Destiny: Guardians Will Be Useable For The Next 10 Years

Destiny has without a doubt been one of the most talked about games of any other since it released last year and that is likely not going to be changing anytime soon. We previously heard Bungie say that the money put into Destiny was part of a 10 year plan and now they have given even more details on the future.

In an interview with GamesRadar+, Destiny’s Engineering Lead Luke Timmins spoke about the future of Destiny and how seriously they are taking their ten-year plan moving forward. The most interesting aspect is that he confirmed we will continue to use our same character created Guardians that we made from the start.

We certainly take it seriously that Destiny is a ten-year thing. It’s a long-term thing and with these adventures that we’re adding my contract to you – and any player – is that your Guardian will always be there.

While this is something that many expected, with MMOs being the same it is interesting to have confirmation on the subject from Bungie themselves.

The biggest problem here though is how far behind newcomers will feel multiple years in, especially in the shooter genre that usually you can just hop in and be on a close to level playing ground with.

The Taken King is the first major expansion for the game, but I’m sure we’ll see a Destiny 2 and beyond in that span as well. As a result, we’ll have to wait and see just how they handle transitions when they aren’t just merely expansions with new missions and such like we’ve gotten so far.

The Taken King And All Future Sequels/Expansions Will Use Same Guardians With Destiny

Destiny: The Taken King won’t be the game’s last expansion, if Bungie can keep the game’s community around to see most/all of its 10-year plan for Destiny, and now fans finally have some confirmation that the characters they’ve come to love won’t be left behind in an upcoming Destiny release.

Bungie and Activision don’t typically like to discuss their long-term plans for Destiny, with both companies frequently dodging questions about the future of the game in favor of promoting whatever Destiny release is closest on the horizon. But a new interview with a member of the Destiny team offers a bit of departure from the trend, even if on a subject that probably won’t come as much of a surprise to the Destiny community.

In an interview with GamesRadar, Destiny engineering lead Luke Timmins promised the community it would always have access to the Guardians they’re currently enjoying. More specifically, Timmins says your current Guardian(s) will “always be there” but (like so many topics related to Destiny) the engineer remains a bit vague as to what that could mean post-Destiny: The Taken King.

To be clear, this doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of Activision attempting to capitalize on fans desire to continue growing there Guardians. It’s always possible (though admittedly unlikely) that the introduction of a new console, towards the end of Destiny’s life, could bring a paid character transfer service. It’s also possible that an eventual sequel could require players to pre-order, or own all of the prior Destiny releases, to keep their existing Guardian instead of starting anew.

Given Bungie’s desire to continue growing the Destiny community, it’s hard to imagine the company going out of its way to drive away those most-supportive of the studio’s vision. And Timmins comments suggest Bungie plans on using your Guardian, and fond memories of the many adventures you’ll take him/her on, to sink the game’s hooks into Destiny players around the globe.

Destiny: The Taken King is being developed for PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The next Destiny expansion is scheduled to hit PSN and Xbox Live on September 15.

Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for additional Destiny coverage throughout the rest of 2015 and for however long Activision and Bungie keep the Destiny franchise alive in the years to come.

Destiny share the 9 worst ways exploits its players

Since its release, Destiny has been engaged in a bizarre game of tug of war with the people that play it. Bungie’s very ambitious shared-world shooter (basically: MMO) is unlike anything else on the market today, and with that innovation comes a whole lot of bugs, glitches, and unbalanced situations.

In the modern era of game development, a game is never truly “done.” The ability to patch games on the fly has led us into a potentially inescapable cycle of fixes, updates, and brand new bugs. The biggest problem is that Bungie’s approach towards dealing with these issues has been uneven, to put it nicely. The company has a vision for the game that seems to revolve around squeezing money out through regular expansions that keep players locked in an endless grind of the reversed missions and similar activities. So, it seems that any fixes that would get in the way of that grind are either not going to happen, or will take way, way too long to happen.

Don’t get us wrong: the game is fun to play. Bungie knows exactly how to make a console first-person shooter feel great. But by insisting on keeping players locked into a flawed system of grind and rewards, they exploit the very gamers that pay their bills. These are the most noticeable ways that flawed system has reared its ugly head since the game’s release — some have been squashed, while others still persist today.

Expansions making equipment useless

Probably the most notorious example of Bungie screwing with players came with the release of the game’s first expansion, The Dark Below. It’s generally standard for expansion packs that weapons get upgraded and numbers go up, and that happened here with max damage and levels rising. One problem, though: your previously earned legendary items couldn’t be brought up to the new level, making all the work you poured into them prior to the release useless. When most MMOs released a new expansion, it makes older gear obsolete, but in Destiny, there isn’t enough in-game content to maintain that type of cycle, so players naturally revolted against this decision, which forced Bungie to rethink the leveling system with the next expansion, House of Wolves.

