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Destiny Gives us a Lesson on Stranger Danger

A Destiny player's video of Playstation's Share Play feature turns into horror as a stranger deletes two of his Level 20+ characters

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

A young Destiny player learned these lessons the hard way when he gave control of his game to a stranger, who promptly deleted his two highest-leveled characters, and dismantled an exotic weapon.

The user, CuckooKnight HD, had used PS4’s Share Play 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”. (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 level 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 Share Play 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.

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, 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 uncommon exotic weapons are.

Notably, Bungie hasn’t 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.

Published Feb. 20th 2015
  • topher339
    Or you could just...you know...not give a random person access to your game/console.
  • JC Lau
    Featured Contributor
    I thought that, and while that's probably the most commonsensical thing to do, I wasn't exactly sure how much victim blaming should go into it, especially if the current system is set up so that your account can't recover.
  • topher339
    I understand. It's just that the way I see it, this is like lending someone you met on the street your uninsured Ferrari without getting his personal info or having him sign some sort of form for recompense. There's just too much that can go wrong.
  • JC Lau
    Featured Contributor
    Yeah. There's some level of common sense responsibility that I think CuckooKnight should have taken in this case, but it seems to me that IF you're going to do something like give your account to a stranger to play, then there should be some way to back up or restore your game, just in case.
  • topher339
    Maybe. The way I see it, such backups and safeguards should exist out of policy. It's something that should exist in case a console crashes or goes bad or in the case of it being stolen, to be used for some unfortunate circumstance and not a safeguard against your own mistakes or poor decisions.

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