Destiny 2 deactivates scaling system after players discover XP throttling

    
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What.

Internet speeds aren’t the only things that are in danger of being throttled, as Destiny 2 players learned this past week. Apparently Bungie was stiffing players of experience points during a recent event while lying to the community by portraying the gain as normal.

The community had felt that something was amiss during the Clarion Call event, and the dedicated work of one Reddit poster confirmed that players’ XP was being throttled over time by the system even as the game showed the opposite. And in case you think that this is the work of some conspiracy theorists, Bungie ended up admitting that this was the case with its XP scaling system and vowing to change it in the future.

“After reviewing our data, we agree that the system is not performing the way we’d like it to,” Bungie said. “Effective immediately, we are deactivating this system. As a result, players will see XP earn rates change for all activities across the board, but with all values being displayed consistently in the user interface. Over the course of the next week, we will be watching and reviewing XP game data to ensure that these changes meet our expectations, as well as yours.”

Source: Reddit, Bungie via Kotaku. Thanks Pepperzine and TJ!
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neil shelton

what will we find the predatory gaming companies have done next?

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Soy

Anyone that has played the game knows that the engrams are earned quite rapidly. It is not like they all of a sudden became much harder to obtain. Even with the evil devs trying to undermine our filling up that yellow bar, the yellow bar gets filled easily by running a few public events.

So they weren’t happy with how fast we could farm xp and tried to implement diminishing returns. As easy as it is to run heroic public events in succession they should have nerfed it more. Being able to fast travel from event to event with little to no downtime is a broken system. I got my alts to 20 in a few hours of running events with a clanmate. While there may have been unpublicized diminishing returns it really didn’t slow my leveling experience down very much. We leveled our alts quickly with the thought that the xp gains should be adjusted in the near future. Non-issue.

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Armsbend

Question: why are you sad that people arguing in favor of giving the players, who you’ll discover already paid Activision money for the game, more stuff for their playtime – actually got more stuff.

Doesn’t it seem odd that you are fighting so very hard in favor of getting less stuff for your playtime? I wouldn’t worry about it too much – Activision will be more than happy to fuck you over in the future – but for now can’t you just be happy about this holiday present? Whether it is important to you or not?

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Soy

Because something that is hardly noticeable through actual gameplay is such a big deal? Before someone did the math nobody was saying this is such a grind. Because it was not a grind. Destiny 2 has been watered down to the most casual of approaches. Anything that requires xp in the game is a breeze. Guess I’m just more put off by the “indignation” of the most discerning of gamers.

Maybe next we can be upset that Bungie did not use the Roman numerals “II” instead of the actual number 2 in naming the game. The nerve of them.

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Armsbend

“Before someone did the math nobody was saying this is such a grind. Because it was not a grind”

That is because Bungie was trying to hide it. Once someone clever found out they were hiding it – it became a thing. I’m constantly surprised by people more clever than myself who show me reasons why I’m doing it wrong or I am being wronged. I appreciate people more clever than I am for this fact.

“Guess I’m just more put off by the “indignation” of the most discerning of gamers.”

And that is fair. However, people are becoming more sensitive to the antics of developers. We’ve come to find out that the vast majority of developers are actually sacks of shit hiding behind the fact they are making “kid’s games” when what they are really doing is borderline criminal. So to tell someone they are being silly because it isn’t a big deal to you? Not sure.

“Maybe next we can be upset that Bungie did not use the Roman numerals “II” instead of the actual number 2 in naming the game. The nerve of them.”

That depends of course if they are lying about it or not. Like they were trying to hide things from their customers in this case.

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Neurotic

That’s a hell of a thing not to be ‘performing they way you’d like it to’. Man!

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Dystopiq

So purposely make things incredibly difficult to attain in hopes of selling the thing being attained and of course people defend it. This is why this toxic monetization exists.

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Armsbend

I think we humans are wired in a way where we crave conflict and strife.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It is toxic, but there’s nothing difficult about getting these engrams, let alone ‘incredibly difficult.’ There’s a reason the most throttled activity is still the best one for character, bright engram, and general gear progression.

