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The soft cap is bad system. (Criticism)

by cheapLEY @, Friday, July 20, 2018, 18:49 (456 days ago)

I've been feeling it for a bit now, but the new Black Spindle mission really highlights it.

It effectively locks people out of content because they haven't played the game enough. I'll have to do a few more weeks of raids to get to to the appropriate level for the mission. Getting to the Spire of Stars was the same way. I'm skilled enough to do these things as a player, but Bungie just decides I haven't played the game enough to be able to do so.

The soft cap is a really shitty system with no real purpose that I can tell. It's just a progress timer, and the farther you fall behind the worse off you are. I desperately hope there's no soft cap for Forsaken, or, if there is, the soft cap will be at the highest enemy level, with any power growth beyond that effectively just being for over leveling.

It's not the end of the world, it doesn't make me hate Destiny. Mostly I'm not in any rush to hit max level. I can wait a few weeks to give this new mission a shot. It's just a bummer, and I legitimately don't understand the benefit of such a system.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Friday, July 20, 2018, 22:03 (455 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I've been feeling it for a bit now, but the new Black Spindle mission really highlights it.

It effectively locks people out of content because they haven't played the game enough. I'll have to do a few more weeks of raids to get to to the appropriate level for the mission. Getting to the Spire of Stars was the same way. I'm skilled enough to do these things as a player, but Bungie just decides I haven't played the game enough to be able to do so.


I mean, I'm 368 Light on Xbox, and I was able to make it to the last room in the Spindle mission, which is 380, so the level difference still isn't THAT bad, but what they need to completely get rid of is the Immunity if you're below a certain threshold. Sure, kill us in two shots, but let us contribute SOMETHING.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 09:39 (455 days ago) @ Korny

You’re not wrong about that.

But that also wouldn’t be an issue if the soft cap didn’t exist. I’ve played this game more than enough to be at max level, I just don’t play it on Bungie’s schedule.

I have very few complaints about Destiny any more. This is the one that lingers, and probably always will. I’ve mostly let it go. As I said, I can wait to do these things. But the longer I wait, the harder it gets to find folks that want to do stuff they’ve already ran dozens of times before.

The soft cap is ostensibly designed to keep the community leveling together. I’d argue it does the opposite of that. Miss a week, and you fall behind with literally no way to catch up. It sucks. I’m not trying to argue that the game should just drop powerful gear all the time, but it shouldn’t be a tap that just turns off until the weekly reset either. Nerfing exotic drops was dumb.

I will say it’s mostly fine—there’s enough sources of Powerful Engrams to making leveling decently quick. But most of those come from raids, and those still aren’t necessarily easy to put together on an unexpected evening. Maybe I’ll turn to LFG.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by slycrel ⌂, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 13:07 (455 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I've not raided since the first raid lair. I just hit 367 today, it's been about 1-2 light levels a week since I hit LL 355 or so. I don't exhaustively play through everything every week, mostly because it's all solo play nowadays. So clan and flashpoint max most weeks, sometimes crucible. It's been a bit of a slog, and I'm a little disappointed I'm basically capped unless I'm raiding. So I'm playing less and less as time goes on. For once I haven't yet pre-ordered and I'm sadly not concerned about that at the moment. :/

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Same (progress wise).

by ProbablyLast, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 13:17 (455 days ago) @ slycrel

I didn’t really play the game much until about a month ago, so I’m grinding out maybe 2 light max a week from the milestones I can accomplish on my own. I’ve never run the raid and don’t really feel like holding a group back so it’s my own fault, though.

I am looking forward to the expansion, however. More shotgun = more better.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Schedonnardus @, Texas, Monday, July 23, 2018, 06:14 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

the cap for me is an incentive not to play. I've got two young kids, and after getting behind a few weeks, I'm like "meh, don't have time now to catch up to everyone so i can actually play endgame content." so i end up deeper in the hole.

Last week, i was at 305, now I'm at 345, so I've definitely made some progress, as I work towards my MoT.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Monday, July 23, 2018, 07:35 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The soft cap is ostensibly designed to keep the community leveling together. I’d argue it does the opposite of that. Miss a week, and you fall behind with literally no way to catch up. It sucks.

Why is there no way to catch up?

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Schedonnardus @, Texas, Monday, July 23, 2018, 07:38 (453 days ago) @ Vortech

The soft cap is ostensibly designed to keep the community leveling together. I’d argue it does the opposite of that. Miss a week, and you fall behind with literally no way to catch up. It sucks.


Why is there no way to catch up?

you can catch up, but catching up is even time gated due to soft caps on drops that require you to wait on weekly resets for milestones.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:43 (453 days ago) @ Schedonnardus

The soft cap is ostensibly designed to keep the community leveling together. I’d argue it does the opposite of that. Miss a week, and you fall behind with literally no way to catch up. It sucks.


Why is there no way to catch up?


you can catch up, but catching up is even time gated due to soft caps on drops that require you to wait on weekly resets for milestones.

Correct. You literally miss out on chances to progress if you skip a week. Those chances to level up go away forever instead of being delayed. I know exactly why this is too. If you could ‘bank’ rewards so that you could do last week’s that you missed in addition to this week’s, people would start banking and do a shit ton the first week new content drops. Because bypassing a stupid unfun limitation would totally ruin the game.

Get rid of light level. It’s an embarrassing blemish.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by narcogen ⌂ @, Andover, Massachusetts, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 07:09 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Correct. You literally miss out on chances to progress if you skip a week. Those chances to level up go away forever instead of being delayed. I know exactly why this is too. If you could ‘bank’ rewards so that you could do last week’s that you missed in addition to this week’s, people would start banking and do a shit ton the first week new content drops.

Perhaps a better implementation, then would be to allow for milestone banking for players who are below median light level.

The idea of the cap is to make sure that people who play 24/7 don't rush so far ahead of the average player that people feel the way Schedd does now-- that he's been left behind and can't catch up.

The problem is, that cap applies identically to him at 300-340 now as it did to people who started grinding when Warmind launched. He needs to advance quickly to reach the cap, but can't because the same gates apply to him.

There could be a way for the game to recognize that a player is behind and trying to catch up, not on the bleeding edge and trying to advance, when restricting access to drops that increase player light level.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:16 (452 days ago) @ narcogen
edited by cheapLEY, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:26

The idea of the cap is to make sure that people who play 24/7 don't rush so far ahead of the average player that people feel the way Schedd does now-- that he's been left behind and can't catch up.

Sure, but I don’t think it works. And it’s unneccesary. Let those people max out as quickly as they want, and then the rest of us can catch up as quickly as I want.

Right now, the system is even more rewarding to players that can play 24/7. Players that can’t get screwed, and it’s even harder to catch up than it was before.

Maybe I’m too cynical, but in my eyes, the sole reason for the soft cap is to prevent streamers, the folks that determine the narrative surrounding the game, from doing everything within a week or two and then bitching that there’s nothing to do. I guess it accomplishes that goal, at the expense of the rest of us.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by narcogen ⌂ @, Andover, Massachusetts, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:08 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Maybe I’m too cynical, but in my eyes, the sole reason for the soft cap is to prevent streamers, the folks that determine the narrative surrounding the game, from doing everything within a week or two and then bitching that there’s nothing to do. I guess it accomplishes that goal, at the expense of the rest of us.

If you don't see that as being absolutely essential to do, I guess you're not cynical enough :)

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 16:04 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Yeah, but if one weeks 1-2 the softcap is 340 but on week 5 the softcap is 360 and at week 7 it is up to 370? If I missed weeks 1, 4, 5, and 6 and am sitting at 350, the softcap no longer applies to me during my catch up at week 7 when I can play again. This is instead of week 1 having a 340 softcap and week 7 having a 340 softcap. Anyone who is anti-catch-up mechanics is a whambulance passenger.

