Destiny 2 Is Reversing Its Most Controversial Change

Image: Bungie
Image: Bungie

Four years ago, Bungie implemented one of the most controversial things in Destiny 2's history: sunsetting. All existing loot players had earned would slowly become obsolete with each passing season. The studio eventually ditched the poorly received system, but all the old gear was still useless. Today, Bungie announced players’ old loot will become viable again when The Final Shape launches in June, and outlined a major overhaul of how Destiny 2's all-important power progression works.

Teased last year, The Final Shape will implement a new approach called Fireteam Power. Instead of the difficulty of each activity being calibrated to individual players’ power levels, it will scale to the highest-power player in the group, with everyone else’s power brought up to within five points of them. Long story short, more casual players will no longer be arbitrarily gated from playing end-game content with their friends.

In theory, this design change would also mean that even if players equipped previously sunset gear that was locked to a much lower power level, it would still benefit from this boost and thus be viable in higher difficulty missions, strikes, and raids. Instead of leaving that as a weird quirk, Bungie decided to bite the bullet and simply un-sunset older gear so it can once again be infused up to the new power cap.

“After thoroughly considering the problem space, we came to the decision to remove Power limits from all items starting in The Final Shape,” Bungie wrote in a new blog post. “Always being able to play with your friends was a huge goal for us. As we close out the Light and Darkness saga, we want to rally all Guardians (active, returning, and new) to help fight the Witness, and there is no better way to play Destiny than with your fireteam. As we pursued this goal, it became apparent that Power limits were fundamentally incompatible with Fireteam Power.”

Image: Bungie
Image: Bungie

Any hoarders who held on to old gear in their vaults are in for a nice surprise, while players who already dismantled old gear to make room are out of luck. Since old gear is missing new features like stronger perks and origin traits, it’s still likely to be outclassed by newer weapons. Bungie said it’s committed to re-issuing all of the old loot with updated stats and perks in the future anyway.

For anyone who wasn’t around for the original sunsetting, The Final Shape is still dramatically changing how power works in other ways as well. The powerbands will be as follows:

Activities like campaigns (regular and Legendary), seasonal story missions, and free-roam patrols will disable power. Meanwhile, difficulty tiers will be revamped and renamed for things like seasonal activities and nightfalls:

Artifact power bonuses will continue but it sounds like it will take even longer to grind all of the XP needed to max it out in order to make up for new episodic content lasting a few weeks longer than the current seasonal model. “Our goals for the rebalance were that actively engaged players could attain similar Artifact levels achieved by the end of an Episode and that Artifact Power remains a rewarding pursuit throughout,” Bungie wrote. This is the only part of the update that gives me pause, considering what a tedious pain it already is to max out power for things like Grandmaster nightfalls. Hopefully the Fireteam Power makes that moot.

Another big change is account-wide power. Instead of each Titan, Hunter, and Warlock on a player’s account going on their own power journey, each other character will automatically get loot drops that sync to the highest-power character on the account. This should be a huge time saver for players who run multiple classes and want to maximize rewards.

Lastly, power rewards themselves are getting a mild improvement. Instead of powerful rewards being isolated to a couple of activities, almost everything in The Final Shape will give players gear that’s plus one power above their current average. Vendor gear will get a boost too, dropping only up to 3 points lower than the highest power item you have. Gear recovered from Collections will be just five points below instead of starting at the power floor.

I’m still not wild about grinding from 1900 to 2,000, or watching my artifact power creep up one point at a time, week in and week out. I’m excited for The Final Shape but looking for Destiny 2 to become a second job again, even if it’s just for a month or two. Fortunately, as long as someone else in my life is willing to do that, the Fireteam Power feature will let me ride their coattails this time around.


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