Alright, now this is a weird one. Destiny 2 disabled Trials of Osiris this weekend, but not for the usual reasons of people hiding outside the map or a broken gun or things like that. Rather, the mode was shut off due to a vast win-trading conspiracy that had something like almost 70% of all flawless tickets for the weekend using the method. And it wasn’t technically cheating. Not really, anyway.
The first I heard about this was Trials Report saying that they had seen an unusually high number of flawless runs this weekend, and when they investigated further, most of them were between 0-5 kills for the entire run. Turns out what was happening was the result of a vast win-trading conspiracy where thousands of players were organizing using specific emblems to “signal” their intent to other teams they matched. Here’s how the process worked, thanks to information from Lunarated, who explained this better than anyone else I saw.
- First, you use 2 Hakke Upgrade Emblems and one normal emblem as a team. The person not using the Hakke is a “messenger.”
- You play on a burner card and have a character ready with an actual card. When you match a team doing the 2 Hakke emblem strategy you send a friend request to the one person who isn’t using it.
- Once they’re a friend, you send them a Steam message saying /random 1-10, and it will randomly choose a number in that range (this is a Steam command). The team with the higher number wins, and the lower number loses.
- So, if you’re the team with the higher number:
- Two people change characters to the main card and join back on the teammate to get the win. Once you win, go back to the burner card.
- If you’re the team with the lower number:
- You wait for the winning team to change characters and join back. When they’re back, you leave the game and re-queue.
- So, what does this do?
- In short, you can never lose using this method. If you lose, it’s on your burner card you don’t care about. If you win, you’ve swapped to a character using a real card, and you eventually just keep doing this until you go flawless.
Win trading is not a new concept, and yet this weekend things escalated to a big, big degree with more people doing this than ever, and I heard in Brazil especially there was a massive concentration of players organizing to make this happen. And the method was made very public and shared by a ton of top community members as a PSA (not necessarily condoning it), meaning the cat was out of the bag to an extent we’ve never seen before.
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All of this centers on the “rejoin” mechanic, which is meant to allow some grace for teammates who accidentally disconnect to be able to return to a game and not force everyone to auto-lose. But I would not be surprised to see that ability disabled after that. There is some debate in the community about whether or not this method of going flawless is a “victimless crime.” It’s complicated. No one is technically getting hurt since the only people “losing” in this method are the ones doing so on burner cards using the Hakke method. It’s not like someone is using cheats to win games over teams trying to play fair.
And yet if 70% of flawless runs are people getting there with almost no kills and no real games, yes, that sort of devalues the entire point of going flawless, and the pursuit of that top tier loot at the end. I don’t know if that makes people who legit earned their loot “victims” per se, but obvious this is something Bungie was going to shut down regardless once it started blowing up to this extent. You can’t really blame them for that.
We’ll see if Trials returns next week after Bungie tries to figure out some sort of solution to prevent this before Friday. I don’t think that’s a guarantee, but we’ll see what happens. Wild times in Trials, as ever. If you win, you can swap to your main character, take the victory, swap back to your burner character, and do it all again until you reach the lighthouse and snag all the loot your wee heart desires. While this gentleman’s agreement is limited to mainland China and Hong Kong, players could quickly get involved if using a VPN, which many people do. This Hakke agreement – that’s what we’re calling it, right? – poses issues for other players, too. If you merely fancy shooting foes with pals, you’d still be likely to bump into people doing this. If you don’t have the emblem set up, they’ll leave as they’re on their burner characters anyway. Sure, you’ll pick up plenty of wins, but it’s far from exciting.