Blizzard pulls down Diablo 3 auction houses due to gold duping exploit

8 May 2013  by   Paul Younger
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Diablo 3

Earlier today when the Diablo 3 1.0.8 patch rolled out in the US, a rather nasty exploit was found with the Diablo 3 auction house system and players took advantage of it to the max.

Players could dupe gold by cancelling items in the auction house which would effectively double the gold on the cancellation. This resulted in players boosting their gold balances by literally trillions. Once this was spotted the knock-on effect to the economy was massive. With so much gold now floating around, unscrupulous gold sellers (and there are a lot of them) will be trying to move it on for real cash before any action is taken by Blizzard, probably through third-party websites outside of the auction house system. Expensive items were also snapped up quickly from the now very rich gold dupers.

Blizzard released a statement on the issue, but they were slow to pull both the gold and real money auction houses offline and the damage had already been done.

Auction Houses Temporarily Offline — Update

As you may have already seen in the Breaking News window (or discovered while trying to load up the Auction House once logged in), we’ve brought both the gold and real-money Auction Houses offline for maintenance. After the release of Patch 1.0.8 this morning, we found that some players were exploiting a bug that enabled them to duplicate gold through the Auction House. We’re working on fixing the bug right now, and bringing the Auction Houses offline helps us troubleshoot in a more stable environment while preventing further exploiting.

Q. When will the Auction House be available?
We don’t have an ETA just yet. Our priority at the moment is (of course) to fix the bug and make sure it can’t happen again. We know this is an inconvenience for some of our players, so we’ll be providing updates in this thread as soon as we have any details to share.

Q. Will there be a rollback?
Our priority is to fix any issues with the game client first—that’s what we’re working on right now. After we’ve addressed the situation, we’ll need to determine whether or not a rollback is appropriate. We know this is an important issue for all of our players, so we’ll be sure keep you informed of what’s happening and will provide any updates in this thread, as well.

Q. Will players be banned for using this dupe?
We’re currently in the process of reviewing the accounts involved and taking appropriate actions, including temporary locks, suspensions, and/or bans. Our exploitation policy for Diablo III can be found here, which should give you an overview of the kinds of activities that are and aren’t cool within the game.

Thank you for all of your reports, and for your patience. In the meantime, to help streamline communication, we’re going to be locking and redirecting posts to this location.

Anecdotal evidence from players watching live streams indicates that players who used the exploit are now being banned but Blizzard has yet to confirm this.

This latest problem reiterates the comments made by Jay Wilson where he stated that the auction house “hurt the game”. This exploit will really hurt the game unless Blizzard instigate a realm roll-back as quickly as possible.

Console gamers don’t know how lucky they are not having an auction house in Diablo 3 when it releases on the PS3. If only Blizzard would remove them once and for all for the PC, wouldn’t Sanctuary might just be a nicer place to play?

Thanks Diablo: IncGamers

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