Following the official unveiling of Destiny 2's Season of the Drifter earlier today, Bungie has revealed more about the nuts-and-bolts of what's coming when it goes live next week. The latest This Week at Bungie blog post features an updated gameplay calendar, details on three new pinnacle weapons earned by reaching the top ranks in their respective activities, and a look at some pretty significant tweaks to legendary power weapons. But the change that players are vocally unhappy about comes by way of the Eververse Store.
Last year, Bungie rolled out a new feature in Destiny 2 called the Prismatic Matrix, which provided players a more direct path to acquiring items from the game's Eververse microtransaction store. The matrix contains ten items that rotate on a weekly basis that players can earn via "activations," and that come on top of regular Eververse drops. It was meant to alleviate dissatisfaction with the store, which was widely criticized as being overpriced and understocked.
With the Season of the Drifter, Prismatic Matrixes are being removed in favor of unique bundles that players can purchase directly using Silver, Destiny 2's in-game currency. The idea, apparently, is that players can just buy what they want without having to worry about the luck of RNG. But the change eliminates a path to Eververse cosmetics, and some players feel it reverts Destiny 2's focus back to paid microtransactions.
"As always, we will continue to monitor feedback and work to improve the Eververse experience each season," Bungie said. "And when we are ready to try something new, we will share those plans directly with you."
Existing Prismatic Facets can be used until March 5, when the new season goes live. After that, they'll become Expired Prismatic Facets that can be turned into 150 Bright dust. Needless to say some folk aren't happy, and see this as Bungie trying to milk more from the playerbase, particularly in a world in which the studio no longer has the support of Activision. We'll see next week how the new system looks, but it's probably also worth noting that players who logged a lot of hours in Destiny (*cough* Tim Clark *cough*) were able to earn all the in-game cosmetics, well before a season ended, without needing to use the Prismatic Matrix much.
The update also details the three new pinnacle weapons, beginning with Oxygen SR3, a precision scout rifle for Vanguard.
Unique perk - Meganeura: Dragonfly deals more damage based on the number of precision hits made beforehand.
Scout Rifles have had a long history with Dragonfly and its predecessor over the history of Destiny. This weapon seeks to double down on that history and improve upon it in a simple and effective way. The general design ethos of a pinnacle weapon is that if it approaches an Exotic-esque effect, it must work conditionally—such as activating on a kill event or asking you to risk getting into melee range—and if it works in a neutral setting, then it must only change the way you can do something, not necessarily what you can do. This is an example of the former.
Next is The Recluse, a Crucible lightweight SMG.
Unique perk - Master of Arms: Kills with any weapon improve this weapon’s damage for a short time.
Submachine Guns are in a contentious spot in the game after the Forsaken release. With Shotguns occupying a similar engagement range while also offering that one-shot-kill potential that is so highly valued, alongside always being in competition with Sidearms and even the Last Word as the close-quarters primary weapon of choice, Submachine Guns have fallen slightly to the wayside. So we created the “Master of Arms” perk so it could find its place in any given loadout. We look forward to seeing people experiment with it.
Last but not least, 21% Delirium, rapid-fire machine gun for Gambit.
Unique perk - Killing Tally: Kills increase this weapon’s damage until it is stowed or reloaded.”
This will be our first Rapid-Fire Machine Gun for Destiny 2—how many of you out there guessed the archetype, but not the sub-archetype? With the reintroduction of bullet-hose-style Machine Guns, we figured a perk that played with their large magazine sizes and dealing with waves of enemies would be appropriate. Unlike the other two weapons, this one also has one of the new weapon perks we’re introducing in Season of the Drifter—“Overflow,” to kick the magazine size out even further for true spray ’n pray action.
To help make Legendary Power weapons a viable alternative to Exotics, a number of changes will be made in the new season to give them a little extra punch. Grenade launcher PvE damage will be boosted by 25 percent and reserve ammo increased following next week's update, but magazine perks and mods will no longer have an affect on ammo reserves. Rocket launcher PvE damage is also being increased, by 60-65 percent, but cluster bomb damage is being reduced by about 80 percent.
"Rocket Launchers were entirely too dependent on Cluster Bombs to be effective. Like the Full Auto perk on Shotguns, Cluster Bombs would nearly double the damage output of any given rocket (under optimal conditions). The result was that on any target that you couldn't get all the Cluster Bombs to impact and detonate, Rocket Launchers fell by the wayside pretty harshly," Bungie explained.
"By moving most of the damage of Cluster Bombs into the rocket itself, Rocket Launchers will now be more reliable and more effective all around—especially against aerial targets that Cluster Bombs would almost never damage."
The full list of Legendary Power weapon changes will be revealed next week when the patch notes go live.
The update also showcases colorblind settings for the new Gambit Prime armor, which will support settings for deuteranopia, protanopia, and tritanopia, and runs down a list of bugs that will (hopefully) be fixed when the update goes live next week. That happens on March 5.