Destiny 2’s endgame has a lot to do but little reason to do it.
Back when Destiny 2 first launched for consoles last month, I quickly got sucked into it, much like I got sucked into the first Destiny back in 2014. I was enamored with the numerous ways in which Destiny 2 improved upon the foundation of its predecessor, ways that were both large (the story campaign) and small (being able to mantle up onto ledges). However, once I reached the sequels’ proverbial endgame, I found myself less and less excited to play. Sure, getting to slowly watch my character’s Power Level climb higher and higher was nice, but aside from that, there wasn’t really any pressing reason for me to keep logging in. It wasn’t until just recently that I realized what exactly my issue was: Destiny 2 has a lot of different activities for players to do, but not nearly as many incentives for doing them.
Redditor stevetheimpact brought up this point with his recent post on the Destiny 2 subreddit.
Time Is Money, Friend
When I say there’s a lot to do once you reach Destiny 2’s endgame (i.e. the point where you have beaten the main story campaign and reached the maximum character level of 20), I’m not kidding. Here’s an abbreviated (though likely incomplete) list of activities from off the top of my head:
- Lost Sectors
- Region Chests
- Cayde-6 Stashes
- Nightfall Strikes
- Casual PvP
- Competitive PvP
- Planet Token Farming
- Public Events
- Clan XP Grinding
- Prestige Raids
- Trials of the Nine
- Seasonal Activities (Iron Banner, Faction Rallies, etc.)
All of the above can help you reach the “soft cap” Power Level of 260, and quite easily at that, but once you do reach that soft cap, a noticeable change occurs. All of a sudden, many of the above activities no longer become viable for obtaining better gear, making the randomized rewards they grant worthless apart from dismantling into resources. Now, of course one could argue that Bungie didn’t want to make reaching the current maximum Power Level of 305 too easy, but that fact is actually part of a two-pronged problem: since so many of Destiny 2’s rewards are random in nature, there’s little else to do at the endgame other than work up to 305, and once you do reach 305, there are no additional clearly outlined incentives to work towards.
In all fairness, this is an issue that plagued the original Destiny at launch as well. Eventually, Bungie more or less solved the issue by introducing features like Strike-specific loot (i.e. certain weapons and armor pieces that could only drop from specific bosses in specific Strikes), one to one infusion (a feature which is already in Destiny 2), and special hidden encounters that granted powerful loot upon completion (like the ‘Lost to Light’ encounter which awarded the Black Spindle weapon).
There are already a few endgame missions in Destiny 2 that award guaranteed Exotic weapons, but they are just the start of a larger effort Bungie needs to make. If a player isn’t interested in pushing their Power Level to the highest limits, they need something else worthwhile to do. Fortunately, I have also come up with a few off-the-cuff ideas in that regard as well:
- Guaranteed (and unique) rewards for completing a certain number (or all) of Lost Sectors, Adventures, Strikes, or Public Events. This would encourage players to more frequently participate in such activities and give them an alternate avenue towards rewards other than Nightfall Strikes, PvP, and Raiding.
- More rewards that were tied to specific planets, Strikes, and other endgame activities. I’m sure more players would be willing to venture around Io or Nessus if they knew that doing so could lead to rewards that were unique to those planets.
- Worthwhile rewards for seasonal events. The unique weapons and armor offered during the recent Iron Banner and Faction Rally events were nice, but from a stats perspective they weren’t much better than what players were already earning in other events. In the original Destiny, Iron Banner offered rewards that were both uniquely fashionable *and* often provided a noticeable upgrade in power, Destiny 2 need to skew closer to that.
I'm not trying to fault Bungie in any way, because as I said before, there’s a lot to love about the sequel shooter (as my dozens of non-endgame hours invested prove). I just hope that Bungie doesn’t plan on waiting until the game’s first DLC pack release to improve the areas in which Destiny 2 is lacking. There’s so much within Destiny 2 to get invested in, we just need more reasons to get invested in them.
Update: Since writing the above post, I became aware that Bungie actually addressed Destiny 2’s endgame woes in a recent weekly update, promising to address the above problems I laid out, though it didn’t provide specifics on how it will do so. Here’s hoping some of the suggestions I posited above make the cut.