Bungie admitted it has been scaling down experience gains in Destiny 2 Friday night following an uproar from the game's community. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players had long suspected there was something off about how XP was being earned in the shooter, but the recent Clarion Call event made the issue clear.
A mechanic that scales XP down when repeatedly playing Public Events was turned off by Bungie. This same system scales XP up when playing Crucible matches, the Leviathan Raid, and other activities that take more than a couple of minutes to complete.
The announcement from Bungie went on to explain all XP values will be displayed consistently. Additionally, the developers will be reviewing game data to ensure activities are giving an appropriate amount of XP.
Unfortunately, it does not appear players are earning as much XP from events as before. There are a couple of posts on in the Destiny Reddit group with claims XP gains are now up to as half as much as they were before. This comes at an inopportune time with Iron Banner currently running through Tuesday of next week. It will be interesting to see how quickly Bungie can re-tune the XP numbers now that the scaling has been shut off.
The primary issue with the Destiny 2 XP problem is a complete lack of communication from Bungie concerning how XP gains were being throttled. When players were being throttled, Destiny 2 displayed the same numeric XP gain as it did before. However, the experience bar did not move as far, indicating the amount of XP was being throttled. This is further compounded by character screen not showing how many experience points have been earned by the player and how many points they must earn to reach the next level as in most RPGs or other titles with leveling systems.
If Bungie had been upfront about how it planned to limit XP gains by quickly grinding XP in Public Events and communicated this in-game somehow, it would have been less of an issue. Destiny 1 had the modifier that increased the likelihood of better loot drops when stringing together Strikes with the same group of players. There's no reason a similar icon could not have been presented on-screen to let a player know Public Event XP was being throttled or XP from another event was being boosted.
This seems to be a running theme with Destiny 2, however. Features and ideas that worked well or were added to the first game to make fans happy were completely ignored or abandoned for the sequel. There is a laundry list of items the Destiny community would like to see fixed and Bungie has only one more livestream to detail the upcoming changes with the Curse of Osiris expansion and launch of Season 2 on December 5. The studio will need to go light on showing off new armor and heavy on quality of life fixes or face another round of recriminations.
Update: Bungie confirmed it will be talking about changes to the Destiny 2 end-game and economy plus other gameplay updates in Tuesday's stream. Additionally, Creative Director Luke Smith and Designer Mark Noseworthy will be on hand to answer some questions gathered from the community.[Featured Image by Bungie/Activision]