We’ve been wondering for a while what Bungie’s split from Activision would mean for the Destiny franchise, along with whether this could pave the way for wholesale changes. The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’.
Right before E3, Bungie showed off the Shadowkeep expansion which is coming to Destiny 2 later this year. This includes new story missions, new locations to explore, a new dungeon, raid, extra gear and weapons, and all the other goodies we’ve come to hope for from a large-scale Destiny expansion. However, that’s just the beginning. It would appear the split from Activision has allowed Bungie to make positive changes such as putting an end to PS4 timed content exclusivity, a Steam release, adding in cross-platform saves, deeper RPG systems, and more.
That’s just scratching the surface though, as Bungie is also going to be implementing sweeping changes to how microtransactions are implemented in Destiny 2. MTX attracted a fair amount of flak shortly after D2’s launch, and based on a new blog post from Bungie it would seem it was the heavy hand of Activision which guided them in this direction.
This Autumn, Destiny 2’s Eververse cosmetic store will be getting a major overhaul. Some changes are already in place, such as Bright Engrams only giving Year 1 gear, as well as a heavy bias towards giving players items they haven’t yet unlocked. Starting this autumn though, all Eververse armour is being converted into Universal Ornaments. These are essentially cosmetic designs which can then be applied to any armour of that type; a transmog, for any MMO fans ou there.
"It stinks to go to the Eververse store and see an item that looks cool and then seeing that the item has bad perks on it," says Bungie. If you like the Dragonfly Regalia Helm, for example, and you have another helmet which has your favourite stats, then you can apply the appearance of the Dragonfly onto your best armour.
As well as this, Bright Dust will be getting a major change. Bright Dust is a currency that can be bought with real money in Destiny 2, or earned through grinding. In the fall, Bright Dust will be completely play-to-earn with no option to buy. “We want all players to earn Dust for playing, not for spending money and destroying a bunch of items in their inventory,” writes Bungie.
Eververse items that are dismantled will no longer provide Bright Dust. This used to be the most reliable way to get Bright Dust, stashing up a store of items and dismantling them when an item you want is available in the Eververse. As a result of Bright Dust rewards now being available from several other activities, all items will now break down into Legendary Shards and Glimmer. There’s no longer any need to sit on piles of unused weapons, armour, and mats. Just dismantle them and move on. The Glimmer and Shards can then be spent on pulling items from your Collections.
Bungie’s advice is you dismantle all unwanted items by September 17th in order to max out your potential Bright Dust. "Everything must go - dismantle the extra stuff you have in your inventory, build up a huge amount of Bright Dust, and spend it on sweet stuff as it rolls through the Eververse store - because on September 17, everything changes.”
Free from the clutches of one of the largest games publishers in the world, it would appear as if Bungie now has a far greater degree of creative control. I doubt we’ll ever quite know for sure to what degree Bungie’s hand has been forced by Activision over the years, but I think the changes they make over the coming years will certainly clue us in. It sounds like an invigorating time for Destiny 2. Bungie is making moves to onboard new players more easily than ever before, there’s a new expansion pack on the horizon, and the dreaded microtransactions are shuffling off this mortal coil. Now we’re just keen to see where Bungie can take this next.