When is loot no longer loot?

Yesterday a tweep (is that still a word? I like it) shared this video with me regarding stuff Destinyneeds‘ from the perspective of a Youtuber. It’s a good video and while I don’t share all points and ideas there’s one that resonated with me.

As a game in what some have taken to call the ‘loot shooter’ genre, Destiny bases its existence on players playing to get better loot. It’s a horizontal progression system with a touch of vertical progression in the form of Light Levels. But as you approach the current cap (320 light level) it becomes increasingly difficult to increase this level. Most activities don’t reward things that can increase this, thus giving the player a sense of stifling personal progression.

Starting from 310 there’s a very rare chance that a drop will be of a higher level, or essentially ‘useful’. You’ll start receiving an assortment of blue and purple pieces of loot that range between 280 and 305 light, making them useless for your progression (though they can still be used for other purposes). The worst part is that these rewards come from the toughest content the game has to offer with one exception I’ll mention in a moment. The Nightfall Strike (aka the Hard Mode Dungeons) offer this sort of rewards, which have made them undesirable to some players. Even the toughest PvP activity, the Trials of Osiris, often reward gear that doesn’t cross the 310 mark.

The only exception to this is the weekly Raid Challenge, which tasks you with defeating one boss of the raid (rotates weekly) in a specific, often wild way. Successfully completing this rewards gear or weapons with 320 light level. The drops are locked into certain categories (certain boss only drops heavy weapons, for example) which means that if you need a particular piece to upgrade it may take a while to get what you need.

Of course this is all eased a bit by the infusion system, which allows you to take a piece of gear and ‘feed’ it to another with lower light level. If my favorite weapon is 310 and I get a 320 weapon it’s possible to transfer some of this light to the former. It’s not a 100% transfer, though… no easy 320s.

Destiny needs to up its rewards. Perhaps we’ll see tweaks to this in the coming months when the next content patch is coming? Hopefully. Last thing we need is more content that people won’t get decent rewards from, or else Bungie will have to repeat the Valentine’s Ghost story. The community is, after all, hungry for more and unless Bungie can calm the complaining masses, there’s bound to be a Division in the ranks soon…

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