The latest This Week at Bungie post grapples with one of the Destiny 2 community's hottest topics: Weapon crafting. Specifically, the balance thereof. For an inveterate Destiny addict such as myself, the addition of crafting has been a net positive, enabling me to build a perfect arsenal, painstakingly curated with enhanced versions of the exact perks I want. For less committed (some might say saner) players, the process of tracking down crafting patterns and then leveling up the weapons can be time-consuming and tedious.
So much so that I think the recent emphasis on acquiring patterns—for which you have to find multiple rare 'red box' drops of the same gun—has become Destiny 2's core seasonal loop, and not in a positive way. Frustration with that process is playing into the current complaints about the seasonal model having become too samey. Even I'm willing to admit that dumping hours into the Shuro Chi raid encounter just because it's the most efficient way to farm trash mobs for weapon-level progress is not the sign of a healthy system.
Change is on the way, but we'll have to wait until next year's Lightfall expansion to enjoy the full benefits. In the post, Bungie identifies multiple pain points it's seeking to address and explains how it plans to do so. Here's a truncated version:
- Deepsight weapons (ie "red boxes") are too common and clog up players' vaults while they wait to extract the crafting currency. To alleviate this Bungie will be adding new ways to earn crafting currencies, and weapons that don't have crafting patterns will no longer drop as Deepsights (which is good because that was always confusing).
- Better bad luck protection. The aim here is to prevent players from getting blue-balled by RNG when it comes to unlocking the specific pattern they want. It isn't entirely clear what the new system will involve, but Bungie promises to "provide opportunities within the crafting system to deterministically choose what weapon to target."
- Reduce loadout stress. Right now, players feel forced to play with "bad" Deepsight weapons just so their crafting currency can be extracted. Again, the path to how to prevent this isn't clear, but Bungie promises to "reduce player incentives to equip a suboptimal Deepsight or crafted weapon" as part of the leveling process.
- Make Adept raid weapons matter again. Ever since the addition of crafting, the value of Adept weapons (which drop from Master content) has been reduced. Why bother sweating your balls off in the hardest raid on offer for a drop that will be outclassed by one you can build yourself? Here the answer seems to be giving Adept weapons access to enhanced perks, although Bungie does note it's not going to be "full, freeform crafting."
It all sounds like good stuff, and honestly not too much of a surprise. Adding crafting to a looter shooter was always going to have a seismic effect on the perceived value of both the gear itself and the player time required to create it. It would have been a miracle if the system had been perfect straight out of the gate, so a substantial amount of tweaking was always to be expected.
Before these systemic changes arrive in Lightfall, Bungie also announced that it is bringing crafting to the weapons of the Deep Stone Crypt raid next season, which starts on December 6. It's also going to refresh the perk pools of those guns.
"Our goal is to keep the most beloved combinations and drop the rest to make room for new perks," said senior design lead Chris Proctor. "With Deep Stone Crypt specifically, we looked for new perks that synergize well with the perks that originated with Deep Stone Crypt: Reconstruction, Recombination, and Redirection. (I.e., new perk combinations could look like: Reconstruction + Focused Fury, or Fourth Time's the Charm + Redirection)."
The Deep Stone Raid arsenal is already stacked with absolute bangers like the Succession sniper rifle and Heritage slug shotgun, so giving those access to new and powerful synergistic perks is pretty mouthwatering. Proctor gave three examples of possible combinations, all of which look disgustingly good:
- Heritage (Slug Shotgun): Reconstruction + Focused Fury
- Posterity (Hand Cannon): Voltshot + Rampage
- Trustee (Scout Rifle): Rapid Hit + Incandescent
Proctor added that the revamped Deep Stone Crypt guns are also getting their own origin trait called "Bray Inheritance." He didn't say what benefit it will confer though, so let the speculation begin.
Whether all this is enough to quell the grumpiness about the existing excesses of the Crafting system... the inevitable answer is probably not, but at least players can now see concrete change is coming. And regardless, I now know I'll be spending much of next season high above Europa getting reacquainted with my good buddy Taniks. Who knew he'd be back again!