Blood Thief Exploit Hotfixed, Bans Coming

Kinda like this...

Kinda like this…

Thursday evening an exploit went public that allowed players to spawn almost infinite amounts of blood shards from Blood Thief goblins. The trick was to find a Blood Thief, and while one player stayed near him, the others in the game went into a Greater Rift, before the first player killed the Goblin. In some way this caused the Goblins to drop thousands of shards for each person in the Grift, and the normal amount for the one who did the killing.

The trick could be repeated every time a Blood Thief was located, word spread quickly, streamers were demonstrating it live, and things rapidly got out of hand with players gambling through tens or even hundreds of thousands of Blood Shards. Blizzard hotfix disabled the exploit by requiring everyone in the game to be within proximity of the goblin in order for Shards to drop, and now that the bug is fixed, outraged fans are demanding that heads roll, and Blizzard seems to agree.

We’re currently working on a hotfix to address an exploit that allows players to gain a significantly larger number of Blood Shards from Blood Thief goblins than intended. While we don’t have an ETA to share at this time, we’re looking to implement the hotfix (which will also address the underlying bug) as soon as possible in all gameplay regions and will be sure to update this thread once it’s live.

With this, we’re also in the process of actioning accounts which have been found to be actively using this exploit to gain an unfair advantage. This behavior not only undermines the spirit play, but directly violates our in-game policies for Diablo III. 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 additional action as needed.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to please game responsibly. Not only can using exploits lead to account penalties, but it can also negatively impact the enjoyment of your fellow players. This is why we’re working as quickly as we can to fix the underlying issue, and why we’d appreciate your help in keeping the effects of the exploit as minimal as possible until it’s removed from the game.

For more information on how to report exploitative behavior, click here. For questions regarding account actions, please refer to Account Administration.

There are numerous claims that various streamers were banned for exploiting this, but there’s a lot of trolling going on with people claiming to be banned to get attention, or accusing others of using the exploit. How many people were actually doing it and how much (if at all) this will impact the Leaderboards (chars from banned accounts vanish from the Rankings) remains to be seen. Blood Thief Exploit Hotfixed, Bans Coming.

Also note that the hotfix tonight didn’t properly fix non-splitting Gelatinous Sires, and they will now rarely do some mega-splitting, resulting in dozens of Gelatinous Spawn, rather than just the half dozen or so intended. Hopefully Blizzard won’t deem their execution another exploit, and likely we’ll see another hotfix soon to fix that issue as well.

John Yang tweeted this slightly-cryptic comment on the exploit late last night:


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  1. Curious why anyone is so "outraged" that other players exploited a bug, since there's no trading any more anyway. Leaderboards? It's so early in S3, that within a month any impact from this shard hoarding will be negated anyway.

    I bet most of those "outraged" players are just upset they didn't get to exploit it themselves, or wish they had discovered it and kept it a secret.

    • 40k shards an hour for a couple of hours – I don’t think even the most hardcore gamer can overcome this with normal farming – Lets say 250 shards for a fast GR – takes 5 min – Lets say. That is 3k shards an hour = you are 13 hours behind. Then you do the shard bug farm for 1 day (lets say 14 hours play – if you are hardcore) that is 560k shards. That is equal to 186 hours (~8 days) of fast GR to get the same amount.

      So yeah the exploit gives you a hugh advantage I would say – Rollback if not ban is ok I would say. People should now that getting 40k shards in a hour is not a game feature but a bug!

      • The huge advantage to rob oneself of all the fun playing the game could have brought, you've meant. Without the implications of trading, you're only able to hurt your own gaming experience anyway. (Leaderboard runs excluded here.) Just like changing a savegame in an offline game and not at all like the usual exploiting consequences of the typical multiplayer experiences. Only "merit" I can imagine, would be having (to have?) the shallowness of the biggest epeen in one his peer group.

        To the bans: People are curious by nature. If one has heard about something working different then intended, trying it out for oneself to know by own experience, how to reproduce the result and speculating on the why behind, does not necessarily include a malicious intent to abuse an exploit. Thus I'm having my issues regarding banning retroactively. It would be better to announce the exploit as such, to warn about future abuses being grounds for a ban and Blizz will do so indiscriminately, give the info two to three days to spread and THEN ban the people still abusing the ban and, in this case, subtract the bloodshards gained by the exploit in these two/three days from the current amount of shards from players adhering to the message, but not instantly. (Getting off with a slap on the wrist this way would essentially mean, to have to balance out a Bloodshard count far into the negative for a while.)

        Granted, Blizz tries to filter the accounts for active abuses only. Clear cutting retroactively still leaves a taste of an overreaction over milk long spilled, though.

    • Do not insult me with such accusations. I strongly dispise cheating in any form or way and I think a firing squad is a fair solution.

