It's clear Bungie, has been going the extra mile to find new and exciting ways to bring the Destiny 2 community together. With the launch of Lightfall, the latest expansion, they introduced the Guardian Commendation system, and there are even plans to release an in-game LFG (Looking For Group) system later this year. However, despite their best intentions, the launch of the Commendation system has already hit a few bumps in the road and left some players feeling let down.
When it first arrived, the Commendation system felt like a breath of fresh air. It offered players new and exciting challenges to take on, such as "Complete Root Of Nightmares Raid" or "Solo A Legend Lost Sector," that put their skills and knowledge of the game to the test. However, the Commendation challenges, like "Have A Guardian Commendation Score Of 950" or "Give Commendations To 50 Guardians In Dungeons Or Raids," felt hollow and meaningless in comparison. They didn't seem to add much to a player's experience or offer any real sense of accomplishment.
To make matters worse, playing with your friends could actually be detrimental to your Commendation score. If you gave too many Commendations to the same people or in the same activity, they would be worth less, making it difficult to raise your score. But thankfully, Bungie has been listening to player feedback and has made some changes to address these issues.
In the latest "This Week At Bungie" blog post, the studio announced that they have reduced the Commendation score required to level up in Guardian Ranks. They have also removed all "Give Commendations" objectives from Guardian Ranks and lowered the requirement for Hawthorne's objective from 20 to 5. While this is a step forward for Guardian Ranks, it's a major setback for the Commendation system.
Originally, the Commendation system was supposed to offer players a way to showcase their personality and skill, demonstrating their leadership and teamwork abilities. However, with the tie to Guardian Ranks, Commendations were reduced to vague rewards that players give out simply to further their own progress. This seems like a missed opportunity for something that could have been really special.
It's hard not to wonder how much more useful Commendations could have been if they were launched alongside the in-game LFG feature and made exclusive to it. If Commendations were only visible in LFG screens, it would make players less likely to farm them for self-gain. As an example, players were once able to earn exclusive emblems by using the Guided Game feature for Raids. If you successfully led a team through a Raid using Guided Game, you would be rewarded with an Emblem, and the more completions you had, the more emblems you would earn. This was a self-sufficient rewarding system that gave players a reason to participate in Guided Games.
So perhaps that's the solution for Commendations. Make them a system that shows LFG players who they are potentially matching up with and make it valuable to be a well-rewarded player in the LFG space exclusively. Keep that system tied to LFG, as players will use it for Raids, Dungeons, PVP, and more. For players who prefer to play with their friends or solo, the system can be irrelevant, but still rewarding if they ever feel like taking the plunge.
All in all, I think the Commendation system has a lot of potential, and I hope Bungie can find a way to make it truly shine in the future of Destiny 2.
What has been your experience with the Commendation system? Let me know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @Suttledge