In an unexpected announcement, Bungie has decided to restrict the power levels of players for its upcoming Crown of Sorrow raid in Destiny 2 to encourage a level playing field in the race to claim a World First clear.
Put simply, the restriction will not allow players to benefit from over leveling their current builds to make the new content easier. Instead, power levels will be capped. For example, in the first fight of the raid, any power above 700 will be scaled down and not provide any additional advantage. The final fight will allow for a maximum power level of 720.
The move by Bungie is likely not going to be an isolated or one-time only occurrence. As esports grow in popularity, competition among the best players in the world is going to follow suit. By creating a level-playing field among all participants, the race to a World First clear feels viable for more players and will demand a greater focus on skill rather than raw power.
With that in mind, this scaling down of power is only temporary, lasting for 24 hours once the update is live for those groups specifically seeking to claim the first clear. Afterwards, players will be back to their normal power levels.
Recently, this type of preparation for a World First clear was seen with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft in what may be the most extreme of examples. In early January it was revealed that the famous guild known as Method had gone to enormous lengths to prepare for the release of new raid content: they bought entire Auction Houses on three separate for profession materials, top-level Bind-On-Equip gear, consumables, and more, going into debt anywhere between 40-100 Million gold. Then those items were transferred to their server, all of which costs real money to do.
In cases like that, one could see how such tactics can corrupt the process towards a World First clear. No one forces them to act in this way, but there is an undeniable in-game economic advantage to doing so. If Blizzard were to similarly cap the power levels of players, it might incentivize more competition as skills would trump the power level of gear.
Time will tell how well the experiment goes for Bungie, but they have made it clear that if this first attempt goes well, it may become the norm for future raid content releases.
As before, the new content will be live on June 4th at 4 p.m. Pacific. Best of luck to those who aim for the coveted World First clear in the Crown of Sorrow!