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Recently, Diablo III received an update that accidentally allowed players to exploit the auction house in profitable ways. The bug has been identified, and taken care of, and has resulted in money that will be donated to charity.
John Hight, Diablo III's production director, took the game's message boards to let everyone know what happened, how Blizzard fixed it, and how it is dealing with the aftermath. Shortly after the game was updated earlier this week, "Players discovered a bug that allowed gold to be duplicated via the real-money Auction House," says Hight, "This resulted in an overflow on cancelled auctions that yielded a greater amount of gold in return." Apparently 415 players took advantage of this exploit between the time it was discovered and fixed by Blizzard. Those who were caught, had their accounts locked.
Blizzard considered a rollback of the Auction House, which would have cause many players to loose items and progress, but it decided against it of it because it would have punished all Diablo III players for the actions of of a few players.
As far as the extraneous gold that resulted from players exploiting the bug, it will be going to a good cause. Hight says, "We'll 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."
For a full breakdown of exactly what happened, you can check out Hight's posting on the Diablo III message boards.
We spoke with Diablo III's director Jay Wilson (who has since moved on to a different internal project at Billard), and he said that the the auction house, "really hurt the game." You can check out the full interview here.
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