Bungie is making significant changes to Destiny 2 with the release of the Shadowkeep expansion. Game director Luke Smith is detailing some of those changes in a series of "Director's Cut" articles looking into the franchise's past, present, and future. In Part 2 of these articles, Smith details Bungie's current outlook on Destiny 2's issues regarding Power, and a major part of Shadowkeep's power changes will be in the form of a new feature named Seasonal Artifacts.
Seasonal Artifacts are described as a "unique and thematic" additional layer of progression in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep. Artifacts can be both leveled up and modified to player's own preferences. The Seasonal Artifacts can also offer a pure increase in power across all of a player's characters, granting an alternative path for character growth outside of Destiny 2's traditional endgame. Each Season in Shadowkeep will feature a new artifact, maintaining the Season's relative standalone nature.
While Seasonal Artifacts will offer a layer of power progression for many players who choose not to participate in the endgame, those who do will have other options. Bungie also stated each Season of Shadowkeep will offer a variety of unique mods exclusive to that Season, with these mods described as "experimental or powerful," designed to be experimented with on the fly. While there's a lot of detail about Seasonal Artifacts left to fill in, Bungie's intent is to introduce more diversity into character builds and progression paths.
Seasonal Artifacts aren't the only way that Bungie is changing the way power works in Destiny 2. Bungie is also altering the way Prime Engrams work in Shadowkeep, both to smooth out endgame power progression and to maintain a healthy reward track in the endgame. There's also the introduction of pinnacle activities, which will be the only way for players to increase their gear beyond 950. "Pinnacle reward sites" remain to be described.
In his article, Luke Smith goes into detail about the problems that Bungie has struggled with regarding power in Destiny 2. The changes being made in Destiny 2's Shadowkeep expansion are a solution for now and not a solution for the long term. Smith states clearly that Bungie is considering a complete rework of the power system eventually. He also acknowledges that Bungie is still trying to figure out what that actually means, but "player agency" remains a priority going into the future.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also currently in development.