Beta Bucks” that don’t have any monetary value and do not equate to any actual currency. This does not reflect our plans regarding international currency operations.

Q. Will there be separate currency-based auction houses in each region during the beta test?
No. For testing purposes only, there will be a single, global currency-based auction house for the duration of the beta.

Q. Will players be able to use mods to “snipe” my auctions out from under me?
Diablo III does not support mods and they are strictly prohibited.

Q. Will I be able to use the currency-based auction house while in Hardcore mode?
No. Hardcore mode is not implemented in the Diablo III closed beta test. When Diablo III launches, players who choose to take on Hardcore mode will not have access to the currency-based auction house. Hardcore players will be limited to buying and selling items from the gold-based auction house.

Lots of interesting details in there. Still no disclosure of how many free listings we’ll get per week, but note the fees: 15 cents per listing and 65 cents for a completed transaction. (And you pay the transaction fee even on a free listing.) As the FAQ says, these are just sample values for the beta test and may be different in the full game, but you have to think these values are somewhere near Blizzard’s planned costs. So you’re looking at 80 cents in fees on every sale, which at least sets us an idea of the minimum RMAH value something would have to have to not be traded in gold.

Also consider that gold itself will be RMAHable (in the full game, though it’s not permitted in this beta test), and that the same fees will kick in on a gold sale. Therefore you’d want to do larger transfers each time, so the flat fee would be less of a percentage of your total transfer. We’ll have to see the exchange rate, and then the gold costs for listings and sales, to get an idea of how this 80 cent fee translates into gold costs.

Thanks to Belor and Neinball for the newstip.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Beta, Real Money Trading


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  1. Called it again. 😉
    Was really hoping they’d go with Bobbybucks but I guess not.

  2. wow, this is the news that most suggests a Jan release 

    I wasn’t a believer in the Jan 17th prediction, but now I’m rethinking it

    • why even bothering jumping on any kind of “prediction waggon” i wont believe anything of that kind until its official . blue on black.

    • I’d like the believe that, but it sounds like they are still doing basic design changes to gems and runes.  Given that those require balance across 4 difficulties, plus more back-end work likely remaining on the RMAH, I don’t think they are that close.  Hope I’m wrong.

  3. “0.15 Beta Buck listing fee and a 0.65 Beta Buck fee per successful transaction”

    LOL!!! Not only Blizzard will charge players to list their items but also for each transaction!!!!! Its subject to change, of course, but the final valor will be similar.

    The players that defended the AH saying they won’t have to spend any extra money after they buy the game will break their faces. Its going to be fun to watch their whining.
    At least Blizzard is giving player period free auctions instead of a limited flat amount.

    “Will players be able to use mods to “snipe” my auctions out from under me?”

    “Diablo III does not support mods and they are strictly prohibited.”

    LMAO with this FAQ…

    • i still can AT FIRST sell one item and then pay the fee with the balancePoints i earned, cant i?

    • You won’t have to spend any extra money after buying the game.

      • Exactly, noone forces you to use any of the auction houses. Ever. It’s your choice. Don’t like it? Don’t use it.

        • That and you’ll get a number of free listings per week, as it says in the FAQ. Which is 100% acceptable for the occasional trader, and 100%, I’d say, for the compulsive one.

      • “You won’t have to spend any extra money after buying the game.”
        Yes, but you will be locked out from the RMAH. I really don’t see how the gold based AH will manage to compete with the RMAH’s items. Not only in number of offers but also in the quality of the items listed.
        Even with the few free weekly auctions I doubt anyone not whiling to spend real money will succeed in selling their items before their offers expires. The more probable scenario is that people who pay for their auctions will sell most of the items because they can just refresh their offers indefinitely.

        • Um. Synchrotron. Pro-tip:
          1. Find awesome item.
          2. Use free listing to sell it for $$$.
          3. Congratulations, you can now participate in the AH game without spending a cent!

          • You don’t even need that. You could just grind away building up gold, which you could sell for $ and use that. Obviously it would take longer, but it’s a sure road to profit, unlike top quality item finds, which are chance.

    • Unless they reduce that successful transaction fee, I doubt anyone will ever sell anything for below a dollar… and if you want to cash out using pay pal you get to pay a 30 cent fee that will make you have negative or no income on anything below $1.11…

  4. Lol the auction house is such a dumb idea. Really it is not a way to combat the 3rd party farming sites… If anything this could even make them bigger. I already know of one site that claims it will let you trade with other members on there site for free in order to circumvent the auction house fee’s. I hope the auction house is an epic fail……otherwize i LOVE diablo games they are my favorite games but the auction house sucks, all it does is legitimize buying items. Before at least people were shunned for buying items in D2. Now it will be deemed acceptible and even normal….i hate it….LONG LIVE DIABLO!!!

    • You should specify what type of AH you mean, couse GAH is an excelent solution that’ll save a buttload of time, I wont be discussing RMAH at all here since it would take more typing… a whole lot more typing….

    • There will always be ways to trade without using the AH, for gold or $. The issue is finding someone to do that trade with, and I’m sure many online options for that will spring up. Our trade forums will be very busy come D3, I’m sure.  The AH just simplifies it with the in-game interface and built in security on the trade.

      If you sell something outside of the AH, and you’re not just trading item for item, you’ve got to arrange some way to exchange the item for $ via paypal, and then you’re into the same “probably get ripped off” issues that plague such trading in D2.

  5. Great, more RMAH arguments…

    *Plays Hardcore and puts on headphones*

  6. Speaking of which, if they didn’t want to put the RMAH into hardcore why did they include hardcore at all? Maybe they figure only 1-2% of the population plays it but they’re, well, hardcore players. So they most likely use a lot more resources than most. Plus all the dying/starting new characters, the graveyard…that adds up. Hardcore players will basically be subsidized by softcore RMAH users.

    • except HC has its own Money AH – Graveyard data adding up ? really ? i bet the file required to visually reference your Character Name , Sex and Equippement is less than 2 kb – and if blizzard claims anything else they are exxagerating. i mean i get free internet storage everyhwere – Google mail alone is 8 gb of free storage.
      the data traffic ofc is considerably higher (esspecially ingame naturally) but i cant imagine that the storage can possibly be a problem. – i bet you could break down your entire Account sheet to less than 10 MB  even with 10 fully equipped characters.

      • “except HC has its own Money AH”

        No it doesn’t… HC has a seperate gold ah and that’s it…

        It’s obvious they are avoiding the major QQ and customer support shit storm it would be if people were constantly losing characters with gear they bought with real money on them…

  7. In Soviet Russia, house auctions you!
    (Sorry, someone had to do it.)

  8. Again: Release date January 2012. ^^

  9. Pre order for digital download after vga lol …if it comes out in jan that would be sick

  10. There is a Diablo 3 pre-DOWNLOAD for buyers of the WoW annual pass, which includes a free digital copy of the game. This might actually go live after the SVGA, so that the servers have less stress when the game launches (and maybe the lucky WoW annual pass buyers will have the pleasure to participate in a Diablo 3 stress test mid December, or so).

    • I doubt there will be a stress test for annual pass people if there is no giving out of beta keys for pre-orders…

      • “no giving out of beta keys for pre-orders…” …that they’re prepared to announce at this time.

        Remember how there were no plans for a D3 console? Until one day suddenly there were, and a team had long since been working on it internally.

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