EU Real Money AH To Become A Reality On Friday

By Nathan Grayson on June 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am.


Diablo III‘s real money auction house launched in the US yesterday, and so far, direct exposure doesn’t seem to be causing connection issues, account hacks, additional limb growth, or premature death in my race of designated Blizzard guinea pigs. So, assuming that holds up (and I’d be willing to bet my third arm it totally will), it’s headed to EU regions on Friday – as spotted on an in-game prompt by Eurogamer. Originally, Blizzard’s officially sanctioned solution to gold farming was slated for roll out on June 13.

So yes, wallets and/or pitchforks at the ready. If you keep both in the same place, that’s probably very painful for you and confusing for others. At any rate, make sure to read about how the RMAH works here (beware: transaction fees) and procure an Authenticator. So then, many of us dream of being reality-bending wizards or bone-shattering barbarians, but who’s chomping at the bit to become the auction house baron who takes a small fortune from reality-bending wizards and bone-shattering barbarians?

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78 Comments »

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  1. Toberoth says:

    Kind of glad you said third arm instead of third leg.

  2. HostFat says:

    The fees are so high that there is an huge space for the “black marked” :D
    Example: ogrr.com

  3. yabonn says:

    Lvl 60 in Diablo 3 finally admits its true nature : a job.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      What’s the gold to currency exchange?

      I just find this incredibly creepy, even the presence of the auction house takes away a lot from the game, I have to use it if I want a powerful character and it provides me with much more money than the vendors, but it makes the game feel so infinitely much more artificial.

      • Desmolas says:

        Your absolutely right mate. The mere presence of the Auction House for me steals away some of the magic of Diablo. Its still a great game im not bashing it. But although Blizzard devs have denied the loot tables have been made deliberately generic and your chance of really great drops made very low, I think you’d have to be very naive to say the RMAH hasn’t influenced that. It feels less Diablo and more like Capitalism: The Game.

      • alundra says:

        More money than vendors?? Good luck with that, you will need at least 10 computers and bots:

  4. KikiJiki says:

    Found a pair of almost perfect roll Depth Diggers last night, might try to flog them on here while the prices are still artificially high.

    If I could get £50-100 for them I’d be more than happy.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      We all know that in a Blizzard game, almost perfect equals trash.

      • KikiJiki says:

        To clarify: The GF and MF % are top rolls, the Int is about 4 points below max, the All resist is 3 points below max and the bonus stats are another resist and Vitality.

        It’s actually a really great item and I’m using it right now, but if I could get some cash for it I’ll gladly go back to my Hammer Jammers :p

        • Squirrelfanatic says:

          Oh, I don’t doubt that it is a great item that you’ve found or that it is really useful. It’s just that when people are looking for good items, they usually go for the best of the possible variants. It was the same in D2, just a few % or +X dam or life below what was theoretical possible, and the value of the item suffered immensely. Most of the time, you ended up using the nearly-but-not-fully-perfect items yourself or sold them for a lower price.

          Maybe it is something different with D3, I can’t tell how fast items become over-farmed. I would be interested in hearing back from you how much you got, if you decided to sell the item.

          • The Least Fun Human Being On Earth says:

            For example, in Diablo 2 someone would spend more to get a “perfect” grief phase blade with added AR, even though they’re a smiter and thus have absolutely no need for AR whatsoever.

          • Reapy says:

            I worried about this, but honestly the train isn’t there yet. I mean I didn’t play d2 but I figured that people would wait out for perfect gear before buying, but people are selling 250 dollar items that are definitly not well rolled.

            The problem as someone who was stupid enough to roll a barb like me, who can’t really farm act 2 inferno yet, I’m right with the largest player population, so my drops are crap. New patch should help stuff, but that means the rest of the world will be flooding the market with the same stuff, and the value will drop. I’ve always been 1 off the money makers, and by the time most of us get there, the ship will have sailed imho.

            Also, sold shitty ring for 2.50 us is about all.

        • PearlChoco says:

          I’m a bit of a Diablo noob, but what is an item”s “max”?

