It's technically no longer Christmas, but Destiny players are hopeful that Xur's Holiday weekend appearance will bring some worthwhile presents. Bungie had already teased that some post-Holiday stocking stuffers would be on the way, and many pointed to Xur as a likely place for those surprises to manifest. For most, the appearance of Xur is another part of the weekly Destiny schedule, but since there are likely many gamers who are just trying out the game for the first time, we thought it best to provide a quick rundown on Xur. Those who just want the regular details, however, can skip the next few paragraphs.
Every weekend – from 1am PST on Friday to 1am PST on Sunday – Xur, the Agent of the Nine, appears in a random spot in the Tower, the Earth-based hub in Destiny. There are only a handful of places that Xur can appear, so once players load into the Tower they should notice a large group of guardians gathered in a specific spot. That's where you will likely find Xur.
Once you walk up to Xur you will notice his selection of exotic items. Every week, Xur has one exotic armor piece for sale for each of Destiny's three classes, as well as an exotic weapon. These weapons and armor pieces can only be purchased using Strange Coins, one of the many currencies in Destiny. Strange Coins can be procured many ways – decrypting a blue engram, as a Public Event reward, for completing a Strike – but the best way to get them is by completing Destiny's Weekly Heroic Strike.
Heroic Strikes are more challenging versions of Destiny's basic strikes that offer their own weekly rewards. The Strike comes in three difficulty levels, with each level offering greater rewards, including Strange Coins. So, the higher level Strike you complete, the more Strange Coins you can earn, up to 9 total. The Strikes are also inclusive, meaning if you start at the highest difficulty you earn all the rewards from the lower levels as well.
Once you've collected enough Strange Coins, you can use them to buy any of the exotics Xur has for sale. However, make your choices wisely as these weapons don't come cheap. Exotic primary weapons, for example, cost 23 Strange Coins.
After the launch of The Dark Below DLC, Bungie also introduced a new exotic upgrade system whereby players could trade in their old exotic weapons for new ones with higher attack power. To make a trade, players need to give Xur the old exotic weapon, about 8,000 glimmer, and one exotic shard (Xur also sells those for 7 Strange Coins), so again it's not a simple transaction.
It's a lot to take in for such a small piece of the Destiny puzzle, but you will learn to love (and in turn hate) Xur's weekly appearance. You, like those other Destiny die-hards out there, will search for him every Friday morning hoping he has just the right exotic, and feel that instant sense of disappointment when he doesn't have Icebreaker or Gjallarhorn.
Xur's Selection for December 26-28
With that out of the way, it's on to business. This week Xur can be found in the Vanguard quarters, off to the right when first entering the room. It's a spot Destiny regular should know well, but newbies should have no problem finding him either.
However, once players get to Xur they will likely find little to be excited about on the armor front. It's repeat armor items as usual for Xur, although the Warlocks do get a pair of DLC gauntlets for sale. And unlike last weekend, there is no exotic engram to purchase, just the usual exotic shard.
Xur's weapon this week, No Land Beyond, is only worth mentioning because it's the first DLC exotic weapon we've seen in Xur's selection. No Land Beyond also unique in that it's a snipe rifle that fills out a primary weapon slot not a special one, leaving players free to equip a second special. But players shouldn't get too excited about the prospect of a new sniper, as current NLB owners have been less than happy with the gun.
For a full rundown of Xur’s items and prices see the list below:
- The Armamentarium (Titan Chest Armor) – 13 Strange Coins
- Achylophage Symbiote (Hunter Helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
- Claws of Ahamkara (Warlock Gauntlets) – 13 Strange Coins
- No Land Beyond (Sniper Rifle) – 17 Strange Coins
- Exotic Shard – 7 Strange Coins
The one bright side to Xur's offerings this week is that he has the upgraded version of the Gjallarhorn available for trade. Finally, Gjallarhorn owners can wield a stronger version of the game's best rocket launcher and have a better shot at toppling Crota solo.
- Crest of Alpha Lupi (Hunter)
- Young Ahamkara's Spine
- Helm of Saint-14
- Helm of Inmost Light
- Heart of the Praxic Fire
- Suros Regime
- Red Death
- The Last Word
- Super Good Advice
- Hawkmoon (PS Exclusive)
Some had hoped that with it being Christmas and all that Xur might finally offer (for sale) one of the two most highly coveted weapons in Destiny, either the Icebreaker Sniper Rifle or the Gjallarhorn Rocket Launcher. And even if he didn't do that, they hoped Bungie would do something to make this week's offerings feel a little more festive, like they did on Halloween. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Still, we have those stocking stuffers to look forward to in Janauary, and another week of hoping as well.
[NOTE: Unfortunately, several DDoS attacks have made logging into Destiny almost impossible today, which in turn has put a dark cloud over Xur's return. We were lucky enough to get online to see his wares, but cannot upload images just yet. We will update the post with images as soon as possible.]
What do you think of Xur's selection this weekend? Do you think it lived up to the holiday season?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina