Talkin’ TWAB: Weapon Changes, Economy Updates, Eververse…

If you were looking for a Season Four info dump, this week’s update from Bungie has you covered. As always, you can find their original post here, and I’ll do my best to re-summarize the information for you and provide some commentary.

It’s a lot. Let’s get started.

Changes to Specific Weapons

On August 28:

  • Weapons will move to their new slots as dictated by the upcoming loadout changes for Year Two. (I’ll have a more detailed post regarding this in the future.) Guns that don’t fit in character inventories will be sent to the Postmaster. You should make sure you have cleared space in the Postmaster before August 28 or you may lose some of these weapons.
  • The mod slot on Year One guns will be permanently removed. Year One mods will be obsolete and should be dismantled for Mod Components.
  • You will no longer be able to change attributes on Year One gear via mods, including altering damage type using the mod slot.
  • New weapons you pull from Collections starting on September 4 will have fixed elemental attributes that cannot be changed. These will be set per-weapon by Bungie.
  • A handful of existing weapons in player inventories will be force-changed to specific elements/affinities.
  • IKELOS_SR_v1.0.1 will be force-changed to Solar.
  • IKELOS_SG_V1.0.1 will be force-changed to Solar.
  • The following weapons will be changed to Kinetic:

This is going to be really confusing for lots of players, so I’m happy they are talking about it now. Moving the IKELOS weapons to Solar makes tons of sense, both because Solar is already established as a primary element for Rasputin-related things, and because keeping them available for Void assignment would make the combination of them and Tractor Cannon a very highly-potent single-player PvE meta choice. It would be difficult to balance encounters around that combination, and players would be hesitant to use other weapons and synergies. (It could be argued this is already happening around Escalation Protocol.)

The week of August 28 is going to be an interesting one as a Destiny player.

I’m excited to see shotguns and sniper rifles enter the Kinetic slot and think it will open up additional gameplay possibilities.

My main question with mod slots going away on Year One gear: does that mean that everyone’s Power will instantly drop by up to 5 points? It’s been stated that new mods won’t have the +5 Power attribute, so if they are deactivating them, that would make sense. And for armor, are the mods on armor going to be “stuck” at the bonus provided by the current mod, or will players lose those bonuses on Year One armor entirely?

The Power Chase

In Year One, activities would only even grant powerful drops within a certain range of either a max level determined by that activity or a range at or around your current base Power.

For instance, if you were 350 Power and did a raid that was at 360 Recommended Power, your drops would still be within a few levels of 350.

For Year Two, some changes to Powerful Gear drops:

  • If you complete an activity that gives powerful rewards and you are underleveled for that content, it will drop based on the difficulty level of that content rather than your current base Power.
  • If you complete an activity that gives powerful rewards and you are overleveled for that content, the rewards will drop at least +1 to your base Power to encourage grouping with lower-leveled teammates.
  • There are new sources of powerful rewards that are on a different cadence from the weekly reset. This may refer to the new daily Milestones previously discussed, but it’s not clear based on this week’s post.
  • All Exotic-rarity drops in Year Two will drop at or above your current base Power.

These changes are pretty great across the board. They mean that you won’t feel like you are dragging down friends if you ask them to help you clear a Powerful Gear source, and bumping Exotic drops to always appear at or above base Power is a welcome change many have been asking for.

Changes to Milestones and The Director

The new Director looks like this:

And when viewing a specific activity, looks like this:

You’ll notice some changes there, specifically to Milestones.

  • World Quests, such as those used for the destination-specific Exotic weapons or things like Polaris Lance or Sleeper Simulant, have been moved to the Pursuits tab of the Options screens.
  • Many Milestones are now called Challenges, as you can see highlighted in yellow on the System Map and in the tooltip for the Quickplay playlist in the screenshots. They will not appear in the slide-out tray anymore, but will be on the maps directly.
  • Challenges now show their specific cadence as well as a progress bar to indicate your advancement towards earning that specific Powerful Gear drop.
  • The slide-out tray view is now reserved for mainline, non-repeatable quest objects. It sounds likely you’ll be able to make the tray not show at all much of the time if you have completed most of the material available to your character.

This looks to give the Director a much easier at-a-glance functionality for helping you maintain your power climb. Right now, you have to dig through the tray area to figure out what’s left for your character, and during events, it can be rather cluttered. Placing these notifiers directly on the map and giving them a strong highlight color—as well as adding daily goals to shoot for—should encourage more frequent logins to the game.

Changes to Strikes

Strikes are receiving a fairly significant overhaul to how you matchmake in them and how they are adjusted for difficulty.

  • Heroic Strikes and the Prestige Nightfall are being retired.
  • Instead, all non-Nightfall Strikes will have the modifier system currently used for Heroic Strikes.
  • You’ll choose a difficulty “rung” when you enter the Strikes playlist. These rungs are at 300, 400, and 500 Power. When you are 40 over the Power Level for an activity, you will not be able to select that rung if you are the fireteam leader.
  • The 500 Power playlist will always be available for higher-level players.
  • Nightfall difficulty is increasing and will be targeted higher than the 500 Power Level playlist.
  • Players will be given a choice between three possible Nightfalls each week, to give options for chasing specific Nightfall-exclusive drops.
  • It was not explicitly stated, but sounds as though the Challenge Card system and scoring for Nightfalls will carry forward into Year Two.

These are largely positive changes that simplify the selection of Strikes playlists. It doesn’t make much sense in the current environment that Heroic Strikes are often more difficult than Nightfalls depending on modifiers, and these changes more clearly demonstrate a difficulty curve that grows with your character’s progress.

I’m not sure how I feel about modifiers being active at all levels, but it should be OK so long as the modifiers are a bit more obvious when jumping into the playlists. The current UI shoves them at partial opacity to the side, and it’s not always obvious to players what the modifiers are or even that they exist.

One thing to note as a segue here: they announced that the modifiers will be unified across Strikes, Heroic Adventures, and the replacement for Meditations. So in a given day, they will all have the same elemental singe, single buff, and single debuff to reduce confusion. The Brawler and Grenadier modifiers are being tuned to be more effective, as well.

Changes to Story Missions

  • Meditations (Ikora’s weekly missions) are being retired.
  • Vanguard Research tokens will be removed from inventories on August 28, and the “parade armor” sets Ikora offers will no longer be available. If you want them in your Collections, you should start grinding Meditations now.
  • Meditations are being replaced with what they termed a “Heroic Story playlist” that will be at 500 Recommended Power.

These changes look to make Story missions a better part of the post-campaign experience. Meditations always felt like a half-baked application of the idea, and this also allows them to re-tune the missions to be more level-appropriate to potentially add Powerful Gear drops to them as a reward.

Changes to Adventures

  • Normal Adventures are being removed from all destination vendors. You will not be able to activate them after you have finished them once, as you can now.
  • Heroic Adventures are being added to all destinations, but they will only be available during weeks where that destination is the Flashpoint. There will be a different Heroic Adventure available each day.
  • The exceptions to this are Mercury and Mars, which will retain their current Heroic Adventure setup, and will gain an additional daily Heroic Adventure for selection when those planets are the Flashpoint.

This is a positive change, mostly because the current implementations for Adventures just mean that no-one does them after they’ve run through them once on the Director map as part of the campaigns—if they even did those at all.

As an aside, if you didn’t run the campaigns this way during Year One, I recommend you stop between mainline missions and complete Adventures as they are revealed on the map. It makes the campaign last a bit longer and work more coherently.

Economy and Token Changes

  • Destination tokens and Rare-rarity planetary materials (e.g., Dusklight in the EDZ) are being retired.
  • Tokens already in your inventory will not be removed, and will still be exchangeable for faction reputation, but you will not earn any more of them at destinations (planets/moons).
  • All activities that previously rewarded destination tokens (public events, high-value targets, patrols, etc.) will now reward planetary materials.
  • Destination Challenges as they exist in Year One are being retired and replaced with Destination Bounties that will be available from each destination vendor.
  • Destination materials will now be used for leveling destination reputation, and will also be required for some gear infusion costs.
  • Vanguard tokens, Crucible tokens, Calus tokens, and Iron Banner tokens appear unchanged in Year Two.
  • Gunsmith Materials will not change type, but reputations levels with the Gunsmith will change from 40 materials per level to 100 materials per level.

This change is… OK, I guess? It doesn’t alter a whole bunch unless there are also tweaks to how many materials are awarded after activities or how many are required to gain reputation levels. It never really made sense that each destination had three different inventory items you could turn in for reputation, and this should consolidate inventory space nicely.

