There is no denying that the blue engram system in Destiny 2 has been an issue for players since its release. Bungie recently acknowledged this, announcing plans to change the way engrams work soon. However, this doesn’t fix everything and now people are demanding more drastic changes like making all blue engrams exclusive weapons or armor pieces only obtainable through event quests rather than just buying them with real money.
Blue engrams are used to reward players for completing certain challenges in Destiny 2, but they’ve also become a mainstay of the game’s economy. They can be sold on the market or traded with other players, who tend to use them as currency for items that will help them progress faster. Players have been asking Bungie since before launch whether they’ll ever be able to disable blue engrams and some think it would make progression more linear if these were only awarded through gameplay instead of purchasing points from vendors.,
The “destiny item manager” is a tool that allows players to disable blue engrams. This will allow players to get the desired amount of engrams without having to spend hours upon hours playing the game.
Last weekend, playing alone in the Trials playlist was a breath of fresh air. There will be no blues! I could concentrate on my game without being worrying about my postmaster running out of space and losing everything! Amazing!
Then, today, I played some custom-made Nightfalls in the hopes of racking up some victories, and my postmaster quickly became overburdened. I didn’t lose anything vital, but it was still inconvenient. How many times do consumers have to make this request? Already, we need the ability to deactivate blues in some manner.
From a User Experience aspect, there are several flaws in the existing implementation. A few essential usability tenets (from some of the NNG 10 criteria) that aren’t being followed:
- The ability to see the current state of the system. Only in orbit does the warning/full postmaster message appear, which is too late to be of any service. To be helpful, it must appear in-game dependent on what has been dumped.
- The system and the real world are in sync. Given that the system is a made-up game world, this isn’t a significant deal, but new players shouldn’t expect anything to suddenly vanish on them after they’ve earned it, whether in the postmaster or not.
- Error-Prevention Techniques If it’s something consumers don’t want, there should be a way to prevent it from occurring in the first place. There are no systems in place to deactivate blues, leave them on the ground, or automatically disassemble them at the moment.
- Flexibility and efficiency of usage are two important factors to consider. Granted, with games, the obstacles erected for rewards are sometimes the game itself. However, interrupting play to return and dismantle blues, or checking DIM and pulling items to inventory to disassemble, is neither enjoyable nor efficient. For a long time, users have been requesting flexibility in this area.
- Rather than memory, recognition is preferred. This is essentially why we make mistakes and fail to check. It’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” We have enough cognitive burden focused on killing bad men, keeping alive, and other things that we don’t remember to check DIM every now and again. The warning’s inadequate implementation only makes it visible after it’s too late.
What these UX heuristics don’t really cover (and what I don’t like about the NNG guidelines as the be-all and end-all of UX) is the element of a system’s enjoyability and how it “feels” to the user. Bungie values this, since they’ve requested us to express how we “feel” about certain topics in the past. So here are some thoughts about that:
- It’s unpleasant to lose things. It’s not a user goal in any manner, it’s not enjoyable, and it’s irritating. Especially when consumers are forced to utilize third-party systems like as DIM to keep track of it while playing. It doesn’t matter whether it was self-inflicted because someone forgot to check or didn’t realize they needed to check; it’s still not good.
- The management vs. play ratio in Destiny isn’t great. Other flaws (such as too many armor stat variances) are addressed, however requiring a return to the Tower and stopping real gameplay is not a smart idea. It gets in the way of the user’s principal objectives.
- Ignoring requests on a regular basis makes you feel awful. For a long time, users have been asking a solution. It’s an issue we’re aware of, and it’s a problem they’re aware of as well. However, it continues to be overlooked.
Solutions? I don’t enjoy bitching without offering solutions, so here are a couple…
- Providing a Gameplay Setting for auto-dismantling blues is a common request. It might be solved with a simple toggle of “Auto-dismantle blue engrams.”
- Create a blue-engram-auto-dismantle ghost mod for 0 or 1 energy if they want to make it more in-game. This is okay since it provides flexibility, but I would use this for all activities.
- Auto-dismantle blues for materials when users reach the peak cap. Although not as adaptable, it is superior.
- Alternatively, they could just cease dropping blues in Endgame activities the way they do in Trials. It is reasonable to presume that the bulk of participants participating in Endgame activities will be unconcerned with blue engrams. I’d like a more general solution, since I don’t want them in the ordinary Crucible, but I’ll accept anything at this point.
- Even though I’d want to keep getting materials, adding a “Do not drop blue engrams” or “Do not transmit un-picked up blue engrams to postmaster” option to any of the aforementioned methods would be preferable to the current state.
- Giving preference to the postmaster’s things would be a gentler option. Legendaries/exotics, etc. should not be able to be pushed out by the Blues. This would require a bit more work, which is probably not a good thing since it would imply that everything would have to be graded. Is it true that an Ascendant Shard is more valuable than an Exotic?
- At the very least, let the warning/full postmaster notice happen WHILE PLAYING, not just during orbit, so users know when to back out and go to tower, or when to stop and destroy items before the activity ends so they don’t lose anything.
- Maybe simply make it so that players may talk to the Postmaster at any time, not only while they’re in the tower. That would also be beneficial… It would be beneficial if we could handle it more readily on the go.
- A basic Postmaster count on our inventory screen would also be beneficial. 19/20 omg my god!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. It was necessary for me to get it out of my system. What are your thoughts about it?
EDIT: A few mistakes were fixed, and a recognition/recall heuristic was included.
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