Auction Houses Up and Running

Reminder: Auction Houses Updates, Current Bugs, Inspiring Presence is Working, Calling Out the Exploiters?, Blue Posts, Act 1 Farming Route by KingKongor

Auction Houses Up and Running
The Production Director of Diablo 3 John Hight has issued a statement about the recent happenings with the US Auction Houses.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hey everyone,

I'm John Hight, the production director for Diablo III. As most of you know, after the release of patch 1.0.8 a small number of players exploited a bug to duplicate gold. The bug has since been fixed, and the Auction Houses and gold trading are back online.

While the issue is resolved, we know a lot of players have questions about what happened and what we're doing about it, so I wanted to take some time to discuss the details with you here.

So, What Happened?

Shortly after we released patch 1.0.8 in the Americas on Tuesday, players discovered a bug that allowed gold to be duplicated via the real-money Auction House. The bug was the result of a coding error that was exposed when we increased the gold stack size from 1 million to 10 million. This resulted in an overflow on cancelled auctions that yielded a greater amount of gold in return. Only a relatively small number of players had the billions of gold necessary to exploit the bug, and only 415 of those players chose to use this exploit for personal gain.

To all of you who reported this to us, thank you! As soon as we confirmed what was happening, we took the Auction Houses in the Americas offline and suspended gold trading in order to isolate the problem. From there, we were able to troubleshoot, develop a fix, test it, and deploy it to all regions before the day ended—also ensuring that patch 1.0.8 rolled out in other regions (without the bug) as scheduled. The Auction Houses remained offline and gold trades remained suspended until we completed a full audit of all transactions that occurred during this period. Once that was completed, we brought everything back online.

While this was happening, we locked accounts that appeared to be exploiting the bug as well as collaborators that held gold or items for the exploiters. Once we confirmed that an account was involved in this exploit, we either banned or rolled back the account depending on their activity.

What Does That Mean for Me?

Soon after the exploit was discovered, we contemplated doing a complete rollback, as was suggested by a number of players here in the forums.

The vast majority of players did not participate in the exploit and we didn't like the idea of punishing them for the bad behavior of a few people. A rollback would mean bringing the servers down for a lengthy period and a loss of all progression since 1.0.8 was released. Many players made significant accomplishments in the game that required time and dedication, and we felt it was worth the work involved to try to preserve these efforts and go after the exploiters instead.

With this in mind, we elected not to roll back the servers in The Americas and are instead working to remove duplicated gold from the economy through targeted audits and account actions (as indicated above) without taking away progress that our players rightfully earned.

As of this this post, we have already recaptured more than 85% of the excess gold from the accounts involved, and over the days ahead we will continue to pore over our audit data to reclaim as much duplicate currency as possible. We've also done a full audit of our code to help make sure that something like this doesn't happen again.

So, What's Next?

Many people bought and sold items and gold on the Auction House on Tuesday. We're making sure that all legitimate transactions go through. This means that if your account was not involved in the exploit, you will get to keep your items and gold, as well as any money you received from sales on the real-money Auction House. We'll also be donating all proceeds from auctions conducted by the suspended or banned players—including all of THEIR sale proceeds that we intercepted as well as our transaction fee—to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Thank You!

On behalf of the development team, I just want to say thanks again to those of you who took the time to notify us about this situation, as well as apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused you personally. We highly value fair play, and we’re going to continue to monitor the game and take steps necessary to prevent exploits like this from happening in the future.

Comments

  • #1 JohnnyDesolation
    A+ would read again.
  • #2 Neal82
    good stuff.
  • #3 Sirness
    Been awhile since I was impressed by a blue post.
  • #4 zeroRooter
    "We'll also be donating all proceeds from auctions conducted by the suspended or banned players—including all of THEIR sale proceeds that we intercepted as well as our transaction fee—to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals."
    I had to read that a few times, i thought they were joking, maybe they only collected a grand total of 10$ because the gold was so cheap.
  • #5 subanark
    Even if the gold is cheap, there is quite a bit of demand. If the players duped a lot of gold they could still sell $250 worth... even if they had to sell a billion gold to do so. Considering that many of these 415 players probably did this, you can easily imagine that they tried to cash out up too $100,000. It probably was no where that high, but it could easily be around $10,000, which would be enough to make a significant donation, while not hurting Blizz's bottom line too much.
  • #6 CasmX
    Just because the gold was cheap didn't mean they couldn't exploit it.

