Diablo III; you can't wait for it, I can't wait for it, pretty much anyone who plays games can't wait for it. Blizzard is now showing that not only are they making a game with the devil in the details, but that they may be the devil themselves, if not just as evil. Diablo III is going to have a real money auction house. Players can find objects in the game and sell them to other players for real cash. Why have they done this and why is it evil? I'll get to that in just a moment.
The big question is: Why do this? As stated by Blizzard it is because Diablo is a game about trading. The loot tables are random so when you find that one epic you need, it is a little more epic. This also means that it is pretty hard to find exactly what you want without trading another player, something that really sucked in Diablo II. Now if players get an epic item they can't use, they can place it on the auction house for gold or cash and make a profit in game or out. This is a great move on Blizzard's part as it reduces the third party companies that you might give your account info to. It also means they have control over the transactions. To top it off they make money when you sell an item for real money. They will take a "nominal fixed fee" from each transaction that can differ depending on if the item sells or not. Then the money you make can be used for Blizzard items (your WoW subscription for example) or pay a another fee to get it as actual cash. SEE, they just made money off of you twice! Three times if you count that you bought the game from them.
How is it evil? Simple, people are stupid. Sorry to break it to you like that. Someone is going to hear how so and so made enough money to quit their job from selling things in Diablo III. They are going to do the same thing, but with one minor difference. The idiot will make no money at all. Now they are jobless and need cash, so what do they do? Sell themselves on Colfax (Denver joke, if you live here you will get it). They will keep this up until they make enough money from the auctions to support themselves, which they won't. Blizzard has inadvertently doomed this poor soul to a life of prostitution because they thought they could make a living on the Diablo III auction house. Why do I think there are people like this? Because of people like these.
So when will this downfall of humanity happen? We don't know. Beta testing has started though, so the end of society as we know it may soon be at hand.
It's going to be interesting to see how this will work once the game comes out. I wonder what it means for the gold only Auction Houses. Are there going to be no good items on the gold Auction House cause everyone's going to try and make real money for their items? It could be that way and it could not.
Diablofans.com has a really good post about the gold Auction house and real life money Auction house, so I suggest if anyone wants to do some additional reading about the subject to go there following this link here. Here are some things I learned from it and my thoughts.
Apparently to spend real life money in the Auction House you charge the credit card you have on file with your battle.net account and get a e-currancy balance, which you use to purchase items in the real money Auction House. If you end up selling any items in the real money Auction House the money you make after the listing fee goes to that e-currancy balance or to your credit card if you have the pay back money option initiated. There is another fee from this as well but it goes to a third party for the transaction to the credit card.
Also the gold in game is suppose to be worth a certain amount of real life money that you could "sell" in game to then get e-currancy to spend on the real money Auction House, so you don't necessarily have to pay anything to get in on the real money Auction House. There also might be a few waved transaction fee auctions for you to sell items on the real life money Auction House, giving players another chance to earn the e-currancy without charging a credit card. It begs the question then: Am I going to be willing to spend real money for uber equipment for my character?
Personally, I don't know. I consider myself to be the odd duck when it came to Diablo II. I liked playing by myself. I know most people clamor for the multiplayer, but for me I liked just doing my own thing. My internet was sucky at that time and playing online wasn't the greatest experience. I've also not been so concerned with equipment that I'd spend hours and hours trying for loot to trade or give money to some third party for said epic item. Will my thoughts change once the game comes out and I can try it? They possibly will, but we'll have to wait till that time.
It also gives Blizzard a way to control what is already happening in World of Warcraft and Diablo II; people spending real money for things in the game such as gold and items through third parties. Makes things legit and lets the business be monitored. If someone decides they really need something you can do it all through your account and not have the shady dealings with some third party that might strip your own account to nothing for the transaction.
Hopefully there will be even more details in time. Beta testing is supposedly starting up sometime for Diablo III in Quarter 3 so maybe a launch date is on the horizon.