Blizzard has warned players to stay away from Diablo III cheats, and threatened permanent bans to those caught using exploits.

A post on the Diablo 3 blog follows the discovery of item duplicating exploit which resulted in the Asian servers being taken offline yesterday.

"Blizzard Entertainment has always taken cheating in any form in Blizzard games very seriously, and that's no different for Diablo III," says the blog. "If a Diablo III player is found to be cheating or using hacks, bots, or modifications in any form, then as outlined in the Diablo III end user license agreement, that player can be permanently banned from the game. This means that the player will be permanently unable to log in to to play Diablo III with his or her account."

The existence of cheats comes at a bad time for Blizzard, which is poised to finally launch its delayed real money auction house in the near future.

"Playing Diablo III legitimately means playing with an unaltered game client. Doing otherwise violates our policies for and Diablo III, and it goes against the spirit of fair play that all of our games are based on. We strongly recommend that you avoid using any hacks, cheats, bots, or exploits. Suspensions and bans of players that have used or start using cheats and hacks will begin in the near future."