Over a week ago, Destiny developer Bungie promised that a significant update was in the pipeline for their FPS/MMO hybrid. They didn’t say too much at the time about said update, but did confirm that this one would finally improve many of the game’s unimpressive exotic weapons.
Today, Destiny Update 1.1 has launched as promised, and we can confirm it’s a big one. Not only does the patch address issues like the aforementioned exotics, but it also adds new ways to acquire upgrade materials, removes a very popular Vault of Glass exploit, and even tweaked the way exotic upgrades worked as well.
As Bungie explained in their Update post, the main goal of this patch is to prepare players for the release of The Dark Below DLC. That is no more evident than in the introduction of the Exotic Shard. Exotic Shards were first spotted while players were digging through hidden files tied to said DLC expansion, and were believed to be a new way to change exotics. As we now know, Exotic Shards have now become the only material that can unlock the final upgrade on any exotic’s upgrade tree.
Unfortunately, exotic shards will be much harder to come by, more so than even Strange Coins. According to Bungie, the only way to procure an Exotic Shard is either by dismantling an unwanted exotic or by purchasing them from Xur for 7 strange coins. Sure, this change will make finishing the upgrade path on an exotic feel meaningful but it also introduces more hoops into the game. And the last thing Destiny players need is more hoops to jump through.
Speaking of those exotics, Bungie has made some changes to quite a few of them, both good and bad. Some weapons, like the Vex Mythoclast, Thorn, and Bad Juju have seen improvements to damage and weapon-specific abilities, while others, like the Suros Regime, have seemingly decreased in quality. It appears that Destiny continues to be about checks and balances, meaning that for every good change there is likely a bad change as well.
Case in point: alongside all the improvements, Bungie also patched out the Templar exploit from the Vault of Glass. We haven’t tested it ourselves, but it sounds like teams can no longer push the Templar off the edge of the board – a strategy that made the fight infinitely easier and gave the team an extra chest.
Check out the full update list below:
WeaponsExoticsExotic Weapons are designed to look, feel, and sound overpowered. At the same time, they are not supposed to break the balance of the game. We hope these weapons challenge the way players think about their loadouts. Exotics will be a constant work in-progress!General
- In preparation for the Dark Below, Exotic Armor and Weapons no longer require Ascendant Materials to upgrade
- The final upgrade node of all Exotic Gear will require an Exotic Shard
- Exotic Shards can be obtained by one of the following means:
- Dismantling unwanted Exotics
- Purchased from Xur for 7 Strange Coins
- Exotics now start at a higher base Attack value and have a narrowed upgrade range to compensateThorn
- Projectiles now briefly highlight targets on impact
- Mark of the Devourer DoT (damage-over-time) upgrade increased against PvE enemy targets
- Reload Speed increased
- Magazine Size increased
- Ammo inventory size increased
- Stability and Weapon Handling increasedBad Juju
- Magazine Size increased to 8 bursts (was 5)
- Ammo inventory size increased
- String of Curses now also decreases the cooldown of your Super on kill
- Adjusted effects to not block first person reticleHard Light
- Stability increased
- Perfect Balance upgrade replaced by Fitted Stock (increases maximum possible weapon Stability)Suros Regime
- Lowered total damage at the end of the mag on SUROS Regime upgrade to be more in line with the Glass Half Full perk on Legendary Auto RiflesMonte Carlo
- Stability increased
- Range slightly decreased
- Monte Carlo Method upgrade now also has a chance to fully charge melee ability on killMIDA Multi-Tool
- MIDA rounds now have increased knockback against targets in both PvE and PvPHawkmoon
- Send It upgrade (which was redundant) replaced by Speed ReloadRed Death
- Rate of Fire increased slightly, but Burst Damage reduced to compensatePlan C
- Weapon Handling speed increased
- Player Speed increased while Plan C is in handPocket Infinity
- Speed Reload upgrade replaced by Extended Clip which allows the option to increase magazine size (5 bursts)Vex Mythoclast
- Attack Power increased to 323 (from 300)
- Base Damage increased, fixing bug we introduced in previous patch
- Enhanced Battery upgrade by Extended Mag (this change still allows for a significant upgrade to Magazine Size, but less than before)Invective
- Reload Speed increased significantly, auto fires slightly slowerIce Breaker
- Send It upgrade replaced by Lightweight (which was redundant as Icebreaker already had maximum range)
- New effects for enemies killed by Ice Breaker upgradePatience and Time
- Snapshot upgrade replaced by Custom Optics (provides a lower zoom option)Super Good Advice
- Stability increasedTruth
- Magazine Size increased to 3 (was 1)ActivitiesRaid
- Fixed an issue we introduced in a previous patch, in which Atheon did not correctly send 3 players through the time gates
- Fixed an exploit where the Templar could be forced off its platformDaily Heroic Story
- Destination Materials now drop from completing the Daily HeroicBounties
- Removed the ‘Relic Hunter’ Bounty
- Destination Materials now drop from completing the Daily Patrol BountyVendors
- Reduced Cryptarch reputation gain from Engrams, but reputation reward packages now have an increased chance for Legendary Engrams
- Players will now be able to use Vanguard Marks and Crucible Marks to purchase Spinmetal, Relic Iron, Spirit Bloom, and Helium Filaments from the Vanguard and Crucible Quartermasters in the Tower
- Xur now sells a new material, Exotic Shards, to upgrade the final node of Exotics for 7 Strange Coins
- Faction Class Items (ex: FWC Cloak, Dead Orbit Mark, etc.) are now replaced by Faction Emblems in the rank-up reward packages from Faction VendorsTechnical
- Networking fixes, which should reduce the instance of the Bee family of KTOs
- Fixed an issue in which using Xbox One party chat induced a slower frame rate
The only other item worth noting is the changes to Destination Materials (Spinmetal, Spirit Bloom, Helium Filaments, and Relic Iron), specifically that they will be more readily available. Now, players can purchase 20 Destination Materials for 10 Vanguard/Crucible marks and they can earn Materials from completing daily activities like the Story Mission or Daily Patrols. No more running in a circle opening chests.
All told, this Destiny update will likely please more than it will disappoint. Gamers have been asking Bungie to improve the exotic weapons for months and finally they have listened. But, they also introduced an exotic shard system that is sure to turn some people off.
Similarly, losing the Templar exploit is a harsh blow to regular Vault of Glass runners. Obviously, it’s not unexpected, but just like the Atheon exploit patch, it simply changes up our strategies. The best takeaway, though, is that Bungie is still listening and improving Destiny. It may not be in a timely fashion or in the way we expect, but they are trying to keep players on their toes.
What do you think of this latest Destiny update? Anything you are happy to see changed/improved? Mad to see changed?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina