Bevy of gameplay tweaks and features planned for coming year.

In the lengthy development update posted Thursday evening, Game Director Christopher Barrett admitted up front that, currently, “the scales are tipped too far towards Tess,” the owner of the game’s much maligned microtransaction-fueled Eververse store. The Eververse was “never intended to be a substitute for end game content and rewards,” Barrett writes.

To that end, Barrett says the game will be shifting the item balance so desirable items like Ghosts, Sparrows, and ships can be earned directly as “activity rewards” for in-game actions rather than as random drops from Bright Engrams. Barrett also promises more “direct purchase options” and adjustments that will “allow players to get the items they want more often” without relying on the luck of the draw. These changes should start rolling out February 13.

Bungie is also promising to rework the rewards for Destiny 2‘s end-game Raids “to make them more unique and interesting.” New Raid-specific perks and guaranteed item drops from major encounters should help ameliorate widespread complaints that the difficult raids simply aren’t worth the effort at the moment.

Barrett says Bungie is “still investigating changes to XP earn rates,” following a debacle in which the discovery of a hidden XP scaling system caused the company to slow down overall leveling rates even further. “Right now, it’s too slow in general and lopsided towards grinding specific activities (which is not a fun grind) and we want to fix that without making those activities low value to players who aren’t grinding them (fairness is cool),” Barrett writes.

The full development update includes many more details on a variety of other upcoming changes, including many first discussed in the game’s November development update. It’s nice to see Bungie be more communicative about its plans to fix its quality-of-life issues months after the game’s release.

When creating Ultima Online, Richard Garriott had grand dreams. He and Starr Long planned on implementing a virtual ecology into their massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It was an ambitious system, one that would have cows that graze and predators that eat herbivores. However, once the game went live a small problem had arisen…

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