After Reddit users let it be known that XP scaling in Destiny 2 was rigged toward longer, grind-heavy play sessions, developers Bungie Studios and publisher Activision-Blizzard have reworked the XP system in-game.
To briefly sum up what was going on before the patch, the XP system, as discovered by Reddit user EnergiserX last week, would scale down any gained XP points in Destiny 2 when earning XP in short bursts (short sessions, killing enemies in quick succession, etc.) and said scaling would be dialed back when doing any sort of longer play session where XP is earned gradually. However, the XP gain displayed in-game would show that you’re getting an amount higher than what is actually being gained. So the game would say you’re earning normally but the behind the scenes systems ensured that you were always earning less when you played in short bursts or doing public events.
Over the weekend, Bungie released a statement where they informed their playerbase that they were “unhappy” with the results of the system they implemented and would be removing it from the game.
So, no big deal right? A game developer removes a feature its player community didn’t like. So where’s the story? It’s simple: they didn’t think to remove it until after they were caught doing it.
At no point did Bungie or Activision-Blizzard tell Destiny 2’s playerbase that the XP scaling system would be in the game and they only ever acknowledged it after one fan did hours of research to expose the system. Bungie was perfectly fine having the system be in the game up until the moment they got caught and there was a fan outcry.
This has been a trend in the game industry lately, as Electronic Arts and DICE infamously had to backtrack its own in-game economy in Star Wars: Battlefront II after fan outcry during the first weeks of its release and during open beta.