The Great Gold Fiasco: Hoax


News has hit, and while I’ve known about this news for a while, I wanted to read more on what was going on before I posted it as legitimate news. I’m still not 100% convinced, as I’ve not seen any video proof, but people “swear” by it on reddit and the official forums alike. However, people “swore” that it wasn’t their fault they got hacked.

The claim was this: gold could be duped by using the AH client-side clock changing mechanic to bring auctions back in time after they are sold to “dupe” the gold and keep the item. Images were posted with players that had gross amounts of gold that could only be attained through such illegitimate methods. When posted to the forums, it seemed that torches and pitchforks were already halfway to Blizzard headquarters.

When people began to dig deeper into the matter, the claim was that “it has been hotfixed,” piggybacking on the server lag and using this to fuel the flames. It seemed to be quite the convenient caveat for people now trying the method and finding that it doesn’t work. Blizzard has been diligent since the last hotfix goof by providing the community with changes as they occur, rather than hours/a day later.

There is no official word from Blizzard yet, but we will surely be keeping the community updated with any other information.

Update: Bashiok has woken from his slumber, laying down the law.

We haven’t deployed any hot fixes this evening. As far as we can tell the supposed exploit never worked, but we’ll continue looking into it. Yes, changing the system clock can change auction times, but that doesnt dupe gold. It’s pretty easy to see how much gold people have, and we have no indication anyone has/had that much.

[…]

Alright, so as stated he didn’t try the dupe on the stream, so I guess everyone claiming otherwise is … pleasantly mistaken? His friend claims it worked, which is great, but obviously the photos floating around are shopped. I appreciate the repro steps, and the belief that server lag is secret hotfixes. As I said we’ll continue investigating.

This seems to be Exhibit A of why you should believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see. Everybody can put their pants back on and come home from running naked in the streets banging pots and pans to wake the towns folk. Much of the internet has been had by what was clearly a poorly executed hoax. It’s nearly a year until the next April 1st, so don’t get all premature on us.

Original content after the fold.

Certainly I’ve never seen the Diablo community so united as I have before now, as noted by the sheer amount of “/signed” votes on a petition – and let’s not forget, petition threads generally get closed because they’re against Blizzard forum TOS. This particular thread reached maximum post capacity with no such lock. While that is far from having solid evidence, it indicates how adamant the community is if this happens to be a legitimate case. Isn’t it interesting how quickly people become activists when they hear something shocking and act without proof?

If this happens to be true, we would see a complete break down in the game’s economy that would require certain rollbacks. But… is everything as it seems? I have been unable to find any video of it working, and all images are simply shopped or manipulate (confirmed). Could this simply be round 2 of the troll hoaxes aimed at destroying the game’s community? Hot on the heels of the hacking fiasco that swept the web, this instance is flowing on a similar vein.

Hold on to your butts everyone. Don’t rouse the rabble until you have the proof.

Comments

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  1. I have this dreadful feeling that if they do not postpone RMAH again or do a complete wipe before RMAH, this game will have some sort of catastrophic end.

  2. Horray, goodbye amazing ammy that might help me not be poor, goodbye 2nd lvl 60 I rushed up. Sigh. Let’s hope it’s a hoax.

    • I’m about 90% certain it’s a hoax. The whole fiasco started with a “friend who was legit said it was possible” backed up with “I saw a stream test this but I cant’ say who” anecdotes.

      It’s rabble-rousing social engineering at its best. I guess I’m not too surprised. Some trolls use their brains to kick the hornet’s nest better than others.

    • I’m with Nizaris on this one. There’s no reason to belive some random guy on Reddit. Even in an extremely unlikely event that this is true a simple rollback should suffice. I’m not sure why people are calling for a full on character clear.

      • It is obvious hoax. There are alot of people out there bent on trying to incite hate in the Diablo community, I think this has been made pretty clear by now.

  3. bah, If they can dupe other things, I don’t see why they can’t do it with Gold.

    A mass wipe/rollback wouldn’t be such a bad thing, at least everyone will start on the same clean field. With ilvl63 items being able to drop in Act 1 and 2 in 1.0.3 would be a nice new clean start. instead of the Uber nerds and hackers being rich.