Now, you can bring any weapon or piece of gear up to the current weapon cap using a certain material. We’re still not sure if they got it right, but time will tell — especially with the major expansion, The Taken King, coming out this September and potentially rehashing all of the same issues.

Grimoire cards

Destiny’s story and narrative have received a lot of well-deserved criticism, but one of the strangest decisions that Bungie made was to take the majority of the game’s admittedly deep, awesome lore and put it on a website. When you play through the campaign and revive Dead Ghosts (collectible items scattered around the environment) or reach a certain number of enemy type kills or kills with various weapons, you get rewarded with cards. Each one has a well-written story containing information about the world, its denizens, and more. To read them, though, you need to exit the game and log on to Bungie’s website or mobile app.

This is so weird and backwards that it boggles the mind. Sometimes we just want to chill out in the Tower and read some lore, and it makes no sense that the game won’t allow us to do it. It’s one thing that Destiny doesn’t really have much story in the campaign to begin with, but to take the remaining shreds and put them on a website is something else.

Heavy ammo bug


Managing death penalties in a game like Destiny is tough. You want respawning to have consequences and mean something, but you also don’t want it to be absurdly punitive. For the longest time, when you croaked in a firefight, one of the consequences was that you lost a percentage of your heavy weapon ammunition. It was a known bug. Heavy weapon synths, a consumable item, let you replenish that ammo, but here’s the rub: if you die after using one, the cool down doesn’t reset. So, players were burning synths, dying, and then losing ammo due to that bug, and having to wait for the synth to cool down before trying again.

Adding insult to injury, Xur — the game’s special weekend vendor — randomly sold heavy ammo synth at the time, but when the bug was at its most prevalent, the vendor mysteriously had the longest heavy ammo drought he ever had. Bungie was aware of the ammo loss on death bug, and aware Xur could have simply sold heavy synths until the bug was fixed, yet Bungie took months to fix the bug and Xur frequently didn’t sell synths in the interim to help ease the blow.

Unskippable cutscenes

We get that the atmosphere and story of Destiny is an important part of Bungie’s game design philosophy, but this is something that we resolved in 2004. There should always be an option to skip a cutscene. Yes, they play during multiplayer missions, but that’s a simple fix: add a voting option to skip it. Being able to skip pre-mission briefings, especially if you’ve heard them a half a dozen times, would also be nice. We get not being able to pass over them the first time, but making them permanently unskippable is a waste of our time in a game type that’s dedicated to wasting our time.

Adding expansion missions to the full game

One of the most bizarrely exploitative aspects of Destiny is the expansion system. The whole point of paying extra for additional content is that it’s supposed to be optional. However, taking inspiration from MMOs means that Bungie has basically made it necessary to shell out extra cash to keep up with the rest of the world. If you didn’t buy the Dark Below expansion and one of its missions was picked as the weekly strike, you couldn’t play it. No soup for you. The weekly mission could’ve substituted one of the disc missions you had access to, but it didn’t. Throw in the upcoming Taken King expansion bundle that basically gives you the base game, the two existing expansions, and new stuff for less than we paid for the base game and expansions alone, and this policy starts to feel pretty screwed up.

Player-to-player trading

Destiny obviously takes a great deal of inspiration from the MMO genre (despite Bungie’s insistence that it’s not an MMO even though it is), but one thing that Bungie seems to have missed is that those games let players do other things besides kill stuff. In a game that already has a fairly borked economy based on random drops, it’s incredibly frustrating to do a raid and get rewarded with a bunch of crap that you can’t use. MMOs handle this by letting players trade items with each other or toss them up on an auction house — it’s a simple system, easy to implement, and it would actually give players more to do in the Tower than hunting for Xur or kicking both balls around. And yet, three expansions in, there’s no sign of trading or player-to-player selling. Bungie is basically saying, “Didn’t get what you want from all that grinding? Grind harder.”

Paid emotes

One of the trickiest balancing acts in a game with a long tail is managing player expectations. You have to give them enough to keep them interested without overburdening your development team. Often studios put out little bits of free content to do that — like emotes, for instance. You see where we’re going with this. Bungie announced that the $80 Collector’s Edition of the upcoming Taken King expansion would come with a trio of class-specific emotes to add to the game’s paltry four. However, that requires you to spend money to buy content you already have. Bungie’s Creative Director Luke Smith made matters worse in an interview and the company eventually backpedaled and decided to sell the new stuff for an additional $20, which is better than $80 for content you already have, but a few emotes and shaders for one-third the price of the entire vanilla game isn’t even a microtransaction — it’s a macrotransaction.