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Greaterdivinity

Huh, didn’t think this would be so controversial. I figured they’d throttle XP to cut down on folks farming Bright Engrams, given that they want to monetize though, and personally I have no issues with it.

This works as well, but I wish folks would stop treating it like some kind of massive scandal or something.

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Bannex

I agree with you. I got flamed big time below because people are always looking to be outraged.

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Armsbend

I don’t think you were personally flamed for anything. You gave your opinion, other people gave theirs. No harm.

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Bannex

I don’t take anything personal on this site, I just enjoy the banter

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Utakata

Sometimes one has question what the “outrage” is about before blanketing it with broad stroke claims of such. In this case, it likely wasn’t the throttling that was the issue. If Bungie came clean of what and why they where doing this, it would likely illicit more /shrugs then criticisms and most folks would be on their way to enjoy the game. However, if approached from a disingenuous and obfuscating manner which Bungie appeared to do then the outrage is well deserved. It is though they created their own controversy in doing so. Just saying.

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Bannex

Frankly, I disagree. Just saying

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Utakata

Then that is your loss.

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Bannex

It’s my loss because I disagree that the throttling wasn’t the issue? Lol.

Man you really just disagree just to disagree. Clearly the throttling was the issue and have you read bungie’s complete response or just excerpts from gaming sites and interpretations by other gamers?

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Castagere Shaikura

Game companies will try and get away with anything today.

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rafael12104

What a noob move by Bungie. It seems they are still learning about their MMO and PC customer base.

MMORPG gamers are notorious for their number crunching. I don’t have to explain why here. But suffice it to say that that is why most MMORPGs have a numerical value and info graphic for just about everything.

The Bungie devs were ignorant in their arrogance. When will they finally learn to think about their players first? They are still in Halo mode.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Exactly. For the very reason that MMO players love to know the best way to spend their time. Of course we aren’t going to do Event Y ten times if we can do Event Z five times and get the same amount of XP for it. It’s the devs business, if they want all activities to be equally rewarding to make them so.

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Zora

For a moment I thought they wrote “effective immediately we are suspending selling XP boosts in the cash shop”, then reality settled in. /cough

I’m not really sure whether throttling XP is good or bad from a design standpoint, points can be made either way…but my willingness to put up with any stance drops dramatically when there’s microtransanctions added to the equation.

Convince me your design choices are really really abso-frigging-lutely not guided in any way by your monetization model. I am listening. I got aaaaall day, son! /teacup

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Soy

For the sake of clarity, said XP boosts can be obtained by using the bright dust that drops from free bright engrams. One does not need to spend real money to get the XP boosts.

I play the game doing events, raid, pvp or patrols and gain xp for doing so and once my bar fills a bright engram pops into my inventory. I turn in the engram and can get sparrows, ships, decorative armor and even bright dust to spend on more engrams, xp boosts or cosmetic items.

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Danny Smith

I think i would care more if the entire point of xp in the game after the story was for anything but farming towards cash shop engrams like the console version of a freemium mmos daily login screen advertising ALL THESE GREAT DEALS! to keep you revisiting the cash shop the majority famously hated and shat on in D1.

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Bannex

Wow talk about a non-controversy.

Kids are rabid after the bf2 “victory”

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Iain B

I know. It’s not that big a deal. So they slowed down XP gain for events that you can grind out with quick succession and sped up XP gain for activities that take much longer.

Big deal.

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Cosmic Cleric

“Big Deal™” is in the eye of the beholder.

Amazing how some are so likely to let corporations get away with unethical tactics/decisions.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

It can happen for various reasons, e.g., 1) They work for said corp or one like it, 2) they are shareholders in said, 3) They don’t want to admit they were made fools of, etc.

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Kody Gloval

Sir, you seem to be missing the point.

The experience gain for an event was being reported as+5000. However the player was actually only credited +800.

That is called a lie.

Thankyou for your understanding :-)

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Neiloch

They aren’t upset about throttling. They are upset they tried to actively conceal (ie lie about) the fact that they are throttling.

Of course you wouldn’t be able to understand why they are mad when you can’t even comprehend the premise.

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Chosenxeno .

