When Destiny 1 was first pitched, developer Bungie spent a lot of time talking about the uniqueness of gear – how one player would look at a friend’s gun or armor piece and be envious. But as time went on, and players began to experience Destiny, it became clear that exotics weren’t as rare as initially thought.
That being said, there were still some exotics that were hard to acquire in Year 1, like Gjallarhorn or Vex Mythoclast. And when a player did earn that exotic it felt like a major moment. As Destiny evolved with new DLC and expansions, though, those moments became fewer and further between. Now, if a player wants an exotic weapon or armor piece and is determined enough, they can get it.
While speaking to Destiny 2 Project Lead Mark Noseworthy, Game Rant asked about exotic rarity in the sequel. Obviously Noseworthy wouldn’t give specifics, but he did say that Destiny 2 will strike a middle ground between early Destiny and late Destiny as far as exotic rarity.
"Somewhere in the middle. There is something really special about those year 1 Gjallarhorn stories. Then there’s something really nice about the determinism of the Taken King, where you can go do this thing and you’ll get Sleeper Simulant. Just go do it. It’s hard, but you get it. We’re going to be somewhere in the middle. Both those stories are pretty cool. We want exotics to be something that all players can get, not something that only elite guys who put in thousands of hours to get exotics can acquire. Exotics are really a special part of Destiny. They are guns, or armor, that actually change the way you play. The sandbox game, the moment-to-moment combat, is now different because of this thing that happens in my gun - or a perk on this armor. We want everyone to have that experience, so in some ways we are going to democratize exotics a little bit more, but we still want there to be things that are hard to get and will be highly sought after."
For most Destiny players, the exotic drip feed has been a point of contention. Some prefer those Gjallarhorn moments for each exotic, while others enjoy the grind that comes with Three of Coins. As a game all about loot, Destiny sometimes becomes a race to collect everything, and so it’s easy to see why some players want to gather exotics as quickly as possible.
At the same time, there is something to be said about exotics like Sleeper Simulant and Outbreak Prime, which had timed releases and required complex quests to unlock. Exotics like these didn’t come into the Destiny universe until relatively late, but chasing after these was certainly a personal highlight.
The biggest argument for a decrease in exotic rarity is that it keeps everyone on an even playing field. In Year 1, there were plenty of groups that required a potential teammate have a Gjallarhorn or they wouldn't raid with them, despite the fact that Gjallarhorn was a very rare drop. It was common to see LFG posts that read, "Must have Gjallarhorn," and that was ruining the experience for a lot of players that didn't have the time to grind.
Ultimately, Destiny 2 will have a lot of elements to balance, but it sounds as though the Bungie developers have taken lessons from the first game and applied them to the sequel. That doesn’t necessarily mean that exotics are going to become ultra-rare, but it doesn’t mean a consumable like Three of Coins is coming back either.
Destiny 2 releases September 8, 2017 for PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version currently does not have a release date.