After weeks of waiting, Diablo III's Real Money Auction House is ready to go live, but that isn't good news for everyone. Throughout the week there have been reports of item and gold duping that have had a detrimental impact on the game's economy. A few of us have wondered how Blizzard would handle the situation, whether it be through doing a server rollback or the legendary banhammer, and a new announcement shows that the developer isn't kidding around.
Blizzard Community Manager Zarhym has posted on the official forum confirming that thousands of players have been banned from Diablo III for cheating and/or hacking. His statement, which was made this morning, says the following:
The RMAH is set to go live today so cheats related to the economy have been of utmost priority for Blizzard. The gold and item dupe methods were posted around the web just days ago and have tens of thousands of views, and as a result the economy has been flooded creating massive inflation. The worst part is that the cheats have been useable since the game's launch which was a full month ago. Apparently, cheaters have been waiting until the eve of the RMAH's release to start milking the cheats so they can make real-world currency.
Blizzard has been battling to balance Diablo III since its launch, and most recently nerfed popular farming spots and announced a major balance patch. While we'll have to wait a few more weeks for the game to be balanced—especially for melee characters—, commodity auctions are now available and the RMAH is ready to go live.