Destiny 2’s newest Solstice of Heroes summer event introduced the European Aerial Zone (EAZ) activity. The activity itself is stellar, but Bungie’s lack of leaver protection destroyed the EAZ’s playability in a matter of days. In the weekly Bungie blog for Aug. 9, the studio announced key changes to solve the problem of players abandoning runs for the final two weeks of Solstice of Heroes.
Before explaining Bungie’s solution, let’s discuss the problem itself.
Why players leave
The EAZ throws players into a small area in a fireteam of three, where they have about five minutes to kill as many minibosses as possible. Players then try to defeat a final boss when the time is up. Chests spawn around the map after the enemies are killed — one for each slain miniboss.
To upgrade the new Solstice of Heroes armor, players need to complete various activities around the game’s world, including in the EAZ. Some of these objectives require completing the activity, like opening 50 chests in the EAZ. But the most difficult objective requires players to kill 100 minibosses in the EAZ.
Unlike the chests, this objective isn’t Fireteam specific — players need to personally damage each boss in order to get the credit. With most players only ending up with about seven to 10 minibosses in a coordinated group, this objective takes far longer than the rest.
In my experience, players often leave the EAZ without finishing the run. Once the final boss spawns, players stuck on the miniboss objective often leave to find another group at the start of their EAZ adventure, shaving a solid five minutes off each run. But this act ruins the current run for players who still need 50 chests, or want the admittedly pitiful loot they offer.
In some cases, I ended up needing to solo the boss to spawn the chests at the end. Worse, players have a limited time to find the hidden chests, so you might not even be able to collect them all if you’re playing alone.
How is Bungie fixing it?
To Bungie’s credit, the solution is both clever and simple. The studio will reduce the number of required minibosses to 50 on Aug. 13. But to ensure players stick around, final boss kills now count for five minibosses.
The unfortunate part of this fix is that it comes halfway into the event. With only two weeks left, some of Destiny’s most dedicated fans have already completed several sets of Solstice of Heroes armor in a frustrating grind.
Destiny and all MMO players will always take the path of least resistance when it comes to farming things. After the numerous exploits this season, and players constantly leaving the new Menagerie activity after completing a 20 second bounty, it’s frustrating to see this kind of oversight impact half of such a fun and interesting holiday event.