If I can run a common thread through player sentiment the past few seasons of Destiny 2, it’s that the consensus seems to be that the grind has gotten out of control in a number of different ways, in a number of different places within the game.
This can be everything from loot chases to power level to seasonal content to holiday events. But it’s pretty much the same concept: Play something you initially like until you absolutely despise it:
For my money, there are a number of ways that Bungie can reduce its grind, and I think it needs to do so without worrying about losing “engagement.” Because burned out players are more likely to set down the game altogether than they are to continue to engage with it.
Power Resetting – While Bungie has said they will be “experimenting” with power level stuff in the year of Lightfall, the biggest and most obvious problem is the fact that players keep getting their progress reset every season, and feel forced to grind up their gear score to be able to run the exact same content as they were just doing, whether that’s Master dungeons and raids or Grandmaster Nightfalls. The idea that you have to play like crazy or become a bounty goblin just to hit some arbitrary number to start GMs each season, which are then put at a fixed power gap anyway, is absurd.
Pattern Farming – Bungie just said that they will make pattern farming more “deterministic” to focus on different weapons, but for starters, I think everyone is over the idea of finding five pattens for six weapons for each season or raid. And doing so without bad luck protection, where 20 focuses of a single weapon could accidentally get you zero. While we know crafting grind changes are coming, this is the main issue, and a major point of grind burnout for players.
Seasonal Challenges – A lot of these seasonal challenges, some for the title, some outside of it, just don’t seem like they were playtested all that well, and many just don’t work for a live season. This was true for the 50 Ruffian challenge for the title this season, but the worst one is 250 champion kills in activities that may only spawn 1-4 per run. Makes no sense at all when you can complete every other challenge listed and still only be halfway toward this last one.
Holiday Events – Again, same issue here. With Festival of the Lost, the problem is twofold. Too much grinding of both non-holiday and holiday events is required. The title requiring 35 Haunted Lost Sector runs is too much. And to “maximize” a Haunted run with enough pages requiring like 3-4 playlist activities is not a good ratio. It’s too much grinding on both sides for events like these.
There are other bits and pieces that can feel too grindy. Finishing transmog bounties on three characters every season is just annoying when other games have transmog for free. Some currency accumulation is annoying like if you’ve over-focused and spent all your legendary shards. But those are the main ones if you ask me. We’ll see what changes going forward.