Diablo 3 Beta Incoming, Real Money Auction House?

What's that picture of? Why, of the sexy Diablo 3 in-game friends list, of course. With the recent rumors of an incoming Diablo 3 beta by the end of this year (some internet gentlemen have even heard August 15th being thrown around for the first wave of closed invites for North Americans, with more being passed out at Blizzcon 2011), my mind is in quite the tizzy. What's more of a tizzy, though, is the news of two auction houses: One based on in-game currency, the other on Real Money Transactions. A few awesome beta testers have posted up some Auction House pictures, and they're pretty interesting, to say the least.

 

The buying and selling of characters for World of Warcraft on places like craigslist and EBay is definitely something that goes against Blizzard's End User License Agreement, but it's interesting to see that Blizzard wants to 'control the economy', as it were, and still satiate the impulse that power-hungry (and leveling-savy) gamers have.

Something on a less groundbreaking note, is the reveal of the character login screen, which looks pretty rad as well:

 

Showcasing things like difficulty level, achievement progress, and character milestones in the login screen/friends list synopsis is pretty sleek, and it seems that everything you'd need (B.net friends list, Social tabs, quick invite buttons) are there in prominent form. Count me in!

In the meantime, I think I have some other Blizzard games to play, since Season 3 just started in Starcraft 2, and there's always something to do in World of Warcraft.