In what should have been a routine patch on Tuesday, Blizzard is now facing a storm of criticism and what can only be described as a community in full panic after a gold dupe exploit was discovered. Through a series of steps involving the gold auction house and the sale of gold, it was possible to dupe massive amounts of gold in a very short time. One player was reported to have procured 470 trillion gold within an hour of using the exploit.
The massive influx of gold immediately impacted the rest of the auction house as players used their ill gotten gains to purchase anything of value. The price for virtually every item on the auction house crashed over the span of several hours. The news travelled very quickly as some very high profile Diablo 3 streamers began to take advantage of it. Twitch TV streamer GoodIdeaGaming was quoted to have said, “This is horrible for Blizzard. This is a nightmare.”
High profile D3 streamer D3_inigomontoya repeatedly flaunted the exploit on his stream, even going so far as to clean out the auction house of valuable items and spreading them on the ground for all to see.
Blizzard acted within a few hours to bring the auction house down and shortly thereafter the banhammer fell upon many of the streamers, including D3_inigomontoya. At this point however, the damage is done. The serious question remains as to what response Blizzard can do to restore the economy. It’s not just a matter of handing out bans and moving on as many players who had items up for sale were victims of gold becoming valueless.
The Blizzard forums are awash with angry players demanding a server rollback, and it’s hard to imagine a good solution where this does not happen. However, as of this article’s posting, the servers remain up and with each passing hour a rollback becomes less and less likely. As one player succinctly put it, “If there’s no rollback, gold will have no value.”
At 12 PM PDT, Blizzard released its official response.
At this time (and after careful consideration), we've decided to not move forward with rolling back the servers. We feel that this is the best course of action given the nature of the dupe, how relatively few players used it, and the fact that its effects were fairly limited within the region. We've been able to successfully identify players who duplicated gold by using this specific bug, and are focusing on these accounts to make corrections. While this is a time-consuming and very detailed process, we believe it's the most appropriate choice given the circumstances. We know that some of you may disagree, but we feel that performing a full roll back would impact the community in an even greater way, as it would require significant downtime as well as revert the progress legitimate players have made since patch 1.0.8 was released this morning.