Now in its third year, Destiny 2 has evolved quite a bit since it first launched as guardians continued to become stronger and more powerful. For the game designers, the power creep started to become an issue, especially as players began to find methods to essentially one shot major enemies like Riven. As Destiny 2 director Luke Smith revealed in his trio of Director's Cut blog posts, the goal with Shadowkeep was to pull back on how many powerful engrams were handed out each week, but to also refine the process.
As players have discovered this week following the launch of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, not only has many of the powerful engram reward sources been removed outright, but when they do drop in the world, they're now grouped into different categories. However, the game doesn't go into any detail as to what the differences between a tier 1 or tier 2 powerful reward actually are.
This new system directly impacts the player's climb towards the hard power cap of the current game. If players come across a Tier 1 powerful reward drop, this means that the item will be 3 levels above their highest equippable power. Tier 2 is worth +4 and players who manage to come across a exotic engram will get an item +5 above their highest equippable power gear.
Keep in mind that the power leveling process changes a bit once the soft level cap of 900 is reached. In order to continue the power climb, these powerful rewards become even more important as most world drops no longer drop at or above the player level. Powerful gear sources will appear on the map, Prime Engrams will become more important and slightly easier to come by, and challenges will come into play. Completing various challenges for NPC characters or the newly added Nightmare Hunts will typically reward a tier 1 powerful reward.
Bungie recently announced that any players currently part of their Rewards program or new users who sign up can earn one free powerful reward sent to their postmaster on the platform of their choice. Players should wait to claim the engram until they reach the soft level cap of 900 as not only is it very easy to power level to this point, but the engram is a great and easy way to get closer to the more difficult hard cap.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.