*numbers are arbitrary for the purpose of illustrative reasoning.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 17:00 (452 days ago) @ Harmanimus

That would be fine, but that seems ways more complicated than just removing the soft cap. Keep the milestones and Powerful Engrams, but also allow regular purples to drop gear that is 1-2 power levels above the highest thing available for that slot. Just enough that it doesn’t feel like a waste of time to do an activity after the milestone is done.

The streamers are naturally always just going to be ahead of everyone else. Just let that happen and quit fighting it so much, because it’s negatively affecting the rest of the population.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 23:25 (451 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The purpose of slowing growth for content creators I inherent exclusive from the functions of positive growth numbers for casual players.

I'm not opposed to allowing for continued growth. I'm also not gonna suggest that it necessarily means that all activities provide growth all the time. The ability to play Destiny for short bursts or on limited schedules and not feel like the rest of any given reset is entirely wasted by not playing the remaining 6 days is more valuable, in my measure, than what we would get from perpetual (and likely more idle - as these things are balancing acts) growth.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 17:18 (452 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Yeah, but if one weeks 1-2 the softcap is 340 but on week 5 the softcap is 360 and at week 7 it is up to 370? If I missed weeks 1, 4, 5, and 6 and am sitting at 350, the softcap no longer applies to me during my catch up at week 7 when I can play again. This is instead of week 1 having a 340 softcap and week 7 having a 340 softcap. Anyone who is anti-catch-up mechanics is a whambulance passenger.

What if the solution is content rollout? New stuff each week, which gets you better gear than the week before. If you are 'behind', just play extra to catch up before the new stuff drops.

This way it wouldn't 'feel' like a gate.

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Also perfectly acceptable.

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 22:57 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

And functionally works as a parallel abstraction of the point I was looking to make.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:47 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Yeah, but if one weeks 1-2 the softcap is 340 but on week 5 the softcap is 360 and at week 7 it is up to 370? If I missed weeks 1, 4, 5, and 6 and am sitting at 350, the softcap no longer applies to me during my catch up at week 7 when I can play again. This is instead of week 1 having a 340 softcap and week 7 having a 340 softcap. Anyone who is anti-catch-up mechanics is a whambulance passenger.


What if the solution is content rollout? New stuff each week, which gets you better gear than the week before. If you are 'behind', just play extra to catch up before the new stuff drops.

This way it wouldn't 'feel' like a gate.

The problem with this is that, like people have said in this thread, they don't want to feel like they are required to play certain content to level up. They want to just play.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:04 (452 days ago) @ narcogen

Correct. You literally miss out on chances to progress if you skip a week. Those chances to level up go away forever instead of being delayed. I know exactly why this is too. If you could ‘bank’ rewards so that you could do last week’s that you missed in addition to this week’s, people would start banking and do a shit ton the first week new content drops.


Perhaps a better implementation, then would be to allow for milestone banking for players who are below median light level.

Too complicated. Good systems are simple and intuitive (the RULES are simple, but they may be complex in their interactions). Many of Destiny and Des2ny's systems are already not 'discoverable'.

The idea of the cap is to make sure that people who play 24/7 don't rush so far ahead of the average player that people feel the way Schedd does now-- that he's been left behind and can't catch up.

And without light levels at all, then nobody can be left behind…

The soft cap is bad system.

by Claude Errera @, Monday, July 23, 2018, 08:26 (453 days ago) @ Vortech

The soft cap is ostensibly designed to keep the community leveling together. I’d argue it does the opposite of that. Miss a week, and you fall behind with literally no way to catch up. It sucks.


Why is there no way to catch up?

Two reasons - one is the one he gave (that even when you DO start playing regularly again, you're gated, so you're only improving at a slow rate past a certain point), the other is that a lot of endgame activity continues to evolve, and it can be difficult to find a group of friends that are willing to go back and play the stuff they've already moved on from.

(Say you want to play Eater of Worlds, Normal, because you've finished Leviathan but you're not leveled enough for Prestige. But all your friends are currently running either Prestige raids, or have moved to Spire of Stars - I guess you could LFG it, but a lot of those have ridiculous requirements, and finding one that fits your needs might be more trouble than it's worth.)

I missed the early days of EP, when there were groups of 9 interested players in almost every instance - I'm now fully leveled, but finding a group that wants to jump in and play EP takes planning and work; I can't just jump on when I'm free and find a game.

::shrug::

I'm actually fine with that; I figure sooner or later it'll happen organically, and in the meantime there's plenty of other stuff to do... but if I were looking for specific endgame activities, and I had gotten behind on leveling, I might be frustrated.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:49 (453 days ago) @ Claude Errera

Hey guess what? I’ve only done EP once and I’m max level. So just round me up if you want to play it.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by cheapLEY @, Monday, July 23, 2018, 08:33 (453 days ago) @ Vortech

The soft cap is ostensibly designed to keep the community leveling together. I’d argue it does the opposite of that. Miss a week, and you fall behind with literally no way to catch up. It sucks.


Why is there no way to catch up?

If you fall behind a week, you’ll be behind by a week until everyone hits max level. If you fall behind farther than that, it will take even more time to catch up. I’m at 366 right now. I’ve played enough in terms of sheer time to probably be close to max, but I have t played the exact way Bungie thinks I should, so I’m stuck in a slow progression every week.

It’s not the end of the world, I’ll get there eventually. I spent last night going through part of the Sturm/Drang quest because stabbim convinced me it was worth it. That’s not helpful to my level, but it was fun, but in terms of progressing, it was a complete waste of two hours. That’s bad design, in my opinion. For a game that’s ostensibly about having fun and playing the way you want, the game is awfully restrictive in terms of actually making progress after the soft cap.

I mostly don’t mind too much. As much as it may not seem like it, I’ve truly become content with the way I play Destiny, and doing what I want while slowly making progress where ever I will. I have tons of fun just fucking around in that game while making zero progress towards leveling up. Part of it is Moments of Triumph coming up, and needing to rush to get stuff done. I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t get it, but I want that shirt.

I’ll admit that spending too much time on reddit over the weekend got me riled up about this particular issue. Too many folks arguing that Whisper is special because you have to wait four a random chance to even start the quest, that people like me don’t even deserve it because I haven’t put in my time, and I clearly don’t really care because if I did I’d obviously be at max level already.

Why is it so hard for Bungie to understand that I want to experience the best content in Destiny too, without having to treat it like a second job?

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The soft cap is bad system.

by slycrel ⌂, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:03 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I'm sort of where you are, and I'm a little frustrated by the soft cap as well. I've come to grips that I'm not the target audience though. I think this is intentional -- it's a polarizing move by Bungie, and I think a mixed one. They have 2 options... cater to those who want to play Destiny like a 2nd job, and those who don't. The first pool is smaller but I bet is more likely to pre-order, buy eververse things, etc. While the more casual plater, being a larger group, might get sales at big releases but then trickle-stop playing between large content blocks.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by squidnh3, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:25 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

. I spent last night going through part of the Sturm/Drang quest because stabbim convinced me it was worth it. That’s not helpful to my level, but it was fun, but in terms of progressing, it was a complete waste of two hours.

I think any exotic quests count as a leveled drop, so it might actually have been worth it!

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:47 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

It was great before too how you could infuse armor from one class into another. So if you’ve done the grind and proven yourself so to speak on a hunter, you could just infuse a warlock quickly to 400 if you wanted to try a different class. Making someone grind again is idiotic.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Monday, July 23, 2018, 10:00 (453 days ago) @ Cody Miller

It was great before too how you could infuse armor from one class into another. So if you’ve done the grind and proven yourself so to speak on a hunter, you could just infuse a warlock quickly to 400 if you wanted to try a different class. Making someone grind again is idiotic.

