Power creep is a problem that Bungie has had to tackle for sometime now and it seems to have finally found a solution.
With there being as many guns as there are in Destiny 2, balancing every gun is a chore in and of itself (see: Telesto) and having to account for high-power weapons when creating activities, challenges and new weapons is a lot to ask.
So, rather than try to balance everything, Bungie is introducing weapon and armour sun setting to Destiny 2.
From Season 11 onward, players will see a Max Power Level alongside weapons and armour. This figure will relay up to which power level weapons and armour can be infused to take it up to a higher power level.
As you can see from the image above, the Loud Lullaby can be infused up to a maximum power level of 1060.
So how is the Max Power Level determined?
Bungie explains,”The Max Power Level for these items will be set at the player Power Cap attainable 3 Seasons after its release Season (4 Seasons total). This means all Legendary gear has a one-year span of time during which it can be used in activities where being at or near the player Power Cap is important (difficult and Power-enabled activities).”
It’s important to note that while you won’t be able to infuse gear beyond its Max Power Level, you can still equip and use the gear. For example, in The Crucible playlist where power level doesn’t matter, you could still use a 1000 Power Spare Rations Hand Cannon even if the Max Power Level for that season is 2000 because power level doesn’t matter in that playlist.
However, should you want to take your Spare Rations Hand Cannon into Trials of Osiris where everybody is running a new weapon at 2000 Power, you will come off second best.
There are a few notable exceptions.
Exotic gear will not have a Max Power Level and will seemingly be infusible to Max Power Level endlessly.
Weapons and armour from The Last Wish raid and Garden of Salvation raids will also have a higher Max Power Level. We suspect that this is because those Raids are tied to premium purchases and folks aren’t going to be too pleased with having purchased access to a Raid with useless gear.
As regards armour, players will also have a Max Power Level for Legendary armour. However, rather than having a different seasonal mod slot every season, all gear in Year 4 will have a mod slot that can be used throughout the year.
Bungie has said that Max Power Level will be determined according to when the weapon was released, which is concerning.
Take (arguably) the best Shotgun at the moment, Mindbender’s Ambition, for example. The weapon is a reward for completing the Hollowed Lair Nightfall. I’d go so far as to argue that the only reason people run that Nightfall is for a shot at a Mindbender’s Ambition.
Once sunsetting is in effect the reasons to run that Nightfall become far less tempting.
We then sit with the Destiny 2 Year 1 problem where running Nightfall’s such as Savathûn’s Song reward the Duty Bound Auto Rifle which is absolutely useless in today’s game.
The hope we have is that Bungie is thinking ahead and considering how weapon rewards can be rotated out for newer weapons. Nightfall completions for The Scarlet Keep reward no unique weapons, however, and perhaps Bungie is moving to a point where Nightfall specific rewards are a thing of the past.
The developer has said that gear may be reissued in future and the Max Power Level will be determined according to when that reissue takes place and not the original release.
This sounds like an interesting prospect and returning weapons such as Perfect Paradox in Season of Dawn give us hope that perhaps reissues will make weaker weapons better. We’re looking squarely at you, Warden’s Law.
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we’ll have to see how this solution impacts the Destiny 2 sandbox in future.
We’re keen to see the end of LFG posts stating weapons like Mountaintop and The Recluse are must haves for Pinnacle activities.
You can read Bungie’s plan for infusion in full in the latest This Week at Bungie update here.