Massive Gold Duping Strikes Diablo III

A bug in patch 1.0.8 allowed gold to be duplicated, wreaking havoc on the Diablo III economy in the Americas server

A massive gold duplication bug showed up on the Americas Diablo III servers, after Patch 1.0.8 went live on Tuesday. The immediate bug has been dealt with by Blizzard, but the ramifications will be felt for a while.

Here is the official Blizzard announcement about the issue, and the server and Auction House ongoing maintenance to deal with it:
UPDATES:

> 5/10/13 9:55 p.m. PDT: Since maintenance is now resolve and the Auction House are back online, I'm going to go ahead and close this thread. To read more about what happened and how we approached this issue, click here. If you experience any issues using the Auction House, please create a new thread (and be sure to detail exactly what the problem is, including screenshots if possible). Thank you so much for your patience!

> 5/10/13 8:10 p.m. PDT: Maintenance has concluded, and both the gold and real-money Auction Houses are now live. Gold trades have also been reactivated. Please note that we have temporarily reverted the stack size for gold on the real-money Auction House from 10,000,000 to 1,000,000. (At the moment, there's an active bug preventing gold stack sizes from displaying correctly in the Auction House at values higher than 1,000,000, so we've temporarily reversed this change the until we can fix the display issue.)

Important: To help reduce load and improve the overall stability of the auction house system, the game may temporarily limit traffic to the auction house, especially following maintenance. This is done automatically, and players may occasionally see a grayed-out auction house button (or receive an "Error 31075") as a result. If the auction house button is grayed-out, please wait a few minutes and then try again.

> 5/10/13 7:15 p.m. PDT: Lylirra here, checking back in (apologies for the delay!). Our teams are still performing their audit, and the auction houses remain under maintenance. Some players may notice that PayPal payments are now processing; this is intended, as we've completed our audit of real-money transactions. No additional news to share at this time (or ETAs, for those of you wondering). We'll be checking back in with you every so often to keep you as updated as possible. Next scheduled update: 11:00 p.m. PDT.

> 5/10/13 3:25 p.m. PDT: We've made substantial progress with our audit, but the process is not yet complete. We don't yet have a specific ETA as to when the Auction Houses will be available, but we wanted to at least touch base with the community and let you all know that we're still working hard to address the effects of the gold dupe. We'll be providing another status update by 7:00 p.m. PDT, as well, so be sure to stay tuned to this thread. Thank you!

> 5/9/13 12:10 p.m. PDT: As we mentioned earlier, we're currently auditing transactions that were performed on the both the gold and real-money Auction House following the discovery of a gold exploit after patch 1.0.8 released. For those just tuning in, we decided to perform a complete audit and focus on the few players that exploited this bug rather than performing a full rollback and taking everyone offline for a day (or more) – losing all the progress they made.

This audit is a time-intensive process, and to make sure that we can do a thorough job, we’re going to keep the Auction Houses in maintenance until that work is complete. Unfortunately, our previous estimate was incorrect, and for that I personally apologize. We don’t have a new ETA, but we anticipate that the service will be unavailable for at least another 24 hours. We’ll continue to provide updates in this thread regarding the status of our Auction House maintenance as they become available.

> 5/9/13 9:00 a.m. PDT: We are still in the process of reviewing all of Tuesday's transactions and need to keep the Auction House offline for a while longer to complete our audit. At this time, we will not be able to bring the Auction House online by 10:00 a.m. PDT. We're re-evaluating required downtime, and will provide another update by 12:00 p.m. PDT.

> 5/8/13 4:15 p.m. PDT: In order to allow auctions posted yesterday to expire naturally, we've decided to keep the gold and real-money Auction House in maintenance mode until tomorrow morning. We're currently targeting 10:00 a.m. PDT, but will provide an update for everyone at 9:00 a.m. PDT. At that point, we'll be able to give a much more solid ETA as to when the service will be up and running (or, conversely, let you know if additional downtime is needed).

Gold trades are still disabled for the time being. Once we have an ETA for those being re-activated, we'll provide another update in this thread, as well.

> 5/8/13 11:30 a.m. PDT: We're still in the process of auditing Auction House and gold trade transactions. We realize this is an inconvenience for many of our players, and we sincerely apologize for the interruption of the service. We hope to have everything back up as soon as possible. We don't currently have an ETA for when the Auction House will be brought out of maintenance or gold trades will be reactivated, but we'll continue to provide updates in this thread as they become available.

