We started this year off with so much hope, so much excitement for what lay before us and now, just a few months in, we’re starting to question if decisions made and effected were really the right call.
We’re talking here about Destiny 2 and the precarious position Bungie now finds itself in as players grow increasingly frustrated with certain systems, game modes and a lack of a viable cheat mitigation for PC players.
We’re not going to talk about how Trials of Osiris can be fixed or whether Grandmaster Nightfalls need a rethink. In fact we’re looking at a feature of the game that just hasn’t made sense since Shadowkeep launched – Pinnacle rewards.
There are currently three reward tiers in Destiny 2:
- Powerful Gear – Tier 1
- Powerful Gear – Tier 2
- Pinnacle Gear
Each activity in Destiny 2 will yield either Legendary Gear, one of the two Powerful Gear tiers or Pinnacle gear. Legendary gear takes you up to 950 Power (in Season of the Worthy), Powerful Gear will cap out at 1 000 Power and Pinnacle gear will take you to 1 010 Power level.
Players will also have their power level augmented by the Seasonal Artifact.
All of this was fine until Season of the Worthy hit and now it feels like the Destiny 2 community is being split and the divide continues to widen.
Every so often Lord Saladin would return to the Tower to host Iron Banner. This activity rewarded Pinnacle level gear and had one important feature – unlike other PvP modes, your Power level matters.
This means that if you jump into Iron Banner at 950 Power and face somebody at 1 000 Power you would likely get turned into goo in one or two shots.
To put it simply, those with Pinnacle gear are at a massive advantage when facing those who only have Powerful gear.
This wasn’t really an issue as there were other players in the matchmade activity to help pick up your slack. Beyond that, the promise of Pinnacle rewards even if you lost and made slow progress on bounties was enough to keep many folks in the mode.
Enter Trials of Osiris.
Much like Iron Banner, power level matters in Trials of Osiris but here we’re faced with a massive issue – Pinnacle power.
At present there are five ways to earn Pinnacle gear outside of Trials of Osiris:
- Garden of Salvation Raid
- Pit Of Heresy Dungeon
- Nightmare Hunt – Master
- Nightfall: The Ordeal 100 0000 points
- Iron Banner bounties
All of those activities require a pre-made fireteam of players who have a deep understanding of the game, their characters and what the goal of the activity is. Simply put, these are the sweatlords of the game.
So what is my point here?
To be frank, the idea behind Pinnacle gear made no sense when it was announced and makes even less sense now as fewer folks dive into that content.
With Trials of Osiris seemingly suffering in terms of player base, I do wonder if folks simply aren’t trying because they lack the power of other players.
There is mention of the mode not being rewarding enough, but I believe that this is only one reason people simply aren’t stepping into the mode.
While I understand the need to push people to certain content, why can only certain activities yield Pinnacle gear?
Many will say that these rewards cater to the hardcore players but I disagree.
Inevitably, players push to hit that powerful gear cap and then stop playing. Why? Because Pinnacle rewards are a chore and getting them requires playing with the most hardcore of players.
You then need to hope you get the right drops in the right slot and then you can finally prepare for Trials or Iron Banner. While some players can do this in a week or two, many more people don’t have 18 hours a day to run raids, dungeons and other pinnacle activities,
At this stage I’d have given up on Trials or Iron Banner and actually, I have.
Instead I am slowly going through the seasonal content on a weekly basis, earning weapons I want and know I’ll use and everything else can pass me by.
The raids, dungeons, and PvP activities are lost on me because Bungie insists that I push myself to breaking point before being able to even have a fighting chance in those modes.
Should Pinnacle rewards be removed?
Perhaps I should elaborate.
The ability to earn Pinnacle rewards should be scrapped and renamed but the activities they are associated with shouldn’t be.
While I’d love to run a Grandmaster Nightfall with my clanmates, guiding them through the best way to run Garden of Salvation, how to speedrun certain Nightfalls and more just sounds like a lot of work.
What I’d love to see is a tiered reward system within every activity in Destiny 2 similar to what we have now.
For example, playing four matches in the Crucible every week nets players a powerful reward. How about upping that to offer folks a weekly pinnacle reward as well if they complete 10 Crucible matches? Or even better, complete all the weekly bounties and play X instances of an activity and get a Pinnacle reward.
Hell, just ditch the idea of Pinnacle rewards altogether and let folks climb to the max in their own time. Those that can will and those that can’t be bothered won’t be.
That allows all players to earn viable rewards and have a shot at taking part in those high-level end-game activities. For those who aren’t interested, nothing changes but at least the barrier to entry for those that do is lowered.
Why this was changed in Shadowkeep is beyond me. I could earn the same level of powerful gear somebody in the raid could but I could do it in Gambit. Sure, there were a lot of sources of power pre-Shadowkeep but it made things more varied.
How about making all Raids relevant with a chance of dropping a higher level reward. Hell, Hawthorne is sitting there moaning about not quitting, make her Challenge bounties drop very powerful rewards, it would inspire me to actually pick them up and try to complete them.
With Trials of Osiris in desperate need of a shake up I hope to see Bungie looking at how to give more players more power in the game.
As it stands I can’t be bothered with pushing for Pinnacle power and that means I won’t be participating in Trials of Osiris no matter how the reward system is updated or how well cheaters are dealt with.
The introduction of Grandmaster Nightfalls which require players push to reach the highest level of Pinnacle gear will likely only serve to widen this gap until the casual folks just can’t be bothered to play Destiny 2 anymore.
Stop separating your player-base Bungie, this isn’t an Offspring song.