Enemy level cap the players can’t reach

The problem with a skill-based game like Destiny compared to a numbers-based MMO, is that whereas numbers keep everything capped to a limit, it’s tough to cap player skill. Destiny is a skill-based action game, which means even though the damage guns can output are capped to a limit, killed players can shoot faster than enemies, or even dodge enemy fire and literally never take damage. In fact, a very skilled player can pull the weight of six. To counteract this, since the very first DLC, Bungie has made it so enemy levels can reach a number that player levels cannot to ensure a level of difficulty for even the most skilled players.

In Destiny, when an enemy is a higher level, they do more damage and players do less damage, plain and simple. The fact that players cannot reach the enemy level has thus far infuriated the player base, calling out Bungie for lazy design; why not create interesting mechanics rather than just arbitrarily nerfing player damage due to forcing them to be one level below enemies?

Closing the loot cave

We’re not going to argue that the Loot Cave was fun or good — it wasn’t. Lining up with a ton of other players to farm Hive for engrams was the most effortless way to level up your gear and get some loot, though. When Destiny patched out the infinite respawning bug from the location, the way they did it displayed a flagrant disregard for the essential rule of game design: let the players play. Designers can’t — and shouldn’t — control everything the player does, and implying that people were “playing the game wrong” by not grinding missions over and over was simply ludicrous. If you want people to play the story missions, make them more fun, diverse, and challenging. If gamers are happier shooting at a hole than going through your content, you’ve made a mistake.

So those are our picks for the most egregious ways that Destiny exploits its players. Bungie went from one of the best-loved companies in the business to an EA-grade villain with the release of just one game. We’d like to think that the next expansion will make things all better, but isn’t that just what an addict would say?

The Taken King will add “largest armory” ever with Destiny

Destiny had a decent variety of weapons when it launched and DLC packs The Dark Below and House of Wolves have only added to the fun. But we haven’t seen anything yet; the first major expansion, The Taken King, will bring huge amounts of boomsticks when it launches in September.

“The Taken King features the largest armory any Guardian has ever seen, and that includes the original launch of the game last year,” according to a new Bungie.net update.

These weapons won’t just be plentiful; Bungie wants to infuse the weapon selection with “more diversity – and heritage”. To this end it has created three “foundries” – weapon manufacturers with very different approaches and selections.

Looks, design goals and special abilities vary between foundries. Even the way the foundry weapons’ perks work is different according to its approaches. Here’s a quick run down of each:

Häkke – Functional. Reliable. Unapologetic.

Design Pillars provided by Lead Artist Raj Nattam:

  • Hammers, not scalpels
  • Relatable design harkening back to a lost era
  • Hakke is not about exciting form, it is about exciting function
  • A weapon’s weapon
  • Hakke is the instrument of the people

Tactical Analysis provided by Sandbox Designer Jon Weisnewski:

Building reliable tools built for soldiers in the field, Hakke values simplicity over intricacy. Function over flair. Hakke weapons all start with a more tightly focused band of base stats that don’t spike as high or low as other weapon families, granting a solid foundation for growing the weapon. On a Hakke talent grid you’ll see a simplified set of scopes that work best for the weapon, front-loaded perk nodes, with the stat upgrade options occupying the final column. Hakke perk selection is focused on offensive actions and combat tactics. Hakke Pulse Rifles fire a burst of four rounds with damage adjusted to match the DPS of a three round burst, meaning the pulse rounds do less individually but are equal as a group. Fire time between bursts is slightly faster.

Omolon – The future is what we make it.

Design Pillars provided by Lead Artist Raj Nattam:

  • Experimental, bordering on irresponsible
  • Powered by barely understood technology
  • A fusion of the mad scientist and product engineer of the new frontier
  • Hallmark is the liquid ammo displays and Omolon power cells
  • Omolon is the future returned

Tactical Analysis provided by Sandbox Designer Jon Weisnewski:

Pioneers of energy weaponry, Omolon is the first foundry to experiment beyond the world of combustion ballistics. Sporting lighter ergonomic frames, Omolon weapons all start with generous base handling stats to build from. Omolon talent grids focus on behavioral perks over stat customization. Legendary talent grids are the only weapons that offer three perks: one as the first non-scope upgrade and two as a binary choice in the final column. Perk selection favors perks that are energy based and/or go beyond the weapon to interact with the wielder’s abilities or status.

Suros – Elegance in the face of brutality.

