While a lot of the core experience in Destiny 2 should be familiar to players of the original game, there are still plenty of things changing in the sequel. One change that has many players concerned is the way loot will work in Destiny 2, specifically that weapons will have static rolls.
In Destiny 1, each weapon (save for exotics and raid weapons) had a pool of perks that could fill specific slots, and what perks ended up in those slots was completely random. In Destiny 2, however, Bungie is switching things up and making each slot the same for a specific weapon. So, if player A gets [insert cool auto rifle name here] and player B gets the same auto rifle, both guns will have the exact same perks.
Destiny 2 director Luke Smith revealed this major change for the game, and he didn’t leave any room for interpretations of his quote. Plain and simple: every gun in Destiny will have a specific set of perks.
“There aren’t random rolls on weapons anymore. Better Devils is a Crucible hand cannon [in Destiny 2], and what it has on it is what it has on it. Period.”
No doubt this change is sure to be polarizing for the Destiny community, and Smith acknowledges that it could hurt the loot grind that is so essential to Bungie’s game. But he says that is a problem for the developers to worry about and address, not the fans. Obviously, he wants the fans to have faith the developers will make that loot grind compelling, even though he can’t talk about how they are achieving that just yet.
“How can my second, third, and tenth Better Devils hand cannon be interesting? That’s a question we should be asking and answering as quickly as we can.”
At first blush, the idea of static rolls on weapons sounds like an oversimplication for Destiny 2’s loot system, but it also has its advantages. For starters, it evens the playing field between players. No longer will one player’s drop of a specific weapon be better than another player’s drop of that same weapon.
For PvP this also makes it easier to balance weapons, since Bungie knows what exact perks each weapon has. The developer has already said that its balance changes will address weapons not weapon types, and this concept helps reinforce that idea. It should also make the game more eSports friendly, since competitive players should all be using the same weapons.
But a lot of the positives about removing random rolls on weapons in Destiny 2 have to do with PvP, and it seems like PvE players are losing out. Grinding for that perfect roll is part of the fun of Destiny, and without it there may be less of an incentive to keep coming back. How many people ran Vex strikes just to get a “god roll” Imago Loop? Now what if that god roll Imago Loop was available on the first drop?
Some believe that the way Bungie will make weapons feel different is through mods, which is only a rumor for Destiny 2 right now. Any time press or fans have had a chance to play the game there has been limited access to the menus, and some think that is because there are still features being kept secret. Mods would be a unique way to help give weapons a special quality without making them totally different, but that’s only if they drastically impact the play style of a weapon.
Smith puts it best: the onus is on Bungie to make sure that players are still incentivized to grind for weapons. How they will do that is unclear, but perhaps July’s Destiny 2 beta will deliver those answers.
Destiny 2 releases September 6, 2017 for PS4 and Xbox One, and October 24 for PC.