‘Destiny 2’ December Update Nips At The Edges But Is A Start [Opinion]

A Hunter stalks while a Sentinel Titan activates his Super in Destiny 2 Curse of Osiris.
Image by Bungie/Activision

Bungie shared its short-term roadmap for Destiny 2 in a “State of Destiny” post that covered some of the changes coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC shooter over the next month to two months. With the game only a couple of months old and the PC release barely a month old, the first major update nips at the edges while fundamental problems remain.

If you want the full details of the changes coming to Destiny 2 in December and a little after, then check out the Inquisitr’s coverage here or the original Bungie blog post. While this article will cover some of the information about the changes, it is primarily an opinion piece about Bungie’s efforts to try and fix things following the growing backlash that peaked with some recent incidents.

Changes to the Sandbox and other aspects of Destiny 2 are coming with the Curse of Osiris on December 5. Bungie is just saving that information for the patch notes to be released by next Tuesday for some reason.

Own Goal

The biggest takeaway from the long list of updates coming with the December update is Bungie pretty much scored an own goal with the development of Destiny 2. The studio made massive improvements to the original Destiny from the release of The Taken King to the Rise of Iron expansions and then proceeded to ignore or remove them for the sequel. As a result, the developers now find themselves putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Only they must now put the original pieces back in with all new bits like the Token economy.

For example, Faction Vendors will finally start selling individual Armor and Weapon pieces again on December 12 by unlocking them with 15 Legendary Shards and 10 Faction Tokens. Armor Ornaments are also coming back and will be available for the various Factions, plus Iron Banner, Trials of the Nine, and the Raid.

Ornaments are great additions, but items that could have been carried over from Destiny 1, not to mention Vendors offering more than just Reward Engrams. The good news is that Bungie explains Ornaments will be earned by completing specific challenges. That at least gives players something to chase.

Masterworks and Xur

Xur's inventory changes for the Destiny 2 December update.
  Bungie/Activision

Meanwhile, the new Masterworks tier of weapons comes as an upgrade to Legendary weapons on December 12. These will give players something else to pursue in the form of re-rollable stat bonuses. Recall, Bungie removed random perks for the Destiny sequel because it made balancing weapons easier. Unfortunately, it also removed something for players to chase and get excited over when finally getting the perfect perk roll.

Xur also brings something back from Destiny 1, but it doesn’t feel as needed currently as future updates Bungie has planned. Three of Coins will be added to the Agent of the Nine’s inventory and grant a four-hour boost to a character’s Exotic drop rate. However, getting Exotics in Destiny 2 has not been the issue as much as the constant stream of Exotic duplicates and some extremely lackluster Exotic pieces.

Fated Engrams appear to be a stop-gap, but Bungie plans to add protection against duplicate Exotics in early 2018 along with a promised re-tune of “under-performing” items. Again though, duplicate protection was a Destiny 1 feature along with other returning features like Heroic Strikes.

Mod Economy

The Gunsmith will be selling Kinetic Mods directly with the Destiny 2 December update.
  Bungie/Activision

The most original tweak in the December update is the Mod economy. Banshee will begin selling individual Legendary Mods on December 5 that can be purchased with Mod Components earned from dismantling unneeded Mods and Legendary Shards.

This is a good first step, as Mods were introduced as an alternative to random perks. However, they have not been as impactful, plus the random difficulty in obtaining certain mods has been frustrating. Bungie is planning more updates to Mods in 2018, so it will be interesting to see if they can introduce new mods that will have a greater impact on weapon and armor variety.

More, More, More

Finally, if you like the Token economy, you will get more Tokens going forward in Destiny 2. Bungie will be giving more Tokens through Daily Challenges, Strikes, and Chests while also increasing the number of Tokens required to receive Reward Engrams.

This appears to be to give players more Tokens that will be needed for the various Vendors but still require roughly the same amount of time to earn a Reward Engram. That’s fine though, but more loot is the general theme of this update as seen with the Mastercraft Legendary weapons, Exotics, etc.

Unfortunately, it is not more loot that is needed as much as it is more interesting ways to earn loot that players want, along with addressing Destiny 2’s underlying fundamental issues. Still, this is a good start with a roadmap of changes over the next couple of months that starts to build the foundation for more impactful changes a little further out.

Which of those impactful changes happen at the start of Season 3 in Destiny 2 or with the release of the second expansion in the spring or a larger expansion next September is open for debate. It is up to Bungie to communicate a roadmap to its dedicated fanbase and community. However, it is a shame so much work is being spent bringing back features and systems not carried over already.