Destiny 2 Year 4 is set to be its biggest yet. The Darkness is coming, with waves and waves of Pyramid Ships bearing down on the system. Bungie is setting the stage to make some big permanent changes to the game, and it looks like they plan to support Destiny 2 for years to come, including a next-gen release. The next phase of that evolution begins this fall, with some major changes to reward structures, shifting desirable rewards away from the paid Eververse economy over to actual in-game rewards for playing the game.
In this week’s “This Week at Bungie” blog post, Director Luke Smith took some time to address the ongoing player concerns that Destiny 2’s activities were devoid of meaningful rewards to chase while the paid Eververse store filled up with the game’s best-looking cosmetics for way too much money. “In today’s Destiny 2, the balance of the game’s rewards is not where we want it to be. To be blunt, there isn’t enough pursuit out in the world. We’re going to fix it.” There are quite a few ways those fixes are coming, including moving items to the game’s actual loot pools, adding full armor transmogrification, and making sure Eververse items aren’t themed around seasonal themes and playlist activities.
Transmogrification (more colloquially known as “transmog”) will let players turn their armor into Universal Ornaments to be applied to any armor set, so players can look exactly how they want to while sporting the stats they want as well. Currently, only Eververse armor can be ornamented, along with armor ornaments earned through each season pass. The goal is to allow this to be achieved through some kind of in-game effort (still working out the specifics) or via a Silver (real money) transaction. Smith says this feature is “early in development” and expected launch sometime in Year 4, though there’s no specific timeframe for when it will be added.
Destiny 2 Year 4 Aspirational Activity Rewards
Each season will now receive an aspirational pursuit for armor, earned by playing the game’s aspirational activities like Raids, Dungeons, etc. giving players a reason to grind those activities out. This change is going into effect as early as the upcoming Season 11, launching in June. “We removed the Eververse Armor from Season 11 and itemized it into an aspirational activity, because this is the right thing to do for the game.” Eververse will also stop selling items themed around aspirational activities in Season 12 (September 2020). “Beginning in Season 12, we will no longer be selling ships, ghost shells, sparrows, or armor ornaments in Eververse that are visually based on themes from Aspirational Activities.”
Aspirational activities (defined as Trials, Raids, Dungeons, “end game” activities) are set to get a rewards overhaul, granting players power, items, and vanity. All aspirational activities will have at least one accessory to earn. Adept weapons are set to return from Destiny 1’s Trials of Osiris, a pinnacle reward earned by going flawless. Trials is also getting all-new armor, accessories, and weapons in Season 13 (December 2020), and will continue to get a new set of armor every year. The next Raid—presumably coming with the fall expansion—will have “brand new Armor, Weapons, and Exotic Accessories,” though Smith coyly declines to comment further on the “Exotic Accessories” line.
Destiny 2 Year 4 Core Activity Rewards
Destiny 2’s core activities are Crucible, Gambit, and Strikes. Bungie is adding a new set of armor for the core playlists that will share geometry across all activities but have unique decals and shaders specific to each activity. A refresh of this set is planned to come each year, first arriving with the “next expansion.” It’s not yet confirmed, but it’s assumed that the expansion will release this fall to kick of Destiny 2 Year 4.
Each Season in Year 4 (starting with Season 12 in September) will get a single “Pursuit Weapon” that can be earned by playing your choice of the core playlist activities. Each activity will then have its own special legendary skin for that weapon that can be earned by playing that specific playlist.
Destiny 2 Year 4 Bright Dust and Bright Engrams
Bungie wants to give players more paths towards earning Bright Dust, which can be used to get Eververse cosmetics just by playing the game. Currently, players who only play one character are at a disadvantage, as weekly bounties are the biggest source of Bright Dust if you can complete them across all three characters. Bungie is moving to make it more account-based to give single-character players an opportunity to earn more Bright Dust without having to switch to or play other characters. “This change is geared toward giving one-character players significantly more Bright Dust than they earn today.”
The Bright Engram is being updated to be more relevant and offer more current cosmetics, rather than pull from a pool of old items that lots of veteran players already have. Bungie still wants to keep some of the more recent items somewhat exclusive though. “And going forward, that Bright Engram will update each Season to include Eververse items from 3+ seasons prior.”
This is just an early look at a few of the changes coming in Destiny 2 Year 4, which is expected to kick off in September 2020. The yearly expansions tend to bring massive shifts and fundamental changes with them, and even just getting this sneak peak this early hints that Bungie is preparing for a pretty big change to the state of the game coming up.
In a previous TWAB, the developer addressed how it plans to alter the Seasonal model, allowing the story content and Seasonal activities to be played throughout the year rather than pulling them at the end of each season. It also wants to make sure the narrative more fluidly carries from Season to Season, so while each one may feel unique, it clearly feels precipitated by what came before it.