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The Almighty Buck Games

Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3 (Real Money) Auction House 384

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-just-got-real dept.
trawg writes "At a special event at Blizzard HQ in California, gaming press were treated to the first look at the Diablo 3 auction house — featuring real-world money transactions across different regions allowing you to buy and sell items with real money. There'll be a listing fee and a sales fee for auctions, and while they're not talking dollar numbers just yet, Blizzard assures gamers that they're not looking to pinch pennies." Update: 08/01 17:41 GMT by S :The other big piece of news about Diablo 3 is that it will require a persistent connection to Battle.net to play, even for single-player mode. Eurogamer has a detailed write-up about the current state of the beta.
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Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3 (Real Money) Auction House

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    tsia

    • Who plays Diablo offline?

      On a side note: I'm excitedly waiting for the shitstorm to flair up when the first guy manages to accidentally spend $1000 instead of $10.00 on some random piece of crap in game.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:58AM (#36947568) Journal
        I bought Diablo II and played it in single player and on a LAN exclusively. I'd probably buy Diablo 3 if I could do the same, but it seems that the game is aimed more at WoW players than people who enjoyed Diablo / Diablo II.
        • by drzhivago (310144)

          What? Though since you've never played online you probably don't know that RMT exists in Diablo 2 as well, and this is an effort to combat the most negative associations that go along with RMT (cheating/hacking/scamming).

          Also, I think you are mistaken by assuming that the majority of D2 players didn't play online.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            Also, I think you are mistaken by assuming that the majority of D2 players didn't play online.

            I think you're mistaken by assuming that the post you replied to claimed that.

            But yeah, many people played (and plays!) D2 offline. I'm one of them - I can't be arsed to deal with the LULWOT crowd.
            Until there's a way to filter on verified age, that won't change.

          • by Toonol (1057698)
            I think he's NOT mistaken.,

            That's just my hunch, based on personal experience. Seems like neither of us has figures, though.
        • by X0563511 (793323)

          It's 2011. Network connectivity is assumed, and this is nearly always a valid assumption.

          • by Kenja (541830)
            And yet, many people do not have it 24/7. So this "assumption" you call valid will in fact cost them sales.
          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 01, 2011 @12:05PM (#36949270) Journal
            Mostly these days I play games on a laptop while travelling. If I'm on a train, Internet access is either nonexistent or expensive. If your game requires Internet access, it's either impossible or expensive to use in this environment, so I don't buy it.
          • by toriver (11308)

            It's 2011. As internet usage accelerates - Netflix, online gaming etc. - ISPs are throttling network connections, sometimes just blocking service if you go over a certain limit. Why should you need to gobble up unknown amounts of monthly "allowance" from God Emperor ISP to play a game single-player just because they have this fear of piracy? Pirates will have a "no internet required" patch out in no time, meaning only paying customers will be subject to this totally needless (except for DLC and bug reportin

        • by RulerOf (975607) on Monday August 01, 2011 @11:06AM (#36948550)

          I bought Diablo II and played it in single player and on a LAN exclusively.

          My friends and I did the same, at least initially, but once I got onto Battle.net, I played online exclusively. The rest of them did the same once they got internet access at home.

          One of them did something I thought very odd, though. He played on Battle.net, but only ever by himself. He didn't trade items, either. I couldn't fathom why anyone would do that, considering the palpable negative effects the added latency and the occasional full-on desync had on the game itself.

          [nostalgia]
          To this day, I really, really miss hacking that game. I hereby give a shout out to anyone who recognizes these names or hacks: Herzog Zwei, Thohell, Very_Superior (though a jerk he mostly was), BootyJu1ce, EvilCheese (very, very brilliant hacker), Oxide (who I was told was a twerp), the Chest Hack (0x44, how we hardly knew ye), "The Matrix" (and anyone who liked the Ith War Pike I made on USEast), and (quite possibly the funniest exploit ever) Imbue Scanning.
          [/nostalgia]

          That game made me loathe dialup internet.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            One of them did something I thought very odd, though. He played on Battle.net, but only ever by himself. He didn't trade items, either. I couldn't fathom why anyone would do that, considering the palpable negative effects the added latency and the occasional full-on desync had on the game itself.

            Loot, which isn't always identical offline and online.

            • by RulerOf (975607)

              One of them did something I thought very odd, though. He played on Battle.net, but only ever by himself. He didn't trade items, either. I couldn't fathom why anyone would do that, considering the palpable negative effects the added latency and the occasional full-on desync had on the game itself.

              Loot, which isn't always identical offline and online.

