I keep hearing rumors floating around from a few different places that at some point in the near future here, either an upcoming season or Lightfall itself, Destiny 2 may be poised to not kill off power level entirely, per se, but at least the gear -based powerful/pinnacle grind part of it.
The idea being whispered about is that everything is going to potentially be rolled into the artifact. Currently, the seasonal artifact gives you bonus power levels when you complete bounties or challenges to gain XP, and it resets at the end of a season. This is on top of a gear-based power grind where an expansion might raise things by 100-200 power levels, or a season might raise it as little as 10 power.
The problems with the current version of the powerful/pinnacle grind are pretty apparent.
First, it relies almost exclusively on RNG, outside of extremely rare instances where you can target farm powerful or pinnacle drops, which is infrequent. Everyone over the years has run into an instance when you’re trying to make progress, and your buddy’s four Iron Banner pinnacles may be a helmet, chest, arms and legs, while yours are…four energy weapons. That’s frustrating.
The other annoyance here is the need to constantly infuse the gear you’re using for relatively minor stat bumps, or if you are pulling something out of the vault from a while ago, you need something current and high level to infuse, or else it’s going to drag down your power level.
The idea here is that everything may just transfer into XP, and it’s possible the concept of infusion may just die out altogether. All your gear will be the same power level, and that power will be gained from the artifact and a giant XP pool. Presumably the idea is they set everyone at the same base minimum level every season, and then the super grinders can rocket up their power sky high by the end of the season, but at least the more casual players won’t start far behind and be forced to do extra grinding just to get back to baseline.
For instance, next season may start everyone at 1570 power. By the end of the season, causal players have grinded out 5-10 extra power from the artifact, hardcore players have grinded out 20-25. Then the following season, the power floor is 1580, and you just keep going like this. Avid players have higher power to take them into higher level activities, casual players are showing up not being 20-50 power behind because they haven’t played in a while.
One argument for the pinnacle grind is that it forces you to experience a wider swath of the game by doing a diverse set of activities. But it’s kind of easy to see a fix for that under the new XP system. Instead of a pinnacle for a 100K Nightfall or featured Raid, you just get a massive chunk of XP instead, working toward your overall leveling total on the path to higher power. Again, this gets us out of the RNG situation where progress is arbitrary based on what slot the pinnacle decides to give you. You are still getting the loot, it’s just that loot itself does not really have a power level anymore, just your overall character does.
I am…struggling to see the downsides of this concept. It seems like a good compromise between eliminating power entirely (kind of a tough sell for an ARPG/MMO) and the current system which is too reliant on RNG and meaningless, constant infusion of gear that means new or lapsed players constantly feel behind.
Again, I don’t know if all the details I’m proposing here are correct, or even if this is for sure something Bungie is doing, as it’s just a constantly circulating rumor. My guess is that this would be something we hear about at the showcase, and if it is happening, that may not be until Lightfall. We’ll have to see.
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