As promised, Bungie has delivered details on where Destiny 2 is headed. Since launch, there have been complaints from the hardcore fanbase about the lack of a real end-game and poor communication from Bungie, among other things. Today’s preview, which took the place of a canceled Curse of Osiris livestream, is meant to address much of this.
Stating that Bungie needs to be “more open,” director Luke Smith and project lead Chris Barrett stated that the studio plans to refocus its efforts on catering to players who want to enjoy the game long-term: “Going forward, Destiny 2’s post-launch game systems, features, and updates are being designed specifically to focus on and support players who want Destiny to be their hobby–the game they return to, and a game where friendships are made. We want Destiny to be a game that fits into your life, providing you with reasons to log in and play with your friends, clans, and families. We want Destiny to be a world you want to be a part of.”
Bungie outlined its plans for two updates coming next month that will start this process. The first of these comes on December 5, alongside Curse of Osiris, with another following on December 12. The studio’s stated goals for these patches are as follows: “Deepen rewards for advanced players; provide more player control over obtaining rewards; make Shards useful by adding things to use them for; provide general quality fixes wherever possible.”
In the December 5 update, new Armor Ornaments will be added for “some” existing armor. These will allow you to obtain a new look for your gear without affecting your Shaders or Mods. Armor sets will have a set of objectives to complete, and doing so will unlock Ornaments for your entire account. These sets will have Ornaments in Season 2, which begins on December 5:
Vanguard Faction Armor
Crucible Faction Armor
Trials of the Nine Armor
Iron Banner Armor
Dead Orbit Armor
Future War Cult Armor
New Monarchy Armor
Eater of Worlds Raid Lair Armor
Also on December 5, there will be changes to how mods are acquired from Banshee. Rare Mods can be dismantled for Gunsmith Materials and “have a chance to produce Legendary quality Mod Components.” Banshee will also sell specific Legendary Mods, including those for Kinetic weapons. The lineup will change daily, with the price being a combination of Legendary Shards and Mod Components. Additionally, Master Rahool will sell Legendary Engrams, which will be one way of obtaining Masterworks (more on those below). Reputation Tokens will now be obtained in greater quantities and in more ways, though the amount of reputation required to obtain an Engram will also increase.
The bigger changes come in the December 12 update. Bungie will introduce Masterworks versions of Legendary weapons; these track and display your kills with that weapon (and can be set to show Crucible kills or total kills), create Orbs when securing multi-kills, and have weapon stat bonuses that are “selected randomly from a small pool and are re-rollable.” That part is particularly important, as a common complaint is that weapon duplicates are effectively worthless in the current game.
Masterworks can be obtained through drops once you hit Power level 250, or Legendaries can be upgraded into them. To accomplish the latter, you can dismantle Masterworks to obtain materials that you’ll then use to enhance a Legendary you own. Bungie notes that weapons from the Raid and Trials of the Nine have a “very high chance” to drop as Masterworks. It also states that there are plans for Masterworks versions of other types of gear, and to add more ways for your kill counts to be displayed, such as on the Crucible kill screen.
The December 12 update also introduces the option to directly purchase Faction armor and weapons for Legendary Shards and Faction Tokens from “most” Faction vendors. The selection will always include each armor slot, while weapons will rotate weekly (for Factions that offer them). These different slots will be unlocked as you claim Engram rewards for each Faction–and any you’ve earned previously will count toward unlocking these.
Finally, Xur will have new items on offer weekly. Fated Engrams can be purchased for Legendary Shards and will decrypt into Exotics that you don’t already own, and there will be a new Three of Coins item for purchase with Legendary Shards. This Three of Coins will be easier to use than that of the first game; here, they’ll simply provide a boost to Exotic drop rates from all sources for four hours. Zavala and Shaxx will both sell some new items, and–in maybe the most welcome change of all–vendors will only have a notification icon when you actually have enough Tokens to obtain an Engram.
Bungie’s post also provided details on the recent Destiny 2 XP controversy, vowing to make further changes. It also reiterated its promise to communicate more effectively, stating, “Going forward, we plan to continue this dialog as openly and frequently as possible. This will be an ongoing process, but one that we are committed to.” The developer also plans to release a podcast this week where it will further discuss the state of Destiny 2. There’s no exact date for when that will arrive, but in the meantime, you can check out some new Destiny 2 Curse of Osiris Crucible maps, or see the full list of announced changes in the December updates and beyond here.