During the last week, I’ve been enjoying Destiny‘s new House of Wolves expansion. I was happy to see some new content in the game and experience new game modes while trying to earn some new gear for my Warlock. I’ve had mostly positive things to say about the HoW – its not flawless, but it breathes more life into the game than The Dark Below was able to. However, I’ve found something significant about the expansion that might need some explaining.

You know those Treasure Keys that players often received after completing the Prowling Wolves events in Patrol before the expansion was released? The keys you can use after completing the Prison of Elders to open that nice big chest and get some new exotics and legendaries? It seems like those keys are a wee bit more difficult to come by for some players this week. I see people on YouTube, Destiny’s reddit, and other social media sites talking about how difficult it can be to farm for Treasure Keys: some people have been getting a few within a couple of hours, while others (including myself) can’t seem to find any at all.

During the first week, every player had at least one Treasure Key. Completing the story missions for the House of Wolves got you one for each Guardian you’ve created; you could earn more by completing the Fallen Wolves events in Patrol. If you made it through the Prison of Elders, even the base level 28 experience, you were pretty much guaranteed an exotic if you had a Treasure Key; the keys open the big chest in the middle of that amazing room with piles of gold (and human skulls mixed in for aesthetic). Now, some of you may not have gotten anything great, but most players I see on YouTube were psyched to get their first exotics – I got a Universal Remote and The Last Word myself, and I was pretty happy.

This week, however, it seems as though the Treasure Keys are dropping a lot less frequently. You can still get them from the Wolves Patrol events, but they aren’t as abundant as they were pre-HoW. Since Treasure Keys are just a bit harder to come by post-release, that big chest may remain closed for many players – it’ll be for aesthetic, like those skulls in the piles of gold around the treasure room. Just a little while ago, I ran through the level 28 Prison of Elders – I didn’t have a Treasure key, so I could only open the two smaller chests that flank the big fancy one. I got a few strange coins and a rare engram…I wasn’t expecting exotics, but it still took me by a bit of a surprise.

After getting my loot, I decided to see what I and other players were getting from the Prison after completing some of the higher level experiences. It seemed like a lack of Treasure Keys resulted in similar drops, with the occasional legendary here and there – one person even got a Treasure Key from one of the small chests, which they promptly used on the larger chest in the middle. Not having a Treasure Key isn’t the end of the world, but watching someone go and open that big chest can bring out the Green-Eyed Monster in you.

Honestly, I don’t think the sudden lack of Treasure Keys is a coincidence. Come to think of it, there may not be a lack of Treasure Keys at all – the excitement of getting an exotic or two from the chest may have caused players (including myself) to expect keys to drop a bit more often in Patrol events than they do now. Either way, the devs at Bungie wouldn’t want it to be that easy to get an exotic. Game developers are supposed to make games that keep players interested, right? Having a great chance at getting an exotic was a nice way to introduce a new mode game mechanic, but if Treasure Keys just fell from the sky, everyone would have a better chance at getting all the exotic gear they wanted. You might be thinking, “Why don’t they just do that? Bungie, whadaya doin’???” It’s not that simple though; players getting everything they want in the game means they could get bored easily, meaning they stop playing. And that’s no bueno for Bungie.

Obviously, people that genuinely enjoy playing Destiny will still be happy to run the Vault of Glass or Prison of Elders with friends for the 18th time this week, just because they love the experience. But the number of players in Destiny’s universe would drop dramatically if Treasure Keys could just be picked up like Relic Iron or Spirit Bloom. It may be a bit frustrating for some players who grind for hours only to come up with a single Treasure Key, but don’t stand around waiting for those keys to drop – there’s enemies that are just begging to see the barrel of that shiny hand cannon.

What do you think about the (possible) lack of Treasure Keys? Also, what would you do if you had everything you wanted in Destiny right now (try to think long-term)? Leave your comments below.

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