Design Pillars provided by Lead Artist Raj Nattam:

  • This is my sword
  • Function is a given; it must be given form
  • Design is honed, precision
  • Every curve, every line, every chamfer speaks to the Suros philosophy
  • Suros is elegance amidst brutality

Tactical Analysis provided by Sandbox Designer Jon Weisnewski:

Some say the best weapon for a Guardian is the one they can customize to match their intent. Suros believes in options – weapons that can be repurposed for a variety of combat situations. Suros talent grids offer two columns of two stat perks, granting more options for changing weapon stats than any other foundry. The single behavior perk is grounded in the middle of the talent grid as a focus point for the weapon’s core potential. If you want a weapon that can flex from CQ to ranged, quick to powerful, fast handling to hard hitting all with the swap of a few nodes: SUROS.

You can see example weapons from these three brands through the source link above. Destiny: the Taken King launches both as an expansion and a stand-alone re-release on September 15.

Destiny: Action Figure Comes With Hawkmoon

Toy manufacturer 3A is known for making incredibly detailed figures, and now the company has partnered with Bungie and Activision to translate the world of Destiny into action figure form.

First up from the company is a 1/6th scale Titan figure. It stands 12.6 inches tall, features more than 24 points articulation, includes interchangeable hands and sports a tailored cloth undersuit and Titan mark. The Titan’s red armor features some impressive battle damage as well, giving the figure the look of a Titan who has seen the worst the Darkness can come up with.

But this wouldn’t be Destiny without some exotic weaponry, and that’s why this Titan figure comes packing some heat…and a major price tag. It also comes in two versions. The standard retail version comes with three weapons: the Shadow Prince auto-rifle, the Felwinter’s Lie shotgun and the Zombie’s Apocalypse heavy machine gun. The Bambaland exclusive version of the figure, available now for pre-order, will come sporting an additional firearm in the form of the exotic hand cannon Hawkmoon.

This Titan figure is sporting more weaponry than the characters of many actual Destiny players. That’s also probably why it costs $190. But it’s so worth it. Too bad you can’t pay in strange coins. Pre-orders for the Bambaland variant begin on July 23, with pre-orders for the standard version starting July 31. These are certain to go fast, so be sure to have your finger on the trigger if you want one. Or mouse, as it were. You can check out some detailed images of the figure below.

Destiny: Reset day of July 21

Tuesday means only one thing if you’re a Destiny fan: Reset day.

It’s that wonderful time when Bungie’s rotating selection of high-reward activities are rebooted (along with any raid progress made in the previous week), giving everyone a fresh chance at scoring some of the game’s sweetest and rarest loot.

Are you new to Destiny? Don’t know what any of this means? Good news. There’s a Destiny wiki that’s packed with information. Click for details on what Strikes are, and how Nightfall differs from Weekly Heroic challenges.

The House of Wolves add-on also adds a new weekly wrinkle, in the form of Prison of Elders. The multi-round gauntlets are built for endgame play, with the specific enemy types and modifiers changing from week to week.

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening this week:

Nightfall (The Will of Crota)

  • Epic – This is a standard Nightfall modifier. It just means there are more enemies to fight, and a greater number of Majors (the yellow health bar dudes) on the field.
  • Nightfall – Another standard Nightfall modifier. This one boots the entire Fireteam back to orbit if everyone is downed inside one of the revive-only respawn Darkness Zones.
  • Arc Burn – All Arc damage is increased.
  • Solar Burn – All Solar damage is increased.
  • Void Burn – All Void damage is increased.

Taste the rainbow, folks. After Destiny’s first Burn-less Nightfall in ages last week, elemental modifiers are back now with a vengeance. Arc, Solar and Void weapons all get a big boost, which means you’re downright deadly, but so are your foes. The Will of Crota Strike, only available to those that own The Dark Below add-on, requires a lot of care and patience when there’s a rainbow burn. Push too quickly and something’s bound to chew you apart. For each major engagement, hang back and let the bad stuff come to you.

Weekly Heroic (Winter’s Run)

  • Heroic – Standard Weekly Heroic modifier. More enemies show up than you would see on a standard Strike, and they’re more aggressive.
  • Void Burn – All Void damage is increased.

Easy Weekly Heroic. Winter’s Run is relatively quick under normal circumstances, and with the exception of the handful of Vex Minotaurs and Hydras you face, there’s very little that hits you with Void damage. Go forth and get some easy Strange Coins for this week. Bring along some kind of Arc secondary for dealing with Captain shields. And if everyone on your fireteam has The Truth rocket launcher, use it to melt the Archon Priest boss before the reinforcements even get serious.

