Destiny players are trolling Bungie ahead of the biggest day in the game's calendar

Destiny 2 Raid Race: The location of the vow of the disciple raid, a black pyramid, lies in Savathun's throne world
(Image credit: Bungie)

We’re one day away from the launch of Destiny 2: The Witch Queen’s first raid and Bungie is caught in a bizarre, friendly standoff with its players.

The Destiny 2 raid race is one of the most exciting times in the game's calendar. To the community, little is as sacred as a new raid. "Day one" is Destiny 2’s premier challenge, with a set difficulty called ‘contest mode’ imposed on players, meaning that no matter their level, players will always be weaker than the enemies they face. 

Contest mode ensures a brutal, yet even playing field for everyone. It’s the closest Destiny gets to an esports competition. Those who topple the final boss first become legends in the community. 

Players spend hours testing their builds, figuring out the best weapons and mod combinations that will give them a hope of surviving the brutal challenge. 

Bungie can be more lenient than big game developers because when Destiny 2 players find an exploit unless it’s something game-breaking or ruining other people’s fun, it can persist for a while. To this day, the boss at the end of the Last Wish Raid is beatable in a single phase by stacking buffs and debuffs with certain weapons, bypassing the complicated mechanics of the encounter. 

There is one time when that’s not true: Raid Race day. Because the race is precious to both the community and Bungie, the developer becomes much more vigilant of exploits that could give teams an unfair advantage. Bungie isn’t subtle about it either, straight up banning the use of mods or armor pieces in the event.

 A very strange arms race

This is all to say that right now Bungie is stuck in a bizarre standoff with players and it’s hilarious to watch. This week’s Vow of the Disciple raid opens up on Saturday at 10AM PT/6PM GMT, and Bungie is being trolled by raid parties. Players are revealing exploits, Bungie is banning them, then players are revealing another exploit they’d kept in reserve. 

The current dance between the developer and the community is around a combo using the Peregrine Grieves and the One-Two Punch perk. It’s complicated, but essentially it was allowing players to do wild, clearly unintended amounts of damage. Most prominently, Destiny 2 content creator Ehroar showed off the combo in a video.

 Within a couple of hours of the video going live, Bungie responded: 

This essentially lengthened the cooldown on One-Two Punch to make the combo impossible.

This didn’t deter Ehroar. Tweeting straight after Bungie’s announcement: "Not only does it still work but there is a better version. Part 2 tomorrow lol"

The next day Ehroar posted a new video showing a similar exploit that bypassed Bungie’s fix. Not only that, this new exploit was three times more powerful than first exploit, enough to kill some dungeon bosses in one hit.

Ehroar’s exploits aren’t the only ones doing the rounds either, and no doubt some players are keeping their overpowered builds under wraps so as to avoid Bungie’s gaze until race day. In yesterday’s This Week at Bungie, the developer announced a new string of disabled items, including Wormgod Caress, the item in Ehroar’s updated exploit. 

This week has felt like an arms race with players revealing an exploit, Bungie racing to close the loophole, then another exploit popping up in its place. It all feels like it's in good fun (the players could keep the exploits secret to use them on raid race day, instead they're revealing them to troll Bungie). The trolling extends to exploits that don't exist and making jokes that they will only be left with low-tier white and blue loot by the time the raid starts.

Destiny players breaking the game is a tradition as old as the first game’s alpha. It’s so prominent that even those who don’t play Destiny may have heard of the fabled ‘loot cave’ - a place in the original game that would spawn infinite loot. Destiny 2 is a complicated game, with near-infinite interactions between its vast pool of gear, perks, and abilities. In those cracks, the top-tier Destiny players play. 

Seeing this dance between the players and the developers is fun to watch, and a constant reminder of just how wily players are, and how hard development on a massive game like Destiny 2 is. Thankfully, all of this playing out in public is a mostly good-natured joke between the community and developer, with the community slyly playing up ‘secret’ exploits they know while eventually giving them up to ensure the integrity of the raid. No one on either side wants the winner to be contentiously decided with a discussion of if they are legitimate or not. It’s happened before, and it’s never any fun.

These kinds of interactions are the 'special sauce' that makes Destiny 2 what it is. It's a community game, and the Day One race is Bungie's attempt at both giving to and highlighting the very best players the game has. That said, the developer probably wishes its players weren't quite as good at breaking it as they are. 

Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.