Destiny 2‘s gear reward system has been an object of controversy in the game for some time. Its use of RNG (Random Number Generators) is not unlike what many other games do these days, but Bungie could benefit from tweaking it a bit as many players will continue to be unhappy until they do so. Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the way the game’s gear reward system works, allow me to fill you in on the details.
In Destiny 2, a player’s power score determines how formidable they are against foes. A higher power score will improve both the player’s damage output and their defense, so it is ultimately the goal of each player to increase that score as they play the game. Each piece of gear in the game comes with a pre-existing power score, and a player’s total power score is the average of the highest power score of all gear the player has equipped. So, if a player equips gear with a 1,585 power score in each gear slot, the player’s total power score will be 1,585. Unfortunately, that also means that a player can have seven of those gear slots filled with 1,585 gear, and if the remaining gear slot is filled with 1,584 gear, for example, that will bring the player’s total power score down to 1,584. The way the power score system works, however, is not the problem.
In order to increase their power score, players are given opportunities in the form of “Challenges” each week, which usually involve completing the game’s various activities. Upon completion, these challenges use RNG to award randomized gear that can result in a higher overall power score for the player (unless the player has reached the current maximum attainable power score). The issue with these rewards is that the game currently has no way of guaranteeing players will get the piece of gear they need in order to increase their overall power score.
For example, my character is currently sitting at an overall power score of 1,589, with seven of my gear slots filled with 1,590 gear (the current maximum attainable power score), and the remaining slot, my class item, filled with a piece of 1,589 gear. This week, I have done almost every challenge available to me in an attempt to pick up a class item with a 1,590 power score, only to be let down by 80% of my gear drops being arms and the rest being weapons. The exact same thing happened to me last season. This is obviously not ideal.
The problem this creates is not only unnecessary fatigue and frustration for the player, but it also puts all players on an uneven playing field. With RNG ultimately acting as the deciding factor for whether I will get what I need (and might I mention, what I’ve worked very hard for), I could potentially spend dozens of hours failing to increase my power score while another player spends just half an hour successfully increasing theirs. If anything, time spent in the game should only serve to increase a player’s chance of obtaining what they need, but that is not the case in Destiny 2 from what I have seen.
I am not a game developer, so I cannot claim this would be a simple fix. At the same time, other games like World of Warcraft and Diablo III have successfully pulled this off, so there is really no excuse at this point. Challenges in Destiny 2 should prioritize awarding players the gear that they need. Then, once a player has arrived at the current maximum attainable power score, challenges can begin offering more random rewards so the player can have the opportunity to increase the power score of all their favorite items.
This has been an issue for several years now, and the longer Bungie waits, the more of an issue it becomes. Until a potential fix is implemented, however, I guess I will just do my last two remaining challenges for this week and pray I get that class item upgrade. If I fail, on to the next week.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.