      With so many bloodstones those people can get ancient gear of everything and early season hardly matters. And not everyone plays as much and still wants a shot at leaderboards. And as some point season ends.
      And I'd like to know a party member has earned his gear instead of cheated his way into it.
      Seems more like you are upset you didn't discover it sooner…

      • Considering I haven’t played D3 in months, and have never and will never play seasons, no, I’m not upset I didn’t find out about the exploit. I still question why you care about other players whose actions barely affect you.

      • you're the one who's upset

        no one else even cares

        "cheated" LOL – there was ZERO cheating involved

  2. Ok, BannerCookie got manned, but how about e.g. the DNA guild feat. Gabynator, Klankster & Co.? 310K Blood Shards in 900 Rifts in Season 3 for Gabynator? C'mon, Blizzard, look closer please!

  3. The R.I.P. youtube video, by a streamer, with "live" ban and email:

  4. It would be neat if they had something other than a ban. Like Deleting character or strip the characters naked or invincible Diablo chasing them over the map.

  5. … Do that many people really have enough time to sit around playing seasons for 12 hours a day that they could have competed with these yokels even if they hadn't cheated?

    • Thats's not the point. The point is that cheating should be punished, and it should be more than just using BannerCookie as a warning! Especially the top leaderboard players/clans should be examined very closely, and they should permanently lose their account and everything they played for during the past 3 years if they cheated rigorously. It cannot be that only players like BannerCookie lose everything because he has spread the cheat via his livestream. Top ranked cheaters deserve the same treatment. I just checked Twitch today and am asking myself "Why is this butthole <insert cheater here> still playing when it's very obvious that he has cheated?"

      And, by the way, Blizzard should examine the top leaderboard players from LAST season, because they don't gor for the actual top ranks before the current season ends.

      • there was NO cheating

        if they aren't maphacking or hacking the client then they aren't cheating

      • As jamesL said. There was no cheating. I was watching this stream while i was playing Diablo 1 HD Belzebub mod. He was playing with his new made Wizard to see how fast he can gear up in this way. He wanted to delete this character after all process. It wasn’t even his main character so for me Blizzard went crazy in this situation.

        We should be grateful that MannerCookie poked Blizzard in this way. Who knows how long this bug would stay in the game? It was reported on the PTR and they didn’t fixed this. After it went public(thanks to MannerCookie) people were so mad so Blizzard had to fix it quickly.

        I think ban is too harsh punishment for this. They could delete his character(Wizzard for ‘testing’) and that should be all.

  6. While I am not one to use exploits, I hate the concept of banning exploiters. As long as the exploit doesn’t involve real money or cause direct harm to the playing experience of others, who really cares that much? The only concern is of course leaderboards. Thus I believe the ideal punishment is:

    1) An account rollback to before the exploit was introduced/discovered – in this case the rollback would be to pre-season 3

    2) A ban from the leaderboards. If desired this ban could expire after a season or two.

    With a less severe punishment in place Blizzard could also be a lot more thorough in targeting exploiters instead of just making a few examples.

  7. lol, are you people serious? Bans? Because Blizzard is once again inept?
    And WTF does this BS mean?

    "In the meantime, we encourage everyone to please game responsibly. Not only can using exploits lead to account penalties, but it can also negatively impact the enjoyment of your fellow players."

    How can anyone read that crap with a straight face, much less write it? "Game Responsibly" LOL. "Negatively impact the enjoyment of your fellow players" LOL. You mean like that Great Rift Clear Screen is affecting every player's enjoyment!? How many people were banned (fired) for coming up with that stinky bug?
    This is why online only gaming is so terrible. It forces a community to form around the game, and communities suck.

  8. This is stupid. Why didn't they ban infinite WOTB abusers back in the day? Or infinite Smokescreen slow-ball dh's? If it required a third party hack or something, then sure, ban away. if it is a stupid programming error, then Blizz should either roll the offendors back or roll everyone back. Blizz should have the black eye for letting this happen, not the individual person.

    Additionally, it is good to know his open auction bids will be returned to him. Way to show you are with it, blizzard!

    • I agree.

      Say someone is new to the game. Is the blood-shard mechanism even described anywhere in the official game documentation? Or 99% of its rules and mechanics? If a new player learns about this "exploit" without knowing it might get him in trouble, how is he supposed to know that what he's doing is frowned upon?

  9. @Flux: It'd be great if your next podcast is about Cheating in Diablo 3, with this particular incident as reference. What is fair, and what not? What would be the right measures for cheaters? Does Blizzard only make a few examples so that they don't alienate their "top streamers"? Etc etc.

    • Good idea, and it's on the list of topics. Reading threads like this one for different opinions to throw in pro and con. So not to sound like one of the CMs, but keep up the great conversation! *cough*

  10. Yes, ban those exploiting c*nts. They deserve it.

  11. what did people think must because a bug like this made it possible they clearly took advantage of it i mean seriously if people were streaming and bragging how they glitched the game to get thousands of shards then they deserved it we all know that blizzard usually bans this kind of behaviour its no suprise really.

