Destiny 2 Players Fume Over One-Time-Use Shaders (And Microtransactions)

Destiny 2 Players Fume Over One-Time-Use Shaders (And Microtransactions)

Destiny 2, a video game apology for all the time we wasted in Destiny 1, is excellent in many ways. But the game has one new quirk that’s infuriated players across the world: Shaders can now only be used once.

Shaders, in Destiny parlance, are special items that change the colouring of your gear. In the first Destiny, shaders were permanent accessories that you could equip to alter your entire character’s appearance, but in Destiny 2 they’re consumables. You’ll get them in batches (three or five at a time, from what I’ve seen so far) and you’ll have to put them on individual pieces of equipment, which uses them up.

Given that Destiny is a loot-focused game in which you’re constantly getting new gear, this is a strange decision. Many players will be tempted to hoard their shaders rather than use them on armour that they will invariably upgrade after a few days (or hours) anyway.

The other wrinkle — and I bet you saw this coming — is that shaders are also part of Destiny 2‘s elaborate microtransaction system, which lets you pay real money to get cosmetic (and even non-cosmetic) items from a store called the Eververse. Destiny players, already cynical about this pervasive system, have theorised that Bungie turned shaders into consumables so it’d be easier to sell them.

One massive Reddit post (with over 38k upvotes!) calls on Destiny 2 players to refuse to buy anything from the Eververse. The shader controversy is dominating discussion in the Destiny community, despite the fact that it solely involves cosmetics, because few things piss people off like games changing for the sake of microtransactions. (A representative for Bungie did not respond to a request for comment.)

Director Luke Smith released a statement on Twitter:

Shaders are earned through gameplay: levelling, chests, engrams, vendors. We expect you’ll be flush w/ Shaders as you continue to play. When you reach level 20, Shaders will drop more often: vendor rewards, destination play and endgame activities. Shaders are now an ongoing reward for playing. Customisation will inspire gameplay. Each planet has unique armour and Shader rewards. With D2, we want statements like “I want to run the Raid, Trials, or go back to Titan to get more of its Shader” to be possible.

Here’s the thing, though. Destiny 2 is great. Kirk’s formal review won’t be up until we’ve tried the raid, which launches next Wednesday, but I finished the campaign last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. The game is satisfying both narratively and structurally, and I can’t wait to explore more. Here’s hoping Bungie addresses the one-time-use shader problem soon, and that it becomes just another launch hiccup en route to a long, successful era of Destiny 2.


  • Yeah this isn’t good. A whole new level of micro transaction greed.
    Was very annoyed to see the DLC for everybody’s golf, which should be a normal feature in the game.

  • This will only be a problem at the start of the game, once you near end game loot you’ll be upgrading far less often. Or just not waste shaders on low level loot at all like i would of thought most people would be doing.

    • It’s a problem at any stage of the game, they took something you could switch freely and made it into a microtransaction, how delusional are you to excuse this?

      • Cookies… Cookies for you, cookies for me, cookies for the cookies. It never ceases to astound me exactly how entitled the brats of my generation actually are. “Boo hoo my shader is a consumable, oh no the world is coming to an end.” “I hate micro transactions, because they aren’t fair!” Meanwhile the very small percentage of people that actually do MAKE those microtransactions are the only reason the designers have consistent income to fuel constant future development of the game via patches and bug fixes.

        “OH but I paid for the game so they should keep working for free forever.” Ok, fine. Send me your paypal information. I’ll transfer you $200. In exchange you have to sign a contract forcing you to spend no less than 1 hr a day CLEANING MY YARD every day for the rest of your life. What? doesn’t sound fair?

        Personally.. I LIKE the fact that my kickass Iron Banner legendary shaders only came in a stack of 17. Because that gives them value. Scrubs might squander them away, and you will… because you’re a scrub with no sense of restraint or self control, but me? I’m going to CHERISH my KICKASS Gold, Forest Green and Leather Brown armor that I carefully chose to be my PvP go to set. And when I wear that set and I look and feel like a boss in a season or two when almost NO ONE has theirs anymore it will be even more special and valuable BECAUSE I EARNED IT and I cared enough to take care of it instead of living in a fantasy world of glutinous excess whining why I have nothing left.

        So in closing –

        THANK YOU you lovely people who DO purchase things in game to give the developers a reason to stick with this community and improve the platform we enjoy.

        and THANK YOU BUNGIE AND ACTIVISION for giving more value to this game AND for putting up with the diaper babies that play it.

    • I’d like to disagree with you since the game has a $60+ price tag and eventually a pile of $20 expansion packs and THAT should be how they make their money. Unfortunately though, this is an MMO… with the usual ongoing costs MMOs tend to have just so they can keep running. It ends up needing to be supported by subscription fees or microtransactions.

      If anything is a cash grab it’s the initial entry fee in my opinion. I would happily drop $50-100 on microtransactions (like I did with Warframe) if the game itself was free, or very cheap, in the first place.

      • Yes you are right on your second point. Though I’m not sure why you are disagreeing with me, then outlined a justification of micro transaction.

        60 bucks isn’t going to keep the game running for very long..

        For the game to keep running they have to pay for the resources (labour, infrastructure, etc).. on top of that they have to make profit.. if they don’t, it wont justify the shareholders and investors to splash more money into this game and thus stalling growth or worst case scenario, killing it. Last I check Destiny doesn’t have a subscription so cosmetic micro transaction is the way to go. At least this way, it doesn’t give those with limitless money, advantage over those that don’t.