I understand that sentiment. But your weapons count toward your progress on all characters regardless of where they are, so you already have a major bump in that regard. Sure armor doesn't, but that goes pretty fast. I haven't had a problem leveling up my alt characters.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Monday, July 23, 2018, 07:35 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I'm skilled enough to do these things as a player, but Bungie just decides I haven't played the game enough to be able to do so.

This feels more like a criticism of a level-based game than any particular implementation.

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The soft cap is bad system.

by cheapLEY @, Monday, July 23, 2018, 08:22 (453 days ago) @ Vortech

My problem is specifically the implementation. If you could just continue getting drops from whatever, it wouldn’t be an issue. But I don’t play the exact way Bungie wants and knockout the checklist they’ve created, I’m done progressing after a night or two of play, unless I can get some raids together (which I apparently can’t).

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, July 23, 2018, 09:39 (453 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I said this in June 2014. It’s not changing, and it’s one of the biggest weaknesses of the genre. Instead of growing more powerful because WE become more skilled, the game has to do it for us.

Heaven forbid the ‘grind’ is simply practicing and getting better or developing new strats.

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There’s a middle ground.

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:24 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I agree—I think Destiny could be even better without a Power Level system at all. I’m not interested in having that conversation again.

I would settle for not being locked out of progressing if I don’t do Bungie’s weekly checklist. It was fine the way it worked in The Taken King.

They don’t have to rain powerful drops on us like they do up until the soft cap. Just allow all drops to move us forward, even if it’s only 1 or 2 power level per item. Let me slowly gain power while I’m continually grinding out Zavala rank or playing Crucible or doing literally any activity in the game. Bring back streak bonuses for rare Powerful Engram drops.

I don’t care that I have to spend time leveling up—I like this game enough to just spend the time playing it. I do mind that the things I often find myself doing to enjoy playing the game are completely useless to leveling up because of the completely arbitrary gate.

I spent a few hours running through early missions with Korny on his new character. And it was fun! Why shouldn’t I be able to get the occasional engram with a meager power increase from that?

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There’s a middle ground.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:33 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I agree—I think Destiny could be even better without a Power Level system at all. I’m not interested in having that conversation again.

I feel the same, only because I know Bungie's not going to do it. As a theoretical thing it's fine, but it's not going to happen. Not in the Destiny franchise anyway.

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There’s a middle ground.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:07 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Perhaps a better solution is to change the infusion system.

It could work like an EXP bar. So the higher light level you infuse, the more your item progresses. But, you could infuse lower level stuff to gradually increase the power of your gear. This way even shitty blue drops you get while playing could be useful. Hmm. Do I use it to level up this gun a little, or dismantle it for materials?

The system could easily be redesigned so that no matter what you do, you always progress, no matter how small.

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There’s a middle ground.

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:16 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

That honestly sounds great. Mix that with Korny’s proposed system of actually upgrading and building weapons.

I would love to see a version of Destiny where most people used a bunch of blues, with a few purples here and there, and exotics being more rare. High base stats with decent perks for blues, and slightly worse stats but slightly more “fun” perks on Legendaries. It would possibly allow fir the return of Fatebringer and The Messenger tier Legendaries.

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There’s a middle ground.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:55 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Perhaps a better solution is to change the infusion system.

It could work like an EXP bar. So the higher light level you infuse, the more your item progresses. But, you could infuse lower level stuff to gradually increase the power of your gear. This way even shitty blue drops you get while playing could be useful. Hmm. Do I use it to level up this gun a little, or dismantle it for materials?

That sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice (personally) it sounds like a huge chore.

The system could easily be redesigned

As a software engineer, when I hear phrases like this it kindles a white hot fire inside me that makes me want to go out and punch something.

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There’s a middle ground.

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:01 (452 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

The system could easily be redesigned


As a software engineer, when I hear phrases like this it kindles a white hot fire inside me that makes me want to go out and punch something.

Ditto
[image]

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There’s a middle ground.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:46 (452 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Perhaps a better solution is to change the infusion system.

It could work like an EXP bar. So the higher light level you infuse, the more your item progresses. But, you could infuse lower level stuff to gradually increase the power of your gear. This way even shitty blue drops you get while playing could be useful. Hmm. Do I use it to level up this gun a little, or dismantle it for materials?


That sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice (personally) it sounds like a huge chore.

Less of a chore than grinding is now?!

And where exactly did I talk about the difficulty of programming the change?! That's a non sequitur.

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There’s a middle ground.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 12:49 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Perhaps a better solution is to change the infusion system.

It could work like an EXP bar. So the higher light level you infuse, the more your item progresses. But, you could infuse lower level stuff to gradually increase the power of your gear. This way even shitty blue drops you get while playing could be useful. Hmm. Do I use it to level up this gun a little, or dismantle it for materials?


That sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice (personally) it sounds like a huge chore.


Less of a chore than grinding is now?!

Yes? "grinding", your word not mine, has only gotten easier since launch in my opinion.


And where exactly did I talk about the difficulty of programming the change?! That's a non sequitur.

Perhaps a better solution is to change the infusion system.

Here.

The system could easily be redesigned so that no matter what you do, you always progress, no matter how small.

And here.

If you say something should be changed in software, that requires programming the change. I made my comment because as a software engineer when someone says it would be "easy" to redesign and program a core mechanic in complex and live system it makes me want to punch something.

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There’s a middle ground.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 17:05 (452 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

If you say something should be changed in software, that requires programming the change. I made my comment because as a software engineer when someone says it would be "easy" to redesign and program a core mechanic in complex and live system it makes me want to punch something.

Easy from a conceptual standpoint.

The grunt work of programming is not really what I'm talking about here. If my proposal is beyond the means of Bungie's programmers, then something is wrong. But then again, these are the guys who say we can't delete all the shaders in a stack at once.

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There’s a middle ground.

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 18:57 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

If you say something should be changed in software, that requires programming the change. I made my comment because as a software engineer when someone says it would be "easy" to redesign and program a core mechanic in complex and live system it makes me want to punch something.


Easy from a conceptual standpoint.

The grunt work of programming is not really what I'm talking about here. If my proposal is beyond the means of Bungie's programmers, then something is wrong. But then again, these are the guys who say we can't delete all the shaders in a stack at once.

Your lack of respect for something you don't know how to do is amazing.

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There’s a middle ground.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 19:59 (452 days ago) @ kidtsunami

If you say something should be changed in software, that requires programming the change. I made my comment because as a software engineer when someone says it would be "easy" to redesign and program a core mechanic in complex and live system it makes me want to punch something.


Easy from a conceptual standpoint.

The grunt work of programming is not really what I'm talking about here. If my proposal is beyond the means of Bungie's programmers, then something is wrong. But then again, these are the guys who say we can't delete all the shaders in a stack at once.


Your lack of respect for something you don't know how to do is amazing.

It’s true, I don’t know how to do it. But I’ve seen it done by countless other companies. I can’t build a car, but I can tell you if one is shoddily constructed.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 23:25 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

- No text -

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 07:06 (451 days ago) @ Harmanimus

I think it depends how you read it. It's absolutely true that it's possible to judge the quality of a product without knowing every step of what went into making it. Reviewers of pretty much all consumer goods do it every day. So, IMO, it's not entirely unreasonable to look at other games which have done similar things and think that perhaps Bungie should have been able to pull it off, too.

BUT, that's not exactly what's being discussed here. We already KNOW that D2 has this shader situation. One way or another, it got out the door with only single-item delete. That's a fact. The thing that's being questioned is how easy it should be to CHANGE it, now that the game's out in the wild. I'm not sure that any of us actually has the information necessary to determine that.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 07:11 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

I think it depends how you read it. It's absolutely true that it's possible to judge the quality of a product without knowing every step of what went into making it. Reviewers of pretty much all consumer goods do it every day. So, IMO, it's not entirely unreasonable to look at other games which have done similar things and think that perhaps Bungie should have been able to pull it off, too.

