Let’s start with the bare basics of the Real Money Auction House or RMAH. Anyone who has played WoW, or for that matter the vast majority of modern day MMO’s, is likely aware of the basic nature of online, game based, auction houses. Players can create auctions for various kinds of items found within the specific game they are playing. Other players can then bid or purchase these items with their accumulated game currency. Usually the auction house is the center of the player driven economy due to it being the most convenient public space through which players can conduct commerce. The RMAH takes the idea of a player economy a step further and introduces real currency transactions for the players. Blizzard certainly isn’t the first to do so and they will not be the last. But D3’s RMAH will be one of the biggest, most prevalent player to player micro-transaction systems ever implemented.
How it will all play it is subject to fairly wild speculation ranging from the ability to sustain a livable income through items sales, all the way to it being a complete bust after a month or two when no one needs anything that’s being posted. It might be cliché but the reality is probably somewhere in the middle. Regardless, I don’t call it wild speculation for nothing. The vast majority of the games content is a complete secret to anyone not working at Blizzard. What we do know is the how of various game systems including but not limited to the RMAH itself.
There is loads of information about the RMAH out on the interwebz and the information presented by Blizzard is fairly comprehensive. But in the interest of some brevity for the time constrained, here are some technical snippets worth knowing about the RMAH, Battle.net Balance and Paypal interaction:
- Players can only access RMAH’s in their home region. Yes you can play in another region but you cannot use the RMAH in that region, ie someone in Asia cannot simply switch their region to the Americas and then interact with the RMAH.
- Speaking of Asia, there is not any RMAH in the Asia region currently.
- There are 6 unique and separate RMAH within the Americas region based upon different currencies.
- Of these 6, only 3 have the ability to transfer sales to Paypal accounts. (US, MXN and AUD).
- Different currency Battle.net Balances are not interchangeable and funds cannot be transferred between these Battle.net Balances.
- A posting fee is only deducted from auctions that sell. These fees are $1 per item or 15% for commodities.
- All auctions are 48 hours long. Item auctions can be cancelled for 5 minutes after posting. Commodity auctions can be cancelled at any time.
- There is a 10 auction limit per account.
- Choosing to deposit a successful sale into Paypal will result in a 15% transfer fee. This is 15% of the amount being transferred and not 15% of the original sale amount.
- To successfully transfer money to a Paypal account you must have and use the Mobile Alerts SMS authentication service provided by Battle.net.
- You can only use your Battle.net Balance to purchase approved digital products.
- To maintain a Battle.net Balance above $100 you must use an authenticator of some shape or form.
- $250 is the maximum amount your Battle.net Balance can hold.
In interesting news, Blizzard has announced that the RMAH, will not be available at launch. Instead it will open its digital commerce doors the following week or May 22nd for those keeping track. Their reasoning consists of wanting to avoid even the potential of D3 launch issues causing problems for the RMAH. In all fairness, does it really matter? Who would have been selling or purchasing much initially? Anything before Hell has questionable value and it’ll be a bit before there are a lot of people working on Hell or Inferno content. Not to mention working on the content AND getting loot that they can sell instead of use/trade. So the impact of not having the RMAH available at launch is negligible while the risk, say if the servers were to crash or some part of the network developed a serious problem, might prove substantial. So as a whole it seems like a decision that’s on the up and up for everyone without sinister or clandestine intentions.
That’s all for today. Perhaps more droll then usually and certainly lacking in profanity and vulgar analogies compared to posts in the past. Regardless, fuck off and thanks for reading.