Destiny 2’s Artifact Power gatekeeps players from its best content

I’m a hardcore Destiny 2 participant. I manage day-one raid races with my Fireteam and we usually spend 16+ hours working for that completion. I’ve spent 1000’s of hours within the recreation. However the synthetic grind for extra in-game Energy is stopping me from doing among the recreation’s hardest content material.

Future 2 veterans know what I imply. As an alternative of working to enhance my skill in Future 2, giving me an edge in among the recreation’s finest content material, I’m spending my time finishing boring bounties to stage up my Artifact Energy.

For Future gamers who need to compete in Grandmaster Nightfalls and the brand new Grasp model of the Vault of Glass raid, we’ve got hours and weeks of homework to get finished each three months. And as every season goes by, my want to not grind out my Energy stage will get nearer to overthrowing my want to play with buddies.

How Bungie gatekeeps Future 2

Titan character screen with bonus Artifact Power in Destiny 2

It took a number of days of grinding challenges to boost my Artifact Energy from +13 to +18
Picture: Bungie through Polygon

In Future 2’s 2019 enlargement, Shadowkeep, Bungie added the Artifact system. Every season, I decide up a lore-significant merchandise and stage it up by gaining XP. I can then unlock a handful of seasonal mods, giving me some particular powers for the subsequent three months.

The Artifact additionally grants me bonus Artifact Energy, which is the place the actual challenge lies. The Artifact has two XP bars. The primary is to unlock mods, and it faucets out at stage 12. The opposite bar has limitless unlocks, and grants me a bonus to my general Energy common, whatever the gear I’m sporting. For instance, if I’m sporting 1311 gear and I’ve +6 Artifact Energy, my character can be Energy stage 1317.

The unique concept behind bonus Artifact Energy was that gamers who didn’t have the time or the buddies to finish rewarding actions like raids might passively stage up their Artifact by doing repeatable bounties and different XP-granting actions. Gamers like me additionally use these bounties to stage up, however by doing tougher content material, I ought to be capable of bypass among the grind. No less than, that’s the way you think about it’d work.

What got here into the sport as a boon for informal gamers acts like a lockout for individuals who don’t need to grind a number of hours every week. In an effort to even begin a Grandmaster Dusk — a brilliant arduous, rewarding model of the weekly Dusk Strike — I must have max stage gear and +15 Artifact Energy. Grinding to +15 can take weeks of cautious bounty and weekly Problem makes use of, and infrequently includes ready to show in XP objects till I’m in a celebration with buddies with the intention to make the most of the Fireteam XP increase.

Regardless of logging in each week to finish the brand new story quests and run the brand new season’s raid on all three characters, I’m behind. It doesn’t matter that I’ve maxed out my loot at 1320 in Season of the Splicer, I’ll must grind some bounties if I need to get into Grand Grasp content material with my buddies. What makes issues worse is that Artifact Energy resets to zero each three months, so any features I make are momentary.

With the addition of Grasp Vault of Glass — a tougher model of Season of the Splicer’s reprised raid — Bungie juiced the Energy suggestion to 1350. That’s 30 Energy Ranges above the season’s gear cap. In case you don’t go in with +15 or extra Artifact Energy, you’re going to get creamed. And creamed I acquired.

Why the identical outdated grind?

Destiny 2 weekly challenges for Season of the Splicer

An inventory of Future 2’s weekly Challenges, probably the greatest and most repetitive assets for grinding XP
Picture: Bungie through Polygon

I really like taking part in Future 2, it’s why I’ve spent a lot time through the years doing it. I really like doing day-one raids with my crew, when the expertise continues to be arduous, earlier than gamers get overleveled and resolve it with weird methods and weapon combos. Grandmaster Nightfalls, while admittedly frustrating, are among the solely content material that will get near matching that stage of technique. I’ve needed to do them each season, however I need to spend my time in Future difficult myself, not going out of my approach to full bounties that ask me to “kill 10 enemies with a sword” for the thousandth time.

I’ve finished the bounty grind in Future 2 each three months because the fall of 2019, when the studio added the Battle Go and Artifact. If I don’t seize all my bounties and take note of how I’m taking part in Future whereas operating all over the world, I’ll by no means stage up and be capable of play with my buddies. Future 2 streamers like Datto solely went into Grasp with +17 on their Artifact. I needed to take further trip of my week to grind bounties simply to catch up and never maintain my buddies again in Grasp Vault of Glass. And even after grinding, I’d nonetheless must grind additional to deal 100% injury to the boss.

That stage of tedium will get outdated. Every Future 2 season provides little or no by way of new content material, that means gamers must complement the expertise with Strikes we’ve performed 100 instances and Crucible matches on maps we all know just like the again of our hand. As a participant that desires to see every thing Future has to supply, I’m pressured to re-grind one thing I’ve already finished 100 instances over.

Most of the time, I’ve skipped grinding and missed out on GM Nightfalls with my buddies. Not as a result of I don’t need to do them — I really like the issue — however as a result of spending hours grinding the identical content material each season simply to bypass an pointless gate ruins my want to play in any respect.


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