Prison of Elders

If you’ve got House of Wolves then you can also participate in the weekly Prison of Elders activities. These endgame challenges send players through a multi-round gauntlet in which each round has its own enemy type and Nightfall/Weekly-style modifier(s).

The lineup of enemies, modifiers and, in some cases, bosses for the level 32, 34 and 35 activities changes every week. You can find some general tips for surviving Prison of Elders right here. Read on for a breakdown of enemies and modifiers for each round this week.

Level 32: Cult of the Worm

  • Round 1 (Vex): Airborne (Guardians deal more damage when in the air)
  • Round 2 (Hive): Grounded (Guardians take more damage when in the air)
  • Round 3 (Vex): Void Burn (All Void damage is increased)
  • Round 4 (Hive): Angry (Enemies can’t be staggered)
  • Round 5 (Gulrot, the Unclean boss): Exposure (Guardian shields are increased, but recharge very slowly)

Maybe we don’t need to kill Gulrot. Has anyone tried just handing him a bottle of Tums?

This Hive boss is a giant Ogre with a unique quirk: every so often he gets an upset tummy, causing him to vomit and coat the room with bile. It’s not as gross as it sounds visually, but it does have a functional impact on your play: for the handful of seconds the room is gunked up, all Guardians are effectively prevented from moving.

This is very manageable if you know how to handle it. Just watch for the flavor text in the bottom-left corner of the screen signaling that Gulrot is ready to hurl. At that point, you have a few seconds to scramble behind cover. As long as you’re outside the line of fire of the big guys — Wizards, Knights, Ogres and Gulrot himself — you can deal with any of the smaller stuff that rushes in. Rinse, repeat until the sickly big boss is dead.

Level 34: Broken Legion

  • Round 1 (Cabal): Juggler (No ammo drops for your equipped weapon)
  • Round 2 (Hive): Lightswitch (Enemy melee damage increased)
  • Round 3 (Fallen): Catapult (Grenade recharge rate increased)
  • Round 4 (Hive): Brawler (Guardian melee damage increased)
  • Round 5 (Valus Trau’ug boss): Juggler (No ammo drops for your equipped weapon)

Valus Trau’ug is a menacing Cabal giant with a very special elemental shield. The shield is always a randomly selected element, so every time it recharges you’ve got to think about which weapons you’re going to use to bring it down the next time. The shield also operates under its own rules; once it’s down, you’ve got 10 to 15 seconds to pour the damage on before the shield automatically recalibrates and pops back on.

There are two methods for taking down Valus. The slower, more methodical approach involves ignoring the boss until you completely clear out all of his reinforcements to the point that they stop spawning. Then everyone brings the shield down and maximizes damage. Once the shield recalibrates, new reinforcements spawn and you repeat the process until Valus is dead.

The quicker (and more dangerous) approach involves keeping the pressure on Valus regardless of the reinforcement count. If you hang in the left corner of the room, it’s good to have at least one person with a shotgun to clear out any Cabal that venture into your safe zone. It’s not significantly tougher, but the strategy is also best when your whole fireteam is at level 34.

Level 35: Skolas’ Revenge (all modifier descriptions listed here)

  • Round 1 (Hive): Exposure and Brawler
  • Round 2 (Vex): Grounded and Airborne
  • Round 3 (Cabal): Catapult and Arc Burn
  • Round 4 (Fallen): Specialist and Juggler
  • Round 5 (Fallen): Trickle and Small Arms
  • Round 6 (Skolas boss): Small Arms and Lightswitch

Skolas is a Fallen boss and the constant big bad for all level 35 Prison of Elders runs. He’s a tricky one. You can’t even damage him until you take out one of his two special Servitor defenders (they keep respawning), and even then you have only a small window (20 seconds) in which to dish out damage. That’s the first half of the fight; once Skolas is at half health, the Servitor issue goes away.

They’re replaced by Skolas’ “Devouring Essence” attack, which puts one randomly chosen player on a 30-second countdown to death.The countdown can be reset by passing Devouring Essence to another player, but there’s a 35-second delay before the player that gives it up can grab it again. This means that all three fireteam members need to participate in a deadly game of hot potato.

The second half of the fight also features two rounds of mines that need to be dismantled. It’s tricky to juggle dismantling alongside the Devouring Essence hand-offs; frequent, clear communication is vital. Designate someone (preferably a Bladedancer Hunter with invisibility) to grab the more distant mines. You should pretty much ignore Skolas until you can get those taken care of.

Bungie, why do you hate us so much? The Small Arms and Lightswitch modifier combo means one thing: skip Skolas until next week. Small Arms powers up the strength of your primary weapons, but it simultaneously reduces the effectiveness of secondary/heavy weapons. Not a great situation when you’re dealing with a bullet sponge boss like Skolas. And Lightswitch is just mean, given how many Stealth Vandals and other melee-capable enemies spawn throughout this long and grueling fight.

