Destiny appeared to have taken a giant step forward in reducing the grind with the recent 1.1 update. The grind of farming upgrade materials was significantly reduced along with the upgrade path for Exotic weapons and armor. However, Bungie revealed new details Wednesday for changes coming with The Dark Below DLC that seemingly adds in more grind for PlayStation and Xbox players in place of the ones that were taken away.
As I reported for Inquisitr yesterday, the existing Legendary and Exotic items in Destiny will be replaced at the Tower and in drops with more powerful versions of each piece of armor and weapon. This is meant to help keep players from falling behind when the new, higher level gear in The Dark Below is introduced. However, it’s not a straight-forward swap, and Bungie introduced more grind and complexity in the process.
Players can begin purchasing Legendary items today in Destiny once they’ve reached Rank 2. After that, the only thing needed to make a Legendary purchase with a vendor is Vanguard or Crucible marks depending on the faction vendor.
This was already troublesome, as the only way to purchase items Legendary items from the Vanguard vendors was Vanguard Marks earned from the PvE portions of the game, while the other faction vendors (Dead Orbit, Future War Cult, New Monarchy) required Crucible marks earned in PvP. Going forward, players will not only have to earn marks, they’ll also have to earn a Vanguard or Crucible Commendation as well.
These Commendations can only be earned after ranking up with a Faction. That requires wearing faction gear and earning 2,500 faction points for each rank. That’s no small feat when the faction points earned from Bounties is only 50 to 100 points, Patrol missions are 10 or 25 points, and Strikes are 25 points. Weekly Heroic and Nightfall Strikes plus Raids earn a good chunk of points, fortunately.
Why this was introduced is curious though. Did Bungie think players were able to purchase too many Legendary items with only Vanguard and Crucible marks? It seems like a needless additional limiting factor when the ability to earn those marks is already capped at 100 a week and players can only hold 200 Vanguard Marks and 200 Crucible Marks per character. Did it really require a third artificial choke point that also requires more time spent grinding? What problem are they attempting to solve?
The changes to Exotics bring a whole other set of problems. Players will be able to upgrade their Exotics armor and weapons starting December 9 by taking them to Xur. The upgrade costs one Exotic Shard, which can be purchased for 7 Strange Coins or obtained from dismantling an Exotic, and will completely reset the progress on the Exotic item you are trading in. There’s also a few other catches.
Xur only appears once a week in the tower from Friday morning at 5 a.m. ET to Sunday morning at 5 a.m. ET. Additionally, he will only be able to upgrade six Exotic weapons and six Exotic armor pieces every week. Which Exotics can be upgraded will be completely random, so those Exotic items you currently have could be upgraded next week or they could be upgraded next year. Remember, Xur’s random number generator is the one that’s put the Sunbreaker gauntlets up for sale approximately 50 percent of the time since the game’s release.
The problem with this is that it’s against player’s best interest to spend the time and in-game currency to upgrade that Exotic through normal means while waiting for the big upgrade.
The complete resetting of progress is another issue. In addition to asking players to spend an Exotic Shard to upgrade, Bungie is asking for players to basically repeat all the work they previously performed to upgrade their existing Exotic. Yes, the upgrade for that final node is now easier with the 1.1 update since they won’t require Ascendant Shards, but the other five nodes aren’t exactly a breeze through the park and will require time, upgrade materials, and Glimmer to get all the perks back.
The only consolation is that the Exotic armor and weapons will start at 300 when upgraded. Players won’t take a step back in their Light Level when upgrading and will only progress forward to the new level 32 cap in that regard.
It’s a shame that Bungie decided to go this route as Destiny progresses to the release of The Dark Below DLC. At a time when players should be excited at new content and the positive changes made to the game the past couple of weeks, they are flooding Reddit, NeoGAF and the official Bungie forums with complaints. Some are declaring they are now done with the game with these changes.
Bungie will release its weekly update later today. It will be interesting to see how the developer responds to this new slate of complaints. Please share your thoughts on these changes in the comments below.
[Images via Bungie]