Destiny 2: Shadowkeep has been delayed until the first of October. The decision was made in order to let the devs at Bungie make improvements to the expansion prior to its official launch. Indeed, there will be a lot to look forward to and one of those is the upcoming Armor 2.0 system. Unfortunately, I cannot help but feel a few jitters and worries. You can watch their fairly lengthy and detailed Destiny 2: Shadowkeep stream which is all about the Armor 2.0 customization preview down below:
What is Armor 2.0?
We’ve previously mentioned how Destiny 2 players will have a chance to obtain Armor 2.0 fairly early on once Shadowkeep releases. If you’ve been grinding activities during the Solstice of Heroes event, then your Majestic Solstice Armor will have their Armor 2.0 versions which you can grab from Banshee once the expansion is out.
The Armor 2.0 system itself is touted as a reinvigorating take on Destiny 2‘s gear pieces. The Vanilla base game provided you with bland and almost unimaginative rolls that were too streamlined (take note that this will come up later in this article). As time passed, we eventually saw the inclusion of random rolls and enhanced perks. Armor 2.0 promises to go even further with the reintroduction of three stats from Destiny 1:
- Intellect – increases the regeneration of your super
- Discipline – increases grenade regeneration
- Strength – increases melee regeneration
Combine these with your Mobility (movement speed), Resilience (defense), and Recovery (health regen), and your armors can roll with six stats with random values. Each stat will have a cap of 100 points for their maximum effect, and every 10 points will have a particular tier providing a significant increase until you reach the limit.
More new additions to Armor 2.0
Similarly, you no longer need to rely on your old Destiny 2 armor sets from events or Eververse. If you want to look pretty while you shoot the minions of the Darkness, then you can do so with the ornaments system that’ll turn some old armor pieces into cosmetics that you can apply (like a “transmogrification” mechanic).
Likewise, we’ll see the addition of more new materials and the means of obtaining them. Enhancement Cores will be obtainable through various methods (not just from dismantling gear, doing Banshee’s bounties, or buying them from Spider). We’ll also see Ascendant Shards, a brand new material used to improve your Armor 2.0 pieces to reach their fully-masterworked potential.
Note: Every newly-acquired piece of legendary or exotic armor will end up with its Armor 2.0 version once Shadowkeep arrives. This also includes those obtained from past activities and raids. You’ll have to obtain them from the wild, though, rather than pulling them from your Collections tab. Oh, and as an aside, the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep stream also showed that the Glimmer cap will finally be raised to 250,000!
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep – Potential problems on the horizon
Everything’s looking fine and dandy. So far, so good, right? Well, not quite, Guardian. That’s because the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep stream also showed potential problems down the line.
It’s no secret that Bungie has wanted Destiny 2 to become a full-fledged MMO game with deep RPG elements to keep players invested. Yes, the player base does want a degree of customization and uniqueness in how their characters and gear will be tailor-fitted to their needs. Unfortunately, it seems Armor 2.0 might become a cause for concern.
Here are a few key details also noted from the stream:
- It seems that Armor 2.0 pieces will no longer roll with any specific perk outside of the numerical values for the six stat lines and the armor’s “elemental property.” The perks related to your weapons (ie. targeting, flinch, and the like) will need to be placed in those weapons via mods.
- Each Armor 2.0 piece will have a specific elemental property attached to it (Arc, Solar, Void). These elements will determine the types of mods that you can socket. For instance, anything related to sniper rifles (regardless of the weapon’s element) can only be socketed in Void-property armors. For shotgun-enhancing mods, the armor you’re wearing has to have the Arc property.
- The number of mods/perks you can socket will depend on the masterwork level of your Armor 2.0 piece and the “energy” or points required for a certain mod. This means you’ll need to grind for materials (Enhancement Cores/Shards and Ascendant Shards) to upgrade your armor. For instance, you’ll need 11 energy to have “Enhanced Sniper Rifle Targeting” (costs 6 energy) and “Precision Weapon Targetting” (costs 5 energy).
Therein lies the potential problem once Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releases. It looks like players will have to grind for the same perks that we already have. These are the same perks that used to roll with existing Year 2 armor! Bungie’s latest design for their upcoming expansion is to remove all of those so you can customize each gear piece the way you’d want to so it can suit your playstyle (which is commendable), but there are already glaring flaws with the execution.
We’ll cross the bridge once we get there
The issue is that you’ll end up being restricted based on the element-type of that armor piece and the particular “affinity” of the weapon mod you want to use. Let’s say you want to run with a pulse rifle (Bygones or Blast Furnace) coupled with a sniper (Beloved). That means you’ll need a couple of armor pieces that’ll have the properties allowing you to socket mods for pulse rifles and sniper rifles — the latter, as we’ve seen, would require Armor 2.0 that rolled with the Void element property. That doesn’t even take into consideration the additional perks (special or heavy ammo drops, scavenger) or stat lines that you might also want to prioritize. If ever you want to switch to a hand cannon and shotgun loadout, then, evidently, you’ll need other armor pieces with the correct elemental properties just to use those mods.
As mentioned earlier, the problem with Destiny 2‘s armor system during the Vanilla/Year 1 days was that everything felt too uninspired and streamlined. It feels like Destiny 2: Shadowkeep‘s Armor 2.0 will bring us back to those days.
If your armor pieces roll with only random stat lines or elemental properties, how does that actually make each piece more unique or worth seeking out? If your main method of keeping people hooked is to have them grind and upgrade for the same perks that they’ve already seen on older items — for armor pieces with certain elements just to use those aforementioned perks — then isn’t that a disservice to your dedicated player base?
I understand that the Armor 2.0 system aims to provide players with more control on how to tweak and fine-tune their Guardians. I understand that Destiny 2: Shadowkeep will try to push forward the game’s capability to be a true RPG. Unfortunately, this was definitely not what I had in mind.
We’ll cross the bridge once we get there come October 1 when Destiny 2: Shadowkeep launches, but, so far, these changes are making me more worried than any nightmares that Eris Morn unleashed on the (haunted) Moon. Customization mechanics in games are definitely worth trying out, especially for Destiny 2‘s player base that’s hungry for more. Sadly, from a quick glance, Armor 2.0 looks like an unnecessary timesink more than a rewarding system. It’s one step forward and two steps back. That, quite frankly, has been Destiny‘s story for several years.
Note: Do remember that these observations are based solely on the details and commentary provided by Bungie during their stream. We’ve yet to find out how well the Armor 2.0 system is implemented during Destiny 2: Shadowkeep‘s launch. Perhaps some feedback at this stage would help determine how the system can be improved moving forward.
If you’re still gathering your Solstice of Heroes armor sets, head over to our Solstice guides collection. For more Destiny 2 Season of Opulence features and guides, be sure to visit our hub right over here. If you’re interested in grabbing Destiny 2 and Shadowkeep, just hop over to the game’s Steam store page.