Bungie has unlocked Destiny 2 DLC that was locked behind a puzzle players spent over 24 hours failing to solve.
Last night, Bungie unlocked the Bergusia Forge, the final offering of the annual pass DLC Black Armory, following negative feedback to the puzzle players had to solve to unlock it for the entire playerbase.
Destiny 2 players had tried and failed to solve the puzzle of the Niobe Labs for over 24 hours. At the time of publication, it remains unsolved, which means it’s taken longer for the game’s community to finish this challenge than any previous raid.
The Niobe Labs is a complex series of puzzles that involve shooting specific symbols with specific weapons (a butterfly symbol with a bow, for example). Once you’ve completed these puzzles, a mission with multiple levels presents itself. These levels involve working out what to shoot based on cryptic clues displayed on in-game monitors. Some of these clues are proper headscratchers. Here’s an example (thanks, r/RaidSecrets):
Players have worked their way through six of these levels, but remain stumped on the seventh:
All this, and the Niobe Labs doesn’t even have checkpoints, which means a failed puzzle attempt or a wipe forces you to start from scratch. Talk about soul-destroying!
Destiny 2 has had rock hard challenges before, and it has introduced super cool world-changing events unexpectedly tied to the completion of a raid with the Forsaken expansion (Bungie delighted Destiny 2 players last year when The Dreaming City was changed for all players following the world-first completion of The Last Wish raid).
The difference this time was the final part of the Black Armory DLC, the hotly-anticipated Bergusia Forge, was tied to the world-first completion of the Niobe Labs, and players knew that would be the case rather than it coming as some surprise as before with The Last Wish raid. But players did not expect a raid-like challenge from the Niobe Labs, and they certainly didn’t expect it to go unsolved after over 24 hours.
You can see what Bungie was going for here: it tried to create a cool community event that would charge players with solving a complex puzzle in order to unlock the DLC for all players. But after over 24 hours spent banging their heads against a wall, Destiny 2’s most hardcore players simply gave up, leaving the Bergusia Forge locked for everyone.
Even Datto, one of Destiny’s most popular streamers and chief puzzle-solver, had enough.
I literally can’t function anymore. Good luck to the groups still in the lab. Hopefully y’all get it soon. Thanks to everyone who hung out. Sorry we couldn’t get it. Interested to see how it all turns out.
— Datto (@DattosDestiny) January 9, 2019
100% correct. I was not mentally prepared for what today ended up being. Raid is different because of the expectations. I was expecting this to be a 30-45 min romp through to unlock the forge. Instead, we’re 22 hours deep with no clears.
— Datto (@DattosDestiny) January 9, 2019
Bungie took notice of the community’s response to the challenge, and unlocked the Bergusia Forge for all players who own the Annual Pass.
“While coming together as a community to solve puzzles can be fun, setting this puzzle up as a gate between you and new content that you want to play has not been an ideal experience,” Bungie said in an update on Bungie.net.
“As such, we will be decoupling the puzzle from the final offering of the Black Armory. All Annual Pass owners will be able to experience the Bergusia Forge when the puzzle is solved or when the deadline expires – whichever happens first.
“We realise that many of you have been working hard to solve the puzzle of the Niobe Labs. Whatever the outcome, it will remain open for Annual Pass owners who still want to test their problem solving skills. There is a Ghost and an Emblem to earn as evidence that you completed the challenge.
“We love trying new things with Destiny, but we’re also flexible enough to pivot when you point out room for improvement. We’ll continue to monitor the conversation about this event and learn from your feedback as we create future content releases.
“Thanks for playing. Enjoy the final forge.”
Destiny 2 is in an interesting spot right now. By all accounts, the game’s hardcore player base is happy with the game, and Bungie has successfully turned the game around with the launch of the Forsaken expansion. But as challenges get harder and more complex, Destiny 2 feels less relevant for all but the most hardcore of players. This is an enduring issue for Destiny 2, and Bungie has historically struggled to keep both casual and hardcore players invested at the same time. If you create a community event seemingly only one per cent of your playerbase can engage with, 99 per cent of players will feel pretty disenfranchised.
It’ll be interesting to see whether this latest botched community event influences the direction of future events within the game.