I love exchanging Challenges for Bounties and expected that to happen. Requiring materials for infusing gear could end up being problematic, depending on how many are required, but at least it won’t be “let’s run around this planet for hours” material runs like in Destiny 1 now that more sources for them exist.

If you have tokens in your inventory, you should save them unless there are items at some vendors that have been announced as going away you still want to claim before the end of Year One. Hold on to them for early reputation gains at the beginning of Year Two.

Faction Rallies

Faction Rallies are going away for at least the first part of Season Four so they can be reworked into a different type of activity. As someone who ground out all three factions in Season Three, I am very happy with this decision. They are/were a neat idea that was just missing execution.

The Exotic Weapon Catalysts that were available as part of Season Three’s Faction Rallies will be made available in some other way in Season Four that has not yet been determined.

Crucible

  • Iron Banner runs from 14 August to 21 August. It is Control, and as a reminder, it has a new rule added where gaining control of all three zones will lock them down for 20 seconds before resetting them to neutral.
  • Year Two Iron Banner will have power level advantages enabled.
  • Trials of the Nine is being removed from the game for the entirety of Season Four.
  • Double Valor Week runs from 10 August to 17 August.
  • Triple Valor Weekend runs from 17 August to 21 August.
  • Double Valor Weekend runs from 24 August to 28 August.
  • The Showdown game mode is back in Crucible Labs from now through reset on Tuesday. Some rules have been changed from the previous appearance; check it out if you are interested.

I’m interested to see how the new Control ruleset works in Iron Banner. It has the potential to be interesting and lead to riskier plays, but it’s also likely to make stacks of players run even more rampant over solo queue players.

Removing Trials for a season is a huge move, but the mode needs serious rework. I’ll probably write some on Trials in the future, but this signifies that Bungie understands the mode is in need of love.

The extra Valor weekends are perfect for players who are trying to grind out the Masterworks requirements on their Solstice of Heroes armor sets. With them colliding with both Mayhem and Iron Banner, it’s a great time to hop in Crucible and get your rank reset completed.

Eververse

This is a lot of information, but not really a bunch of changes. It’s also really hard to tell right now how this one’s going to end up. Some neat things first:

  • Bright Engram drop probabilities will be published on bungie.net.
  • Players will have access to a private purchase history on bungie.net.

These two changes alone are both unusual for games and welcome. My intuition is that this is something being added with understanding that loot box regulation is looming in some parts of the world, but no matter the reason, it will be nice to have.

  • The Prismatic Matrix will return for the entirety of Season Four.
  • You’ll still get free Prismatic Facets, but they will no longer occur at first level-up. Instead, you’ll need to claim a bounty from Tess for 250 Glimmer that has a seven-day expiration period and complete that bounty to receive your Facet. What those bounties will require you to do hasn’t yet been revealed.

The Prismatic Matrix coming back is a good thing. Whether the new requirements to get your weekly Facet per-character are going to be ridiculous will shape opinion on it going forward.

New cosmetics are being added to Eververse’s available loot pool:

It’ll be interesting to see if these are being added to expand the number of items in the loot pool, or to provide Bungie with more options, but keep the loot pool about the same count. I wouldn’t bet too hard on the latter.

Some changes to Bright Dust:

  • Bright Dust gained when you dismantle a cosmetic is currently a fixed amount +/- a randomly-determined amount. Starting in Year Two, the amount will be fully-fixed.
  • Eververse items will be available from collections for Bright Dust costs. The exception is Year Two armor from Eververse, which will not be available due to it receiving randomly-rolled perks.
  • However, Eververse armor that is available in the Prismatic Matrix or from the Bright Dust direct-purchase store will have fixed rolls—but still not purchasable later from Collections.

Normalizing Bright Dust is great and long overdue, and Bungie is also providing a method for earning some Bright Dust on the side, as you’ll see below.

  • Bright Engrams will not be earnable until you have reached the level cap for your available content. This is similar to launch Destiny 2, and different from Curse of Osiris and Warmind leveling.
  • Bright Engrams will no longer drop mods.
  • Bright Engrams will now drop “Bounty Notes,” used to purchase Bounties from Tess.

Bright Engrams shouldn’t have had mods in their loot pool in the first place, so that’s fine. Bounty Notes are interesting and I assume you get one per Bright Engram.

  • Eververse will add Bounties. They well refresh weekly, not daily like other vendors.
  • Bounties will cost Bounty Notes to acquire and have a seven-day expiration.
  • Eververse Bounties will reward Bright Dust on turn-in, and exist in three tiers: 1 note for 20 Bright Dust, 3 notes for 70 Bright Dust, and 6 notes for 150 Bright Dust. You can purchase one of each tier per week if you have enough Bounty Notes.

It’s good they are adding sources of Bright Dust, much like Destiny 1 had sources of Silver Dust towards the end of its lifespan, but this feels like a very small amount of it to award players. This might end up being mostly a non-feature.

  • Items from past Seasons you didn’t get from Eververse will not appear in Collections (as items you didn’t receive).

This just prevents people like me from staring longingly at a greyed-out item I could have earned but didn’t. Good idea. :)

Hotfix 1.2.3.2

Bungie will deploy a hotfix on 13 August to address an issue that prevents some players from properly upgrading their Solstice of Heroes armor. No additional bug fixes are expected.

Solstice of Heroes Known Issues

Bungie recounted some known issues with the Solstice event. If you’d like to catch up on those, please see their known issues thread for Solstice here.

As a reminder, you have only until reset on 28 August to complete armor requirements. At that time, the armor will lock at its current state and won’t be upgradable.

(exhales)

That was a huge info dump from Bungie, and a lot of information tossed at players this week, between this update and the combat stream this past Tuesday. As always, if you have any questions you think should be addressed in this or other posts, or corrections to make, please send me a reply on Twitter. And if you’d like to stop by and chat sometime about Destiny or whatever, feel free to follow me on Twitch so you know when my stream is running.

Solstice of Heroes Engrams

Solstice of Heroes is now a week old, and three weeks of earning special seasonal event drops, upgrading armor sets, and completing Moments of Triumph remain before we start transitioning to Season Four and Year Two of Destiny 2.

If you haven’t participated in a seasonal event in Destiny 2, or if the last seasonal event you participated in was The Dawning around the turn of the year, it might be unclear how the limited-time Solstice Engrams function. Let’s talk about what they are, how you get them, and how they work, so you can spend the rest of the event either optimizing for obtaining the stuff you want or ignoring that this grind exists.

What are Solstice Engrams?

Solstice Engrams are the method by which Destiny 2 hands out cosmetic items from the loot pool for the Solstice of Heroes limited-time event. They contain emotes, Ghost shells, Sparrows, weapon ornaments, armor glows (more on this later), shaders, and transmat effects.

How You Earn Solstice Engrams

When normally playing Destiny 2, once you have reached maximum level, you receive a Bright Engram every time you reach 120,000 experience points. You can see how close you are to your next Bright Engram by looking at your character screen and checking the bar that appears at the top.

Starting with Crimson Days earlier this year, limited-time event engrams drop as bonus engrams whenever you would normally receive a Bright Engram. Every time you reach a new 120,000 point XP threshold, you will receive both a Bright Engram and a Solstice Engram, which you then decode for loot at Eververse in The Tower.

Note that you can only receive Solstice Engrams when leveling up once you are at the level cap—currently Level 30. You do not receive Solstice Engrams from:

  • Levels from 20-30. You will receive only Bright Engrams from those level increases.
  • Bright Engrams earned via the Contender’s Shell during raid activities on the Leviathan. You will only receive Bright Engrams from those drops.

At the start of the Solstice of Heroes event, each of your characters receives one Solstice Engram for free from Eververse. The remaining engrams must be earned via leveling up alongside Bright Engrams.

How Do Solstice Engrams Work?

When you decode a Solstice Engram at Eververse, you’ll receive the following randomly-selected rewards:

  • One item from the event cosmetic loot pool. This pool contains emotes, Ghost shells, Sparrows, weapon ornaments, and armor glows.
  • Either a pack of three shaders or a transmit effect from the repeatable loot pool.

The event cosmetic loot pool operates using a “knockout system.” For that portion of the engram drop chance, if you have received one of the available loot options in a previous Solstice Engram drop—even if you have dismantled that item—you will not receive it again until you have received all possible drops from the loot pool.

