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Destiny 2: The many exploits of the Season of Opulence

Sometimes breaking Destiny is the fastest way to get things done

a Hunter and Titan in Destiny 2: Season of Opulence Bungie
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Every Destiny 2 season has its share of bugs. Many are silly or frustrating, but some completely trivialize content. These exploits have plagued two of the biggest features in the Season of Opulence: The Menagerie and the Tribute Hall. This season of exploits has changed the way players interact with the game for nearly two months.

So what are they? How have players exploited them? And how have they impacted the player base? Let’s go through the three biggest exploits this season.

The Menagerie chest

Image of the Menagerie in Destiny 2 Bungie

The Menagerie is one of Destiny’s all-time best activities. It’s a loot farm where players need to fight their way through a labyrinthine dungeon to find and defeat the final boss. When the boss falls, players can use the Chalice of Opulence to choose the weapons they want from the end-of-activity chest.

The Menagerie offers something players have been begging for for a long time: a way to mitigate the randomness of looking for your favorite weapon.

With each run, Bungie intended for players to get one shot at their god-rolled loot of choice. But within hours of Menagerie’s release, players found an exploit.

After defeating the Menagerie boss and opening the chest, players have 300 seconds to explore the Menagerie. If players know their way around, they can run to another area and come back in less than 30 seconds. When they reenter the chest room, the chest respawns and they can open it again.

This created an interesting problem for Bungie, as players were getting six to seven times the intended rewards per run.

Bungie fixed this glitch in early July, and the chest no longer opens more than once.

The Menagerie bug fix Bungie deployed effectively destroyed the activity. Not only did many of the hardcore players already get all the items they needed when loot was plentiful, but players got used to the pile of drops they got each run. The bug was in place for about a month, the first four weeks of an expansion when everything is new and the game is busy. By the time the fix came, players were already Menageried out, and the drastically reduced rewards offered little incentive to return.

The Tribute Glitch

One of Season of Opulence’s final features is the Tribute Hall, a virtual achievement palace. Players earn most of Destiny 2’s golden statues by playing the game, but they must purchase others with Glimmer, Bright Dust, and various planetary materials.

There are 50 Tributes in total, and players need almost 20 to start the quest for Bad Juju, the Exotic pulse rifle from the original Destiny. But even after the weapon is theirs, players who want to unlock the gun’s Masterwork need 45 Tributes.

Normally, players would need to either complete quests for Calus to reduce his prices or dump thousands of hard-earned resources to reach 45. But a few days after Tribute Hall launched — after many hardcore players already spent their resources — players discovered another exploit.

When you first enter the Tribute Hall, Calus gives you a Tribute to place. It opens the door to the hall. You can go back to Orbit after placing the first Tribute, reenter the Hall, and do it again — each time counting as a Tribute placed. Players were able to do this over and over again to get all 50 Tributes in a few hours without spending a dime.

Bungie fixed this exploit in the July 30 patch, and players can no longer place the original Tribute over and over for progress.

With the Tribute Hall, the most hardcore players felt punished for having engaged with the feature upon its release. Bungie fixed this bug, and players who exploited will lose their rewards. But Bungie’s previous silence on the matter led plenty of players to waste four or more hours going for the easy Triumph farm.

The Forge farm

Destiny 2: Black Armory - a Hunter aiming Izanagi’s Burden Bungie

With the Tribute Hall being such a resource vacuum, players needed a way to recoup some of their investments. This led Guardians to repurpose an old farm from earlier this year.

Players originally would AFK in the Gofannon Forge on Nessus — idling in the activity or even stepping away from their keyboard or controller — to earn the extremely rare Lore books.

When players finish a Forge like Gofannon, they can score powerful weapons to use. But failing only grants them some Planetary Materials, now that Bungie removed Lore from the failure pool.

Seeing how empty their pockets were after the Tribute Hall, Destiny 2 players realized that those planetary materials add up over several hours of AFK time. Players lowered their power levels to get matched with other players looking to exploit, and started up the Forge.

This results in more than a thousand materials a day, if done correctly and without interruption. And players can turn these resources into vendors to exchange them for Legendary Shards. It’s a system that perpetually feeds back into itself.

This exploit is still usable in game, at the time of this writing.

With the Forge farm, players have destroyed the in-game economy, leaving Bungie in a sticky spot for balancing upgrade costs. They can’t increase costs for the hardcore who AFK’d in the Forges without punishing the average players with normal resource counts.

A cheapened experience

One of the cardinal rules for Destiny and a dozen other loot-based games is that players will always use the most efficient method to get what they want — even if it’s the least fun.

With exploits and bugs, there are rarely any winners. Players exploiting to gain materials lead Bungie to reduce their usefulness or create something like the Tribute Hall — practically begging people to spend hundreds of resources.

The Destiny franchise has had some pretty epic exploits in the past, hearkening back to the infamous loot cave from the original game. It’s easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel with these exploits — they almost always get fixed, and players have to relearn the right way to do things.

Bungie usually doesn’t punish exploiting too harshly. With a game the size of Destiny 2, players should and do expect a few bugs or design oversights to sneak through. Making video games is hard work, and unless Destiny scales back in scope, the number of bugs and exploits likely won’t change.

So our advice for players? Milk exploits while you can, but do it at your own risk. Try not to get too upset if you end up wasting your time chasing an exploit.

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