One of the most bewildering fumbles highlighted in my Destiny 2: Lightfall review is the handling of the new Commendation system. This lets you tip your hat to teammates at the end of an activity, acknowledging them as skilled or helpful or level-headed, which sounds cool, right? But the enjoyment of the system is hurt by the fact that Commendations, and I mean thousands of them, are required to progress along the also-new Guardian Ranks, and there's no actionable way to accrue them. Fortunately, Bungie's now dramatically reduced Commendation requirements in response to player feedback, but quite frankly it should reduce them again.
Per the Destiny 2 Team Twitter account – which has quickly become another helpful line straight to the devs – the Commendation requirements for upper Guardian Ranks have been changed from:
- Rank 7: now 460, was 750
- Rank 8: now 790, was 1,250
- Rank 9: now 1,290, was 1,750
- Rank 10: now, 1,530, was 5,000
- Rank 11: now 1,800, was 6,000
"Guardian Ranks Update: To more closely match our goals, we have reduced the required Commendations score to complete objectives across all Guardian Ranks," Bungie help explained in a separate tweet. "Objective descriptions will be updated on March 16 to display the new Commendations requirements."
First of all, why did we originally jump from 1,750 to 5,000 within a single rank? Secondly, who was ever going to get 6,000 Commendations without cheesing them (as players, very quickly and very predictably, did)? At least in this lifetime. And finally, why are we stopping here? I'm happy that Bungie's already acted on the feedback that Commendations were totally stalling Guardian Ranks, but I think the problem still lingers.
Commendations are still required, which sucks the spontaneity out of commending a random player who really put in work. It just puts a chip on your shoulder; you feel forced to chuck random awards at people hoping they return the favor. And even with these changes, Commendations will still be the biggest hurdle to increasing your Guardian Rank, which feels terrible because there's no actionable way to accrue them beyond Playing The Video Game. I can run Nightfalls and raids and Lost Sectors and so on to clear Guardian Rank challenges. I have, even. I've cleared all the Rank 7 challenges at this point, but guess how many Commendations I have after playing Lightfall pretty heavily virtually every day since launch. Not even 300. No wonder people were cheesing them.
As a clanmate of mine put it: "Here's the correct amount of Commendations I'm prepared to grind: 0." And I do think that decoupling Commendations and Guardian Ranks would be ideal, but at the very least, bring the count so low that it isn't the biggest obstacle to ranking up. It's hard to feel motivated to engage with a progression system when skill expression and deterministic activities are the least important part.
I'll tell you what doesn't take long at all: farming the crap out of Artifice armor using this easy-breezy dungeon cheese.