It’s no secret that Destiny 2 has had somewhat of a turbulent time as of late, with the player base in uproar over an underwhelming end game, badly balanced exotics, an overabundance of RNG, and lack of any real progression after 305 Light, as well as this weekend's discovery of an exp throttling system tied directly to the games' paid loot box system, it is fair to say that Destiny fans around the world were about ready to grab their space pitchforks and form a space mob.
Seeing the rising tide, Bungie decided to cancel last night's livestream detailing next week's launch of the new DLC ‘The Curse of Osiris’ and instead focus on a blog post looking at player feedback and the changes to Destiny 2, both in the coming weeks and not too distant future.
The full list of items can be found here but here are some of the highlights. I will be adding my personal thoughts to these changes as well.
Legendary Weapons above 250 Light will now have the chance to become Masterwork Weapons with a new added weapon bonus (the example shown was a faster reload speed) which is chosen from a random pool of perks and can be rerolled as well as including a kill tracker and the ability to generate orbs of light from multi-kills, high-end Raid and PVP weapons will have a “very high” chance to become Masterwork and unwanted Masterwork items can be dismantled for items to upgrade non-masterwork legendaries. This will be added on 12/12.
This is a much-needed change. The static nature of perks in the Destiny 2 legendaries is one of the sorest points in the community and helped kill a lot of the replay value of activities once the light cap had been reached. Adding in this small change, while a minor increase to the RNG in the game, adds to some of the excitement of getting legendaries that the current game lacks. Players of the high-end and more difficult content, even as a very casual player of the game, is a good and much-needed addition to the system, rewarding a core group of the community that has sadly been ignored in the current game.
Legendary Shards are now... actually useful. A number of sweeping changes to vendors is being implemented from December 5th to the 12th that will balance many of the RNG methods formerly used to gain gear in Destiny 2. All vendors will now have the option to trade faction tokens and Legendary shards for a selection of weapons (which rotate weekly) and every armor piece belonging to the set sold by that faction vendor. This includes short time events such as Faction Rallies and Iron Banner. Players will need to trade in tokens for reputation engrams, just like they did in season 1 of the game in order to unlock these rewards (increasing by 1 hand-in per item) but Bungie has confirmed that this will carry over from season 1, so players who have already gained 8 or so faction rewards will have everything unlocked from the start.
Seeing players currently sat on 2-3k Legendary Shards is never a good look for what used to be one of the most important currencies in Destiny, with only Xur and rebuying already-owned exotics left to use them on (I myself currently sit on a stockpile of 2,000 of the damn things). The ability to trade these in directly for items is, to be honest, the best change of the list. The insane system currently in-game did more to punish players than anything else, especially with limited time events in limited time seasons, meaning players who did everything right could still miss out on core parts of an armor because of a bad roll of the dice. For instance, my Titan never did get the Iron Banner chest even after 30 or so engrams. The need to gain faction rewards via Token hand-ins before unlocking these works as a great replacement for the old faction level system that means a player has to put in some rewards beforehand.
Exotics and Mods
Xur will be getting new items, one of which will be a Fated Engram which for 96 Legendary shards once per week can reward a new exotic item that the player doesn’t already own. This will start 12/12.
“A new Exotic Item the Player doesn’t own”... 10/10 Destiny 2 Game of the year, every year. Okay, not quite (that is still Pokémon SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS) but as someone who sat on a pile of 15 Graviton lances and 12 Doomfang Pauldrons before the damn Sweet Business dropped, a 100% new Exotic every week is a godsend.
The Gunsmith will now offer players a daily selection of Epic Mods that players can buy straight away for 5 Mod Components and 10 Legendary Shards (available 12/5), as well as Engrams being available for Legendary Shards (12/12), Bungie also mention big changes to the mods system that will come in 2018.
They have confirmed Kinetic weapon Mods are included in this, so thank the Nine.
New season 2 reputation armor sets will now have cosmetic upgrades called ‘Armor Ornaments’ which are unlocked by completing short tasks within the game world (the example given is: Win 25 Iron Banner matches for the IB Titan Mark ornament), this will be rewarded for Vanguard, Crucible, the 3 Player Factions, Trial of the Nine, The World Eater raid, and Iron Banner. This will be added 12/5.
This system was added in Destiny 1 and honestly, I can’t think why it was removed. Giving players a way to show off their progress and letting focused players get a visual representation of their ability is a great system for a game that REALLY needs one, I only hope these challenges are difficult to complete.
Vanguard and Crucible vendors will now sell consumables that reward every player in a Strike or Crucible (yes even enemy players) with extra rewards such as faction tokens and exotic engrams. This is being implemented on 12/12.
Faction Rep items are being buffed across the board with token drops and planet gathering item reputation being increased greatly. To make up for this, planet faction and Gunsmith reputation amounts are being increased, this goes into effect on 12/5.
Exploit safeguards on Chests and Resource Nodes (AKA Token Throttling) is being removed, or at least reduced dramatically, meaning players who play a lot will no longer be punished for doing so.
Both of these changes make sense, Punishing players who play constantly is never a good look and locking them out from rewards just leaves them with a sense of wondering why they even bother. I can’t see why this was even added in the first place.
Bungie also laid out their plans for the game going into 2018, as well as reminding players of points raised in the past State of Destiny 2 update which can be found here. Part of the update is also a reminder of the new Heroic Strikes and Adventures which will provide more content and rewards for players. Mention is also made of their commitment to making the fiendishly difficult Prestige content (set for the January update) much more rewarding for players as at the moment, bar some cool cosmetic items, once you reach 305 Light they are pretty much pointless.
The EXP throttling and stealth exp nerf was brought up as well with mention of the current 160k per level being too slow for many players. Bungie made mention of plans to alter this after feedback and data from players has been obtained, but little else was mentioned on this front.
Overall this seems like a massive step in the right direction for much of what the Destiny 2 community has been clamoring for. More rewards for endgame players, more stuff to collect and a loot system not completely based on RNG. Time will tell if it is enough to save the playerbase, as the dark years of year one of the first Destiny game might have drained any patience the playerbase had (even if the game, by year 2, was the classic it was supposed to be at launch). Bungie has proven before they can turn the game around but one has to ask why, with all the lessons learned from the first game, has so much been forgotten since then? Destiny 2 was their chance to prove Destiny as a staple of the online gaming world, and it seems we’ve ended up with another pseudo early access game.
Sadly, no mention was made of the Seasonal Perverse system and its kinda predatory system of removing items that the player can mostly only get from pure RNG. Locking all Cosmetic Emotes, Ghost Shells, ships and Sparrows behind a RNG casino paywall and THEN throttling the only way to get them (this is the real reason anyone should be angry about the EXP throttling by the way) is bad enough, adding a hard time-limit to these items which, again, you can mostly only get by pure chance, is predatory at the least. This, in a full priced game no less, hasn’t gotten much traction from gamers as of late, partly because of the focus on the other problems with the game and mostly because everyone is queueing up at EA’s door at the moment but regardless, its lack of mention in this has left a bitter aftertaste to the post.