          • Ringwraith says:

            Unique items have a range for the bonuses on them, therefore two unique items can vary in stats.
            Same with suffixes on items, they have a range of values they represent. Therefore an item’s ‘max’ is if they have those values at the top of their range.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            It generally refers to the “maximum” of a given bonus that an item can possess for a given characteristic. For example, a “Medium Metal Buckler” (made-up name) may by chance carry the “gives +31 life” characteristic. Since this buckler has (for example) dropped from a level 25 monster on “Hell” difficulty level, it could theoretically have had “gives +40 life”, since this is the maximum of this characteristic such an item generated on this difficulty level could have had.

  5. f1x says:

    I was one of the guys that defended Diablo 3 pre-release, both game mechanics and the AH/RMAH now I must confess I was wrong

    You might think : “Of course you were wrong fool!” , but well I had to see myself,

    After playing a couple weeks I’ve grown tired of the game really fast, and the fact that I should finish the game 2 or 3 more times to actually get a challenge is simply unbearable
    plus discover how broken and pointless crafting is (and expensive) and the fact that to survive in highest difficulty you have no other choice than to equip your self with AH stuff (be it gold or real money)

    I’m really sad for that, because the game is actually a really fine game, with a superb map design, art, etc

    • Toberoth says:

      It’s ok! It’s going to be OK. It’s not your fault.

      *group hug*

      • Vorphalack says:

        Yeah, it isn’t his fault. No one really wanted Diablo 3 to have so many problems, not after 10 years of nostalgia for the brand. Also it’s quite refreshing to see someone admit they were wrong on the internet. Well done you.

    • gschmidl says:

      Unless you believe Blizzard is seeding the auction houses with strong gear, it has to have dropped for SOMEONE or they couldn’t be selling it, so this cannot logically be true.

      The crafting replaces gambling, so it … makes sense? Ok, not really.

      • f1x says:

        Well, my friends are telling me at 60 you get almost 1 hitted by a champion mob in inferno’s act2 for example

        so I guess you might stand a chance if you go Co-Op (or maybe its even worse with group scaling)
        or else you have to buy, because you might have 1 or 2 really good items but the rest is probably garbage

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        Well yes it dropped for someone sure but that is the excuse pretty much every gambling addict makes, “someone’s gotta win right? Why not me?” For pretty much everyone however it isn’t them and the only one that wins is whoever owns the casino or in this case real money auction house who constantly takes a skim as the majority lose out.

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          piratmonkey says:

          Except the gambling analogy doesn’t work. At all.

          • PopeJamal says:

            The gambling analogy works perfectly.

            The best way to setup your scam is to vary the frequency of payouts and vary the value of the payouts. The casinos have been doing it for ages. Who would know better?

            Blizzard wants eyeballs on the screen. That means potential money in the AH and lots of captive eyes for their eventual Ad rotations. Blizzard is doing EXACTLY what they should do if their goal is to compel people to play as much as possible.

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            piratmonkey says:

            I’m not sure gambling means what you think it means. To make a gambling analogy to the loot system, I’d have to pay for each randomized drop of loot. To make a gambling analogy to the RMAH, I’d find it difficult since it works like an AUCTION HOUSE.

          • Foxfoxfox says:

            But you are paying: in the time you spend playing in order to have a chance to roll the dice.

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            piratmonkey says:

            Except that’s irrelevant. Blizzard gains nothing by you simply spending your time playing (whereas in a casino, the house gains money every time you play), they benefit from the player economy only when you buy/sell something on the RMAH.
            D3 is more akin to working freelance in a gold rush that happened on land owned by blizzard, where everyone is trying to get the biggest, shiniest piece of gold to hawk in blizzard’s auction house. Also there is infinite gold to find.

    • Soapeh says:

      I too grew tired of the game in just a couple of weeks. I would rather have been able to spend that time getting 3 or 4 “characters” to 50+ than just one. I can’t stand to play through the same campaign over and over again. At least with MMOs (specifically City of Heroes, the only one I’ve played extensively) you can forge different paths through the content to alleviate the grind.

      • f1x says:

        Exactly,
        having to go back to that awful desert is just… omgz

        and the last 2 acts, were quite… dull
        considering the first act its actually really nice and “dark”

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I was one of the people who thought the always-online wouldn’t affect me specifically (not that I was defending it, mind you) due to my wonderful ISP. That said, I now find myself having been unable to play for the past 3 weeks and next 3 weeks due to having moved and being stuck without a phone line (thanks a lot BT), and relying on a mobile broadband with a limit of 5GB/month (having been cut off by my mobile phone provider already).

