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Destiny 2’s guns are getting an expiration date, and it may be a good thing

Sometimes it’s best to leave the gun you love behind

Destiny 2 reckoning guns Image: Bungie
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Destiny 2’s spring season, Season of the Worthy, is about to start. But game director Luke Smith’s recent Director’s Cut blog post has players upset.

Smith announced that weapons will no longer last forever in Destiny 2. Players will still be able to use and equip them, but old guns won’t be able to sustain the average Destiny player in perpetuity. Players may be afraid of losing guns they love, but it may end up being one of Bungie’s smartest initiatives.

How does weapon expiration work?

Destiny 2 - Origin Story at 277 attack Bungie via Polygon

In Destiny 2, players can infuse their weapons an endless number of times. This process involves feeding a numerically powerful weapon to a numerically weaker weapon. The more powerful weapon disappears, and raises the weaker one to its Power level. Using this system, players can continue to use the same guns, year after year.

In the Director’s Cut, Smith suggests limiting that ability. In the future, weapons will have a finite Power cap. Within nine to 15 months, players won’t be able to raise their old guns above a certain threshold. So if players pick up a 900 Power weapon in the Spring of 2020, they can use it and upgrade it up to whatever the power cap is in fall of 2021. But in the winter of 2021, the same old weapon won’t be able to reach that high level anymore, and players will need to move onto other guns for the hardest content.

It’s a hard change, but necessary

June 2018 Faction Rallies weapons - Destiny 2 Image: Bungie

As a hardcore Destiny player, I have nearly every gun in Destiny 2. But out of hundreds, I use maybe 20. If I need a crispy sniper, I use Beloved. How about a pulse rifle? I always defer to Blast Furnace. What about a hand cannon? I’ve got about 10 different Spare Rations for every situation.

These weapons are all great, and I love using them. But I’ve been using Blast Furnace as my default pulse rifle for over a year. Every time I equip it, it feels old. But as a player interested in completing pinnacle activities, why wouldn’t I opt for the best everytime?

The truth is, I could use many of the game’s new weapons and be just as effective as I am now. But I don’t, because I don’t have that perfect roll yet, or maybe I’m just comfortable using the weapons I already know.

As a creature of habit, I will wear the same pair of pants until it has enough holes in it that I can’t reasonably go out in public anymore. With Destiny, the same is true for guns. I will use my Blast Furnace, my Spare Rations, and my Beloved until they aren’t a top-tier pick anymore. My wife needs to take away my busted pants, and it’s time for Bungie to take away some of my old guns.

With the new system Smith proposes, I’ll need to hone my arsenal if I want to compete. It gives me a reason to go out and acquire new god rolls, rather than bank a new gun immediately, never to use it again.

But most importantly, I’m not losing all the other guns I worked hard for. I can still use them in situations where my Power doesn’t matter, like Strikes, the open world, and most Crucible playlists.

New hope for new guns

Destiny 2 Season of the Drifter pinnacle weapons
Some of the most powerful guns in Destiny 2
Image: Bungie

One thing Smith mentioned in his Director’s Cut was an inability to create super powerful Legendaries — like the beloved Fatebringer from the original Destiny — out of fear that players would use it and only it forever. With this new system, Bungie could go back to the good days of raid weapons being some of the best loot in the game.

Smith reminisces about missing the times in Destiny where loot was exciting. Where players picked up a weapon, got a great roll, and it made their night. I’ve been playing Destiny since The Dark Below, and I’ve missed that same feeling for years. Destiny 2 has never had a moment where a loot drop felt truly exciting — not the same way it did when the good stuff was harder to come by in the original Destiny.

Everything Smith talks about in his post sounds promising and gives me hope for the future. Without limiting the weapons we can use, we will never move on to chase new weapons. And with no loot chase, there is no Destiny.

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