Sounds Like Destiny’s Next DLC Will Be Way Less Cruel

Sounds Like Destiny’s Next DLC Will Be Way Less Cruel

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:

Mistakes like:

  • 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?

You can reach the author of this post at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.


  • Finally, some great Destiny news. I am an avid Destiny player, finally reaching 32 last week and working on my others who are 31 but running the CE raid.

    The last DLC was a big blow, and I felt ripped that all my effort with my weapons/armour I’d worked so hard for were all of a sudden reset and everybody was knocked down. I have again worked so hard to have variable damage weapons both legendary and exotic so that I basically have a weapon for any occasion based on the mission at hand. I get the feeling I’ll still be screwed with my legendarys becoming obselete.

    Importantly for Bungie I have said that if the same mistakes from DLC1 are repeated, I was out. I can’t be alone and consider myself a big fan of the game, pumping *insert large number here* of hours into the game. If I’m out then I’d hazard a guess I wouldn’t be alone with tens of thousands others no doubt in a similar position of frustration. Maybe they’re listening but why did it take so long? Especially considering they always tell us the developers are players and fans of the game too. Why would they intentionally screw themselves over as fans/players/developers?

  • It’s good they are listening but the first DLC pissed me off so much that I stopped Playing. Don’t get me wrong, I had heaps of fun with the game but the leveling system is so so so painfully broken I can’t take it anymore.

    I had friends buy and start the game with the new DLC and they matched my level in just a few weeks. I had been playing since the day it was released. That’s just wrong

    • Oh and how freaking hard is it to add achievements and trophies for DLC? I love having little side goals while playing, another really dumb move bungie

      • Agree 100% mate. Finally got through Crota Raid with friends (great fun by the way) and nothing to recognise my gaming highlight after killing Crota. Ahh memories.

    • They have been saying they have been listening from day one, it’s just PR fluffery.

      I will be watching closely to see how things change and grow but I’m not taking Bungie at their word again until they actually deliver on what they say.

  • Did I read this right. Shards system stays for previous levels but no longer for 30-32. Making things more inconsistent and confusing. There are millions of players who don’t read article after article on one game to keep on top of these things. Maybe I miss read.

    God I hate myself for buying this terrible, terrible game though. sigh.

  • Destiny – A New Player’s Story:

    That item sure looks sweet. I need it now so I can finally do that raid I keep hearing about. Can’t wait!!
    – You need glimmer to buy that item.
    OK, no problems. I have my glimmer now.
    – Oh but you’re not the right rank yet.
    OK I’ve ranked up, got heaps of XP. 🙂
    – Oh you see, you need armour with light level now to rank up, not XP.
    Wow, lucky enough to get some high light level armour after doing the strikes a few times. Now I’m ready.
    – Sorry again, but you’re not the right vanguard level yet. So sorry.
    OK, finally I’m the right vanguard level.
    – Here’s your…………….Oh, I see you don’t have enough vanguard marks yet.
    WHAT THE FU*K are vanguard marks??
    – (Explanation)
    Jesus. OK, I could only get 100 then it maxed out.
    – Yeah sorry, try coming back next week.
    FINALLY!!! I’d like my item now please.
    – Of course sir, not a problem! Here you go.
    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………………………… Wait.?? after ranking it up I can’t get my light level to go any higher???
    – Yeah duh. You need ascendant shards silly.
    How do I get them?
    – Through the raids or daily/public events. But you need to be lucky.
    But I’m not high enough level for raids.
    – Don’t be so stupid, just get out there and have some fun. You’ll eventually get some shards.
    I keep getting ascendant energy!
    – That’s for weapons.
    Oh for fu……………………I have to do this with weapons too?
    – Yeah but you only need 150 vanguard marks.
    Thank the Seven. I finally have ascendant shards. I even got some sweet gear from a weekly strike. It’s yellow, but the ascendant shards won’t level it up.
    – That’s right, you need an exotic shard.
    Wow……………..I finally have an exotic shard. Also after the new DLC pack I purchased I have this sweet new Murmur gun which should help me in my first raid. But it’s not levelling up. Now what is it?
    – Naturally, you need a Runed Core.
    Wow, that took ages.
    – Yes we know it takes ages. We enjoy watching you play.
    I finally got this sweet new raid weapon now but………………
    – Haha it’s not ranking up? I bet you forgot your radiant shards you silly boy!
    And I need to rank up my exotic weapon. It’s only 300 damage.
    – You need 7000 glimmer, Xur has to have your weapon available for upgrade this weekend and all your bonuses reset back to zero.
    *Crashes plane into the Traveller killing himself*
    – Be sure to come back for DLC2!! We have an exciting new phase for levelling up. First we reset everybody back to zero so you’re all the same rank. Then you need a new, Destiny Shard available only to 1 in every 100 players. It only needs 26,000 glimmer to activate. Once you buy a rare item from Xur that he rarely sells. But to activate that, you need to get the Rune drop on Crota Raid hard mode, then you only need…………………………are you still there?……………………..Sir?……..

    • Yeah the game is full of terrible grindy shit and I play mmo’s all the time. Destiny is worse.

    • I’ve never really played Destiny (apart from an hour or so to check out the visuals and gunplay) and what you’ve described sounds fucking awful.

    • Thank you for taking the time to commit to print the labyrinthine and convoluted process of leveling up in Destiny. You’re high-larious.

      My mate (nothing but hetero love for you, Monkeefunk) has tried to explain this process, and it stops making sense after about 10 seconds. It really does seem like Bungie just wants to kick you in the forks and watch with sadistic pleasure as you still try to make progress. I still enjoy the visuals and shooting, but sorry I’m not advanced or young and hip enough to grasp the concept of not accumulating xp that actually does something by simply killing things in the game.

  • Seems to me like they could probably make weapons far more readily ‘equippable’ if they let you earn experience with them IN the raid. If raiding is the only thing you enjoy doing, and you get a new upgrade, all of a sudden you now have a homework assignment: go out and do the things you don’t enjoy doing so you can grind up this weapon to be very, very marginally more useful than what you’ve already got.

    I don’t even know why they don’t allow experience in raids… it’s just as valid an activity as anything else in the game, and if you want to argue that it would too easily allow players to ‘farm’ experience through all their failures, that’s immediately rendered null by the fact that players are already allowed to do that by ‘waking the hive’ back on the moon in a story mission.

    Baffling design decisions. I really do want a reason to go back to Destiny, but they keep showing me reasons not to, instead.

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