Destiny 2 developer Bungie responded swiftly this week once it was notified of a piece of armor in the game featuring artwork resembling a logo associated with a white nationalist movement, apologizing for the design’s presence and pledging to remove it. Today the studio answered the bigger questions — namely, how did this happen in the first place?
In announcing the removal of the artwork on Tuesday, Bungie said its appearance in Destiny 2 was “not intentional.” But the strong similarities between the armor’s design and the logo for Kek, a satirical “religion” created by members of the so-called alt-right, led people to wonder if somebody on the Destiny 2 development team had very much intended to sneak the design into the game.
It seems that Bungie undertook a thorough investigation of how this happened; the studio laid out its detailed findings in a blog post this evening. The design originated in June , according to Bungie, and came together from three main sources of inspiration: real-world reference art, iconography and typefaces; graphic design elements from sports teams; and shapes common to Destiny’s Guardian iconography. Bungie said that the artwork wasn’t designed to emulate the “kek” meme.
The Kek “religion” has its origins in the gaming world: The term “kek” came from online games such as World of Warcraft. The two opposing factions in the game — Alliance and Horde — speak different languages, so when a Horde player types “LOL,” an Alliance player sees “KEK.” (This appears to have been a reference to a previous Blizzard Entertainment game, StarCraft, which became very popular with Korean players. They would type “kekeke,” a transliteration of an onomatopoetic Korean phrase used online to represent laughter.) Adherents of the alt-right later hijacked “kek” and applied it to a religion that they created to represent their values, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog.
Bungie has a team dedicated to reviewing content for “cultural, geographical, and other sensitive issues.” It turns out that the members of the group didn’t miss the Road Complex AA1 design — they just reviewed it solely in the context of the World of Warcraft meme, and didn’t consider the recent history of the Kekistan flag.
“The more contemporary, vile derivation that has been repurposed by hate groups was not surfaced through this process, and therefore, the armor was approved for ship,” said Bungie. The Kekistan banner is modeled after a Nazi war flag, and white nationalists have flown it at rallies across the U.S. in recent months.
Bungie expressed confidence in its investigation, and rejected the idea that a developer knowingly put artwork resembling a white nationalist symbol in Destiny 2.
“We know there was no degree of malicious intent from anyone on our team,” the studio said. “We want everyone to know their identity is welcome in our studio and in the worlds we create. This isn’t merely a platitude, but an official pillar we hold ourselves, and our work to. It is also a clarion call for the type of people we want to bring into our studio to help us make better games.”
The company added that it is now working to figure out better vetting systems to keep “inappropriate imagery” out of its games.
Bungie first acknowledged the armor issue shortly before 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, during a planned four-hour maintenance window for Destiny 2 that was originally scheduled to end by 2 p.m. Instead, the game’s servers were offline for seven hours, until approximately 5 p.m., and now we know why.
“As an immediate response, we extended our planned maintenance window to remove the element from the armor piece itself,” said Bungie.
The Sept. 12 patch, which updated Destiny 2 to version during the maintenance period, did not actually remove the offending design from the game entirely. The gauntlets in question dropped for the author of this article last night, well after Bungie issued the patch, and the artwork was visible when previewing the armor.
But although the original armor still exists in the game, other players can no longer see the design. “My wifes look like that on her screen but when i inspect totally different,” one Twitter user wrote.
Bungie noted that it “will be following up next week with another patch to remove the same element from the UI icon and preview screens, scrubbing it from the game altogether.” That patch, version , will also address other known issues.
For more on Destiny 2, check out our review-in-progress and our guide.
Update (Sept. 15): We’ve edited the article to clarify the origins of “kek.”
'Destiny 2' studio will remove armor that looks like a 'hate symbol'
Destiny 2 came out much fanfare September 5th, with a much-improved storyline and a better shared-world experience. One of the fun bits of the meta gameplay is finding improved armor and weapons that can make your Guardian even more of a badass than before. On Twitter, developer Bungie said that it had found a set of gauntlets (armor gloves) that shared "elements with a hate symbol." The development team promised that this was "not intentional," and that it will be "removing it."
1/2 It's come to our attention that a gauntlet in Destiny 2 shares elements with a hate symbol. It is not intentional. We are removing it.— Bungie (@Bungie) September 12,
A second tweet offered the company's deepest apologies, saying that such hate symbols do not represent its values. The team is "working quickly to correct this. We renounce hate in all forms."
While Bungie gave no specifics as to which armored gauntlet it was referring to, Polygon reports that a Reddit user thinks that they have figured it out. According to the Destiny 2subreddit, the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets have a symbol on the shoulder that looks similar to the fictional flag of Kekistan, which some associate with the alt-right and hate-groups. The Kekistan flag itself seems to share much in common with the Nazi flag flown by Germany in World War II. We've reached out to Bungie to find out more on this matter and will update this post when we hear back.
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Destiny 2 Sunsetting explained: Latest sunset list and when seasonal gear will be sunset explained
Sunsetting in Destiny 2 saw gear such as weapons and armour 'max out' their max power as time went on.
Introduced from November alongside the Beyond Light expansion, the system was designed to encourage players to try new weapons on a regular basis, instead of relying on existing ones.
Update:As of Season of the Chosen (February ) Bungie has said it is rolling back the decision to introduce an infusion cap to any new weapons - in other words, scrapping sunsetting in Destiny 2.
"Starting in Season 14 we won't be capping the infusion on any weapons or armor that have not already reached the cap as of the start of Season This means you'll be able to take your Trustee, your Falling Guillotine, and all the high-stat armor you've earned this year to take on the raid in The Witch Queen," read an official blog post. This means while any gear which has been sunset will continue to be capped, any other weapons can be freely upgraded from here on out.
