The real-money auction house shuddered into life in the US today, turning Diablo 3’s item trading quasi-bazaar into a serious economic cashpipe. But that wasn’t before Blizzard initiated a round of account bans affecting “several thousand” players accused of using bots and hacks, clearing out the sort of ne’er-do-wells you wouldn’t trust around real money.
The bans come after widespread reports of item duplication, which have been acknowledged by Blizzard, as well as reports of gold duping, which have not. It’s this item duping exploit that has allegedly caused fake-money auction house prices to skyrocket in precisely the way a real-money auction house shouldn’t. Hotfixes and bans all round, then.
Time, and the global launch of the real-money auction house,will tell us whetherclearing house has paved the way for a stable Diablo 3economy, one in which our fine magic pants are inflation-proof.