Blizzard today offered new details on Diablo III's controversial real-money auction house. The service will launch "approximately one week" after the role-playing game ships on May 15, and Blizzard will enact surcharges on all commodities sold and for those wishing to cash out.
Blizzard said it will take $1 from every piece of equipment (weapons and armor) successfully sold. For commodities like crafting materials, gems, gold, and what Blizzard described as "stackable" items, the company will enact a 15 percent transaction fee. On top of that, Blizzard will take another 15 percent if gamers elect to move funds to a third-party service like PayPal.
Gamers can avoid that fee (and PayPal's own surcharge) by dumping the cash into their Battle.net account, but there, the funds can be used only to purchase Blizzard games, subscriptions, and merchandise. For more on fees associated with Diablo III's auction house, check out Blizzard's comprehensive FAQ.
The company also today announced that Diablo III will make use of Battle.net's new Global Play feature. This allows players to create new characters and friends lists in regions outside of their home territory.
Diablo III's servers will be located in three major regions: The Americas (United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia), Europe (European Union, Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates), and Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau).
When players first create a character, it will be tagged for play in their home region, which is determined by the country registered to their Battle.net account. The Global Play option allows players to jump into any other game region before or after they log in to Diablo III.
The Global Play offering is not without its restrictions. Players will not be able to migrate characters, items, and friends lists between regions. Further, players will be blocked from accessing the real-money auction house when playing outside their "home" region.
For more on Diablo III, check out GameSpot's latest preview.