Bungie dropped the details on how armor and weapons can be upgraded when The House of Wolves expansion releases for Destiny. PlayStation and Xbox players can look forward to a simplified upgrade process that makes their older gear relevant. There is also information on the Queen's Bay social area, as well as some of the vendor changes that are coming.
The first House of Wolves reveal was made via a live Twitch stream featuring Bungie's Chistoper Barret and David "Deej" Dague joined by YouTube streamer King Gothalion. The three took a tour of the new social area on the Reef before jumping into gear upgrades. I'm going to start with that first.
Bungie listened to the negative player feedback from The Dark Below upgrade process and decided to drastically simplify it for The House of Wolves. All Legendary weapons and armor in Destiny will be eligible to "Ascend" (or upgrade) once they've leveled up all the existing perk upgrades.
Ascend will cost some glimmer, upgrade materials, and a new material called Etheric Light. This will take the gear from its existing max from Destiny's launch or The Dark Below release to the new House of Wolves max level of 365 damage for weapons and Light level 34 for armor. Yes, this even includes the Mythoclast.
Etheric Light can be obtained from Nightfall, Prison of Elders, Trials of Osiris, and other end-game activities that reset every week, as well as the Iron Banner. It won't be necessary to purchase the House of Wolves to obtain Etheric Light.
Exotic weapons and armor have seen their upgrade path simplified as well. Players will no longer need to visit Xur to upgrade them when he appears in the Tower on the weekends. Instead, they will just need to have the Exotic Shards and other material necessary to upgrade them to the new levels at any time.
Destiny, The Dark Below, and House of Wolves Legendary and Exotic weapons will be upgradable to full attack and defense. No Xur required.
— Bungie (@Bungie) April 22, 2015
Speaking of vendors like Xur, there are some changes to existing vendors in the Tower. The Speaker will now have uses for older items. He will now handle material exchange so that you can trade Ascendent Shards for Ascendant Energy and vice versa. The same goes for Radiant Shards and Radiant Energy. Shards can also be exchanged for Glimmer and Motes of Light.
The Gunsmith is being made more relevant, as well. He will be able to reforge weapons picked up from Vendors and The House of Wolves drops. Existing weapons cannot be reforged, however. Telemetries will also be available to purchase from the Gunsmith.
All of the faction vendors in the Tower will have new armor and weapons.
Reforging and Telemetries available at the Gunsmith? Yup. Keep that thing oiled, Guardian.
— Bungie (@Bungie) April 22, 2015
Queen's Bay – Reef Social Area
The Queen's Bay is the previously announced new social area for The House of Wolves. Destiny players will be able to visit this area whether they've purchased the expansion or not.
Those that were around for the launch of Destiny may recall Petra Venji from The Queen's Wrath activity disappeared after one round. The Queen's Wrath will be a permanent fixture on the Reef and will be how players obtain the story quests and bounties for House of Wolves, similar to Eris Morn from The Dark Below.
Destiny players can also find Variks, a Fallen from the House of Judgement. He is the Warden of the Prison of Elders and will provide some of the rewards from the Arena activity. Drops received from running the arena can be turned in for unique weapons and armor, with different rewards offered as part of every weekly reset. There will be weapons and armor loot drops in the Prison of Elders as well, though.
Brother Vance is the Disciple of Osiris and will provide the rewards for the Trials of Osiris competitive multiplayer. This event will run every weekend from Friday through Tuesday. He has something called Passage Coins. Is that possibly another currency?
Xur may show up in the Queen's Bay. It's not clear if he could be in both at the same time or not. Likely not, since all players will have access to the new social area.
The Vault in the Queen's Bay will be the same as in the Tower, so you'll gear and items store there available in both places. Meanwhile, the Bounty vendor will be different from the Tower, as will the rest of the other Vendors.
[Images via Bungie, Bungie Twitch stream]