The State of Destiny 2
With Destiny 2’s console and PC launches behind us, we want to take some time to talk with you about Destiny 2 – specifically where it’s at today, and where it’s going. Our team has been reading feedback and working on updates to improve the game. We’ve also been reading some tough criticism about our lack of communication, and we agree we need to be more open.
Going forward, Destiny 2’s post-launch game systems, features, and updates are being designed specifically to focus on and support players who want Destiny to be their hobby – the game they return to, and a game where friendships are made. We want Destiny to be a game that fits into your life, providing you with reasons to log in and play with your friends, clans, and families. We want Destiny to be a world you want to be a part of.
A month ago, we published a list of improvements on the blog. Today, we’re going to revisit that list and update its status, and share some of the work the team is readying for December, January, and beyond.
We know it’s frustrating when there isn’t enough of a dialog with the development team. You have our commitment that we’re going to do a better job going forward.
- Luke Smith & Chris Barrett
Upcoming Updates Overview
We previously published a list of upcoming Destiny 2 improvements we want to deliver. Some of these updates will be introduced on December 5 and December 12. Others will land in the New Year.
New systems and rewards to give our most engaged players additional, optional pursuits, including:
A new Weapon Tier: Masterworks, which will feature stat trackers, random, re-rollable stat bonuses, unique item tooltips, and item details screens (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
Improved vendor rewards, adding ways for people to purchase items directly with their Legendary Shards and Tokens (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
Adding Armor Ornaments that grant visual permutations of armor as players complete specific Challenges (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
Better incentives for players who complete challenging Prestige activities
We’re targeting a January update to provide better incentives to complete Prestige activities
Better rewards and replay value for Strikes, Adventures, and Lost Sectors
In December, we will be introducing a Heroic Strikes playlist and more generous Strike rewards
Rewards for Adventures and Lost Sectors are still on our radar, but will not be delivered for our December updates
Private matches for the Crucible
Still targeting early 2018 and expect to have better insight into exact timing in the New Year
We are also moving Ranked PVP to the top of our priority list for next year to support the competitive community
Crucible tuning like adjusted Supremacy scoring and better spawning rules
In December, we will introduce additional updates and bug-fixes intended to improve these areas of the Crucible
Better incentives for completing Crucible matches (and penalties for quitting competitive games)
A "Quitter Penalty" system is currently in development, and you can expect an update on the deployment of this system in the New Year
Continued improvements to Iron Banner and Faction Rallies, including uniqueness of rewards
The next Iron Banner and Faction Rally will introduce improvements in both these areas (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
Changes to make the mod economy more interesting and impactful
The Gunsmith will have some updates to how Mods are acquired (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
We are exploring more updates to this system in the New Year
Ongoing improvements to Exotics, including adjustments to reduce instances of duplication
We plan to tune under-performing Exotics and will continue to make targeted updates and improvements
Duplication protection will be added for Exotics in the New Year
New ways to spend surplus currency and materials (looking at you Legendary Shards)
Players will be able to spend Tokens and Legendary Shards on Vendor inventory (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
Xur will have new items, as well (see the December Update Details section below for more info)
An emote interface that allows players to equip Salty, Spicy Ramen, Six Shooter, and Flip Out all at the same time
Emote interface improvements are still on the list, and you can expect an update on the development of this system in the New Year
We will continue to revisit and update this list in the weeks and months ahead to keep you up to speed on what we’re working on. Below, you’ll find more specific detail about each of the features and updates you can expect to land in December.
December Update Details
There are four key areas we’re targeting for improvements in December. Some of these updates will arrive with the December 5 update, and some additional updates will be included in a patch that will be deployed the following week on December 12.
Both updates combined include improvements set against the following goals:
Deepen Rewards for advanced players
Provide More Player Control over obtaining rewards
Make Shards Useful by adding things to use them for
Provide General Quality fixes wherever possible
The following changes are the first steps towards achieving these goals, with more planned for our next release in January. Here is a preview of impending changes to Destiny 2. Each category is marked with a forecast delivery date.
