Destiny 2 Bungie Ever since Bungie announced that they were finally, after seven years, going to introduce a transmog s
Ever since Bungie announced that they were finally, after seven years, going to introduce a transmog system to Destiny 2, the main question was whether or not they would get the implementation right.
Well, as of yesterday, I have some bad news.
In short, what Bungie has come up with is probably the worst iteration of a transmog system they could have produced. I mean, in theory, they could have made the entire thing only accessible for IRL cash or jammed random pieces of transmog armor into loot boxes or something, but that was never really plausible.
Bungie previously announced a split between the ability to earn transmog “currency” of some sort and and the ability to skip that currency grind and pay Silver (real money) instead.
At baseline, I was okay with this. Yes, many other games have entirely free transmog systems, spending only in-game currency or on occasion, nothing at all for the cosmetic conversions. But sure, if people wanted to pay to skip a grind for cosmetics, that’s fine. But I had one rule. Just one rule.
My fear, which I laid out in an article almost three weeks ago, was that Bungie would institute some sort of timegate that would limit how much transmog you could earn, forcing you to turn to the Eververse microtransaction store. Well, that’s precisely what happened.
Bungie has announced that you can only transmog ten armor pieces (not sets, pieces) per class with earned currency per season. Next season when the system arrives via Ada-1 will be the exception, where instead you will get 20 pieces per class.
A few people were quick to say “isn’t that a lot?” No, it is not a lot. There are over 1,500 individual pieces of legendary armor in Destiny 2. Doing the math here yields some wild results.
If you are limited to 10 items per class per three month season, it will take you about to 12.5 years to grind out all current armor sets for transmog (not counting any new ones that may add in a decade).
If you instead you decide to “whale out,” at $10 for every 5 pieces it will cost you around $3,000 to transmog all that armor. Less if you buy Silver bundles in bulk, I suppose.
There are other things that are a bit…off with this transmog system, but I can mostly explain those away.
- The grind requires a convoluted farm of not one, but three new currencies, Synthstrand, Synthcord and Synthweave, but I mean, when hasn’t Destiny been about overly convoluted currencies?
- They have raised the Bright Dust cost of shaders from 40 to 300, a huge increase, but one that also reflects that the old pricing was for non-collectible, consumer shaders once upon a time.
- Shaders now cost 2500 glimmer to apply per set, an annoyance, but one that could be balanced out by removing glimmer cost from armor mods, so who knows.
- Past Solstice glows will not work with transmog, but those glows have been a problem for years at this point and I would expect nothing less than one last failure from those glows here.
While in aggregate, all of those other issues are somewhat annoying, they still all comparison to the main thing. The cap. It’s all about the cap.
I don’t even know if I need to write anything new about why a timegate or limit for earned transmog is bad because I gave this exact, explicit warning three weeks ago when I saw this coming:
“I understand that Bungie wants to make this a new revenue stream to some extent, but putting up a timegate to prevent people from grinding out armor sets as ornaments would not go over well. Paying Silver is already going to save you time if you can’t spend all that time grinding (whatever that grind may be), so adding a timegate on top of that would be very bad.”
And no, it has not gone over well. I actually cannot remember a single more unifying issues in years in the Destiny community has rallied around like this. Creators and players and daily Destiny columnists alike seem to 99% agree that the cap is a bad idea. And those that don’t seem to mind appear to be players who didn’t really care much about transmog in the first place.
I never expected Bungie to make this an entirely free system. But the path to payment is already there. From what it sounds like, this triple Synth grind is pretty tedious, and I really didn’t expect anything less. But in a cap-free system you’re giving people the option to grind tediously as much as they want, or you can pay for the shortcut with Silver. There would still be takers for that, but otherwise, limiting classes to two sets a season when each season probably introduces two new sets on average is ludicrous.
There are many, many other games that have a far more streamlined system for transmog that does not have anything remotely like caps, other than how much in-game currency you have on you at a given moment. Bungie saw a revenue opportunity and wanted to push it to the extreme. They have gotten better about this in other areas, but this is an absolute, total miss here, and this reminds me of the anti-Eververse rage from years ago, as things have mostly calmed down on that front for a while.
An unlimited transmog feature with as much or as little grinding as you want to do would be a huge value-added asset for the game. A capped system was just going to annoy people to no end, and will you look at that? It’s exactly what happened.
I don’t know what Bungie is going to do about this. There have to be some alarm bells going off over there with this kind of massive backlash, and I’ve been covering this game long enough to know when Bungie is going to eventually come out and do a big “we got this wrong” mea culpa. It may be too late to change anything for a season that’s about to launch in three weeks, but my guess is that worst case, they change the cap of 10 pieces a month to 20, like this first bonus month. Best case, they remove the cap entirely, which I would say is the only actual “correct” answer here. The problem is having a cap, then removing it means that anyone who did spend Silver to get over the cap in the interim is screwed.
I have been more passionate about the arrival of transmog than any other feature in my time playing Destiny, and I am legitimately stunned they got this so wrong when this was a community reaction you could clearly see coming from a mile away.
Something will change. It has to.
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