Destiny 2’s January update, the game’s first major patch of 2018, will launch alongside the year’s inaugural Iron Banner week, developer Bungie announced today. The event is one of a few elements of the Destiny experience that Bungie is overhauling this month, with the intent of making good on the studio’s recent promises to respond to fan feedback.
The update, which will bring Destiny 2 to version 1.1.2, is set to be released next Tuesday, Jan. 30. Its most important change, arguably, is that Bungie is revamping the reward system associated with raids and raid lairs. The studio is introducing unique perks to raid armor, perks that only function when you’re on the Leviathan. These special buffs — which are broader (and thus, more useful) than the situational perks that the game currently offers — show up on new legendary mods.
It will be possible to apply these mods to existing raid armor as well as new pieces, and the best part is that unlike other mods, they’re reusable — if you remove one from a piece of armor, you can reapply it. (Note that this will cost one Calus token.)
The January patch will make it so that players who complete the Prestige version of the raid get the normal-mode drops as well. Speaking of raid loot, it’s no longer tied to specific sections of the raid, so “no matter what encounter you clear, you can get raid loot.” In addition, there will now be a chance for an exotic weapon or armor piece to drop from every raid encounter — an exotic item, not an exotic engram.
If you’ve already finished the raid in a particular week but didn’t get the loot you wanted, you’ll now be able to buy it directly: Benedict-99 will offer a rotating selection of raid gear for legendary shards and Calus tokens. Presumably, this will not include a new piece of raid loot, a Ghost shell called the Contender’s Shell, which can drop from the boss fight in the raid or the raid lair. In a blog post from Bungie, senior designer Daniel Auchenpaugh explained its perks, which are active only on the Leviathan:
First, Seeker of Brilliance enables the chance for encounters to drop Bright Engrams from their loot pools. Every time one doesn’t drop a Bright Engram, we increase the chance for the next. Remember those Exotics that can drop from encounters I was talking about earlier? Well, Seeker of Opulence means those exotics have a 50% chance to pull from a list of Exotics you haven’t collected yet instead of the standard list. Lastly, to top off this already pretty rad Ghost, we threw on Seeker of Glory, which provides a tracker for the number of encounters you have defeated on the Leviathan.
“I realize this is a bit of an avalanche of text more than a wall, but I wanted to talk about both what we were working on and why we did it,” said Auchenpaugh. “I know we still aren’t going to address every concern here, but hopefully this is a start in good faith.”
In addition to the aforementioned items, patch 1.1.2 will include a true fix for the exotic trace rifle Prometheus Lens, which has been various kinds of broken since its arrival in December. It will also introduce Masterwork versions of armor pieces, a counterpart to the Masterwork weapons that debuted in December. The update will not change the way shaders work, but senior design lead Tyson Green promised that Bungie is trying to solve issues such as the lack of an option to delete or exchange them en masse; the fact that they’re consumable items; and the desire to use them to apply a single color, the same way they worked in the original Destiny.
“This work is ongoing, and we’ll go on record as to when the solution will land as we get closer to a fix that we test and certify,” said Green. “For now, it was important to us that you know it’s on our workbench.”
As for 2018’s first Iron Banner, it will run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6. Bungie promised that “there will definitely be Season 2 weapons in the Iron Banner engram,” along with weapons from the first season that players may have missed. This time around, there’s no limit to the number of engrams that players can earn during the week.
Players have also been asking for the ability to spend tokens on Iron Banner gear directly, and they’ll be able to buy armor, armor ornaments and three weapons from Lord Saladin. In addition to receiving Iron Banner rewards from engrams or buying them outright, players will be able to earn them by completing challenges.
The Iron Banner, with the Control gametype, will begin after the release of patch 1.1.2 on Tuesday. Bungie will take Destiny 2 offline from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET in order to perform server maintenance and push the update live.