This also applies to items you purchase directly from Eververse using Bright Dust. If you purchase an item from the store using Bright Dust directly, it is removed from the engram’s loot pool until you have earned all possible drops. If you plan to attempt to earn all possible rewards from the Solstice Engrams, you can decrease the amount of time and number of engram drops it will take to do so by directly purchasing some of the cosmetics from the store

You can check which items have already been knocked out of your personal loot pool by inspecting the potential contents of Solstice Engrams. Items you have already received will have blue triangles on the lower-right corner of the item icon with a tick mark. You can see examples of how this looks in my screen captures of the available items below.

What Items Are in the Solstice Engram Loot Pool?

There are two Exotic emotes, five Legendary emotes, and three Rare emotes, for a total of ten possible emotes:

Two Exotic Ghost shells, two Exotic Sparrows, six Legendary Ghost shells, and six Legendary Sparrows, for a total of eight Ghost shells and eight Sparrows:

Four weapon ornaments and five armor glows of each subclass alignment, for a total of fifteen armor glows:

(Armor glows are special ornaments you can unlock for the Solstice of Heroes armor set. For more information on the Solstice armor set and leveling it up, please read my guide here.)

Seven possible shaders, and six possible transmat effects:

Remember that shaders and transmat effects are not part of the knockout list, and can never take the place of a knockout list item in an engram decode. You can and likely will receive duplicates of these items before you have them all.

What You Need to Earn to Acquire Every Item from Solstice Engrams

Doing the arithmetic, with:

  • ten emotes
  • eight Ghost shells
  • eight Sparrows
  • four weapon ornaments
  • fifteen armor glows

There are 45 cosmetic items in the knockout list. If you have three characters who have completed the required story missions, you’ll earn three engrams for logging in at the start of the event, giving you 42 remaining drops to earn.

You’ll need to earn 11 engrams per week to earn everything in the loot pool. Remember that the first three Bright Engram levels you earn in a given Destiny week (which runs Tuesday to Tuesday) are earned at an accelerated pace of triple the normal XP gain, so spreading your time between your characters is recommended for the first nine engrams you want to earn in a week.

You can reduce the number of engrams you need to earn to complete a collection by purchasing items from Eververse directly. Ghost shells, Sparrows, weapon ornaments, and emotes are available as direct purchases using Bright Dust, and all items will rotate through the available stock over the four week period of the event. They cost varying amounts of Bright Dust depending on the rarity level of the item in question.

You can also purchase a random armor glow from Eververse for 1000 Bright Dust. The elemental alignment of the available random glow changes daily, and you receive one random slot glow you don’t already have with each 1000 Bright Dust purchase.

Enjoy the Event

As always, if you have any questions I didn’t answer, have a guide you’d like to see on my site, or have corrections I can make, please send me a reply on Twitter; I’d love your feedback. You can also follow me on Twitch here if you want to be notified when I start streaming—I often stream Destiny 2 and talk about various ways to get stuff done in the game.

Bungie Combat Livestream Summary

Bungie streamed out a look at changes to Destiny 2’s combat system today. It was a 90-minute stream and had two private PvP matches in it, so it takes a while to go through. You can watch it here:

Of course, you might not want to do that, so I’ll summarize the hits for you right here. I’ll try to split them up in general areas of discussion.

Goals of the Combat Redesign

Josh Hamrick talked a bit about what they are going for with the changes to combat pass:

  • They looked at Year One feedback and player data to see how people were playing already.
  • They want to give players more options to tweak their loadouts for their desired personal playstyle.
  • They want the game to be interesting for longer periods of time for more people, by leveraging special and fun drops via random rolls.
  • The same applies to the meta, which should start shifting over time as various perk combinations float to the top and they want to encourage more counter-play opportunities.
  • They want to bring back more “hero moments” via an increased skill gap. The goal is for high-level PvP play to be more interesting to watch.

Will this work? I don’t know. It has the possibility to do so. It will depend a bit on whether there will be rerolls or other ways to skew the weapon randomness towards a sufficiently-inclined player. Weapon perk randomization was also very opaque in Destiny 1 and is hard to explain to new players.

Supers and Class Abilities

  • There are 9 new supers in Forsaken, to try and give everyone a new way to play their character type.
  • There will be some changes to existing abilities and subclasses. Only some of these changes were detailed in the stream.
  • There have been changes to perks, melee abilities, grenades, and supers.
  • Grenades have been buffed but are not one-hit kills in Crucible. The intention is that they will remain either an opener or a finisher.
  • Titan shoulder charge abilities of all types will one-hit kill in Crucible and will receive a damage buff in PvE as well.
  • The Nightstalker’s tether super has had it’s tracking rate increased and will now acquire targets much faster (you shouldn’t be able to run through the affected area anymore without being tethered).
  • Stormtrance’s lethality has been increased. Stronger jazz hands.
  • Golden Gun’s duration for both trees has been increased by 2 seconds.
  • Throwing Knife has received a damage buff.
  • Healing Rifts and Empowering Rifts have received buffs to their effects. Empowering Rifts will now buff precision damage in Crucible.
  • Ward of Dawn is getting a buff to the amount of damage it can sustain, and players within the Ward will receive greater buffs to overshields and melee damage. It will still require three melee hits to knock an opponent out of a roaming super.

Weapon Slots

  • The weapon slots are still Kinetic, Energy, and Power.
  • The difference is that the ammo type a weapon uses has been separated from the slot it takes up, with the exception of Power/Heavy. The ammo a weapon takes is completely dependent on the weapon’s type. For example, a Kinetic shotgun will take green (Special) ammo.
  • Trace rifles are now Special ammo and will do more damage because they will have less available ammo drops.
  • Single-shot grenade launchers are moving to Special ammo, while other types of grenade launchers will remain Heavy.

Ammo Economy

  • The sandbox team knew they wanted to change up the idea of weapon slots from Destiny 2 launch, but they didn’t want to just roll back to the Destiny 1 system.
  • This meant the ammo model had to change, which also means that other things in the sandbox had to change to match as well.
  • You can run both a Kinetic and an Energy type of a Special weapon at once, but that will mean you will have extremely limited ammo available and will have to play very well to make it work.
  • You respawn with a good amount of Primary ammo, and enough Special ammo for two kills at optimal damage. (So 2 sniper bullets, 2 shotgun shells, they said 24 trace rifle ammo, etc.)
  • You drop Special ammo on death as a pickup for other players, which is the only source in PvP where you can get more than your spawn amount.

Weapon Randomization/Perks

  • Fully random rolls are back from Destiny 1. The entire perk set for a given weapon is randomized.
  • Exotics have fully-fixed rolls.
  • When a weapon drops, it now has its Masterwork bonus stat assigned immediately. It starts as a 1-level increase. It costs resources to level a weapon up to a 10-level increase, at which point it becomes a Masterwork.
  • The materials used to level a weapon in the stream were Glimmer, Legendary Shards, and Masterwork Cores. It will now cost significantly more Masterwork Cores and Shards to level a weapon all the way to Masterwork.
  • When a weapon’s bonus perk is leveled enough, it gains a kill-tracker that is flippable from Crucible to PvE. This is handled as a perk slot.
  • Armor will now have randomly-rolled perks.

Mods

  • All non-Exotic weapons will drop with a randomly-rolled mod already slotted.
  • Exotic weapons and armor will not have mod slots.
  • Mods no longer artificially increase the Power level of a weapon and in fact have no effect on that stat anymore at all.
  • Dismantling a gun will take the mod that rolled on that weapon and place it in your inventory. You can then take that mod and slot it into a different weapon as you want.
  • Some of the mods that appeared on the stream: magazine size, recoil reduction, in-air accuracy increase, faster radar return on stopping aim-down-sights, damage boosts for specific enemy classes (red bar, miniboss, boss).
  • Armor has its own class of mods, including effects like super recharge rate improvement and better-stacking ability recharge improvements.

Time-To-Kill and Damage

  • As the team moved some Power weapons back into Special, they found that Primary weapons had a hard time competing.
  • They changed lethality by largely giving a damage boost to precision damage (headshots). Hitting more precision damage will result in an outsized decrease in TTK.
  • Melee is back to a 2-hit kill in Crucible.