Shadiness should be called out regardless of how great or small it’s perceived to be. You shouldn’t let people that you give your money to slide for any transgression. I’m glad to see these “kids” standing up for themselves. Keeping their foot on their necks. Game Developers need to know that it is they who have the pleasure. Not the consumers.

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Iain B

How is it “shady”? Why should players who prefer to participate in longer activities (raids and pvp matches) be penalized for it with slower XP gain?

There is nothing wrong with a developer trying to even out the leveling experience across all activities so one group of players don’t have an advantage over another.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

It’s not about evening out the leveling. At level cap you use exp to buy engrams (lockboxes). By throttling the exp gained and making the grind seem longer, it could drive people to buy lockboxes instead of trying to grind it out. It’s shady cause it’s tied to their micro transactions.

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Iain B

It’s the same thing, I made the mistake of assuming that the posters here understood that and I didn’t have to specifically spell it out. But apparently I do so here we go:

Whether you are leveling from 1-20 or at level cap and earning Bright Engrams you are earning XP. So you are, in effect, leveling because you are filling up an XP bar.

Now that that’s out of the way I’ll ask again, “why should players who prefer to participate in longer activities (raids and pvp matches) be penalized for it with slower XP gain?”

To be more specific, why should a player that grinds out Public events earn Bright Engrams at a faster rate than another player who only PVPs or does raids?

They shouldn’t. Bungie tried to correct for this up-front and it apparently didn’t work so they are fixing it.

If the fastest way to earn Bright Engrams is by doing only one type of activity guess which activity a lot of players are going to gravitate to. Then the players who don’t enjoy that activity are stuck either not getting as many Bright Engrams (and possibly pushed into spending real money on Bright Engrams) or they feel forced into that activity to get the same amount of rewards.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

No one said they should, but if that is what bungie wants, to “even” the leveling, then why Lie about it? Lying about throttling is shady, and when you’re shady it’s normally because your motives aren’t for anyone’s benefit but your own.

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Iain B

Where did they lie about? Where did they say that there was no XP throttling?

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Paragon Lost

Stop being obtuse Iain B, it’s a lie of omission that they admitted to once people pointed it out.

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Iain B

The game was working as intended but the numbers displayed weren’t accurate.

Whatever, I just don’t feel the need to get outraged about it. The internet is so freaking tiresome lately. Everyone needs a daily crusade to rally behind.

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Connor

Stop being obtuse, they programmed the game to display one exp number while actually giving the player another, that’s where they lied and they only changed it once they were caught.

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Soy

Could you kindly link where they were lying about this? I’d like to be outraged too, but I’ll only allow myself to be outraged with facts to back it up.

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Utakata

The links are again within the article. Feel free to look them up anytime.

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Utakata

By lying that they weren’t actually doing that? If you don’t think that’s shady, then I have a “Ferrari” with square wheels to sell you. o.O

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Armsbend

Ummmm…it ain’t the wheels on a Ferrari that’s the expensive part my dear Uta.

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Utakata

Technically, it wasn’t a Ferrari either. :)

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Iain B

When did Bungie lie about it? I have seen no article or post from them where they said XP wasn’t being throttled.

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Utakata

Since you didn’t read the article, I’ll post this for you:

“Apparently Bungie was stiffing players of experience points during a recent event while lying to the community by portraying the gain as normal.

The community had felt that something was amiss during the Clarion Call event, and the dedicated work of one Reddit poster confirmed that players’ XP was being throttled over time by the system even as the game showed the opposite. And in case you think that this is the work of some conspiracy theorists, Bungie ended up admitting that this was the case with its XP scaling system and vowing to change it in the future.”

…the links to the sources are in the respective article above. You can thank me later by sending me a large pink cupcake. <3

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Iain B

I’ll ask again, show me where Bungie “lied” about all of this. Show me the post or article where Bungie told the community that they did NOT have XP throttling implemented.

Just because Bungie confirmed that a certain system was in-place in the game doesn’t mean they ever lied about it.

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Ozzie

This seems like a very shady system regardless of whether or not they lied about it. But I don’t play D2 so I’ll do my best to assume positive intent on Bungie’s part.

