Blizzard implements fix for gold duplication bug in Diablo III

By on May 8, 2013, 8:00 PM
blizzard, bug, exploit, auction house, diablo iii, gold duplication, gold trades

Diablo III’s woes continue as the gold and real-money auction houses have been taken offline by Blizzard after a bug was discovered in the latest patch. Said exploit allowed players to duplicate gold in the auction house with some using the bug to generate billions of in-game currency within minutes.

Blizzard sprang into action with the quickness as the patch was just release yesterday. Within hours, the auction house was taken down but the team realized they needed to bring the game into maintenance to issue a fix. Gold trades were also temporarily disabled in the Americas regions according to an official post on Battle.net

Many outraged gamers called for Blizzard to perform a server rollback but after careful consideration, the team decided against it based on the nature of the dupe, how few players used it and the fact that its effects were limited within the region. Performing a full rollback would impact the community in a greater way as it would require significant downtime and revert progress that legitimate players have made since the patch was released, we’re told.

Blizzard said they have identified accounts that took advantage of the bug and are focusing on taking appropriate actions which may include temporary locks, suspensions and/or bans. As of writing, Blizzard doesn’t have an ETA for when the auction house will come back online or gold trades will be reactivated.

You can download the latest patch for Diablo III here.




User Comments: 32

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Blizzard said they have identified accounts that took advantage of the bug and are focusing on taking appropriate actions which may include temporary locks, suspensions and/or bans.
Penalizing players for taking advantage of a bug Blizzard introduced is absurd. If Blizzard is going to penalize anyone, it should be for reasons outside of Blizzard's programing.

3 people like this | psycros psycros said:

Yessir, making every game an always-connected, socially networked cash store experience works out so well.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Blizzard said they have identified accounts that took advantage of the bug and are focusing on taking appropriate actions which may include temporary locks, suspensions and/or bans.
Penalizing players for taking advantage of a bug Blizzard introduced is absurd. If Blizzard is going to penalize anyone, it should be for reasons outside of Blizzard's programing.

Mmmm they should just roll back transactions and gold from the bug.

Prosercunus said:

They should of ditched the auction house in all forms from the get go.

Man this game just gives me a disappointed feeling every time I see it mentioned, which thankfully is rare.

Timonius Timonius said:

So was such an exploit used for something like real world money laundering? Just wondering how long before government and law enforcement put their feet down on silly game companies.

Scshadow said:

Blizzard said they have identified accounts that took advantage of the bug and are focusing on taking appropriate actions which may include temporary locks, suspensions and/or bans.
Penalizing players for taking advantage of a bug Blizzard introduced is absurd. If Blizzard is going to penalize anyone, it should be for reasons outside of Blizzard's programing.

Its amazing how you rationalize this. How many other things do you rationalize in a similar manner? If a car door is left unlocked do you steal from it? If you find a set of keys in that car, do you drive it away? If someone forgets their phone in a public place, do you take it and keep it for yourself? Some things you just know are wrong, and if they knew they were doing something and they did it anyway, I hope that player gets a permanent bacation.

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Blizzard has disapointed me the last 3 years. SC2 was ok, I have not touched sc2 HOTS , diablo sucks and it takes long for them to make games.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its amazing how you rationalize this. How many other things do you rationalize in a similar manner?
It's in-game currency designed for in-game items not material possessions, there is a difference. Your analogy is meaningless to me.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Its amazing how you rationalize this. How many other things do you rationalize in a similar manner? If a car door is left unlocked do you steal from it? If you find a set of keys in that car, do you drive it away? If someone forgets their phone in a public place, do you take it and keep it for yourself? Some things you just know are wrong, and if they knew they were doing something and they did it anyway, I hope that player gets a permanent bacation.

Gold generation is not stealing. Completely flawed analogy. Sure what they were doing are "wrong" but there are levels of wrong. If I can rub my pocket and a million dollars appears there, then many people would have the temptation to do it. It didn't get taken from anyone else.

fimbles fimbles said:

Its in the TOS and therefore is illegal since you signed the contract when you installed the game.

You agree that you will not, under any circumstances: Modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of the Game in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard;

2 people like this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Its in the TOS and therefore is illegal since you signed the contract when you installed the game.

You agree that you will not, under any circumstances: Modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of the Game in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard;

The exploit did not require modifying files.

