In a lengthy blog post today, Bungie outlined future content plans for Destiny 2, including a new tier of weapons, private matches for player vs. player battles, and better rewards for Strikes, Adventures, and Lost Sectors.
The blog post, attributed to the Destiny dev team and introduced by directors Luke Smith and Chris Barrett, comes after weeks of anger from the Destiny 2 community and offers a ton of specific details on what's coming and when it will arrive. "We know it's frustrating when there isn't enough of a dialog with the development team," the pair wrote. "You have our commitment that we're going to do a better job going forward."
Smith and Barrett also addressed widespread fan complaints that Destiny 2's endgame had left them cold, signalling that they sympathize with those who miss the grind.
"Going forward, Destiny 2's post-launch game systems, features, and updates are being designed specifically to focus on and support players who want Destiny to be their hobby -- the game they return to, and a game where friendships are made," they wrote. "We want Destiny to be a game that fits into your life, providing you with reasons to log in and play with your friends, clans, and families. We want Destiny to be a world you want to be a part of."
Some of the new features will be implemented on December 5 with the launch of the upcoming downloadable content Curse of Osiris, others will go live on December 12, and a few more will be available in January.
One new addition will be "Masterwork" weapons, which the studio says will have "stat trackers, random, re-rollable stat bonuses, unique item tooltips, and item details screens."
These are essentially elite versions of legendary purple weapons, and Bungie says you'll be able to upgrade current legendaries to Masterworks or just find them in the wild. ("Raid and Trials of the Nine Weapons will have a very high chance to be Masterworks.")
Bungie is also adding armour ornaments as a more permanent version of cosmetic customisation, allowing players to deck out their characters' gear without worrying about consuming shaders.
Xur is going to start selling Three of Coins again - a simpler version this time, Bungie says - as well as an item called Fated Engram that turns into an exotic you don't currently own.
A better emote interface is en route, allowing "players to equip Salty, Spicy Ramen, Six Shooter, and Flip Out all at the same time."
Bungie says it's prioritising private matches and ranked PvP for launch in 2018. We already knew private matches were coming, but this is the first we've heard of ranked mode. Ranked PVP is easily the most requested feature for hardcore competitive players.
The controversial XP system will be changed once again. "We already see that the newly adjusted 160K XP per level value means that levelling is too slow for some activities, and we have begun the process of collecting data and recalibrating XP earn rates to improve them as quickly as possible."
There are other granular details in Bungie's blog post, but perhaps most noteworthy is the studio acknowledging its communication issues and promising to do better:
Going forward, we plan to continue this dialog as openly and frequently as possible. This will be an ongoing process, but one that we are committed to.
This week we'll be publishing a new episode of the Bungie Podcast where we will sound off on the current state of Destiny 2, how we think about our communication challenges, and what it takes to update the game in the wild. You'll be able to listen on both Apple and Android devices.
Thank you for playing, for being passionate about the Destiny 2 experience, and for working with us as we look to continuously improve our game and studio communication.