Near-Term Forecast

Bungie laid out some expectations:

  • On 28 August as part of patch 2.0, tuning and weapon slot changes well arrive, but not mods.
  • No new weapons will drop until Forsaken launches on 4 September.
  • New mod slots will appear on 28 August, but new mods will not drop until 4 September.
  • What you mod a Year One weapon to in terms of damage element will remain that weapon’s damage type going forward. You will not be able to change it after the tuning changes take place, and Year One mods will cease being available.
  • Bungie will release a list of Year One weapons that are changing and how prior to the launch of Forsaken.

Thanks!

That’s the most important data from the livestream I have in my notes. If you think I missed something, or have a question, hit me with a reply on Twitter.

Later this week, I’ll have an overview of Eververse stuff in Solstice of Heroes—I was waiting for today’s reset to test something—and will also have a summary post of this week’s TWAB towards the end of the week. See you then!

Talkin’ TWAB: Numbers—Numbers EVERYWHERE

There’s not a ton to boil down for you out of this week’s This Week at Bungie, but what’s there may be significant for you. You can find Bungie’s original post here.

What we do have is a lot of statistics, and some data regarding Year One weapons as we roll into Year Two in four weeks. Solstice of Heroes is well underway at this point, and I hope this week’s update finds your armor grinding underway (or not, if you’ve chosen not to pursue it).

Season Three Statistics

Bungie posted an infographic with tallies from Season Three to date. You can find that in their original post, or view the image itself here.

The numbers I found interesting:

  • Normal mode raid clears: 6.4 million
  • Prestige raid clears: 757 thousand

If you’ve completed one or more Prestige raids, congratulations; it’s something that’s not common. I’m curious how these numbers compare to Destiny 1’s raid activities.

  • 194 thousand players have Whisper of the Worm
  • Just less than 9 thousand players have Redrix’s Claymore (the Season Three Competitive PvP-exclusive weapon)

My thought on this was that Redrix’s ended up being rarer than perhaps had been anticipated, and based on this tweet from Kevin Yanes, I might be correct:

And the last number:

  • Players deleted over 800 million shaders from their inventories.

I think I kind of get what they were going for with consumable shaders, but from a user interface standpoint, I feel they missed the mark significantly. I’m interested to see where they go from here for Year Two.

What’s Happening to Year One Gear in Year Two?

With the transition to Year Two, the weapons and armor from Year One will undergo some changes. There will be limitations to most Year One gear, for instance:

  • Year One gear will be infusable up to the new power cap, but
  • They will keep their static rolls and not gain random properties like Year Two gear will,
  • You won’t be able to use Year Two mods in Year One gear. And Year One mods are being essentially retired from the game, so at some point, the mod you have slotted in a Year One piece of gear seems to be what it will have forever.

There will be exceptions to this rule, as some Year One gear is being “upgraded” to Year Two versions, but it sounds like this will be for new drops only and not affect previously-acquired gear.

Personally, I hope the raid gear is updated in this way. I’ll dislike having to acquire new sets, but it would disappoint me to leave the Leviathan gear more or less permanently behind, as gear without the Year Two perks sounds like it will have a hard time competing with newer stuff.

Year One Gear Disappearing from Vendors

As part of the above-mentioned reset to Year One gear, current vendors will rotate some gear out of their inventories forever, to be replaced with new Year Two stocks. If you want any of these things to end up in your Collections going forward, you’ll need to acquire them in the next four weeks. Here’s what’s going away, and from what vendors:

Year One Weapons

  • Vanguard (Zavala)
  • Crucible (Shaxx)
  • Gunsmith (Banshee-44)
  • Trials of The Nine (Emissary of the Nine)
  • Iron Banner (Lord Saladin)

Year One Armor

  • Vanguard (Zavala)
  • Crucible (Shaxx)
  • Vanguard Research (Ikora)
  • Trials of The Nine (Emissary of the Nine)
  • Iron Banner (Lord Saladin)

Year One Emblems

  • Gunsmith (Banshee-44)
  • Vanguard Research (Ikora)
  • Trials of the Nine (Emissary of the Nine)
  • Iron Banner (Lord Saladin)
  • Cayde’s Stashes (Treasure Map locations)

Other Year One Cosmetics

  • Trials of the Nine shaders, ships, Sparrows, and Ghost shells
  • Iron Banner shaders, ships, Sparrows, and Ghost shells

Note that Year One mods are also being retired and will no longer be available from the Gunsmith starting September 4th. An exchange program for Year One mods still in your inventory has been announced, but no details are yet available.

Destination vendors, such as Failsafe, Asher Mir, Brother Vance, and the like will retain their gear into Year Two, but no more regarding any changes to them or if they will be upgraded to Year Two standards is known.

The next question is, of course: “What about all of these tokens and things? How will they work?” Word has surfaced in a Reddit thread that economy changes and what’s sticking around will possibly make it into next week’s TWAB. I’m looking forward to seeing what that will entail.

If you need to see what gear you don’t yet have to go after an elusive piece or two, I suggest using Destiny Sets to find that information.

Combat Reveal Stream This Tuesday

Next Tuesday, 7 August, at 10 am Pacific, there will be an official stream from Bungie discussing at least:

  • The new weapon slots system
  • The new ammo economy
  • The new user interface for weapons and modding them
  • A new Crucible map coming in Season Four
  • Increased time-to-kill in the Crucible

These changes will also affect PvE content, so if you are interested in the changes, consider tuning in. I’ll be watching, and will try to get a summary up either later that day or the day after to give you the relevant bits. Decreased TTK sounds like it will fundamentally change the Crucible, and the new weapon slot system sounds like exactly the change Destiny 2 needs going into new content.

(Intentionally) Broken Features to End Season Three

During the week starting 28 August until the launch of Forsaken, there will be some reduced functionality in Destiny 2 as we prepare to enter Year Two. Here’s what will be broken:

  • You won’t be able to claim Emblems out of your Collections.
  • You won’t be able to generate new Exotics out of your Collections.
  • Nightfall Strike scoring will be disabled.

The post also teased that changes are coming to Strikes in Year Two. My personal hope is they will change the requirements for Strike-specific loot to stop requiring the Nightfall, and otherwise make that gear more attainable by a broader selection of players.

How Elemental Orbs Are Generated

A small number of outstanding issues for Solstice of Heroes were dropped in the post, including how Elemental Orbs are generated. The relevant info:

  • When you wear the full Solstice armor set at any rarity, orbs are random drops either of your subclass element or your equipped weapon elements.
  • Nearby players will also generate orbs based on these properties.
  • You only have until reset on 28 August to complete any goals requiring Elemental Orb generation.

For the rest of the outstanding issues, please check out Bungie’s original post here.

Vendor Barks Being Reduced?

Based on this Reddit thread, it looks like the frequency of how often you hear the vendors in the Tower and other locations prattle on about the same things over and over might be changing. The Bungie quote:

The team is looking to tune how often vendors speak when you walk by them. You’ll still hear about Fenchurch, but not as often – especially when you’re retrieving items from the Postmaster.

Thank goodness. The forecast given is for this to drop either in 2.0 on the 28th of August, or in 2.0.1, the week after.

Happy Hunting!

Good luck to all of you in your Solstice of Heroes chase. I hope you find the event enjoyable. I’ll be chasing that ship.

If you enjoyed this post, please tell your friends about it and link it as needed. You can also follow me on Twitch or ask questions/give corrections to it on Twitter.

Moments of Triumph Guide: Celebrating Year One of Destiny 2

At tomorrow’s reset, Destiny 2 players start celebrating the Solstice of Heroes event—the culmination of the first year of Destiny 2 and a send-off leading into the release of Forsaken and the start of Year Two.

Part of Solstice of Heroes includes the Moments of Triumph, which are specific bounties you can complete for your Destiny 2 account for completing various activities throughout the first year of the game. The initial Moments were made public on July 7th, but a group of them remained hidden and couldn’t be completed until Solstice starts tomorrow.

I previously revealed these hidden goals here and explained what they are and how many points towards the maximum score they would provide. But in this guide, I’d like to cover the entirety of the Moments of Triumph and what they’ll provide to you when you earn them, so you know where to focus your attention for the remaining five weeks of Season Three and Year One.

You can also read up on Bungie’s official guide to Moments of Triumph and how they will work here. The deadline for completing the Moments of Triumph is 28 August 2018.

Where Can I See My Moments of Triumph Progress?

You can access your Moments of Triumph bounties by visiting the Statue of Heroes in the Tower. Once you have accepted the Bounties that give you the Moments of Triumph for turn-in, you’ll be able to see them in the Pursuits tab of your inventory.

