Blizzard has announced new game details for Diablo III, its highly-anticipated action role-playing title currently approaching beta testing.

For the first time ever in a Blizzard title, players will be able to sell items for real-world currency by using an in-game auction house. The auction house will allow players to sell or purchase items in whatever currency they choose, including New Zealand Dollars. Each currency will have its own auction house within each regional area (South-East Asia, North America, Europe or China).

Blizzard plans to impose a listing fee and success fee for each item. Transactions will be managed by a yet-to-be-announced third party vendor.

"Everything from items, gold, and trade skill components can be sold. We're even starting to discuss whether or not you'll be able to sell characters, but that'll be something we'll do maybe later on," stated Executive Producer Rob Pardo.

Blizzard does not plan to post items for sale in the auction house, and has issued a statement clarifying their involvement:

"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."

A separate auction house will deal solely in the sale or purchase of items for in-game gold. 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.

Blizzard has also revealed that Diablo III's internal skill point allocation system has undergone a major revision. Skill points are no longer allocated at each level, and players will instead choose various combat skills to equip the player with at predetermined levels.

Blizzard is yet to announce firm dates for the Diablo III closed beta.

For more information regarding the newly-announced auction house, as well as additional features, head over to Gameplanet's interview with Jay Wilson. For more details on the beta, along with the new skill system, check out Gameplanet's Diablo III beta hands-on article.