Hellfire Amulet Exploit - Updated 9/22

  • UPDATE - 9/22 @ 3:07 p.m. PDT

    We have deployed the final fix as of Patch 2.3.0a that prevents exploitation of the Hellfire Amulet. We have also issued account actions against players who were found to be abusing this exploit. For more information, please refer to the post below.

    Thank you!

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    Hey all,

    We're currently working on a number of hotfixes to address an exploit that allows players to equip more than one passive from multiple Hellfire Amulets. While we don’t have an ETA for the final round of these fixes, we're looking to implement those that address the underlying bug as soon as possible in all gameplay regions and will be sure to update this thread once they are live.

    We're also investigating accounts which have been found to be actively using this exploit to gain an unfair advantage and account actions will be taken accordingly. This behavior not only undermines the spirit of fair play, but directly violates our in-game policies for Diablo III. It is important to us to continue maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for all legitimate players. This is an ongoing investigation, and we’ll be continuing to monitor Battle.net and will take additional action as needed.

    In the meantime, we encourage everyone to game responsibly. Not only can using exploits lead to account penalties, but it can negatively impact the enjoyment of your fellow players. We're working as quickly as we can to fix the underlying issue, and we'd appreciate your help in keeping the effects of this exploit as minimal as possible until it's removed from the game.

    For more information on how to report exploitative behavior, click here. For questions regarding account actions, please refer to our Account Administration.

    Thanks!
  • UPDATE - September 22 @ 3:07 p.m. PDT

    While this issue has now been resolved, we know a lot of players may be curious about what happened and how we responded. We'd like to take a moment to discuss a few of the details with you.

    Following the launch of Patch 2.3.0, players discovered an exploit that, through a series of very specific steps, allowed them to equip more than one additional passive using the Hellfire Amulet. This was not intended and, while in some cases could have potentially happened by accident, there were some who continued to repeat these steps in order to gain an unfair advantage over other players.

    As soon as we were able to verify the exploit and identify its underlying cause, we immediately began working on a fix for PC. This wound up being two separate deployments, as part of the issue required a patch to resolve. The original hotfix was deployed late evening on September 11, which made the following change to the game:

    • Generate an error if too many passives are active on a character
    • Added a check for and regular removal of surplus passives

    This fix technically still permitted the exploit to occur, but for an extremely limited period of time that was no longer practical or useful. A fix that fully prevents this exploit from occurring is included in Patch 2.3.0a, which deployed earlier today in all regions.

    From there, we looked at the complexity and impact of the exploit and elected to action accounts on a case-by-case basis. One of three situations applied:

    • Accounts which were found to have used the exploit excessively were permanently banned. This includes users who actively promoted the use of this exploit.
    • Accounts which were found to have used the exploit to a beneficial, but not excessive, degree were suspended with warning.
    • Accounts which were likely utilizing this exploit by accident were effectively pardoned.

    Regardless of whether penalties were applied, accounts that were found to be utilizing more passive skills than intended had their progress removed from the leaderboards.

    We continue to see an overwhelming amount of support from the vast majority of players who value fair play above personal gain. We appreciate that so many of you brought this issue to our attention immediately through channels like [email protected], our online webform and ticket system. We heard your concerns on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and these forums too! On behalf of all of us here at Blizzard, from our development to support teams, thank you for taking the time to notify us, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused as a result.

    As noted in our original post, maintaining an enjoyable and fair gameplay experience is very important to us, and we’re going to continue to monitor the game as well as take steps to prevent exploits like this from happening again.