After returning from a road trip that kept me away from game consoles on Friday and Saturday, I returned to fire up Destiny late Sunday. The special vendor who only appears on weekends was gone so developer Bungie is making me wait another week to progress in the game, but that's another story. I couldn't play for other reasons. I kept getting booted from the game, logged out, and shown a slow-loading error screen which instructed me to head to the Bungie.net website and search for the error code "cattle." This always-only world sucks.
This isn't the first time I've been disconnected during Destiny. Most of the dozen or so times it occurred during a co-op Strike mission or during PvP Crucible matches, making it a real problem for consumers. It's a real problem that most of the time is a server-side issue on Bungie and publisher Activision's end. The online-only Destiny managed to launch without any major server downtime, a refreshing change from other recent unnecessarily-always-online launches including Diablo 3 and SimCity, but that's not necessarily what occurred yesterday.
As it turns out, Call of Duty - Actvision's other flagship property - was also knocked out, and it all may be due to hackers. Again. On September 20th, both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Destiny suffered online connection issues for which hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for, tweeting the following:
Last night, it happened again.
Bungie's help account on Twitter acknowledged the connection issues and suspiciously deleted the tweet which originally read, "We're aware of connection issues affecting portions of the Destiny player base and we're working to correct the problem. Please stay tuned." Online hackers aren't the only issue Bungie and Activision are dealing with since as the weeks go by, the game is subject to increasing amounts of criticism regarding its limited content, forceful grinds, punishing loot system (which is being addressed in the next update) and unimpressive upcoming DLC/expansion content if the latest revealing news holds true.
Destiny is now available for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Call of Duty: Ghosts is available for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is set for release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on November 4, 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Sources: Bungie, Kotaku