              Ahhh... a keen observation! I wouldn't go so far as to say he was aware of that, though. I don't recall hearing a reason that made sense when I asked "why?" some years ago. :P

      • by daid303 (843777)

        Who plays Diablo offline?

        My mother. A lot. A whole lot more then I ever played diablo. (queue in the "your mother" jokes)
        But the "no offline" play will most likely mean that Blizzard won't see our money this time around. We have 2x Diablo II with exp, and no interest in online play.

        I can understand the "do not mix offline/online chars" idea. But only offering "always online" as an option is stupid in that case. Give the option to play offline and mark that character as "invalid for online play". Guess I'll wait for the torrent. I w

    • by milkmage (795746)

      how about RTFA (read THIS fucking article)
      http://www.1up.com/news/diablo-3-requires-online-when-playing [1up.com]

      you could argue that these features enhance gameplay/experience, and the online requirement isn't only for DRM/security (although simple auth like, SC2, should take care of those concerns)

      really like the shared item stash (a la Torchlight)

      A persistent friends list.
      Cross-game chat via the RealID system.
      Persistent characters that are stored server-side (no more having to play online once every 90 days, nor i

  • Hello IRS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:21AM (#36946996) Homepage

    Oh shit. You just KNOW the IRS will be getting involved here. Anytime you have money moving from person-to-person or business-to-person, the Feds will get their pound of flesh. This could get quite ugly for gamers.

    • Re:Hello IRS (Score:5, Informative)

      by smelch (1988698) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:23AM (#36947042)
      Uh, what?! You mean that an auction house using real money, just like any other auction house using real money on the internet, might actually require people to note the income on their taxes? Quick! Somebody tell everybody who ever used eBay the government is saddling up to ride in on them at dawn! It's about to get real ugly!
      • by Tukz (664339)

        This.

        This is nothing new, a lot of games does something similar with real money, and the IRS hasn't freaked out more than usual (not in my country anyway).
        Move along.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          You do realize the IRS is a US institution and as such doesn't much matter outside of it?

          • by Tukz (664339)

            Of course I should had been more precise.
            When saying IRS, I meant [insert national tax agency]

      • but will they tax in game gold and the gold auction house?

        • by hedwards (940851)

          I don't know what the case law on that is, but technically I think that would be considered bartering and as such taxable. You spent time accumulating the gold or items that you're then trading for some other items or gold.

      • by Alarash (746254)
        Some countries created new business status just because of eBay to tax people making a living out of it. In France it was called "Modernization of the Economy Law." They even have a website for it [minefe.gouv.fr].
    • Just about sums it up. This isn't much different than anything else online. I pay taxes on my XBox 360 purchases, this shouldn't be any different just because it is online.

      • by Rockoon (1252108)

        This isn't much different than anything else online. I pay taxes on my XBox 360 purchases, this shouldn't be any different just because it is online.

        We are talking about "in-game items" here, which are simple database entries. Now please explain why these shouldnt be any different than the purchase of a game.

        • by sqlrob (173498)

          A game is just data too, and is likely a simple entry in a nosql style database in the market.

    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      This is why EVE does all trading with ingame money. Buy a character? Ingame money. Buy items? Ingame money. Buy clothes? Ingame money. Now, you can convert real money to ingame money through company sanctioned means(ETC/PLEX). To avoid tax implications, you can't (through sanctioned means, the Russians break these rules pretty much at will) convert ingame moeny to real money.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        Actually, what makes me curious is if they have to enforce in-State taxation for people that buy things from each other, in the same State.

    • by milkmage (795746)

      yes. same ugly as selling shit on ebay.

      no. news. here.

      I've never sold anything on ebay, so I don't know - but does the Fed track the guy selling his old weed whacker? I think if your income is less than XX they won't even bother.

      besides, you can have credit applied to you battlenet account (which will be more lucrative than cash.. esp since there will be fees involved for cash transacitons)

      just please don't use pay pal.

    • by KiahZero (610862)

      I'm no tax attorney (thank the heavens), but my understanding is that virtual items will be treated as assets, so the IRS would only get involved if a player cashes out those assets and realizes a gain. The upside is that, if I understand correctly, gamers making money off of playing Diablo would be treated like hedge fund managers and be taxed on that income at the 15% capital gains rate rather than ordinary income tax levels.

  • Oh, look (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:24AM (#36947054) Homepage Journal

    Blizzard jumped a shark.

  • Awesome new way to launder all of my illicit income.

  • The new truism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:28AM (#36947124)

    If you can't beat 'em, monetise 'em.

    I guess in principle it's probably not _all_ that evil.

    Still, it makes me think the gameplay experience will be like a Free To Play game... but with a $60 USD (or $90 AUD, grrrr) barrier to entry.