BUT, that's not exactly what's being discussed here. We already KNOW that D2 has this shader situation. One way or another, it got out the door with only single-item delete. That's a fact. The thing that's being questioned is how easy it should be to CHANGE it, now that the game's out in the wild. I'm not sure that any of us actually has the information necessary to determine that.

Well put. And I question every single person who assumes that it's an easy fix. And it all depends on how a developer decided to program it into their game. A good example is why it's so easy to change an air filter on one car, but you have to pull the engine out to replace it on another car.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:37 (451 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Well put. And I question every single person who assumes that it's an easy fix. And it all depends on how a developer decided to program it into their game. A good example is why it's so easy to change an air filter on one car, but you have to pull the engine out to replace it on another car.

Either it’s a supercar where ease of maintenance doesn’t matter, or the engineers are fucking dumb (or their design goals were fucking dumb, I guess). I spend half my day cursing engineers’ dumb fucking decisions.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:52 (451 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Well put. And I question every single person who assumes that it's an easy fix. And it all depends on how a developer decided to program it into their game. A good example is why it's so easy to change an air filter on one car, but you have to pull the engine out to replace it on another car.


Either it’s a supercar where ease of maintenance doesn’t matter, or the engineers are fucking dumb (or their design goals were fucking dumb, I guess). I spend half my day cursing engineers’ dumb fucking decisions.

In bigger companies, it're rarely the actual engineers decisions. Computer Science majors actually take classes on how to deal with managers and people that are non-software. Yes, there are stupid Engineers but there are also engineers that are very talented and are told to just do something.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:34 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

It shouldn’t have to be changed though. Conceptually the idea of only being able to delete single shaders never should have been approved. If the system you propose makes deleting a stack of things impossible, then go back to the drawing board and propose something that is up to contemporary standards. Especially when there are so few shader slots. I haven’t earned a new shader since October. They all go to the postmaster.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:05 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Yes, I agree with all of that. The game SHOULD have allowed for multiple deletions to begin with. Still, this is the current state of things, and changing it after the fact apparently isn't easy.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 11:26 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

Yes, I agree with all of that. The game SHOULD have allowed for multiple deletions to begin with. Still, this is the current state of things, and changing it after the fact apparently isn't easy.

Right, but if your builder made your house with a bad foundation, and you wanted to add a room, would you really be sympathetic if they said it was hard because the foundation was built wrong? I'd have no sympathy for them.

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I question the validity of that assertion.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 12:07 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Who said anything about sympathy? I said it was hard.

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There’s a middle ground.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 07:07 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

If you say something should be changed in software, that requires programming the change. I made my comment because as a software engineer when someone says it would be "easy" to redesign and program a core mechanic in complex and live system it makes me want to punch something.


Easy from a conceptual standpoint.

The grunt work of programming is not really what I'm talking about here. If my proposal is beyond the means of Bungie's programmers, then something is wrong. But then again, these are the guys who say we can't delete all the shaders in a stack at once.


Your lack of respect for something you don't know how to do is amazing.

This, oh so much this.

It’s true, I don’t know how to do it.

I believe this.

But I’ve seen it done by countless other companies.

I believe you have seen the result, not seen it done and understood the process. Two very different things. If you have, then sorry for doubting you.

I can’t build a car, but I can tell you if one is shoddily constructed.

I understand where you are going with this. But to say that Destiny is "shoddily constructed" is going a little too far in my opinion. Regardless of that, we are talking about how one fixes a core feature of a game. It's by no means beyond Bungie's programmers, that's not a problem. It's the effort and time and money it would take. And you make it sound like it's going to take a week of work at no cost or consequences.

To use my own metaphor, this is like doing back surgery. Yeah, the surgery could be a success, but there are so many systems that tie into your back that you could seriously @#$% something up. The very idea of it should make doctors think if there is another solution. Can they do it? hell yeah they can. But on the flip side would you feel safe if some doctor told you that they could easily replace one of your vertebrae? I would think long and hard about someone who was so flippant about something so difficult.

And I will always link back to this when I have this type of conversation. And every software engineer I know knows exactly what I'm talking about.

https://xkcd.com/1425/

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There’s a middle ground.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:42 (451 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Your xkcd comic is not applicable. Photo recognition is a hard problem nobody has solved. Deleting all items in a stack has been a feature of games since there were games.

Again I don’t know how to program. All I care about is results. And I see results in almost every other game ever. If Bungie designed a their system with this shortcoming that is a mistake, and I don’t know why people make excuses.

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There’s a middle ground.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:02 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Your xkcd comic is not applicable. Photo recognition is a hard problem nobody has solved. Deleting all items in a stack has been a feature of games since there were games.

Yes, it is. The comic literally illustrates how some people might think something is easy when in fact it's very complicated to program. Which happens to be exactly what we are talking about.

Again I don’t know how to program. All I care about is results. And I see results in almost every other game ever. If Bungie designed a their system with this shortcoming that is a mistake, and I don’t know why people make excuses.

*sigh* I'm not saying that there is no mistake. I'm just trying to explain that people make it sound like the problem is just some simple fix and I'm trying to point out that software is rarely ever that simple. They might be able to make a quick fix, but that could seriously damage the overall product down the line and introduce bugs. And because they haven't done it, there must be a reason as to why. Like, to introduce a system like that, they have to rework the dismantling system, along with the system that gives you rewards. Those are two very important systems that would take a while to develop and test.

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There’s a middle ground.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 21:58 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

these are the guys who say we can't delete all the shaders in a stack at once.

All heckling aside, I would genuinely like to understand what the mechanism is that's making this so difficult to achieve. It seems so simple in theory (if you can do thing X, then surely you can do thing X a bunch of times, right?), yet clearly there's some problem that wasn't anticipated. But what? How? Why? Once this happens I'd love to see an explainer like they did with the heavy ammo bug in D1. Although I suspect that, somehow, this one is actually more complex. Or, at least, involves things that we users aren't as immediately familiar with.

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Shader stacks.

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 23:31 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

Per This Week At Bungie 25JAN18:

Shaders are individual items, and individual items trigger individual reward bundles when dismantled . . . creates a challenge for us that we haven’t yet addressed, which is triggering dozens (or hundreds) of reward bundles simultaneously when an entire stack of shaders is dismantled.

. . . safeguard against scenarios where this produced items that couldn’t fit in your inventory, which could be instantly lost.

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Shader stacks.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 07:21 (451 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Interesting. I can't say that I've ever noticed anything other than glimmer and maybe bright dust coming from dismantling shaders. Anyone remember seeing something else?

Glimmer doesn't seem like it would be an issue. It has a well-known max cap of 100,000 and most players understand that they won't get more after that.

Bright dust... might have a cap? I don't really know. I think the most I've ever had at one time was 3,000-something.

Is there something else? It seems like there must be.

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Shader stacks.

by Harmanimus @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:47 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

Legendary shaders will drop Legendary Shards if their origin isn’t Eververse. I don’t think I’ve seen anything else come out of shaders.

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Ah, OK

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:07 (451 days ago) @ Harmanimus

- No text -

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Shader stacks.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:47 (451 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Per This Week At Bungie 25JAN18:

Shaders are individual items, and individual items trigger individual reward bundles when dismantled . . . creates a challenge for us that we haven’t yet addressed, which is triggering dozens (or hundreds) of reward bundles simultaneously when an entire stack of shaders is dismantled.

. . . safeguard against scenarios where this produced items that couldn’t fit in your inventory, which could be instantly lost.