    • Yeah man cuz ya know duping is so easy mode that is why everyone does it all the time…………. A mass rollback would be infinitely stupid especially since there is absolutely NO REASON to do such a thing. Why rollback everyone? Because of some bullshit story or because you want to be on equal footing with the “uber nerds and hackers”. Hackers aside, the ones in this article aren’t even real but obviously there are millions of hackers hacking the game in hackertown, where do you get off with trying to bring down the “uber nerds” to your level? How is that even close to being fair? So you are telling me that you want to play this game casually and slowly progress through but you would not be adverse and in fact would endorse a major rollback that would bring people that have been working for their item advantage back to your level because…. why? So you can be left in the dust a second time? Or so that for just a moment you were on their level?

  4. omg how long can you write before telling the reader what you are writing about?

    You can’t just comment on a issue without telling us first what the issue is. Not all of us read other newssites, forums etc.

  5. So, for those of us who DON’T live on troll-infested forums… what’s the actual claim here? Coz… no link, no summary, no info at all.

    Edit: Yeah, at least a single line summary next time, please. I don’t randomly follow links and I’m not the only one here who doesn’t.

  6. Perhaps the news post should actually say what the Great Gold Fiasco is? I’ve seen a post on the forums describing the details on how it [potentially] occurred, but seems to me like the article should at least minimally report that people were allegedly duping massive amounts of gold. There’s no indication of what you’re referencing at all.

    Edit: Good to see you made an edit yourself, Nizaris. Good work getting the crucial info in there. Cheers.

  7. First it was that Kripp was doing it live on stream, then it wasn’t actually Kripp but one of his friends, then it turns out no one on team NL actually did it them self.

    I’m puzzled how something without a single piece of evidence could have gotten this big(probably by ‘news posts’ like this).

    Calling BS until a shred of evidence is posted. This has Reddit Bandwagoning written all over it.

    • Total BS.

      It all stemmed from the livestreamer, Kripparian, trolling for viewers and that Twitch.tv $$$.

      Can’t blame him, but I definitely won’t be watching his stream now.

      Also, I’m sure Blizzard really likes him for slander/defamation.

      • Man if he did this for them dollars he is going to have some serious hate coming his way. would be so dickish.

      • “slander and defamation”
        you have no idea what those words mean do you ?

        • Maybe the word I was looking for is “libel”. Regardless, they all fall under defamation. To clarify from my understandning, spreading rumors that give Blizzard a negative image is defamation. Also, going so far to the point their community managers have to reply to a max post count thread along with closing dozens of others is clearly somewhat damaging to their reputation.

          I didn’t think you had to be a lawyer to understand that.

  8. I’ll be pissed if they rollback. I’m not using AH, I enjoy the grind and don’t want to cheapen the experience. If Bliz make most of my time spent to date completely wasted.

    I don’t have much free time, and what I’ve gotten recently has been spent grinding gear to try and progress through Inferno. I just don’t care about what some retards potentially did to the economy

  9. I’ve never made a comment on here before, but I have to ask. What are you talking about? This information might be helpful next time.

  10. It seems that I posted on a previously-autosaved version of this article that didn’t include the method of what happened. This has been corrected and adjusted to reflect the correct text.

    Sorry for the confusion and all who posted to point out that mistake.

    (captcha was oddly prophetic: mumbo jumbo)

    • heh, I saw the tantrums before you resaved. 😕

      On the OP…This is an effective way in which to influence gold prices. What easier way than start a rumor that gold can be duped at will. Or it could have been started to see if a rumor could be spread. But reddit and the official forums are full of shit like that last time I checked.

  11. Thanks for the prompt summary update, Nizaris.

    All this drama over an unsubstantiated rumor makes me worry about the player base, TBH. That’s a whole lot of me-too posts over what was apparently nothing at all.

  12. Blizz will ban for using modified clients.
    Duping may not require modfied clients.
    Bots may not require modified clients.
    Hackers will do gold/item loundering.
    People will rage when Blizz starts banning (unplayable online-only game); it’s so easy to manipulate the community, isn’t it?
    Innocent people will rage when duped items disappear; how would they know the items were duped?

