Bungie Says It Knew Destiny's Leveling System Was Flawed From the Onset

"When that went out the door, we were not thrilled with it."


In a new interview today, Destiny: The Taken King creative director Luke Smith talked about some the challenges that the shooter faced in its first year. Specifically, he acknowledged that Destiny's original leveling system was flawed right from the time the game launched in September 2014.

Smith tells Kotaku as part of a wide-ranging interview that Bungie started working on the new leveling system that would be introduced in The Taken King as early as September/October of 2014.

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"The original Light system, when that went out the door, we were not thrilled with it," Smith said. "We knew when that went out the door that we were going to need to revisit it. So that work basically began in earnest probably September or October [of 2014]. We had already started to work on a new proposal, the proposal that would become the Light 2.0 that's in the game now. We were working on that as early as last fall."

Smith and his team devised the new leveling proposal that would eventually be delivered in this month's Taken King expansion. But it couldn't be implemented in the game until now due to some compatibility issues with previous expansions The Dark Below (December 2014) and House of Wolves (May 2015).

"We had to look at DLC 1 [The Dark Below] and DLC 2 [House of Wolves] and say, 'OK, well, how can we set those two DLCs up to allowing for this [leveling] pivot?' So in DLC 2, that's why you see the introduction of the Etheric Light mechanic, because we were trying to get players to converge quickly at a single, common level because we knew where we were going to take them next."

Kotaku's full interview with Smith, available by audio only here, is a great listen, featuring interesting and frank insight into Destiny's development and where the game is headed next.

For more on The Taken King, check out GameSpot's review.

Looking ahead, Bungie has teased that it has more surprises in store for Destiny players.

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