If you hit the cap on glimmer / marks whatever, then you lose the rest. So what. If your post master fills up? You lose the rest. So what? It’s the risk you take when you mass delete. Square deletes one, R1 and square deletes all at your own risk. Lame excuse.

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Shader stacks.

by Harmanimus @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:49 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

And they say that is the easy way out and they wanted a more user friendly solution. You may accept punishment for things that logically shouldn’t be built to punish you, but that doesn’t mean it is good for the users.

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Shader stacks.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:05 (451 days ago) @ Harmanimus

And they say that is the easy way out and they wanted a more user friendly solution. You may accept punishment for things that logically shouldn’t be built to punish you, but that doesn’t mean it is good for the users.

Agreed. They will introduce a way to choose how many you want to delete and they will make it built into more than just shaders. They might not apply it to those yet, but the system will be in place. That is probably how it should be done from what I know.

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Shader stacks.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:10 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Square deletes one, R1 and square deletes all at your own risk.

I would propose that the mass-delete system display a slider that could adjust between 1 and whatever amount you have. Just because I have 400 of a shader and want to dismantle a lot of them for glimmer doesn't mean I want to have 0 left!

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Exactly.

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:20 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

- No text -

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Shader stacks.

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 12:31 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

Square deletes one, R1 and square deletes all at your own risk.


I would propose that the mass-delete system display a slider that could adjust between 1 and whatever amount you have. Just because I have 400 of a shader and want to dismantle a lot of them for glimmer doesn't mean I want to have 0 left!

Bungie has this weird, irrational hatred of sliders for some reason. It makes no sense.

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Shader stacks.

by bluerunner @, Music City, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 13:29 (451 days ago) @ Korny

Bungie has this weird, irrational hatred of sliders for some reason. It makes no sense.

It's just that what's the point in them? I've got to eat 4 or 5 versus just one hamburger to be full, and I can't stack as many ingredients on top. Want lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon, onions, and peppers all stacked on that? Too bad, because the thing is only 2 inches in diameter. Hope you like just a single pickel and a squirt of mustard.

And don't get me started on mini-cupcakes. They're just a mini version of regular cupcakes. Which is already a mini version of cake. Where does this miniaturization of food end?

Shader stacks.

by Claude Errera @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 14:22 (451 days ago) @ bluerunner

Bungie has this weird, irrational hatred of sliders for some reason. It makes no sense.


It's just that what's the point in them? I've got to eat 4 or 5 versus just one hamburger to be full, and I can't stack as many ingredients on top. Want lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon, onions, and peppers all stacked on that? Too bad, because the thing is only 2 inches in diameter. Hope you like just a single pickel and a squirt of mustard.

And don't get me started on mini-cupcakes. They're just a mini version of regular cupcakes. Which is already a mini version of cake. Where does this miniaturization of food end?

[image]

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Shader stacks.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 14:25 (451 days ago) @ bluerunner

tomato

Tomatoes are not food.

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Shader stacks.

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 14:58 (451 days ago) @ bluerunner

Bungie has this weird, irrational hatred of sliders for some reason. It makes no sense.


It's just that what's the point in them?

Sauces. I know for your people salt is as exotic as you go, but Sliders open up so many options. Want Frisco sauce? Garlic Parm? BBQ? Chipotle? Ranch?
Instead of committing to one, you can have one of each!
It's that "first bite is the best" effect multiplied.

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Shader stacks.

by bluerunner @, Music City, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 15:16 (451 days ago) @ Korny

Sauces. I know for your people salt is as exotic as you go,

The only seasoning I need.
[image]

Shader stacks.

by marmot 1333 @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 21:02 (451 days ago) @ bluerunner

One day I mentioned this stuff in the PNW and no one knew what I was talking about :(

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+1

by breitzen @, Kansas, Thursday, July 26, 2018, 06:20 (450 days ago) @ bluerunner

- No text -

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The soft cap is bad system.

by Robot Chickens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:56 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I said this in June 2014. It’s not changing, and it’s one of the biggest weaknesses of the genre. Instead of growing more powerful because WE become more skilled, the game has to do it for us.

Heaven forbid the ‘grind’ is simply practicing and getting better or developing new strats.

Like Cheaply, I agree that this discussion all remain theoretical bc Destiny will not change.

That being said, in my arm-chair developer role, I wish power level were gone and they replaced incentives to level up with perk-specific gear. Raids are great this way. The gear perks can create synergies with our play-styles that make it easier as you go and tackle harder content (prestige). I wish all activities granted different perks for gear that was situationally effective. Heck, make the nightfall gear give perks that impact Escalation Protocol if you want players to spread out their game time.

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Power level makes no sense

by Durandal, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 05:37 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

It's really there just to incentivise end game content. Raids and Trials are hard, and for some, they need the exclusivity of the power level in addition to the unique gear in order to keep interest.

These days PVP alone isn't enough to maintain interest in a game. It's expected now to have some sort of "investment system" that encourages players to keep playing.

The easiest way to do so is to provide some sort of progress bar that people fill. Levels make a good progress bar, and now we have to have some reason to grind them, so PL.

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Interesting theory...

by squidnh3, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 06:40 (452 days ago) @ Durandal

Except power level has never mattered in D2 Trials or Iron Banner.

Power level is in the game (and many other games) because people like it.

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Interesting theory...

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 07:24 (452 days ago) @ squidnh3

Except power level has never mattered in D2 Trials or Iron Banner.

It doesn’t matter in terms of gameplay, but it does act as a form of gate or barrier between the player and the activity...

Power level is in the game (and many other games) because people like it.

Speaking specifically about Destiny, what precisely does power level do that people like? I can’t think of a single tangeable effect on the gameplay mechanics that justifies the existence of power levels, mostly because I rarely feel a difference in my character’s intrinsic “power”. Cool new weapons make me feel more powerful. So do new abilities. My own competence and skill plays a part. None of these things have any direct or necessary connection to power levels.

I suspect that the only reason anyone “likes” power levels in Destiny is because we get a dopamine hit every time we see our numbers go up. It stimulates our most base-level motivational instincts. Which isn’t inherently good or bad, I suppose. My personal issue comes down to the fact that it is so blatantly layed overtop of a gameplay experience that works perfectly well without it. I’d go even further; I think Destiny’s net gameplay experience would be better without the gating and filtering effects of the power level economy. You can still have a game where players gain health and do more damage as they progress. That can be achieved through other mechanics and systems that are divorced from any sort of RNG-based level climb.

I believe that is the fundamental point of contention around the RNG-based power levels; it isn’t clear what they add to the game that couldn’t be achieved in other, more player-friendly ways, aside from the obvious and shallow “numbers going up” effect, plus the more manipulative aspects of gating access to activities through an RNG loot system (as a simple example, Halo gave players access to new weapons and equipment over the course of the game that helped the player feel more “powerful”, even if only situationally).

In no way am I against power levels as a concept. I’ve played plenty of games where I felt like they added nicely to the experience. I just feel that Bungie has yet to implement power levels in a way that justifies their existence, outside of the “hours played” metadata.

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#i_do_it_for_the_dopamine

by Speedracer513 @, Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 08:10 (452 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

And I'm not ashamed to admit it. :-)

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Interesting theory...

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 08:29 (452 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I suspect that the only reason anyone “likes” power levels in Destiny is because we get a dopamine hit every time we see our numbers go up. It stimulates our most base-level motivational instincts. Which isn’t inherently good or bad, I suppose. My personal issue comes down to the fact that it is so blatantly layed overtop of a gameplay experience that works perfectly well without it. I’d go even further; I think Destiny’s net gameplay experience would be better without the gating and filtering effects of the power level economy. You can still have a game where players gain health and do more damage as they progress. That can be achieved through other mechanics and systems that are divorced from any sort of RNG-based level climb.

