“RegionSelectionTooltip_App - Region selection is disabled when Diablo III is launched from the Battle.net Desktop app.” (Diablo patch notes)
“Battle.net App – developing the next-generation Battle.net desktop client.” (Blizzard Career Site)
What is likely to be included in such a desktop application? What features do I hope make it in long term?
I think that Battle.net chat is undoubtedly going to be in the app to interface with their games. Already, RealID/Battletag allow for cross-client chat, so naturally, it seems like it shouldn’t be difficult to implement in a desktop client. What better way to decide what game to play than to see what your friends are playing before you even login?
A unified downloader/launcher for all three games. Already, StarCraft II has moved to the same launcher used for WoW, and Diablo III launched with it. They all support game “streaming”, that is, playing a game before the game is finished downloading. Having one program to manage the installations for all three games allows for cross-promotion as well: a single click to get a trial edition of a game and download it in the background while playing your other games is a no-brainer.
Diablo 3‘s auction house has been having its ups and downs (quite literally), delaying the release quite a few weeks from the game’s launch 28 days ago. If in-game messages and other sources are to be believed, the real-money auction house should be available in NA, EU, and possibly other regions beginning today, June 12. Due to possible issues, the commodities auction house may not be usable at its launch, meaning that only equipment will be tradable. This unfortunately means that gold may not be tradable at first – and I believe it will be the best thing to trade.
Blizzard also recently updated its Terms of Service to include that you are required to have an authenticator in order to trade on the RMAH. The huge amount of new, unprotected Battle.net accounts have been commonly compromised with the huge popularity of the game and demand for gold and items, especially with the knowledge that you can cash out within the Terms of Service. Additionally, if your account ever gets compromised, you will have precisely one chance to secure your account with an authenticator – another compromise and you will be permanently barred from using the real-money auction house. If you don’t yet have an authenticator, you can get a free app for your iOS or Android device, or buy a stand-alone authenticator for $6.50 on the Blizzard Store in the US.
If you want to cash out to PayPal and not just to your Battle.net Balance, you may have to sign up for Battle.net SMS alerts in some regions – including the EU.
Last time, we looked at how the fees for the different auction houses will affect trading in Diablo 3. Today, I’d like to look at it from Blizzard’s perspective and understand how the company selected the fee structure, what it will be paying attention to, and how it might treat the auction house in the long-term.
If there’s one thing Blizzard learned from Diablo II, it’s that there is a huge demand for functional in-game economies. Where Blizzard did not provide, players and companies emerged and established methods for trading and valuation. Both Diablo II and World of Warcraft have shown that there is a huge demand to use real money to purchase things, like characters, items, and gold. Blizzard took a staunch “no-RMT” policy for World of Warcraft, as expressed in the game’s Terms of Service, and does not hold back in banning accounts used to sell items or gold. If you haven’t seen it yet, it really shines a light on how serious Blizzard is about preventing RMT in WoW:
Blizzard has acknowledged that WoW gold purchased from third parties is “most commonly” obtained through compromised accounts. Blizzard has also acknowledged that third-party sites in Diablo II were often the source of credit card fraud and often did not provide a high level of service. It also promoted spam, bots, and hacking. It makes sense for the company to offer this service to players directly and built into the client: it provides a better experience and Blizzard can skim a bit of cash as well.
On May 15th at 3 A.M. PDT, the heavens will tremble and Diablo 3 will be live. Players will be able to scour Sanctuary for gold and epic loot and trade it on the in-game gold-based auction house immediately, and a week later, the real money auction house will open, where players can trade their items with other players for real world currencies.
The recent announcement of the fee schedule for the “real-money trade” (RMT) auction house had some players astonished at the prices. The fee for the gold-based auction house is 15% of the sale price and while the real-money auction house matches that 15% for “commodities” (e.g., stackable items, gems, materials, dyes, etc.), it charges $1 for equipment and unique items. These fees are charged to the seller and deduced from the money they receive from the sale of the item. Additionally, the real money revenue is credited to a Battle.net account balance; if you want to be paid and withdraw the funds to Paypal, this incurs an additional 15% charge. Once you get the money into Paypal, you can transfer to a bank account for free, or do anything you could normally do with Paypal credit.
If you are at all familiar with Blizzard’s other major auction house system, the WoW gold auction house, you might notice the similarities and differences easily. Here’s a quick rundown of WoW’s auction house fees:
5% of the sale price on same faction auction house (99% of the trading), 15% on neutral auction houses
Players must put down a deposit when selling items. If the item fails to sell, the deposit is not returned. The deposit varies based on the length of the auction and the vendor value of the item.
Seems like the Diablo auction house is a lot less forgiving, doesn’t it? Read on for some of the possible motivation.
Here’s our new Live Cast format: Lore Cast! Below is the video to begin season 1, and it’s a doozy. It’s almost 30 minutes long, so be ready for such a long episode. There’s plenty to keep you glued. Most of our Monday episodes will be around this length. Come back Wednesday for Episode 2: Enunciate!
You can check below the video for the text version of today’s episode topic agenda.
So you thought you’d be skipping out on lines today, huh? Or needless Midnight Launch queues? Figured you’d be the smart guy and take a nap while you wait for your digital version of the expansion to download? Sorry, pal, but no such luck if you’ve waited this long to do it. As the headline implies, it seems as though the wait to download Cataclysm is currently at three+ hours (1 AM PST):
Picture courtesy of Twitter user PezRadar from Gearbox Software
Position 578,635?! No word on whether or not the wait will get better. It’s possible most digital downloaders have acted ahead of time and this is about the worst it’ll be. Or it could just be the start of an even longer wait ahead.
I’m not Juggynaut, or even Heartbourne. I just don’t care about achievement systems. Part of it is because I’m bitter. I’ve played World of Warcraft for most of its six years, but few of my glorious feats counted towards my abysmal score of <4,000. That’s because I spent my most dedicated years before Wrath of the Lich King brought Xbox features to Azeroth.
On the grander scheme, I play consoles and PC fairly evenly, even distributed across each console. That means I’d have to deal with multiple systems, from Steam to Xbox Live to Battle.net and so on. Furthermore, so many achievements are shrouded in secrecy that gamers don’t know about them until after they’ve finished a given task. I, for one, don’t have time to do multiple runs of games anymore. So I’ve largely shrugged and move on.
Many exciting changes are coming to World of Warcraft with the upcoming Cataclysm expansion, both in-game and out. We’re excited to offer you an early look at the new World of Warcraft community site, which will soon become the prime gathering spot and source of information for players on the web. You can read more about the transition from our existing website to the new one in our original announcement: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th…87366608&sid=1
As you’re exploring your future home, keep in mind that this is a live preview, and not all of the new features are ready quite yet. We want your feedback about the look and feel of the new site, so while you’re browsing, we encourage you to submit bug reports and make feature requests — let your voice be heard. Go ahead. Check it out!
Based roughly on the StarCraft II Community Site, nearly every element of the page is now in a new location, with the core menus aligned along the top and Armory-fueled activity feed for the character of your choice to the right side. Though it might take a little poking around to find out where they’ve stuck all the old bits and pieces, it’s a pretty slick package overall. Things are simply organized more effficiently, no longer a mess of small type and tabbed menus. Not to mention that it’s nice to drop that ancient Wrath of the Lich King theme for something a little more timely and appropriate.
Some of the major sub-sections are still under wraps, such as the World of Warcraft Game Guide, which will no doubt undergo similar levels of improvement.
As mentioned in Zarhym’s post above, this is currently just a preview, with the final version of the site going live closer to the release of Cataclysm. For the time being, you can still access the old version through its traditional portal.