This week Bungie released its promised Destiny 2 “State of the Game” blog, which detailed several updates planned for the game throughout December and early 2018. One of the major additions planned for the December 12th patch, which follows up the initial December 5th patch and release of the Curse of Osiris expansion, is a new “Masterwork” tier of weapons. Masterworks will expand on and empower Legendary weapons with new perks.
This new upper tier of weapons is part of Bungie’s goal to introduce new systems and rewards to “give our most engaged players additional, optional pursuits.” Masterworks fit into that concept quite literally, providing end-game minded players with rewards worth investing extra time into acquiring. Masterworks also address another area of concern, as hardcore players have long been asking for additional depth with regards to endgame gear optimization.
What Masterworks weapons do is add an additional re-rollable stat bonus to items of the new quality. There’s no indication that current weapons will randomly become Masterworks with the patch, though dismantling Masterworks earns a currency that allows Legendaries to be upgraded. Otherwise, Masterworks will drop from all the same sources as Legendary weapons for characters above 250 power.
Other perks that Masterwork weapons will feature includes the tracking of kills, with the player deciding between PvE or Crucible-only kills, and the generation of orbs for multi-kills. For players who want to achieve the best gear in-game, a mix of Masterworks and Exotics seems like the goal to keep in mind.
Whether or not the Masterworks system is the proper solution to community criticism from the past month is difficult to discern. Masterworks will certainly provide an additional level of reward for players who strive to be the best Guardians in the game. But it’s difficult to tell whether Masterworks will otherwise change how players play Destiny 2 in any meaningful way. The same players that raid and participate in Trials of the Nine will continue to do so, only now they’ll receive Masterworks instead of normal Legendaries.
Yet Bungie’s goal may be exactly that. Perhaps the studio is happy with the current Destiny 2 gameplay loop and doesn’t want to alter it meaningfully. Bungie could be content to make small, iterative changes to current systems in order to provide more depth if not breadth. Other changes and additions planned for December, such as Ornaments and new uses for Legendary Shards, seem to reinforce the idea that Bungie’s not as worried about the state of Destiny 2 as some in the community may be. But it’s hard to deny that these changes aren’t going to make Destiny 2 a better game than it was before.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Curse of Osiris, Destiny 2‘s first expansion, releases across all platforms on December 5.