Blizzard Closes Diablo III's Auction HousesCausing the 'online-only' debate to flare up once again.05.08.13 - 11:40 PM
Blizzard once again finds itself in the hot seat this week due to Diablo III
issues. Many players (and potential players) have complained strongly about the game's "online only" structure, which the developers said had been implemented in order to support its auction houses and to eliminate cheating and duplicated items. However, that layer of protection seems to have failed this week when it was discovered that some players were exploiting a bug to duplicate gold and buy items in the auction house.
In response, Blizzard took the game and its auction houses entirely offline yesterday evening (5/7) for maintenance while they fixed the bug. They brought the game back later that night, but the auction houses have been taken down until further notice while they audit transactions and decide what to do with transactions affected by the bug.
Blizzard considered rolling back the servers entirely to restore every account in the system to a point prior to the exploitation, but decided against it after realizing that only a small number of players actually participated, and they did not want to penalize everyone for those few players' activities. Given that patch 1.08 came out earlier that same day, it's likely that they saw a spike in overall gameplay that day as players tried out the updates and that their rollback efforts would have been complicated by trying to reconcile players' machines that were upgraded with characters on the server that no longer were.