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Bungie December Updates Hope to Make State of Destiny 2 Great Again

Activision and Bungie have been under a microscope lately due to missteps with Destiny, so much so that they canceled their planned Curse of Osiris live stream so that they could officially address community concerns. One of those concerns is the XP-scaling issue, which is also addressed in the new blog post with the following statement:

"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."

The full statement can be read here but it goes on to say that the XP system will be updated over time to fix the balancing.

It seems like the Bungie team understands that they've dropped the ball for the players that want to make Destiny 2 a regular hobby. Communication and content are opportunities where the developer has come up short, but the team commits to doing a better job. When it comes to communication, we'll have to wait and see how that goes over time. When it comes to content, Bungie is off to a pretty solid start.

Upcoming Planned Updates

  • 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

December Updates

December 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

December 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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!)
  • Vendors will now beckon you to hand in your Reputation Tokens only when you’re carrying enough to earn a Reward Engram
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