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Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today

The Diablo III Forums have the latest on the auction house disaster in Diablo III. The reaction to the situation from the playerbase of Blizzard's action/RPG sequel seems resolute, as every one of the threads in their Popular Topics list relates to the situation. There's the post from Blizzard about the auction house being offline, a thread about how the increased monster density in version 1.0.8 is a positive development, and after that the discontent shows, as 40% of those threads request a rollback to a point before the exploit occurred (which Blizzard has said they won't do), 30% of them are petitions demanding said rollback, and the remaining thread suggests a class action suit. The auction houses are still offline following the inadvertent free money Tuesday, and word is they are taking a laissez-faire to bringing them back:

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, 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.

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29. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 19:53 Flatline
 
Keilun wrote on May 9, 2013, 18:28:
There's no real details in their RMAH FAQ that discusses how they'd handle rollbacks for those situations. I'd guess Blizzard would just have to eat the cost. I have no idea what sort of activity the RMAH gets since I don't use it, but I'd hope it's a smaller amount of activity so that for the few hours the AH was up the number of those cases are minimal.

Really though, we just need a clear and concise message from Blizzard about how they are handling this. Everything they've said thus far has been vague and ambiguous, which is why the forums are ablaze with rollback petitions - no one has a clear picture of how they are handling the duped gold and how it was scattered across accounts.

I'd bet real money that Blizzard probably technically has to honor rollbacks in the RMAH, but is avoiding doing it and intentionally being nebulous on purpose, because as soon as you confirm or deny responsibility, that opens yourself up to either litigation or obligation.

Unless someone puts the screws to the Big B, my suspicion is that Blizzard would let just about anything go through the RMAH so long as they don't have to step in and actually take on obligation and regulation.

Right up until you start defining limitations, turning a blind eye is sort of acceptable because it's a "legal grey area".
 
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28. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 18:43 Redmask
 
Given the situation they find themselves in I'm finding it difficult to see a different possibility there. People fucked up severely here and it reflects poorly on the entire company when these things happen. What's worse is that they waited to attempt to correct this instead of rolling back immediately, the damage is already unfolding in the auction houses judging by the inflated pricing I'm seeing.  
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27. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 18:41 descender
 
Moving money around in the RMAH is not instant, if they have been approving any transactions since they found out about the duping bug then they are just... stupid.  
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26. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 18:28 Keilun
 
There's no real details in their RMAH FAQ that discusses how they'd handle rollbacks for those situations. I'd guess Blizzard would just have to eat the cost. I have no idea what sort of activity the RMAH gets since I don't use it, but I'd hope it's a smaller amount of activity so that for the few hours the AH was up the number of those cases are minimal.

Really though, we just need a clear and concise message from Blizzard about how they are handling this. Everything they've said thus far has been vague and ambiguous, which is why the forums are ablaze with rollback petitions - no one has a clear picture of how they are handling the duped gold and how it was scattered across accounts.
 
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25. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 18:10 The Pyro
 
Doesn't the RMAH make a complete rollback impossible? If any of the cheaters sold items (acquired with duped gold) on the RMAH then they could have already cashed out. You can't retroactively remove the money from their account if it's not there.

If there were a rollback you'd end up with a lot of very unhappy bag holders.

On a slightly related note, I always liked how Kingdom of Loathing handled instances of too much money in the economy... they would create "money sinks", like the Penguin Mafia Raffle, to drain excess cash from the system. So players would mostly part with their ill-gotten gains voluntarily
 
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24. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 17:42 Keilun
 
Verno wrote on May 9, 2013, 11:32:
The trouble with that is that just punishes a few people while leaving permanent, lasting damage to the games economy that affects everyone else. Those people who had their accounts suspended still used that money, bought items, spread it around, etc. Imagine quadrillions of gold, even if they managed to reverse half of that it would still permanently inflate and screw the economy. The only way to put the genie back in the bottle is a rollback, who was responsible and how they are punished is a secondary consideration for people playing.

Like you said though now they've waited too long, they should have just done it immediately. I have no idea what the rationale behind that decision was, it is baffling that they would leave it all in.

My actual interpretation of that "audit" is that they would be reversing transactions linked to any of the duped gold (legitimate items or otherwise).

Really though, I don't understand why they can't reverse all transactions made on the AH. They clearly have the logs. When I look at my AH logs, it goes back all the way to Day 1. Perhaps I lack some sort of technical detail in what their AH system is capable of, but it seems like they have the data necessary to rollback all transactions or at least the transactions of any accounts linked to the original dupers.
 
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23. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 17:32 Flatline
 
descender wrote on May 9, 2013, 14:48:
Yes, but one well constructed SELECT could/should identify every last piece of it. Single out every account that shows a gold increase with no corresponding game or AH action... BAM... you just identified every cheater.

