With May 15th less than two weeks away, it's no surprise that the Diablo III hype train is starting to chug along at full speed. Blizzard opened the game's doors to everybody with a Battle.net account for an open beta a couple of weekends back, and in the past few days, the company has released a slick new TV trailer and unveiled the fee structure for Diablo III's controversial auction house item-selling feature. (You know, the one that "forced" Blizzard to invoke always-on DRM, even for single player mode.) Are you ready to get gouged?
The how-to and FAQ pages Blizzard set up for the auction house contain a ton of nitty gritty details and a lot of fine print, but here's the gist of things: If you're selling weapons, armor, accessories or other unique items for real-world money, Blizzard will take one real-world dollar for every item sold. If you're selling gold, gems, dyes or other commodities for either real-world cash or in-game gold, the company yoinks 15 percent of the final sale price for the lot.
The company won't charge you if the item doesn't sell within its 48 hour auction window, but Blizzard will charge you an additional 15 percent of any real-world cash you transfer from your Battle.net account to a third-party payment provider like PayPal. That doesn't include any fees charged by the payment provider, either. (See what we mean about being gouged?) If you want to skip the transfer charges you can use your Battle.net balance to buy in-game items or other Blizzard products, instead.
Your Battle.net account has a soft $250 cap; once a sale pushes you over that total, you can't list any more items until you bring your cash reserve back down below that amount. That $250 figure is the most an item can sell for in real-world cash, as well. Sellers will be able to have 10 different items or commodities up for auction simultaneously. If you sell items for in-game gold rather than real-world cash, Blizzard still takes 15 percent of the final sale price off the top, even for unique items.
Buyers, meanwhile, can pay for items with their Battle.net balance or using a credit card or PayPal account associated with their Battle.net account.
But enough financial talk! Have a gander at the awesome trailer Blizzard whipped up for Diablo III, which doesn't appear to contain any in-game footage whatsoever. (Boo!)