Bungie Kills Destiny Loot Cave

Bungie Kills Destiny Loot Cave

Bye bye, Loot Cave. Bungie has finally cracked down on the now-iconic exploit that players were using to get loads and loads of loot in the multiplayer shooter Destiny, which Bungie released earlier this month for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

A patch that went live today officially nerfed the cave and reduced the spawn rate, effectively killing it as a place to farm loot:

The Hive of the holy “Treasure Cave” have realised the futility of their endless assault on Skywatch and have retired to lick their wounds and plan their next attack.

The Loot Cave — a landmark on Destiny’s Earth that would spawn an infinite number of new enemies — had become a popular place for high-level players to congregate and grind for loot over the past few weeks, to the point where it was something of a meme. In many ways the Loot Cave served as an apt metaphor for the addictive-yet-excruciating grind of Destiny itself, as Kirk captured in his review. Now it’s no more.

Here’s what the cave looks like right now, with a severely reduced spawn-rate:

And here’s Bungie explaining their logic behind killing the cave:

The social experience of a cave farming run is amazing: the herding to get a team of Guardians all behind the line and firing in the right direction, the rush to grab the loot, the scramble when the panic wave starts, the beckoning glow from inside the cave. The speed at which the community organised around this activity was inspiring and humbling to us.

But shooting at a black hole for hours on end isn’t our dream for how Destiny is played. Our hope is that social engagement in public spaces is only one part of the Destiny experience. Expect changes soon which decrease the efficiency of cave farming and correspondingly increase engram drops from completing activities.

Today’s patch will also stop players from getting ascendant materials when they dismantle Queen’s Wrath gear.


  • The loss of ascendant materials stings more 🙁

    You already only get to run a limited number of Queen’s Wrath missions based on bounty completion, I assumed the ascendant shards were a perk of the fact there’s only a few pieces of equipment to collect, rather than an economical oversight.

    Well whatever, I still need the chest piece and my wife got a sweet sniper rifle last night that I plan to get my hands on.

    • as far as I’m aware there’s a chest piece, helmet, sniper and ship. Some people have said they’ve found boots but no proof yet that I’ve seen. I just need the ship and then I’m done. Hopefully there’ll be another Queen’s Wrath event in the future to complete the set.

      Is the ascendant materials thing just for the Queen’s Guard stuff though or all rare-and-above loot in general? I should’ve dismantled my spare Queen’s Guard stuff as soon as I got it. At least I have extra in case I do new characters

      Extra engram drops sounds good though. I’m hoping they’re talking about strike missions there as atm you can spend 1-2 hours on the high difficulties for next to no reward

      • I read somewhere that it’s been data mined and there’s mention of queen’s boots and gloves, so maybe they’ll be rewards next week? Could all be bullshit though.

    • This. I’ve been saving the Queen missions on my Titan and hunter to shard the rewards but that idea has been thrown out the window completely now. Bleh.
      The loot cave thing didn’t affect me since I still stick to chest farming, and I think it’s a good idea Bungie at least did something about it. Lots of players would’ve suffered from burnout otherwise.

      • I had some crazy luck I was doing the same as you and decided to cash in last night literally hours before the hotfix.

        I agree with the loot cave though. the change is a bittersweet feeling, for losing the exploit but also being saved from going back 😀

    • Agreed. I’ve mever visited the loot cave to exploit it, but I’m glad I broke down 3 helmets and 2 chests from the queen’s missions. I don’t know how they didn’t see this one coming. Offering 6 possible legendary drops a day (from a pool of 4) and not predicting people would be rolling in shards … seems pretty obvious.

    • Luckily I dismantled the same instance of the queen’s armour I got as a reward for each and every mission I did for her. So, the reward now becomes completely useless. I think they have a lot of balancing still to work out.

      • Yeah, I only did three missions myself and got the helmet each time so I scored half a dozen shards from dismantling the extras, but I still plan to run those missions and use up the rest of my mission tokens over the weekend chasing the chestplate/rifle/ship.

  • What! Nooooo not the shards! Lucky I played last night and was able to gather around 10 of them. I guess all my purples won’t be upgraded by the end of the weekend..

  • Bungie, how about you improve loot spawn so people don’t feel compelled to grind potential ‘exploitables’?

    • They already said they will increase rewards from completing actual activities, also some changes to the cryptarch

          • I think he means you are meant to do activities and patrols building up your reputation with the vangaurd and other factions while earning marks that can be spent on legendary gear from the vendors.
            I have had 1 legendary drop form the game (crucible helmet) and one exotic bounty. All of my purple level armour and weapons have come from the vendors… Many grinding bounties and patrols.

          • One of the problems there is that they effectively limit you to one a week, given the 100 vanguard mark limit per week. Due to lack of content and variety this just may be a cheap tactic to keep people playing until the next DLC, so a player can’t get what they want out of the game at their own pace then move on.

          • Absolutely! Along with the given adjustments of ‘exploits’ effecting their ‘economy’, they are defiantly limiting player progression. Given they have a ten year plan for the franchise and probably a 2 year plan for this game along I think it is painfully obvious (and just plain painful) they way they are keeping people from burning out the game in just a few weeks.

