‘Diablo III’ Beta announced, auction house explained

The Diablo III Beta details have been released, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sitting in a pool of my own saliva right now. If you’ve managed to wipe that visual image from your memory, then feast your eyes on these playable features:

  • All 5 character classes – Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter
  • Tristram Cathedral – Everyone remembers Skeleton King Leoric right? I think he even made an appearance in DotA.
  • Followers – Only some of them, but still helpful if you have no friends.
  • Randomization – They listed this as a feature, but I suspect it’d be harder NOT to randomize just for the Beta.
  • Items – Gems, Charms, and Runestones included.

I’ve been going crazy over every released preview of this game, so if you haven’t looked at gameplay trailers, check them out. In addition, Blizzard shed some light on the new Auction House that would be available in the third iteration:

  • Just what it sounds like – Kind of works like the one in World of Warcraft.
  • Search functionality – Sorting by multiple columns and the ability to search for multiple characters on the same account. Both of these features sound awesome.
  • Pay with or make cold, hard cash – You can also pay or sell for real money. There is a transaction fee involved for the seller, but they can have the proceeds directly deposited into a “third-party payment service”.
  • The Old Fashioned Way – You can still do direct character to character transfers. The way me and my friends did it: Drop mountains of stuff into piles and let an unspecified deity sort it out.
  • Blizzard is not evil – Blizzard isn’t going to mess with supply and demand. This will be a player-driven economy.
  • Sell from your account – That means you can sell from any of your characters on the same account or from the shared stash without having to log out, which is annoying and also affords you an opportunity to stop playing the game.

Personally, I won’t be paying real life money for items, but the Auction House sounds like a much better way to get a Stone of Jordan. And since both the real and fake money Auction Houses are completely optional, I can even forget the Auction House exists and play it like Diablo II, which is still an awesome thing. Now for the hardest decision of all: Which class should I play first?

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