Diablo 3: Auction House Does Cash, More

As reported earlier, Blizzard scheduled a press event last Tuesday giving the media access to Diablo 3. Because everyone was under an NDA, the info couldn't be released until today. That said, a good number of details are starting to make their way into the stream including the game's required constant Internet connectivity and an auction house dealing with real cash.

But first, Monday brought the unsurprising news that Blizzard's highly-anticipated action-RPG will require a constant Internet connection. Naturally this DRM method will help fight against a flood of pirated versions that could potentially flood torrent and Usenet channels. But Blizzard has also chosen this route so that player characters can move from single-player to multi-player seamlessly.

In essence, Diablo 3 cannot be played offline.

"We thought about this quite a bit," said executive producer Rob Pardo. "One of the things that we felt was really import was that if you did play offline, if we allowed for that experience, you’d start a character, you’d get him all the way to level 20 or level 30 or level 40 or what have you, and then at that point you might decide to want to venture onto Battle.net. But you’d have to start a character from scratch, because there’d be no way for us to guarantee no cheats were involved, if we let you play on the client and then take that character online."

"Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t play a game by yourself – of course you can," he added. "You can go into and start any game that you want, you’ll just be connected to the Battle.net servers, and we can authenticate your character."

In addition, Pardo revealed a list of Battle.net features that will be embedded in the game, requiring a constant Internet connection. These include: persistent friends list; cross-game chat via the RealID system; persistent characters that are stored server-side; persistent party system; player-versus-player and public game matchmaking; dynamic drop-in/out for co-op; larger item stash, shared among all of your characters; the auction house; achievements and detailed stat-tracking; the Banner system.

Now comes another shocker: no mods for Diablo 3. “For a variety of gameplay and security reasons, we will not be supporting bots or mods in Diablo 3, and they’ll be expressly prohibited by our terms of use for the game," read an official Diablo 3 FAQ handed out during the press event.

So no offline mode, no bots and no mods. Is there any good news stemming from the press event? Certainly. Joystiq reports that Diablo 3 will feature two in-game auction houses to sell items from player to player: one using in-game gold and one using real-world cash.

According to the report, the latter auction house will be like an "eBay for Sanctuary," allowing players to put items up for sale in each of the game's various regions around the world. Blizzard will take a fixed fee out of the eventual sale for listing and selling the virtual item. Players can either keep the cash in their Battle.net account to use on other Blizzard-related items, or cash out and pay a set percentage-based withdrawal fee. So far Blizzard hasn't revealed what third-party financial institution it plans to use.

"Ultimately, players want it," Pardo said in regards to the cash-based auction house. "If Blizzard doesn't do this system, I'm not so naive to think that [third-party auctions are] not going to happen. In the past we've really taken this hardline stance of, we will just try to stamp it down in every place that we can. And we could take that approach. But I actually think that with Diablo, it actually will end up being a good thing, at least something that players will be excited about. It really is something that a lot of players are already looking to do."

Stay tuned for more as the lifted NDA releases the Diablo 3 flood.

  • daygall
    yay... more cloudy days ahead... I am beginning to hate large game devs, 1st ubisoft pulls this stupid 100% connected BS outa there asses, now blizzard with a game that has a campaign :/ youd think they could setup some system that tracks how quickly your char lvls up\gets certain skills\ w\e and use some piece of software to filter... but no, gonna be lazy and screw over anyone that would have wanted to play campaign via mobile... oh well guess its time to buy an android after all, 3g wifi hot-spot here i come -_-

    (yes i dont have a *smart phone* yet as i find the name moronic and like my regular old cell phone fine
  • tsnorquist
    Let me put on my /nerdhat here.

    A few months after Star Wars Galaxies came out, I found a "legendary" stone dagger that did something like 400 poison damage for 400 seconds every 4 seconds.

    I sold it to some bounty hunter for $125.00. Needless to say I quit thereafter and made a nice profit.

    Maybe luck like that will come to me or others with D3.
  • enforcer22
    Not that i like deablo but this is pretty much why i stopped buying thier games. i waited years for sc2 only to have it be raped by the dev. DRM killing one game at a time!
  • someguynamedmatt
    This is what happens when people pirate games. Happy now, assholes?
  • Azn Cracker
    i don't see the problem with DRM. If the game is going to be multiplayer based, then go for it! SC2 and Diablo 3 is meant to be played online.
  • bavman
    Blizzard is raping d3 like it did with sc2. Even worse. No offline? Why? now theyre just being a-holes. And mods are the only thing that made offline any fun.
  • crewton
    I like the idea for using cash in game. I'd love to sell enough to make the game basically free for me to play. Plus, blizzard can steal profits off of all the 3rd party gold sites. Although I imagine there would be a large gold inflation as it would become nearly worthless.
  • Darkerson
    Thanks for ruining all that I loved about Blizzard games, Activision. Job well done...
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Well, up yours, Blizzard. Can't wait for your stupid DRM to be cracked just so you shut up. First SC2 doesn't have LAN mode so I can't play it on LAN parties, now this BS.

    This is what happens when people pirate games. Happy now, assholes?

    Totally happy. It'll be even more funny when even THIS gets cracked despite Blizzard's efforts.

    What the hell, really... This isn't goddamn WoW! Constant Internet connection, sure... that's NOT how I want to play my games. I feel like pirating is totally justified in this case.

    Why do I care, anyway? Never liked Diablo. Just hope the stupid tendency doesn't spread to good game makers, like BioWare... Games for Windows LIVE was annoying enough in GTA 4 and DoW 2.
  • bak0n
    bavmanBlizzard is raping d3 like it did with sc2. Even worse. No offline? Why? now theyre just being a-holes. And mods are the only thing that made offline any fun.
    I haven't bought SC2 just for that reason. I won't be buying Diablo 3 for the same. Not for the mods reason, but the lack of offline where I can play in on a laptop where I don't have a net connection.