Destiny 2 – 2018 Development Update

Game Director Christopher Barrett and the Destiny Dev Team released the long-awaited Destiny 2 Development Update which provides the community with information on where Bungie will take the franchise over the next year. The update was comprehensive, transparent, contained a number of exciting new features, and acknowledges the issues with Eververse. While many things still need to be described in detail, this may be a turning point for many players.

Cayde-6 in Destiny 2Eververse Changes

Bungie acknowledged that the current state of Eververse is not balanced and, specifically, does not favor the player. To counteract this, they proposed a number of changes that allow players to earn more bright, and special event engrams through gameplay. They are also making ships, sparrows, and emotes available outside of these engrams. For example, in the upcoming Crimson Days event, you will earn an emote, a weapon skin, and an exotic sparrow by completing specific activities. When you receive a Crimson Engram it will also be weighted towards loot that you don’t have. These changes are positive and give players a chance to earn gear rather hiding it behind a paid, RNG-driven system. Look for these changes in the upcoming Crimson Days event beginning February 13, 2018.

Masterwork Armor

Masterwork armor will be coming to the game on January 30, 2018. The intrinsic perk of these armor pieces reduces incoming damage while your super is active. While there are still many questions about how this will work (i.e. do the masterworks perks stack?) this is a natural and logical progression of the masterworks system. This may be especially useful for guardians who currently feel a little squishy in their supers (I’m looking at the Arcstriders).

Raid Enhancements

Many players find raid rewards severely underwhelming. In response, the Dev Team Update listed a number of changes coming January 30, 2018:

  • New feature mods with raid specific perks
  • All major encounters will drop a raid item (instead of just tokens)
  • The raid vendor will sell specific armor and weapons in exchange for tokens and shards (Midnight Coup)
  • There will be a raid-specific ghost that can drop from the final encounter
  • Future raid and activity specific loot

Raid specific perks were a big part of Destiny 1 and many people will be happy to see them come back. The changes to the tokens are also positive; most players would prefer an item drop over tokens. One possible concern centers around making armor and weapons available for purchase. This allows players to obtain the gear they want quickly taking away an important grind for the hardcore players.

The Spring Expansion and Season 3

The Dev Team commented on how content is delivered in Destiny 2 in this handy visual:

Destiny 2 Content Types

The upcoming spring update (rumored to be titled Gods of Mars) is being thoroughly reviewed against player feedback from Curse of Osiris, the first Destiny 2 DLC. The Dev Team noted they are taking the time they need to make sure that this update will be something they can stand behind with confidence.

This section of the Update also covered some exciting information on Season Three (Spring 2018):

  • Seasonal Crucible Ranks:
    • Valor – A progression rank that goes up as you complete matches. Winning helps you move up faster, but there are no loss penalties.
    • Glory – A progression rank that goes up when you win and down when you lose. Performance is how you move up here
  • Private Matches
  • 6v6 Playlist
  • Mayhem Event (limited-time event)
  • Security improvements

Additional Destiny 2 Updates

The Nightfall strike will receive a scoring system tied to an emblem and subsequent rewards. This will hopefully also lead to a community ‘high-score’ board in the future. They also noted the time-limit is being removed from Nightfall strikes; mixed feelings on this one depending on your love for the time limit. Most people would like something to make the Nightfall feel challenging (perhaps a return to the ‘kicked to orbit’ mechanic?). Scoring will be based on executing strike objectives and player skill modifiers. Here’s hoping that this system is also added to heroic strikes in the future.

Mr. Barrett also promised a full rework of armor and weapon mods in February 2018 to make them less redundant, and make them more unique and powerful. This change is definitely warranted and reflects the lack of player interest in the current system. Bungie also promised to adjust PvP to increase the pace; this includes changes to game rules and the power ammo economy. Without more information, it is hard to say how this will impact players. Overall, it is great to see the team acknowledging this issue.

Bungie also noted they are making updates to weapons, abilities, exotic weapons and armor, Iron Banner, and Faction Rallies overall. There is not a lot of information on these updates yet, but player concerns were addressed. The PC version will also be getting Tower text chat (duh) and will make changes to allow players to see their fireteam members on the destination map.

Final Thoughts on the Update

Many players will be searching for more information on potential sandbox changes. The sandbox team noted that they will share specific changes as we lead up to Season 3. These changes will be critical for many of the games hardcore players.

The Development Update contains many features that players feel should have been included in the initial release of Destiny 2. Hindsight is always 20/20. It is encouraging to see Chris Barrett, the new Game Director, taking a firm grasp on the situation. This update touches on many important facets of the game which need to be addressed as soon as possible. Stay tuned as we receive more information over the coming months.