I’m on record as thinking that Power is a blunt, outdated mechanic in Destiny 2. But for the time being, it appears it’s sticking around. That said, there are improvements that could be made to the system without removing it entirely. The most critical? Pinnacle drops.
The Pinnacle system is kind of confusing to begin with unless you’ve been playing Destiny 2 for a while. Basically, each season of the game inflates various Power caps, with each expansion typically bringing all players up to a certain floor as well. Witch Queen brought all player gear up to a base level of 1350. From there, first you have the soft/Legendary cap, which you can reach with nearly any source of gear in the game. In Season of the Haunted, the soft cap is 1510.
After that, there’s the Powerful cap. In Season of the Haunted, that goes up to 1560. You get from 1510 to 1560 by doing activities that drop Powerful rewards — things like completing playlist activities, Prime Engrams, and so on. Fine so far, even if it is a little opaque to new players. But then we hit Pinnacles, and the problems go past simple confusion.
Once you’re at 1560, you need Pinnacle drops to reach the current true or Pinnacle cap. In Season of that Haunted, that’s 1570. (Your power can actually go above this thanks to the Seasonal Artifact, but 1570 is the limit for gear.) Typically you get Pinnacle drops from high-level activities like Raids and Dungeons, but you can also get a few each week from completing three each of the Playlist activities of Gambit, Vanguard Activities, and the Crucible.
Here’s the problem, though: what slot a Pinnacle drops in is totally random. For instance, for the past two weeks I was at 1570 on every piece of gear on my Warlock except chest armor. You might think that that would make chest armor pieces more likely to drop from Pinnacle sources, but you’d be wrong. It took two weeks of nearly every Pinnacle activity to get that last needed item to drop, finally raising my Power to 1570. Not great.
Do you need to do the Pinnacle grind? Not really, unless you’re running Grandmaster strikes or other high-level activities. But then, that’s kind of an argument for killing Power entirely. And I imagine that even the sickos who want Power to stick around don’t like the way the Pinnacle grind currently works. So what’s the solution?
Off the top of my head, I can think of a few. The simplest would just be to have a drop system that favors — not necessarily even guarantees — whatever pieces of gear that aren’t currently at the Pinnacle cap. A more complex solution would be to adjust one of the existing focusing mechanics in the game, say the seasonal one, to make it so that the first focused gear each week is a Pinnacle. You could do this via a later-stage upgrade to the seasonal vendor (e.g. the Crown of Sorrow).
Or, you know, just get rid of Power 😉