Destiny 2 has detailed a new source of Powerful Rewards coming in the Shadowkeep expansion that players can use to level up past a majority of other players in what Bungie is calling pinnacle power sources. Players who play the game’s more challenging activities will start earning even higher-tier Powerful Rewards, moving them beyond the level cap that players can achieve from playing the game’s other activities that give out standard Powerful Rewards.
As detailed in Part 2 of Destiny franchise director Luke Smith’s “Director’s Cut” commentary, the hard level cap for Power in Shadowkeep will be 950. However, pinnacle Powerful sources will make that level cap much softer for those willing to play pinnacle activities like raids. The goal is to reward players who engage in Destiny 2’s end game by giving them an edge of power in the game and a level of prestige:
“Here's the thinking: Pinnacle reward sites can award players Power above 950. This is a way of reclaiming a little bit of the character Power prestige that the initial D1 Power climb created. If you inspect a player and see their gear is 960, you know they’ve done a bunch of pinnacle activities.”
Smith also mentioned that as players push past the 950 level cap with pinnacle power sources, normal sources of Powerful Rewards will come up to the level a player has reached past 950; however, those “sidegrades” as Smith calls them will not continue to let those players climb even higher. That post-950 progression will continue to only be tied to playing pinnacle activities.
It was not identified which activities will become pinnacle power sources, but earlier in his post, Smith mentioned raids, Iron Banner, and an unannounced activity in connection with pinnacle power. There are some big changes coming to Power progression in Shadowkeep and these pinnacle power rewards are just one more aspect of that.
Destiny has always had a two-tier progression system and these new sources look to add a third tier. Normally, players can level up to an expansion’s or season’s soft cap by playing pretty much any activity in the game. Once they reach that, only Powerful Rewards will take them past the soft cap and towards the hard cap. Now with pinnacle power sources, players will be able to push past the hard cap and start a prestigious climb to an even higher point.
And besides the bragging rights, a higher Power level should also give players an advantage. Smith himself said in his commentary that Power is the biggest factor in determining how much damage players deal and take. Smith hinted that Destiny 2’s entire leveling system may need a rework further down the road, but for Shadowkeep and the foreseeable future, this new pinnacle chase should give hardcore players a reason to keep pushing their level forward.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releases on October 1, 2019, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A Stadia version is also in development.