Warmind Leveling Changes Based On Current System
New Level Cap is 30 (Confirmed)
New Power Level is 380 (385 with Mods) (Confirmed)
Soft Cap is 340 (345 with Mods) and Medium cap is 370 (375 with Mods) (Confirmed)
Old raids are not increasing power level and they will be getting a buff to drops to help you get to 380 (Confirmed)
Prestige Eater of Worlds (EoW) 330 - Pinnacle Activity within the expansion, also designed for release in season 2
Spire of Stars 340 - Normal raid was at soft cap
Prestige Spire of Stars (SoS) 380 - Pinnacle Activity
Prestige Nightfall 380 - Pinnacle Activity
Heroic Strikes might not see an increase "free access for all players" - They might add a new higher playlist with modifiers
Normal Nightfall will stay the same
BPL means base power level. This is the power level of a guardian without mods equipped. Power level drops are based on your BPL and not your power level.
Soft Cap is a system that allows casual players to catch up and limit players ability to gain power from week to week. Soft Cap limits the scaling of drops when you reach a Base Power Level (BPL) of 340
Medium Cap is a system to further limit your ability to level up past 370. Limiting even powerful activity sources from giving max power loot.
Hard Cap is a system that prevents you from going any higher. Once at the hard cap, your loot will vary between max and lower power drops (assuming no mods 375-380)
Upcoming Changes From The Current System
When the first dlc came out the description of infusion when inspecting an armor piece changed to "The maximum Power this item can be infused to is 360." That lead us to believe it was going to be another 30 power level jump like the last DLC. Apparently they changed it to a 50 power level jump since deciding previously, based on community feedback of how easy it was to level. This also changed power level in other ways.
Power Level Delta is Changing from 40 to 50. If an enemy is 50 power levels higher than you, they will be immune and have ?? icon on their nameplate. Outgoing damage will be less and incoming damage will be more based on your differences in level. If you are on the same level or higher, they will still be easy to beat.
Also mentions energy shield damage will be changed and the introduction of another nightfall modifier.
Medium Cap of 370 allows to tackle endgame content without a severe under level penalty.
This further supports that prestige nightfall and raid will be at 380.
Clan engrams are nerfed. Up to 340 they will act like powerful reward engrams. After BPL 340 they will only grant 0-2 increase.
To combat creating new characters, one time quest rewards will be limited to the expansion soft cap it was released in. That means for sure the main quest engrams will not be powerful engrams. Does that mean the blue world quests like Mida and Sturm? It's probable but not entirely clear.
But when you earn them below the "soft cap for that DLC" you will receive them with a significant boost.
Exotic engram farming has been removed. Usually the engram would drop higher than legendaries but it's no longer the case.
Power Leveling Introduction
Power leveling in Warmind is important for those who want to do the prestige nightfall. However all nightfall rewards are obtainable in normal mode, except the 60,000 aura. If you want to play the game efficiently, or have plenty of spare time, then focusing on leveling and understanding it can bring enjoyment and entertainment.
Power level is the weighted average of your weapons and armor
Each time you increase a weapon by 7 points, you will gain an entire power level
Each time you increase an armor piece by 8.4 points, you will gain an entire power level
Each time you increase a class item by 10.5 points, you will gain an entire power level
Your overall Power level is determined through an average of these factors
Legendary mods can increase your power level by 5 for each item
Legendary Weapon/Armor Mods do not affect your power leveling but provide 5 to your overall power level
Applying these for anything other than meeting the minimum requirements for an activity is basically a waste of time
Any power level gained by mods will not affect your ability to earn higher power gear
The correlation of mods to power level is that it adds to our overall power level but not your base power level
Base Power Level
BPL is the weighted average of your gear without mods
BPL is recognized as an integer rounded down to the nearest whole number (example: BPL 298.78 would be recognized as 298)
Destiny 2 drops loot based on your BPL not your overall power, which gets confusing
You can use Destiny Item Manager to automatically show you your BPL for each character (under each emblem) however there have been times that this has been inaccurate for me
You can manually calculate BPL using this: http://jpwilsondesigns.com/destiny2/powercalculator/ This site is accurate and allows you to determine what gear slots to focus on to get to the next level by determining how many light you need on each piece to level up
The game automatically determines your BPL based on what gear you CAN equip no matter what character/vault your weapons/armor are stored
The Soft Cap System
The soft cap is 340 this time around
That means rare (blue) engrams will max out at BPL 340 (based on previous blue cap of 300)
Legendaries and Exotics will will max out at BPL 345 (based on previous legendary cap of 305 and exotic engram nerf)
When 346 BPL your blues will start dropping at 341 and increase by 1 when you increase. Example: 347 BPL would be 342 blues, 348 would be 343 blues
When 351 BPL all engrams will drop at 346 BPL and increase by 1 when you increase. Example: 352 BPL will drop 347, 353 would mean 348 loot
This will be the case until 380 BPL on anything not considered powerful loot
That means you can use tokens/gunsmith materials to reach 350 power level with legendary mods. Not 345 as people are stating. (Soft cap means rare cap since CoO was cap 300 and legendaries went to 305 from vendors) .