        It took me a long time to accept micro transactions, as I too sometimes cant justify spending more money than the original price tags, but it is just there partly to ensure that the games I love to play, are still around years down the track. Lastly, it also allows the people that have money to burn to pay for the ongoing cost of the game, providing they are sensible with their financial situation.

    • “they have to make money somehow.”

      I bought the game didn’t I? Isn’t that making money? Isn’t it making money having expansions? I thought that was money, I guess it’s only making them money if they take something away and resell it to me for $5 a pop.

      • Yeah that does make money… but i dont think you realise how much it costs to keep the game running.. on top of making it run, it has to make a profit..

        If you dont like it, dont buy it..

  • They’re going backwards when it comes to customising not forwards.

    A good simple example of going forward is that in Diablo 3 any weapon you get is a transmogrification and you can make another weapon look like that and same with all armour, also aside from that you can conveniently save entire sets, skills, gems, cosmetics for a build in the war-chest and simply one-click change between multiple looks in seconds.

    If they’re going to change how it works they should change it for the better not worse. Basically, a game from 2012 from Activision/Blizzard a triple AAA developer with the same parent company showed how to do it well, they just had to copy but they decided to rip off younger players with addictive personalities who will gamble to get more shaders with SILVER

    • I am not so sure blizzard and bungo actively shares that level of information and lessons learnt.

      I am also guessing, that the only reason destiny2 is appearing in the battle net launcher is because a big wig rom activision applied enough pressure to blizzard to allow it to show up in that launcher.

      long story short, they are acting as 2 separate entities for now.

      • I know they’re two separate legal entities that have nothing to do with each other, my point was that they only need to look down the road to Blizzard to see what a good improvement is and only need to look at what they did for what a bad design choice is.

        It’s all about money and I don’t like condemning companies for trying to make money but there are so many better ways they could have done this and made more money and generated good will.

        Developers have this weird thing about copying a good idea and trying to reinvent the wheel which is asinine and shows they’re too prideful and can’t admit they don’t know better.

      • actually it was outlined when D2 was announced for PC why they are on the launcher… short story is they are using the part of the infrastructure of Blizzard, e.g the login system, payment system, friends list and highly likely all the security process that comes from 10+ years of running WoW (I have a feeling the in game voice system is also going to ride off the voice system recently implemented by Blizzard)

        as for the influence of Blizzard and the lessons they learnt… I would say that doesn’t matter, just because they talk together (likely) doesn’t mean they can implement the same. Blizzard is a subsidiary of Activision / Blizzard while Bungie is a developer that builds games and has no say in marketing etc.

  • Just got back from returning my copy to EB. I gave it a chance but the only way to show disapproval is with your wallet.

    Overall it was just an utterly average game though. I stuck with the first one but wont be doing so again. Back to Warframe for me!

    • Yeah, buying it tells them you’re ok with the presence of microtransactions. Whether you use them or not isn’t relevant, just means they haven’t figured out quite how to get YOU to use them.

      Was hoping this was something my wife and I could play together, I’ll pass. A damn shame too, second game that’s on my ignore list now (Shadow of War being the other).

      • I have to disagree, if the majority of the players who bought and play destiny 2 don’t use the microtransactions and just earn shaders ingame then they will see there’s no money to make off of it, and that players won’t buy into bullshit. I’ll play the game, but I won’t buy Silver, and if it means I don’t get extra shaders, doesn’t bother me because I’ll just keep being vocal about how much of a stupid bonehead move it was and how they would get my money by putting in good reasons to get me to buy Silver. Like in Destiny 1, bunch of random entertaining junk, sometimes a cool ship, or a potion to make my head into a neon pumpkin.

  • Well now it seems destiny 2 is dead right out the door and for one reason, microtransactions just saying.

    Like holy fuck how could they fuck it up, the devs know people hate that shit but they did it anyway.

  • Hmm, I don’t see this as a problem. Assuming the statement was correct and you play regularly you don’t even *need* to buy shaders you can get them other ways. It’s just an easy way for the lazy/impatient to get them without working in the game. And the bonus is it makes money for the devs. Now, if the only way you could get the shaders was via microtransaction that’d be dodgy…

    Frankly, as long as microtransactions aren’t mandatory to succeed in a game I don’t have a problem with them. Yeah it sucks that you can’t get endless different coloured outfits, but so what? If it doesn’t affect how well you can kill the Raid boss then it doesn’t matter.

  • The ones complaining clearly haven’t hit level 20. Everything in the game opens up once you do and I’m getting insane amounts of shader drops now. So yeah.

  • I am mainly annoyed that there is no ‘universal’ box for armour shading. eg if I have the right amount of the same shader and I want to see how the whole ensemble works together, I cant. Or is there and its one of those hidden options?

    I can hardly be the only person who cares about the whole look, first, before micromanaging individual items.

    • If you look at the best character designs in Destiny (and games in general), they’ll never be one full uniformed colour scheme. I love being able to colourise individual elements now because I can create a character that looks way cooler as a result. Don’t use the same shader for every piece, use complimentary or even contrasting shaders to achieve a way more considered and interesting aesthetic.

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