Destiny, the highly addictive sci-fi first-person shooter, borrows heavily from the mechanics used in massive multiplayer online games to keep players engaged with timed content and limiting the amount of chances quests can be completed. For example, there is a randomly generated strike which offers high-end gear that can only be completed once a week and a mysterious vendor with rotating stock that appears only on weekends.
The randomness of the loot would sometimes infuriate players as Xur, the vendor who arrives every Friday, would include the same stock for some classes week after week. The highest DPS weapon, Gjallarhorn, only appeared during the second week, when players were low on currency and didn’t know how essential it was for speed runs, and hasn’t been available since. The inconsistencies in weapon disbursement have caused players to question the random number genertor (RNG) system of Destiny.
Bungie, the developer behind Destiny, remains active in the community and listens to complaints regarding the results of the RNG. Bungie has repeatedly responded with the message that these examples might seem unfair but that is the case when random elements are at play. However, Reddit user Megamanexe4 datamined the code of Destiny to correctly predict Xur’s wares and the weekly strike modifiers for four weeks in a row.
With the revelation that a player was able to correctly predict what Xur would sell, the community rallied against Bungie believing that the RNG was not so random after all. It should be noted, that it is entirely possible that Bungie did allow these modifiers, equipment and strikes to be randomly generated weeks in advance and deployed them into the code where skilled dataminers such as Megamanexe4 found the list.
However, after the most recent patch to Destiny, Megamanexe4 discovered that the stock he predicted Xur to sell for March 15 was inaccurate, despite his previous success record. Megamanexe4 reviewed the code and revealed that there were two Xurs within the backend of Destiny. The first can only be updated via patches, giving weight to the previous RNG in advance theory, and the second can be controlled and modified directly by Bungie whenever Xur appears.
If Bungie can modify the coding of what Xur sells or the weekly strike modifiers, it wouldn’t surprise players but it would go against everything that the developer previously said. This type of mixed messaging could cause unintentional backlash from the community.
Destiny already experiences a unique metagame within the game where players find themselves at odds with the developer. Skilled gamers find ways to glitch, trick or cheat the game in various ways to complete speed runs quicker or earn the sought after Flawless Raider trophy/achievement.
Each time Bungie patches a loot cave, invincible hiding spot or shortcut they say that the methods gamers are using are not how Destiny was intended to be played. If Bungie can control how they intend Destiny to be played, it is possible that they have been feeding certain weapons and equipment into the community more often than others in fear of everyone using the exact same layout and being overpowered.
One other thing that could hurt Bungie, if players discover that the developer could control what Xur sells, is the perceived lack of heavy weapon packs. Since release, there was a glitch which reduced heavy ammo, one of the most scarce resources, whenever a player died, entered a cutscene or loaded a new area. A patch recently fixed the loss of heavy ammo on death, but players who complained typically said that it wouldn’t be so bad if Xur sold heavy weapon reserves every week.
Players won’t know if Xur will sell heavy weapon packs next week and thanks to the two Xur system implemented in the latest patch of Destiny even dataminers such as Megamanexe4 will have to wait until the mysterious merchant appears randomly in the tower. Rest assured, as soon as Xur is available Game Rant will post his location, weapons and equipment.
Do you think Bungie controls the Xur loot table and weekly strike modifiers? Does it bother you that the RNG in Destiny might not have been random?