If Weapons Are Immortal From Destiny

Last week, Bungie generated some inevitable controversy by finally spelling out their plans for Destiny weapon balancing. It included a few known quantities, Auto Rifles need buffs, PvP dominators like Thorn need nerfs, but the proposed patch goes out of its way to cripple other strong weapons like Ice Breaker, Black Hammer, and the game’s Ark of the Covenant, the Gjallarhorn.

The specifics of these individual decisions I’ve already discussed, but the long and short of it is that people are upset that weapons they liked won’t be as strong as they’ve been previously.

But how will they react if someday it happens to all their weapons?

In its first year, Destiny has always had systems in place that allow players to “ascend” their old weapons to new max damage levels. During the first level/damage-cap raise in the Dark Below DLC, it was a convoluted system that involved trading in old exotics for new ones, and spending eons re-leveling them to unlock their new top tier of power. It was one of the biggest missteps of the DLC, and the next time around for The House of Wolves, the system was streamlined. All exotics could be leveled using one or two easily-purchasable shards, and even all old legendaries could now reach new damage max levels using the more rare Etheric Light.

But now as we head into Destiny “year two,” where does it end? Can Bungie keep inventing new ways to continue to make sure old weapons stay relevant? Or will they finally have to draw the line at some point and say “alright guys, it’s a new era, find new weapons and learn to love them instead.”

It’s a more complicated problem than might be initially apparent.

If Weapons Have a Shelf Life

If Bungie lays the hammer down either at the debut of The Taken King (unlikely), or a year later when Destiny 2 inevitably comes out (more likely), that will upset many people. After all, even though Bungie has indicated your specific Guardian can probably transcend multiple games, your character is really a composite of your gear and weapons at any given time. Everything else is just cosmetic.

By introducing a hard cut point where no, you will not be able to keep increasing the damage capacity of old weapons, that will effectively nuke the entire collection of gear players have spent years building. No matter how good your Gjallarhorn or Fatebringer, if they can’t hit the new damage max, they will never be able to compete with new weapons.

In most games, this isn’t an issue. Obviously in other shooters like Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, Far Cry etc, the games are self-contained experiences in which you personally are not amassing gear in any meaningful capacity that would need to carry over from one installment to the next. But even with loot-based games where Destiny draws influence, Borderlands and Diablo, there’s no expectation of carryover from one sequel to the next. Or in Diablo’s case, when the level cap was raised in the Reaper of Souls expansion, everyone simply understood that no matter how big and brawny their collection of level 60 legendaries was, now they were going to have to get out there and find a new set at level 70.

But Destiny, as ever, is a unique experience, and one where players seem to be a great deal more attached to specific weapons than pretty much every other game I’ve played. To nerf my beloved Ice Breaker hurts, but to be told I can never use it again? Unconscionable! So the argument here is that if gear is ever left behind, it essentially erases all the hard work Destiny players have put into building their characters, because characters in this game are effectively a compilation of gear, and it forces them to divorce themselves from weapons they have grown to love.

If Weapons Are Immortal

After all that, the obvious solution seems to be to allow Destiny players to hold onto their weapons and let them hit new high watermarks for damage with each new piece of content, potentially even with sequels. No one loses anything, right?

Kind of. But allowing the game to have an eternally widening pool of top-tier weapons is something that can bog it down in the long run. We’ve already seen this in practice with the most recent House of Wolves expansion. Despite two new full endgame modes, one for PvP in Trials of Osiris and PvE’s Prison of Elders, players have been remarkably slow to pick up new “top-tier” weapons in favor of old favorites, with only a few exceptions.

Obviously, I realize there are specific problems with many of Wolves’ weapons including inarguably useless perks (Shank burn!), but the answer here isn’t just “make better weapons and we’ll use them!” In that world, if you allow all guns to be max damage, you constantly have to make better and better weapons to outdo them if you want people to use new things. This is power creep, and can quickly zap all the fun out of a game.

This has been a problem with the recent weapon nerfs. People look at the Gjallarhorn getting its damage cut and say, “just make other stuff as good as Gjallarhorn!” but all that would do is create a wider gap between good items and the mediocre.

Do you see where all this leads? If Destiny continues to allow the ascension of all weapons indefinitely, it’s going to be harder and harder to balance the game with a stupidly wide pool of usable weapons, and will create a situation where players are less inclined to pursue the endgame when they already have their collection of favorite weapons that only need a piece of currency or two to stay relevant whenever new content is released.

