Saturday, June 16, 2018

Destiny 2: Can you avoid grind by just playing the campaign?

I am enjoying Destiny 2 enough to buy the expansion pack when Humble put it on sale a week after  the base game was included in the June monthly (nice move Humble). Nevertheless I don't have time or patience for mmo grind right now so I decided to see how far I could get just playing the main campaign. Hence the question: Can you avoid grind by just playing the main campaign?

The answer is: "Up to a point". I made it all the way through the base game (Red War) and the first expansion (Curse of Osiris) without any conscious effort to grind. I did pick up the occasional side mission and public quest along the way and I even indulged in some PVP but I didn't make any concious effort to grind.  I still managed to keep on level for the main quest lines.

Things changed when I hit the latest expansion (Warmind). I completed curse of Osiris at about power level 270 so I got something of a shock to realise that the introductory chapter of Warmind was recommended for level 310.  The next few chapters quickly went up to 320, 330 and 340 and in each case I couldn't get there just by playing the campaign. Happily 340 is the soft level cap so once I hit the late 330's was close enough to finish the campaign.

Grinding  involves running solo or group events (adventures) and I quickly realised that the random public encounters in the starter zone (EDZ)  are by far the fastest method. As long as you get a group of players together you can power through these and you will generally get a gear reward at the end. The EDZ seems the most popular zone because there is always a public event spawning and you will generally find a group of players jetting from one to the next. The asymmetric level system allows end game players to grind these public guests alongside newbies in the starter zones and everyone gets level appropriate rewards. Its a good system.

All in I spend about five hours in total grind just making up the levels between quests in Warmind in order to complete the campaign. My character is now power level 341 and cannot really advance further by because  rewards from normal activities are capped around this level. There is end game content and I believe it is possible to grind all the way to level 380 but I am not really interested at this point. I will put the game on the back burner for now. dipping in an out for some shooter fun but not seriously making an attempt to progress further. 


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