The Medium Cap System
The medium cap is 370, specifics were not explained about this cap
"We expect it to take players roughly equal time to go from 340 to 370 as from 370 to 380"
"Players who don't participate in any group weekly activities are unlikely to hit the hard cap before the next release; dedicated omnivore players will hit it before players that just play Raids or Trials exclusively"
"Raids/Trials grant the largest increases, clan engrams provide very small increases, and the other weekly sources fall between those two"
From What I Can Gather (Speculation)
Raids/Trials will give decent gains (3-4 over BPL)
Milestones will give average gains (2-3 over BPL)
Clan Engrams will give minor gains (0-1 over BPL)
The current system slowly degrades your rewards the closer you get to max BPL. That idea could come into effect in this medium cap system. In order to get a max level drop from a milestone you need to have 326/327 BPL and an exotic reward or 328 with a legendary reward. If you are around 315 BPL you will get a more substantial bonus such as a +5 BPL reward from a milestone. If that factors in this DLC, the gains I proposed would be cut in half around 375 BPL, making it even harder to level up.
The Hard Cap System
Hard cap is at 380 (385 with mods)
You cannot go any higher than 385
Your drops will fluctuate from 375 - 385 at this point (considering mods)
Drops are loosely based on your actual guardian level (1-30)
If you get a high piece of gear, it may require you to be a level higher than you currently are
It is wise to reach level 30 quickly to make the most out of your loot drops (since it's based on gear you can actually equip)
These are from completing milestones each week
These will always be higher than your BPL
Sometimes they drop with legendary mods equipped
There is a higher chance of exotics
You will get 2 drops from these engrams
Powerful Engrams will not give you powerful gear if you are collecting the same milestone on a second character of the same class in the same week (Example: Having 2 Hunters)
List of Milestones in this category
Nightfall Completion (either difficulty)
Call to Arms (PVP)
Flashpoint (Public Events)
These are activity rewards that award instantly upon completion the first time each week per character
List of Activity Rewards
Trials of the Nine 3rd, 5th, 7th, and Flawless Win on one card (4 possible rewards)
Nightfall Normal Completion
Nightfall Prestige Completion
Calus Normal: 1 from any of the encounters, 1 from Completing the Weekly Challenge (Total 5)
Calus Prestige: 1 from any of the encounters, 1 from Completing the Weekly Challenge (Total 5) (Only Armor) (Completing Prestige Now Additionally Gives Normal Mode Loot If Uncompleted)
EoW: 2 Sections (Helmet only from Phase 2)
Powerful Engram from Calus Castellum and EoW First Encounter
EoW Prestige (Do Not Expect This Soon: "We now have a plan for Raid Prestige changes (including Raid Lairs) and will update where it will land in the next Development Roadmap"
New Raid Lair SoS (Release Day Not Confirmed)
Campaign rewards have been nerfed. Warmind rewards should be good if you are below 340 BPL.
Exotic Weapon Quests/World Quests (Blue Quest Markers)
These might have been nerfed. It hasn't been confirmed. 1 per character.
There are several XP buffs in the game. A single fireteam medallion is the best booster to use.
Well Rested Won't Be Available Again Until Level 30
XP Ghosts do not stack with Fireteam Medallions or Poptart Boosters
Fireteam Medallions and Poptart Boosters Yield 25% increase
Multiple Fireteam Medallions from you or your fireteam do not increase XP gains
You cannot infuse armor between classes, this is about weapon slots
If your top two weapons with high power level are for the same slot (Kinetic, Energy, Power) then you should infuse it into the other slot.
If you have 2 kinetic autos, infuse one into the energy slot to increase your BPL
Fighting Lion is a grenade launcher and allows infusion between energy and the power slot.
Coldheart/Lens can be infused into auto rifles
My Power Level Routine Idea
Pop a 3 of coins and fireteam medallion
Collect anything from your postmaster and redeem your engrams
If you can't equip an item because of your level, grind XP. Or just grind XP before anything else.
