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Destiny 2

Bungie faces backlash over Destiny 2's XP system

A Reddit investigation was conducted, and Bungie responded.

  • Text: Sam Bishop

Last week Reddit user EnergiserX shared a very interesting post, as reported by PC Gamer, claiming that the XP gains on Destiny 2 aren't as they appear, with the in-game counter indicating that XP is increasing normally, while the actual progression underneath the surface is actually going a lot slower.

EnergiserX did thorough testing to make these claims, recording data during a week's worth of time in the game, focusing on the Destiny Item Manager (DIM), tracking stats in-game. They then entered all the data into a spreadsheet, following the amount of pixels added to the progress bar.

"Since the XP bar ingame is 360 pixels long, I calculated that 80000 XP/360 pixels= 222.8 (rounded to 225) XP per pixel could be used to estimate how much XP was being recorded in the backend, at a higher frequency than I could get data from DIM," the post reads.

The graph that was then produced from this data shows some interesting results. If you play slowly, for instance, just killing enemies one by one, the XP gains matched the DIM perfectly, but if you play a bit faster, like most people do (i.e. some public events perhaps), then roughly half the XP was lost compared to what should have been gained. If you're doing two consecutive public events, however, with lots of XP at once, there was a major drop in terms of XP meant to be earned.

Destiny 2

Of course this isn't solid proof, but it does show that the data "should be able to be compared among themselves to show trends" or "as a ballpark figure to show that the progress bar does correspond to the XP as show by the Bungie API via DIM."

"There is a hidden scaling factor that ramps up as you earn XP more quickly. The scaling factor will increase at least to the point where you're only really earning 4% of what you should," they add. "Public Events will only ever earn you 50% of what they say, as the end of event XP alone is enough to trigger a 50% scaling factor."

Since this post was created, Bungie has responded on their website, discussing XP in the game in general.

"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," they write.

"Currently, XP will scale up when playing longer or fixed duration activities like Crucible competitive multiplayer matches and the Leviathan Raid, and 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."

Then they said that "effective immediately, we are deactivating this system," and as a result, players will see earn rates for XP change for all activities, with values "being displayed consistently in the user interface." Bungie also adds that they'll be reviewing XP data in-game to monitor their expectations and those of the player.

That's not the end of the issue though, as Bungie Help's Twitter account also announced yesterday that, while a change is coming to reflect the XP situation, you'll now need 160,000 XP to ascend a level (to unlock a Bright Engram past level 20), rather than the 80,000 XP value beforehand. As the responses on Twitter show, a number of fans aren't happy at all with this change, especially after the XP system was criticised so openly.

What do you make of the changes? Have you noticed an XP drop while playing?

Destiny 2