[DEC 12] Legendary Weapons will drop as or be upgraded to become Masterworks versions
Masterworks will have a few advantages over the baseline Legendary weapon:
Track and display the number of kills with that weapon (with choice between total count or Crucible-only count)
Generate orbs for you and your allies on multi-kills
Add weapon stat bonuses that are selected randomly from a small pool and are re-rollable
Masterworks drop from any source of Legendary weapons for characters above 250 Power
Unwanted Masterworks can be dismantled into materials that can upgrade an existing Legendary Weapon into a Masterwork
Raid and Trials of the Nine Weapons will have a very high chance to be Masterworks
We have future plans to extend Masterworks to other gear and expose your kill counts in more places (e.g. Crucible kill screen)
[DEC 5] Armor Ornaments will be added to some existing Armor sets for more visual customization without losing your Shaders or Mods
These ornaments will be unlocked by completing objectives specific to each set, and are permanently unlocked account-wide, just like Exotic Weapon ornaments
They will be applied to the base pieces that you may already have collected, and can now unlock on Vendors if not
In Season 2, the following sets have ornaments unlocked in their respective activities:
Vanguard Faction Armor
Crucible Faction Armor
Trials of the Nine Armor
Iron Banner Armor
Dead Orbit Armor
Future War Cult Armor
New Monarchy Armor
Eater of Worlds Raid Lair Armor
[DEC 12] Faction Armor and Weapons will be unlocked for purchase for Legendary Shards and Faction Tokens on most Faction Vendors
All five Armor Slots will always be present, and Weapons will rotate weekly on Factions that have them
Slots will be unlocked by claiming Reward Engrams from the respective Faction
You will get credit for engrams you may have already claimed since launch
[DEC 12] Xur has some new offerings for players collecting Exotics:
Every week, you’ll be able to acquire one of the new Fated Engrams using Legendary Shards that will decrypt as Exotics that aren’t already in your collection
A simpler Three of Coins that boosts Exotic drop rates from any source for 4 hours
No obscure stacking mechanics or need to re-apply before every boss
These cost Legendary Shards and you can have as many as you like
[DEC 5] Banshee has some updates on the Weapon and Armor Mod front:
For players wanting to clear some Mod inventory space, Rare quality Mods will dismantle into Gunsmith Materials and have a chance to produce Legendary quality Mod Components
For players chasing specific Legendary Mods (including Legendary Kinetic Mods), Banshee will offer a selection of specific Legendary Mods for direct purchase, with a selection that will rotate daily and cost Legendary Shards and Mod Components
[DEC 5] For players chasing a world Legendary or looking for Masterworks, Master Rahool will sell some of his rumored hoard of Legendary Engrams for Legendary Shards
[DEC 12] Commander Zavala and Lord Shaxx will sell Gift consumables for Legendary Shards that can be used during a Strike or Crucible Match that will serve the following functions:
Grant bonus rewards to everyone in that activity upon completion, friend or foe alike
Award anything from Faction Tokens to a round of Exotics for everyone in the match
[DEC 12] Exploit safeguards on Chests and Resource Nodes are greatly relaxed and players should encounter them less frequently
Even if they do, drop rates for Tokens is only reduced to 30% instead of 0%, and Glimmer will be unaffected
We want to associate a visual indicator with this in a future update, but we weren’t able to pull that off in this update (but we hear you!)
[DEC 12] Vendors will now beckon you to hand in your Reputation Tokens only when you’re carrying enough to earn a Reward Engram
[DEC 5] Changes affecting Reputation Tokens:
Daily Challenges will have Reputation Token awards increased across the board
Cayde’s Treasure Chests still offer variable rewards, but now guarantee (at minimum) a payout of destination appropriate Reputation Tokens
Strikes will drop a larger number of Vanguard Reputation Tokens
Common quality Destination Resource Tokens will have their drop rates increased to 100%, and values per Token increased as well (by 50% for common quality Tokens and 250% for rare quality Tokens)
On the balance, Reputation required per Reward Engram will increase for Destination Factions (+37%) and Gunsmith (+50%)
Leviathan Raid Tokens will be redeemed at Benedict immediately upon obtaining a Token, instead of requiring a full clear before unlocking
With the launch of Curse of Osiris, and the beginning of Season 2, you can expect to see a full suite of patch notes that will document all of the changes outlined above, as well as additional gameplay and sandbox tuning changes the team is making to improve Destiny 2. We’ll also soon be providing pre-load and launch day details, as well as a roadmap for our Season 2 content, which includes The Dawning in mid-December.
Last weekend, we disabled a scaling mechanism that adjusted XP gains up and down without reflecting those adjustments in the UI. Our intention was to keep slower-paced activities as rewarding as high intensity grinding without confusing variations in displayed XP values, but the silent nature of the mechanic betrayed the expectation of transparency that you have for Destiny 2.
We were able to disable the system with a server-side change, but a new solution is now needed to rebalance XP in Destiny 2. We have begun that work, and will continue to provide updates to you about timelines and specifics. The values coded into our website API are being updated today (and may already have been as you read this post) to reflect the removal of this scaling mechanism. In a future update, we intend to link these internal and display-only values together for greater consistency, and to ensure that when changes are made they are accurately reflected everywhere we report them.
We already see that the newly adjusted 160K XP per level value means that leveling is too slow for some activities, and we have begun the process of collecting data and recalibrating XP earn rates to improve them as quickly as possible.
XP boosts, including both consumable items and passive bonuses like the Well Rested 300% bonus, were always applied after this system and never resulted in early slowing of XP. They should be unchanged by the disabling of this system and will continue to provide their stated increase in XP gain.
Expect to see a lot of conversation from our team on this front, as XP rewards are updated and brought back in-line with player expectations.
Going forward, we plan to continue this dialog as openly and frequently as possible. This will be an ongoing process, but one that we are committed to.
This week we’ll be publishing a new episode of the Bungie Podcast where we will sound off on the current state of Destiny 2, how we think about our communication challenges, and what it takes to update the game in the wild. You’ll be able to listen on both Apple and Android devices.
Thank you for playing, for being passionate about the Destiny 2 experience, and for working with us as we look to continuously improve our game and studio communication.