You can also access your Moments of Triumph progress on bungie.net in your account profile section. Sign in to bungie.net, and click on the avatar for your account on the top right.

Then, select the View Profile option from the menu that appears.

Near the top of your profile on the page that will load next, there is a space with your current Moments of Triumph score. You can click on that to view a more detailed breakdown of the Moments you have or have not already completed.

The maximum number of points you can earn prior to the launch of Solstice of Heroes is 225.

What Are the Rewards for Completing Moments of Triumph?

There are five direct rewards available from Moments, and they each require a set number of total points. You will collect these rewards from the Statue of Heroes in the Tower.

Complete Any One Triumph: “Renewed Triumph” Emblem

125 Points: “The Right Choice” Ghost Shell

250 Points: Moments of Triumph T-Shirt Discount Code

For more information on the T-shirt, please see this page on the Bungie Store. The shirt can be personalized.

300 Points: Comrades in Arms Sparrow

400 Points: “Eternally Triumphant” Emblem

What Are the Moments of Triumph, and How Much Work Will They Be to Complete?

Here’s where we get down to what you’ll need to do if you want to earn that final emblem variant, or any prize along the way. We’ll start with the goals that are worth the least amount of points—as they’ll be the easiest to accomplish.

Some of these goals will be difficult to grind out on your account if you haven’t been playing Destiny 2 throughout the first year. We’ll talk about those, as well. And if you haven’t seen it yet, I have already written a guide to the requirements and optimizations for upgrading the Solstice of Heroes armor set, which is a key part of this process. You can find that guide here.

10 Points: Bringer of Light

Complete Destiny 2’s base campaign missions. If you progress quickly, this will take a handful of hours to run through. Most players of Destiny 2 will already have this Moment completed.

10 Points: Follower of Osiris

Complete the Curse of Osiris campaign. This Moment requires ownership of the first DLC pack. The Curse campaign is quite short and should take you only a couple of hours to complete.

10 Points: Awaken the Warmind

Complete the Warmind campaign. This Moment requires ownership of the second DLC pack. This campaign is also quite short and will take you only two to three hours to complete on a single character.

10 Points: Running Errands

Complete 25 Bounties. These are the Bounties you can collect from either Shaxx or Zavala in the tower, and require playing either Strikes or in the Crucible to complete. You should work on this Moment while completing armor progression that requires playing in either Strikes or the Crucible to optimize your time.

10 Points: The Hero We Deserve

Complete 25 Public Events on Heroic difficulty. Simply complete Heroic Public Events while on patrol. This should also be combined with grinding out armor progression to save you time. Don’t go after this Moment directly, but work it into your armor grinding.

10 Points: Treasure Hunter

Collect all Region Chests. You’ll need to get a list of the chests you have and have not opened. The best path to completing this is to make sure you have opened all of the chests using a single character. You can find which you are missing by looking at your profile on bungie.net. If you find that one or more are missing, try collecting them on your remaining characters.

You can find maps and locations for these either at Lowlidev’s mapping site or on the checklists at light.gg.

15 Points: Fleeting Memories

Collect all 45 Latent Memories. This goal requires ownership of the second DLC pack. The Latent Memories are the elemental “plates” you can shoot throughout the Mars patrol zones. They gate the collection of Worldline Zero and the G-335 Anseris Overdrive Sparrow.

These are per-account, so you can collect them with any character you wish. You can find maps and locations for these either at Lowlidev’s mapping site or on the checklists at light.gg.

15 Points: Check Out My Arsenal

Obtain 25 Exotic weapons or armor. You do not need to have all 25 in your Vault or inventory at once; you only need to have had them at any given time. If you are short here, you should consider saving Legendary Shards and purchasing any Exotics you have not already earned from Xûr each weekend. You can see which Exotics you have collected at Destiny Sets.

15 Points: I Will Smash You

Defeat 100 opponents in the Crucible. You can achieve this in any game mode and with any weapons, but they must be non-private matches. You should achieve this goal during your armor progression and will not need to grind specifically for it.

20 Points: Show Me the Way

Obtain Sagira’s Ghost Shell. This goal requires owning the first DLC pack, and is the goal that will take many people the most time and effort if they have not been collecting Forge weapons throughout Year One. How to achieve this via grinding is a bit much to describe here, but you can find a solid guide to doing this on Eurogamer here.

You will accomplish this partially through armor progression grinding, but the items necessary to complete the Forge quests are not available every week. You should target this grind specifically and make sure you have completed every Lost Prophecy available in a given week before reset if you don’t have this one completed already. Complete your armor progression, and then start grinding for the necessary materials as soon as you can.

20 Points: The Very Best

Reach Vanguard Rank 50 in Season 3. This will also take you some time if you have not been running Strikes throughout the most recent season. You will make part of this progressing while upgrading armor sets, but will likely need to grind Strikes specifically as well to complete it if you don’t already have some rank.

Turn in Vanguard tokens to Zavala to progress your Vanguard Rank. You can see your seasonal rank on Zavala’s vendor screen, and the rank is shared by all characters on your account.

The fastest way to do this is to purchase Boons of the Vanguard from Zavala’s inventory using Legendary Shards, and have all members of your fireteam use one at the beginning of each Strike you run.

20 Points: Adventurous

Complete 20 Adventures. If you are fully progressing armor, you’ll need to run multiple Adventures anyway and should collect this Moment along the way—just make sure you run 20 different Adventures.

Adventures you have not yet completed will appear on the map in your Director. You should complete the 20 separate Adventures on the same character to ensure this Moment counts.

20 Points: Hive Extermination

Complete Tier 7 in Escalation Protocol. This Moment requires ownership of the second DLC pack. For Bungie’s guide to Escalation Protocol, please see here.

Escalation Protocol is an endgame activity that generally requires a coordinated fireteam. It can theoretically be done by a high-level team of three, but it is recommended that you attempt to instance with six or even nine players.

If you need a group to complete this task, please check various LFG services such as the100 to find a group.

20 Points: Valor Fabled

Reach Fabled in Valor ranking in Season 3. Valor is earned by playing in the Crucible in any playlist other than Trials of The Nine. This grind may take a significant amount of time if you have not played much Crucible. You’ll receive some progress towards this by doing armor progression tasks, and if you choose to Masterwork your armor set, will need to go even further to Legend rank.

You shouldn’t grind this separately until you have stopped upgrading your Solstice armor. A pure grind for this goal will take many hours.

20 Points: The Emperor

Defeat Calus in the Leviathan Raid. You’ll need a clear of the Emperor Calus encounter from the Leviathan raid activity. This will require a pre-formed group of six players, and is an endgame activity that will require a time investment and learning some complicated encounters.

If you need a group to accomplish this, consider checking LFG sites such as the100 to find a group.

20 Points: Prove Your Worth

Complete the Eater of Worlds and Spire of Stars Raid Lairs. This Moment requires ownership of both DLC packs. Completing these activities will require pre-formed groups of six players, and a time investment in learning the mechanics of each raid activity and the coordination necessary to complete them as a group. These are endgame activities.

Again, LFG sites such as the100 will help you to find groups. Many of these sites have specific searches you can run to find players willing to teach new raiders. Give them a try.

25 Points: In My Element

Collect 250 Elemental Orbs. Elemental Orbs are drops that come from enemies, much like ammunition drops. They can drop from any enemy you defeat, but are more likely to drop from Majors or Ultras. Elemental Orbs are most likely to drop the element of your current subclass, but can also drop the element of any weapon you use to defeat an enemy. Elemental Orbs are not generated in the Crucible.

If you are attempting to upgrade the armor set, these Orbs will drop for you as part of meeting those requirements, and you won’t need to grind for this Moment separately.

30 Points: Remember Who You Are

Complete each Redux Mission at least once. The Redux Missions will be more difficult versions of five selected missions from the base game’s campaign. You’ll need to play these anyway if you are upgrading your armor set, and will not need to grind for them separately.

50 Points: Fashion Hero

Upgrade the full Solstice of Heroes armor set to Legendary quality. This will take a significant amount of time to complete, and will require running various activities multiple times to accomplish. One goal will require you to either have a pre-made group of three players or to use the Guided Games feature to complete a Nightfall Strike.

You can find my guide to upgrading the Solstice of Heroes armor set here.

50 Points: Above and Beyond

Masterwork any Solstice of Heroes armor. This appears to mean any armor piece, not a full set. Masterworking the Solstice armor will take a significant amount of time or practice for some players and will require a group to accomplish in almost all cases. My guide to upgrading the armor set covers these requirements as well.

