Oh boy, what a mess.
Over the past weekend, a couple of changes have been made to the way experience is earned in Destiny 2, and many players are unhappy about the lack of transparency occurring with regards to these changes. Even in fixing some player complaints, Bungie has managed to hide even more changes from players.
In Destiny 2 players earn XP for most activities in game, which earns Bright Engrams, which give random drops of cosmetic loot. The first problem noticed over the weekend is that the amount of XP you earn in Destiny 2 is scaled down the longer you play. If you play a part of the game over and over again, you begin to receive less and less experience for that task, while still being told you're receiving full XP. Understandably, this upset some players.
Bungie apologized for the scaling, which it had not made obvious to players, and further announced it would switch off scaling so that you always got the same amount of experience no matter how much of the game you played back to back. However, even this combination of retraction and rebalancing ended up hiding a nasty surprise.
As spotted by Destiny Reddit user Aercus, as well as removing the scaling from XP, Bungie also dropped the total XP earned by 50%. So yes, you now get the same amount of XP no matter how many times you replay some content, but you only get half as much for each attempt as you were until a few days ago.
The Destiny Subreddit is not happy about this change overall, to say the least. The lack of transparency is a bigger issue than the arguments over exactly how much XP you should be earning, and is a move that has left many of the game's most dedicated players feeling swindled. Bungie has typically had very good relations with its players over the studio's history, but this feels like a major fumble – particularly as it's happening in the context of Battlefront II's botched monetisation structure and a more general reaction against loot boxes.
We will update this story if Bungie addresses the 50% drop in total XP compared to stated values.