Another day, another tale of Destiny 2 players doing things they're not supposed to in order to get a minor edge in the game. But this story also takes kind of a weird, uplifting twist that might help restore your faith in humanity—or humanity's Guardians, at least.
With the launch of the Season of the Forge, Bungie added new Forge activities in the European Dead Zone, the game's opening zone, and on Nessus. The idea, as Polygon explains, is for players to use these Forges to, well, forge new weapons. As a small side bonus, even failed runs at the activity reward you with a small amount of planetary materials, even for failed runs.
Planetary materials, like Dusklight Shards and Microphasic Datalattice, are more important now than they were in the pre-Forge era, because they're required in relatively hefty quantities to purchase some of the 'Tributes' required to acquire the Bad Juju exotic pulse rifle and unlock it's catalyst.
They're also a real drag to collect manually, which is why this one crazy trick is so popular with players: They can enter the activity, and then literally walk away from their PCs, leaving their Guardian to just stand in place, doing nothing while the game goes on around them. Every time you fail to complete the activity, you get more of those resources—and because the fail timer is just 60 seconds, you won't get booted for inactivity before you're automatically thrown into a new instance.
So to farm them, all you need is to load into one of the forges, and then tab out and leave the game running. It's a slow farm, typically only netting a couple of mats per run, but the fact you can leave the game trucking overnight means it's easy to build up a stack of resources in the four figures. Crucially, although you can only earn Data Lattice and Dusklight Shards this way, these can be exchanged with their respective vendors for gear, which can then be broken down into Legendary Shards, which can then be exchanged with the Spider in the Tangled Shore for all sorts of other mats and currency. All of which takes the sting out of the exorbitant pricing in the Tribute Hall recently opened by Emperor Claus on Nessus.
However, although the scheme is clever, AFKing is also kind of a dick move if it leaves people who are actually trying to finish the activity saddled with an endless potato. That's where the humanity-affirming bit comes into play. Destiny 2's matchmaking places players of similar power levels together, and you need to be a relatively high power level to complete this activity. Farmers are therefore dressing up in the crappiest gear possible before jumping in (you can buy low-level green duds from Hawthorne in the tower before starting), ensuring that those who want to farm will do so together at power levels far too low to actually complete the activity, while those who want to actually play the damn game don't have to worry about people who started the game on their home PCs before going off to work at, for instance, a well-known PC gaming website.
(You know who I mean.)
It's nice that players seem to be doing their best to avoid ruining the experience for others while they take advantage of this exploit, but even so I wouldn't expect Bungie to let this kind of thing go on forever. Farm 'em while you can, folks, because chances are this will go the same way as the Menagerie chest sooner rather than later.