(exhales)

That’s what you need to do to grab all 400 points in this year’s Moments of Triumph. My son and I will start our grinding tomorrow evening into a day I’ve scheduled for us to spend upgrading armor on Wednesday. We’ll be streaming most of the day and I invite you to join us then. Follow my channel to be notified when we’re running.

If you have comments or corrections for this post, please drop me a line on Twitter and let me know.

Happy hunting!

Talkin’ TWAB: 26 July 2018

An updated Development Roadmap, incoming changes to power progression, sandbox changes, a new Crucible Labs test, and a bonus info drop from Game Informer—this week was pretty loaded with information.

The posts referenced in this update are:

Here’s what you need to know:

Bonus: The Development Roadmap

A small present dropped earlier this week in advance of today’s This Week post in the form of an updated roadmap detailing some tweaks on the path to Forsaken’s release:

(Click on the image to open the original, larger version.)

Let’s focus on the 2.0.0 update, which is now coming one week in advance of Forsaken, and according to this list, will give us the following updates:

  • Weapon Slot Changes
    • Short version: A good number of guns in the game are going to shift to other weapon slots, and the ammo economy of the game is going to change. This gives us one week to get used to the new system before we start earning new drops.
  • Milestones and Challenges Updates
  • Director Updates
    • This was partially clarified in the TWAB. More below.
  • Bulk Shader Deletion
    • You’ll be able to delete stacks of unwanted shaders, instead of having to delete them one at a time.
  • 200 Additional Vault Slots
    • This goes hand-in-hand with the weapon slot changes; if they didn’t add Vault space and had to move your weapons around from slot to slot in your inventory, guns that needed to move but had no space in either your inventory or the Postmaster would be lost. My assumption is that this is to prevent that from happening.

Changes to The Director and Milestones and Challenges

The TWAB provided more detail on the changes referenced above. There changes will arrive on 28 August with patch 2.0.0. Here’s what you need to know:

Sources of Powerful Gear

We know these currently as Milestones.

  • Challenges will replace Milestones, and the current system of Challenges you see in specific activities or while on specific planets is going away.
  • Specific quests and bounties will provide sources of powerful gear.
  • More quests like The Whisper will be coming.
  • Some will be on weekly or daily cadences, and some will be one-time-only.

The Director

  • The “slide-out” menu you use to look at Milestones now will change to show less information. It will only show campaign progress, important main quests, and legacy Milestones from Destiny 2 campaigns prior to Forsaken (such as weapon quests, I assume).

“Cabal, AGAIN‽” – The Whisper Quest and Cabal Drill Public Events

The Whisper quest on Io requires a specific Public Event to spawn. Last Sunday, it didn’t for something like six hours, and players wondered if it was a bug in the Public Event generation.

  • It wasn’t a bug.
  • It was just really unfortunate RNG.
  • No changes are being made at this time, which means it’s possible we’ll see another Cabal Drill Parade.

Happy hunting.

August Events Schedule

Notable dates over the next month:

  • 31 July—27 August: Solstice of Heroes
  • 7 August: Combat Reveal Stream
  • 14 August—20 August: Iron Banner
  • 28 August: Patch 2.0.0

The weekly Crucible playlist rotation is:

  • 31 July—6 August: Supremacy
  • 7 August—13 August: Mayhem
  • 14 August—20 August: Iron Banner
  • 21 August—27 August: Doubles

Decreased Time-to-Kill in PvP Confirmed

Above, I noted there’s a stream coming for a Combat Reveal. That’s coming on 7 August, but Jon Weisnewski gave a tease of the reveal, which included this quote:

I’m here to quickly confirm that, along with weapon slots and ammo availability, we have globally adjusted the “time to kill” in the Crucible.

The stream will be on 7 August at 10 AM Pacific time, on Bungie’s Twitch channel.

Crucible Labs: Lockdown

There’s a new game type appearing in the Crucible under the Labs playlist. It’ll be there until the next weekly reset on Tuesday.

It’s a Competitive mode, and here’s how it works:

  • It’s a Control mode, but there is no scoring for kills. Only holding zones provides you with progress.
  • The victory condition is the Progress meter. It only increases if your team holds two zones, and neither one of them is contested. If a zone is contested, the meter will change to indicate no scoring is occurring.
  • The first team to 100% wins. Alternatively, if your team can secure and hold all three zones uncontested, you win the round immediately.
  • Games are played to best of five.

I played a couple of games of it, and it’s pretty solid! It’s 4v4 and definitely a Competitive mode that depends heavily on playing the objectives in a sound, tactical manner. It piggybacks off the changes to Control that are being introduced in the next Iron Banner.

Losing a teammate to a drop was really punishing, but played with organized teams, this could lead to some exciting plays and finishes. I’d say it looks like a pretty good candidate for a new Trials mode.

Merchandising: Printed Grimoire!

If you know about this, you’re probably already buying it. This fall, Bungie is releasing a printed book that contains some of the text of the Grimoire lore that’s been part of the Destiny universe and bundled up within the game itself.

The book is priced at $24.99 for 128 hardbound pages. You can preorder at the Bungie Store now if you like, or wait to purchase it from a bookseller when it’s released.

Updates, Bugs, and Gotchas

  • Hotfix 1.2.3.1 is being released Friday, 31 July. No downtime is required. You’ll have to download it to connect after weekly reset.
  • Glory point bumps from playing the three-match minimum in Competitive are not functioning correctly and don’t award any points. This will likely not be fixed prior to Season 4.
  • When Moments of Triumph start, you might have to turn in some bounties on different characters, as certain Moments are tracked per-character. Pay close attention to retrieving and turning in the bounties for Moments of Triumph once the Solstice event starts.
  • Don’t delete any characters on your account between now and the end of Moments of Triumph.
  • The Forsaken pre-order bonuses will be made available to players who pre-order the expansion via console digital storefronts and Battle.net.

Postscript Bonus: Milestones, Challenges, and Mods

Game Informer published an article earlier today regarding changes that are coming to how you earn powerful gear via repeated activities, and some early data on how mods will be changing. For the full story, head over there and read the full text. Here’s the summary:

Milestones and Challenges

  • The current system of Challenges is being retired in favor of expanding the Bounty system that was added in patch 1.2.3.
  • The current Milestones tab will change to show only big-picture tasks, such as weapon quests, story progression, and DLC callouts.
  • Other sources of obtaining powerful gear drops will change to being beacons in the Director itself, like how vendors are indicated for you currently.
  • The current weekly Milestones will remain in the game, and will be joined by new ones for Gambit, Heroic Story missions, and the new Public Event exclusive to The Dreaming City.
  • Daily Challenges are being added that will drop powerful gear and be on a daily cadence. One new Challenge will be available every day and will rotate between activity types. These daily Challenges will stack in a backlog, up to four.
  • Some Bounties will add longer-investment quests that will drop powerful gear. Bounties will clearly display their reward level, so you know what to look for.
  • More hidden challenges—likely similar to the Whisper of the Worm quest—are coming post-Forsaken.

This all sounds great, assuming the new Challenges run a good gamut of activity types. If a player doesn’t like running PvP, they shouldn’t constantly be told they have to run PvP to get powerful gear drops. Shifting to bounties and dailies—if the rotations are well-done—have the potential to give more types of players more things to do that reward them for their time.

The change to the main Milestones tab was necessary, as it was getting fairly ridiculous some weeks when a special event was in progress. I’m concerned the Director itself will now be overly-busy with callouts, as it is right now when you have lots of tokens in your inventory, but we’ll see.

Mods

  • Mods will no longer grant +5 power to gear on which they are equipped.
  • Mods will no longer be able to change the elemental damage type of a weapon.
  • Rare-rarity Mods are being retired.
  • When Forsaken launches, players will be able to turn in their existing mods to the Gunsmith to obtain crafting materials used to create some of the new Mods.
  • Mods will now be harder to acquire.
  • Year 2 Raid gear will have Mods that grant benefits in the Year 2 Raid activities.
  • Mods will change to be less about global ability cooldown management/mitigation and more about granting perks to their socketed gear. Some examples given in the article:
    • Increased in-air accuracy.
    • Faster radar return when coming out of aiming.
    • Better aim assistance.

I love pretty much everything about these detailed changes. The +5 on Mods we have now is pretty useless, because it doesn’t really do anything and made gear drop power levels much harder to understand. Knowing we’ll be able to exchange what we have helps, and giving gear additional perks using Mods sounds closer to what I’d expected from the feature at launch. I hold out hope that raid weapons will also be made more desirable for non-Raid activities, but that remains to be seen.