    • They would know because that’s what Warden is designed to do (one of its functions). It detects items that carry identical item ID’s. If ever there is an anomaly, it doesn’t just delete the item. It logs the activity.

      Blizzard would be able to run reports at any time to graph illegitimate activity and see how well the system is doing and what tomfoolery is afoot.

      • But the thing is that they can’t do it on-line (when the item is equipped/transferred) due to performance reasons. So you can expect to have a gap when your dupe is undetected. In that timeframe you need to do the loundering – do something useful with it. If somebody buys it then they will legimately complain if their item disappears after dupe swipe. How much history does Blizz keep of the item? Do the item always remember the player who trigger the creation of the item? If not, then after enough juggling, the real cheater may not be traceable.

  13. all i see in this post is…… OMG bashiok admited theres server lag!

    • Ouch.
      “because if they admit the lag was a hotfix, they have to answer why the just killed thousands of HC characters. THey also have to admit there was duping and gold stealing going on.”

    • so awesome you posted the link !

      thank you

    • Even if a hotfix happened, it does nothing to legitimize the claim that gold duping occurred. People (plural) are fickle, stupid beings with a great talent of self destruction.

      If you’re so easily swayed by terribly photoshopped images and “the word of a friend of a friend who watched a stream of some guy who seemed legit,” then there’s nothing I can do for you.

  14. Hmm, interesting just one thing what happened to the gold sellers gold prices after this “exploit rumour” started? I expect what happened is the price crashed massively, given this I expect the reason it got started was a bunch of people wanted to rip off the gold sellers and buy millions of D3 gold for next to nothing.

    Edit As for that hotfix he says they haven’t implemented any that evening, theres nothing ruling out that wasn’t implemented earlier IE in the morning or afternoon and no one noticed until later on.

  15. Really Nizaris??? If bashiok said it then it must be true right?
    http://i.imgur.com/rSQIX.gif

  16. Everyone start chanting “Ess Oohhh Jay! Ess Oohh Jay!”

  17. Oh yeah. Clearly a hoax because Bashiok says so.

    Because he clearly doesn’t have a reason to say otherwise.

    And because he doesn’t have a track record of spewing out rampant lies.

    Ya. Obvious a hoax. While I’m not saying the gold dupe is definitely real, Bashiok’s word is not worth a cent to me.

    • It’s an obvious hoax because there is no proof. Period.

      And I’m sorry, I don’t consider the word of a friend or a friend of a friend OR photoshopped images to be proof. Sorry.

      In fact, these stories solidify its complete nonsense. Crying wolf and being indignant about being caught is one of the silliest most childish things one can do.

  18. I give Bashiok 0% credibility, and I do smell something extremely fishy regarding this matter…

    Even if it turns out to be false, Bashiok/Blizzard handled the situation catastrophicly.

    • I’m not sure how they could handle it better. What we have here is mass hysteria.

      • They could have being alot more active in the discussion, giving out more info, not putting the lid on and pretending that no hot-fix were never rolled out etc.

        It is bad to not give info when things like this happen, then the discussion is up for grabs by whom ever raise their voice. And they also managed to give out 100% wrong information, a hotfix was indeed rolled out fixing the chat lobby issue, despite Bashiok saying that no hotfix was rolled out.

        Of course people assume that Blizz snuck in a hotfix for the gold dupe, but will never admit it. And after they snuck it in they challenge live streamers to reproduce the dupe, lame! That is how alot of the public interpreted this.

        • It’s easy for you to say. If they were very active in the discussion, people could mistake it for being defensive about it. A single strong statement like the one Bashiok wrote is enough. Also check the timestamps: the whole thing exploded over a single night.

    • So even if there was no duping, by not responding to something that never happened, they handled it catastrophically? I think you need a dictionary friend because that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

      • Something did happen, being a working gold dupe or not. A PR catastrophy happended, right in their forum, and they never bothered to tackle it and try to give out info about it.

