There have been rumours, covered up whisperings on Blizzard’s official forums, relating to the controversial subject of Diablo 3 item duping. I would link you to the sources on IncGamers, Diablofans, the main boards and so on but Blizzard is very keen to remove any mention of the process on their sites (you are to mail ‘hacks’ to them direct) and no one on the fan sites wants to share what they know. Either they know nothing or want to keep their secret to themselves. You may hunt but using it in Beta may get you banned (certainly will lead to a ban in the game once launched)
I think I should back up a little and explain to those who may be newcomers to online gaming, or indeed gaming in general. Some of you may not even BE gamers, simply identifying yourselves as uers focusing on the Diablo III Real Money Auction House and the potential for earning there:
Item duping = item duplication. In a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) or massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) environment it is the practise or ability to turn one item into two. Two copies; Mimesis, like a biological cell splitting in two.
Now, when you think about how you make money in this environment you realise how dangerous this is. Exploiters (for when you dupe that’s what you’re doing) are bypassing any need for fancy techniques (such as I discuss in Diablo III Gold Guide: Merchant Shuffle or Make Money in Diablo 3) or even those principles I keep emphasising (knowledge of a market place, patience, staying calm, staying informed, positive attitude – to name a few). They simply take one item and turn it into countless clones of itself. Each of these can then be sold.
If duping is possible and sustained then the Diablo 3 auction house is in a bit of bother. The ability to dupe will be uncovered by a talented few but it will then spread like wildfire. Eventually 30 or 40% of the community (or more) will be duping and items will devalue like crazy. What started out as a way for early adopters to make a bit of cash easily will ruin the economy.
If you doubt that duping ruins an economy, look up ‘hyperinflation’ (effectively a government ‘duping’ money) and how this is bad. You can also research how it impacted Diablo 2 and the economy (shady as aspects of it may have been) there. There’s also the psychological element – the lack of faith in the market.
What I think is important here is that we’re still in beta. This is when you want these loopholes and problems to be exposed. At the same time I’m of the opinion that there will be a series of duping controversies when Diablo 3 launches. It’s unavoidable. Blizzard have great coders but the audience that will play this game will be massive and in those masses there will be superb coders and hackers who will just want to mess about with the RMAH. Maybe as a form of protest. Maybe just because they can. The ‘why’ is irrelevant.
The key thing is how Blizzard reacts. World of Warcraft had it’s share of duping problems early on. These were resolved reasonably quickly and exploiters were banned. The economy suffered little long term effects.
Banning as a punishment in Diablo 3 would no doubt freeze your battle.net funds and is quite a serious threat. It’s a threat that won’t stop exploitation entirely but it will help those who are ‘tempted’. Then again there are ways round this. Create account -> dupe -> earn hundreds of dollars -> cash them out ->start on a new account: This is an oversimplified example of what’s possible.
I want to go back to a word I emboldened earlier ‘sustained’. If there are a few teething problems with item duplications then the Diablo 3 market will recover. I believe it will be sufficiently robust to do so. I believe Blizzard (with their vested interest) will ensure so.
However if there is repeated and sustained duplication then we may have problems! I think this is very unlikely but to completely disregard the possibility would be foolish.
What are your thoughts on duping and how it might affect Diablo 3?