Destiny's powerful and sought-after primary weapons with elemental damage will not continue to have a place in the game, in order to preserve weapon diversity.
During the first year of Destiny, a number of weapons rose to the top: Fatebringer, Vision of Confluence, and Song of Ir Yût, to name a few. Why? These are primary weapons earned from Destiny’s raids that deal elemental damage (arc, solar, or void), and they found a powerful niche in PvE, rarely leaving the equipped slot of most players who had them.
With today’s debut of the Hard Mode of The Taken King’s raid, King’s Fall, some players expected to earn elemental primaries by completing this new challenge. But none did. The Taken King’s Creative Director Luke Smith took to Neogaf to break the news: elemental primaries are a thing of the past.
Smith, who was also the Lead Designer of the Vault of Glass, says that elemental primaries severely limit the variety of guns players use in Destiny:
Elemental primaries are being left behind. They had the distinct and undesirable property of limiting a broad weapon sandbox to a few weapons. You're free to disagree, but I strongly prefer the breadth of arsenal options, the potential of finding a better Legendary than you have to being stuck because of a damage color.
In Year One Destiny, elemental primaries reigned supreme (in fact we rated two of them as the second and third best guns in Destiny earlier this year). Players who were able to complete the Vault of Glass and Crota’s End—and later make a Flawless run in Trials of Osiris—were often rewarded with weapons that not only possessed powerful stats and perks, but also had elemental damage that quickly stripped off enemies shields and made fast work of enemies during Nightfalls with elemental burn modifiers.
These weapons, such as The Messenger (Adept) and the Word of Crota, settled into players’ primary slot and there was no incentive to use anything else while playing PvE. Currently, in The Taken King, there is a wide variety of weapons being used by the player base. The weapons dropping in King’s Fall are great, but they are no longer the best/only option. By not continuing to put elemental primaries into the game, Bungie is preserving weapon diversity.
So for players going into King’s Fall Hard Mode, don’t expect the elemental primary drops of old. Rewards in the new Hard Mode drop at a higher Light level, so the main motivation for running that version of King's Fall is to soar past the previous 310 level cap (it appears the new level cap is 320). The same is likely to be true for Trials of Osiris, which returns next week. Previously, going Flawless (nine wins and no losses) meant visiting the Lighthouse to earn elemental primaries. It’s not confirmed, but a Flawless run will most likely result in great weapons that will also raise players’ Light level, but won’t possess elemental damage.
This news also makes the exotic auto rifle, Zhalo Supercell - which has arc damage - feel just a little more exotic.
What do you think about Bungie no longer putting elemental primaries into Destiny?