Expect some changes to the Destiny 2 endgame in Bungie’s next update for the game. In particular, the developer is changing how players work through the very top of the game’s Power grind in the new Shadowkeep expansion. The tweaks should make it easier to hit the peak of your abilities in Destiny 2 as you take on its toughest activities.
The latest This Week At Bungie blog post details the changes that players can expect to see coming next week. In short, Bungie is going to increase the speed of its toughest gear climb, toward the “hard” Power cap of 960. Right now, you need Pinnacle drops to reach 960 once you hit 950, and those will only drop at 1 Power point above the gear you already own–meaning for the hardest-core Destiny players, reaching the top of the climb is a slog. Bungie is changing Pinnacle drops to come in at +2 Power for each slot starting on Thursday, November 7, and adjusting how it calculates your average Power over 950 to help players climb faster.
Right now, Destiny 2 carries several “soft” Power level caps that change your progression as you work to gain the game’s best gear and increase your overall stats. From 750 to 900, any gear you earn from any activity will increase your overall Power stat, which is an average of all your gear’s Power numbers. Over 900, however, you need to complete weekly activities to earn Powerful drops. These include running through a certain number of competitive Crucible matches, completing Strikes and Nightfalls, handing in bounties to specific vendors, and more. The Powerful climb isn’t too difficult, but it does require more effort than hitting 900.
Things change again when you reach the soft cap of 950. At this point, Powerful drops no longer advance you to the final gear cap of 960, and you need to switch to “Pinnacle” activities to get more boosts to your gear stats. Pinnacles include earning 100,000 points on Nightfall Strikes, completing the Garden of Salvation raid, and running through the new Pit of Heresy dungeon. There are a lot fewer Pinnacle opportunities than Powerful ones, because the Pinnacle Power climb is meant to represent the toughest, most elite activities Destiny 2 has to offer.
Right now, Pinnacle gear drops only give you one additional Power point for their gear slot, and in order to raise your total average Power, you need one Pinnacle for each of your eight equipment slots. That means that the journey from 950 to 960 is a slow one, especially because there are generally a lot fewer opportunities to earn Pinnacles each week. Players have also complained about getting multiple Pinnacle drops in the same slot each week, further slowing their progression.
Pinnacle drops going to +2 instead of +1 should make progression go a little quicker and easier. Bungie is also changing how it calculates your total Power level once you’re in the Pinnacle band–instead of needing all eight gear slots to hit 951 before your total Power is 951, as it is now, you’ll only need four gear slots at 951 to advance. That should mean that drops for your other slots will start to come in at 951 once you’ve achieved four Pinnacle drops, allowing you to catch up your other gear more quickly. That way, Pinnacle drops for slots that are lagging behind won’t slow your progression as much. Once all your gear is 960, you can still advance your total Power by leveling up your Seasonal Artifact by gaining experience points.
It seems like this is a change that should address a lot of player complaints about the top-tier endgame of Destiny 2 as it stands right now. You’ll still have to work hard to get all your gear up to 960 and participate in Destiny 2’s toughest activities, which was Bungie’s overall goal for the system. But hopefully, these tweaks will make that climb less prohibitive, so that players who are trying to reach the absolute peak of their abilities in Destiny 2 will be able to show off their commitment a little more easily.