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Utakata

As I am going by what is reported here, I’ve already shown you the sufficient evidence from where I stand. However, I am not going to entertain turgid hair splitting, goal post moving, No True Scotsman obfuscations or whatever you can throw and/or troll up over this. As I pretty sure whatever I would now counter will likely remain “unconvincing” to you. So take it or leave it. I much prefer playing my MMO’s than “debating” this all day. Thnkx!

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Neiloch

The game giving ‘x’ amount of exp while saying its ‘y’ amount is a lie. Bungie develops, and therefore made the game do that, so Bungie lied. You would only have a point if they throttled exp and had exp numbers reflect that accurately.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

When the game tells you you earned 5k exp and you’re not, that is a lie. The code in the game didn’t accidentally misrepresent the exp gained.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Love this comment! We didn’t post anywhere that bread is made of grain flour. Oh, wait. We’re required by law to put certain things in bread or we can’t call it bread because we’ve been caught since Roman times putting sawdust in bread.

Oh, the lovely hotdog. How do we know it isn’t ground up worms? Because we’re required by law to put on the label exactly what is in it. Why, oh, why do you suppose that is?

Velveeta! We love you, babe. But, you aren’t cheese are you? Nope, which is why it’s required to be labeled “cheese product” rather than just cheese. But please, don’t read the label of what is actually in it.

It’s okay if you think sawdust in bread is fine, don’t care what’s in your hotdogs and didn’t know that Velveeta isn’t cheese, but don’t try to convince those who know the real thing that the fakes are just as good as the real stuff simply cause nobody put a label on it.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

Here’s a pretty clear explanation of it:

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Armsbend

Since all publishers and developers are here by consumer invitation only – if the hosts of the dollars didn’t like a system and demanded it be changed – then said developers should be groveling on their hands and knees begging for forgiveness.

This is the correct attitude that has not been occurring over the last 5 years. The developers think they are better than the gamers and the gamers have been more than welcome to eat up whatever shit sandwich the developers decides to cook up. Its the gamers that should be ramming the rotten feces into the orifices of the developers – until the beg and cry for mercy at our stingy wallets. And if they don’t like it they should leave and go do something else.

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CMDR Crow

This is… both ways, I think. Devs do “know better” than players on a great many subjects. The larger issue is that this knowledge is not used to make inherently better games, but has been completely overshadowed and subsumed by the microtransaction/lootbox strategy. If actual devs were “in charge” of this stuff making the best game they could make, we’d never see stuff like this.

But devs aren’t at the wheel anymore. They’re in a nasty spot where execs from up high say, “we need X, Y and Z” and then devs have to modify their systems to accommodate that demand.

You, generally, don’t see this kind of stuff with smaller, more player-centric dev houses. And that excludes the “cash grab” type games that have always been around. Someone like SSG may make boneheaded mistakes, but their underlying systems remain consumer-friendly and do not engage in heavy psychological trickery. Bioware pre- and post-EA is the posterchild for this kind of stuff. It isn’t a coincidence that ME1&2 are seen as amazing games while ME3 and ME:A have a slew of issues almost entirely caused solely by the shoving-in of multiplayer and DLC/microtransactions.

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Armsbend

I was really just being abrasive to make a point. Obviously we are about to go back into the “fuck you entitled gamers” zone – usually either put forward by company shill sock puppets or people who aren’t good at games and need the competitive advantage a CC can buy you are people who really dont have time and are willing to spend some cash to get what they want.

Gamers are notorious for destroying any movement they create by fighting amongst themselves when there is a clear enemy who loathes the fact they are forced to sell things to them. EA would rather just have access to their customers bank info so they could forego this entire development process and just outright steal.

EA as an example. 95% of all developers are total garbage. The 5% who aren’t think every day about jumping into the sewer with the rest of them.

For me…I think of my favorite scene from Patton:

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Christopher Allcock

Actually the fact that it even exists at all is the issue, the ‘gain’ itself is only part of the subject – it’s the ‘XP Bar’ itself that’s thrown a lot of things into question.

