Wild New Destiny 2 Puzzle Stumps Players, Leading Bungie To Reverse Course 

Wild New Destiny 2 Puzzle Stumps Players, Leading Bungie To Reverse Course 

On Tuesday, Destiny 2 opened up Bergusia Forge, the fourth and final activity in the game’s recent Black Armory content pack. There was a catch, though. For everyone to access it, at least one player in the world would have to solve a fiendish puzzle called Niobe Labs.

The puzzle turned out to be so hard, nobody could actually finish it, which led developer Bungie to change its mind yesterday and open up the forge to everyone anyway.

“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,” a Bungie rep wrote on the company’s blog yesterday. “As such, we will be decoupling the puzzle from the final offering of the Black Armory.”

True to its word, yesterday afternoon Bungie opened up the forge to everyone. Like previous forges, there’s a grindy process involved in unlocking it, and once you do, you can go farm weapons to your heart’s content. (The new fusion rifle looks pretty sweet.)

It’s been a wild week for hardcore Destiny 2 players. When the update went live on Tuesday, January 8, secret-hunters and streamers immediately started tackling Niobe Labs, a room in which they had to fight enemies and solve a series of increasingly elaborate puzzles that involved shooting buttons, decoding runes, and performing tricks so complicated that even just reading about them is enough to make you dizzy. It’s hard to say how many people actually found it fun to solve puzzles like this:

Destiny Reddit" loading="lazy" > Image: Destiny Reddit

That’s just one of the sections players have discovered so far in Niobe Labs, a wild arena full of ciphers whose solutions have so far involved French nursery rhymes and obscure mythology. Within 24 hours, Destiny 2 players had gotten to Level 7 of the puzzle, but found themselves unable to proceed. Two days later, it’s still not solved.

Bungie’s goal was to create a shared community moment, not unlike the quest for Outbreak Prime and other elaborate treasure hunts that Bungie has put into Destiny over the years.

But, as the studio acknowledged, it might not have been a wise move to restrict content from everyone until the most hardcore of hardcore players figured out how to solve Niobe Labs. “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.”

It’s a fascinating sequence of events. Bungie and crew clearly wanted to recapture the sense of mystery and camaraderie that players felt during legendary Destiny events like the hunt for Outbreak Prime and the Whisper of the Worm quest, but locking content behind something so elaborate forced players expecting new stuff on Tuesday to wait around and watch streamers until the puzzle was solved.

Even for those streamers, the process was exhausting:

Destiny players have wanted elaborate puzzles for years now. This, however, may have been an overcorrection.


  • To be fair, the clue for level 6 seems to be incomplete, which is the main reason it took 12+ hours to solve – the code itself was figured out very quickly as it reused a known cipher, but nothing about the deciphered clue indicated all three members needing to enter the code simultaneously. So raidsecrets began looking deeper, and so began the 12 hour journey down a rabbit hole of Arthurian lore…

  • Give a company or a person who braves trying to do something interesting and misses the mark, other than someone/thing who just rehashes stuff.

    Sure it was a swing and a miss but at least they tried to do something.

    • You’re not wrong – if it had been tuned just a little better it could have been epic – but typically games companies need some good will banked up for the gaming public in the main to take that attitude, and Bungie have burned through all the good will they earned from the Halo series with the first Destiny, then went deep in the red with Destiny 2.

  • Ehh not every new thing you try ends up great.
    I hope they keep the puzzle going and add something is as a reward for whoever finishes it first as it would suck to just scrap it entirely

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