Blizzard Bans Diablo III Bots + Massive Duping on Asian Realm

In an early Christmas miracle, Blizzard has announced the bans of several thousand Diablo 3 bots, who must take their mechanized cheating and gold farming away, never to return. (On that account, anyway.)

We’ve recently issued account bans to several thousand Diablo III players who were found to be using botting programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair play, botting, hacking, and other forms of cheating can also cause technical problems with the game as well as contribute to performance issues with the service. To learn more about our exploitation policy for Diablo III and how it may affect your gameplay, please visit our official support site.

As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for legitimate players is very important to us, and we’ll be continuing to keep watch on and take action as needed. In the meantime, if you wish to report the possible use of botting programs to Blizzard, please see this thread for more information. (We will also be adding the ability for players to report this kind of behavior directly through the game client in a future patch.)

For questions regarding account actions, please refer to Account Administration.

Good news in my opinion, after we’ve had months of occasional actions against botters (though obviously we can only speculate on just how extensive the problem is and how Blizzard reacts to it.

Update: In depressing related news, DrazzlibKun sends word from China that Blizzard has changed their account recovery/item restoration policy for the Asian realm after it was being exploited to dupe items. So the new policy is that all items are DiabloWikiBoA after an account is restored. Here’s a quote from the Google translation the original English text, which was translated into Chinese for the post on Taiwanese Thanks to Lylirra for sending it over:

We know that having your account compromised = zero fun. That’s why we provide an account-rollback service that helps get players back into the game as quickly as possible. However, we’ve found that a number of compromised account claims are actually fraudulent attempts to get extra items and based on this, we’ve decided to tweak our rollback policy in the Asia region to allow us to continue assisting players while also protecting the game economy. This change is in addition to our zero-tolerance policy against filing fraudulent claims.

[Updated Policy]

As of 12/18/2012 at 11:00 am (local time), all character equipment, such as weapons and armor, restored via the Diablo III rollback service will be bound to the restored account. While this means that these items cannot be traded with other players or posted on the auction house, they can still be shared with other characters on the account and sold to merchant NPCs. Note that gold and commodities restored via the rollback service won’t be bound to the player’s account. As always we are committed to continuing to monitor the health and economy of the game and may make additional tweaks if necessary.

Considering that the rollback service is intended to help players whose accounts have been compromised, we obviously wish that no one ever needed to use it. The best way to help protect yourself from account compromise is to secure your PC and account, for example by adding a Authenticator. While no security measure is completely foolproof, we’ve often found that many accounts are compromised a second time simply because players do not take any action to protect themselves after being compromised the first time.

To learn more about the Authenticator and some best practices for securing your PC against viruses and malware, check out the links below.

  • Learn more about the Authenticator and suggested antivirus/malware programs.
  • Get a Authenticator now!
  • Guide for running antivirus/anti-malware programs.
  • The game economy is important to the quality of the player experience. Anyone who attempts to gain extra items through false claims is potentially causing harm to the game, the economy, and the experience of other players. By strengthening our policies against dishonest claims, we hope to provide further stability to the economy and an even better gaming experience for all players.

    Things were reportedly so out of hand that in recent days Radiant Star Emeralds were being sold for 500k gold in the AH. That’s a DiabloWikigem that costs 15,400,000 gold to create, just in DiabloWikiJeweler upgrade costs; not even including the 729 Flawless Squares and 1631 Tomes of Secret. Hacking level Asian unlocked. Be glad most of us are on the Americas or Europe server, where we’ve only got lazy gold botters to worry about?

    A few follow up posts by Lylirra from the original thread.

    I think we are 9 months to late on that.
    This isn’t our first rodeo. We have been actively monitoring for exploitative behavior since the game launched and taking action as needed. We simply haven’t been as vocal about that process (though we have made a few announcements for larger ban waves in the past), but that’s something we’ll be working to change.

    How does one justify if he/she is botting? I mean, I could play for 12 hours for weeks not saying that would be a good thing but its possible so I am just guessing I would eventually get a ban hammer dropped on my head?
    While I’m not about to reveal how we identify exploitative behavior in Diablo III (and understandably so), “playing a lot” is not criteria enough to merit an account action for botting.

    If you have received an account action and have any questions about it, be sure to check out and follow the instructions provided here:

    The steps included the article are your best course of action.

