Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants

Destiny gives us a Lesson on Stranger Danger

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You know how there’s that saying about if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is? And you know how your parents probably warned you about strangers offering you things?

A young Destiny user learned this lesson the hard way when he gave control of his game to a stranger, who promptly deleted his two highest-leveled characters, as well as dismantling an exotic weapon.

Vale, Level 31 Warlock

Vale, Level 31 Warlock

The user, CuckooKnight HD, had used PS4’s SharePlay feature to enable another player, KirmitTHEfrog, to connect to his account. He did it expecting KirmitTHEfrog to help him find an ingame glitch to “rank up your character past 20”. (You can skip to the 13-minute mark in the video for the handoff.)

Instead, once KirmitTHEfrog gains control of the account and CuckooKnight inexplicably steps away from the console (you can hear him take the headset off), Kirmit almost immediately deletes CuckooKnight’s 31 Warlock and level 26 Titan. CuckooKnight comes back in time to watch an exotic weapon on his remaining character get dismantled, and you can hear him say “oh my god” in dismay.

It gets worse.

CuckooKnight then restarts the PS4 and logs back into the game to discover what we already know—that his highest-leveled characters have been deleted. He starts audibly sobbing around 16:30.

How did this happen? Sony describes the use of SharePlay as follows on their FAQs:

It allows you to invite a visitor to view your screen for up to 60 minutes a session. If you are stuck in a game or want the visitor to try a game, Share Play allows you to hand over your controller to a visitor so they can play instead.

Moral of the story: trust no one

Moral of the story: trust no one

What happened was outside the scope of Sony’s description. To be fair, CuckooKnight was trying to take advantage of an apparent glitch in the game. Even so, surely deleting two high-leveled characters and destroying an exotic weapon on another player’s account isn’t excusable, especially if you know how hard it is to get a level 20+ character in Destiny, and how rare it is to get exotic weapons.

Notably, Bungie hasn’t really accepted responsibility for this happening on their game, considering that they shared the video and described the entire incident as an “unfortunate turn of events” on their site.

At the very least, you’d think that KirmitTHEfrog would be banned from the game, but assuming that Bungie doesn’t have any backup servers, there’s nothing that CuckooKnight can do now to recover his lost characters. But perhaps something could be done in the future, like making it the case that you can’t save over other players’ games if you’re playing as a visitor. Or not being a dick to other players.

All Bungie has said so far is that “[They] have some ideas for how we can make regrettable deletions like these less permanent”, but it’s unclear when those ideas will come to fruition.

This article has been republished on GameSkinny.

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