Bungie has found itself under fire in recent days after the discovery of a previously undisclosed XP scaling system in Destiny 2, which constrained XP gain in some situations. The studio has since acknowledged its existence and at least temporarily disabled it, but this has coincided with an increase to the amount of XP needed to level up, further frustrating some players.
It all began last week when a post on the Destiny subreddit revealed that players were not necessarily earning XP as quickly as the game would lead them to believe. Put simply, the game reduces your progress toward leveling up when earning XP rapidly, such as by taking part in Public Events. This is particularly notable because, once you reach level 20, you begin earning Bright Engrams each time you fill your XP bar. Bright Engrams are something that can be purchased with real-world money, naturally sparking speculation that this scaling system is meant to prevent players from earning Bright Engrams for free too quickly. You can read the full findings by Reddit user EnergiserX here.
Bungie addressed the concerns during the Thanksgiving holiday with a post on its website. “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,” it stated.
“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,” it explained. “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.”
While a positive change, even this move has been met with some controversy. Players are now earning more XP overall, but the amount needed to level up had been quietly doubled, going from 80,000 to 160,000. Bungie subsequently confirmed this was the case and said it’s working on an update so that the in-game UI correctly lists this new amount, but that has not yet been released.
We’ll be hearing a lot more about changes to Destiny 2 this week, with Bungie set to share details about the Destiny 2 December update’s economy and investment changes, which include things like new rewards systems and adjustments to how vendor gear is obtained. Game director Luke Smith and project lead Mark Noseworthy will also “be answering some questions and addressing community feedback we’ve been reading since launch.” Given the recent frustrations with XP, we may be hearing more about the subject soon.