The much-anticipated return to the moon in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep has finally arrived. It’s time to get back on to that big ball of cheese in the sky and shoot some alien baddies, right? Well, not all is well on the moon. We expected to bask in the light, but instead, we got the dark side of the moon.
Bungie really seems to have bungled the launch of Shadowkeep. While the new content is a welcome addition to a game that has had a rocky lifespan before becoming something great, the queue times to get in have been atrocious so far. Speaking from personal experience, I sat in a queue for around half an hour, was given a new EULA to accept, and then dropped back into a queue. After that queue finished, I was shown a screen asking me to accept the terms of the new Cross Save feature. I accepted, and… was dropped into a queue. What only added insult to injury was that a friend of mine, launched the game, waited maybe ten minutes, and was in the game while I was still staring at, you guessed it, a queue screen.
Finally, after around an hour and a half, I loaded in. It was finally time to join my fellow Guardians and take the fight to the moon. After completing the intro mission for Shadowkeep, I loaded into the new open-world space, and… server instability. I was disconnected. I relaunched, and was plopped back into yet another queue. Frustration mounting, it was back to YouTube.
I waited out this queue, got back in the game, and rejoined my friends for the next mission in the Shadowkeep storyline. We demolished it, hopped back into the new open-world, accomplished a few radiant activities, before there was yet more server instability. This time, two of us were able to ride it out, but one of us was disconnected. Given the three of us wanted to experience the story together, we shot the shit and ran around the open world ganking baddies and exploring while our third sat in queue. Again.
He was able to get back in and we resumed exploring and accomplishing tasks towards the next quest step. We got a solid hour in before it was time to return to the expansion’s titular character, Eris Morn, to turn in our quest step and begin the next piece. We fast traveled back to the safe zone, got some exposition conversation with Eris, and then all three of us got server instability messages. One by one, we disconnected and rejoined the queue. After sitting in the queue for about an hour, we got messages that the servers were unavailable. It was then that one of us took to Google and discovered the servers had been taken down for emergency maintenance.
My friends and I all took off work to play Destiny 2: Shadowkeep on launch day, but instead of blasting off to the moon, we puttered about halfway there before Bungie told us it was a no-go. As of this writing at 5:57 PM EST on Oct 1st, the servers have been down for at least an hour with no updates on when they’ll return. I think it goes without saying that Bungie botched this launch.
I would expect this of a brand new game or a re-release of something much anticipated, such as the long queue lines for World of Warcraft Classic, but for a game that is well into its lifecycle and has established server stability, I would have expected Bungie to be better prepared for this sort of influx. Even giving some leeway for the fact it’s a shift from Battle.net to Steam as well as going free to play for the base game and Year One content, I would have expected a better launch than this. Trying to play for five hours and getting maybe half that of actual game time for a game that’s been around for two years is, in my eyes, very unfortunate. Us Guardians are craving moon man blood, and this is definitely another stumble for a game that has had several. Hopefully, the emergency maintenance gets the game back up and running, but Shadowkeep has certainly gotten off to a rocky start.