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The Taken Legendaries: How it Could Have Been Done Better


If you missed the news that came out of Gamescom and the latest issue of Game Informer this week, Bungie is not allowing the ascension of all year 1 Legendary weapons to the new Taken King levels. This includes the currently less than 3 months old House of Wolves weapons. Is throwing all our hard earned legendaries on the chopping block really the only move they could make? Here are a couple of suggestions for a smoother, less jolting transition to year 2.

A Quick History of Legendary Upgrades

When The Dark Below came out it came under fire by the community quite badly for the lack of legendary upgrades as well as a terrible upgrade system for exotics (still can’t fathom who thought it was a good idea to make us re-level our exotics). Though the lack of Legendary upgrades wasn’t as bad back then because it was only an increase of 31 damage for weapons. So even without the upgrade, your Legendaries weren’t useless. Not to mention there were far less of them compared to now.

Then we got The House of Wolves DLC, where they took all our complaints with TDB into account and gave us a much better upgrade system that was pretty much universally praised by the community. Exotics were a simple process of just putting an Exotic shard into it with no need to re-level it and for Legendaries they introduced Etheric Light. With this, all Legendaries (TDB and original Destiny) could be brought forward to the HoW standard of 365 attack and 42 light defense. Etheric light didn’t grow on trees but I wasn’t that hard to come by, dropping in nightfall strikes, Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, and Prison of Elders. All in all a very pleasing system that let us use all the guns in Destiny at their true potential.


Then came the news this week that only exotics would be able to move to the new Taken King damage and light levels, Legendaries would not. Bungie even went as far as to say that the white and green guns/gear we get in TTK would be more powerful than our current legendaries. Personally after logging more than 2000 hours on the game it was quite the kick in the balls. This was especially true when it came to the new HoW Legendary weapons being given the cut off as well as those weapons are still very new to us and I’m even still chasing a few of them. Also those Adept Legendaries from the Trials of Osiris are not the easiest weapons to claim in the game (to say the least) as you had to go 9 and 0 in the PvP game type. Then there are the number “II” weapons that only drop sometimes on level 35 Prison of Elders. Some will say you don’t earn guns and gear in a RNG based system, but no one was pulling those examples out of a Gorgon chest, and for them to be made essentially useless after just 4 months is pretty insulting. Surely there was a more elegant way of handling this, and I just happen to have a couple of suggestions.

Ever Increasing Etheric Light

Now I get the fact that Bungie wants to put an emphasis on the new weapons of TTK and that’s fine so how about instead of putting our legendaries on the chopping block you just increase the amount of Etheric Light needed to keep old stuff viable. The older it is the more Etheric Light you need from expansion to expansion. So when The Taken King comes out HoW stuff would cost one Etheric Light to upgrade, but TDB stuff would be five Etheric Light and original Destiny gear would be 10 Etheric Light. This would go up further as more DLC comes out, so when Vex Void arrives (or whatever it ends up being called) TTK stuff would then be one Etheric Light and the HoW gear would go to 5, TDB to 10, and original Destiny to 15. You would then probably cap things at around 25. This way our legendaries are not being put out to pasture. Instead it would be increasingly difficult and costly to maintain, forcing us to only upgrade a few of our old Legendaries, if any. It would also make new weapons more viable than the old. I think this is a great option as Bungie mostly gets there way but the hardcore grinders like myself still have the feeling that our work counted and can still matter if we really want it to. Best of both worlds.


Or At Least Tier It

Another option that I don’t like as much but would be easier to tolerate than what we are getting would be to discontinue gear one group at a time. So when TTK comes out only the original vanilla gear would not be ascendable, but we could still upgrade our Dark Below and HoW Legendaries that are not a year old for one Etheric Light, as it is now. Then when Vex Void comes out TDB gear would then get the chop and only TTK and HoW gear could move forward, and so on and so on as Destiny progresses through future expansions and sequels.

This would at least alleviate the burn of have weapons and gear that really aren’t that old ( *cough* HoW) being made useless this quickly and all our gear gets a fair, full year stretch of life. Only last weekend did I get my Scholar in void burn and it is going to be obsolete in a month from now, that’s just not enough time with a well-earned weapon.


Hopes for a Better Future

Now I realize that even on the off chance Bungie reads this and thinks these are good ideas, that it’s probably too late to implement without delaying The Taken King….. which they would never do. However they have shown in the past that they are willing to go back and change things, as I said Legendaries weren’t ascendable in The Dark Below but that was changed in House of Wolves. Also Deej said the Vex Mythoclast was “frozen in time at 323 Damage” but they went back on that too and “Thawed” it (as Deej put it in the first HoW Twitch steam). Don't get me wrong a lot of the new weapons look very cool but their existence doesn't mean the old ones need to die. So here’s hoping they realize this isn’t the best course of action.
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