So what’s the answer here?

There are a few options I can see working going forward.

First, Bungie could stop allowing the ascension of legendary weapons indefinitely, while continuing to let exotics reach new max damage levels. That would create a much smaller pool max damage weapons to work with, and though a few favorites would be left behind, fans would get to keep their exotic collection functional. Legendary armor is a different story and too much of its own issue to even go into here, as the game desperately needs better endgame armor options.

Alternatively, Bungie could draw a hard line as to when players will simply have to forage in the wild for an entirely new set of gear. It would be painful, but certainly not unprecedented, and might help the overall health of the game. And after all, is it really realistic that you’d be able to keep using an exotic you found in 2014 by the time Destiny 3 rolls around in 2018? I don’t think so, and other than adding nostalgia value, I’m not sure if such a thing would provide an overall benefit to the game.

Or, everything could just be ascended forever and Bungie would have a hell of a challenge on their hands designing weapons that are so mindblowingly awesome that everyone is content shoving their existing arsenal in the vault.

Perhaps there are middlegrounds even between these different ideas (you get to ascend three weapons of your choice per reset? I don’t know), but this is going to be a problem Bungie will run up against probably with a year, and there are no easy answers that will satisfy both fans who love their current loadouts and a game that has to keep feeling fresh by creating new, must-have loot.

Destiny Share Introduces Elimination Playlist to Crucible

The development team at Bungie is announcing that a new Elimination Crucible playlist is now live for Destiny, allowing fans of the mode to get a new experience that’s more focused on the performance of an entire Fireteam rather than that of just one player.

The information comes from the official account of the social shooter.

The Crucible experience has been less engaging for players of Destiny since the launch of the House of Wolves expansion, which allows gamers to play both Trials of Osiris and Prison of Elders, designed to offer new takes on both PvE and PvP.

Bungie has said that all elements of the title will be tweaked in the coming The Taken King expansion, which will be offered to gamers on September 15.

New Crucible game modes will be introduced.

The development team has also been offering more information about the big update 2.0 update, which is designed to tweak all the included weapons in order to make sure that a wider variety is used during Player versus Player matches.

The Taken King also includes a new major raid, a wider range of strikes and a new dreadnought area for gamers to explore. The destiny power leveling cap for Guardians is also increased, and the game is getting more weapons and items.

Nerfs Gjallarhorn; Exotic Weapon Coming Next Week With Destiny

The anticipated “Destiny” 2.0 update turned out to be focused on turning and overhauling the damage and power of existing weapons in Bungie’s title. The weapon changes are a mix of feedback from the community as well as handpicked changes that the developer has decided the game needs.

Bungie detailed all of this in its most recent blog update. Each type of weapon has receive specific tunings. Auto Rifle has been optimized for close and medium-range battles.

A lot of the other rifles have been tweaked. In other tweaking cases for “Destiny” 2.0 update, Bungie aimed to put the guns in a specific place of their own, such as differentiating Scout Rifles and Hand Cannons from each other.

More than the weapons, the Exotic Weapon tuning has received attention from the “Destiny” community. One good thing with “Destiny” 2.0 update is that Necrochasm, which has long been targeted by the community as a weapon whose power is not in proportion to the amount of effort and time devoted to acquiring it, has been improved. Necrochasm now has an increase in stability and magazine size.

Basically, a lot of the exotic weapons will see a downgrade in terms of power and damage, one that fans all around are not taking as well as hoped. Yet among all the exotic weapons that received changes, the Gjallarhorn received the mixed to worst reception.

Destiny Will Nerf Its Hottest Weapons

Last week, Bungie generated some inevitable controversy by finally spelling out their plans for Destiny weapon balancing. It included a few known quantities, Auto Rifles need buffs, PvP dominators like Thorn need nerfs, but the proposed patch goes out of its way to cripple other strong weapons like Ice Breaker, Black Hammer, and the game’s Ark of the Covenant, the Gjallarhorn.

The specifics of these individual decisions I’ve already discussed, but the long and short of it is that people are upset that weapons they liked won’t be as strong as they’ve been previously.

But how will they react if someday it happens to all their weapons?

In its first year, Destiny has always had systems in place that allow players to “ascend” their old weapons to new max damage levels. During the first level/damage-cap raise in the Dark Below DLC, it was a convoluted system that involved trading in old exotics for new ones, and spending eons re-leveling them to unlock their new top tier of power. It was one of the biggest missteps of the DLC, and the next time around for The House of Wolves, the system was streamlined. All exotics could be leveled using one or two easily-purchasable shards, and even all old legendaries could now reach new damage max levels using the more rare Etheric Light.