    • You're trying to equip a Demonhorn Sword!

      Would you like to purchase the license to use this item for $2?

    • All they're doing is hosting a player auction house, where items can be bought from players by players for cash. They're not selling items themselves.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Yeah, right. guess who gets charged transaction fees for that? Not who pays it, but who will the fingers be pointed at?

        Blizzard.

        • Eh. If I was going to have to deal with a bunch of cash, I'd charge a fee too. It's a huge pain in the ass. They'll need new staff, and they'll have to pay fees, etc, etc.

      • It's not a trivial change. Previously you could only buy purely cosmetic benefits for Blizzard games (unless you were involved in seedy craiglist-style transactions). The shift in policy from only allowing the sale of cosmetic effects to allowing the sale of actual in-game benefits is significant, even if Blizzard isn't going to be doing the selling. Whether you think it's wonderful or terrible, it's a notable change in game dynamics.

        • If Blizzard *themselves* were selling weapons or armor or something that they created, then yes, I would agree. This is just bringing the player-to-player exchanges that have been around since forever in-house.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          however, its slightly mitigated in that you can't magic items out of thin air - ie, the game balance might just be kept if the fancy items simply change hands from one player to another.

          Its not like they are allowing you to buy skill points, which would be terribly bad. I guess it just legitimises those craigslist transactions (which you can't really stop if one player "decides" to give his fancy item to another player), and allows Blizzard to grab a little fee as thoseplayers do it, which they would go ahe

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:30AM (#36947140)

    So, Blizzard doesn't allow Real Money Trading in WoW, but is going to set up a system in Diablo 3 for that?

    • by bareman (60518)

      That's not hypocrisy, it's R&D. If they can make more money doing this they will most certainly bring it to WoW. Patience friend.

      • by xMrFishx (1956084)
        No I find it unlikely this will ever move "backwards" (sideways?) into WoW. WoW has too larger of a fanbase, too many players to try something like this so late in the game. On the other hand I do find this a feasible large-scale test of using Gold + Currency trading in a Blizzard game. Yes other people have done it first, but this is Blizzard trying it for themselves. The minor testing was of course, mini-pets in wow and mounts, which confer no in game advantage. I honestly believe they'll stick to th
    • by hedwards (940851)

      I suspect the issue there is since the trading is done outside of the game that they don't have anyway of ensuring that the trading isn't just a scam. The fact that they also aren't making money on it is probably the final nail in the coffin though.

  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:36AM (#36947244)
    More news to come out is their decision to mirror Ubisoft with an always online requirement. Players will require a Battle.net connection even to play single player. I certainly won't be purchasing it, and it seems that most of my friends won't either. Too much DRM and no LAN play make it a poor investment.
  • If you buy this game you are essentially going to work for Blizzard except you will be paying for the privilege. Blizzard is taking a cut of each auction when it is posted and again when it is sold (real money). So, you pay Blizzard to play the game (where you search for treasures) then you pay Blizzard (in real money) to trade/buy/sell these things you paid them for the opportunity to find. This is a digital diamond mine and you are a fucking slave.
    • Your point would be more valid if there weren't dozens of services that do the exact same thing already. I see this as Blizzard making a virtue of necessity: if people are going to sell their rare items, then why not facilitate that?

      Nobody is making you play.

    • Because its mandatory that you use the auction house...

  • I seem to recall one of the arguments against allowing RMT at all in the past was that if Blizzard acknowledged that in-game items had value then they could be held liable if there was a server issue that caused someone to lose their account. Was that just an excuse, or is Blizzard so confident in their servers that they don't think that will happen?
  • It's August 1st, not April 1st today. I know they both start with "A", but you really shouldn't post things that are so obviously untrue until April Fool's Day rolls around again, since it's just not funny. I mean, this is a joke, right?

  • After all, you will be incurring real tangible monetary loss.
    Mess up that pull? That will be $5 to cover my repair costs please.
  • Amazingly bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Monday August 01, 2011 @10:39AM (#36948216)
    This just went from the game I was most looking forward to, to now it being on my Do Not Buy list....
  • Is this different somehow than the EverQuest 2 Exchange servers? Other than the fact that it applies to all players and not just the ones who opted in?
  • So I'm reading that there are three parts to what Blizzard revealed today.

    1. D3 players must be always connected to the internet. I don't much care about this, as long as I can play single-player. All my Steam games are always connected already; I'm getting used to it. As long as I can have a game that outsiders cannot join and that is balanced for a single person, I don't care if my internet connection has to be on to play it. (Two years ago my answer would have been different, as I only had a flaky d

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