Destiny 2's endgame is all about grinding. You can grind out Tokens to get new gear, grind challenges to hopefully get equipment to raise your light level, or grind XP to get free Bright Engrams. Once you hit level 20, you don't level up anymore when you get XP, but each time you fill the bar, you get a free Bright Engram. The problem is Bungie has been throttling XP to keep you from getting too many.
Bright Engrams, Destiny 2's loot boxes, contain cosmetic items like ships, emotes, ornaments, and shaders, and potentially Bright Dust which you can use to buy things at the Eververse Trading Co. In addition to obtaining them through filling your XP bar, you can purchase Silver premium currency using real money and use it to buy Bright Engrams.
Players have been speculating that the Destiny 2 XP system was rigged for some time. During last weekend's Clarion Call event that gave bonus XP to those who played with clanmates, it became apparent there was a problem with the XP system. For earning the same amount of XP, players saw their XP bar fill slower and slower each time.
After Redditor EnergiserX mathematically calculated how much XP they should be earning in Destiny 2 vs. what they were actually getting, they discovered that there was an invisible throttle for XP. When they earned XP at a faster rate than Bungie's throttle was set for, the XP bar to gain Bright Engrams would fill slower while saying they were still gaining the same amount.
After being called out, Bungie posted a blog that confirmed that XP throttling was in place. Stating:
We’ve seen community discussion around XP gain in Destiny. After reviewing our data, we agree that the system is not performing the way we’d like it to. Today, we’d like to describe what’s going on under the hood, and talk about what you can expect going forward when it comes to earning XP in Destiny 2.
Currently, XP will scale up when playing longer or fixed duration activities like Crucible competitive multiplayer matches and the Leviathan Raid, and XP will scale down when playing activities that can be quickly, repeatedly chained, like grinding Public Events. We are not happy with the results, and we’ve heard the same from the community.
Effective immediately, we are deactivating this system.
As a result, players will see XP earn rates change for all activities across the board, but with all values being displayed consistently in the user interface. Over the course of the next week, we will be watching and reviewing XP game data to ensure that these changes meet our expectations, as well as yours. Any additional updates to this system will be communicated to you via our official channels.
Players should now earn XP towards Bright Engrams without any throttling. However, who knows how many Bright Engram loot boxes Bungie kept players from getting since Destiny 2 came out. It's obvious, even though the blog post doesn't say it, that the whole system was in place to keep players from grinding out public events to get Bright Engrams quickly. Instead of continuing to add items that players would want to earn, Bungie has just kept pretty much the same line-up of cosmetics and made it harder for them to get.
Well, now that XP throttling is gone we just have terrible Light Level soft caps and rigged Exotic drops to worry about. Hopefully, someone will do the math and call them out on Destiny 2's other terrible systems so we can get those fixed as well.