This answers some, but not all questions I have seen floating around regarding these topics, specifically Mods. For more detail and quotes from one of Bungie’s game directors, read the full article at Game Informer.

Thanks!

Thanks for reading this week! If you want to stay updated when I create new guides, please consider following me on Twitter, or to see what I’ve been up to, visit my stream on Twitch. If you have comments or corrections for this post, please reply to me on Twitter and I’ll take a look and adjust if needed.

Solstice of Heroes: Armor Progression Guide

Destiny 2’s Solstice of Heroes event doesn’t start until next Tuesday, the 31st of July, but thanks to some API information that’s already been added to support the event, we can take a look at the requirements for progressing the armor set unique to the four-week-long celebration.

If you don’t yet know about Solstice of Heroes, Bungie’s post announcing the event is here.

What You’re Grinding For

The gear central to Solstice of Heroes is a full set of armor for each class. When the event starts, you can obtain your uncommon-rarity set from the Statue of Heroes, which will be located in the central spawn area of the Tower.

The set has four levels of progress:

  • An uncommon-rarity set that looks like the destroyed armor set from the opening missions of the Destiny 2 campaign, and is fixed at 200 Power;
  • A rare-rarity set that has the silhouette of the starting (non-destroyed) armor set from the opening of the Destiny 2 campaign, is completely white in color, and is fixed at 340 Power;
  • A legendary-rarity set that has additional ornamentation and patterns and is fixed at 400 Power; and
  • That same set, upgraded to be Masterworked. You cannot Masterwork this armor set using Masterwork Cores.

When you unlock a new tier, the previous tier of armor becomes available as a permanent cosmetic ornament. All Solstice armor sets can also unlock armor glow effects, which we’ll talk about in a later post on Eververse and Solstice of Heroes.

You must upgrade the armor one full set at a time. Armor upgrades are earned per-class.

You aren’t required to upgrade the armor at all or participate if you don’t want to. The event is optional. However, if you are chasing the maximum score in the Moments of Triumph for Year One, you’ll need to:

  • Raise one class’s set of the armor to legendary; and
  • Raise one armor piece to Masterworked.

You can read more about the currently-hidden requirements for Moments of Triumph in my previous post.

What to Grind

For each level of armor upgrade, you’ll have a different set of objectives to complete. Up through the Masterworks steps, these goals are somewhat similar from class-to-class and can be obtained through most gameplay activities, though you will have to engage in specific activities for some of the armor pieces.

Requirements are per-class.

Let’s lay out the requirements based on attempting to upgrade the entire set from one tier to another, and attempt to provide a strategy for doing so. First, we’ll look at the requirements necessary for an entire set to move from one tier to the next, and then provide some strategies for optimization and helping others with accomplishing their armor progression.

Pre-Masterwork, you’ll need to:

  • Wear the entire armor set to generate Elemental Orbs, which are a new kind of drop that has not yet been announced or defined. The instructions for the initial helmet pieces indicate you’ll need to wear the full set to generate them at all.
  • Complete Redux Story Missions, which are a set of five specifically-chosen replay missions from the Destiny 2 campaign, with new enemies and higher difficulty.
  • Collect Elemental Orbs, sometimes in specific locations.
  • Score kills in Crucible PvP and win Crucible matches.
  • Defeat enemies, sometimes in specific activities or with specific abilities or weapons.
  • Complete Patrols, Strikes, Heroic Strikes, Nightfall Strikes, Heroic Public Events, Meditations, Adventures, and Challenges.

To complete the Masterworks, you will need to:

  • Complete the Prestige Nightfall at or above the bonus threshold. (The bonus threshold is 100,000 points.)
  • Complete Heroic Strikes in a fireteam that includes at least one clanmate.
  • Complete the Prestige raid “Leviathan.”
  • Achieve Legend in Valor Crucible ranks.
  • Defeat Ultras. (I think; the requirement says “bosses.”)

Only the Legend Crucible rank goal is retroactive. To obtain it, you’ll need to wear the full Legendary armor set and then complete one Crucible match for the requirement to “register.”

From Uncommon to Rare

To upgrade an entire set from uncommon to rare rarity, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Complete each Redux mission once.
  • Complete one Meditation.
  • Complete 10 Patrols.
  • Complete 10 Heroic Public Events.
  • Collect 150 orbs each from two of the three elements.
  • Collect 90 orbs from one element specifically in Strikes.
  • Collect 90 orbs from one element specifically on Earth.
  • Defeat 50 “minibosses.” (I am assuming these are Majors: un-named yellow health bar enemies.)
  • Score 10 kills by any method in PvP.
  • Score 30 kills specifically with your Super in PvP.

We can break these down into two classes of goals:

  • Specific activities you need to accomplish
  • Specific orb or kill counts you need to attain

The optimal way to accomplish this, especially in a group, will likely be:

  • Complete all Redux missions.
  • Complete the Meditation.
  • Complete the Patrols and Heroic Public Event goals in the EDZ.
  • Play PvP until you have completed the PvP requirements.
  • Run Strikes until you have completed the Strike-specific orb requirement.

As you run these activities, you should switch elements and subclasses as you need to for the generation of Elemental Orbs to gain ground on those tasks as well. Once you have completed the specific activity requirements, you can earn the remaining Orbs in any zone or method you choose.

Clans wishing to organize this step should break into:

  • Story mission fireteams
  • Patrol fireteams
  • Strikes fireteams
  • Crucible fireteams

From Rare to Legendary

To upgrade an entire set from rare to legendary rarity, you’ll need to:

  • Complete each Redux mission once.
  • Complete three Heroic Strikes.
  • Complete one Nightfall Strike.
  • Complete 10 Adventures.
  • Complete 20 Challenges. (This requirement is Hunter-only in the game text and may be an error.)
  • Defeat 500 enemies.
  • Defeat 200 enemies with a specific subclass’s Super.
  • Defeat 160 enemies with an Energy weapon of a specific element.
  • Defeat 120 enemies with a Grenade ability of a specific element.
  • Defeat 80 enemies with a Power weapon of a specific element.
  • Defeat 60 enemies with a Melee ability of a specific element.
  • Win 5 non-private Crucible matches.

This is the final list of tasks you will need to earn the 50-point Moment of Triumph for progressing one entire armor set to legendary rarity.

The optimal way to accomplish this based on the available information will likely be:

  • Complete all Redux missions.
  • Complete the Heroic Strikes.
  • Complete the Nightfall Strike.
  • Win 5 Crucible matches.
  • Complete 10 Adventures. (You can replay Adventures by visiting a specific location’s vendor.) While you are doing Adventures, you should attempt to complete that location’s Challenges for the day. Once you have completed a location’s Challenges, you should rotate locations for a new set and do Adventures there.
  • Complete the remaining of the 20 Challenges, if any.

As you run these activities, switch weapons and subclasses to use the ones prescribed by your class’s armor requirements. The elements are different for different classes.

Once you have finished the specific activity goals, you can complete the remaining ones in any order or method you like. Strikes or Lost Sectors combined with Public Events are probably very good activities to run that will give you ample opportunity to both stay topped up with ammo and give you things to shoot.

Clans wishing to help others through this step should break into:

  • Story mission fireteams
  • Strikes fireteams
  • Crucible fireteams
  • Patrol/Adventure fireteams

Any fireteams that have purposes overlapping with the previous tier should be able to successfully group together for purposes of sharing the activities and supporting each other.

Masterworks

The grind to Masterworks mostly revolves around pinnacle activities in Destiny 2.

Each piece of armor has a separate requirement.

  • Helmet: Complete the Prestige Nightfall at or above the bonus threshold. The bonus threshold is currently 100,000 points.
  • Arms: Complete 5 Heroic Strikes with at least one clanmate.
  • Chest: Complete the “Leviathan” raid on Prestige difficulty.
  • Legs: Achieve the Legend rank in the Valor Crucible rankings.
  • Class Item: Defeat 10 Bosses.

The easiest goal to accomplish for most players will be the Class Item, which requires killing 10 bosses. (These are unique-named yellow health bar enemies.) This goal can be accomplished solo.

The hardest goal for some players will be completing Prestige Leviathan, while the most time-consuming goal will be achieving Legend in Valor Crucible rankings.

