Destiny 2’s Masterwork Changes are Good for the Game’s Economy

February is bringing a lot of change to Destiny 2. The release of The Witch Queen will kick off Year 5 and pull on the final narrative threads relating to Destiny 2’s Light and Darkness saga. The end is still a couple of years away, and in the meantime Destiny 2 is set on continuing to make changes to the overall player experience.

These changes include the removal of major locations and storylines, as the Forsaken expansion is part of all the content getting vaulted when The Witch Queen launches, but there are also overhauls coming to many of Destiny 2’s systems. Destiny 2’s ammo economy has been addressed with infinite primary ammo, but even more weapon and armor changes are on the way. This includes significant changes to how players masterwork their gear.

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Masterwork Changes in The Witch Queen

The latest This Week at Bungie post highlights these changes and explains that they’re aimed at streamlining player experiences. With all the currencies in Destiny 2, the price of swapping elemental types for armor is expensive. It currently requires additional upgrade materials for armor that was masterworked, requiring a lot of resources in the first place. With the changes coming in The Witch Queen, fans will see a reduction in cost when changing their armor’s elemental type after masterworking.

In total, legendary armor will cost players 10,000 Glimmer and an Upgrade Module to change the armor’s elemental type, meanwhile pieces of exotic armor will cost 20,000 Glimmer and an Upgrade Module. Compared to the current price of an Upgrade Module -16,000 Glimmer, 25 Legendary Shards, three Enhancement Cores, three Enhancement Prisms, and one Ascendant Shard for legendary gear - this is a great change. A similar change for exotic armor has even more of an economic impact. While they also only cost one Upgrade Module, switching an exotic armor’s elemental type currently costs 24,000 Glimmer, 30 Legendary Shards, five Enhancement Cores, five Enhancement Prisms, and three Ascendant Shards.

Some of these resources can be difficult to come by for players who don’t like to grind, and all of them are already necessary to masterwork armor. Reducing the overall cost for switching elemental types in The Witch Queen expansion is a quality-of-life improvement that Destiny 2 has desperately needed. These changes are also accompanied by some noticeable changes to weapon masterworks.

Currently, masterworked weapons are key to generating orbs of power without using a player’s super ability. This has an overall positive impact on the game, pushing Destiny 2’s evolution toward the upcoming Void 3.0 update in The Witch Queen. The problem is that legendary weapons also cost materials to masterwork, and exotic weapons can only be masterworked with a catalyst. Since not every exotic weapon has a catalyst, this can become a problem when players delve into weapon crafting.

The This Week at Bungie post acknowledges this issue, and to help mitigate any negative impact that new systems in The Witch Queen might have, there will be changes to how orbs are generated. Instead of needing weapons masterworked, the ability to generate orbs of power from weapon kills will come from a helmet armor mod. While this might not be what some players had in mind when discussing how Destiny 2 should add more armor mods, they will help level the playing field for weapons, especially exotic weapons that don’t have catalysts.

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Other Changes That Destiny 2 Needs

All of these changes look like they will be beneficial for players once implemented, and highlight how change is a major part of Destiny 2’s plans for 2022. With overhauls to the subclass system to mirror the system used by Stasis subclasses, weapon crafting, and a greater focus on player builds, the year should have a lot for Guardians to anticipate. Still, there’s a lot that Destiny 2 can still take into account once the masterwork changes are implemented.

While cost reduction is good, there’s still resource maintenance in the face of crafting. The masterwork changes will help some, but they also increase Glimmer costs for changing armor elemental types. Glimmer is more accessible than many other currencies in Destiny 2, but it has an overall cap of 250,000. This cap can be prohibitive for many players, especially when bounties cost Glimmer, obtaining weapons from the Monument to Lost Lights costs upwards of 100,000 Glimmer, and the cost of swapping armor will soon cost even more. There are ways to make easy Glimmer in Destiny 2, but it’s one of several parts of the game that should be adjusted moving forward.

There are also several weapon archetypes that need buffs in Destiny 2, and while the economy changes might help, their overall performance should be looked at. Recently the focus has been on fusion rifles and linear fusion rifles, which, alongside some tweaks in fall 2021, have received fantastic seasonal mods in Season of the Lost. Reliance on these mods might force some weapons to be sidelined in favor of whatever is getting the biggest buff from a seasonal mod.

Addressing this problem alongside masterwork changes should be a primary focus as Destiny 2 moves forward. The introduction of the new glaive weapon in Destiny 2 could mean that some important parts of the weapon economy will fall behind. Balancing aspects of a game like this can be difficult, but they also provide a more rewarding player experience in the long run.

Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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Malachi Lyonsdove (215 Articles Published)

Malachi jumped into video games with the family consoles he played on as a kid. Classic cartridges like Super Mario Bros 3, Aladdin, and Mortal Kombat were almost always loaded in. He continued his gaming journey on Nintendo systems with the Gameboy Advance where he spent countless hours waiting for streetlights on nighttime car rides. The GBA helped to introduce Malachi to games that he loved like the Pokemon Trading Card Game, Pokemon Crystal, and Pokemon Emerald, as well as the Power Rangers. As he got older Malachi’s love for games and storytelling grew with series like Halo. While he enjoys the mechanics and gameplay of newer titles like Destiny 2, The Witcher 3, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the experiences are what keep him engaged. Malachi looks forward to the rich worlds and deep stories that can be told in the ever-growing games industry and is excited to see how unique ideas translate as hardware gets better.

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