There's a burst of new Diablo III
information available today, as Blizzard brought some folks in to get a look at how their upcoming action/RPG is shaping up. IGN
has a preview of the beta, as well as word that
the game will require a persistent internet connection. "In both Diablo and especially in Diablo II, I think the intuition for a lot of people when they're playing the game is 'I want to make my character offline away from that scary battle net environment. And then once I have this powerful character, I'll jump online.' But the problem with that concept is we can't really detect if they're cheating. They might have the capability to hack their character, things like that, so at that point we can't really allow that character to be in the battle net environment. Then they're going to have to restart their character, which is exactly what happened in Diablo II, which was really unfortunate," explains Blizzard's Rob Pardo. "Your character will be online on battle net the moment you start playing. You can play a solo experience like you would in Diablo II, it's just your character is on Blizzard's servers and authenticated."
There's a post on DiabloFans.com
with a big rundown on their experiences along with a FAQ, photos, video, screenshots, and interviews with the developers, taking extra effort to let you avoid major spoilers. There are many revelations, perhaps the most significant of which being the ability to buy and sell in-game items in the auction house for real money. Here's a bit from the FAQ on how this will work:
Don’t Need It? Put It Up For Auction!
Nearly everything found in the game, including gold, can be exchanged with other players directly or through the auction house system. So say you’re a witch doctor and you’ve just found an incredibly rare, incredibly powerful axe that only barbarians can use. In the previous Diablo games your best option might have been to sell the axe to an in-game vendor, but in Diablo III, you now have the ability to list that axe in the auction house for your fellow barbarian players to bid on. And you know another player will probably appreciate the true value of that axe more than some heartless vendor who’ll likely just melt it down for scrap….
Amazing Search Functionality
The auction house’s "smart search" functionality can automatically sort items in the auction house based on which upgrades would be most beneficial to your character. Also, searching for the best gear for multiple characters on the same Battle.net account can be done all from the same interface without having to log out.
The Choice Is Yours
Use of either the real-money or gold-based auction house is completely optional -- that decision can be made on a per-item basis, and both versions of the auction house are functionally the same. In addition, players have the option to simply sell the items they obtain to in-game vendors for gold. They can also trade items to other players through a direct character-to-character trading system in the game in exchange for gold, other items, or just an overwhelming sense of goodwill.
Blizzard does not plan to post items for sale in the auction house. The driving purpose of the auction house is to provide players with a fun additional in-game option for what they do with the items they obtain in the game. Items sold in the auction house will be posted by players and purchased by players.
Safe and Sanctified
The real-money auction house provides players with an easy-to-use, Blizzard-sanctioned way to collect money for items they obtain while playing Diablo III. It also helps protect players from the scams and theft often associated with questionable third-party sites by providing a secure, completely in-game method for purchasing and obtaining the items they want for their characters.