You know what game did Investment systems right? Wa Dying Light. You initially level up as any normal RPG, earning points to put into unlocks such as Parkour abilities, tools, damage, crafting, etc. But once you unlock every skill on any one of your three skill trees, the game unlocks a fourth leveling tier, called "Legend", where you earn points by playing the game like normal, as well as by doing specific actions like turning in resource drops. These points can be used on the Legend system, which helps to improve specific aspects of your character beyond the normal leveling system, without impacting that system at all, as it's stat-based as opposed to affecting your abilities or perks.

So you can have a player who has put 200 hours into the game being rewarded for it, without punishing a player who only has 20 hours in the game, as both have the same exact access to skills, and can do every part of the game. While the legend system only adds ten skills to level up, each one has 25 levels, so you'll be putting points into that tree long, long after you've hit max rank and unlocked everything else.


I believe that is the fundamental point of contention around the RNG-based power levels; it isn’t clear what they add to the game that couldn’t be achieved in other, more player-friendly ways, aside from the obvious and shallow “numbers going up” effect, plus the more manipulative aspects of gating access to activities through an RNG loot system (as a simple example, Halo gave players access to new weapons and equipment over the course of the game that helped the player feel more “powerful”, even if only situationally).

This is why I've always championed the "Everything should be good" style of development, and an easy fix has been there since Day 1 of Destiny. Let the rarity define the number of perks of a piece of gear. Let us improve our common gear up to Rare through use (except for armor, which should be able to be upgraded to Legendary). Make it difficult to earn Legendary weapons, but make them stand on even ground with a player-built Rare (Rares made by players should have better stats than a Legendary, but fewer perks). Let the Legendaries keep the most interesting perks, such as Dragonfly or Cocoon, but let me bring my damaged Traveler's chosen into a Raid if I want to.

They could even reintroduce the +/- system that Destiny 1 had for our personally leveled gear to further differentiate it from the Legendaries.

And Exotics all need to have a specific method to obtain. The Whisper quest shows how to do this at it's absolute greatest, but there can be so many ways to do this. We're getting a record book/stats page, which would be a great way to make Exotics unlockable. Want those now-awesome Doomfang Pauldrons? Sure, you can try for an Engram, OR get 500 Defender Super kills. 1000 Super Kills unlock the Masterwork.


In no way am I against power levels as a concept. I’ve played plenty of games where I felt like they added nicely to the experience. I just feel that Bungie has yet to implement power levels in a way that justifies their existence, outside of the “hours played” metadata.

I think the move to a four day reset will help a lot. That way you can have two opportunities during the week to do things, leading to a more consistent climb (which explains why the new Max Light is so ridiculously high now compared to previous scaling). The downside is that the higher they make the climb, the less meaning it can have, otherwise they're putting a serious disconnect between players who grind for hours a day, and the casual folks. If a person at 360 Light sees that some of the new content requires 600 Light? Why should he bother? That shows a steep time investment required, and so he'll likely just give up and move on to another game that respects his time.

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Interesting theory...

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:13 (452 days ago) @ Korny

This is why I've always championed the "Everything should be good" style of development, and an easy fix has been there since Day 1 of Destiny.

Everything being good destroys the fundamental decision making process behind choice. There needs to be strategies, builds, and weapons that are 'bad' so that players can discover the good ones and make a choice have consequences.

There needs to be both a variety of 'good' strategies, gear, and skills such that no single one is overly dominant, but also a larger amount of bad or suboptimal ones to make choice matter.

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Interesting theory...

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:58 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Korny, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:03

This is why I've always championed the "Everything should be good" style of development, and an easy fix has been there since Day 1 of Destiny.


Everything being good destroys the fundamental decision making process behind choice. There needs to be strategies, builds, and weapons that are 'bad' so that players can discover the good ones and make a choice have consequences.

I mean good as in "you can take the game's starting weapons, and carry them all the way to the end of the edngamiest content". Will they have decent stats? Probably not. But I used the Khvostov in D1 Crucible for giggles. I would have loved to carry it through Aksis as well, but the Light decrease was often too much until the exotic rolled around. Same for Trials (remember that time that we ran Y1 Thorns in Trials just to troll the enemy team?).


There needs to be both a variety of 'good' strategies, gear, and skills such that no single one is overly dominant, but also a larger amount of bad or suboptimal ones to make choice matter.

I mean, look at the Whisper event. There were clear, optimal routes and such, but a lot of the fun of that quest came from mixing it up and doing things in a riskier, suboptimal manner. Getting flung by the wall blasts to clear an area? Impractical, but genius! I spent hours doing the platforming over and over just to find fun, weird ways to get through it, and even I haven't come close to some of the crazy stuff that the PC crowd has been doing.

And as far as weapons go, it's all a skill thing. Remember that time that I went into Doubles solo with a Traveler's chosen, a Mob Justice, and a then-garbage Darci? That was really fun! Having optimal gear is one thing, and sure, it can be the goal for a lot of people, but the most fun for me is when I find something outside of the meta that I personally enjoy (see my love of Pro-pipes and Rare Auto Rifles). Choice comes from the individual player, not just from the handful of best tools with the best stats.
Otherwise, I'd be one of those mouth breathers who run Antiope, Lance, and Sins of the Past. Didn't you see how many honor-less chumps ran MIDA across D1 and D2? Where was the sandbox variety? The game actively punishes you for making choices that are outside of the optimum tools at a fundamental level, simply through Power Level.

Curated loadouts are helping a lot. and I'd love to see that pushed through more bits of endgame content, but imagine how much richer the experience could be if you could take your starting weapons with you when you finally faced down Ghaul?

The first weapon that I ever got in Warframe, the Skana, remains in my inventory, and I've put enough work into it that it's insanely powerful, even more so than a lot of the weapons with better base stats in the game, all because I personally invested in it, and the game has rewarded me for that... But it's not the most fun weapon that I have by a long shot.

I mean, Borderlands 2 let you kill Jack with the first pistol that you took out of Claptrap's fridge. Heh.

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Interesting theory...

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:49 (452 days ago) @ Korny

And as far as weapons go, it's all a skill thing. Remember that time that I went into Doubles solo with a Traveler's chosen, a Mob Justice, and a then-garbage Darci? That was really fun! Having optimal gear is one thing, and sure, it can be the goal for a lot of people, but the most fun for me is when I find something outside of the meta that I personally enjoy (see my love of Pro-pipes and Rare Auto Rifles). Choice comes from the individual player, not just from the handful of best tools with the best stats.

I'm not sure how this is relevant… if you have fun handicapping yourself then that's fine? Nobody is stopping you… in fact you can get a lot of milage out of that. You go in knowing your choice puts you at a disadvantage which is ok if that's what you are going for.

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Interesting theory...

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 13:56 (452 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Korny, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 14:01


I'm not sure how this is relevant… if you have fun handicapping yourself then that's fine? Nobody is stopping you… in fact you can get a lot of milage out of that. You go in knowing your choice puts you at a disadvantage which is ok if that's what you are going for.

Because I don't want to be forced to get "better" stuff. The way rarity and Power levels work, you are forced to chase "better" stuff, because the game will actively punish you. You said

There needs to be strategies, builds, and weapons that are 'bad' so that players can discover the good ones and make a choice have consequences.

But I say that if you can get things done with "bad" choices, why are those bad? The more the game forces you to adopt the "good" so-called choices, the smaller the sandbox, the fewer options for the player, and ultimately, the worse things get as far as player investment. I want to be able to infuse my Common gear. I want to be able to get any armor to a level similar to the current "Max Power" by virtue of there not being Power. Simply skill, perks, and preference.

Railroading players to a limited number of options is not "giving them choices".

Everything being good destroys the fundamental decision making process behind choice.