      Sigh. So I pretty much feel that I’ve wasted the money I spent on this game.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        You think we love saying “I told you so,” but we don’t. You know why we don’t? Because, by supporting this shit-hole of a game, you’ve told Blizzard “YEAH DO THIS SHIT IN THE FUTURE WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK WE’RE GOING TO BUY IT ANYWAY!!!!!”

        When you buy this shit, you make gaming that much worse.

        • radioactivez0r says:

          That was my argument as well, and then 6 million people bought it in 24 hours or some nonsense, and I decided/realized/came to terms with the fact that my single lost sale meant nothing. So I bought it, and….well, it’s OK. I feel a little suckered.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          But when I was able to play it, I was actually enjoying it quite a bit, so there’s that.

        • f1x says:

          Well you must remember that we are gamers, so willing to buy a game and judge for yourself is inevitable, no matter if its diablo or whatever, the will to know first person and form your opinion about something you are passionated about
          If I had to skip a game every time people said “dont buy this game” then I would probably stuck with tetris or something (not necessarily a bad thing)

          on the other hand, to be honest I did enjoy the game aswell, it just got old too fast, extremely fast,
          plus indeed the connection problems and such have been pretty nasty (not now tho, now its stable)

        • Hematite says:

          If it makes you feel better, I’m sure nobody really cares if you bought the box. The real test of Diablo III is whether the RMAH is profitable or not, so you can still protest by not participating in the game economy (including the gold AH since items flow back and forth between it and the RMAH). The draconian DRM is in service to the RMAH, so if the RMAH fails there won’t be so much incentive for other companies to run complex DRM servers simply to combat piracy.

    • Artificial says:

      I got bored after about 2 weeks of playing too. Knowing that the auction house was just lurking in the background and the RMAH was going to rudely drop in, in a matter of time, I just felt it was pointless playing, trying to get the best loot, as other people could just buy it for themselves with no effort what so ever.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    Kinda sad to see people actually buy $250 items on the USA market… kinda jealous that I didn’t buy D3 so I can’t make a profit off of idiots (including the cost of the actual game itself).

    Then I remember I probably wouldn’t have made it to inferno before getting bored, and even if I did it now, the market will have probably collapsed by the time I do.

    • KikiJiki says:

      These ‘idiots’ are likely to be little kids with mom and dad’s paypal as much as they are likely to be successful professionals who are money rich but time poor.

      • datom says:

        Or speculators. Strikes me that someone who was smarter than me could make a ton of money on this. To take Kikijiki’s example, he has an item he’d be delighted to get $50-$100 for. That’s a big price differential (the reserve is half of its predicted top value), and the difference between the first and second figure is pure profit for someone who spends a lot of time studying auction houses.

        Moreover, who knows if the top value is $100? It strikes me that the majority of ‘sellers’ will not have true knowledge of the value of their product, while ‘power buyers’ will do. Imagine a Russian speculator – with the exchange rate in their favour- spamming the auction house with a bunch of basic components and only giving up 15% in transaction fees.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          Unless I’m mistaken, $250 is the max allowed price on the USA RMAH… so you can’t buy at that price, and then re-sell at a higher price for a profit (excluding black market selling which allows any price going). Even reselling at the same price would cause a loss due to Blizzard’s “cut”.

          • datom says:

            Maybe I misunderstand, but to me, the money is made like this:
            Player X in Russia gets HAMMER OF THOR drop
            Player X in Russia lists HAMMER OF THOR drop, hoping he gets 30 rubles
            Powerbuyer Y buys at 35 rubles, Player X happy
            Powerbuyer Y waits till optimum EU listing time/no other HAMMER OF THOR available/last Friday of month
            Powerbuyer Y sells at profit (anywhere for 37 rubles+), pays Blizzard $1 or whatever.

            The key is that Player X doesn’t know what a HAMMER OF THOR is worth, he just wants the cash; Powerbuyer Y does know the exact value, and along with other Powerbuyers, actually set the market so can influence the price.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            As far as I’m aware, the RMAH is split across regions… so you can’t buy in one region for a low price, and sell it for a high price in another region, because you only have access to one of those RMAHs (even black market trades will probably have issues cross-region).

