Big changes are coming in Destiny 2’s fourth year, and new details have shown just how much they’re going to affect players and the loot they’ve been chasing. According to Bungie’s latest rundown of what’s to come, some of the best, most sought-after and most-used guns in the game will become obsolete in the coming months. That includes The Recluse, The Mountaintop, Luna’s Howl, Not Forgotten, and more.
In its This Week at Bungie blog post, the developer outlined new details about changes to its weapon and armor Power system that will be visible in Season 11, which starts in June, and go into full effect in Season 12, which kicks off in the fall. The changes in the system will introduce a Maximum Power stat for weapons and armor, which will put a cap on how strong they can become using Destiny 2’s Infusion system.
The new system effectively adds an expiration date to all the gear in the game–three seasons after it’s released, you won’t be able to raise the Power level of that gear any higher, which will mean you’ll need to replace it with new, higher-level gear to participate in the toughest Destiny 2 activities, such as its raids.
Exotic weapons and armor aren’t affected by the change, and raid gear from the Last Wish and Garden of Salvation raids will have an extended period of usefulness, so they’ll still be good for a while. Every piece of gear that was released with the Shadowkeep expansion and beyond will be viable for a year after its release. But everything from the first two years of Destiny 2 will hit its Maximum Power level in Season 12 this fall–which means that, in Season 13, it won’t be able to hang with any of Destiny 2’s endgame activities.
That doesn’t mean the gear will be completely useless. You’ll still be able to use it in any activities that don’t require high levels, or in the Crucible, where most of the game modes (including the ranked Competitive playlist) balance all players’ Power levels automatically. That means you’ll still get chewed up by a Recluse/Mountaintop combo in Control or Elimination rounds, at least for a while. But in the Trials of Osiris or the Iron Banner, those guns will fall out of favor at the end of Season 12.
The good news is, we’ve still got two good seasons for these Pinnacle weapons to remain viable. And while a lot of people are unhappy about Bungie sunsetting great weapons and armor that were very tough to earn, there is some fairly compelling reasoning behind the move. Director Luke Smith has said the issue is Destiny 2 is piling up guns and armor that nobody uses, and that’s a real complaint. The developer can’t just continually release “better” weapons and armor to replace the ones that exist, because that’ll lead to an endless creep of players using better and better guns, killing enemies (and each other) faster and faster, until the game no longer plays as intended. The new Power system will push old equipment out of the way for newer stuff, which will encourage experimentation with character builds and finding new favorites.
That would be nice, if the new system works out that way, rather than just creating a new arbitrary grind for players every so often that forces them to chase down new equipment to maintain parity with everyone else. Whether the system works as Bungie intends will likely come down to compelling weapon and armor design. Bungie has to find a balance between making new guns worth the chase to acquire them, but not so amazing that it’ll be too hard to abandon them later when something new comes along. In Season 12, we’ll start to see if such a balance is possible in Destiny 2.
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