Direct's Derp, as it is now know, refers to an event that occured on January 27, 2012 during the New Badlands era. Direct1221, then a developer, was performing routine maintenance on the server when an unfortunate accident occured. Though the circumstances leading up to the tragedy never became clear, he inadvertently deleted the main directory on the server which contained (among other things) the world maps. The most recent backup file that could be salvaged was about 5 days old, meaning that anything that had been built on the server during the previous 5 days was forever lost. The players were in an uproar, to say the least.
Following this event, Direct1221 disappeared from the Badlands. He did not respond to attempts made by Andy and Doc to contact him. He was reportedly in contact with then-co Owner Iaccidentally, but no concrete explanation of the situation or the events that unfolded following his disappearance were ever shared.
There is some dispute over whether Direct "quit" his staff position or was removed. While he maintains that he left of his own accord, historical profiles of the server owners indicate that he probably wouldn't have been welcomed back in any staff capacity (developer or otherwise) regardless. The Owners didn't take kindly to the fct that he "derped and ran," never even offering to help clean up the mess that he made. Eventually, many months later, Direct1221 reappeared. Not surprisingly, his recollection of these events differs slightly from the official record.