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Destiny 2’s expiring weapons system is about fixing the sins of the past

Destiny 2 game director explains the need for weapon retirement

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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.

Weapon sunsetting has been a contentious topic inside the Destiny 2 community since Bungie announced it earlier this year. This fall, the studio will put a power cap on older weapons, making them less useful in activities that require the most powerful gear. Players will still be able to use these older guns, but not in activities like raids, dungeons, Nightfalls, or Trials of Osiris.

With Bungie’s June 9 reveal announcing Destiny 2: Beyond Light this fall, the studio announced plans to sunset planets and old activities as well, while introducing the Destiny Content Vault to recreate activities like the Vault of Glass. With weapon sunsetting still in place, players have concerns about how their arsenals will look this fall. We spoke to game director Luke Smith about why weapon sunsetting is the right move for Destiny 2.

“We gave birth to [the Infusion] system and, you know, I think that it has a bunch of really positive properties, but I think it has a bunch of really negative properties as well,” said Smith. Players needed Infusion, but it was always a temporary fix for a larger problem.

Infusion — the art of feeding a powerful weapon to a beloved, weaker weapon to make the weak weapon more powerful — didn’t exist until The Taken King expansion in the original Destiny. Bungie wanted players to be able to use the gear they loved, rather than get stuck with something they didn’t enjoy using to stay at a higher power.

Less than two years after Infusion’s introduction, Destiny players jumped ship to Destiny 2, and had to replace their entire arsenal. But this fall, Destiny 2 will begin its fourth year of updates. Players have hundreds of guns to pick from now — more than Destiny 1 players ever had access to.

And that’s where Infusion’s problems start to manifest. “It’s pretty fun wanting new things,” said Smith, but Destiny players have used some of the same weapons — like the Leviathan raid’s Midnight Coup hand cannon — for three years.

This new max power system will create an “ongoing curation of a deck of cards,” according to Smith. “This is our way of continuing to drive chasing pursuit in the world.” Smith explained that this is the alternative to moving to a new game or deleting player’s current arsenal. Players can still use the guns they love, but the new system incentivizes them to move on if they want to stay competitive. The max power cap is a permanent solution to the problem Infusion introduced five years ago.

With the studio announcing Beyond Light this fall, The Witch Queen next year, and Lightfall the year after that, it’s clear Bungie has a long-term plan for where Destiny 2 will go. But before it can go there, Bungie needs to correct its past mistakes.

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