Since some gear will continue to have an infusion cap, we're keeping this page live to help you track which gear has been sunset - as well as a record of the original goals of the initiative - and will provide additional if there are any other announcements or changes.
On this page:
What is sunsetting in Destiny 2 and how does it work?
Sunsetting is the term to weapons and armour having a power level cap, meaning they can no longer be infused past a certain point based on when they were first introduced into the game.
As described by Bungie, the system is designed so that "strong weapons [will] have their time in the sun, and whenever possible we want you to expect and prepare for powerful gear to cycle out of the endgame meta."
Sunsetting was phased out for new weapons in February In short, sunsetting worked as follows:
- Every armour piece and weapon will have a max power level to which it can be infused to
- This cap (let's call it the sunset cap) will come into effect one year after its initial debut in the game - meaning it'll be relevant for four seasons total (including its debut season)
- Weapons can always be used once they have been sunset - meaning they are viable in modes where Power doesn't matter - they just can't reach the level cap
- If armour you like using for cosmetic reasons has been sunset, then using transmog will allow you to keep its appearance
- Exotics do not have a max power level and will never sunset
Sunsetting list: Which weapons and armour were Sunset in the latest Season of Destiny 2?
In previous seasons, a new set of weapons of armour will be sunset, based on the season they were first introduced.
In Season 13 (Season of the Chosen, debuting February ), this means those from Season 9 (Season of Dawn, debuted December ) weapons were sunset.
Kinetic weapons sunset in Season of the Chosen:
- Breachlight (Sidearm)
- Buzzard (Sidearm)
- Cold Front (Submachine Gun - pre-Season 12 drops only)
- Hawthorne's Field-Forged Shotgun (Shotgun)
- Jack Queen King 3 (Hand Cannon)
- Patron of Lost Causes (Scout Rifle)
- Perfect Paradox (Shotgun)
- Steelfeather Repeater (Auto Rifle)
- The Old Fashioned (Hand Cannon)
- Traveler's Judgment 5 (Sidearm)
Energy weapons sunset in Season of the Chosen:
- Elatha FR4 (Fusion Rifle)
- Gallant Charge (Fusion Rifle)
- Infinite Paths 8 (Pulse Rifle)
- Last Hope (Sidearm)
- Martyr's Retribution (Grenade Launcher)
- Python (Shotgun)
- Trophy Hunter (Sniper Rifle)
- Uriel's Gift (Auto Rifle)
Power weapons sunset in Season of the Chosen:
- Komodo-4FR (Rocket Launcher)
- Line in the Sand (Linear Fusion Rifle)
- Mos Epoch III (Rocket Launcher)
- Pyroclastic Flow (Rocket Launcher)
Armour sunset in Season of the Chosen:
- Righteous sets (all classes)
This year's Festival of the Lost has arrived - which includes the Book of the Forgotten to unlock. Elsewhere in Season of the Lost, there are new Exotics such as the Ager's Scepter and the long-awaited arrival of crossplay. New activities include the Wayfinders Voyage, the Astral Alignment activity and finding Atlas Skew, Trivial Mystery, Enigmatic Mystery, Ascendant Mystery, Data Cache, Parallax Trajectory and Ascendant Anchor locations. Elsewhere, we've seen new Nightfall weapons such as the Uzume RR4, Plug One.1 and Hung Jury SR4. Other recent new features include transmog and materials Synthstrand, Synthcord and Synthweave, the Splicer Gauntlet and Decrypted Data used to upgrade it.
How to track sunset gear in Destiny 2
There are several ways you can find out which gear is being sunset and when in Destiny 2.
Update:As of Season of the Chosen (February ) Bungie has said it is rolling back the decision to introduce an infusion cap to any new weapons - in other words, scrapping sunsetting from Destiny 2. That does mean, however, existing sunset gear will continue to be capped - so still understanding which can and cannot be infused at a glance remains useful.
How to see when gear will be sunset in-game
The most direct way to know when your gear will be sunset is to investigate it in game.
You can see this by attempting to Infuse the gear as usual, where a pop up window will show the current power, the power limit (for this season) and the seasonal power cap (the max it can ever become).
Of course, having to do this for every gear item you own is a bit tedious. To help, the 'watermark' of a gear's icon will change to reflect whether it can no longer reach the current season's cap at a glance.
If it can, it'll be the usual white on a black background:
If it can't, then it'll be inverted - black icon on a white background.
This means you can go through your vault at the start of each new season and clear out gear which is no longer relevant. Handy!
How to follow when gear will be sunset using community trackers
If you prefer to find out if something you don't own yet is going to be sunset, then the community has created several resources to find which gear will be outdated and when.
The first is this spreadsheet, titled 'D2 Massive Breakdown of Non-Sunset Weapons', created by vinfox on reddit. As the title suggests, this is a list of weapons (and not armour) which won't be sunset. Check your favourites are on there, and you'll be good to use them when the start of Year 4 rolls around.
The other is light.gg, a Destiny database which has specific sections on weapons and armour which will be sunset soon, as well as other insights into the many gear pieces across the game.
He woke everyone up with his screams and the whole squad, with bulging eyes, watched the object float across the sky and increase. Then he suddenly froze and split into many smaller parts, which, flying off from each other, in turn split into even smaller ones, and this continued several times until. The object turned into many shining points comparable in size to the stars that became approach the planet.
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Pasha turns to the peasant and waves his hand to him. The man hesitantly moves towards them. Pasha presses his finger to his lips and points his head at his wife.Masterwork Armor for New Players -- Destiny 2 Beyond Light
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