I think you might be underestimating a programmers ability to track things through a DB. Realistically... the scope of the problem is irrelevant once they identify the dupers accounts, which lead to transaction numbers that can just all be reversed.

They are taking it upon themselves to spend this time to do this... the easy solution would have been to rollback the entire world to before the dupe bug... but they must know they can identify the cheaters and rollback the proper transactions since they didn't do that already.

We can take this conversation a lot of fun ways from here... Blizzard not taking the easy way out (full rollback) inconveniencing 100% of the players is a bit shocking... the nerd-rage on the D3 forums of people who sold off gems to people with duped gold wanting to keep their now laundered duped gold is hilarious... but my favorite at the moment is the ten's of thousands of posts to the D3 forums (and 3-4 thousand people watching a live stream? really?) seem to indicate that this game still has considerably more life to it than say... Torchlight 2. Funny how that worked out.

If any of those transactions bled into the RMAH, they already said they won't be f*cking with that and won't be doing any rollbacks.

The question here is: Did the RMAH get impacted by the gold duping issue? If so, that's a far worse problem.
 
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22. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 17:20 Redmask
 
descender wrote on May 9, 2013, 14:48:
Yes, but one well constructed SELECT could/should identify every last piece of it. Single out every account that shows a gold increase with no corresponding game or AH action... BAM... you just identified every cheater.

I haven't been following this mess as closely as others but your explanations don't make much sense. You propose an automated SQL query that is almost impossible to automate without affecting real players (explanation further down). I sincerely doubt they are going to go line by line through query results that could number in the millions, many of whom are going to be legit players who happened to have sold or bought something from an exploiter. That's just the duped gold, let alone the untold number of items and real gold that flowed as a result. Duped gold doesn't just sit in a pile by itself conveniently, it will flow through and affect the entire economy, there are already transactions several generations old that resulted from duped gold. It would be extremely difficult to track these down as most would already been 'laundered'. Would they delete all of them? Nope, what they will do is ban some of the obvious cheaters and the resulting mess thats left will be up to the players to deal with which has started to happen already if you pay any attention to item pricing.

I guess time will tell, but if they aren't doing this they would have just rolled back the entire US server and been done with it.

Actually I think it's just as likely that they were prevented from rolling back by other issues and have to settle for doing this.

This comment was edited on May 9, 2013, 17:34.
 
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21. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 16:37 Julio
 
Dr Evil asking for 1 billion gold pieces would be nothing in Diablo 3. 1 billion is now pocket change. In one move Blizzard has made gold farmers mostly irrelevant.  
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20. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 15:27 TheDevilYouKnow
 
It'll never win/go through/happen though. It's too geeky/technical of a lawsuit, and I'm sure the EULA has boilerplate allowing Blizzard access to all your money and to fuck your wife on your wedding night.

I am weeping with laughter!
 
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19. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 15:05 descender
 
I don't think your situation in #12 applies at all...

If you sold something, and it was purchased with duped gold... you get the item back and lose the gold. The price you sold it for is largely irrelevant and no one is faulting you for doing so. Then you can try to sell said item again. Any transaction involving the duplicated gold simply gets reversed like a trail of breadcrumbs. There is no "merit" or "intention" here.

You merely have to identify the duped gold, and trace it through to today. Any accounts that gold has touched in those 2 days essentially gets rolled back.

Once all of the transactions are reversed and all of the items and back with their owners (and all of the duped gold back in the dupers accounts) then you ban the dupers.

Seems fairly straightforward if you ask me.

I guess time will tell, but if they aren't doing this they would have just rolled back the entire US server and been done with it.
 
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18. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 14:55 Mr. Tact
 
I think you are underestimating the complexity -- see my #12 post. Possible? Yes. Easy? Highly unlikely.  
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17. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 14:48 descender
 
Yes, but one well constructed SELECT could/should identify every last piece of it. Single out every account that shows a gold increase with no corresponding game or AH action... BAM... you just identified every cheater.

I think you might be underestimating a programmers ability to track things through a DB. Realistically... the scope of the problem is irrelevant once they identify the dupers accounts, which lead to transaction numbers that can just all be reversed.

They are taking it upon themselves to spend this time to do this... the easy solution would have been to rollback the entire world to before the dupe bug... but they must know they can identify the cheaters and rollback the proper transactions since they didn't do that already.

We can take this conversation a lot of fun ways from here... Blizzard not taking the easy way out (full rollback) inconveniencing 100% of the players is a bit shocking... the nerd-rage on the D3 forums of people who sold off gems to people with duped gold wanting to keep their now laundered duped gold is hilarious... but my favorite at the moment is the ten's of thousands of posts to the D3 forums (and 3-4 thousand people watching a live stream? really?) seem to indicate that this game still has considerably more life to it than say... Torchlight 2. Funny how that worked out.
 
