There are many aspects of The Dark Below expansion for Destiny that put off PlayStation and Xbox players. From Exotic armor and weapons resetting, to a new shard economy, there have been legitimate complaints about how Bungie handled the first DLC for the sci-fi shooter. These are mistakes that lead designer Luke Smith says will not be repeated with the second expansion, House of Wolves.
Destiny is proving to be a learning experience for Bungie. The developer took the experiences from the main game and Vault of Glass raid and attempted to improve the experience with The Dark Below expansion. Unfortunately, they made some new mistakes along the way.
“Nothing specific to announce at this time, but the mistakes we made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated,” Smith wrote in response to a fan comment on the NeoGAF forums.
This includes “Vendor gear invalidating the effort of VOG Raiders” and “Upgrading an Exotic reseting its talents,” according to Smith.
The requirement that Exotic weapons and perks be completely reset to upgrade them to the new power levels introduced in The Dark Below was a pain point with many Destiny players.
Another pain point turned out to be the new Shard economies that complicated the upgrade process. Previously, players only needed Ascendant Shards to upgrade armor and Ascendant Energy for weapons. The Dark Below added Radiant Shards and Energy-plus Exotic Shards.
“The part where this didn’t work as well as we’d hoped is with the Shard economy. Shards are a barrier between you and equipping a sweet new piece of gear,” Smith admitted.
“We want fewer barriers to equipping upgrades. The shard economies erect these barriers between players and the new piece of gear they just got. ”
Don’t expect changes to fix the current problems though. As bad as they are, Bungie thinks that making further adjustments to the Dark Below content could make things worse.
“We’re not intending to adjust the shard economy for this Tier — we don’t want to invalidate player effort (again),” Smith wrote. “But removing the barrier between that new drop you’re excited to get and actually being able to equip it as a member of your arsenal are something we will do going forward.”
Despite these mistakes, there are improvements from the main Destiny game to The Dark Below, according to Smith.
“Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react,” he said.
“We will continue to improve acquisition stories and frequency (My understanding of the perception is that Crota’s End drop rates are much improved vs. Vault of Glass: footnote below), lessen the grind and get players to the fun parts of their arsenal faster.”
Smith feels that the loot drop rates in the Crota’s End raid is an improvement over the Vault of Glass. Bungie also wanted more variability in perks for armor and weapons. Something Smith feels the developer achieved.
What do you think about where Destiny has improved and what mistakes it still needs to fix? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Bungie]