When Destiny's first expansion pack came out last month, hardcore players were stunned. Not only did it ask them to upgrade their old exotic gear through a messy, convoluted process, it also rendered much of the loot they had acquired from the game's first raid, Vault of Glass, totally useless. Suddenly you could buy better armour at the damn vendor.
Since then, Bungie has been mum about what future expansions will bring -- like the next DLC, House of Wolves, which is reportedly slated for March -- and they have yet to comment specifically on many of the problems people had with last month's The Dark Below. Until this weekend.
Late last night on NeoGAF -- which itself is rather odd; why on a message board instead of in Bungie's weekly update? -- designer Luke Smith made some comments that will undoubtedly cheer up Destiny addicts who are worried about what the future might bring.
"The announcement of how upgrading exotics and purchasing new vendor gear works in HoW will draw first blood," one poster (rodiard) had written.
"No it won't," Smith said back.
Here's Smith's entire response (bolded emphasis mine):
No it won't.
Nothing specific to announce at this time, but the mistakes we made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated:
- Vendor gear invalidating the effort of VOG Raiders
- Upgrading an Exotic reseting its talents
Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react. 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.
On CE drop rates vs. VOG:
The Forever 29 meme was a killer for us.
We sat down and talked about the rewards for VoG and the rates vs. CE and ended up with the following:
- increase drop rates globally in CE: we wanted dedicated players to be around 32 or real close by the time Hard mode came out.
- increase the variability of perks that a given piece can roll.
the goal here: players would reach 32 easier than 30, but would have more customisation and options to build the perfect set (in terms of stats, perks, weapon affinities) 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.
We want fewer barriers to equipping upgrades. The shard economies erect these barriers between players and the new piece of gear they just got.
We're not intending to adjust the shard economy for this Tier -- we don't want to invalidate player effort (again). 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.
Hear that? They're listening. Destiny still has a long way to go before it turns in the game it really should be -- and Bungie still has a long way to go when it comes to communicating with their players -- but at least they won't repeat the same mistakes the next time they raise the level cap. Hopefully. Because if they wind up making all of our Crota's End gear useless, how many people are really going to stick around for more?