Destiny 2 and its terrible horrible no good very bad ban policy


More strict than Yev Kassem’s soup line

It’s been a while since Bungie has released a game on PC, 10 years to be precise. A lot has changed since Halo 2 came out and by the looks of their current ban policy on Destiny 2, it seems like Bungie is having trouble finding their footing in the modern PC gaming world.

Last Friday, one of our community bloggers Blanchimont posted a message saying that they were banned from Destiny 2 on PC without any warning or obvious cause. They were given no reasoning when the ban was handed down and no chance to appeal said ban. Just bam, out 60 dollars.

Of course, the first thing you are going to think is that Blanchimont cheated and therefore deserved the ban and it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. But judging by the community forums, there was a huge number of bans handed out on November 3, with most of them claiming to not be cheaters. At this point, things seemed fishy but the problem was that all I had to go off of were forum posts and no statement from Bungie. Angry forum posts aren’t exactly the best source for news.

It doesn’t help that in the opening week of Destiny 2 on PC there were some questionable bans that were initially thought to be caused by third-party overlays such as Discord which was dismissed as “Internet BS” by Destiny 2 lead David Shaw. Bungie also stated that all bans are handled by a human and aren’t given out automatically, but a few days later they quietly undid a handful of bans that were a part of the first ban-wave. Right from the get-go, Bungie had some questionable practices in place, so of course when the second wave of bans came up people started to quickly wonder what was going on.

Unfortunately, because of Destiny 2‘s EULA, they don’t have to tell you why you were banned. Just a screen that says you’ve been banned and that’s it. The screen directs you to their generic ban information page which strictly states that you have no right to appeal your ban. The issue here is that people who feel like they were wrongfully banned have no idea as to what the reasoning was. It took three days for Bungie to clarify that running any third-party program on your machine that has the ability to insert code into Destiny 2‘s makes you liable for a ban, even if it isn’t used on the game itself.

“We do not ban players for simply having cheat tools installed, but do ban for running them while playing Destiny 2. We do not differentiate between cheat tools for Destiny 2 and cheat tools for other games because it would be easy to avoid a ban by making a Destiny 2 cheat tool that pretends to be a cheat tool for another game. Make sure you turn all cheat tools off before running Destiny 2 and you won’t have to worry about bans. No one is being banned for third-party applications that try to inject overlays like Discord, XSplit, OBS, RTSS, Shadowplay, etc.”

-Cozmo–Bungie Community Manager

It seems that Bungie is taking no risks with their program being messed with and are keeping the list of banned programs tight to the chest. I understand Bungie’s desire to keep the banned program list secret because once the list is out it can be exploited but on the other hand, you have paying users left with the question of what program it was that got them banned.

Even taking out the question of whether or not the players were actually cheating, there are still issues with this policy. First of which is the fact that bans are handed out without prior warning. From what I’ve been reading on the forums and reddit, it seems the only notification of a Terms of Service violation comes when the ban is handed down. No warning, no second chance, just a straight red card.

The other issue that seems to be a thorn sticking in the sides of the community is that proven DDoS abusers, which has been a problem since the first Destiny, are only being given two-week suspensions. For those playing the home game, ne’er-do-wells in Destiny 2‘s player vs. player mode can overload your internet with a stream of useless data going into your connection which will limit the amount of data from Destiny 2 that will make it to your system. Basically, it forces lag on you because your connection can only take so much.

Almost reminds of Halo 2‘s standby cheaters who pressed standby on their modem when they were host to give everyone else lag and used the advantage for a hollow victory. But I digress, these DDoSers are still present in the new game and as stated before only given slaps on the wrists as opposed to those running third-party programs that may or may not actually be used on Destiny 2. So you can sorta see why the accused are a bit mad at Bungie right now.

But what’s the resolution? As of now there really isn’t any. I’ve seen some users getting refunds through their bank but not much else has come up. My only suggestion as of now is to just shut down any other program except those listed by Cozmo while playing Destiny 2.

A huge shoutout to Blanchimont for bringing this to my attention and keeping me updated of the situation as more details came out.