As of December 1, Bungie has launched updated 1.1 for Destiny. The update for this week includes some curious changes to Exotic weapons and gear. According to the Destiny development team, the changes for the patch were made in anticipation of Destiny’s first downloadable expansion, The Dark Below, which is due out next week. I am ambivalent about some of the changes, but I am curious to see how well they work in practice.
The biggest change with the 1.1 update is that Exotic armor and weapons for the game no longer require Ascendant Materials for upgrades. That means if you have an Exotic weapon or armor piece that is not fully upgraded, no more Ascendant Shards or Ascendant Energy pieces are needed to complete the upgrade. That is good news. However, the bad news is that Exotic gear requires a new upgrade material called Exotic Shards. So basically, Ascendant Energy and Ascendant Shards have been subbed with Exotic Shards. Exotic Shards can only be obtained from Xur, who is only available at the Tower over the weekends or by dismantling unwanted exotics. I am not thrilled about the need for such a limited material in order to finish upgrading Exotic gear, especially for a game that has no trading system between users. Fortunately, only the final upgrade node for Exotic gear requires the Exotic Shards.
One new favorable change: Exotics will have a higher base attack value with a streamlined upgrade range. Hopefully, that will expedite the ability upgrade Exotic gear quickly. In addition to the aforementioned changes, there have been a great deal of buffs to various Exotic weapons, including Thorn, Bad Juju, Suros Regime and Monte Carlo. Some of the buffs could have mixed results. Ultimately, it will take more extensive utilization of the gear, in practice, to determine how well the buffs turn out.
Unfortunately, Bungie has opted to fix another exploit for the Vault of Glass Raid. During the Raid, players figured out a strategy to defeat the Templar by knocking it over the edge of its platform. I see no point of the hotfix. What is wrong with finding alternate ways to defeat a boss? Isn’t the practice of finding strategies for how to defeat a boss part of gaming? It is disappointing to see Bungie hotfix issues such as this, rather than addressing the more prevalent issues of the game, such as the frustrating loot drops or the utter uselessness of the Cryptach and the Gunsmith.
The Bungie announcement for Update 1.1 claims that reputation reward packages have increased the chance of receiving Legendary Engrams for the Cryptarch. In addition, reputation gains for the Cryptarch have been reduced. Honestly, I could care less that reputation gain from Engrams for the Cryptarch has been lessened. A higher reputation for the Cryptarch has not really made a difference in the game at all for me. I will believe in increased chances for Legendary Engrams when I see it.
There is one major positive change in the update. Players can finally buy upgrade materials and resources at the Tower. This is a change I have wanted to see for quite some time. So, that means Spinmetal, Relic Iron, Spirit Bloom and Helium Filaments may all be purchased from the Vanguard and Crucible Quartermasters. Since the launch of the game, players have been able to exchange upgrade materials for items like Crucible marks. I saw no reason players could not barter marks in exchange for upgrade materials. The new feature represents a constructive change, since farming for upgrade materials can be one of the more tedious and dull activities for the game.
Overall, there are some pros and cons to the Update 1.1 for Destiny. It will be interesting to see how much the Exotic buffs will either improve or diminish the gameplay, especially before the release of The Dark Below. Destiny: The Dark Below is due out on December 9.