> 5/8/13 12:30 a.m. PDT: We've confirmed that we've fixed the bug which allowed players to duplicate gold; however, we will be keeping the gold and real-money Auction Houses offline in the Americas until further notice (gold trades will also remain suspended). We'll be using this downtime to perform audits on all transactions conducted through the Auction House as well as trades in which gold was exchanged since 1.0.8 launched. We anticipate this process will take multiple hours to complete and will provide another update by 12:00 p.m. PDT.

> 5/8/13 12:00 a.m. PDT: 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.

> 5/7/13 10:40 p.m. PDT: Maintenance has concluded, and the fix has been implemented. Once we’ve been able to test this fix and verify that it works correctly, we'll then mark the gold and real-money auction house live.

> 5/7/13 10:35 p.m. PDT: To assist our teams with their review process, we have disabled all gold trades in the Americas region until further notice. Players can still trade items, but trades that involve any sum of gold currency cannot be completed.

> 5/7/13 10:15 p.m. PDT: We believe we’ve found a fix for the gold duplication bug and will be deploying it shortly to all regions. In order to implement this fix, we'll be bringing Diablo III into maintenance. We anticipate this maintenance will last for approximately 1 hour, lasting until approximately 11:30 p.m. PDT.

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Hey everyone,

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.

Q. How will this affect other regions and patching up to 1.0.8?
This will not affect the patch maintenance schedules for Europe or Asia. As we believe we've been able to fix the dupe, patch 1.0.8 will still be released in both of these regions as normal. However, please note that we have temporarily reverted the stack size for gold on the real-money Auction House from 10,000,000 to 1,000,000. There's an active bug that's preventing gold stack sizes from displaying correctly, so we've reversed that one change until we can fix it. (This will also be the case for the Americas once the Auction House is marked live.)

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.
This all came about because of a change in patch 1.0.8, where it was announced: The stack size for gold sales on the auction house has been increased from 1 million to 10 million. This allowed the price of gold on the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) to decrease, letting it float down to the "market value". This change could not be tested on the PTR, as the RMAH does not exist there.

Unfortunately, this change included a bug, that allowed players to interact in a certain manner with the RMAH and duplicate gold. Once this became known, many Diablo III streamers at Twitch.tv and other sites started doing this, and billions (if not trillions) of gold was created out of thin air. (See this reddit thread for more details.)

The Auction Houses were pulled offline, and the bug has now been fixed. Many players who took advantage of the bug have had their Diablo III accounts closed entirely, as they are banned from the game for exploiting the bug.

The big issue at this point comes from the billions of excess gold floating around in the softcore Americas Diablo III economy. Blizzard is implementing targeted rollbacks and deletions to try to remove the excess gold in the economy. There are many technicians and community managers working all night at Blizzard, to try to deal with the fallout of this major bug. We'll post more information as it becomes available.


Update: Blizzard has decided not to do a rollback of the entire Americas Diablo III realm. This means that players who were not cheating will not be impacted directly, and any progress made Tuesday on characters playing after the patch will be kept.

A tedious process is now underway by Blizzard's technicians, to try to remove only the duped gold from the Diablo III economy. The players who knowingly duped gold have been suspended or outright banned. Other accounts have been suspended because they (knowingly or not) have gold that was created via duplication exploits. Those accounts are being reviewed, and some trades or Auction House transactions made by those characters are being reversed.
We're currently in the process of reviewing accounts involved in using the dupe and taking appropriate actions. In some cases, this is a ban or a suspension. In others, it's a temporary lock (which gives us time to review exactly what happened).

We're handling everything on a case-by-case basis, and that's something we feel pretty strongly about here. So, while you're welcome to call for unilateral action, please forgive us if we choose to pass on it this time. :)
It is important to note that as large an issue as this was, it was still fairly limited in scope. It only affected the Americas softcore server (as there is no RMAH on the hardcore side), and some reports purporting to show trillions of duplicated gold were in fact fake. Players who were not involved in this can continue to play the game, without the Auction House for now, since the Americas server Auction Houses remain down as Blizzard continues their review.
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