2 people like this | Guest said:

At least they're implementing some missing features from Diablo 2 :)

fimbles fimbles said:

The exploit did not require modifying files.

It duplicated gold, I would say that was a modification of game files.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The exploit did not require modifying files.

And thats why I'm saying the players should not be penalized.

I remember Razer standing behind a 90% discount, that was not intentionally issued. They did so because it was considered, the right thing to do by many people. This discount was related to material possessions not some digital game currency. Blizzard should follow Razer on the right thing to do, especially since they were not directly financially effected by this bug.

Edit:

It duplicated gold, I would say that was a modification of game files.
Looking at it from that perspective, playing the game period will modify game files.

fimbles fimbles said:

Quote: " Looking at it from that perspective, playing the game period will modify game files."

Yup.. with blizzards permission.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think you are creating a fine line that doesn't exist, where modifying game files are concerned. But then thats just my opinion.

2 people like this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

It duplicated gold, I would say that was a modification of game files.

Editing files means taking source files or save files and running another application to change the contents of said files. Like a HEX editor or a save file editor etc etc. Running DIABLO 3 doesn't count! That is NOT modifying the files in an illegal manner. You would be laughed out of court if you tried to enforce that one.

What Blizzard could do was if they had a T&C that said "using exploits to unbalance gameplay is illegal". That is completely different to modifying source files (which I will iterate again, NEVER happened here).

fimbles fimbles said:

....More from blizz TOS.

"Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;"

Pretty much says your screwed as soon as you tick the " I agree" box.

And the final nail in the coffin is

"Anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Game."

Arris Arris said:

....More from blizz TOS.

"Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;"

Pretty much says your screwed as soon as you tick the " I agree" box.

And the final nail in the coffin is

"Anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Game."

Anything good or fun then?

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

....More from blizz TOS.

"Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;"

Pretty much says your screwed as soon as you tick the " I agree" box.

And the final nail in the coffin is

"Anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Game."

Luckily I live in the UK where TOS doesn't mean anything here other than the companies right to stop you from using their software, but your really not getting it.

No Game files were modified, it is a bug that they (Blizzard) introduced, not anyone's problem that Blizzard did not properly bug check such a crucial system and element of the game.

the TOS of the game states "the essence of the game" since your putting out silly car analogy's I'll do so to...

When I rent a car (Diablo License), I'm pretty sure they wouldn't sue me (or lock me out the car) if the car had a malfunction and allowed me to run on an infinite amount of petrol...

1 person liked this | spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

You're supposed to let us know BEFORE they fix it.

Guest said:

TERMS OF SERVICE have no validity in law. they are just an agreement that you click when playing the game. US/UK other domain law can choose to use the TOS as evidence IF a court case was started. This was based on the current real world trend known as Quantitative Easing.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Its amazing how you rationalize this. How many other things do you rationalize in a similar manner?
It's in-game currency designed for in-game items not material possessions, there is a difference. Your analogy is meaningless to me.

I don't play diablo, but my understanding was that you can sell game items for the game currency or real USD. So stealing game currency would allow you to acquire real money through more in-game items.

Secondly, it's people's time. If you're taking something that someone spent a lot of time working on then that's still a d!ck move at worst, criminal at best. Artwork is a good example... there's a ton of artwork that is worthless to anyone other than the artist, but that doesn't give you the freedom to steal it because there's no monetary value. I'm not saying diablo gold is analagous to artwork, but don't make presumptions about what something is worth to someone.

The thousands of dollars in game currency bought every day by real money in multiple games is evidence enough that it has value.

@Darth Shiv - You're right, generating gold isn't stealing, but it does devalue the currency. It creates inflation, which makes other's money worth less. Did that happen here, probably not, but only because this bug was used by only a few.

1 person liked this | umbala said:

Its amazing how you rationalize this. How many other things do you rationalize in a similar manner? If a car door is left unlocked do you steal from it? If you find a set of keys in that car, do you drive it away? If someone forgets their phone in a public place, do you take it and keep it for yourself? Some things you just know are wrong, and if they knew they were doing something and they did it anyway, I hope that player gets a permanent bacation.

Gold generation is not stealing. Completely flawed analogy. Sure what they were doing are "wrong" but there are levels of wrong. If I can rub my pocket and a million dollars appears there, then many people would have the temptation to do it. It didn't get taken from anyone else.

