Let’s face it, while the leveling system in Destiny may have been unique, it was confounding, to say the least. Although getting from level 1 to level 20 featured a very natural, experience progression, the light-based leveling that took players from 20 to 30 (and eventually 34) had little rhyme or reason to it. In fact, many saw it as an unnecessary obstacle to keep players from leveling too fast and putting Destiny back on the shelf.
However, now that Bungie knows they have a dedicated fan base out there, they are trying to do right by them. For starters, that means the confusing leveling system that once ruled Destiny will soon be a thing of the past. When Bungie introduces The Taken King expansion, hitting level cap will be as simple as earning XP.
For their September cover story, Game Informer visited Bungie’s Washington studio to learn any and everything they could about Destiny’s The Taken King expansion. And as it turns out, Bungie was more than forthcoming with new details, like how old gear will be left behind and the casting of Nolan North as the new voice of Ghost.
But for this post the focus is on leveling, and boy what a change it is. As Taken King director Luke Smith explains, “The conflation of gear and character level led to this place where your identity was determined by things outside of your control,” and so Bungie decided to make things more reactive.
On a very basic level, players can now rest easy knowing that every XP point they earn is going somewhere, until they hit the new level 40 cap, of course. More importantly, new players will jump into Destiny and be able to skip past the hurdles of Ascendant and Radiant Shards, and even Etheric Light. For them, Destiny will be a traditional MMO experience.
However, while the idea of earning XP and leveling in a straightforward fashion is an improvement, it does undermine players’ efforts over the past year. Many spent countless hours seeking that last piece of raid gear or Etheric Light, all in the hopes of accessing top tier experiences. So letting new players skip those steps is likely to bother some, even if it will make Destiny more welcoming.
But in the end that’s where Destiny is headed; the game is taking player feedback and trying to improve, no matter how slowly. If Bungie wants players to stay invested for the next 9+ years, the game will need to.
How do you feel about Destiny going to an experience-based leveling system? Will you miss the light level caps?
Destiny: The Taken King releases September 15, 2015 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Source: Game Informer