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16. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 14:28 Mr. Tact
 
The exploit was shown in a live stream being watched by 3-4 thousand people. Shortly after that the GAH was emptied.  
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15. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 14:25 descender
 
hundreds of thousands of god tier items dumped into the game

I don't understand how this can be. Unless more people actually duped gold than they are letting on, only those people would have gold to then buy items from the AH they normally couldn't have afforded... they only had a few hours to work with so unless each person magically distributed hundreds of items (the leg work is mind boggling) I would say this issue is no where near as rampant as the forums suggest (shock, I know).


It's not as simple as just removing the offending accounts, many of those accounts did a variety of things other than sit on the money.

Which is exactly why they didn't just press a button 2 days ago and "fix it". I would be really surprised (and extremely disappointing in their data tracking) if there were not easy (tedious maybe, but still easy) ways of tracking the originally duped gold.

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.

^ This narrative still holds, until it doesn't.

it's what the cheaters did involving other accounts and aspects of the game that isn't so easily repaired.

Why? Rollback the cheaters accounts, and any transactions they or their duped gold were involved in. Problem solved. No massive rollbacks necessary. An item you sold may show back up in your inventory, or gold you spent... and you will have the chance the spend/sell that again. Sure the economy may take a few days to "come down" from the burp of extra cash but overall it will be largely unaffected. It's a "market" that's what it does.
 
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14. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 13:20 Flatline
 
TheDevilYouKnow wrote on May 9, 2013, 09:04:
"and the remaining thread suggests a class action suit."

I am not sure I am understanding this in the way it was written so please correct me if needed - the players are considering a class action lawsuit ? Based on what? That makes no sense to me. This game didn't cause mesothelioma from playing it. Granted the situation is awful but a lawsuit? Since they already own it how about ceasing to play that game for while, or at least until they fix it properly ?

If you can prove that they profited from the bug by driving business to the RMAH, then in theory you can prove that their reluctance to roll that money back represents at least a passive, knowledgeable approval of wire fraud, which is totally both a federal crime and a class actionable lawsuit.

It'll never win/go through/happen though. It's too geeky/technical of a lawsuit, and I'm sure the EULA has boilerplate allowing Blizzard access to all your money and to fuck your wife on your wedding night.
 
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13. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 13:16 Verno
 
descender wrote on May 9, 2013, 12:40:
If you bought or sold something to do with one of these players, that transaction will be wiped from your existence as well.

Many of these people bought items from legitimate sellers and spread the money around. That's without going into the items that were bought and spread around, hundreds of thousands of god tier items dumped into the game. It's not as simple as just removing the offending accounts, many of those accounts did a variety of things other than sit on the money.

I think everyone expects them to ban the cheaters but it's what the cheaters did involving other accounts and aspects of the game that isn't so easily repaired.

As Mr Tact said, that's their public claim but I'll believe it when I see it. I don't think it's as easy as you claim or that the economy will be unaffected.
 
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12. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 12:56 Mr. Tact
 
So, if I had an item in the GAH, for an elevated price -- not that uncommon I assume. And the gold cloners bought it, do I get my gold taken away? Do I get the item back? Does Blizzard know what is and isn't normal market pricing? Theoretically yes, they could get all the gold out. In reality, I'll believe when I see it.  
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11. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 12:40 descender
 
They have previously stated that they were targeting the individual accounts of players who cheated/duped gold. This is a great way to handle this rather than a global "rollback" which would lose gameplay progress of non-cheating account. They suspend the account and then rollback any transactions they made. If you bought or sold something to do with one of these players, that transaction will be wiped from your existence as well.

None of the duped money is staying "in the game" so all the belly-aching on the forums is, as it always is... much ado about nothing.

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.
 
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10. Re: Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today May 9, 2013, 11:32 Verno
 
Keilun wrote on May 9, 2013, 11:09:

Thankfully though, it looks like Blizzard is auditing where the duped gold went and applying temp suspensions to the accounts who received that gold, presumably to reverse the GAH/RMAH transactions. This was confirmed by a few posters who mentioned their accounts being suspended after selling their gems at the inflated rate (200M). Obviously there's no way to verify that (even Blizzard hasn't been clear about it), but maybe it'll provide some small comfort for the rest of us.

The trouble with that is that just punishes a few people while leaving permanent, lasting damage to the games economy that affects everyone else. Those people who had their accounts suspended still used that money, bought items, spread it around, etc. Imagine quadrillions of gold, even if they managed to reverse half of that it would still permanently inflate and screw the economy. The only way to put the genie back in the bottle is a rollback, who was responsible and how they are punished is a secondary consideration for people playing.

Like you said though now they've waited too long, they should have just done it immediately. I have no idea what the rationale behind that decision was, it is baffling that they would leave it all in.
 
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