        It does not matter if the actual dupe exists or not, they got to act on issues like this anyway.

        It does not matter if the actual dupe method ever worked or not, that is not the point when judging how Blizz handled the “hysteria”. Blizzard did nothing to calm people, explain what was going on etc. No info, and even wrong info like in the case with the chat lobby hotfix that was rolled out, from them feeds the speculations…

        • They didn’t need to be active in this discussion until it blew up for no reason and the only reason that they had to get into this discussion was to tell people to 1. Shut up and 2. You don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Again. So does Blizzard need to be in every single discussion on their forums that is ‘negative’? There are a hell of a lot more conspiracy, outright lie threads that just might blow up into a major story so do they give out information on those threads? (Said information being this: No you are wrong. Hahahaha!) This wasn’t a PR catastrophe this simply made the band wagon in the forums look beyond stupid. Get a grip.

        • First of all, they DID reply, and your response to Bashiok’s reply was “well Bashiok has no credibility, so no thnx i’ll cling on to my conspiracy theory.” It was the same thing with the hacking fiasco: Blizzard denied over and over that there was any actual session spoofing, and people’s response was to assume Blizzard was lying. So tell me again, what is it that you want? Why complain for lack of communication when you won’t believe in the communication anyways? Your posts show that you have ALREADY assumed that something fishy is going on. You’ve already drank the coolaid and whatever facts come up, you will continue to spin those facts to fit into the mold of your preformed conclusions

          THIS is the problem with your argument and frankly if you don’t see it, you’re not too bright. If blizzard communicates and tells you there is no problems, you call them liars. If they don’t communicate, you say they handled things catastrophically because … they won’t communicate, which you wouldn’t believe in the first place anyways. You’re upset and frustrated, but you can’t articulate exactly why, so you’ll throw temper tantrums and make up whatever reasons you can to justify your feelings. This is what petulant children do. Quit it.

  19. There are videos of people running around with billions of gold on Youtube (max is 4 billions something because of the programmer using unsigned Integer or whatever, which has a max value of that). I very much doubt they earned those without dupes/gold hacks.

    • That’s odd. I thought the cap was way higher because in the official support article for the AH they say you can auction items for up to 100 billion. But ingame it actually only allows prices up to 2 billion.

      Those videos could be faked though (there’s similar examples for many other games).

    • Yup.. Saw it on Youtube it must be true. 🙄

  20. These are the last resorts of a desperate Gold Maffia campaign.

    The RMAH of Diablo 3 will kill their gold industry and they know it.

    Expect some more created hoax stories coming from these crooks.

    Now we undrstand why there was such a campaign on metacrtic to kill the online policy and RMAH.

    Sorry maffia crooks: enjoy your upcoming bans and shady websites while you can.

    No sane person will want to buy gold from insecure and hacking websites within a few hours.

    ‘) blizzard will do what no one thought that could be done: stop the cracked PC disc software markets and take on these lazy hacking gold websites.

    The rest is history as of now.

    • Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
      The whole gold selling mafia thing is a bit too tinfoilhatty for me, but if it’s true then they’re only getting started.

    • On the one hand, I’m convinced this (both gold and duping) are hoaxes, meant to influence the gold prices.

      On the other hand, there’s still NO REASON WHATSOEVER why single player characters should have to be on line.
      1) If I want to cheat in SP, I should be allowed to
      2) If I want to play on my laptop in my car/on the train/whatever, I should be able to.
      3) if all MP accounts were tied to Battle.net like now, and SP characters were kept locally, this would not cause ANY extra security problems.

      Me, I still only play untwinked, single player, soft core. I want nor need other people in my game. The auction house can go die in a fire for me. As far as I’m concerned, it’s still online-only DRM, meant to coax SP players to go on the AH.

  21. Bashiok:
    “Yeah, I mean could be something funny is going on, we’ll continue looking into it”

    There he is starting to admit something is fishy…

    • Misquoting people to get your point across? Really?

      Bashiok never said that at all. At least not in the Blue quote in this article. He stated they will continue looking in to it just in case it is real. He has admitted nothing…

      • How is quoting bashiok discussing the matter at hand misquoting?