It doesn't. It opens up all kinds of avenues for the player to make their own loadouts, and reward their playstyle. Because they're not forced to abandon something that they like in favor of the "optimum loadout". If I wanted to take that terrible loadout into a Prestige raid, I should be free to without seeing "Immune" pop up with every round.

I mean, I still carry and wear my damaged helmet, because it looks great. Why shouldn't I be able to wear it from beginning to end if that's my wish without getting punished for it?

[image]
(And yes, in this particular instance, I will be able to get an ornament that allows me to don the damaged helmet without punishment, but why can't it be universal?)

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:39 (452 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY
edited by Ragashingo, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:43

Specifically, I think Warmind used Power Level in the best possible way in two cases:

1. Escalation Protocol. When we first started Warmind, an entire group of us could not kill the first boss. Heck, it was questionable if we could get to the first boss. Over time, as we’ve leveled up, that experience has changed more and more for the better. Now, I can almost solo level 1 if I really try, and I’m certainly a deciding factor in the first 3 or so rounds. That’s pretty cool.

2. Spire of Stars. That final room and especially the boss fight overwhelmed us while being just on the edge of maybe we can do this. (We couldn’t.) But, go a couple of weeks forward where we took Bungie’s encouragement to play other activities as a group (we did previous Raids and Prestige modes and nightfalls together) and pretty soon our team had gained enough Power Level that those final Spire encounters changed. Where they were on the far side of being nearly too difficult, now they were on the near side and several of us noted how much more fun we were having with the encounter.

(I also though the new faction rallies and their Renown system was a pretty good use of limiting players to increase fun. Even around here we had people who had all but ignored Lost Sectors proclaiming how much fun they were having and how interesting each hidden location was.)

So, my thought is: Sometimes holding players back a little is actually a pro-player strategy. If you can encourage players to go back and have more fun with past or unplayed content without making it too much of a chore to level up... then that’s a good thing. Destiny certainly doesn’t achieve pure “good thing” status. My main Titan build is below 380, for instance, because after sharing 1500+ weapon parts and spending another 10,000 glimmer, I didn’t get one single Void Melee Arms upgrade. There’s definitely a point that the RNG and Power Level gets silly and frustrating... but a little bit in the right places can provide tangible benefits to players’ experiences.

(Yes... anyone who says they can’t think of a single way that something can be good or bad is pretty much akin to lighting up the Raga Signal / Horn of Urgency.)

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 09:58 (452 days ago) @ Ragashingo


(Yes... anyone who says they can’t think of a single way that something can be good or bad is pretty much akin to lighting up the Raga Signal / Horn of Urgency.)


This is all totally personal, obviously, but IMO neither of your examples show an up-side to power levels. Similar effects could have been achieved through things like selectable difficulty levels, earning weapons that simply do more damage than the weapons that are available earlier, just as a couple examples.

So I don’t think I’m the one who needs to think bigger ;p. Ask yourself: “Do these things I like REALLY require power levels?”
Followed by: “Do the negative aspects of power levels justify their inclusion, when most (or possibly all) of their benefits could be achieved in other ways?”

My personal answer to both questions in the case of Destiny is “no”. But it’s obviously a very personal thing :)

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:11 (452 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

This is all totally personal, obviously, but IMO neither of your examples show an up-side to power levels. Similar effects could have been achieved through things like selectable difficulty levels, earning weapons that simply do more damage than the weapons that are available earlier, just as a couple examples.

Your latter example is just power levels again, only with the added downside of limiting weapon selection too.

I like Raga’s example of EP being too difficult at first. While I agree that selectable difficulty is great, there is something to be said for the entire community having the same experience and struggling against it.

I don’t think this issue is cut and dry. I just think it could be better, even while accepting the constraints of the power level. As stabbim said, that’s a moot point. Destiny will always have power levels, so talking about a version of Destiny that doesn’t have that is a fun exercise, but also pointless. I’d much rather focus on accepting the system as a given and focusing on improvements. The thing is, they had it figured out with The Taken King. Everything you did could give you drops. We’ve basically returned to Etheric Light—doing specific activities for a guaranteed powerful drop once a week.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:04 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I like Raga’s example of EP being too difficult at first. While I agree that selectable difficulty is great, there is something to be said for the entire community having the same experience and struggling against it.

For me, that same experience and struggle was not interesting or fun in the slightest. I just didn't engage after realizing that there was no way to succeed aside from raising my light level. At that point it was a waste of time to engage beyond that.

I still haven't done EP.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:40 (452 days ago) @ kidtsunami

I’m with you. I think it’s too extreme. EP would have been great if it had started hard but doable, with each tier getting more difficult. Instead it started damn near impossible and got harder from there. It would have been excellent to clear a wave or two (with a drop possible there) and then hit the impossible difficulty until you leveled up, with each power level increase letting you get just a bit further.

The point is that I do think it’s worthwhile to have content that you can attempt but is clearly meant to be played at higher levels. It just shouldn’t be such a chore to get to those higher levels

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 11:42 (452 days ago) @ cheapLEY

It just shouldn’t be such a chore to get to those higher levels

I guess everyone experiences it different. Cause this hasn't been the case for me.

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History of Power Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:27 (452 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY
edited by Cody Miller, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:39

I feel like so many developers are ignorant as to the history of and reason behind 'level' in the first place.

It's a holdover from tabletop games. There level was meant as an abstraction to show how your character grows in power and experience since, and this is the key point, you the player aren't really performing the actions. Fire a bow in D&D, and you yourself don't pull out a bow and try to hit a target. You roll a d20.

Because you aren't actually doing the actions your character is partaking in, there is no way for you yourself to get better at them. Thus, the leveling system was meant to simulate that.

But in video games, you are directly controlling the action. If you shoot a bow in Forsaken, you are actually aiming and shooting. Thus, you yourself can actually get better at these skills. Some games require a lot of such skills from the player, others not so much.

So why do games have levels at all then, if their reason for being is not applicable? It was a fundamental misunderstanding from the beginning. Computers are bad at the DM aspect of RPGs, since no AI can follow and craft a story like a human. But they are great at crunching numbers. Thus, because programming a game that responded to your choice the way a human would was (and still is) impossible, they wrongly focused on the numbers aspect.

The second reason, is that such RPG games had very simple systems, so without a power level they'd have been mastered in minutes. Look at the battle systems of your favorite RPGs, and you'd see there is not a lot of skill or decision making required. The 'hard' part is hitting the required level. Attack, heal. Attack, heal. That sort of thing. It's why every JRPG is terrible and only to be played for story.

So in a genre like FPS in which player skill matters a lot, levels are simply not required since there are means for players to increase their own skill in actuality. Remember, levels were designed to simulate this in games where this was impossible.

Now, there is a place for a set amount of exp or skill points that a player has to intelligently assign their character (Deus Ex), which again goes back to the idea of abstraction. The player cannot get better at jumping or swimming or lock picking within the systems of the game, so a leveling system is appropriate for those actions.

It's kind of maddening that professionals do not understand this about leveling systems.

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History of Power Levels

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 23:36 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Because you aren't actually doing the actions your character is partaking in, there is no way for you yourself to get better at them. You roll a d20.

I'd just like to highlight that this abstraction completely undercuts any other point you can have about level abstraction as a button on a gamepad or mouse or keyboard is as much an abstraction as selecting actions and rolling a d20 in regard to the actual physical action. Your variables may appear different, but it is no closer to firing a real bow than the d20.

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History of Power Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:49 (451 days ago) @ Harmanimus
edited by Cody Miller, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 08:52

Because you aren't actually doing the actions your character is partaking in, there is no way for you yourself to get better at them. You roll a d20.

I'd just like to highlight that this abstraction completely undercuts any other point you can have about level abstraction as a button on a gamepad or mouse or keyboard is as much an abstraction as selecting actions and rolling a d20 in regard to the actual physical action. Your variables may appear different, but it is no closer to firing a real bow than the d20.

