Destiny 2's New Expansion Hopes You Live to Level Grind

Destiny 2's New Expansion Hopes You Live to Level Grind


While details about Destiny 2's Warmind expansion are slim, we do know a few things. After player feedback indicated that Bungie should make the end-game power grind more meaningful, the beleaguered developer has decided that the best solution is to just simply make things take longer. The dev studio made the announcement on this week's update to the Destiny 2 blog.

The changes were detailed by Senior Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh, who discussed that, because it didn't matter who you were or how you played, the level cap progression was too quick and players felt it was less satisfying. Thus, with Warmind, they're making a change to all of Destiny 2's power progression system. Where it will be much more like the first game – a soulsuckingly endless grind for better gear. Of course, they are trying to de-emphasize the grinding of public events for Exotics and reduce the impact of clan engrams on endgame progression to make the change a bit more balanced.

As Auchenpaugh details:

Our target is that players who participate in all the weekly activities should take several weeks to reach the hard cap. Raids/Trials grant the largest increases, clan engrams provide very small increases, and the other weekly sources fall between those two. Players who don't participate in any group weekly activities are unlikely to hit the hard cap before the next release; dedicated omnivore players will hit it before players that just play Raids or Trials exclusively. Additionally, the final 10 points from 370 to 380 will be significantly slower than 340 to 370; we expect it to take players roughly equal time to go from 340 to 370 as from 370 to 380. We decided to make this change because climbing to 370 allows you to tackle endgame content without suffering a severe under level penalty, but creates a significant accomplishment in achieving 380.
Clan engrams offer excellent upgrades while a player is climbing to the soft cap; they should grant awards an average of 15 Power higher than your current best possible while you're on the way there. This will help players catch up with their clanmates who are completing weekly activities. Once you've achieved the soft cap, your progress is going to rely a lot more on your own achievements; clan engrams above the soft cap will grant gear only 0–2 points above your best possible.
In an effort to combat exploits around creating new characters to take advantage of one-time quest rewards, we've decided to limit those rewards to the soft cap for the release they first appeared in. This means Destiny 2 launch quests cap at 260 (before mods), Curse of Osiris caps at 300, and Warmind caps at 340. To compensate for their new caps, they'll give you a large boost (15 Power) when you earn them as long as you're below that cap. Farming Exotics to increase your Power has been removed; if they drop from a non-weekly source, they'll come out of the engram at the same Power as a Legendary would after you've gotten to the soft cap. We believe the changes to quest rewards and Exotic farming will ensure the most effective way to reach the Power cap is to play the most challenges and social weekly activities.
While I think most of us can agree that Destiny 2's power level system was a little broken, I don't think the way to add meaning to a level system is to just make it take longer and only be grindable in certain ways. Sure, I love game grinding as much as any person, but that doesn't mean I find grinding meaningful. If anything, making the power level system require more dedicated effort simply makes it boring and over-compensatory. There needs to be a balance between requiring a player to put in time and effort to earn the levels and beating them down simply because its an easy fix. Level grinding is most meaningful when you've got to do certain things to unlock it. Otherwise, its just a mindless wash-rinse-repeat cycle. And that's no more meaningful than leveling too quickly.

About Madeline Ricchiuto

Madeline Ricchiuto is a gamer, comics enthusiast, bad horror movie connoisseur, writer and generally sarcastic human. She also really likes cats and is now Head Games Writer at Bleeding Cool.