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Bungie promises more loot from playing, less from microtransactions, in Destiny 2

Game director Luke Smith lays out plans for a new era of Destiny 2

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Tess Everis of the Eververse Trading Company stands beside her wares. Image: Bungie

Destiny 2 is in a rough spot, and Bungie has spent the past few weeks updating players on pain points like Trials of Osiris and the game’s new seasonal model. In this week’s blog, Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith announced some much needed changes to one of the game’s most frustrating aspects: microtransactions.

Destiny 2, like many free-to-play (and full-priced) games, has an in-game store called the Eververse that sells a variety of cosmetic items. Players can buy these items with Silver, a real-money currency, or grind out an in-game currency, Bright Dust. Ideally, hardcore players can pick up some items they want for free, while still dipping in to buy Silver on occasion, keeping the game running. But since Destiny 2 launched, players have complained about too many cosmetics tied to the Eververse, and not enough offered by playing the game.

Smith and the team at Bungie are changing that in the coming year.

Destiny 2 Eververse armor
Some of Destiny 2’s Eververse exclusive armor
Image: Bungie

Smith’s first big announcement is the addition of a transmogrification system for Destiny 2. In games like Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft, transmog allows players to transfer the look of one piece of gear onto another piece, while maintaining stat bonuses and upgrades.

With Destiny 2’s transmogrification system, players will be able to turn any piece of armor they like into what’s called a Universal Ornament. Universal Ornaments are currently only available for Eververse armor pieces, and allow players to transform any armor piece’s visual style into that of the Universal Ornament.

While Bungie doesn’t have details yet on how players will transform their existing, non-Eververse armor into Universal Ornaments, Smith said players can do it through gameplay or with the use of Silver. The transmog system still seems a ways off, with Smith saying it will appear sometime during Year 4, rather than this fall.

More than a transmog system, Smith announced new ways for players to customize their Guardians without having to spend their real-life money in the Eververse store. Players will soon have a seasonal armor set to pursue every season, via that season’s given activity — such as this season’s Bunkers or last season’s Sundial. According to Smith, the team has already removed the planned Eververse armor set for next season and made it a reward for activity completion instead. While the studio may still sell armor in the Eververse, there will be at least one set to grind for in-game every season.

Destiny 2 - Tess Everis / Eververse Trading Company inventory
An older version of Tess’ shop, offering cosmetic items from Bright Dust and Silver
Image: Bungie

Starting soon, players will be able to earn other cosmetic rewards by playing the game. Smith announced that every “Aspirational Activity” (presumably a seasonal activity, Strikes, raids, etc.) will have at least one cosmetic item attached. These cosmetic items will likely be ghost shells, Sparrows, or ships.

Starting this fall, Bungie will no longer sell ships, ghost shells, Sparrows, or armor ornaments that resemble the theme of an in-game activity — something it did late last year. The Garden of Salvation raid from Shadowkeep did not offer a Sparrow or ship for completion, but players could buy a ship or Sparrow that fit the raid’s theme from the Eververse shop. As of this fall, these themed items will likely come from the activity itself, similar to the original Destiny.

Smith also teased some future gear, letting players know Trials of Osiris will see new armor, weapons, and cosmetic items in Season 13 (this winter), that Bungie is working on Adept Trials weapons, and that Trials will see new armor sets every year. He also revealed that the game’s next raid will offer new armor, weapons, and Exotic cosmetics.

The Strike, Gambit, and Crucible activities will see a new, shared armor set this fall. While the set “shares a set of geometry,” meaning it’s physically the same, it will have unique details associated with either the Vanguard, Crucible, or Gambit. Players can expect a new set like this every year, starting in the fall.

Image of Destiny Eververse item
The single best Eververse item in Destiny: the Micro Mini sparrow
Image: Bungie

Alongside these new armor sets, players can earn a new Pursuit Weapon each season. This weapon comes from Strikes, Crucible, or Gambit — depending on the player’s choice. But players can unlock skins for the seasonal weapon themed to each of the three activities. Bungie will also cease the sale of all Legendary weapon skins in the Eververse store.

Regarding the game’s economy, Smith announced a renewed focus on getting Bright Dust into the hands of players. Bungie will shift Bright Dust sources away from character-based weekly pursuits and onto account-based pursuits. The idea is that players who play a lot — but only have a single character — will be able to earn more Bright Dust to spend in the Eververse.

Bright Engrams — which randomly award old Eververse items — will also see an update this year. Every season, Bungie will update the Bright Engram to offer Eververse items from the last three-plus seasons, meaning players who don’t spend a dime in the in-game store can still get lucky a season or two down the road.

Fans are already very excited about these new announcements, even ahead of Bungie’s unveiling of the fall expansion’s theme — when a majority of these changes will appear in-game. We expect Bungie to reveal Year 4 of Destiny 2 sometime next month, as part of the Summer Game Fest.

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