Clans wishing to help their members with these requirements should break into:

  • Prestige Raid fireteams
  • Crucible fireteams
  • Strikes fireteams

More Information and Sources

Did you like this post or find it useful? Consider following me on Twitter or Twitch so you know when new guides have been posted. If you have corrections or questions, you can hit me with a reply on Twitter.

If you’d like to know more about the additional Moments of Triumph bounties that are releasing on July 31st, you can read my previous guide to them.

The data for the Solstice of Heroes armor pieces is easily-digestible at light.gg here, in the records for the Statue of Heroes vendor.

Bungie’s post announcing Solstice of Heroes can be found here, and their help page for the same event can be found here as well.

If you want to track your progress with the armor, Destiny Sets is likely to be helpful in doing so. I use it to track my progress with armor ornaments for all activities, and it updates more or less in real-time.

Need a group to run activities with? A good place to start is the100, which will try to sort you into a group automatically based on your play preferences and available times, and has a fantastic public LFG system. Find out more at this link.

Talkin’ TWAB: Infusions, I Guess?

So, uh, well… Bungie didn’t give me a lot to write about this week. Most of what they had to say wasn’t about anything game-related. The real post they made this week is the one on Solstice of Heroes.

You can find the TWAB here, I guess? To break it down, here’s the important stuff you should know.

In-Game Events Schedule

I hope you are finishing up what you need from the Faction Rally, because this is the last one for Season 3. Get those ornaments. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the season:

  • 24–30 July: Faction Rally Victory Week
  • 31 July–27 August: Solstice of Heroes
  • 28 August–September 3: Iron Banner (This is an educated guess.)
  • September 4: Forsaken launches.

When Forsaken launches, I’ll be running the stream hot, maybe with an all-nighter to gather some donations for Extra Life. I hope you’ll stop by.

Update 1.2.3 Weirdnesses

Bungie shared some bug reports from the most recent patch, released this Friday. Look out for some things:

  • Requirements for earning Prestige ornaments for the Eater of Worlds armor set aren’t appearing correctly, but according to Bungie, they are still being tracked. You’ll need a clear of each Leviathan Challenge plus a clear of Eater of Worlds on Prestige to get the full ornament set.
  • The 400-level weapons earned in Prestige Raid Lairs can’t be infused into other weapons, even other raid weapons you already own. The exception to this is exotic weapons, but you need to be careful with this, because:
    • If you infuse a 400-level weapon into an exotic weapon, that weapon won’t be equippable unless you own the Warmind expansion.
    • The 400-level exotic then becomes infusable into any legendary weapon, but if you do this, the weapon will only be boosted to 385.

Basically, don’t infuse the 400-level weapons from the Prestige Raid Lairs into anything, and you’ll be fine.

[checks notes]

That’s it for this week, sadly—a fairly information-free week in the TWAB. As for me, I’ll be finishing up the grind for Future War Cult this week to snag my last faction Masterwork catalyst, and then working on some stuff to help folks out with getting Moments of Triumph done for the year.

If you need help with getting things done, consider reaching out and joining the group I’m on in the100. You can sign up for that service here, and find the group I run activities and teaching runs with here.

Otherwise, keep an eye out for more, either on my Twitter feed, or by following my Twitch channel.

Guitar Collections: Final Fantasy IV

I’ll put the embed player right here at the top for you now, so you can turn this on while you read my thoughts on this album.

You can leave this tab open and enjoy it, because the whole album is streamable without purchase if you like.

Final Fantasy IV is a special thing for me. It came along at just the right time in my life and with such a special mix of Things Done Well that it became very formative. It set the tone for pretty much ever console RPG that followed, and there are some things it’s done that haven’t yet been eclipsed.

It’s still very playable, with some of the best-designed systems in an RPG.

But what pushes it into iconic is the multi-layered set of leitmotifs used by Nobuo Uematsu to give it its musical punch. The main overworld theme, used in various settings at various times, and woven into every battle theme in subtle ways. The Theme of Love. There are themes for specific characters and themes for specific locations. For the first time I can remember, some themes have variations that play after the main theme finished its first loop.

It has a style that is all its own.

All of this is captured wonderfully in this album. I have some of the CDs that accompanied the guitar sheet music books published in Japan, but those recordings are simple reductions. Reyes’s work is full of adaptations and thematic flourishes on themes you recognize, and it’s done in a classical style that allows you to start the album and let it flow in the background.

Every theme selected for this album is well-represented and arranged and played with deftness. I can’t think of a single thing I’d eliminate, and the original track to close the album fits quite well and is a welcome addition. I am perfectly OK with the decision to skip adapting both the Prelude and Prologue themes, which have been done to death at this point when there are other, more worthy selections that have landed here, like “Golbeza, Clad in the Dark” and “Within the Giant.”

Give it a listen; buy it on Bandcamp. It’s another great album from Scarlet Moon Records, and I hope it sells well enough to encourage more albums like it, because my only regret is that there isn’t more to listen to.

What’s Left for D2Y1 Moments of Triumph?

On Bungie Day, bungie.net and the Destiny API were updated with information on the first year’s Moments of Triumph, which is a set of tasks players can complete before the end of the year to earn specific and exclusive rewards.

Many players logged in to find they’d completed most or all of the accomplishments for the year, especially if they had been engaging with endgame content over that time—but six of the bounties remained hidden:

(The remaining missing bounty is in the Activities tab.)

In patch 1.2.3, the remaining bounties were patched into the API and were not obscured, so we now know what needs to be done to earn the remaining points. These bounties can be earned starting on the 31st of this month.

Bronze Bounties

These Bounties are worth 10 points each.

  • Running Errands: Complete 25 Bounties.
  • The Hero We Deserve: Complete 25 Public Events on Heroic Difficulty.

These should be fairly easy to complete and turn in over the four-week period of the event and can be done solo without too much trouble. Remember that you can complete a maximum of 10 Bounties per-day, per-character—5 from Zavala, and 5 from Shaxx. 25 Public Events will take a few hours of patrol.

Silver Bounties

The first of these Bounties is worth 25 points; the second is worth 30.

  • In My Element: Collect 250 Elemental Orbs.
  • Remember Who You Are: Complete each Redux Mission at least once.

I haven’t seen any information that would tell what “Elemental Orbs” are, but given the number you have to collect, they would seem to be related to Orbs of Light in some way. Perhaps during Solstice of Heroes, Orbs of Light will be Elemental Orbs instead? We’ll find out, but this goal should be attainable through regular gameplay and would be soloable. Public Events would be a solid way to build this up, as players often use supers liberally when completing them. Take friends who will chain supers with you to speed this up.

The Redux Missions were revealed in Bungie’s post on Solstice of Heroes, and are replayed story missions that have been altered to have different enemies. I’m assuming these are more difficult than the stock missions. They should also be soloable, but would obviously be easier with a fireteam.

Gold Bounties

These bounties are worth 50 points each, and are tied specifically to the Resplendent Armor leveling system that will be a focal point of Solstice of Heroes.

  • Fashion Hero: Upgrade the full Solstice of Heroes armor set to Legendary quality.
  • Above and Beyond: Masterwork any Solstice of Heroes armor.

I plan on writing more specifically regarding what will be necessary to level the Solstice of Heroes armor set during the event, but the basic overview has been provided in Bungie’s post regarding the event.

These will be more complicated and time-intensive grinds.

To upgrade a set to Legendary, most of the tasks will be soloable. One of the pieces requires completing a Nightfall Strike, and so will require you either to group with players using the Guided Games functionality or by grouping with other players you know or have met via an LFG service.

Obtaining a Masterworked armor piece will be harder to solo, and the soloable methods provided will be more time-consuming. The two methods you can solo are:

  • Defeat bosses. The number provided in the item manifest is 10, but there’s not any more clarity than that—it might not strictly mean 10 strike or raid bosses.
  • Achieve the Legend rank in the Valor Crucible rankings. This will require playing quite a few matches, but with Valor now being given for all game modes other than Trials of the Nine (since patch 1.2.3), you’ll have many more options to choose from in leveling this up.

I’ll talk more about the Solstice armor and leveling those pieces in a later post.

With the exception of the armor Masterwork requirement, these Bounties shouldn’t be too rough. You’ll have four weeks within which to complete these activities. If you need help with them, consider checking out the100 and finding a group to play with!

I’ll be running a decent number of sessions there to help people attain these goals. You can find my profile here.

If you have questions or corrections for this post, reach out to me on Twitter. Most of the API data can be found in an easily-readable format on light.gg.