The vendor’s name is Xûr, and if not for his paltry asking price-per-piece, many players wouldn’t have gotten their favorite guns yet — even now, half a year after the game released.
Every week, the anticipation of Xûr’s stock creates high hopes, and — due simply to the limited shelf space available — dashes them to the ground. For the past month, one intrepid player has been data mining Destiny to reveal Xûr’s stock before it goes on sale.
The player, the Japanese-speaking Redditor Megamanexe4, has not revealed his specific system for data mining Destiny, but his results have been dead-on since he began revealing them around one month ago. Every week, he has been able to exactly predict not only what Xûr would sell, but the modifiers on the weekly events, as well as uncovered loads of info about the upcoming expansion House of Wolves. Aside from satiating the players’ curiosity, revealing Xûr’s stock has had huge implications on Bungie’s relationship with their game’s community.
By nature, a randomized list would mean Xûr’s stock often wouldn’t meet your desires, but the patterns the vendor has exhibited since release have frequently looked more like trolling than a random selection. He sold the worst exotic weapon in the game on Christmas, he has sold the exact same stock (three armor pieces, one weapon, and other assorted goodies) a handful of weeks apart, has sold a stock solely composed of items from the first DLC expansion more than once, and has had streaks of selling the same exact piece of gear over and over for weeks on end. These data points could all be coincidences, but that’s the point on which Destiny’s community sticks; Bungie has explicitly and repeatedly claimed that Xûr’s stock is both random and out of their control. Megamanexe4 seems to have proven otherwise.
The Redditor has not only predicted Xûr’s exact stock, the weekly event modifiers, and gear and maps from the upcoming expansion, but has also documented when Xûr’s stock has been manually changed, which again, is something Bungie vehemently claimed they could not do. Last week, Destiny received a tiny patch that installed tools to help Bungie better inspect and manage databases. Astute — or paranoid — members of the community immediately assumed it was to prevent gamers from being able to suss out upcoming content. Earlier today, Megamanexe4 posted an explainer on Reddit that seems to confirm those guesses of the astute and fears of the paranoid.
Since that tiny patch, the Redditor explains that there are now two versions of Xûr — an original copy that is still predictable, and a new, unpredictable copy that Bungie manually controls. If Megamanexe4’s observations are to be taken as true, then Bungie managed to fix their Xûr leak — though the weekly event and upcoming DLC data still seems to be running from a faucet. If Bungie does continually use what Megamenexe4 describes as a manually operated Xûr, then the developer figured out a way to beat dataminers. If Megamanexe4 is right and Bungie has been able to alter Xûr’s stock all along, then they’ve either been lying to Destiny’s community or at least intentionally misleading them.