I thought this crap was finished? It's like that old cop with two days left to retire who gets called out on one last routine dispatch only to find that it's a clusterfail of mammoth proportions and a big shootout ensues...and well, you know the rest, just watch any action movie from the 80s or 90s. Anyway, what started as a simple patch update for Diablo III has turned into another massive fail involving the Real-Money Auction House.
There were two things that peeved off a lot of gamers involving Blizzard's Diablo III launch last year 1:) The always-on DRM that forced people to stay online in order to play the single-player. 2:) The Real-Money Auction House, which is basically an unregulated gambling den that, surprise-surprise, operates on real money.
Neither of the two peeves have been resolved and most Diablo players have learned to live with them. However, just about all the big issues with the game either stem from or revolve around the always-on DRM or the RMAH, and in this case, the RMAH is at the center of attention after an exploit allowed users to generate infinite gold and make REAL money off of the counterfeit money by selling it at under-the-market value on the RMAH.
Just for reference, if someone sold gold for the maximum allowed RMAH value to just four people, they would net $1,000 selling digitally counterfeit money. Diablo III sold 12 million copies, so as you can imagine, counterfeiters could have made a nice chunk of cash from this exploit.
Blizzard effectively shutdown both the Gold Auction House and the Real-Money Auction House, as noted in an official blog post on the forums...
We are still in the process of reviewing all of Tuesday's transactions and need to keep the Auction House offline for a while longer to complete our audit. At this time, we will not be able to bring the Auction House online by 10:00 a.m. PDT. We're re-evaluating required downtime, and will provide another update by 12:00 p.m. PDT.
For now, both auction houses are offline indefinitely, until Blizzard can filter and sift out each and every exploited transaction that occurred this past Tuesday on May 7th. The problem comes in with the finer details, though: how do you handle exploited transactions that involve someone's real money from the RMAH? If someone bought a gazillion in-game gold with $300 real USD, you can't just make that void, roll the purchase back or take the items away. That's someone's real money.
As noted on Blues News, those threatening a class-action lawsuit are just one of many fringe groups Blizzard is dealing with, including those petitioning for a roll-back (which would most certainly work against the better interest of RMAH users), some claiming to ban all those who participated in the exploit or transactions involving the exploit, others are simply asking for no more auction houses at all, and a few are telling everyone to stop asking for petitions and lawsuits. Oh yeah, there is also one or two insurgent threads going on about an offline mode...sorry guys, you 1% offliners will just have to buy the PS3/PS4 version of Diablo III if you don't want to be treated like a Harlem prostitute.
As an aside, I should just note that this instance, no matter how it resolves itself, will never end with Diablo III and the RMAH. Dealing with a real-money market with no oversight save for that provided by Blizzard means that they can do with your money whatever they want. However it plays out, gamers are the real losers whenever it comes to Diablo III and the RMAH.