Remote Auction House Goes Into Beta

Update: Preview gallery added to the bottom of the post.

For some people, playing the Auction House is a mere hobby. For others, it is the addiction. So coming out with a Remote Auction House application is a lot like bringing a dime bag of coke to a drug rehabilitation clinic. Blizzard, the enablers that they are, have finally pushed the software into public testing, meaning that you can view the in-game Auction House from just about anywhere you can access a web browser, and (after the beta is over) for a modest monthly fee, you can do even more than that.

As part of the free service, you’re allowed the following:

  • Browse the Auction House
  • Get real-time notifications when your auctions sell or expire
  • Get real-time notifications when you win auctions or when you are outbid
  • View your characters’ current gold
  • View the status of your auctions and search for similar auctions
  • View the items you can sell in your bags, bank, and mailbox
  • View the status of auctions you are bidding on
  • View the items you’ve sold in the Auction House
  • View your expired auctions
  • View the status of auctions you created
  • View your successful auctions

For $2.99/month, you receive these additional features:

  • Bid on auctions
  • Buy out auctions
  • Create auctions from items in your bags, bank, and mailbox
  • Collect gold from successful auctions
  • Collect gold from unsuccessful bids
  • Collect all outstanding gold with a single click
  • Cancel your auctions
  • Relist items for sale from your expired auctions

The software comes in two flavors, web-based (which is accessed from the WoW Armory) and as previously hinted, a mobile app on the iPhone. Just like the authenticator, I imagine Android and Blackberry versions aren’t very far behind. For more information on what you can expect from the beta test  (for instance, it is currently only open on certain realms) of the Remote Auction House, check the Official FAQ after the jump.

What is the World of Warcraft Remote Auction House beta test?
The Remote Auction House is a new feature, currently undergoing beta testing, that allows players to log in to the Armory and browse any Auction House that the characters on their World of Warcraft account have access to. Once beta testing is complete and the Remote Auction House is live, players who subscribe to an upcoming service called World of Warcraft Remote will also be able to bid on or buy out existing auctions; post items for sale from their bags, bank, and mailbox; and collect gold that they earn in auctions or that is returned as a result of being outbid, all through the web or their compatible mobile device. During the beta-testing period, players will be able to try out and test all of these features, including premium features such as making bids and posting auctions, without a subscription to World of Warcraft Remote.

How do I browse the Remote Auction House via the web?
After you log in and designate a primary character, click on the Browse Auctions tab, and then enter the search term in the field. You can narrow your search using the filters and options, which are similar to those available in the game. To switch between the character’s faction-specific auction house and the realm’s neutral auction house, click the faction symbol in the upper-right corner of the interface. A World of Warcraft Remote subscription will not be required to browse the Auction House in this fashion; however, please note that after the beta test concludes, you will need to subscribe to World of Warcraft Remote in order to bid on or buy out items from the results window.

How do I create auctions?
From the Create Auctions tab, select the item you wish to sell from the list on the left side of the screen. You can sell any transferable item (excluding account-bound items) from your bags, bank, or mailbox. Once selected, you can set a starting price, a buyout price, the quantity you wish to sell, and the number of stacks (to create multiple auctions for that item). Please note that after the beta test concludes, you will need a subscription to World of Warcraft Remote in order to create auctions.

How can I collect gold from successful auctions and unsuccessful bids?
To collect gold from a successful auction, click the My Auctions tab, and then click the Claim Gold button next to the successful auction, or the Claim All Gold button to claim the gold from all successful auctions. The gold will be removed from your mailbox and given to your character. You can also reclaim gold from unsuccessful bids on the My Bids tab. Please note that after the beta test concludes and the live service launches, you will need a subscription to World of Warcraft Remote to use these features.

How will I subscribe to World of Warcraft Remote?
Subscriptions to World of Warcraft Remote are not yet available; we’ll have more information about how to subscribe after the Remote Auction House beta test concludes. In the meantime, you can visit the World of Warcraft Remote FAQ for more information.

Is there a limit to the number of transactions (purchases and sales) I can make?
Yes. In order to help prevent abuse of this service, there will be a system in place to limit the total number of Auction House transactions (including bids, buyouts, and creating auctions) that a single World of Warcraft account can perform through World of Warcraft Remote each day. For the purposes of the beta test, the limit is set to 25 transactions per day per World of Warcraft account. When the Remote Auction House beta test ends and the live World of Warcraft Remote service launches, we plan to increase the limit to 200 transactions per day (with a World of Warcraft Remote subscription), though this limit is subject to change. Our goal with this system is to ensure that most players who are using the service will not reach the limit, and we will be continuously monitoring how the service is used and making adjustments to the system as needed.

Is the Remote Auction House affected by weekly maintenance?
The Remote Auction House will be unavailable during periods of downtime, which includes the weekly Tuesday maintenance period. In addition, during the beta-testing period, the service may be unavailable for periods of time for testing purposes.

Who can participate in the World of Warcraft Remote Auction House beta test?
The Remote Auction House beta test is open to existing World of Warcraft players on select realms — you do not need to sign up to participate. For a complete list of realms currently participating in the beta test, visit the Remote Auction House Beta Test thread in the official World of Warcraft forums. If you do not see your realm listed, check back later, as we plan to expand the beta test to all realms in the future.

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