Bungie has addressed a Destiny exploit that let players easily farm exotic engrams.
Last week, with the release of expansion The Taken King, Bungie introduced a new item into the first-person shooter: the Three of Coins. This item, which players could buy in stacks of five from vendor Xur in exchange for Strange Coins, dramatically increased the chance of an exotic engram drop from a defeated boss character. Exotic engrams are turned into Destiny's most powerful weapons and armour.
It wasn't long after Xur's arrival in the Tower last Friday that players put the Three of Coins to good use. In the easy mission Scourge of Winter, the final boss fight features a spawn point just outside his throne room. So, players would pop a Three of Coins, boosting the chance of an exotic engram drop, then kill the boss with a missile from a rocket launcher that would also kill the player, thus triggering the loot drop and, crucially, respawning the player just outside the throne room.
This allowed players to quickly kill the boss over and over again, each time using a Three of Coins to boost the chance of an exotic engram drop. The consensus after last weekend's festivities was that the drop rate was around one exotic engram per five Three of Coins, making it an incredibly potent exploit.
As you'd expect, Bungie has this week - and ahead of the arrival of Xur in the Tower this morning - taken action. For many Destiny players, part of the motivation to continue playing the game is the "gotta catch 'em all" aspect of exotic items. However, exotics are, typically, difficult to obtain. The Three of Coins exploit made them anything but.
Last night Bungie released a hotfix that, among other things, takes action against the Three of Coins exploit. Now, the Three of Coins that Xur sells are slightly modified to discourage repeated use within a quick timeframe.
Each Three of Coins now provides a smaller increase to exotic engram drop chance when used in rapid succession, which should stamp out the Scourge of Winter as a farming option.
However, when Three of Coins are used with more time between kills, for example on Strike bosses, they remain as effective as before.
We can see, then, that Bungie's intention with the Three of Coins was to encourage players to play the Strike playlists and pop the item just before a boss fight to boost the exotic drop rate. But playing through these Strikes takes time - on the heroic difficulty they can take quite a lot of time. In short: the party's over. But now, at least, Three of Coins should work as it was intended.
The patch notes in full are over at Bungie.net.