Chaturday: Destiny 2 XP Change Tastes Like Someone Got Caught Red Handed

For today’s Chaturday, I want to talk about Destiny 2 and Bungie, more specifically a recent announcement regarding experience gains and how the game has been effectively lying to players since launch.

For those of you not in the know, we learned this week that Destiny 2 has been effectively lying about experience gains and limiting them for players who farm experience. Once a player hits level 20, which does not take long, every level thereafter rewards a Bright Engram, an item sold in the Eververse store (cash shop), for free. As such, Bungie has a monetary interest in encouraging players to drop real cash on said Engrams.

One player, through heavily researching his gameplay and how the game doles out experience, discovered that the game would limit experience during more intense activities. Furthermore, while the game would display experience gains, the actual experience given would be limited by up to half if the player was participating in public events.

Bungie responded to the growing complaints by confirming not just that the experience throttling was present and intentional, but that it was not working as intended and would be shut off.

“We’ve seen community discussion around XP gain in Destiny. After reviewing our data, we agree that the system is not performing the way we’d like it to. Today, we’d like to describe what’s going on under the hood, and talk about what you can expect going forward when it comes to earning XP in Destiny 2.

Currently, XP will scale up when playing longer or fixed duration activities like Crucible competitive multiplayer matches and the Leviathan Raid, and XP will scale down when playing activities that can be quickly, repeatedly chained, like grinding Public Events. We are not happy with the results, and we’ve heard the same from the community.

Effective immediately, we are deactivating this system.

As a result, players will see XP earn rates change for all activities across the board, but with all values being displayed consistently in the user interface. Over the course of the next week, we will be watching and reviewing XP game data to ensure that these changes meet our expectations, as well as yours. Any additional updates to this system will be communicated to you via our official channels.”

In all likelihood, the answer probably lies within a poorly tuned algorithm intended to prevent some of the easy farming zones that cropped up in Destiny 1. That said, it’s hard to ignore the convenient coincidence that the game is giving misleading numbers on the exact system that Bungie ties its microtransactions to.

For a time in which consumers are already becoming jaded enough thanks to the predatory launches of titles like Battlefront II and Need for Speed: Payback, it makes sense that people are reading this news and immediately assuming the worst: that Bungie deliberately capped experience gains to promote their cash shop.

It’s also hard to view their response as anything other than a company that got caught red handed. It’s great to see that Bungie actually responded and is indeed making changes (although players are still reporting nerfed experience rates), the announcement will probably do little to calm a community that has been airing its grievances for various reasons since the title launched a few months ago.

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

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