Anyone who’s played Neverwinter can tell you just how confusing the MMO’s currency system really is. The game utilizes at least 3 separate currencies (not including tokens earned to purchase gear sets) with the most important currency being the Astral Diamond. This is gained from doing daily quests and other means and is used for quite a few of the game’s important gear vendors as well as the player auction house. Over the weekend players began exploiting a bug in the auction house which saw an influx of billions of Astral Diamonds into the market. Suddenly the world of Neverwinter was in chaos.
While initially this may seem like a simple fix consider this, Astral Diamonds are able to be traded in exchange for Zen which is Perfect World’s real world cash shop currency. The sudden flood of Diamonds meant players were trading in massive amounts of the currency and, in turn, purchasing everything available in the cash shop. All of this meant a huge plummet in the value of Zen leading to Perfect World performing an emergency maintenance which lasted several hours, whereby the publisher initiated a seven hour rollback in order to correct the currency issues.
What this means is, if you played at all yesterday (May 19th) beginning at 5:20AM PST your progression is gone, like it never happened. To make up for this the developers are putting together a package of items to give to everyone. The plan is to distribute the goods sometime this week, possibly on Friday 5/24. On the bright side of things, if you happened to spend any money on ZEN during that period you will be getting all of it back as well.
So just how is Cryptic/Perfect World handling those who participated in the exploit? Several players have stated that they have begun to receive light bans, totalling no more than 72 hours. On Reddit there is even talk of players who exploited the bug and cashed out to make thousands of real world dollars, some of whom say they still have characters acting as mules carrying large quantities of gear that Cryptic studios has yet to remove. Other players have mentioned that the exploit had actually been in the game since closed beta and despite reporting the issue, Cryptic had done nothing to address the bug until it was too late.
For now the Auction House remains offline and no doubt the developers are still in damage control mode attempting to deal with all of the ripple effects the exploit caused. If you’re interested in reading the full breakdown on the event and what was affected you can check out the official FAQ here.