      • That’s great, but to quote “dreamstation” over at Whirlpool.

        The nerfs come immediately but the fixes to the Cryptarch and rewards for missions to encourage “normal” play are nowhere to be seen.

        • This is the important thing to note. I’m not generally one to complain and I’m confident Bungie had a solid plan in there somewhere, but would it have killed them to let people farming until they solved the problems that farming was a measure to try and resolve?

    • I would have argued they already did with the Queen’s Wrath event… I jumped from 24 to 28 with it.

      But they’ve “fixed” that now too…

  • How does the queens wrath work? ive only been able to briefly look at it. Do you complete bounties to get missions? and do the missions guarantee gear? just watched the Achievement hunter run in Queens wrath and only 2/3 players got gear at the end of the mission so i dont know how it works.

    • Every bounty you complete for the Queens Wrath gives you a kill order token, these get dispensed after you complete a epic kill order mission.

      You can see how many you have by looking at the ‘Mission’ tab on the inventory screen.

    • I always got a legendary armour called the Queen’s Robes or somesuch for my Warlock. Unfortunately I got the same item after every mission with just slight variations to the attribute numbers. On top of that it wasn’t as good as the legendary armour I’d already bought at the vanguard quartermaster. The positive side was that I could dismantle them for ascendant shards to make up for it… but not any more. A mate of mine got armour and a helmet, so I probably just got unlucky rolls when the reward gear was generated.

      The reason you likely saw someone without gear at the end was if they didn’t have a kill order and just joined in with another player. I’d already run through all of my kill order tokens when I joined friends doing a kill order mission and I didn’t get any reward.

      • ahh ok well that makes sense 🙂 so the gear comes from like a quest reward as such? so even if you just spam the mission unless u have the bounty / kill order you wont get gear?

        • You start the missions via the map. On the left-hand side there’s a special icon. It will be faded out and not selectable unless you have a queen’s mission token (which is gained from completing one of the queen’s bounties). So this limits you to a max of 6 missions until the bounties reset and thus you can’t really spam it.

          • OK thanks 🙂 makes perfect sense now 🙂 wondered why i couldn’t select the side option lol. Will give it a go tonight after work.

  • Nerfed the “We’ve awoken the hive!” bit too. Hope they implement the extra loot for completing missions quickly!

  • Looks like they nerfed the Dark Beyond farming by adding that hard wipe change, ah well still doesn’t change that its still the fastest way to do hive ultra/major, 20xsuper, 20xFusion rifle multikill bounties.

    • Their is a under ground area right near the start of old Russia and it has 3 hive majors kill them go out side then back down takes like a minute to get the 10 kills and no need to do a quest before hand
      But yeah dark beyond is still the best for fusion rifle bounty though

      • If you don’t kill the knight and orbit out after your done the bounties, The Dark Beyond will always begin at the point when you inspect the guardian, so both methods are virtually the same.

        • Considering how ridiculously long the load times are in the game, killing 3 majors in about 10-15 seconds, running out and back (about 10 seconds) then killing the 3 majors again, far quicker and easier for the 10 hive majors/ultras. However for the other bounties you mentioned involving many enemies (including melee kills, kills without being hit, etc.) definitely fastest in that mission area.

  • RIP Loot Cave.

    Now if only I had friends that actually play this game to do weekly strikes and the raids with.

    • Right there with ya pal. People wouldn’t use the loot cave if they could get decent drops doing missions. But as there is such limited content that they can’t afford to stop the grind, then no one would play it.

      It sucks though that when I do hit lvl 20 (hopefully this weekend) all of those fancy strike missions are useless to me as I don’t have anyone else playing with me. also as I’m time constrained, why would I want to dump hours into painfully grinding onto lvl 26 when I can’t do the raid anyway. I can see this game being all but finished when I hit lvl 20.


    …at least I assume this was the discussion at Bungie.

  • I don’t really care that they’ve nerfed the loot cave, I gave up on it after a while anyway. Though, my issues are:

    1) Why nerf the Queen’s Wrath missions? I’ve done 8 of them and gotten the same damn vest every time. At least I got shards before, but now there’s almost no incentive to actually do them. Especially since they’re the same old story missions, just with modifiers.

    2) I love how the nerfs come instantly, but they’re still “talking” about buffing the rewards for playing properly and changing the Cryptarch. Instead of just insta-nerfing the farming, maybe question *why* people are farming. It’s indicative of problems with your loot economy, that’s why.

    3) To everyone saying “oh, just get Vanguard/Crucible marks”: sure, great. Except you’re capped weekly. Oh, and it’s always the same gear. Who wants to run around in the same gear as everyone else? The best Legendaries and Exotics only come from RNG.

    At this stage, I think I’ll stick to earning Strange Coins so I can buy from Xur. Seems like it might currently be my best bet.

    • Yup, agree whole heatedly. They WANT you to grind for hours scanning this and killing that for their fluffy bits over and over and over… What you want is a satisfying game experience with a challenge and a reward for your effort.

      I mean, seriously, this game would be awesome if there was more to do (variety) and you actually made progress at a steady rate. Some nights I get on and start playing before I realize the only benefit I am getting is a slowly advancing my weapon and maybe working the exp towards another mote of light…

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