            If you basically mean profit by selling at max (or at least above what you paid), after buying from people “underselling” within the same RMAH, then that is certainly a slightly different issue. But buying at max price isn’t that scenario from the buyer’s point of view.

    • Moraven says:

      Do we even know people people are buying items at these high prices?

    • ukpanik says:

      I would not buy a digital item for real money, but $250 is not a lot of money. It’s about the avg amount people spend weekly on entertainment.
      Its certainly not just the rich or kids of the rich spending on the auctions.

      • Synesthesia says:

        weekly? Thats roughly a fifth of my monthly salary, and thats when im doing ok. God damn, what do you do and where do you live?

      • Joshua Northey says:

        In no country on earth does the average person spend $250 a week on entertainment, or even the average household.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          It’s one of those countries that only rich people have heard of, where the local services deliver cocaine and hookers in the same way other countries get milk and bread.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        1 Percenter problems and all that…

      • Somerled says:

        My Google tells me it’s closer to $50 average spent on entertainment … per household … per month (in the US).

        Your Google must be from one of those really upscale shops that sells everyday things at a 20x markup. Tell you what, shop around a little before you spend that kind of cash. You’d be surprised.

        • Joof says:

          According to this, it’d be more like 200 a month. 50 a month on entertainment is just really, really low.

  7. frightlever says:

    Julian Dibbell wrote an interesting (if you like numbers) book about his time as an Ultima Online trader.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Play-Money-Millions-Trading-Virtual/dp/0465015352/

    There are fewer talented amateurs out there making a living at this sort of thing now with the farming competition.

    He also wrote “My Tiny Life” about Lambdamoo, which was another interesting read from the early days of the vast online.

    Also, there’s THAT interview with a Chinese gold farmer:

    http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/concerned-diablo-3-farmer-interviewed-on-economy-bots-and-more#more-22038

  8. povu says:

    I understand paying for free to play games, to speed up the grinding. But for me finding new loot is most of the fun in these kind of games, if I had the best equipment right from the start I’d just get bored.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      My line of thinking would be more for the story.. but since Inferno is apparently the point at which you really need to start looking at the Auction House in order to progress, you’ve basically played through the story 3 times over already.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        Also the story isn’t very good. I mean yeah, it isn’t terrible for a videogame but it isn’t good enough to pay to experience the later parts of it the first time through let alone the third.

        • frightlever says:

          The story is crap but the cutscenes are great.

          • radioactivez0r says:

            What I can’t fathom is how the main story quest dialog is awful, but the follower conversations are kind of awesome.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            Well the Scoundrel is good. Could we say the Main story is 1/3rd good too?

  9. Jamesworkshop says:

    I don’t see much of a problem it’s no different than trading to twink a character

    the auction house is just a better tool of player trading

    • Xaromir says:

      You do realize that it’s a platform to buy and sell items for real money? If that’s good to you then maybe you should re-consider playing games and start buying pre-made jigsaw puzzles and reward yourself with a “well done” every time you buy one.

      That’s why i’m not going to buy anther game from them.

      • MasterDex says:

        So then I expect you won’t be buying any Valve games then, or CCP games, or actually any game from any developer that has released DLC and charged for it.

        Listen, I understand taking the higher road as a games consumer. I won’t be buying a Blizzard or Activision game for some time because of the actions of their parent company.

        Let’s be real though, something like this isn’t the awful bull in a china shop that your stance makes it out to be. Being staunchly opposed to this isn’t a logical route to take as to boycott Blizzard products over this, while continuing to purchase any game with DLC that costs real money, makes you a hypocrite.

        And being a hypocrite just lessens the strength of your argument.

        • Vorphalack says:

          He’s not being a hypocrite at all. Your DLC analogy doesn’t fit the argument when compared to buying items. Using the RMAH would be like paying someone else to play the DLC you bought and then giving yourself a pat on the back for a high score. i.e. fucking pointless.

          • MasterDex says:

            How is the person you’re paying the money to really relevant? The fundamental aspect to this is that you’re paying real money for virtual items, something we already do by purchasing DLC, or even games themselves if we’re talking digital distribution.

