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Bungie loves its Three Tier Objects

Bungie loves its Three Tier Objects

Oh, another three tiers with seven upgrades per line? Yes please!


Another Season of Destiny 2 and another Three Tier Object is here for players to upgrade. Bungie absolutely loves them. Bungie relishes an opportunity for players to collect Mystical Space Resources  to upgrade a vendor that seems to only have a three to four month period of functionality.

I’m all for building a system that can be easily understood by the player. Better yet, a system that can be easily implemented by developers without having to recreate the wheel every single time. But, I must admit, these Three Tier Objects are getting a little stale.

What is a Three Tier Object? I hear you ask. Good question. I don't know what its proper name is, but It’s one of these things.

It’s a screen with three lines of seven blocks. Each block you unlock improves some aspect of the seasonal activity and you can (typically) only go to the next line when you unlock the equivalent item in the previous line. Sometimes Bungie will prevent progression until the entire tier is unlocked.

If memory serves, it all started back in Season of the Worthy with the Bunkers. Season of the Worthy is, in my opinion, one of the worst times in Destiny 2’s life, ignoring Curse of Osiris. In Season of the Worthy, I fell off Destiny 2 faster than the kill volume will annihilate you in the S.A.B.R.E. Strike boss fight. The whole experience just didn’t feel very good.

The Season had such little impact on me that all I could remember about it for our All Seasons guide is that there were Seraph Tower public events (where you’d wind up struggling to find teammates), Trials of Osiris (more like Trials of Jumping Off Edges), and the Seraph Bunkers. And since then, Bungie has been unable to shake off its obsession with Three Tier Objects.

The Prismatic Recaster from Season of Arrivals affected the Umbral Decoder.

Varik’s Sabotage from Beyond Light granted you increased resources while on Europa and other things to do with Empire Hunts.

The Hammer of Proving offered bonuses for smashing chests.

And now there’s the Splicer Gauntlet which affects Override and Ether acquisition.

All of these Three Tier Objects required some kind of funky currency that was sparingly handed out during the Season. If you played regularly, you could systematically upgrade the TTO until you had everything unlocked. At this point, the season was likely reaching its climax and you could spend the remaining weeks farming for gear a bit easier than you could at the start of the season.

These things obviously work. It gives players a set of goals they can see, but it also prevents them from actively pushing through content as quickly as they want. In Season of the Splicer, once you hit Rank 32, you’ll just need to wait for each weekly challenge to unlock before you get more Decrypted Data to feed to the Splicer Servitor.

I still maintain that the best implementation of one of these Three Tier Objects was Season of Opulence with its Chalice of Opulence. Though progression was conservatively offered out over time, each tier upgrade offered major improvements for the gear you would be farming. It also required some thoughtful interaction beyond unlocking everything and then forgetting about it.

While these Three Tier Objects are no doubt here to stay, I would love to see them implemented in a new way. Bungie, give me more Chalice of Opulence and less three lines of seven blocks. Please and thank you.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 13, 2021 2:05 PM

    is sick of Three Tier Objects

    Read more: Bungie loves its Three Tier Objects

    • reply
      May 13, 2021 2:20 PM

      They broke me with the Hey Congrats you earned this Tier 50 Reward. To get it, you just have to buy the season pass to unlock access to it from the NPC now.

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        May 13, 2021 2:40 PM

        What do you mean? Not too sure I grasp what you're saying. Are you talking about getting the seasonal Exotic immediately if you pay for the Season?

        • reply
          May 13, 2021 3:08 PM

          Nah I marched up my seasonal level to get the Exotic Handcannon featured in the Free Row of seasonal rewards (not the "reserved for season pass holders" row) and then it wasn't awarded to me. Oh I have to go to the Decrypter I guess. Hey! It's there, locked behind the Season Pass.

    • reply
      May 13, 2021 2:25 PM

      You could have also included the prismatic lens for umbral focusing too in this.

      Its not a problem when they use the same mechanic once in a while - its a concept that players will "get" and there's ways to keep it fresh if you only offer it every 2-3 seasons. But as you say, its been this for the last (seemingly) five seasons (Arrivals didn't quite have that). I've no problem with the "seasons currency to power up *something* that improves seasonal activity's gameplay cycle as to drop better rewards" and time gating that progress so that people aren't maxed out in 3-4 days, but they have done enough unusual steps in the past, eg Season of Dawn with the Obelisks.

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        May 13, 2021 2:28 PM

        the entire umbral system has been made tedious as fuck, the Bungie way

        i don't want to get 2100 rocket launcher or LFR kills to unlock the ability to decode engrams into those items. i am just not gonna do that.

        No one shows a total disrespect for player time quite like Bungie does. They keep adding in all of these grinds to avoid having to make the fun stuff, like new maps or whatever. They are coasting on old shit now and will continue to do that.

        their seasonal storytelling has never been better, but that's about all I can say for them

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          May 13, 2021 4:14 PM

          Given how many iterations (patch, watch for players to break, repeat) it took Bungie to "fill" all the holes for DSC, I can sorta see why they tend to avoid new maps, or if they do add maps, they are things with few walls and floors so that they don't have to worry about players finding the holes. (eg the vex sim section of override).

          I'd love to see a new strike with a fresh area, or a fresh crucible map, and it feels like these should not be as much work particularly if they do half a strike in existing public zone that moves into a newly-opened area.

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        May 13, 2021 2:32 PM

        Season of Arrivals absolutely had it! The Prismatic Recaster was it's version - image is right there. The Umbral Decoder now has three tiers, too, granted you actually use it consistently to get armor you want as opposed to unlocking random buffs and then forgetting about it. If anything, the Umbral Decoder is more like a dumbed down Chalice of Opulence.

        Oh the Season of the Dawn Obelisks was the worst. Other than the storyline involving Saint-14, that was also a wash.

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          May 13, 2021 3:27 PM

          I just cannot remember if we had to jump through hoops as much to unlock all the tiers as the current lens require (I want to say yes, this was the case but it was sooooooooooooo long ago.)

          Fully agree that the Chalice was about right - still enough RNG for a simple easy activity but with enough customization of your reward to feel right. I want more of that.

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      May 13, 2021 5:05 PM

      Season of arrivals >>> everything else

      I’m sure this won’t be nearly as bad once we unlock everything in a few days.

      Battlegrounds we’re just too much of a slog to grind out for focusing.

      Chalice was fine but would have liked it more if you didn’t have to remember recipes to get what you wanted.

      Definitely something they’ve been learning from with each iteration.

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