Absolutely wrong. If that were the case no amount of practice would make you better. Practice absolutely makes you better, therefore you are completely wrong. You can absolutely get better at pressing the right buttons, at the right time, in the right sequence. No amount of practice can increase your average roll on a dice.

Firing a real bow and arrow is just an abstraction of electron probability clouds repelling eachother at the quantum level. So that’s supposed to make real life archery somehow not based on skill?

????????????

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History of Power Levels

by Harmanimus @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:10 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Harmanimus, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 09:13

So let me get what you are saying straight. No skills exist outside of those that require the physical manipulation of objects?

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History of Power Levels

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 10:34 (451 days ago) @ Cody Miller

You’ve made a lot of ridiculous arguments in the past, but this is easily top three.

Moving some thumbsticks around and pulling a trigger is no closer to firing a bow than rolling dice. Sure, it takes skill and you can improve at that action, but it’s still a drastic abstraction of what firing a bow (or a gun for that matter) is.

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History of Power Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 11:27 (451 days ago) @ cheapLEY

You’ve made a lot of ridiculous arguments in the past, but this is easily top three.

Moving some thumbsticks around and pulling a trigger is no closer to firing a bow than rolling dice. Sure, it takes skill and you can improve at that action, but it’s still a drastic abstraction of what firing a bow (or a gun for that matter) is.

Moving thumbsticks has nothing to do with shooting a bow. I never said otherwise. But it is a skill in and of itself, unlike a dice roll which is 100% luck based.

Can you get better at rolling a die? No. Can you get better at moving analog sticks in the right position, at the right speed, at the right time? You bet.

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History of Power Levels

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 12:05 (451 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I actually disagree here. Cody never said that moving a stick and pushing buttons is the SAME as firing a bow. That would be a ridiculous assertion for anyone to make.

Rather, he was saying that they are both things you can learn to do better. Which they are. I still vividly remember the first time I played Halo, having trouble trying to grasp moving two sticks at once. That experience is a far cry from playing Destiny now. As opposed to a tabletop RPG, where you can't really "learn" to make your character swing their imaginary sword better (spells are for chumps).

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History of Power Levels

by Harmanimus @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 12:18 (451 days ago) @ stabbim

That’s a pretty broad misunderstanding of most PnP mechanical systems though. You might not be able to make a basic attack better, but there are lots of options that are under a player’s individual control that they can improve non-tactile skill in using. The die roll has more in common with a Fallen Captain teleporting than it does with you firing a sniper shot at him. It simulates variables outside of your control.

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History of Power Levels

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 13:43 (451 days ago) @ stabbim
edited by cheapLEY, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 14:22

Sorry. That’s might fault, my post was poorly constructed.

The ridiculous bit was that last paragraph, which as good an example of pseudo-intellectual horseshit and trying to talk past the actual point as I’ve ever seen.

The second part of my post is a separate thought from that, and a poor attempt to rephrase the real point. If Cody’s argument is that character levels are an abstraction of actions player don’t physically execute, playing Destiny is just as far away from firing a gun or bow than rolling dice is from swinging a sword. Which is all to say that if character level is an abstraction of character improvement, then power level isn’t completely worthless in representing that growth for our Destiny characters either. I’m not necessarily sure I buy that—I think Destiny would have to lean much harder into its RPG aspects for that to be a really compelling argument, but that argument does follow from what Cody is saying.

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History of Power Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 16:22 (451 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Sorry. That’s might fault, my post was poorly constructed.

The ridiculous bit was that last paragraph, which as good an example of pseudo-intellectual horseshit and trying to talk past the actual point as I’ve ever seen.

The second part of my post is a separate thought from that, and a poor attempt to rephrase the real point. If Cody’s argument is that character levels are an abstraction of actions player don’t physically execute, playing Destiny is just as far away from firing a gun or bow than rolling dice is from swinging a sword. Which is all to say that if character level is an abstraction of character improvement, then power level isn’t completely worthless in representing that growth for our Destiny characters either. I’m not necessarily sure I buy that—I think Destiny would have to lean much harder into its RPG aspects for that to be a really compelling argument, but that argument does follow from what Cody is saying.

Yes. My point was that the idea of 'level' is meant to create avatar improvement, since there is no possibility of PLAYER improvement for those actions.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:27 (452 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY


(Yes... anyone who says they can’t think of a single way that something can be good or bad is pretty much akin to lighting up the Raga Signal / Horn of Urgency.)

This is all totally personal, obviously, but IMO neither of your examples show an up-side to power levels. Similar effects could have been achieved through things like selectable difficulty levels, earning weapons that simply do more damage than the weapons that are available earlier, just as a couple examples.

So I don’t think I’m the one who needs to think bigger ;p. Ask yourself: “Do these things I like REALLY require power levels?”
Followed by: “Do the negative aspects of power levels justify their inclusion, when most (or possibly all) of their benefits could be achieved in other ways?”

My personal answer to both questions in the case of Destiny is “no”. But it’s obviously a very personal thing :)

Dream bigger. It’s an Inception reference. :p

While difficulty levels have their place, I think there’s a lot to be said for overcoming set challenges. Another, older, example is Skolas. He was a massive pain to beat, but over time he became quite manageable. I like that sort of thing a lot more than purposely selecting “Hard Mode” or “Easy Mode.”

Also, just handing out guns that do more damage can be very counterproductive to a multiplayer game. If my expansion 3 auto rifle kills expansion 1 bosses in two bullets, I can’t as easily play with my friends. The Power Level / Light Level system has been a huge success in terms of not too badly unbalancing the game between people who play a lot and people who don’t.

Plus... how do you get said more powerful guns in your system? If it isn’t strictly handed to you via a mission everyone gets very quickly then you’re right back to RNG and a solution that is the same as Power Levels just with a new name pasted on the front.

At the end of the day, I think it’s really the “welp, you’ve done all you can possibly do this week.... come back in 3 - 5 days to level up some more” that is the biggest problem with D2 and Power Level. And some of that seems to be getting diminished with the shortening of the D2 work week in Forsaken. (Reset will rotate back around much sooner as I understand it.)

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. :)

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 23:47 (451 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I think you make a really great point here:

The Power Level / Light Level system has been a huge success in terms of not too badly unbalancing the game between people who play a lot and people who don’t.

This is actually one of the things that Destiny has done better than most games with major online components that aren't designed to be flat. As it stands in Des2ny, there is an overall 70 power level variance in play, regarding PvE. If 0 = PvE Combatant power level. -50 is the point at which damage is ignored because you are too under powered. At +20* you stop gaining additional benefits for having a higher power level over the PvE Combatants.

This is a huge level of variance where lower powered players can still contribute in many situations (albeit I do not find most content to be enjoyable that substantially underleveled myself) while not allowing higher power players to completely outclass content they may be playing with friends of lower power levels. Playing a strike with a new player who is in the ballpark of 100 light compared to the 140 suggested for regular strikes means that even a 385 Guardian will only be functionally 160.

I love that this aspect of the system encourages playing together rather than more traditional games which simply encouraged boosting.

*I don't have a source handy, but do believe it was from a recent twitter discussion.

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+1

by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Friday, July 27, 2018, 06:43 (449 days ago) @ Ragashingo

- No text -

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Your shtick is almost as annoying as mine

by ProbablyLast, Thursday, July 26, 2018, 23:14 (449 days ago) @ Ragashingo

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Power level makes no sense

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:08 (452 days ago) @ Durandal

It's really there just to incentivise end game content. Raids and Trials are hard, and for some, they need the exclusivity of the power level in addition to the unique gear in order to keep interest.

Trials has been power level disabled for a long time now.

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