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Destiny 2 removing power caps, cancels sunsetting

Bungie is going to have a bad day with Destiny 2. The company has announced their plans for 2022 with the game, and people are not happy. Destiny 2′s assistant game director Joe Blackburn took to the official blog to announce a delay for the game’s next expansion. Thanks to delays and problems stemming from COVID-19, The Witch Queen will be getting pushed to 2022.

“Last summer, we outlined our ambition for the next era in Destiny 2 by announcing the full arc, starting with Beyond Light, followed by The Witch Queen and Lightfall,” said Blackburn. “As we began to scale production on The Witch Queen last year, we made the difficult but important decision to move its release to early 2022; we also realized we needed to add an additional unannounced chapter after Lightfall to fully complete our first saga of Destiny.”

So for now, we know the next two expansions and a couple of years worth of new content.  Bungie has also teased a fourth expansion past Lightfall, the expansion following The Witch Queen, which will be due around 2024.

But the news doesn’t stop there, because there’s a huge change on the horizon.

Sunsetting Gets Canned

Destiny 2 has a gear problem. With long-tail games like this, the power creep is incredibly difficult to wrangle. Developers and players are in a constant battle to either maintain or break game balance, respectively. And with this game, there have been major issues on that front for some time. Recently,  Bungie put a band-aid on the issue with a controversial change called Sunsetting. The general premise is to maintain power caps on all gear, and forcing players to constantly obtain new gear for the toughest content in each expansion. Bungie would routinely remove weapons from the game and alter stats to keep the process moving along.

And needless to say, but players hated sunsetting. The idea of losing access to guns they love was bad, making them non-viable for endgame play was even worse. Some players had been using the same weapons for years, with Bungie often keeping many builds and weapon options viable well past their release. And now, they seem to be going to a weird fusion of the previous and current systems. Take a lesson game designers, players hate nerfs.

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The relevant bit is here, in Bungie’s new update on their plans for 2022 and beyond. And in essence, it means sunsetting has just been canceled.

“We’ve made the decision that any weapon or armor that can currently be infused to max Power will continue to be able to reach max Power permanently. Starting in Season 14 we won’t be capping the infusion on any weapons or armor that have not already reached the cap as of the start of Season 13. This means you’ll be able to take your Trustee, your Falling Guillotine, and all the high-stat armor you’ve earned this year to take on the raid in The Witch Queen.”

To counteract this change, Bungie has done something very awkward. They aren’t actually removing the power cap. Sunsetting was introduced to control runaway gear viability in new endgame content. But frankly, many players hated it. The hardcore fans of Destiny 2 like the guns that they like, and for the longest time, they could use them in different content without much worry. The introduction of sunsetting in Season 11 changed that. Now, multiple years’ worth of gear progression was invalidated.

And with the future seasons, the power cap is just being made more restrictive. You will be able to use your old gear, but you can only raise it to power cap if you’re not already there from the previous season. Bungie worded it weirdly, saying, “Starting in Season 14, we will only be raising the Power cap by 10 for each non-expansion season. This means if you reach the maximum Power in Season 13, when next season rolls around you will be directly in the 10-point Pinnacle band.” Pinnacle gear is basically a hard cap on gear power, and it will still be there in the future.

So the question is this, why even remove the infusion cap? If you’re going to restrict the power cap to 10 each season, and seemingly not let players use the past 9 seasons worth of gear that still applies in Sunsetting, why bother at all.

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