Your analogy is just as flawed. When you make currency appear out of thin air (be it real or virtual) it harms the overall value of other currency that people actually worked for and earned. If a money duplicating machine fell out of a bank's window and you started printing your own money, whose at fault you or the bank? Both. The bank for losing that machine and you as well for going against common sense and taking free money you didn't earn. Just because that money didn't previously belong to anyone it's still technically stealing because you didn't earn it. You're still harming the overall system and reducing the overall value of existing currency.

umbala said:

And thats why I'm saying the players should not be penalized.

I remember Razer standing behind a 90% discount, that was not intentionally issued. They did so because it was considered, the right thing to do by many people. This discount was related to material possessions not some digital game currency. Blizzard should follow Razer on the right thing to do, especially since they were not directly financially effected by this bug.

You're comparing apples to oranges. There was no "exploit" involved in the Razer incident. It was a discount that was left in the system by accident that was later discovered and abused by a number of people. Whereas with Blizzard some players discovered an unintended FLAW in the system and decided to exploit that flaw.

Also, Razer did not honor any orders where people tried to buy hundreds or thousands of the accidentally discounted item. They honored ONE item, the rest were canceled. By your logic, Blizzard should let you keep the first piece of gold you duplicated and take away the rest.

Anyway, my guess is that you or someone you know happens to be one of the players who grossly abused the exploit and now you're trying to rationalize your theft/misconduct in hopes of keeping the stolen booty. Sorry, that's not going to happen.

umbala said:

Blizzard should follow Razer on the right thing to do, especially since they were not directly financially effected by this bug.

Blizzard may not have DIRECTLY lost any actual income from this exploit, but it certainly harmed the player community and in-game economy. If a player spent weeks or month actually earning a thousand gold and then you come in and gain millions of gold with just a couple of mouse clicks, how do you think that player would feel? If that was you, would you keep playing and paying a monthly subscription fee, knowing that all your hard work was next to worthless now? In that sense, the exploit DOES affect Blizzard's income and ability to continue supporting the game.

lipe123 said:

....More from blizz TOS.

"Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;"

Pretty much says your screwed as soon as you tick the " I agree" box.

And the final nail in the coffin is

"Anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Game."

For the record TOS != LAW. Its a contract between you and the game company that sais how you are allowed to use their services. If you breach the contract they have the option to suspend your use of the service.

Thats EXACTLY what they should have done! It's clear as daylight from the TOS that these guys abused a flaw/bug in the game. They should be banned or at the very least have all their items wiped out. The currency in that game was already stupidly inflated and now its going to be 10x worse. I was back playing about a month ago and honestly if a new player started playing that game now they don't stand a chance in hell to get any good gear from the AH and the drops in game is a joke.

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow I thought Blizzard was a great company. I just lost some respect for them.

fimbles fimbles said:

Wow I thought Blizzard was a great company. I just lost some respect for them.

Its nothing new to be honest, they have been doing this in world of warcraft for years

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You're comparing apples to oranges. There was no "exploit" involved in the Razer incident.
You are so wrong. Both the game flaw and Razor discount was exploited by people who found them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that either one was unintentional. Razor just decided to stand behind their discount even though it did directly impact their finances. I for one think they should have decreased the discount but thats just me. In this case, Blizzard knows who took advantage of the flaw and can correct the issue without account locks, suspensions, or bans. If Blizzard locks, suspends, or bans an account for a player playing a game they have not modified, only shows how anti-sportsmanship Blizzard could be. That would be equivalent to blaming an animal for getting caught in a trap that you yourself set out, even though setting the trap was unintentional.

JC713 JC713 said:

I think that Razer coupon should have been 50% not 80% like Clifford said (Clifford stated "lower discount", not my exact numbers). Razer did the right thing. Blizzard is punishing for no reason.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Your analogy is just as flawed. When you make currency appear out of thin air (be it real or virtual) it harms the overall value of other currency that people actually worked for and earned. If a money duplicating machine fell out of a bank's window and you started printing your own money, whose at fault you or the bank? Both. The bank for losing that machine and you as well for going against common sense and taking free money you didn't earn. Just because that money didn't previously belong to anyone it's still technically stealing because you didn't earn it. You're still harming the overall system and reducing the overall value of existing currency.

I did not say it wasn't wrong. I said it was not "modifying game files illegally".

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