All of this has shined light on a rather interesting thing that is happening in the game with regarding to Prison of Elders rewards. At the moment, there exists 4 separate difficulties for Prison of Elders events: Level 28, 32, 34, and 35. Each level has the same giant chest at the end of each one, which can be opened as many times as a player has keys to do so. Levels 32, 34, and 35 also provide players with Armor Cores, Weapon Cores, and Etheric Light, once per week, each of which are required to buy House of Wolves gear or ascend older armor and weapons to the current max level, which undoubtedly makes these items FAR more valuable than the items received from the large chest (since these are guaranteed rewards). However, players are still expressing disappointment over the fact that acquiring Treasure Keys to open the large chest is proving very difficult and time consuming, and that the RNG of rewards from this chest have typically been even more disappointing. So, as always, we must ask "What is really going on here?" "Why are some players so disappointed with the current system in place for opening this chest?"
Well first, let's look at the literal chest in question:
If we present players with a chest that they can't open, even if the contests inside will only sometimes be of the desirable kind, then its perceived value will automatically go up. It doesn't matter if the actual valuable rewards from the event have already been granted because there is still something here that the player is going to be leaving with without accessing (the giant chest). And in this particular case, the acquisition of the true rewards may even be missed or overlooked entirely since they're presented as a mere text-and-icon notification versus the more psychologically gratifying action of opening a physical chest.
So how do we fix this "perceived" problem? Well the first step is to reassess the visual cues at work in the treasure room. If the giant chest and its contents are technically less important than the automatic event rewards, then it should certainly look less important visually speaking. It's not that the chest and key system is a bad idea; it's actually a great addition that creates more content for players to strive for (and subsequently gets dedicated ones to play more). But the iconic goal of a Prison of Elders event -- which in this case is currently most certainly being perceived as the giant chest -- should contain the actual intended rewards of the vent, and not merely something "extra" requiring "extra" keys and "extra" amounts of time and effort. The extra rewards, which are available to those with keys, should be located somewhere other than the focal point of the reward room, perhaps in some kind of vault behind a locked door that is located past the raised chest platform. This way we can provide players with the satisfaction of acquiring the main rewards and also give them the option to travel further into the reward room to claim additional rewards should they have the means.
When it comes to Destiny, the value of items and events is often based solely on the perception of their value by players. There's nothing wrong with making additional systems and feature to provide more content for players to work towards, even if that content is particularly difficult to complete, but it's important to make the distinction between "intended" rewards and "extra" rewards clear when it comes to player perceptions, especially when there's a risk of making the extra content steal the show with well-intentioned flair and embellishment.