Destiny 2's Season of the Worthy started this week, and brought with it a nasty surprise. The stat tracking function on emblems has been redesigned without warning. The rollout erased a bunch of special trackers that demonstrated success in Destiny 2's toughest challenges.
The change seems laser targeted to upset Destiny 2's most dedicated players. Those who have put the hours in to earn crucible win streaks, gold medals, and massive Empyrean restoration donations to name a few, can no longer show off their achievements.
At first it seemed like a bug, but Bungie has confirmed this was an intentional decision. On Reddit community manager dmg04 responded (opens in new tab) to criticism of the update to say "a few bones needed to break on Emblems in order to reset them for a brighter future. Some trackers couldn't start at the beginning of your journey, but will be tracking from this day forward."
The new system lets you enter an emblem's menu to select from some generic trackers. Arbitrarily, some emblems can show more types of tracker than others. The new setup also lets you choose not to display any trackers, which is a feature some players have been asking for.
This isn't exactly the implementation anyone expected though. In the latest This Week at Bungie (opens in new tab) update, the developers explained the thinking behind the change.
"When designing this system, our overall goal is to provide players more ways and options to show off their accomplishments. Our first selection of stats were determined by prioritizing stats that represented a skill that could be improved week-over-week or Season-over-Season and be an accomplishment that players would want to display that was meaningful to other players. Because of that, some stats that couldn’t be completed or improved any longer weren’t included."
Everything is not lost. Bungie still has all of the player data, and plans to return some of the trackers in the future. An update later in the Season of the Worthy will reintroduce 16 of the lost stats, and the team are looking for feedback on which trackers to prioritise in future.
Emblems might not seem like a huge deal to some, but it always stings when an update takes away something you've earned without warning. Emblems give players a way to stand out and announce their finest achievements. The key misread seems to be the focus on stats that reflect ongoing seasonal progress, which fails to acknowledge that players are still proud of what they achieved in the expired activities that form Destiny 2's history. Hopefully those veterans will get their badges of honour back in future updates.