Bungie explains Destiny 2’s recent 20-hour outage
Two days ago, Bungie turned off destiny 2 server while the studio looked into an issue that caused players to seem to lose progress on in-game challenges. This outage lasted a little longer than people expected, with the free loot shooter remaining offline for almost 20 hours. So what happened? Today Bungie pulled back the curtain and explained exactly what happened and why it had to return to the game, erasing a few hours of everyone’s search progress in the process.
On January 24 at around 2:00pm., Bungie tweeted that they are pausing Destiny 2 while investigating “an ongoing issue causing certain Wins, Seals, and Catalysts to lose progress for players.” A few hours later, at 5:51 p.m., Bungie tweeted that it may have found a fix and is testing it, but can’t specify when or if destiny 2Your server will be back online. Almost four hours later, Bungie tweeted for the last time that night, announced that destiny 2 won’t be able to play that evening. Almost 12 hours later, at about 9:55 a.m., Bungie announced that the problem has finally been solved and the servers will be back online after the fix update. Nearly 20 hours of downtime has some players worried about the health of the game and its future. After years of bugs and broken updates, it really started to look like The seven-year-old shooter is being held with duct tape.
So what happened during those 20 hours and why has the game been down for so long, seemingly without warning? Bungie explained what was broken, why and how it was fixed in its latest blog post. And surprisingly, the developer is more transparent than you think, going into the technical details of the matter.
According to Bungie, shortly after the release of the previous update to the game (Hotfix 22.214.171.124), players started reporting that many of the Victory, Seals, and catalysts were gone. Bungie realized that this happened after it moved some “currently uncompleted” challenges to another data area of the game. To do this, Bungie used a “very powerful” tool that allows the studio to modify the game state and player accounts. Apparently, due to a configuration error, Bungie had inadvertently “rerun the older state migration process” used in a previous update. Due to this bug, the tool copied old data from a previous update into the current version of the game, which essentially removed some players’ recent in-game achievements
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“Once we identified that the issue resulted in a loss of player state,” wrote Bungie, “we took the game down and rolled back the player database while we investigated how to remove the dangerous change from the build.”
After creating a new patch that removed the mistaken change the issue was fixed, and following some testing, Bugnie deployed the update. However, as a result of this patch, all player accounts had to be rolled back a few hours before the troublesome update went live. This means any player progress made between 8:20 and 11 a.m. on January 24 was lost. Any purchases made during this time got refunded, too.
While it sucks that the game was down for so long and that the team was forced to spend what sounds like many late hours trying to fix their mistake, it’s refreshing to see a developer be so open and honest about what happened and how it was fixed. In a time when games feel buggier than ever and players are fed up with delays, outages, and broken updates, it’s smart to pull back the curtain and show everyone just how hard it is to make, maintain, and sustain video games as complex as Destiny 2.
Hopefully, next month’s new destiny 2 expansion, lightand the upcoming Season 20 rollout should be a bit smoother than the recent 20-hour hiccup.