Diablo 3 community manager Lylirra reported on Thursday afternoon that the Auction Houses for Diablo 3 will remain closed for at least another twenty-four hours. The company is currently auditing transactions that were performed on the both the gold and real-money Auction House following the discovery of a gold exploit after patch 1.0.8 released.
Quite a lot seems to have transpired since we first wrote about the exploit on Wednesday. At the time, the team had confirmed that the bug was fixed, but added that the servers would not be rolled back to the pre-update state (v1.0.8) so that the dupers could be discovered. It also wouldn't be fair to undo the progress legitimate players had made after the update was installed.
Since then, the blog was updated to report that the North American Auction Houses would be down for multiple hours, allowing Blizzard to "perform audits on all transactions conducted through the Auction House as well as trades in which gold was exchanged" since v1.0.8 launched. Then nearly twelve hours later, Lylirra reported that the team was still knee-deep in audits. Four hours after that, Blizzard said the Auction Houses would remain in maintenance mode until Thursday morning to let Tuesday auctions expire naturally.
On Thursday morning, the Diablo 3 team was still reviewing Tuesday's transactions. By Thursday afternoon, the team decided to keep the doors closed for another 24 hours at the least.
"This audit is a time-intensive process, and to make sure that we can do a thorough job, we’re going to keep the Auction Houses in maintenance until that work is complete," Lylirra said. "Unfortunately, our previous estimate was incorrect, and for that I personally apologize. We don’t have a new ETA, but we anticipate that the service will be unavailable for at least another 24 hours."
As reported on Wednesday, patch v1.0.8 made gold ten times cheaper by increasing the stack size for gold sales on the Auction House from 1 million to 10 million. But when clever users canceled a gold auction before the transaction completed, a bug in the patch refunded them double of the amount listed. News of the bug quickly began to spread, and players were duplicating trillions in gold. In turn, this gold rush inflated the in-game economy as the coins were used to purchase high-value items thus pushing sellers to charge higher prices.
Blizzard immediately shut down both the gold and real-money Auction Houses after learning of the exploit. The game itself is still up and running.