Cryptic’s latest MMO, Neverwinter, hasn’t even officially hit the shelves yet, but it’s already experienced one of the worst economic crashes in recent memory. By way of an exploit discovered in the auction system, some players found that they could bid negative amounts of money for items, resulting in them receiving the item in question and the money they had “bid.”
This would be problematic enough were it confined to the in-game currency. But it is doubly so since that currency can be exchanged for ZEN, a cross-game form of currency that has a real world value. Some of those who took advantage of the exploit have managed to sell ZEN for amounts in excess of $7,000.
Cryptic responded by bringing down the servers for emergency maintenance. They have since brought them back up, rolled back seven hours. It’s an unfortunate and draconian measure, and does little to punish those who sold their ZEN for cash before the rollback, but it comes with the promise from Cryptic that they will continue investigating and take “additional actions as needed.”