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Destiny's latest update completely changes how exotic weapons and armor work (update)

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Destiny developer Bungie released a patch that tweaks numerous exotic weapons and gives players an alternative to farming materials, the studio announced today.

The version 1.1 update, which is available now, introduces a major change to the upgrade path for exotic weapons and armor — namely, that they no longer require Ascendant Energy and Shards, respectively, to upgrade. Instead, the final upgrade step for all exotic items will now require a new material type, the Exotic Shard. That material can be obtained by dismantling an existing exotic weapon, and players can also buy them from the merchant Xur for seven Strange Coins each. The patch also raises the base attack level for all exotic weapons from 260 to 274.

In addition, Bungie finally buffed numerous exotic weapons, since many players felt that certain ones did not live up to the billing. That includes notable improvements to the hand cannon Thorn, the fusion rifle Vex Mythoclast and the PlayStation-exclusive auto rifle Monte Carlo.

"Exotics will be a constant work-in-progress," said Bungie. You can check out the full list of tweaks in Bungie's blog post.

Also included in the 1.1 patch are some fixes for an issue with the Atheon boss battle at the end of the Vault of Glass, problems that Bungie inadvertently introduced with a previous patch. The studio also removed an exploit by which the Templar in the Vault of Glass could be forced off its platform.

But perhaps the most welcome change for Destiny players looking to upgrade items is that they'll now be able to purchase natural materials — Spinmetal from Earth, Helium Filaments from the Moon, Spirit Blooms from Venus and Relic Iron from Mars — with Vanguard and Crucible marks, rather than having to spend boring hours farming them.

Destiny's version 1.1 patch follows closely on the heels of the 1.0.3 update, which arrived the week before Thanksgiving. The game's first expansion, The Dark Below, hits Dec. 9.

Update: The version 1.1 patch is now available, Bungie announced on Twitter. Players will have to exit the game and restart in order to download the 75.09 MB update. We've edited the story to reflect this.

Update 2: Xbox One players got an additional update today, said Bungie on Twitter. The extra patch fixes an issue exclusive to the platform in which party chat affected Destiny's frame rate.