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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.

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