The launch of Destiny 2 has gone exceedingly well but not perfect as controversy has sprung up around how the PS4 and Xbox One shooter handles shaders and microtransactions. Bungie Game Director Luke Smith attempted to address player concerns with shaders in a series of posts on Twitter.
Shaders in Destiny 2 must be applied individually to each piece of armor and can now also be applied to Legendary and Exotic weapons. That sounds like a step up from Destiny 1 as it allows players to mix and match shaders to come up with their own customization schemes for their Guardians.
However, the shaders are consumable and disappear after being used once, which forces players to hunt down additional shaders to try and apply to a different piece of gear. They also don’t stick with the armor or weapon they are applied to when replaced. This does not even give players the chance to experiment with different shader combinations for their Guardian.
The fact these shaders are also sold through the Eververse shop as microtransactions throw further fuel on the fire. Bungie is giving players the opportunity to spend money for a chance, not a guarantee, to receive shaders and they can only be used once.
Here is how Smith explains shaders in Destiny 2:
Shaders are earned through gameplay: leveling, chests, engrams, vendors. We expect you’ll be flush w/ Shaders as you continue to play.
When you reach level 20, Shaders will drop more often: vendor rewards, destination play and endgame activities.
Shaders are now an ongoing reward for playing. Customization will inspire gameplay. Each planet has unique armor and Shader rewards.
With D2, we want statements like “I want to run the Raid, Trials, or go back to Titan to get more of its Shader” to be possible.
The problem is the Destiny community does not exactly feel excitement over the prospect of needing to grind the same content over and over to get enough shaders to cover their various pieces of armor and weapons with the desired look.
The consumable shader system also sets up a situation where it is not in the player’s best interest to use shaders before their Guardian reaches end-game levels. The early to mid-game is spent constantly discarding gear for even more powerful gear. Applying shaders to those pieces when they will be broken down does not make any sense.
Now the question is if Bungie will come to some sort of compromise. Will they go full out and allow Destiny 2 players to remove a shader from an item and apply it to another? Could they keep the current system but allow the piece of gear to remember all the shaders applied to it so players can switch between those?
The good news is the consumable shader system and microtransactions are currently the only major complaint about Destiny 2. The game’s launch has had some issues with players flooding the servers and there have been some bugs, as expected, but the overall reception to the gameplay and story have been positive.
[Featured Image by Bungie/Activision]