After a rough couple of weeks of complaints and grumbling from the Destiny 2 community, Bungie finally communicated more fully on Wednesday about what changes are coming down the pipeline to improve the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC shooter. The developer had to cancel a livestream advertising the Curse of Osiris expansion but does go into some detail about a new weapon tier with random perks, changes to the economy, weapon mods, and more.
The recent controversy over how XP is being handled in Destiny 2 prompted the drastic shift in communication by Bungie this week. The fact leveling is tied to Bright Engrams from the Eververse Shop and XP boosts were being sold in-game via real money and through a Pop-Tart promotion raised the ire of many.
Bungie turned off the XP scaling, which throttled XP from certain events but also doubled the level requirement to 160,000 XP. The developer admits this makes leveling too slow for some activities and is already in the process of "collecting data and recalibrating XP earn rates to improve them as quickly as possible."
More concrete details were provided for the December 5 update that brings both the Curse of Osiris expansion and the second season of Destiny 2. Some of those updates will be available immediately while others will come the following week and other items lined up for early 2018.
New Weapon Tier
Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of the Masterworks tier of weapons on December 12. These are a slight step above Legendary weapons by adding random perks that can be re-rolled by the player. They will also track kills in Crucible or overall, plus generate orbs on multi-kills.
Masterwork weapons will drop from the same activities and sources as the current collection of Legendary weapons after a character reaches Power Level 250. Additionally, breaking down these weapons give materials that can be used to upgrade an existing Legendary to Masterwork quality.
The economy changes are another important aspect of Destiny 2 improvements. The Token economy is staying around but players will be able to purchase Faction Armor and Weapons directly from Vendors using Tokens and Legendary Shards starting December 12. The cost appears to be 15 Shards and 10 Tokens per screenshot. The ability to receive an engram will still be present.
Xur will also be selling some new items on December 12 as well. A new Fated Engram can be purchased every week with Legendary Shards to receive an Exotic that is not already in your inventory. Three of Coins from Destiny 1 will also return to boost Exotic drop rates for four hours. Note that the stacking mechanic from the first game will not return.
Economy changes coming on December 5 include the ability to dismantle Rare quality mods and Banshee offering specific Legendary Mods for direct purchase. This includes the incredibly tough to get Kinetic Mods.
Destiny 2 players will also be able to purchase Legendary Engrams from Master Rahool with Legendary Shards. Meanwhile, Reputation Tokens will be increased for Daily Challenges, Strikes, and other activities. Better yet, farming chests are guaranteed to reward tokens instead of receiving no items after opening too many.
Bungie also has a list of Destiny 2 changes planned for January 2018 and beyond. Better Prestige activity rewards are planned for the start of the new year while Crucible Private Matches will be coming not long afterward plus a "Quitter Penalty" system.
The development team is also moving Ranked Crucible matches to the top of the development list. There's no timeline on when this will be available but should appeal to the hardcore Destiny 2 multiplayer community.
Other future changes include better protection against Exotic duplicates, a new Emote interface, and more mod economy changes.
The Destiny 2 developers shared details of everything they can share now. There are undoubtedly other issues and features they are working on but not ready to share yet. Additionally, patch notes are due to be released for the Curse of Osiris launch that will likely contain some sandbox changes.
Bungie states it wants to do a better job of communicating with the Destiny 2 community. The first podcast since the game's launch in September was released not long after this announcement. It will be interesting to see whether the studio can keep up the level of openness and transparency.