All Auction Houses to be Removed from Diablo III
The Gold Auction House and Real Money Auction House will be shut down on March 18, 2014
Presumably the timing of the shutdown in March 2014 relates to the release of the Loot 2.0 patch, in the lead-up to the Reaper of Souls expansion.
Here are the official announcements for this massive change in Diablo III.
When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we've mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we've decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.
We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Soulsâ„¢ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.
We're working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process.
Josh Mosqueira and I wanted to provide everyone with a little more information behind this decision, so please have a look at the video, and stay tuned to this site for further updates in the months ahead.
The gold and real-money auction houses have provided a convenient and secure system for trading, but it's also become increasingly clear that despite the benefits they provide, they ultimately undermine Diabloâ€™s core gameplay. A big part of Diablo is the thrill of battling demons and finding epic loot. While buying epic loot in the auction houses might be more convenient, it doesn't feel anywhere near as heroic as plowing through a pack of fearsome-looking monsters and having them drop that one awesome item that seems like it was made for your character.
Q. Will this change affect both the gold and real-money auction house?
Yes. We will be shutting down both the gold and the real-money auction houses.
Q. When will the gold and real-money auction houses be removed from the game?
The gold and real-money auction houses will be shut down on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
Q. Are the gold and real-money auction houses shutting down at the same time?
Yes. The gold and real-money auction houses will be shut down at the same time.
Q. Are the gold and real-money auction houses being removed for all gameplay regions?
Yes. The gold and real-money auction houses are being removed for all gameplay regions.
Q. Why arenâ€™t the auction houses being removed sooner?
Since the gold and real-money auction houses receive a regular amount of daily activity, we wanted to inform everyone of this upcoming change as soon as we made the decision and give as much advance notice as soon as possible. Also, removing the auction houses from the game is no small endeavor, and there were many technical and gameplay-related questions we still need to answer before this change is implemented.
Q. Are there any plans to add the gold and real-money auction houses back into the game in the future?
No. We have no plans at this time to add either the gold or real-money auction house back into the game after they are removed.
Q. How will I be able to trade with other players once the gold and real-money auction houses are shut down?
Once the gold and real-money auction houses have been shut down, players will still be able to trade with one another using the in-game Trade Window.
Q. On what day and at what time will the gold and real-money auction houses be shut down in all regions?
The gold and real-money auction houses are currently scheduled to shut down in all gameplay regions at approximately 3:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, March 18. Please note that this schedule may change and that the auction houses could be shut down a little earlier or later on March 18.
Q. Will the shutdown process require maintenance?
No, the shutdown will not require maintenance. However, the current shut down time will overlap with scheduled Tuesday maintenance for the Americas gameplay region.
Q. What will happen to my current auctions when the gold and real-money auction houses are shut down?
All active auctions will expire as normal following the shutdown of the gold and real-money auction houses on Tuesday, March 18. Once the shutdown is complete, items will either be delivered to the current highest bidder or returned to the seller, appearing in each player's Completed tab. Unclaimed gold will also appear in the Completed tab. Players will be able to claim gold and items and from this tab until June 24, 2014.
Successful transactions involving Battle.net Balance and/or PayPal will be processed normally and all usual fees will apply.
Q. What happens to my unclaimed items and gold in the Completed tab after the shutdown?
Players will be able to claim gold and items from the Completed tab in both the gold and real-money auction houses until June 24, 2014. Items and gold not claimed by this date will be consumed by Treasure Goblins, never to be seen again.
To avoid any unintended loss of gold or items, we strongly recommend that players clear out their Completed tabs prior to March 18, 2014.
Q. How will I be able to access the Completed tab after the gold and real money auction houses are shut down?
The auction house window will remain available for all players until June 24, 2014; however, the ability to Bid, Buyout, and list new auctions in the gold and real-money auction houses will be disabled on March 18, 2014.
To access the Completed tab after the gold and real-money auction houses have shut down, simply click on the gavel icon and select which auction house (gold or real-money) you wish to access. The Completed tab will appear in its normal location on the far right of the auction house window.
Q. My Completed tab is already full! What will happen to outstanding items after the gold and real-money auction houses are shut down?
Each Completed tab can display up to 50 items at a time. If a player has more than 50 items to claim from the gold or real-money auction house, those outstanding items (including unclaimed gold) will remain in the Completed tab "backlog." As items are removed from the Completed tab and additional space is made available in the UI, items in the backlog will begin to appear and can be claimed as normal.
Please note that items and gold in the backlog will be removed permanently from the game after June 24, 2014.
Q. What will happen to my existing Battle.net Balance?
Your Battle.net Balance total will not be affected by the shutdown of the gold and real-money auction houses on March 18, 2014. In addition, players will still be able to use their Battle.net Balance to purchase a variety of services and Blizzard games from the Battle.net Shop. For more information, please visit our Battle.net Balance support article.
Q. Can I convert my Battle.net Balance into cash after the real-money auction house is shut down?
No. Funds added to Battle.net Balance are not refundable (except as otherwise provided by law) and cannot be converted into cash. For more information, please visit our Battle.net Balance support article
Official Announcement: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/10974978/