Blizzard said on Tuesday that the upcoming action-RPG game Diablo 3 will support global play. This means fans will be able to hack away on game servers in regions outside their own -- with a few restrictions of course -- using Battle.net’s new Global Play functionality. All global servers will be grouped into three distinct game regions: The Americas, Europe and Asia.
"In general, players will create characters and play in their 'home' region, which is determined by where they live (specifically, the country of residence registered to their Battle.net account)," Blizzard explained in an email. "Global Play gives players the ability to switch to any of the other game regions via the in-game options menu, either before or after they log in to the game."
The drawback is that characters, items, and friends lists will not transfer across regions. Instead, gamers visiting a different region's servers will be creating characters and friends lists specifically for that region, and they’ll be accessing the gold-based auction house for that region as well.
"Players will only have access to the real-money auction house (where applicable) when playing in their 'home' game region," the company said. "That means that, for characters outside of your home region, items cannot be bought or sold in any real-money auction house. The focus of Global Play is simply to give you the ability to play Diablo 3 together with your friends in any region."
For more information on Global Play in Diablo 3, see the FAQ.
In addition to the Global Play news, Blizzard said it updated the Diablo 3 web site with a comprehensive Auction House guide that walks users through the ins and outs of Diablo 3’s in-game item marketplace. The tour includes details on buying and selling, a breakdown of how the real-money auction house works (in regions where available), and more.
"The gold-based auction house opens its doors worldwide on May 15 with the launch of Diablo 3, and we plan to bring the real-money auction house online approximately one week after that," Blizzard said. "This is a new service that includes lots of complex elements, so we are going to take a little extra time to ensure the game gets off to a good start before we flip the switch and open the real-money auction house for business."
For more information, head to the freshly minted Diablo 3 Auction House website, or check out the updated Auction House FAQ.