Blizzard bans Diablo 4 exploiters for intentionally unplugging their internet

Close-up shot of Diablo 4's Lilith facing camera
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

Last week, some fearless Diablo 4 players unplugged their internet to confuse the action RPG into letting them take non-seasonal characters into the seasonal mode. Blizzard has fixed the exploit—which allowed you to transfer valuable items back and forth—and has reportedly banned players who made use of it.

Community manager Adam Fletcher wrote on the Diablo 4 forums that the glitch was fixed in a  recent patch and that Blizzard has "actioned on select accounts related to this incident." Given that the glitch also allowed you to use powerful seasonal gems in the standard, Eternal Realm part of the game, I'd assume some portion of the affected accounts weren't just suspended for a few weeks, but outright banned.

Some users on the Diablo 4 subreddit claim that they were banned or know someone who was banned for using the exploit—even if they were only responsible for holding onto an exploiter's gold during the process.

"I transferred 150 million [gold] from the Eternal Realm to my Seasonal Realm character. I knew the risk and didn’t care because I’m bored with the game to be honest," Dizzy-Upstairs9194 wrote.

"I was just recently affected by the most recent ban wave," Reddit user ChartAlternative6013 wrote. "Basically I met this friend in the game [and he] used me to transfer his gold over. I am permanently banned for something I am not aware of."

The ability to transfer gold and items to your seasonal character tarnishes the reason Blizzard keeps them separated in the first place. Seasonal characters start at level one and only carry over a few things from the Eternal Realm to maintain an even playing field for when leaderboards are implemented in the future. I imagine if Blizzard left something like this in, hardcore players would start every season with the best items in the game.

Diablo 4's first season seems to be a bit of a test run for Blizzard's approach to class balance and tolerance when it comes to exploits like this. Since launch, players have found ways to infinitely reset dungeons to grind XP and score uber unique items due to a bug in their drop rate. By all accounts, no bans went out for those. But apparently yanking your ethernet cable to hop between realms is a sin worthy of punishment.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.