But now as we head into Destiny “year two,” where does it end? Can Bungie keep inventing new ways to continue to make sure old weapons stay relevant? Or will they finally have to draw the line at some point and say “alright guys, it’s a new era, find new weapons and learn to love them instead.”

It’s a more complicated problem than might be initially apparent.

If Weapons Have a Shelf Life

If Bungie lays the hammer down either at the debut of The Taken King (unlikely), or a year later when Destiny 2 inevitably comes out (more likely), that will upset many people. After all, even though Bungie has indicated your specific Guardian can probably transcend multiple games, your character is really a composite of your gear and weapons at any given time. Everything else is just cosmetic.

By introducing a hard cut point where no, you will not be able to keep increasing the damage capacity of old weapons, that will effectively nuke the entire collection of gear players have spent years building. No matter how good your Gjallarhorn or Fatebringer, if they can’t hit the new damage max, they will never be able to compete with new weapons.

In most games, this isn’t an issue. Obviously in other shooters like Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, Far Cry etc, the games are self-contained experiences in which you personally are not amassing gear in any meaningful capacity that would need to carry over from one installment to the next. But even with loot-based games where Destiny draws influence, Borderlands and Diablo, there’s no expectation of carryover from one sequel to the next. Or in Diablo’s case, when the level cap was raised in the Reaper of Souls expansion, everyone simply understood that no matter how big and brawny their collection of level 60 legendaries was, now they were going to have to get out there and find a new set at level 70.

But Destiny, as ever, is a unique experience, and one where players seem to be a great deal more attached to specific weapons than pretty much every other game I’ve played. To nerf my beloved Ice Breaker hurts, but to be told I can never use it again? Unconscionable! So the argument here is that if gear is ever left behind, it essentially erases all the hard work Destiny players have put into building their characters, because characters in this game are effectively a compilation of gear, and it forces them to divorce themselves from weapons they have grown to love.

If Weapons Are Immortal

After all that, the obvious solution seems to be to allow Destiny players to hold onto their weapons and let them hit new high watermarks for damage with each new piece of content, potentially even with sequels. No one loses anything, right?

Kind of. But allowing the game to have an eternally widening pool of top-tier weapons is something that can bog it down in the long run. We’ve already seen this in practice with the most recent House of Wolves expansion. Despite two new full endgame modes, one for PvP in Trials of Osiris and PvE’s Prison of Elders, players have been remarkably slow to pick up new “top-tier” weapons in favor of old favorites, with only a few exceptions.

Obviously, I realize there are specific problems with many of Wolves’ weapons including inarguably useless perks (Shank burn!), but the answer here isn’t just “make better weapons and we’ll use them!” In that world, if you allow all guns to be max damage, you constantly have to make better and better weapons to outdo them if you want people to use new things. This is power creep, and can quickly zap all the fun out of a game.

This has been a problem with the recent weapon nerfs. People look at the Gjallarhorn getting its damage cut and say, “just make other stuff as good as Gjallarhorn!” but all that would do is create a wider gap between good items and the mediocre.

Do you see where all this leads? If Destiny continues to allow the ascension of all weapons indefinitely, it’s going to be harder and harder to balance the game with a stupidly wide pool of usable weapons, and will create a situation where players are less inclined to pursue the endgame when they already have their collection of favorite weapons that only need a piece of currency or two to stay relevant whenever new content is released.

So what’s the answer here?

There are a few options I can see working going forward.

First, Bengie could stop allowing the ascension of legendary weapons indefinitely, while continuing to let exotics reach new max damage levels. That would create a much smaller pool max damage weapons to work with, and though a few favorites would be left behind, fans would get to keep their exotic collection functional. Legendary armor is a different story and too much of its own issue to even go into here, as the game desperately needs better endgame armor options.

Alternatively, Bungie could draw a hard line as to when players will simply have to forage in the wild for an entirely new set of gear. It would be painful, but certainly not unprecedented, and might help the overall health of the game. And after all, is it really realistic that you’d be able to keep using an exotic you found in 2014 by the time Destiny 3 rolls around in 2018? I don’t think so, and other than adding nostalgia value, I’m not sure if such a thing would provide an overall benefit to the game.

Or, everything could just be ascended forever and Bungie would have a hell of a challenge on their hands designing weapons that are so mindblowingly awesome that everyone is content shoving their existing arsenal in the vault.

Perhaps there are middlegrounds even between these different ideas (you get to ascend three weapons of your choice per reset? I don’t know), but this is going to be a problem Bungie will run up against probably with a year, and there are no easy answers that will satisfy both fans who love their current loadouts and a game that has to keep feeling fresh by creating new, must-have loot.