It’s not a bug, it’s a feature” was originally an in-joke made by developers before being co-opted by Bethesda fans to explain the jank of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Why climb the steps to High Hrothgar – which there aren’t 7,000 of, actually – when you can simply spam jump on horseback, convincing Skyrim’s code that it is physically possible for a stallion to ascend gigantic mountains at steep, 80 degree angles. Don’t lie, we’ve all done it.
Some bugs should never be fixed. For the more inoffensive stuff, it’s usually just a bit of a laugh, isn’t it? That’s how I’d label that Skyrim horse glitch – it’s a totally innocuous bug that lets us have a little giggle to ourselves. I mean, Skyrim is a single-player game, so we can’t use exploits to outperform another person, and there are plenty of roads up and around the mountains if you’re a strict advocate for bug-free play. But if you, like me, enjoy having a beer and doing stupid shit in The Elder Scrolls because why not, this particular horse animation never gets old. Who needs the Greybeards when you can get to the Throat of the World’s peak by nicking a horse from Whiterun stables?
The reason I’m writing this piece is because I woke up this morning and read about how Bungie wants you to “have some fun” with Destiny 2’s newest 12-person raid glitch. I don’t play Destiny 2, but I’m a gigantic Halo fan, and I feel obligated to report that my friends and I actively searched for bugs in Halo 3 when we were kids. Aside from messing around and playing the campaign in ways it absolutely was not supposed to be played, we’d go into Forge and purposely try to rig large setups of fusion coils, gravity lifts, and everything in between in order to create maps where you simply could not spawn. It was a continuous explosion – an insta-kill zone in which there were a million gigavolts of electricity being dispelled at all times, in all directions. This, reader, might seem like a stupid waste of time, and in terms of consuming meaningful content it probably was – sorry I wasn’t reading Dostoevsky, I was literally 12. Also, all games are a waste of time. Everything is. And time doesn’t even exist.
But that’s what I like about Bungie’s statement – that it wants us to “have some fun” with the latest Destiny glitch. We could all do with reading more books, I reckon, and if you’re into games it’s definitely worth trying to play as many different ones as possible to get a firmer grasp of what makes them special. Sometimes, though, it’s fine to do the exact opposite of that. If you watched Kubrick on repeat without ever tuning in to see what’s going on in Love Island, you’d probably end up becoming a bit of a self-righteous twat. I’m not saying you definitely would be, but it certainly makes it easier to transform into a giant knob and start saying things like, “Ugh, you’re not supposed to be interested in 2001 – that’s the point!” when you start assuming that you’re better than a bit of fun.
Anyway, this latest Bungie bug allows up to 12 Guardians to group up on a single fireteam in Destiny 2, which is twice the ordinary max number. As you might expect, this makes raids a bit less treacherous than they normally would be. Still, Bungie has decided it’s going to let it fly for a while.
“We’ve been watching the 12-player raid hype and are glad you’re enjoying yourselves,” Destiny 2 community manager Cozmo wrote. “We aren’t rushing out a fix for this and it’s totally fine if you want to try it out and have some fun. Just keep in mind that we didn’t create these activities expecting a clown car of Guardians to roll up, so you may experience some weirdness.”
That’s what I’m on about here – that “weirdness” Cozmo mentioned, which is absolutely aligned with my fondest memories of playing Halo 3 online back in the day. I think the important thing here is to listen to community feedback – why would you rush to patch something your players are having fun with? Digital Extremes handled this best back when people in Warframe were coptering, which allowed them to use exploits to traverse the map at blistering speeds. Instead of just patching the bug out of the game, though, Digital Extremes worked hard on turning what made coptering fun into a whole new mechanic. Now the Bullet Jump is probably the most iconic aspect of Warframe – if you ask anybody what makes being a space ninja so great, there’s a 9/10 chance they’ll say, “The mobility.”
Again, I don’t actually play Destiny 2, but I’m still really excited to hear a major studio say, “Yeah, if you’re having fun, we’ll leave it be for a bit.” Outriders developer People Can Fly recently said it was patching out Legendary loot farming, but I’m not quite sure why – you can only hit a certain level in the demo anyway, plus the maximum amount of currency you can hold at any given time is capped, so farming is basically just a bit of a laugh now. Sure, you can get better gear, but that will only give you a bit of a head start when the full game launches at the beginning of next month. I mean, people who like the game are going to grind loot anyway, right? It would have at least been fun to remember the demo as “that time when Legendary loot farming was possible.”
I don’t reckon I’m going to don my Guardian gear any time soon, but I’ll tell you what, I’ve got the Master Chief Collection installed on my PC and Xbox Series X, and I’m half tempted to spend my entire evening rigging a map-wide chain of eternal explosions just for shits and giggles.
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Cian Maher is the Lead Features Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.
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