Bug still present. Quest still broken.
Solution (steam forums) requires manual edition of game files.
Not a good thing.
Well it didin't show up on my recent playthrough, so probably there are some particular conditions that trigger this bug.
Yes. It's related to your personal sequence of entering exiting fight modes while activating pillars, etc. Some "cleansing" doesn't get aknowledged as victory conditions in you're outside "crisis" mode, or within, dunno.
Anyway, I just copy/paste here the solution from https://steamcommunity.com/app/272270/discussions/1/1473096694453357831/?ctp=15
for possible future usage by GOGers.
1. Locate the file
<SteamLibrary>\steamapps\common\Torment Tides of Numenera\WIN\TidesOfNumenera_Data\StreamingAssets\data\conversations\a_sagus\a2623_damaged_peerless_drone.conv ersation
This file describes dialogue tree for that Peerless drone.
2. Make a backup! Seriously.
3. Open the file with an editor. It's XML, it has tree-like structure, with nodes surrounded with opening <Tag> and closing </Tag> tags.
4. Find the node containing <NodeID>15</NodeID>. This corresponds to an entry describing ::crackle:: message.
The correct one shoud contain block <Conditionals> with
<FullName>Boolean IsGlobalValue(String, Operator, Int32)</FullName>
inside. That is condition when this message is shown, the drone was disabled or smashed. This is also a half of the condition required for the quest progress.
5. Inside of this <FlowChartNode xsi:type="TalkNode"> block containing <NodeID>15</NodeID>, find <OnEnterScripts/> line.
In 1.1.0, it is line 1010, between </Conditionals> and <OnExitScripts />
with the following block:
<FullName>Void SetGlobalValue(String, Int32)</FullName>
Basically, it tells the game, whenever the message is popped, to also set a flag that is the second half of quest progress condition.
7. Save the modified file, restart the game, and load your "broken" save. Click on the disabled Peerless now, and if everything went well, the Quest Updated message will pop up, and the quest will progress to 'Return to Salimeri' phase.