Oops: Diablo 3 Patch 1.0.8 Introduces Duping Exploit
How Serious Is This Issue?
Blizzard’s sentiments, expressed through Lylirra, suggest that players are exaggerating the ramifications of the incident. Reports exist of people managing to dupe “trillions” of gold, but there is little evidence to support this. The one popular piece of photographic evidence that is making the rounds, pictured above, has been confirmed by Blizzard to be doctored.
Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on whether you’re a journalist, a cheater, or Blizzard — the exploit was broadcast by several streamers, allowing some tangible evidence to disseminate throughout the community. One such streamer, D3_InigoMontoya, reportedly duped approximately 100 billion gold during a livestream with more than 4,000 viewers. Screenshots depict him purchasing every item on sale at the Auction House for 2 billion gold. His stream presently confirms that he has been banned “in a recent gold fiasco.”
Based on seeing streamers amass hundreds of billions of gold, community estimates place the total amount of gold that entered the market thanks to the dupe between a few trillion and hundreds of trillions.
While we will never know how many players actively used the exploit, the fact that streamers were effectively publicizing instructional videos seems in conflict with Lylirra’s comment that “relatively few players used it.” However, even if several tens of thousands of players used the exploit, that can likely still be considered “relatively few,” depending on how you choose to count players.
Nonetheless, the incident had immediate and colossal effects on the market. Take for instance the price of Radiant Star Emeralds, which has been at or under 30 million gold for the past two months. Currently, its value sits at over 100 million gold — a jump of over 80 million gold from one day to the next.
The duped gold has entered the market and found its way into the hands of legitimate players — be it through the Auction House, in-game trading, or indirectly through free item giveaways. If all Blizzard does is audit “all transactions conducted through the Auction House, as well as trades in which gold was exchanged,” then they’ll never be able to track down all of the duped gold — or the items it bought. Clever exploiters would have already laundered that gold away.
Still, the question remains — how severe will the ramifications be? Without a doubt, the economy has taken a hit. But how big of a hit, and how long will it take the market to stabilize? Gold influxes tend to see a rise in the cost of high-end gear, while low- to medium-end gear remains relatively unaffected. Would this be disastrous? No. But the fact does remain that many players will be adversely affected by this — and for them, not rolling back the servers is unfair.