In some people's views the hugest controversy and in other's the greatest thing to happen to Diablo 3 is the initiation of the new Auction House system. So we will take a brief look on how this new renovated (in comparison to WoW) auction house works. There will be two separate auction houses, the normal online auction house with both gold and real-money configurations, and the hardcore gold-only auction house available to hardcore characters only (once the character dies, it dies forever).
In order to use the new real-money auction house system and d3 gold
all players are needed to set up a battle.net authenticator on their account and sign up the new Mobile Alerts SMS authentication service, which will occasionally send you a text to verify your identity. The Battle.net authenticator can be set up by either a physical authenticator, a mobile app, or for the U.S. only a dial-in authenticator where you might call in toll free from a specific phone to log in.
Based on your IP address Blizzard will determine the most region specific auction house for you. There will be The Americas that accepts;
U.S. Dollar (USD), Mexican Peso (MXN), Brazilian Real (BRL), Argentine Peso (ARS), Chilean Peso (CLP), Australian Dollar (AUD),
European; British Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), Russian Ruble (RUB), and currently Asia will not have a real-money auction house upon release. Upon logging into Diablo 3 at the character selection screen you will be able to access the Auction house. From there you can buy and sell gear from your character's collective stash to other players.
Like in World of Warcraft there will be a transaction charge applied to all finalized auctions, this includes the real-money auction house option. When selling equipment there will be a 15% transaction fee of gold based on the final price, or a $1 transaction fee for the real-money auction house. When selling Commodities (gems, materials, dyes, etc), both the gold and real-money auction house transaction fees will be 15% of the final sale price, (note: commodities will only have a buy-out option, there will be no bidding). When transfering money from your Blizzard battle.net balance to your Paypal or other authorized service provider there will be a 15% transaction fee deducted by Blizzard for that service.
Diablo 3 offers a new "Smart Search" in the Auction House which you can select a character that you are looking to upgrade and the auction house will do an automatic search of itself and display all of the best items that are currently available to upgrade your character. You can also narrow your search down by choosing only specific slots or price ranges, including displaying either the real-money auction house or the gold auction house.
The hardcore-only auction house will include the "Smart Search" feature however all items are strictly traded for D3 gold in hardcore mode the rare item drop rate is increased significantly.
Given the popularity of selling items over Ebay with Diablo 2, this is the most logical choice for blizzard when creating the new auction house system. They still benefit from each transaction while allowing their player base to enjoy a different payment method to customize and gear their character. I'm very excited to be able to pay my Blizzard fees by playing the game and not having to worry about the monthly payment, and maybe earning a couple extra bucks on the side.