            Even if we are to consider that paying other players is a bad thing and that there’s the potential for industrious people to make swathes of money off the incompetence of others, whether purely virtual or real, that aspect will be there. It’s an Auction House, the clue is in the name. It works on simple supply and demand. Rare items will be expensive and common items will be cheap. The player’s will decide the price, just like in a virtual auction house, just as on the EVE Online markets, just like we see with TF2 items, and MMO accounts. People will pay money for virtual goods. That is a proven fact.

            The key thing to remember here is that this is entirely optional. Nobody is forcing anybody to use the real money auction house. Am I mistaken? If I’m correct then coupled with my previous arguments, I fail to see why a boycott of Blizzard due to this matter is righteous. There are much more valid reason to avoid Blizzard games.

          • Vorphalack says:

            There are two ways to play Diablo 3. Once through for the story (which is terrible), or farm endlessly for items. Buying items is taking the latter and paying someone to play for you. i.e. fucking pointless. FYI, same applies to the gold auction house. It’s not the RMT that’s the issue, it’s paying someone else to play the game you bought. Using real money only makes it marginally more retarded.

            This should not be hard to grasp.

          • MasterDex says:

            You seem to be limiting the ways one can play Diablo III to further your argument. You’ll have to explain to me how buying items with real money from the auction house to use on your character (or perhaps to play the auction house itself and make a profit to get something more valuable for your character) equates to someone else playing the game for you.

            Frankly, that notion is absurd.

            Let’s take another game or two. First let’s look at BF3. With BF3, every player has the option to buy all the weapons without having to unlock them the standard way. Does this mean people aren’t playing the game? No, it does however mean that people who are cash-rich and time-poor have a way to compete with the best of them on some level however.

            How about TF2. Like Diablo, TF2 items are dropped randomly, relatively speaking. They can also be purchased from the Mann Co. Store and other players do receive real money for the items they’ve created. I was offered and accepted money – in the form of a Steam game – for an entirely aesthetic in-game item. I could have gotten about three times what I actually got for it if I cared too. Are these people that buy these items also having someone else play the game for them?

            You’re simply viewing the item farming as the only other reason – aside from the campaign – to play the game when some people simply enjoy the clickity-click-click and don’t mind spending money to keep on clicking.

            P.S. EVE Online – Plex, Aurum: Real currency

        • Hoaxfish says:

          more like a blizzard at a chinese farm

  10. Zanchito says:

    We’ll see. They are being threatened with legal action in South Korea and now France too (http://www.quechoisir.org/telecom-multimedia/image-son/communique-diablo-3-face-a-l-enfer-vecu-par-les-joueurs-l-ufc-que-choisir-prend-les-manettes) by consumer associations for demanding internet access, taking your money and then not having enough servers to provide a reliable service.

    • Moraven says:

      Same as people suing Apple over their antennagate. Or any MMO with downtime. Did anyone sue Sony over PSN being down for 2+ weeks (for not be able to play online, not just the hacking)?

      • RandomEsa says:

        Same as apple’s antennagate fiasko ( where customers won) the problem is that you can’t use your product because of an oversight or a failure by the provider.

        Not being able to play your singleplayer game when the company can’t provide you the needs to do so is perfectly reasonable.

        Diablo 3 isn’t a MMO either. Sure it is online and it has a multiplayer but it’s not massive and the world isn’t persistent. It’s just a game with always-online requirement.

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      piratmonkey says:

      I’m glad to see litigious nature is ubiquitous.

  11. KilgoreTrout_XL says:

    The best part about D2 was that there wasn’t a single option to use real currency to purchase in-game items. Not a single one.

    Dear Kids: Grow up.

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    Matt_W says:

    Caveat Emptor: The D3 forums are full of folks who didn’t realize that if you send your auction winnings to your Battle.net balance (a choice you must make when you originally post the item), you cannot ever cash that balance out, and can only use it to buy digital copies of pre-SC2 Blizzard games, WoW realm transfers (but not game time), and D3 RMAH items. You must set up a Paypal account with SMS verification to cash out your auctions. And many folks are reporting that pre-paid phones (Virgin, Cricket, etc) are not supported at all.

  13. Jimbo says:

    Is there any kind of regulation on this at all? It’s mindboggling how open to abuse this system is.

    • PopeJamal says:

      I believe the answer is no, that’s why they wanted to get in on the ground floor early and possibly help to set precedents in their favor.