Bungie cuts Destiny 2's XP throttling after being exposed by players [updated]

Destiny 2 is the latest game to suffer backlash, following its handling of progression. Recently, players discovered the game was reducing the experience gains received, the longer players spent in particular events. A lengthy analysis by Reddit user EnergiserX provided some further confirmation, with some long-term testing on how experience earnings can be affected.

After you reach Level 20, your character starts gaining additional experience, which contributes toward earning "Bright Engrams." These are the same loot crates you can buy through Silver microtransactions. Even though the Bright Engrams mostly contain cosmetic microtransactions, they include unique items like emotes and consumable shaders to customize your player. Suffice to say that they're highly sought after items.

Bungie clearly understands this and secretly limited experience gains over long-term play. During Destiny 2's "Clarion Call" event, players noticed that they were seeing less experience from the same activity, despite no formal changes. If they repeated the activity several times, earnings would drop from 5,000 points in following sessions.

After being called out on various forms of social media, Bungie admitted that the game throttles experience gains, though the system would immediately be suspended. The studio issued the following statement on its website discussing the controversy.

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. Today, we'd like to describe what's going on under the hood, and talk about what you can expect going forward when it comes to earning XP in Destiny 2. Currently... XP will scale down when playing activities that can be quickly, repeatedly chained, like grinding Public Events. We are not happy with the results, and we've heard the same from the community. Effective immediately, we are deactivating this system... players will see XP earn rates change for all activities across the board, but with all values being displayed consistently in the user interface.

The fact that the studio was limiting experience gains for people who played the game longer is frivolous, to say the least. It's great to see the developer issue a fix, but disappointing to see such features implemented to begin with. They should've explained their reasoning behind this better.

There are other ways to encourage gamers to try out additional activities instead of limiting progression. It's unclear what the reasons for doing this are but ultimately, it effectively encourages microtransactions to gain rarer items. It's a shame that players had to discover the deception before the studio recognized its flaws.

Update 11/27/17: In addition to removing the throttling, Bungie has increased the amount of experience needed to level up by effectively doubling it. Bright Engrams now need around 160,000 points to earn. This modification was also discovered by users as the studio didn't reveal this change willingly.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.