    Step 1: Dupe 20 trillion gold
    Step 2: Buy every valuable 2 billion GAH item that usually sells for 100-200+ bucks on the RMAH.
    Step 3: Put those items up on the RMAH for a third of the price to ensure they sell quickly.
    Step 4: ?????
    Step 5: Profit.
  • #7 bigamie
    Quote from subanark

    Even if the gold is cheap, there is quite a bit of demand. If the players duped a lot of gold they could still sell $250 worth... even if they had to sell a billion gold to do so. Considering that many of these 415 players probably did this, you can easily imagine that they tried to cash out up too $100,000. It probably was no where that high, but it could easily be around $10,000, which would be enough to make a significant donation, while not hurting Blizz's bottom line too much.


    And Blizzard also ensured noone says they were profiting from the bug themselves by keeping the money from the suspensions. So it's a win-win situation for Blizzard. They may make mistakes but they do their best to fix those and earn back the trust of their customers.
  • #8 The_Truth
    Nice to see everyone happy about a blue post, In the end everything worked out as normal. I laughed so hard as people was saying "rollback rollback or the game is ruined" from what ive seen and anytime i had to deal with blizzard they fix stuff 100%. Guess theres just too many people trying it to ruined blizzards name because they dont spoonfeed players asking for class buffs.

    Only a relatively small number of players had the billions of gold necessary to exploit the bug, and only 415 of those players chose to use this exploit for personal gain.


    To the 415 idiots that duped. If you guys already had billions. why cheat? So stupid guess you guys have nothing now =) thanks for putting me up quite a few ranks of DP.
  • #9 izzigoin
    "small number of players exploited a bug to duplicate gold"

    I laughed at this one. It's not like Blizzard gonna admit that the economy was ruined and tons of gold went god knows where. Lots of people who weren't even duping bought and sold items left and right making billions. All i see in this post is some bs for gullible ones. Even more funny are the people who still blindly defend Blizzards failtrain after all the sh** that happened since release.
  • #10 t0luene
    Quote from izzigoin

    "small number of players exploited a bug to duplicate gold"

    I laughed at this one. It's not like Blizzard gonna admit that the economy was ruined and tons of gold went god knows where. Lots of people who weren't even duping bought and sold items left and right making billions. All i see in this post is some bs for gullible ones. Even more funny are the people who still blindly defend Blizzards failtrain after all the sh** that happened since release.


    I think the most important fact is: The economy isnt ruined. Everything is back to normnal. And everyone can use the AH, and RMAH again, with an amazing patch that people are hella enjoying it.
    You WONT see a service like this from ANY other company.

    This is literally the company you paid ur 40 bucks of game to, that has been giving you free updates and free fixes and free content ever since the game was released. They still care, they still make good games and top notch service.

    If you cant move on from a simple bug, and play again. well dood, you really need to find another hobby. its kind of sad.
    cheers,
  • #11 Kronc
    "Once we confirmed that an account was involved in this exploit, we either banned or rolled back the account depending on their activity."

    That alone makes this entire situation a win regardless of outlying benefactors or an economic burp. Still dream of the AHs not existing at all, but with some shady billionaires banned, that lack of market manipulation will work out to be a positive for the AHs in the long run.
  • #12 Seifa
    It was a good read and i can only imagine the nightmare it was to check those suspicious transactions. At least legit players weren't hurt by a rollback and cheaters got the punishment.
    Now my hope is that Blizzard will be a bit more zelous with quality check for the AH. <.
  • #13 Catalept
    Quote from izzigoin

    "small number of players exploited a bug to duplicate gold"

    I laughed at this one. It's not like Blizzard gonna admit that the economy was ruined and tons of gold went god knows where. Lots of people who weren't even duping bought and sold items left and right making billions. All i see in this post is some bs for gullible ones. Even more funny are the people who still blindly defend Blizzards failtrain after all the sh** that happened since release.


    Excellent first post. Glad to have you aboard.

