Out of hours and during a public holiday, Bungie was forced to respond to a firestorm of controversy over the past weekend, after Destiny 2 players discovered the game frequently constrained progress towards your next free loot box-style Bright Engram.
Bungie issued a statement to say it was unhappy with the hidden system it had coded, and it would, for now, switch if off.
And that seemed to be that... except it wasn't.
Less than 24 hours later, fans found Bungie had quietly made another change when switching off the XP-constraining code: the amount of XP needed to level up in Destiny 2 had now been doubled.
In other words, by switching off the code which constrained XP progress during certain activities where you could gain lots of XP quickly, Bungie had levelled the playing field across the game. But, without telling fans, it then also made the playing field twice as long.
Destiny 2 now requires 160k XP to level up, double the previous 80k total.
XP progression is now still quicker if you grind public events, since it was being constrained by such a large margin previously. But it's nowhere near what players had expected it to be after Bungie simply announced it had switched off the scaling system. The Destiny reddit community's analysis suggests players will now gain around six per cent more XP overall.
For a second time in as many days, Destiny's community felt wrong-footed.
Hours after the discovery began to spread, Bungie tweeted a quick message which seemingly confirmed what fans had found.
The Destiny 2 API has yet to be adjusted to reflect the recent in game change to earned XP. We are working on an API update to address the discrepancy. The correct value to earn an additional level is 160,000 XP.— Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) November 27, 2017
Separately, Destiny 2 director Luke Smith also spoke out over the weekend in response to loud calls from the Destiny community for detail on the quality of life changes coming to the game.
Next week the Destiny 2 team will detail the systems side of the December update.— Luke Smith (@thislukesmith) November 25, 2017
It includes: economy updates (vendors & acquiring their gear, tokens, legendary shards), investment updates (new reward systems for weapons & armor) gameplay updates, and more. (1/2)
Additionally, @knowsworthy and I will also be answering some questions and addressing community feedback we’ve been reading since launch.— Luke Smith (@thislukesmith) November 25, 2017
See you soon. (2/2)
Among the questions needing answering, fans want the studio to address why the XP-constraining system was there in the first place, and not communicated or explained in any way. Some players feel it was simply there to slow the time it takes to earn free Bright Engrams, which could otherwise be sold for real-world money.
For Destiny 2, it feels like there's never been a more important time for Bungie to communicate transparently.