Destiny 2 – Should Bungie Remove The Power Grind?

Are you sick of the power grind in Destiny? It’s been 7 years and we’ve been through the same process of levelling up from base power to max power over and over again. There’s talk in the community of burnout and fatigue, and people are pointing towards the power grind. Today I am going to have a look at the power grind, reasons why this is being brought up, suggest a few ideas for change… but most importantly, I want your ideas on how the power grind could be improved in the future.

To start with let’s have a look at the current power grind in Beyond Light. This is the journey from base power, 1050 in Beyond Light, to max power, which is currently 1260. At the start of Beyond Light for existing players, all our armour and weapons were brought up to the new base power level of 1050. For new players, this meant starting at 1050 power level, so in essence, everyone starts out on a level playing field.

Power levels are requirements for the content, and much of the end game content requires a certain power level before jumping in. For example, the recommended power level for the Deep Stone Crypt raid is 1230, but the final boss scales up to 1250. Legend Lost Sectors at set at 1250 and Master Lost Sectors are 1280. Grandmaster Nightfalls are 1300 at the moment. If you want to jump into this content and not get your ass handed to you by the enemies then you’re going to have to level up your power level towards the requirements.

Starting out in Destiny 2 Beyond Light at 1050 you can jump into the campaign immediately and as you progress through the missions the enemies get increasingly more difficult. At one point in this campaign, I had to jump out and level up to 1200 because the enemies were simply too tricky and I couldn’t solo my way through the campaign.

There’s a couple of distinct stages to the power grind. There’s the soft cap (1050-1200) where nearly all drops will help you level up. Once you break through the soft cap, you’ll then want to make your way to the hard cap of 1250 and this can be done through powerful rewards and finally there’s the pinnacle cap fo 1260, which you can get through gathering pinnacle drops. There’s a lot more nuance to this process, but that’s high-level.

This isn’t a new process to Destiny players, we’ve become used to climbing the power levels when a new DLC comes out. However, there’s a conversation going on in the community at the moment that it’s getting a bit dull and repetitive. Hardcore players hit the power cap within a few days and many other players feel burnt out by the power grind or it puts them off.

The process is all too familiar. Jump into the new content, pick up blue items, get through the campaign and complete the post-campaign content if there is any. Once you hit the soft cap then it’s carefully selecting which content is going to get you towards max power as fast as possible. This process can take anywhere between a few days to a few months depending on how invested you are or how much preparation you have done. Personally, I am somewhere in the middle. I’m currently sitting at 1250 base power without any artefact or seasonal gains.

Perhaps the community are tired of the process because we’ve done it so many time – we’re in the 7th year of Destiny at the moment with the first game released on 9th September 2014.

The power grind conversation could also be a reflection of something else, other underlying frustrations within the community at the moment and manifesting itself as a conversation about the power grind. Destiny is kind of like an iceberg, going through continuous evolutions trying to become the game that Bungie wants it to be. Sunsetting has been a sore point in the community since it was announced with many weapons, activities and entire moons and planets removed from the game.

To be fair to Bungie they outlined the reasons for doing so back in June 2020.

  • Destiny 2 is too large to efficiently update and maintain.
  • The size and complexity of the game are also contributing to more bugs and less innovation.
  • Instead of building a Destiny 3 and leaving D2 behind, each year, we are going to cycle older, less actively played content out of the live game and into what we’re calling the Destiny Content Vault (DCV).

This approach allows us to respond to player feedback more rapidly, enable more innovation and will keep Destiny 2 and your characters thriving for years to come. More details to come soon and throughout the year.

This round of sunsetting has been like a pruning. They have cut back the branches of the game to build a more sustainable Destiny for the future. Bungie is also finding its own way since the release from Activision and also working through a global pandemic. Shadowkeep was the first iteration of Destiny in a post-Activision world, however, I very much doubt there was much real-time to implement real change. We’ve had the introduction of the seasons proper, armour 2.0 and now with Beyond Light we’re seeing an iteration on that with Stasis, Transmog coming sometime in 2021 and now doubt Bungie is going to be leaning more into the action MMO.

I’d love to know what you think of the current power grind? Are you a veteran player and have done this year after year? What do you think? Also, if you’re new to Destiny or have come from a similar game like WOW or Warframe, what do you think? How could it be improved?

I’ve had a look at some of the problems and fatigue, let’s have a think about what could be done in the future.

Start at max power

Rather than having to go through the levelling up process, we could all start at max power. The pros of this would be we could jump into endgame content immediately and not have to worry about the repetitive process of levelling up our power. Would the game get stale though even quicker? If we didn’t have hoops to jump through to get to the endgame content, would be bounce off the game even faster?

Invest materials in gear

Rather than have an overall power level perhaps a system with our weapons and mods that allow us to open up endgame content. Investing materials into gear, masterwork weapons and armour could be tied to getting to the endgame content. I don’t know if this is just moving the problem to a new place, plus this sounds very similar to what we had in D1 and players feedback at the time was it was too ‘grindy’.

Difficulty levels

We currently have these levels in Nightfalls – Adept, Hero, Legend, Master and Grandmaster. Could we implement these levels across the whole game?

I don’t have a good alternative at the moment to the current power grind, but I do hear the concerns from the community and wanted to make a quick video on it and gather your thoughts and ideas.

If you don’t like the power grind and have a good idea about an alternative then let me know down in the comments. Alternatively if you do like the power grind, I’d love to hear why and if you want to keep with the system going into Witchqueen and Lightfall.

That’s it for this look at the power grind in Destiny 2.