Power has long been a sticky issue in Destiny 2. The mechanic is a kind of abstract leveling system, the idea being that players get stronger over time by acquiring better gear and leveling up seasonal artifacts. However, because each season and expansion increases the cap on maximum Power, having a power level of 1600 doesn’t feel meaningfully different than having one of 800 did back when that was the cap. As a result, some (like us) have called for Power to be removed from Destiny 2 entirely. And it seems like Destiny 2 might finally be killing the Power system — though not for a while.
Bungie does seem aware of the issues with Power. Last year, Bungie game director Joe Blackburn said that “there’s some really bad stuff that Power is doing to Destiny right now.” And now, in his State of the Game post on Lightfall and the year ahead, Blackburn has repeated his concerns:
“You may have noticed that we have been experimenting a lot with our Power settings over the last few seasons, and we are planning on taking on even more experiments this year. We think that there are some major issues with Power in Destiny 2 and how it prevents players from seeing some of our best content, so we’d like to make a big change to the system in The Final Shape. However, to understand more about how our changes could be improved, we want to keep tweaking our Power settings over the year of Lightfall.” [emphasis added]
To us, this seems to suggest that Bungie is working towards killing off Power in Destiny 2 entirely. It seems like that won’t be for a while, though, and we can expect Power to stick around throughout the year of Lightfall. That said, Destiny 2 has already made some pretty major shifts in how it handles the mechanic.
For instance, there have been several activities this year that have bumped players’ Power up to a floor, or capped them at a certain ceiling. Notably, Blackburn points out that while Lightfall will have a Power climb similar to Witch Queen, there will be no increase to the Power cap at all in Season of the Deep, the season coming after Lightfall.
We still don’t know what exactly The Final Shape will be. If, as some have suggested, it’s the final state of Destiny 2 in which no future content is added but the game is kept online, then it makes sense that Power would be removed. This would allow new players to engage with years’ worth of the game’s content without having to grind first. We’ll have to wait and see, but it does seem like we can expect major changes to Power over the next little while regardless.