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Botting to a $130,000 profit in the  Diablo III  Auction House

Botting to a $130,000 profit in the Diablo III Auction House

August 11, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

"The Auction House truly was a unique way of connecting millions of players together in one place and exposing all ignorance in terms of trades and pricing."
- Bot user "Cherokee Brook"

In an extensively detailed new blog post containing screenshots and game code, Bulgarian bot user "Cherokee Brook" details how he made over €100,000 (over $133,000) in a year of exploiting Diablo III's real money Auction House.

The company shut down the auction house, which allowed players to sell items to each other, earlier this year.

Some players do miss the Auction House; many characterized it as a disaster.

At least one, apparently, was able to generate massive profits by exploiting the ignorance of fellow players. According to the blog post, "Brook" was able to use bots to complete high-speed trades, much like on the stock market -- buying items low and selling them high. He created custom searches for undervalued items and then re-sold them to other players.

There's little doubt that what the botter did was against the game's terms of use and also not much in the spirit of fairness or sportsmanship -- but it's also a fascinating and detailed look into how profiteers can exploit virtual currency-based gameplay systems.

As "Brook" has it, "I know a lot of people will say that what I did was cheating or unfair, but everyone must realize that in the end what I did was completely legal. It was only against the game’s terms of use but those have nothing to do with the law and it’s the game creator Blizzard’s responsibility to enforce those terms. Also, ask yourselves, if you had the opportunity to do what I did for a year and make as much money as I did, or even more, would you do it or would you say that it’s cheating and not fair to other players?"

The full post contains much, much more detail. For more on Diablo III from the Blizzard side, you can read Gamasutra's recent interview with lead console designer Jonny Ebbert and associate producer Tiffany Wat.

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