The second-hand market for trading gold and items in Diablo IV is currently on hold as Blizzard investigates the rise of new item duplication glitches and gold exploits. The unusual economic intervention comes as the action-RPG’s market gets flooded with gold, and some players reportedly trade gear that’s not even that great for billions of in-game currency.
“We’ve suspended player trading in Diablo IV until further notice due to a gold and item duplication exploit,” a community manager for the company posted on the Blizzard forums on August 14. “We are working on a fix to amend this issue and will update you once we’ve reinstated the ability to trade. Once that is done, we will continue to monitor this activity to ensure a healthy playing experience for all.”
Diablo III’s controversial auction house was killed just two years into the game’s life, with the pay-to-win social hub souring many players on the random loot drop experience at the heart of the game. Blizzard didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes with Diablo IV, and in addition to not having an official auction house, one-to-one trading between players is pretty limited. The sequels’s most powerful gear, Legendary and unique items, can’t be traded. Neither can Aspects or most in-game currencies.
Gold, gems, and rare items can be, however, and it’s led to some pretty wild results in recent days as apparent duplication glitches and gold-earning exploits load players up with tons of extra mid-level loot. A couple weeks into the current Season of the Malignant, players on the Diablo IV subreddit began reporting eye-popping trade requests in the neighborhood of five to 10 billion.
Some on the game’s official forums called on Blizzard to remove all of the allegedly duped gold in the Diablo IV economy, which seemingly involves up to 10 million players or more at this point. In mid-July, some third-party sites were selling 100 million in-game gold for $4. More recently you could get 1 billion for the same amount.
“Overall, the situation is a great recipe for a chaotic market,” one Diablo IV trader who goes by WretcH on Discord told Kotaku. “Exploits bringing a ton of gold into the economy, a significant amount of players who lack general knowledge of what makes gear good buying and selling, and a total lack of a unified and cohesive marketplace. It’s the wild west out here.”
It’s not clear at the moment what the precise source of the extra items and gold flooding the market is. There are rumors of dupping glitches being carried over from Diablo III and gold farming bots running amok. And none of this, from third-party trading sites to online gold sellers, is officially sanctioned by Blizzard, so dabbling in any of it always brings the risk of a ban.
“Engaging in exploits such as item/gold duping or real money transactions with third parties can result in account actions,” Blizzard told Kotaku last week when asked about the current market conditions and accusations. “We are currently investigating all reports.”