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    33 thoughts on “Blizzard Bans Diablo III Bots + Massive Duping on Asian Realm

    1. I remember life on the old golf farm. Raising little teelings. Harvesting the ripe clubs. Digging for heirloom Titleists…

      j/k, this is good news. 🙂

      • Not really. This does nothing but make Blizzard more money. A botter posted a thread last night answering questions. He ran 10 bots for 3 months straight, making about 20,000 euro total. Botters aren’t afraid of being banned, they fully expect it. He had 10bil on a “safe” account and can simply start over with a new version of the bot.

        I’m sure in 3 months there will be another ban wave resulting in placated fans who think something is actually being done. Meanwhile, the ban has stopped botters for 1 day while they re-bot level 60s and gear back up with their safe gold and Blizzard pockets another 10,000 copies worth of D3 money.

        Let’s get real here. The relationship between botters and Blizzard is symbiotic, not parasitic. If botters were earning money faster I’m sure we’d see quicker banwaves so that Blizzard gets “their fair share” of the money.

      • Truly. For a couple of weeks there (maybe a bit more,) the public channels were seriously looking just like the ones I remember from Diablo 2 with the endless spambots and friend requests spamming websites.

        When it gets to the point where nobody is able to report spammers anymore (as it was for over a week, everyone I knew would get an error report when trying to report someone,) it is pretty bloody clear that they are once again not living up to their stance on the matter.

    2. I have to believe that we have here the same symbiotic relationship as with gold farmers in WoW. Occasional mass bannings a) give Blizzard good PR from folks like us and b) make sure that botters have made money and thus give them an inventive to purchase new licenses after being banned.

      If Blizzard wants to convince me otherwise, they should publish lists of banned accounts daily.

      • Think of it like VAC. You can’t ban daily, you have to take some time before cutting them off. If you banned right when it detects the bot/hack, the makers would change their code every time, use trial and error until they find just the right bit of code to become undetectable by the anti-cheat. It’s sort of like a cockroach; you don’t want cockroaches to become immune to your pesticide/bug-killers right off the bat. Cockroaches evolve fast and develop resistance and immunity to things plaguing their environment so it’s ideal to use pesticides/bug-killers on them in waves.

        Yes, I just compared bot makers to cockroaches. Seems like a fitting metaphor to me.

        • It’s a good point, Warden (or whatever) is only so good. But I think my point was good too. Question then is where the balance should be.

    3. Is that the first time they actually confirm the exploit people used to dupe gems with?
      The same was happening in both europe and americas region as far as I know just after the patch 1.0.5 came. Quite surprising it only went on for a couple of days though. Something must’ve happened that stopped it?

    4. I have a friend in my list (guildie from 10 years ago) that I am almost 100% sure has been botting the last month. Never answers any /tells (we used to chat regularly when he was leveling), always on DND now, and went from paragon 1-85 very fast. I have never once seen him offline since I suspected the botting started a little over a month ago.

      Today was the first time I have seen him offline in over a month. I guess I can assume this banning was effective?

      I would have thought after a banning the character would be completely gone from my friends list, not just shown as “offline”.

    5. Problem is by the time they ban the botters the damage is already done. All that extra gold and items are now in the economy. And they’ll be back up and running in no time. Just a lost cause.

      They could trace back all the items and delete them, but that would anger many players.

    6. Well I stand corrected and wholeheartedly apologize to everyone for making that statement and many others.

      This news was a wakeup call to me.

      Perhaps it’s time for me to reevaluate the reasons I became a Blizzard fanboy and apologist.

      Perhaps selling millions of copies is NOT an indicator of quality after all.

      Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

      • Perhaps you don’t know that 90% of buyers hoped it to be an improved version of Diablo 2 and the same 90% doesn’t play anymore.

        I have about 15 real friends in my list and 20 recent players. At least 50% doesn’t log in for months. Others do what I do, just log in to sell stuff until it is done, waiting for PVP and other possible big changes. 3 addicts play everyday for hours.

        People will come back to try PvP and expansion, but I guess it won’t hold em.

      • holy crap !
        the mayans were right
        the world is going to end on the 21st !
        and I think just saw a pig flying outside my window
        and, wait, yes, hell has frozen over

    7. Europe gold rmah price is still at 25cent / million. I tested it yesterday with a 10 million gold order, the 10 million are still not sold.

      There are hundred billions of gold in the rmah at 25cent. All appeared one week ago as the price of gold dropped from 32cent to 25cent in 2 days.

      No gold dupe in europe ? … sure …

    8. I doubt there is a gold dupe, but i guess there was a gem dupe on asia realms.

      The gold is just generated by bots. If some random dude can put on 8 bots simultaniously, let them them run 24/7 for 3 months straight, completely unbothered by Blizzard, and make 20 grands out of it, just imagine what the professional shop owners do every day.

