Bungie's Slipshod Fix For Destiny 2's Game-Breaking Min-Max Glitch Spurs Suspensions

destiny 2 forsaken spider
Exploits in online games don't have to be security-related to be serious. Online games are commercial products; even if they're "free to play", someone's paying for the experience, and an in-game exploit that grants one player or group of players an unfair advantage can be devastating to the experience, even if it's not a player-versus-player (PvP) game.

Bungie's Destiny 2, however, is a PvP game, and an exploit in that game has been allowing players to spam their character's super power non-stop. That's frustrating enough, but recently it was revealed (by JB3 on YouTube) that the exploit can be used to break "most everything with a timer", which means it can be used, among other ways, to gain essentially-unlimited time to deal damage against Vault of Glass raid boss Atheon. You can see the demo video below.

The specific method to employ the exploit involves simply running the game in windowed mode and then clicking and holding down the minimize or maximize window buttons for up to 5 seconds during events you want to sustain. This seems to cause Destiny 2 to lose track of time, and events that would happen during that period get repeated over and over.

JB3 claims that he reported the flaw to Bungie way back in July, and that people have been exploiting it even before then. He says he was told by the company that he would need to provide a video demonstrating the flaw, and that he did, and heard no response. Since widespread exploitation of the bug has been decimating the game's difficulty, he released the above tutorial video yesterday hoping that it would force a response from Bungie.

Well, respond it did: yesterday, the company patched the game so that when players attempt to cause this bug, it forces a game error with the code "RUTABAGA." To put it more simply, attempting this exploit will dump you out of the game.

An example of the error players will see.

That's not the whole story, though—as it happens, the patch also made many completely legitimate players crash out of the game with this error, including anyone who tries to alt-tab or change any graphics settings (like changing from windowed to full-screen mode) during a loading screen or PvP. Being able to tab out of my game to a chat window or browser during loading screens is one of the top privileges of being a PC gamer, and it's pretty poor form to make users bomb out of the game for that reason.

Even worse is that Bungie is purportedly suspending players who receive this error repeatedly. If it were strictly an error related to cheating, that might make sense, but Bungie's own documentation describes the "RUTABAGA" error as occurring "when Destiny 2 performance drops below sustainable thresholds." Players commenting on the announcement at Bungie.net are furious and have posted many reports of false positives, including several players claiming that they were suspended from PvP games unjustly.

The silver lining here is that at least Bungie has made an attempt to prevent players from using the exploit, and everyone who was suspended from PvP can take solace in that their suspension is at least temporary. Unfortunately, Bungie says that it doesn't expect to have a full fix for this issue out until December. In the meantime, if you're a Destiny 2 player, try not to fool with your video settings or switch tasks while playing—at least, if you want to keep playing.