I was very disappointed about the Diablo 3 Panels and Q&A since they didn't reveal any new information. They just went over the same stuff that has been announced previously. But, apparently there was a press gathering with Robert Bridenbecker after Blizzcon and there's some interesting new information.
Here's the video, but the audio is a little poor:
A summary of the most interesting information from that meeting:
- Blizzard's plan for the RMAH is that you have a credit card on your account. If your listing doesn't sell, your credit card is charged for the listing fee.
- The other option they are debating is arrears and they're thinking that for every failed Listing Fee, you start building up a negative balance which would need to get paid out after a certain time.
- They want to keep the flat rates as small as possible. He kept reiterating small tiny fees. Guess we'll see when the time comes. Based on Blizzard comments over the past few months and this recent reiteration, I'm thinking $0.05 or less, but if it's more than $0.25 that's way too much. The Blizzard team is apparently guessing that most items will sell for "sub $10". So a small 5 cent fixed fee should match this. He said they won't start messing around with the listing fees either to manipulate the market.
- It sounds like the plan is to have players work for 3-5 months to maybe earn up to $50, and then they use that money to buy new games, DLC, paid services, or subscriptions. It will be quite a shock if people actually make a lot of money from it, and the anticipation is that most player profits will go back into Blizzard.
- Here's something interesting. When talking about market manipulation and someone cornering the market (e.g. they keep buying out the same item and jacking up the price by 10-20%), he said that it won't be possible in Diablo 3 like it was in WOW. (This goes back to the deterministic nature of WOW versus indeterministic nature of Diablo 3.) Basically, he said that due to the indeterministic nature of Diablo 3, supply will always be greater than demand. Eeek! This also confirms what I have been talking about for some time.. it's going to drive down prices, but increase Listing Fees substantially (and more failed Listing Fees) meaning more revenue for Blizzard.
- He talked about security measures; they're working on a SMS service where automated messages can be sent directly to your mobile in the case of abnormal security behavior on your account. If you're being hacked, you're notified right away.. rather than finding out when you attempt to login later.
- "When you buy Diablo 3, you're buying Diablo 3." You can play it anywhere in the world, it's not region locked. Only the RMAH is region based.
- It's "just Diablo 3 now", no EN/EU/GB/etc versions. You choose the server, pick the language, and you can play anywhere in the world. No barriers, no RMAH restrictions, no currency restrictions, no region locking, etc. (Except that there is a different RMAH in each region and you are locked into your own currency, so the conversions are made for you when you cash out.)
- I guess this means Australian players can buy D3 from the US Website for $50 and start playing right away?
- Blizzard is the middleman for all RMAH transactions, you can utilize any currency you want, and if players want to they can even engage in speculative markets and currency trading. Robert said it would be perfectly acceptable.
- I guess this means that gold farmers will be migrating from server to server looking for the best market and currency conversion. (Latency permitting of course.) :)
- Some people are saying that (from this video), you will have a different B.Net credit account in each region, and any money you earn can only be used in that region's B.Net store. Which is very strange that you can't use it for another B.Net store, considering there is only one "Battle.net". You can cash out to your main PayPal account though, and that's when the conversion takes place. But, I think they picked that up from the "Brazilian dollars" conversation that started at the 13 minute mark. He's just talking about conversion though, it's still Battle.net credit (but in "Brazilian dollars") and I think he's still saying it can be used for transactions everywhere else. For example, you make a ton of money in the European RMAH, but you can use that money (after conversion) to buy stuff off the US Battle.net Store.
- The audio is very crappy, and there are some parts that I don't understand. If you jump to the 11:03 mark, he says everyone can participate in the Gold Auction House anywhere in the world, but the RMAH is specific to the region. He must mean that certain regions won't have the RMAH (like what has already been announced).. although it first sounded like he's saying the Gold Auction House is "universal", but there are separate RMAH's on each server.
- UPDATE: Basically the way it works is when you first sign up to the game, you're "locked" into a specific region's RMAH. You can still play the game in any region, and you can use the Gold Auction House of any region. But, you're "locked" into a single RMAH (the one you first selected, which will typically be your own region that you're physically located.) You can "unlock" your RMAH region, though, by providing proof of relocation (like a scanned photo ID).