        He did say that. He is admitting there are some wierd things going on related to the auction house and that they are investigating.

        • All right it wasn’t exactly a misquote. The logical fallacy in you statement is called “the straw man”. Here’s an article on wikipedia if you want to read about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
          In other words you put words in his mouth. Since there are a lot of false reports they will be investigating those for quite a while even if nothing happened. When you see someone being pulled by the Police, you don’t immediately assume they were driving drunk, do you?

  22. Do people asking for a wipe actually realize its never going to happen and would be the worst move a game company ever made? I’ve got 130 hours of played time
    on my main. I’m dirt poor but I’ve worked hard to get where I am: able to semi-farm act 3 and roflstomp act 1. If they wiped my character I would never play this game again or ever buy another blizzard product.

  23. People have duped thing before and if they can dupe gold they will in a heartbeat. I think it is just more denial from Blizzard knowing Bnet is being overrun by hackers,gold sellers and cheaters. Only going to get worse with the RMAH.

  24. This is beyond stupid… An unsubstantiated claim with no backing evidence is all of a sudden a full blown news feed scare? Even in this comment section I see people leaving comments that make it seem like they didn’t even read more than 2 sentences of the article. Replies like “Oh man I will be really pissed off if this is true” READ THE #%#!$#ING ARTICLE it said it was bull. On the other hand you have the conspiracy theorists coming out of the wood work claiming that Bashiok is just part of a huge cover up. What? So the fact that no one has ANY real evidence that it is actually occurring makes it more believable or is it the fact that Bashiok said that it never existed that makes it more true to you people. I’m not sure what to even say at this point, well a few things come to mind but they are not very pleasant. This whole hoax BS and especially the way that it was picked up by the forums and lauded as truth really goes to show you the bandwagon of hate that is rolling through the US.Battle.net/diablo3 forums. It’s nearly comical the level of vitriol that spews out of these peoples (fingers?). Anything and everything they can get to criticize (I consider criticize an EXTREMELY nice term for what is really going on in those forums and others) Blizzard for is being used bullshit or not.

  25. It’s hard to believe that half the general forum community posting images of billions of gold, billion AH prices, and discussing botting and duping in depth is one huge organized, hoax.

    I would love to be wrong but I believe more of what I see than what Blizzard seems to be downplaying.

    • People said exactly the same thing when multiple people were raporting that they were hacked despite having an authenticator. And yet they have been proven wrong. This is exactly the same situation.
      But if you have a link to actual evidence then please post it.

    • Its a handful of people that created it and they got a few people to repeat there nonsense who in turn get a few more to repeat it…. In a matter of seconds its gone Boom and theres hundreds of people repeating it.

  26. reposting Bgx’s post from earlier in this thread because its definitely worth it
    June 12, 2012 at 11:15
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5745447044
    apparently there was hotfix

  27. This is getting stupid to the ridiculous degree.

    Why are so many people Hell bent on wanting DIII to be this catastrophic failure? Do they hate the game so much that they’ll say anything to incite a riot so that Blizz has to apologize for everything, even things that DIDN’T FREAKING HAPPEN? There was no gold dupe. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a conspiracy loving idiot. Yes, I called you an idiot. Put your big boy pants on and grow up.

    If you hate the game so much, if you truly despise what it is/has become, then just leave it alone. Chalk the purchase up to a mistake, or better yet ask for a refund, and get it over with.

    Flaws or not, it’s still a game and it’s the game Blizz has made. Making up ‘shopped hacks and exploits just to make the game look bad isn’t doing anything constructive; it’s just being an insufferable ass. Also, not believing anything Blizz says in response to all this crap being thrown around doesn’t get us anywhere. You demand answers for x/y/z, but then call everyone liars when they actually give you an answer. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!? What do you want? A sacrifice?

    If you don’t trust any of their answers, then it’s obvious you didn’t trust Blizz long before DIII even came out; so why are you here, buying their games and then complaining about them? It makes no sense. I don’t like Chevy vehicles. Every one I’ve owned turned to crap, despite my best efforts to keep them up. Guess what? I don’t buy Chevy vehicles anymore. Woot! Problem solved!

