The last time we checked in with our skeleton-raising Diablo 2 necromancer, the blood of the three Prime Evils – Mephisto, Diablo and Baal – stained the hands of our summoned golem and the world had been saved from sure destruction yet again. That was way back in 2000. Now, over a decade later, we're beginning to hear some solid facts about the upcoming Diablo 3. Or at least facts about in-game transactions. Apparently Blizzard doesn't want to let the item-selling money train plow on without them; the company just announced that a couple of item-selling auction houses would be built right into the game.
Players will be able to spend in-game cash to purchase the unique weapons and armor of their dreams in one of the two auction houses, Joystiq reports. The other auction house is for people who want to spend their real-world dough to outfit their barbarian with the best gear money can buy. Blizzard will charge two "nominal" fees; once when an item is listed for sale, and another time when the item is actually purchased. If you want to "cash out" and move your money off the Blizzard.net servers, you'll also need to pay a fee to an as-yet-unnamed third-party payment provider. Blizzard will offer a limited amount of free transactions for players who want to try out the selling system before ponying up cash.
Image credit: Joystiq.com
Rob Pardo, Blizzard's VP of Game Design, told Joystiq that the move was actually prompted by player requests. There's a thriving underground item-selling scene in online games, and players wanted Blizzard to step in and make the process safer and more secure for Diablo 3. When asked if Blizzard may one day sell items itself, Pardo said "I don't want to come out and say never say never. But at this point we have no plans of selling items to the player that would be power items," although non-game-affecting items – like cosmetic novelty items – are a possibility.
Now the bad news: in order to keep everything on the up-and-up, Blizzard's requiring players to have an active connection to Blizzard.net if they want to play Diablo 3, even if they are playing single-player mode. It's back to Solitaire if a thunderstorm knocks out your Internet, in other words. What do you think: is that a worthwhile trade in exchange for in-game auction houses?