Diablo IV Freezes Trading After Gold Exploit Crashes The Market

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.

A screenshot shows community unrest about the state of gold dupping.

Screenshot: Reddit / Kotaku

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.

A screenshot shows the price of gold on a third-party marketplace.

Screenshot: IGGM / Kotaku

“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.”


Rocket League Will Ban Item Trading, Nuking Market For Skins

A major shakeup is coming to Rocket League’s player community. The popular car soccer game will turn off the option to trade items starting in Season 13, destroying the vibrant market around buying and selling cosmetics in the process. Fans appear universally shocked, confused, and frustrated by the move.

The last day to trade items in the Epic-owned free-to-play game will be December 5, the day before season 13 goes live. After that, players will no longer have an option to share their favorite hats, rims, and exhaust trails with one another, or sell them on third-party marketplaces. “We’re making this change to align with Epic’s overall approach to game cosmetics and item shop policies, where items aren’t tradable, transferrable, or sellable,” developer Psyonix wrote in an announcement on the game’s website.

The studio said this shift “opens up future plans” to have some vehicles be owned across multiple Epic games. Presumably, you might buy the Ghostbusters Ectomobile once in Rocket League and then be able to use it in Fortnite as well. The ability to transfer items between seperate games is a big part of the promise and challenge underlying pitches for a gaming “metaverse” made by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and others. At the same time, it’s not clear what the benefit of an “open” metaverse is if all the transactions are still routed through Epic’s in-game shops. Sweeney has previously blasted companies like Apple and Google for creating closed platforms that don’t offer users choice.

Item trading was added to Rocket League seven years ago in the Rumble update. The approach to random cosmetics that dropped after matches was similar to Valve games like Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2, both of which have also cultivated lively and lucrative second-hand markets for in-game items. Some Rocket League players just trade with friends for fun or to get rid of duplicate items, while others try to amass collections that can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Lending is also a big part of the community around Rocket League’s in-game economy. Players might agree to share rare items for a set duration of time before giving them back.

In its FAQ about the changes, Psyonix stressed that players will still be able to trade their duplicate items back to Epic for a shot at another random cosmetic of a higher rarirty, but that all current trades will be final after December 5. At that time, “Websites or servers advertising such services are fraudulent and have no connection to Psyonix or Epic Games.”

The reaction by the Rocket League community so far has been surprise followed by swift condemnation. “RATIO FOR MY ALPHA BOOST,” tweeted pro player Tristan “Atow.” Soyez. “Killing the game even more good shit lads,” tweeted Finlay “rise.” Ferguson. The subreddit for the game is also in shambles. “Epic Games was supposed to be this huge thing for the game, and all they have done is increased Esports prize money and made it more global,” reads one top comment. “They have basically said ‘fuck you’ to the casual community since they bought Psyonix. Removing trading is genuinely the stupidest idea I have ever seen.”

The announcement comes after parent company Epic Games recently announced 860 layoffs, impacting Psyonix, Fall Guys maker Mediatonic, and other parts of its growing Fortnite empire. Sweeney told attendees at an Unreal Engine conference that it wasn’t until “about 10 weeks ago” that the company realized it was having financial troubles that would apparently need to be addressed so quickly and drastically. It’s not clear if Psyonix was already planning to remove item trading from the game prior to these cuts.


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