      I know Blizzard can’t shut down botting entirely, as there are some fundamental problems. And i don’t care all too much. But seeing the gold price constantly drop, reading some botters AMA, having gems sold on asia for a fraction of the cost to craft them, does Blizzard think they are doing enough?
      I don’t feel they are taking action as needed but are taking action as scheduled.

    9. Oh look, every 3 or 4 months Blizzard bans a few 1000’s of botters, which looks good to the public eye, ie the general naive lot of people who frown upon such notions as capitalist greed and manipulation and general conspiracy.

      In the meantime, the botter who makes 1000’s of euro / dollars a month from his business is going to just shut down? No, he’s going to need some new cd keys to level asap to 60 and gold farm for another 3-4 months ….

      See the pattern here?

    10. Go check all the crying and frustration over at the demon buddy forums for verification that this ban wave worked. Marvelous job Blizz. Now go fix this game.

    11. Plenty of duping in europe and US as well. I got all the emeralds I needed for some 3mil each, they did go lower than that too but I didn’t dare wait it out as I knew it was just a matter of time before they’d go back to normal.
      Then you can check diabloprogress and you’ll find plenty of items that 10+ people have!
      Not to mention I have seen up to 6 identical items out on ah at the same time every now and then.
      Blizz couldn’t really have failed much more than they have…

    12. “Note that gold and commodities restored via the rollback service won’t be bound to the player’s account.

      Things were reportedly so out of hand that in recent days Radiant Star Emeralds were being sold for 500k gold in the AH. That’s a DiabloWikigem that costs 15,400,000 gold to create, just in DiabloWikiJeweler upgrade costs; not even including the 729 Flawless Squares and 1631 Tomes of Secret. Hacking level Asian unlocked. Be glad most of us are on the Americas or Europe server, where we’ve only got lazy gold botters to worry about?”

      Now what are gems classified as? Good game Blizzard.

    13. So with all these bans does this mean is much more stable now so that we all can roll on hardcore mode again ?

      • Because being online only, there will be no hacks and dupes and the game economy will remain pure. Oh…wait…

        As I said before, the only reason for being online only is to funnel people through the auction house. Blizzard made the game worse in order to get themselves more money, to the player’s detriment.

    14. Who still plays this game to buy the gold/items the botters are selling? I guess a lot of people still like this game….

      • that is also fucking mystifying to me. i mean in d2 runewords and some uniques could get you from wimp to beast depending on your build preferences. I could see why people would pay for something like that.

        In Diablo 3 i can deck in an Inferno Steamroll character for less than a million – and than i do play on because ?

        because i can earn that one item that creates a build out of thin air ? there are no such items in d3.

        because i like challenging and rewarding feats ? there is no such thing either. Blizzard approach at scaling “difficulty” is effing mind numbing. The only Parameter they touch are some global variables for HP% and DMG% in the Monster Power system – i cant think of a process more lazy and effortless.
        not to mention that the rewards are completely disproportionate for the time investment.

        so yeah whats left ? Hellfirering is an disgrace in comparison to torch.

        and i don’t see myself farming hundreds of hours for Paragon Level and items which wont affect my game-play at all – especially if you consider that mp0-mp1 is the most effective way to play the game.

        also group-play is still not encouraged. why is this game online if 95% of time is spend in singleplayer realms ?

        • You just nailed the state of the game right now. Pretty depressing. When I came to that same realization I found myself digging through every corner of Steam trying to find a diversion.

      • You know, despite my earlier comment, I still quite enjoy the game. Especially after taking a long hiatus after having logged about 500 hours. Hell, I had even sworn the game off as a failure, but then wouldn’t you know it, right back in there, playing until the early morning.

        But the technical side of things is endlessly frustrating, and the AH is problematic and always will be, etc. etc. but when I just zone out and focus on the actual playing of the game, (fighting elites, getting loot) it’s an incredibly well made piece of entertainment.

    15. There probably is full on Dupe, not gold dupe, gem dupe.

      It’s a full inventory dupe and it costs the same thing as the game.

    16. Lol.Everyone i know… playing bots atm.I just quit the game.
      There is nothing else to do.You have the choice to play bots or to be a bot.
      Im not bot.I can’t farm 3-4 areas like crazy all the time for no reward.
      There is nothing else to do in the game.Hardcore is much better but there is not enough ppls.Epic fail ? Or Epic greed ?…..

    17. Thank god they made this game online only, god know what people would get up to if you allowed them to play single player offline. Gosh!

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