  12. Would anyone like a slice of TurboHUD?

  13. So sick of how inept Blizzard is. What a joke of a company. I can’t believe how quickly firms change sometimes. Obviously personnel MATTERS which is what was alluded to in this great interview with Brevik:

    Blizzard found a mistake in coding after the players discovered it first. Why do we ban players then? Isn’t that a bit suspect in terms of fairness? By the way I am totally fine removing from Seasonal leaderboards, I understand keeping the competitive landscape intact. Bans though?

    • Because you report bugs and don't exploit them.

      • Was power leveling the first ladder(s) a bug or exploit? Or was it just part of the game? There is a line here that Blizz crossed. If this exploit was bannable, then it is clear that power leveling is, too.

  14. The funny part is a bunch of people got banned for stacks of Forgotten Souls.

  15. Rumor has that rollbacks are real, as we speak (unconfirmed)

  16. If bans are too much then at least inventory wipe…
    What about wiping all characters as a lesson???????????

  17. I think a lot of you are confusing “cheating” and “exploiting”. In my mind, cheating is using something outside of the game to affect your results withing. Maphack, wallhack, etc. Exploits are taking advantage of everything allowable by the game, within the game. It would be foolish and hypocritical of the game devs and policers to ban players for exploiting the game creators’ error.

    • ^ this

      how many bugs and exploits have appeared in hte release version of D3 ?

      AH exploits, power leveling and others

      if you're going to ban players then you should fire the programmers and QA people who missed these

      otherwise, ignore it and let it go

  18. Other than Leaderboards, this has zero impact on the game for others. The flood of items, mostly Forgotten Souls, will never enter an economy, won't create a massive power-creep in a non-existent PVP.

    Just shows a lack of Blizz oversight and it is an embarrassment on them, yet the players get punished. Good job Blizzard, you're screw up, blame others.

    • I kind of assume you're trolling, or just being outrageous, or maybe you were one who got banned, but this sort of thing has happened and will happen again with every online game with any sort of persistent economy.

      There's a debate to be had about how strongly people should be punished and if extra Blood Shards is *really* cheating, but it's silly to act like this is some indictment of Blizzard in particular, when every MMO has had similar issues, often on a far more corrupting scale.

      • I'm being serious and I wasn't banned, I didn't even know about this exploit until I saw it here. I just think this is Blizzard's fault.

        I remember back in D3 days all that talk about path of least resistance…well this was the easiest way to get items and it was all Blizzard's fault.

        Did this exploit exist before the recent patch? If it only started in the recent patch, Blizzard screwed up real bad. Every MMO that I know about has an economy, where I see the argument that the players actions of an exploit hurt the game for everyone. And players would need to use good judgement and common sense. The way ROS is right now this was more like the Konami code, it has no effect other than watering down your own experience.

        Don't lock a bear in your cabin and then get upset when it trashes the place.

  19. Banning was for advertising the exploit, streaming it. There is a debatable impact there – not to blizzard, but to honest streamers who lose viewers and thus revenue (ads and viewer count etc.), as well as gains for the people showing the exploit (increased views and thus ad revenue etc.).

    I believe that rollbacks have been done to people who took advantage but weren’t effected promoting the exploit.

    I think the rollback was right, and it would be great if their characters all got a permanent Red Skin and Exploiters Flag.
    People moaning about coding bugs – well I guess they have all written what are probably 10 or even 100 million lines of code without any errors at all… or possibly not

  20. I don't agree with banning the promoter, rolling back the exploiters. With all due respect to manner, good videos and stuff, it's not like Kripp was doing the exploit in front of tens of thousands of people. Iirc, manner used to peak at 1k-ish viewers while Modz, in example, averages 3,5-4k.

    I believe the reddit post was much "better" promoting the exploit.

    I didn't get the Yang's post about streamers that didn't "popularize". The fact that Modz did it once on stream because he didn't believe on a PM he received on twitch TV made people, at least, start looking around.

    My fianl impression was: gained advantage = rollback; made blizzard look bad = ban. (I obviously don't have all the data blizz have to do the case by case thing, I'm saying what it looked like for me).

    If they can rollback individual accounts, maybe there's no need for bans if there's no real life money involved.

    Like people said, it wasn't that big, since gear from Kadala is BoA – you can't give kadala gear for another player, even if he's in the same game when you gamble it. Since there's zero chance of exploited gear reaching non-exploiters, the rollback to day 1-ish s3 is enough, imo.

  21. Gabynator (the guy who once used the Malthael XP exploit to gain his 1K paragon) got his account rolled back because he was using the Blood Shard exploit (off-stream). Same for his buddies like Klankster & Co. I'm a bit disappointed though that these guys were not excluded from Season 3 until it ends.

  22. Awesome! I love it when the banhammer (or rollback) comes down on people who exploit and or cheat. I imagine the people raging the hardest are the ones who used the exploit.

  23. Blizzard: “Don’t exploit and cheat. You will be banned.”
    (Blizzard then bans cheaters and exploiters who signed TOS after installing the game, and every time patch comes out)
    Cheaters: “Waa it’s too harsh!”

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