    It’s blatantly obvious that quite a few people really hate Blizz, yet they still buy their games. Stop. Just, freaking, stop. Those of us who either come here, or God forbid try to use the official forums, to get actual game help, or to talk about the game proper, get almost nothing because every forum is filled with inane posts about things that either aren’t true, or they’re just opinion pieces about why Blizz sucks. Thanks for not being a part of the community these sites were built around/for and just spewing hate. It’s not a wonder so many players actually DON’T read any of the forums to keep up with game info; there’s no point in doing it. All they’d get is hate and vitriol.

    • Someone give this guy a medal!

      • I’ll take it!

        But no, seriously, why are so many people like that? Are they really that bitter? Or is it just overactive stupidity?

        Is the game perfect? No. Will it get fixes? More than likely. Did Blizz intentionally make the game “OMGWTFIT’SHORRIBADDDD111!!!” just to screw with us and steal our hard earned nerd cash? Um, no. It’s not bad, it’s just stupid people don’t like the fact that it’s not what THEY would have made. Because, you know, everyone can make better games. That’s why the world is filled with billionaire, 20-something year old video game designers.

        They hate it for what it is, have no real idea of how to do it better themselves, and it’s just KILLING them that the majority of us people with common sense and the ability to think rationally don’t hate the game, or the company, as much as they do.

        Hell, I just want a place we can talk about the game without worrying about our conversations getting hijacked by “MY FRIEND GOT HACKED/FOUND AN EXPLOIT/ITEMS SUCK NAARRRGGG!!!” showing up in every other reply.

  28. I think we all need to take stock of what the issue is here…

    what is the impact currently to us?

    Are we using this “supposed” dupe?
    if the answer is no, then we dont have to worry about being banned and continue as normal playing the game.
    if there was a dupe and you were using it then its Blizzards problem not ours.

    as long as im not being directly impacted i dont care, As long as i can play with my friends.

  29. I just lost all my gold bidding on an item that has now disappeared from the AH and there’s no mention of me even bidding on the item in the auction log. I think the RMAH will get scrapped as it is way too unreliable.

  30. whether the gold dupe exists/existed is only a symptom of a much larger issue–gold farmers/botters

    so they banned some accounts? so what? the botters will simply use new/compromised accounts to continue their activities

    incoming MASSIVE inflation with release of RMAHgeddon

    • RMAHageddon is a cool word. But what does it mean exactly?

    • If this method existed, there would be no gold farmers. There would simply be no reason to – they could use any old trash item and gain max gold within a day.

      That being said, botters/farmers are a real problem, no doubt. I think that is the real problem at hand.

  31. While I completely believe this to be fake, I’m still a bit worried about the current gold situation.  While the screenshot of someone with 4 billion gold was obviously shopped (even I could tell and I usually don’t know what to look for), there were two things that looked like they were possibly legitimate.

    The first is a video that was recently posted on Youtube.  It shows what looks to be a Korean character run to the seller in Caldeum, open the sell window, and he had over 1 billion gold.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0AMkcD01do  

    This would not shock me in the least due to the duping on their servers, but there’s no reason to believe it happened here.

    The second item is a screenshot of someone supposedly buying something for 2 billion gold. http://i.imgur.com/u2Iy5.jpg

    This on the other hand, I cannot tell if it’s fake. It could be an example of laundering gold, but think about this: there is still a 15% cut on that, meaning 300,000,000 gold would have been washed away with the transaction. Even if gold were being sold at $5USD / 1m gold, that would be $1,500 dollars down the drain. I HIGHLY doubt this is legitimate.

    Still, I’m not discounting the fact that:
    A. Asian / European servers are probably going to be a mess right now.
    B. There COULD be some truth to the gold exploit. Anything is possible.
    C. Something seems really fishy about that lag spike last night.

    • Don’t bid on those 2 billion gold items. that’s what I bid on and made me lose my gold and I’m not trolling. That’s how they do it they somehow cancel the auction and take the money that was on the bid atm.

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