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Destiny 2 December Updates Introduce Masterwork Weapons, Armor Ornaments, and More

Bungie opens up after a flood of fan complaints.

Destiny 2 is in the midst of making some important changes to the game in response to the multiple fan complaints about the state of title and the team’s lack of communication. The official Bungie blog, signed by Luke Smith and Chris Barrett, states that the team “agrees” they should be more open.

The post-launch game systems, features, and updates going forward for Destiny 2 will be made specifically to focus on and support anyone who’s looking for Destiny to be their hobby, as the blog reads, and as such the team has made a laundry list of updates that are due to appear in the game as early as Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, with others happening in 2018. Among the updates coming in December are as follows:


  • New systems and rewards to give our most engaged players additional, optional pursuits, including:
    • A new Weapon Tier: Masterworks, which will feature stat trackers, random, re-rollable stat bonuses, unique item tooltips, and item details screens (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
    • Improved vendor rewards, adding ways for people to purchase items directly with their Legendary Shards and Tokens (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
    • Adding Armor Ornaments that grant visual permutations of armor as players complete specific Challenges (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
  • Better incentives for players who complete challenging Prestige activities
    • We’re targeting a January update to provide better incentives to complete Prestige activities
  • Better rewards and replay value for Strikes, Adventures, and Lost Sectors
    • In December, we will be introducing a Heroic Strikes playlist and more generous Strike rewards
    • Rewards for Adventures and Lost Sectors are still on our radar, but will not be delivered for our December updates
  • Private matches for the Crucible
    • Still targeting early 2018 and expect to have better insight into exact timing in the New Year
    • We are also moving Ranked PVP to the top of our priority list for next year to support the competitive community
  • Crucible tuning like adjusted Supremacy scoring and better spawning rules
    • In December, we will introduce additional updates and bug-fixes intended to improve these areas of the Crucible
  • Better incentives for completing Crucible matches (and penalties for quitting competitive games)
    • A “Quitter Penalty” system is currently in development, and you can expect an update on the deployment of this system in the New Year
  • Continued improvements to Iron Banner and Faction Rallies, including uniqueness of rewards
    • The next Iron Banner and Faction Rally will introduce improvements in both these areas (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
  • Changes to make the mod economy more interesting and impactful
    • The Gunsmith will have some updates to how Mods are acquired (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
    • We are exploring more updates to this system in the New Year
  • Ongoing improvements to Exotics, including adjustments to reduce instances of duplication
    • We plan to tune under-performing Exotics and will continue to make targeted updates and improvements
    • Duplication protection will be added for Exotics in the New Year
  • New ways to spend surplus currency and materials (looking at you Legendary Shards)
    • Players will be able to spend Tokens and Legendary Shards on Vendor inventory (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
    • Xur will have new items, as well (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
  • An emote interface that allows players to equip Salty, Spicy Ramen, Six Shooter, and Flip Out all at the same time
    • Emote interface improvements are still on the list, and you can expect an update on the development of this system in the New Year

Beyond these updates, there are other changes coming in both the Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 updates, including improvements to “deepen rewards” for players, “provide more player control” when it comes to rewards, “make shards useful,” and to “provide general quality fixes” when possible in-game.

On Dec. 12, Legendary Weapons will drop as or either be upgraded to become new Masterworks versions, which will track and show you the number of kids you rack up with the weapons, generate orbs on multi-kills, add re-rollable stat bonuses, and a swath of other boons. They can drop from any Legendary weapon source for all characters above 250 Power. Further down the line, Bungie is planning on extending this new Masterworks status to other gear.

Faction Armor and Weapons will also be unlocked for players to purchase for Legendary Shards and Faction Tokens, with five Armor Slots present and a weekly weapon rotation. Slots can be unlocked by claiming Reward Engrams from the respective Faction, and if you already claimed certain Engrams, you’ll still get credits for those retroactively.

On Dec. 5, Armor Ornaments will be added to the game for some Armor sets that offer additional customization beyond Shaders and Mods. You’ll be able to grab them by finishing specific objectives, and when you unlock them they’ll be available to you permanently, account-wide.

On the “general investment” front, Bungie has announced the following:

  • [DEC 5] Banshee has some updates on the Weapon and Armor Mod front:
    • For players wanting to clear some Mod inventory space, Rare quality Mods will dismantle into Gunsmith Materials and have a chance to produce Legendary quality Mod Components
    • For players chasing specific Legendary Mods (including Legendary Kinetic Mods), Banshee will offer a selection of specific Legendary Mods for direct purchase, with a selection that will rotate daily and cost Legendary Shards and Mod Components
  • [DEC 5] For players chasing a world Legendary or looking for Masterworks, Master Rahool will sell some of his rumored hoard of Legendary Engrams for Legendary Shards
  • [DEC 12] Commander Zavala and Lord Shaxx will sell Gift consumables for Legendary Shards that can be used during a Strike or Crucible Match that will serve the following functions:
    • Grant bonus rewards to everyone in that activity upon completion, friend or foe alike
    • Award anything from Faction Tokens to a round of Exotics for everyone in the match
  • [DEC 12] Exploit safeguards on Chests and Resource Nodes are greatly relaxed and players should encounter them less frequently
    • Even if they do, drop rates for Tokens is only reduced to 30% instead of 0%, and Glimmer will be unaffected
    • We want to associate a visual indicator with this in a future update, but we weren’t able to pull that off in this update (but we hear you!)
  • [DEC 12] Vendors will now beckon you to hand in your Reputation Tokens only when you’re carrying enough to earn a Reward Engram
  • [DEC 5] Changes affecting Reputation Tokens:
    • Daily Challenges will have Reputation Token awards increased across the board
    • Cayde’s Treasure Chests still offer variable rewards, but now guarantee (at minimum) a payout of destination appropriate Reputation Tokens
    • Strikes will drop a larger number of Vanguard Reputation Tokens
    • Common quality Destination Resource Tokens will have their drop rates increased to 100%, and values per Token increased as well (by 50% for common quality Tokens and 250% for rare quality Tokens)
    • On the balance, Reputation required per Reward Engram will increase for Destination Factions (+37%) and Gunsmith (+50%)
    • Leviathan Raid Tokens will be redeemed at Benedict immediately upon obtaining a Token, instead of requiring a full clear before unlocking

Lastly, on the topic of XP, which has been players’ lips over the pat few days, Bungie notes that a scaling mechanism that had been adjusting XP gains was switched off within the UI, as players were already aware. Bungie states that its intention was to “keep slower-paced activities as rewarding as high-intensity grinding without confusing variations.” Unfortunately, the “silent nature” of this system wasn’t exactly staying true to the transparent nature of Bungie’s standard for itself in terms of communications.

The “new solution” is to work on a system to rebalance Destiny 2’s XP, which is what Bungie has already started doing. Today, the values in the official site’s API are being updates to change the removal of the scaling mechanism, and in the future the internal and display-only values will be linked and changed everywhere when they’re reported.

The overall goal, as Bungie has made very clear in this extremely lengthy blog post, is to ultimately remain as open and transparent with players as is possible. If you’d like to see the post in its entirety, make sure you check it out here.

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