The moon was finally added to Destiny 2 back in 2019, but last year’s Beyond Light update made its loot obsolete. Bungie plans to fix that next season by re-issuing some of its old gear with a new infusion cap in the studio’s ongoing dance to try to get the game’s progression just right.
Bungie laid out the specifics around these changes, which will be introduced when Season 13 starts on February 9, in this week’s blog post. Here’s a quick rundown of the changes, which also apply to the Dreaming City, added in 2018's Forsaken expansion:
Reissued Dreaming City Reverie Dawn and Moon Dreambane armor.
Reissued 4 weapons for Dreaming City with new Perk Pools.
- Waking Vigil, Sleepless, Vouchsafe, and Retold Tale.
- Dreaming City weapons that drop in the Shattered Throne dungeon can roll with perks that are unavailable from drops from other reward sources.
Reissued 4 weapons for the Moon with new Perk Pools.
- Premonition (Pit of Heresy only), Heretic, Blasphemer, and Apostate.
- Weapons that drop in the Pit of Heresy dungeon can roll with perks that are unavailable from drops from other reward sources.
Beyond Light changed a lot in Destiny 2, not just getting rid of several of the game’s core locations and story campaigns, but also making large swaths of its loot obsolete. Via a new sunsetting system, it caps how powerful weapons and armor can get in order to channel players toward a smaller, more manageable, and from Bungie’s perspective, more sustainable loot pool. Following a bevy of complaints that the loot pool had become too small, Bungie has been trying to build it back up ever since, but some of the ways it’s trying to do it seem to completely undermine the simplicity behind sunsetting in the first place.
On the one hand the above are welcome changes, but on the other I’m not sure why it wasn’t done from the start. This is effectively old loot that’s been remixed, and added back to the game after the original versions were all rendered useless by the new infusion cap. Players who have spent the last few months playing Forsaken and Shadowkeep for the first time have all been earning sunset gear, despite both of those expansions still costing money (rather than being included with Beyond Light).
The old gear is also sticking around for some reason. “To get more specific around the actual experience, activities where re-issues are acquired will be heavily weighted towards rewarding re-issued gear over capped gear—though the exact weighting and mechanisms may differ,” writes assistant game director Joe Blackburn. “For example: In the Dreaming City if you have already obtained an infusion capped weapon, it will not drop for you again.” Why is infusion capped gear dropping at all?
Bungie is also re-working Crucible and Gambit progressions. Instead of collecting tokens, players will rank up with either vendor as they would any other, getting engrams upon hitting each rank and extra crafting materials at specific intervals. Basically, Shaxx and the Drifter will be offering mini-season passes of their own. This seems like a better system to me than the current token-based one, but in part only because Bungie has slowly been making that one much less rewarding than it otherwise might be. Reward packages from turning in tokens drop at significantly lower power levels than your existing gear, and also pull from an extremely narrow pool of gear that most players already have.
The new progressions will make tokens obsolete, so players are encouraged to turn them all in now before next season begins. In practice that means hassling with some menus in exchange for maybe one piece of gear out of dozens and dozens that has a perk or stat roll worth hanging onto. Again, it feels to me like Bungie fixing another problem of its own making.
But wait, there’s still more! Nerfs to certain Stasis abilities in PVP are also on the way. Added in Beyond Light, the Stasis subclass, which revolves around icy crystals that freeze and shatter in extremely powerful and satisfying ways, has been messing up Crucible because of how overpowered it can be in competitive play. Update 3.0.2, which goes live on January 19, will significantly nerf the range and damage of the Shatter Dive and Whisper of Fissures abilities.
Long-term, Bungie says it’s aiming to make the the subclasses more balanced across the board, and also reign in abilities to make gunplay a more effective and viable means of competing in PVP. “We’re still in very early discussions, but we’re looking into restoring a better balance where proper gunplay is rewarding in these playlists,” combat lead Tomonori Kinoshita writes.
There are three weeks now before the start of next Season, and Bungie is set to preview more changes in future blog posts. Hopefully they show areas where Destiny 2 will continue to grow, rather than simply fixing its past mistakes.