Perfect World and Cryptic had to deal with a critical economic issue in the Neverwinter MMO over the weekend that allowed exploiters to make off with millions of Astral Diamonds. These diamonds function as the in-game currency for the game. Rather than allow the perpetrators to benefit from their ill-gotten gains and completely upend the economy, the developers chose to shut down the servers and reset time. Seven hours of server progress were turned back and rendered invalid.
Thanks in no small part to the efforts of our continually amazing Beta community, we were able to quickly identify the exploit and the perpetrators. Once identified, we took immediate action, calling in the entire development and publishing teams to lock down the Neverwinter OBT as we sought out a solution.
Rest assured, the issue has been corrected and we have taken appropriate action against all players who took advantage of the bug, including but not limited to enforcing permanent bans.
Sadly, the damage to the economy was done.
Rather than let the malicious efforts of a few unsavory players linger and continually impact the game’s economy and balance as we progress through these later stages of Open Beta, we have made the extremely difficult decision to rollback Neverwinter to a time shortly before the abuse and exploitation began.
It’s a drastic step, but as we saw with Diablo III, correcting a monetary exploit is paramount to any game that balances gameplay with its economy. An imbalance in the auction house can have a ripple effect throughout the game even if it’s not a free-to-play title. All it takes is an exploit that inflates pricing to ruin the balance.
Neverwinter is currently in beta and should officially launch later this year.