Destiny 2 players need to harvest billions of pieces of Polarized Fractaline in order to complete the construction of a mysterious new tower on Mercury for the Empyrean Foundation event. Instead of simply donating the material outright, they’re trying to invest it to grow their own Fractaline nest eggs, turning the event into an opportunity for profit.
The event seemed straightforward when Bungie first announced it at the end of last month. Players had to grind a ton of bounties to earn Fractaline,this season’s main currency for unlocking loot, and then donate it to the Obelisk in the Tower until their collective contributions hit a final threshold, presumably unlocking some new event or activity. It basically sounded like a boring public radio pledge drive, the kind where the most committed people do all the heavy lifting and the rest just change the channel.
But one aspect of the Empyrean event changed all that: While players can donate directly to the Foundation, they can also spend their Fractaline to increase the resonance ranks of their Obelisks across Mars, Earth, Nessus, and the Tangled Shore. Increasing these resonance ranks in turn increases the amount of Fractaline the Tower Obelisk automatically generates at the start of every week. Players can then take the Fractaline they earn this way and choose to either donate it to the Foundation or re-invest it in their Obelisks to boost the following week’s payout.
Now players are encouraging one another to forgo donating entirely in the nearterm in order to maximize their investments over the rest of the event, because why give away your Fractaline when you could put it to work making even more? Capitalism first, philanthropy later.
Players have been making the case in detailed posts full of math on the game’s subreddit. “Say you invest 8000 fractaline,” wrote one player who goes by Pirogoeth_Theorist over on Raid Secrets. “By week 1 you’ll have earned 4000, by week 2 you’ll break even at 8000, and by week 3 of the event you’ll start generating fractaline profit from your investment at absolutely no additional cost to yourself!”
Since the Empyrean event is set to end in early March, there’s only five weekly resets during which players can watch their Fractaline make more Fractaline, so there’s an incentive to get all of the investing done before week three. Yesterday (before the game was taken down for another round of emergency maintenance), one of Destiny 2’s community managers called on players to donate, but doing his best to channel Wall Street cheerleader Jim Krammer, streamer Sean “Gladd” Gallagher told his followers to “INVEST INVEST INVEST!”
What’s really gotten people into the Gordon Gekko spirit is just how much profit players can skim off the top if they’re willing to grind for it. Every time 400 Fractaline is donated it automatically completes whatever Timelost bounties players have collected, netting them dozens more legendary weapons. The weapons can in turn be broken down into legendary shards, which can in turn be used to buy more Fractaline. Some players have run the calculations and fancy themselves becoming Scrooge McDuck, swimming in a sea of disparate Destiny 2 currencies.
Of course, no one yet knows what all of this Fractaline gathering is leading towards. Players suspect, based on datamined information, that the event could conclude with the return of the Trials of Osiris competitive mode next season. They’re still hoping for something more along the way, though. To hit the next milestone players need to donate over 2 billion Fractaline. Pending some sort of unforseen market crash, they’ll likely have no trouble hitting it.