Bungie: Destiny’s Leveling System Flawed From The Beginning

Gaming / PlayStation / Xbox

If you played Bungie’s first person shooter MMO (FPS/MMO) Destiny prior to patch 2.0 — whether it was the House of Wolves DLC or before — then you experienced the mess that was getting to the light level cap once you hit the level 20 hard cap. While somewhat tedious and hard to grind, players had to make do in order to achieve the highest level. It’s easy to say it was one of the more painful and confusing aspects to playing Destiny. Well, it now appears that Bungie felt the same way all along.

In a recent interview, Luke Smith, Creative Director for Destiny: The Taken King, touched upon the light level system and some other challenges the FPS/MMO had going into its first year. He specifically touched upon Destiny’s original light level system that came with the game when it launched over a year ago.

According to Smith, Bungie started working on a new leveling system that was introduced in patch 2.0 when The Taken King expansion dropped and the team had been working on it since Destiny vanilla launched.

“The original Light system, when that went out the door, we were not thrilled with it,” Smith said. “We knew when that went out the door that we were going to need to revisit it. So that work basically began in earnest probably September or October [of 2014]. We had already started to work on a new proposal, the proposal that would become the Light 2.0 that’s in the game now. We were working on that as early as last fall.”

Smith and his team at Bungie came up with the more traditional leveling system that we see in Destiny currently, but couldn’t implement it due to compatibility issues with the Dark Below and House of Wolves DLCs that dropped in December 2014 and May 2015, respectively.

“We had to look at DLC 1 [The Dark Below] and DLC 2 [House of Wolves] and say, ‘OK, well, how can we set those two DLCs up to allowing for this [leveling] pivot?’ So in DLC 2, that’s why you see the introduction of the Etheric Light mechanic, because we were trying to get players to converge quickly at a single, common level because we knew where we were going to take them next.”

So basically, Etheric Light served as a manner to quickly boost players to the then level cap of 34, in preparation for The Taken King and the new leveling system. For those who haven’t played it, Destiny players’ light levels are now based on the overall average from attack and defense for equipped gear. The higher the items equipped, the higher one’s light level is and acts much like a World of Warcraft player’s iLevel or item level.

As Destiny: The Taken King continues to give more surprises — and according to Bungie, it isn’t done doing so — players will need a higher and higher light level to keep reaching new heights in the game, something The Taken King has no problem helping with. Look for our review on the new Destiny expansion later this week.

Source: Game Spot
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