    Wait... it's after midnight, so opposite day is over. I retract everything.
  • #14 Serpenth
    Quote from izzigoin

    "small number of players exploited a bug to duplicate gold"

    I laughed at this one. It's not like Blizzard gonna admit that the economy was ruined and tons of gold went god knows where. Lots of people who weren't even duping bought and sold items left and right making billions. All i see in this post is some bs for gullible ones. Even more funny are the people who still blindly defend Blizzards failtrain after all the sh** that happened since release.


    I think you're gullible for thinking the economy was ruined and still believing this game is a "failtrain".
  • #15 Bobisadrummer
    Now only if they could make the game stable again :(
  • #16 Mob Dylan
    Quote from izzigoin

    "small number of players exploited a bug to duplicate gold"

    I laughed at this one. It's not like Blizzard gonna admit that the economy was ruined and tons of gold went god knows where. Lots of people who weren't even duping bought and sold items left and right making billions. All i see in this post is some bs for gullible ones. Even more funny are the people who still blindly defend Blizzards failtrain after all the sh** that happened since release.



    lol at this guy for making an account just to say something belittling and negative about a blizzard game and the people who enjoy it.
    He's all kinds of awesome.

    Anyway, I'm impressed that blizz chose to handle this matter in the way they did with maximum penalties for exploiters and almost none for the honest player base (aside from a few days of no AH). I'm glad there was no rollback.
  • #17 Freezard
    Wow, I'm very impressed by this post. It seems that they went through every player who had enough gold to dupe and took action against those who did. I previously said that if I had played on US I would have quit when they elected to not rollback, but actually banning the people who did it is an even better option, since they apparently managed to find them all. Not only that but the donating of the banned players' money is epic win. Blizzard just saved themselves from a disaster. Unfortunately we on the EU server got some of those scums exploiting the gold cause they're banned, but what can you do.
  • #18 TianZi
    I spent all my RMAH balance buying gems to flip for gold and got banned for it. Didn't even know about the dupe until afterwards. Plus it's pretty obvious nobody would spend $180+ on gems to sell for gold if they knew they can just dupe gold, LOL ... So I guess Blizzard's investigation kind of failed. Doubt I'm the only one that got screwed in this mess.

    So now I'm down $182.30 from buying gems, with my accounts banned with like $600-700 of items on it, and unable to even get a ticket response to answer what they think I did wrong that deserves a ban.

    Figured they'ed ban dupers, but banned for selling gems is pretty ridiculous.
  • #19 Koboldius
    Quote from TianZi

    I spent all my RMAH balance buying gems to flip for gold and got banned for it. Didn't even know about the dupe until afterwards. Plus it's pretty obvious nobody would spend $180+ on gems to sell for gold if they knew they can just dupe gold, LOL ... So I guess Blizzard's investigation kind of failed. Doubt I'm the only one that got screwed in this mess.

    So now I'm down $182.30 from buying gems, with my accounts banned with like $600-700 of items on it, and unable to even get a ticket response to answer what they think I did wrong that deserves a ban.

    Figured they'ed ban dupers, but banned for selling gems is pretty ridiculous.


    And thats exactly why Blizzard should have done a rollback. People who even didnt know about the dupe either made alot of gold,lost alot of gold or even got banned. In most cases the people made fun out of it and bought items for the lolz because they were confident that blizz would do a rollback.

    People get punished because Blizzard did a huge mistake. It is like throwing money on the ground and nobody is supposed to pick it up.
    But it seems Blizzard was too afraid to do a rollback after the story in korea where the government raided their offices or to get in contact with paypal to get all the transaction fixed. And to top it all they were so slow to put the game offline that people could flip items for hours and even streamed it for a long time until they woke up.

    Im really glad that it didnt occur on EU server, cause thats where im playing. But in my opinion it is not fair and correct at all how Blizzard solved this dupe problem.
  • #20 overneathe
    Quote from TianZi

    I spent all my RMAH balance buying gems to flip for gold and got banned for it. Didn't even know about the dupe until afterwards. Plus it's pretty obvious nobody would spend $180+ on gems to sell for gold if they knew they can just dupe gold, LOL ... So I guess Blizzard's investigation kind of failed. Doubt I'm the only one that got screwed in this mess.

    So now I'm down $182.30 from buying gems, with my accounts banned with like $600-700 of items on it, and unable to even get a ticket response to answer what they think I did wrong that deserves a ban.

    Figured they'ed ban dupers, but banned for selling gems is pretty ridiculous.


    Did you try writing to Blizzard?
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