The new storyline should offer powerful rewards until you reach 340 BPL. That might mean it's capped at 340. If you do it before your 340, it might be 10 BPL higher. If you do it after 340 BPL it might be lower. Either way, the reward won't be that helpful.
I recommend starting out with the story missions, grinding XP if you can't equip the gear you get.
After the story, use your gunsmith materials until all of your weapons are 345 BPL or highest you can (without mods) (350 with mods is possible without powerful engrams)
Turn in all of your tokens until your armor is 345 BPL then grind out weapons again if needed (without mods)
Don't apply legendary mods to your gear and don't infuse
Everything you have will get better, so don't waste materials
Repeat these steps as much as possible:
Complete a milestone or get a poweful reward
Check for Cross Infusion
Use http://jpwilsondesigns.com/destiny2/powercalculator/ to determine if you can get to the next BPL by grinding out Rares (only valid if you are 351 BPL or more)
If you can, then use tokens/strikes/pvp/boons to accomplish that
If you can't do any more on that character:
Transfer your weapons to your alternate character
Pop a 3 of coins and fireteam medallion
Raise your character to max level
Grind rares until you can't raise your BPL
Do the story
Repeat the previous loop as much as possible
Do this on your third character
Your third character will now have the highest BPL of all of your characters.
Wait until the raid/trials opens and get those engrams on your third character
Transfer your weapons to your second character and do any new content
Transfer your weapons to your first character and do any new content
Stop infusing and clean out your postmaster
You should save exotic engrams on your character for a chance at the new exotics.
There was a lot of mis-information on the way engrams work since power level is determined when an engram drops. People assumed that meant the loot pool was already determined. Daniel Auchenpaugh, the economy designer, made a statement saying that when the masterworks update dropped, any legendary engrams you had in your inventory will have a chance to drop masterworks, due to the roll happening when you decrypt them. Eververse has changed the engrams from bright to illumninated in order to change the loot pool and allow you to roll evererse engrams into the next season. But not give the new seasonal rewards. Exotics aren't changing, they are being modified, thus new exotics can be acquired.
If you complete your milestones after May 1st but don't turn them in that week, you will have them auto complete after the reset.
This can allow you to start out with higher loot and even new exotics. (If you don't log in until after the update)
Three of coins may increase your chances at exotics from milestones. It's impossible to confirm if that's true.
Three of Coins will still help you get new exotics
Considering the exotic nerf applies to exotic engrams but not to milestones, it's possible that Exotics from milestones will give you 2-3 BPL higher than your legendary rewards from the same milestone. Reinforcing the idea of using Three of Coins.
Stock up on boons of the vanguard (10 shards) and boons of the crucible (25 shards) if your looking for some new loot and to help with blues grind
Clan engrams are offering a 0-2 increase when over soft cap. (confirmed) Since we can preview what light level a clan engram is, it may be possible to hold off on accepting these engrams, and come back later, until we can determine that it's offering a BPL advantage of 2.
You can inspect the vendor's engram to know what your rares and legendaries power level are dropping at for you, after you reach 350 BPL
Players have stated that milestones occasionaly fluctuate in power level drops when nearing the max cap. Such as having the heroic and nightfall milestones at zavala, one being max light and the other being 329. Then coming back an hour later and the other is max light.
Calus normal CP was an outlier. It dropped 330 gear no matter what. While argos normal CP did not drop 330 gear no matter what. Makes me wonder if Calus normal will give max level loot again this season. It seems unlikely though. I have seen a report that Calus no longer gaurantees this drop.
Based on a couple months ago they mentioned only having 1 prestige raid per week, going on the Curated loadout idea.
It's possible we might only have 1 prestige mode to grind each week or they scrapped the idea along with curated loadouts. Limiting the amount of powerful rewards from prestige raids from week to week. Other information on this topic: "We now have a plan for Raid Prestige changes (including Raid Lairs) and will update where it will land in the next Development Roadmap"
You can look at a power level leaderboard at destinytracker and sort by platform. This will give you an idea of the difficulty of leveling. https://destinytracker.com/d2/leaderboards/all/LightLevel
Expect 50 slots added to vault space and an exotic ghosts/sparrows/ships tab eventually
Players have said that if you have 3 characters of the same class you can avoid the milestone protection by allowing them to auto-decrypt. This would allow you to keep the same gear but wouldn't necessarily get you to max level faster. It's the grind in between powerful engrams that give you the most benefit, auto decrypt removes that.