Bungie reveals technical culprit behind Destiny's vanished triumphs and 20-hour downtime

Destiny 2: Forsaken
(Image credit: Bungie)

In the company's This Week at Bungie or TWAB update, the Destiny developer clarified the series of events that led to a number of players missing in-game titles, a bug that required a rollback of player progress and 20 hours of downtime for the popular looter shooter/MMO/Guardian-em-up game (credit to Massively Overpowered for the spot).

On January 24, a number of Destiny players logged in to find the unthinkable had happened: their triumphs were gone! All those achievements, precious 'cheevos, lost to time, like tears in rain. All jokes aside, this is a major bummer in a game where some triumphs and seals require absolutely herculean trials to earn, while others are tied to legacy content and can no longer be acquired.

The bug ultimately required a rollback of player accounts to their state on the morning of January 24, with players losing any progress they'd made in the three-hour window after Destiny's regular weekly refresh. Not the end of the world then, losing a couple hours of progress made on a Tuesday morning, but shout out to that one person on Reddit who secured the coveted exotic combat bow Hierarchy of Needs within the perdition window.

"We discovered that the issue was caused when some currently incompletable EDZ and Nessus Triumphs were moved from Forsaken into the archived Triumphs section," Bungie explained in the TWAB. "To make that change, we used a tool that can move player state from one location to another in the player’s account. This tool is very powerful but requires careful and cautious handling."

That forbidden and powerful dev tool was apparently still configured for when Bungie was seriously rejiggering the game for 2020's Beyond Light expansion. The team accidentally brought forward pre-Beyond Light data, which conflicted with and overwrote progress players had made since that time.

It's a reminder of how fragile the backends for huge, popular games can be sometimes, and it's interesting to me that this ties back to Beyond Light specifically. That expansion seriously reworked Destiny 2, with big changes to its engine and content. Hopefully Destiny is just getting the giggles out of its system ahead of its big Lightfall expansion, which releases February 28.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.