You see the XP Bar is just a graphic indicator with no actual solid numbers, it’s just there. Once you ‘fill’ said bar you get rewarded. However as discovered the XP itself doesn’t gain the ‘growth’ you would expect each time – a large XP gain one time could fill the bar a lot, but then very little the next with the same numerical XP gain – effectually the ‘goalposts’ are moved when the game feels like it.

If the XP Bar and gain was the only issue then I would agree, it’s kind of a ‘meh’ thing but this ‘Bar’ isn’t just used for XP it’s use to access the premium content (CURRENTLY cosmetic only, I’ll explain in a sec) called Eververse – every time you ‘ding’ after level cap you get grated basically a loot box to open up, by slowing the curve down it’s basically ‘encouraging’ you to ‘buy to skip’ the grind to get into this.

Now the issue stacks when you factor in the fact that this ‘XP bar graphic’ is ALSO used in the game’s main feature token farming; EVERY vendor has this bar you need to fill by handing over the correct tokens to (yet again) gain a loot box to open for RNG loot – who’s to say THAT bar isn’t fudged with too? There is barely any reason not to think so as there is little in the game to indicate a number of tokens required for each vendor…

Now here’s where the current controversy comes in; there is currently a PVP event called ‘Iron Banner’ running this only week, you ‘rep up’ with tokens as normal and get random loot as before, but here’s the kicker there is a unique armour set only through this event, and so far the rewards have lumped a LOT of players with the set armour bits (30 copies of helmets/boots/legs etc) but not the full set, this set is ONLY for this ‘Season’ of the event, console players have had two shots, PC players have only had the one.

My theory is that this Iron Banner set will become part of the Eververse drops next season (remember it’s ‘only cosmetic’) and with the actual XP curve what it was, I think that was always the intention of the game, to ‘push’ you towards buying into Eververse to buy those items you missed out out during events and those ‘rare’ designs you can only get from it.

THAT is the issue.

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Iain B

“Now the issue stacks when you factor in the fact that this ‘XP bar graphic’ is ALSO used in the game’s main feature token farming; EVERY vendor has this bar you need to fill by handing over the correct tokens to (yet again) gain a loot box to open for RNG loot – who’s to say THAT bar isn’t fudged with too? There is barely any reason not to think so as there is little in the game to indicate a number of tokens required for each vendor…”

All of the vendors take 20 rep tokens to fill their bar. Every single time. And that includes the Iron Banner vendor.

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Christopher Allcock

Ok, I conseed the fact that NOW it costs 20, but who’s to say that it wouldn’t be changed – the point stands it’s STILL only a graphic not an a number.

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Iain B

I have no clue what the smaller, environment-lootable turn-ins are worth lol.

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Kody Gloval

Also in addition to the XP bar it reports that actual amount of XP gains in numeric values every time you gain it.

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Ozzie

Your description of the XP Bar reads like a Kafkasian nightmare.

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Mark

“How dare they report on things that I am not interested in!!!!1”

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Bannex

This has nothing to do with me not being interested in it. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that massively posted it.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but jog on with your ad hominem.

The bright engrams provide nothing that gives a competitive advantage, they provide no real game play additions and in reality when I have a bunch of engrams in my inventory the bright ones are the least interesting.

This really isn’t a huge deal because bungie envisioned the system would work differently. Clearly, gamers thought it was unfair and shady so they fixed it. But the reality is on the list of irritating and ‘shady’ shit going on in destiny 2, this is near the bottom.

Again, I think this is a non-controversy that is being blown up by a competitor that got it’s ass kicked for it’s real shady shit.

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Kody Gloval

I beg to differ.

You have a cash shop. It directly relates to items you can also get through XP gains. It didn’t matter if they are pay to win or cosmetic only, they are there with a fixed ‘currency’.

Then you tell players they are receiving +5000XP, however you only give them +800XP.

I play a great deal of Destiny 2 and myself and my clan mates are furious. Not because they had an XP throttling system, but because they lied about the experience being provided.

So perhaps give it a little more consideration and you may see the controversy?

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Dystopiq

they provide no real game play additions

Cosmetics are a huge part for many people. And the issue isn’t them monetizing engrams. It’s purposely limiting the ability to acquire them in hopes of selling them and not telling anyone until they were caught. Purposely limiting gameplay as a monetization plan is scummy.