Should you buy what Xur is selling this week?

Are you feeling lucky, guardian? From today, Destiny 2's snake-faced bastard of a weekend vendor is selling an entirely new type of exotic engram. The Fated Engram will set you back a princely 97 Legendary Shards, but will guarantee an exotic weapon or piece of armor that you currently don't own. I sent my Warlock in to roll the dice, praying to The Nine for the Ophidian Aspect gauntlets. Incredibly, given my usually parlous RNG, I landed a one-in-three chance and my wrists are now wreathed in snakes that reload all my weapons faster. YMMV.

For you own chance at glory, first you'll need to find Xur. He usually pitches up on whatever planet is the week's Flashpoint, but as that's currently Mercury, and thus only available to DLC owners, he has instead turned up in the Hangar area of Tower (ie Cayde's side rather than Ikora's). Take a left as you enter, go straight past the Dead Orbit misery picnic, up a small flight of stairs and ol' tentacle chops is right there.

Note that the Fated Engram is limited to one purchase per account each week. So think carefully about which character you're going to send if you're after a particular armor piece. Xur also has another new item this week: Three of Coins. These consumables return from Destiny 1, and once used will increase your chance of having an exotic drop from various activities for the next four hours. At a cost of 31 Legendary Shards a shot, I'd wait for the community to test the efficacy of these before buying too many.  

New stuff aside, Xur still sells a specific armor piece for each class, at 23 Legendary Shards, and an exotic weapon for 29 Legendary shards. Note that he now arrives at 9.00 AM PST / 4.00 PM GMT, and leaves when the game resets the following Tuesday. If you're a completionist I advise picking up any exotic you don't have, if you've got the Shards to burn. Here's what else he's flogging this week…

D.A.R.C.I. (sniper rifle) — don't buy  

 Sniper rifles in Destiny 2 are bad and you should feel bad if you use one. So even if D.A.R.C.I were an amazing sniper rifle, I'd still advise against dedicating your exotic slot to it when stuff like the raid rocket launcher is a far more effective choice of power weapon. D.A.R.C.I stands for Data Analysis, Reconnaissance, and Cooperative Intelligence device, and though the idea of an AI-enabled sniper rifle cool, in practice its intrinsic exotic perk is underwhelming: Aiming down scope at an enemy will highlight their remaining health, and while ADS your precision shots will do bonus damage and the weapon also has improved target acquisition. 

The problem is that even with that perk active, D.A.R.C.I. doesn't do enough damage to be a serious threat to bosses. Destiny 2 does have a higher impact exotic sniper—the element-shifting Borealis—but infuriatingly it's locked behind at least a year of PlayStation exclusivity. D.A.R.C.I has seen some niche use by poindexters who like to analyse weapon performance, because its scope readout gives an accurate range reading to targets, enabling for detailed testing. But unless that grabs you, don't bother with this underpowered whiffstick. 

Eye of Another World (Warlock helmet) — probably buy 

It's a pity that such an intriguing looking hat has such a boring perk. Which isn't to say Eye of Another World is bad—its signature perk is actually pretty useful, and applies equally well across all subclasses—it's just that it never makes you feel particularly badass in the moment. The perk reads: 'Highlights priority targets and improves the regeneration speed of your Grenade, Melee, and Rift abilities.' So essentially it improves all your ability cooldowns, which testing has confirmed is equivalent to having one armor mod for each type of ability applied (so around a ~9% buff). You can pretty much ignore the highlighting enemies part, as that's just the same Ready Brek glow that MIDA Multi-Tool applies. I only ever use Eye of Another World for PvP, where the flat buff feels useful. In PVE I prefer something more situational, and will probably not being taking the Ophidian Aspect off for a long time anyway. 

Hallowfire Heart (Titan chest) — maybe buy 

As above, this is a good-looking exotic with a so-so perk. The Hallowfire Heart is a subclass-specific chest for Sunbreakers. The perk reads: 'Greatly improves the recharge rate of your Solar abilities while Hammer of Sol is charged.' Here's what I don't like about that: It's a good thing having your melee and grenade abilities up more often, but it also encourages you to hold onto your super rather than go ham with it. I also don't think Sunbreaker as a subclass is an especially strong spot compared to Striker, and don't really like the fact that this is just another Destiny 1 class-tree perk which was removed but left on an exotic. If you're absolutely determined to play as hammer titan, it's a perfectly fine pick, but one that's hard to fall in love with. 

Celestial Nighthawk (Hunter helmet) — definitely buy 

This Gunslinger hat makes you look like a beautiful hawk, it's eyes glow when your super is charged, and when you let rip with it you will fire a single shot that does 6x the normal damage. It's the absolute premium Hunter exotic for activities in which you want to melt high health targets, and absolutely useless in PvP because a single golden gun shot will kill most opponents anyway, so you'd rather have the extra bullets. I won't belabor how good this exotic is, but to say that if you're in any doubt about whether to buy it, check out this video of a raid team one-phasing the new Leviathan lair boss. They're running four hunters all equipped with Celestial Nighthawks. Did I mention the eyes glow?