Faction Renown Concept

With Warmind’s second faction rally coming to a close today, I wanted to take a moment to follow up on my previous concept for Destiny 2 regarding faction rallies. The renown system is a new addition to rallies that attempt to discourage players using exploits to farm tokens. I have some thoughts on renown and how it can better impact a player’s romp through the wild’s in the name of their faction.

Renown
Currently, renown is a stacking debuff that applies the Attrition modifier to a player whenever they complete a public event, patrol mission, or loot a high-value target’s chest. Renown can be used in Lost Sectors, where it is “cashed in” by opening the chest at the end, giving a variable amount of tokens based on the level of renown when the chest was opened.

The Good
Renown encourages players to engage in a gameplay loop which features patrols and public events and then switches over to Lost Sectors. It’s a pretty intuitive system that players use to build up renown in the world and then dump it off in Lost Sectors for tokens. Stacking renown also puts a badass glowing logo on your back so other players and the minions of the Darkness know to make way for the top dog coming through.

The Bad
While renown encourages a particular gameplay loop, it doesn’t encourage actually playing the game. As renown stacks higher, player damage decreases, enemy damage increases and health regeneration slows. This modified version of Attrition seeks to present the player with a challenge in order to feel like they’re braving wildly powerful enemies to reap token rewards, but Destiny players typically respond to challenges like this by sitting in the cheap seats and tossing powerful ordnance across long distances to avoid getting hurt. This leads us to…

The Ugly
Players, with the burden of renown on their shoulders after virtually every public activity, will immediately seek the shortest and least painful path between points A (getting renown) and B (spending renown). Once the effects of renown hit some players, the fantasy will fade for them and turn into what they would consider a chore. What’s more, players will establish farming routes for renown and token loops, so now the “chore” becomes repetitive. Lost Sectors are now narrowed down to the few that can be run quickly and safely, enemy supplies in lost sectors still have no value, daily faction challenges are ignored because they cannot award the same tokens-per-minute as a typical farming route and probably the worst thing is that the cool ass logo on the player’s back can’t be seen by anyone once the player ventures into a Lost Sector to find a chest.

The Vision
Ideally, I want renown to be something that uplifts the player instead of risking having the player feel as though they are weighed down. Renown should be something that celebrates player bravery and lethality without necessarily relying on their accuracy from absurd ranges and their chest lockpicking skills. Renown should be boldly displayed loudly and proudly for anyone and everyone to see for as long as the player can make it available. What’s more, renown should be available in more activities to highlight players who can keep their renown up under different levels of stress.

The Concept
Renown is now a stacking buff. Renown stacks to five units. Gaining renown now applies a modifier that increases player shields, but decreases health regeneration. Increasing stacks of renown decrease damage taken, increase movement speed and increase ability and super regeneration rates. Renown is gained by killing enemies. Renown stacks dissipate individually over time. When renown is used to open chests, renown is not consumed, but the current level of renown is still used to reward a proportional amount of tokens. Renown restarts from 0 stacks when traveling to a new destination, entering a new activity, quick traveling in the same destination or dying.

The Whereabouts
Renown is now available in patrols, strikes (Heroic/Normal) and Crucible (Quickplay). Renown gained in Crucible does not apply a modifier nor does it apply any buffs or debuffs–the player does keep the glowing logo, however. Renown can grant faction tokens in the following circumstances:

  • Patrols
    • High-value target chest
    • Public event chest
    • Lost sector chest
    • Enemy supply event chest
  • Strikes
    • Boss chest
  • Crucible
    • End-of-match rewards

For Crucible and Strikes, renown grants tokens based in three parts. One part is the static Crucible/Strike participation reward. Another part is a reward based on the amount of renown active at the end of the game. The final reward is based on the player’s longest renown uptime over the course of the game. The game will calculate each of these, combine them into one token drop and award it to the player along with any other Crucible or Strike spoils for that activity.

The Flow
While this interpretation of renown seeks to increase player engagement with the world and foster an aggressive and stridently confident playstyle, max renown has benefits but should not be envisioned by the player as a buff to be upkept indefinitely. Renown will come and go as a matter of course and it’s the player’s job to find out when and how to stack renown smartly.

The Lost
One thing became clear to me while I was writing up the concept for renown and it’s that Lost Sectors are really in a weird place thematically. Particularly, the presence of enemy supplies in lost sectors serves no purpose right now. What I’d like to see happen is for lost sector enemy supplies to not reward tokens directly like they used to, but to grant a temporary buff that is consumed when the lost sector chest is looted, similar to the current renown system.

When a player enters a lost sector during a faction rally, none of the enemy supplies are visible. When a player hits max renown, a powerful enemy spawns. When this powerful enemy is defeated, the player gains a buff called Supply Chain, which is a one-time buff whose length depends on the size of the Lost Sector. While Supply Chain is active, all enemy supplies are visible while the player has four or five stacks of renown. Destroying an enemy supply pile grants a stacking timed boon called In Demand that is consumed when the Lost Sector chest is looted. The stacks of In Demand consumed determine a bonus amount of tokens to grant as a reward for looting the lost sector. Supply Chain and In Demand end when their respective times run out, when the Lost Sector is looted or when the player leaves the Lost Sector.

Conclusion
Renown is a system that adds some interesting twists to the game during Faction Rallies, but seems to create a challenge that many Destiny players aren’t up to and aren’t interested in. By focusing on heroic deeds instead of daredevil survival, players can get more engaged, shoot more shots and earn faction tokens in a variety of different arenas.

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