In the time I've been playing Destiny, there has been no small number of micro-controversies. There was the initial game's pasted together campaign. There were dismal expansions, the launch of the Eververse store, the XP throttling thing, and shaders being consumables.
The game has a passionate community, but even with all of the above, they felt like fairly minor wobbles in the grand scheme of things. Sunsetting, however, was met with such vociferous opposition that it was removed within months, and I'm honestly hoping that the game's latest controversy, transmog, will go the same way.
Destiny 2's Transmog System Sounds Awful
In case you missed it, Bungie's latest blog post revealed just how players will be able to customise their armour going forward.
'Before we get too deep, here’s a quick list of steps that players will take to convert their armor appearance into Universal Armor Ornaments,' the post reads, before dropping these steps:
- Defeat enemies to earn Synthstrand.
- Spend Synthstrand on bounties to earn Synthcord.
- Convert Synthcord at the Loom in the Tower into Synthweave.
- Use Synthweave to convert an unlocked armor appearance (Legendary quality or lower) from Collections into a Universal Armor Ornament.
So, to confirm, that means alongside all of Destiny 2's existing currencies (many of which feel superfluous 99% of the time), we're getting another THREE currencies to be able to convert armour we've already earned into a Universal Armor Ornament that can be applied elsewhere.
Synthstrand, earnable from killing enemies, is easy, sure. But then we spend those on yet more Bounties, which will spit out another currency, again? Why not, I don't know, let players pick up the bounties immediately for Glimmer, and have them reward the Synthweave to give to Ada-1?
It's bizarre and endemic of Bungie's approach to gameplay systems. Remember when we got a big ol' hammer to smash boxes with at the end of Battlegrounds? Only it wasn't that simple – we had to slot a Medallion in the hammer using Cabal Gold, then smash the chest to earn hammer charges that could be spent farming engrams. It's... well, it's getting out of hand.
When I read those steps, my immediate thought was that someone had to write those out and at no point thought "hey, guys, maybe this is a little convoluted?".
I get complex systems, I understand when they make sense, but this just doesn't. This is busywork for the sake of busywork.
Of course, that ties in with the cap on the system. You can grind away to earn your Synthstrand, Synthcord and Synthweave, but only for two full armour sets per class, per season. Bungie, if you're making us grind for our dream armour sets, let us put in the hard yards in your ridiculous system.
Naturally, you can pay to skip the grind. Honestly, I'm not so against the concept of this as I am the cost of it. To turn armour you already have into a set of ornaments, you'll spend $10. For $15, you can buy Eververse exclusive armour that's almost always nicer-looking, and that you don't already own.
While many have made the comparison to MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV where the game essentially allows free transmog as a quality of life feature, I think that's a tough comparison. Destiny 2, at its most basic level now, is a free-to-play game, whereas FFXIV has a subscription model in place.
Is it time for Bungie to consider going down that route? It's hard to say, but I think if it can justify solid content (and Season of the Worthy has certainly offered that) and stop the likelihood of having to spend decades unlocking items.
I've not even touched on shaders, which are now permanent unlocks but getting a huge price hike.
Bungie needs to address this because plenty of players have waited for seven years for this feature, and this has been handled abysmally.