It’s the last two weeks of Destiny 2: Season of Plunder, and Bungie got fans something nice: a community event. It started on Tuesday, and was meant to last players until the currently unnamed Season 19 launches on Dec. 6. However, players finished the event on Wednesday instead, just 25 hours after Bungie launched it.
For context, this community event was to improve the Eliksni Quarter in the Tower — a special social space inside Destiny’s usual social space that holds Fallen refugees inside an old raid arena. A mysterious donation box in the middle of the Tower Courtyard beckoned players to hunt down Captain Coins (as well as other resources) and donate them to the cause. Then, as players reached certain donation thresholds, different parts of the Quarter would grow and improve. Players would also get some kickback rewards for their contributions. It’s the kind of charity where everybody benefits.
However, players eventually unlocked the ability to donate other Season of Plunder currencies, like the Treasure Coordinates earned by completing playlist activities in Destiny 2. It’s here that Bungie ran into a bit of trouble. There’s an exploit in the game where players can generate unlimited Treasure Coordinates as long as they have a few to begin with already.
For some reason, when swapping an expensive Treasure Map (which costs Treasure Coordinates) out for a special free one, the game accidentally refunds a few too many Treasure Coordinates — like getting an extra nickel back with your change. It’s not much, but if you do the exploit over and over and over again in quick succession, you can cap your Treasure Coordinates and then dump them into the donation box. Players who had the free Treasure Map already unlocked and the resources to buy the expensive ones could generate hundreds of bonus Treasure Coordinates per minute, without actually spending any of their own.
Players can unlock all of their individual rewards — including a cute Exotic Ghost — by donating 2400 Coins (or in this case, Coordinates). Using the exploit, that only took players around 10 to 15 minutes. That’s not a big deal if just a few people were doing it to get the Ghost, but when thousands of players were doing it simultaneously, the donations really started coming in quick.
Bungie set the final goal for the event at 400,000,000 Coins donated across the entire community. That’s a lofty goal without the exploit, and would require about 167,000 Guardians to donate at least 2400 Coins — a tall order for an event that’s essentially “play a bunch of the stuff you’ve already been playing for three months.” It’s not unreasonable to think that players might have needed the full holiday weekend, as well as additional playtime next week, to generate those Coins, had the exploit not been discovered. If interest really dwindled and players got bored, it’s possible the Eliksni could’ve gone into next season with a half-built home.
But alas, the Eliksni are all snuggled into their new living quarters before the Thanksgiving holiday even begins in America. This year, I know what the Fallen and the player Guardians are all thankful for: exploits.