No easy answers to Bungie’s technical problems

No easy answers to Bungie’s technical problems

Destiny 2 has been offline It’s been 16 hours now, in the wake of a major hotfix that was supposed to remove blue drops and nerf effectiveness in the air, but accidentally broke the entire game. (To update: As of 10 AM ET, the game is back online and the rollback has been implemented).

A fix should be implemented this morning, but that timeline is subject to change and we’re already past the originally stated 3-4 AM PT window. I don’t envy the Bungie staff who are effectively up all night fixing everything that’s going on here, which started with the discovery that some players had lost triumphs and titles, and ended with server instability so severe you could kill an enemy three times and watch them come back to life from deceleration.

Bungie has said they will be issuing an actual rollback to a pre-hotfix state, meaning any loot that went live right before or right after the hotfix will be lost. That’s not great considering that a lot of in-game stuff resets right after resetting, and when many players immediately start farming, myself included. So that’s lost raid drops, craft patterns, exotic bows. It’s only the third full rollback in Destiny 2 history.

It’s becoming pretty obvious that Destiny 2’s increasing technical issues are the main problem with the game. This season alone, Bungie has had to disable the API twice to fix error code and server issues, one of which marred the release of its new dungeon. Players are concerned about the state of Lightfall and the raid race that understandably kicks off in just over a month.

The problem is that there are no easy answers here. While I may always be shouting suggestions to Bungie for nerfs or buffs or changes in the economy, the fanbase really can’t make an informed comment on what’s going on behind the scenes here. The laundry list of guilty culprits is usually:

Last generation consoles – The game is held back by sticking to PS4 and Xbox One when it should be targeting PS5, Series X and PC.

Vault content – Either too much/not enough. Bungie did say content vaulting would help with Destiny’s technical challenges, but it’s only gotten worse so far. Some suspect things could be fixed if seasonal content is cleared before Lightfall, but again that’s all, a guess.

The Tiger engine – This is Destiny 2’s long-running engine that has been upgraded and reformatted many times over the years, but players think it’s just too old now. Some are calling for a familiar chorus that Destiny should move to Unreal Engine 5. That’s not going to happen. It is possible that these problems are related to the engine, but we do not know how or the extent.

Lot 3 – Destiny 3 started trending online as everyone said it was time for Bungie to just leave Destiny 2 behind and make a new game as these issues pile up. And yet, who knows if Destiny 3 would fix these issues if problems persist with, say, the underlying server architecture, and not just the flesh of what’s actually in Destiny 2. Or that issues can’t transfer between games.

So yes, I think we can say that this is a very clear, very urgent problem, but this is an area where I don’t think we can write regulations. Unless Bungie goes into detail about exactly what’s going on here, we’re just guessing, and it certainly seems that even she don’t really know the full extent of the problems the game has as this is happening more and more.

However, this doesn’t feel sustainable and even bigger, more painful changes may be needed. As for this week, check back here and I’ll update when Destiny 2 comes back online.

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