Buildcrafting in Destiny 2 can be a complicated beast, especially after the major rework of the game’s subclasses this year. While you can go a long way just equipping an exotic piece of armor that complements your chosen subclass element, the real depth comes in fleshing out your lineup with armor mods. That Coldsnap grenade that’s in the skills submenu has a two minute cooldown? Equip the Osmiomancy gauntlets on Shadebinder, along with the Glacial Harvest aspect and a standard Charged with Light mod setup with Firepower, Elemental Charge, and Elemental Shards, and you’ll literally never run out of icy ‘nades.
The problem with that depth, at least so far, is that you really had to own the mods needed for the best version of each build. If, like me, you’ve been playing since launch, you’re probably in the right place – I’ve got 18 separate Warlock builds alone and I’m having a blast. However, for new players, the process of acquiring combat mods has been a historical pain point. Players could only purchase mods from Ada-1, a tower seller who offers four for sale per day, chosen at random from a pool of hundreds. If your desired gear depends on a particular mod, it can take months for it to be available. According to Insights into destinyfor example, the last time Ada stocked Bountiful Wells – a very useful Elemental Well mod – was on November 15, 2022. It was only the fifth time she’s ever sold it.
Thankfully, that’s all changing today, as announced last night in a tweet from the Destiny 2 account.
As a preview of what’s to come in Lightfall, we’ve got some exciting updates coming soon. Tomorrow all standard Armor Mods will be unlocked for everyone! With major changes to crafting in Lightfall, we want to give everyone the chance to enjoy all the mods in their current state.January 10, 2023
As for what “default” means in this case, Bungie further clarifies that it applies to all mods except those unlocked through raids and the season artifact. That makes sense since both types are earned in alternate ways. Raid mods can drop from raid chests and apply effects specific to that raid. And season artifact mods are part of each season’s leveling cycle and are unlocked as you earn XP.
The important thing here is that this means all combat style mods will be unlocked. That includes the Charged with Light, Elemental Well, and Warmind Cell mods, some of the most versatile in the game. Whatever the build, there is always a way to include it to make it better. So this change immediately unlocks the most advanced part of Destiny 2 buildcrafting for everyone, no matter how long you’ve been playing.
Currently, there’s no word on weapon mods, though this is a much smaller pool and easier to come by so far. It’s also not clear exactly what the “major changes coming for buildcrafting in Lightfall” will entail. We do know that there will be an in-game loadout system, which will hopefully take some of the pressure off an API that has had a hard time this past season. How flexible that system will be and what other changes may be planned for buildcrafting will no doubt be explained in an upcoming This Week at Bungie post.
I do think the line “we want to give everyone the chance to enjoy all the mods in their current state(emphasis mine) can be rather pointed though. Warmind Cells in particular feel like a confusing legacy system that doesn’t really make much sense in the game these days. Originally they were designed to be aged – linked to specific armor slots that would , when the mods were originally made, disappeared at this point, but that never happened: sunset has been cancelledand the themed battle-style armor slots were replaced with a universal one because it was originally just too restrictive and confusing.
Instead, we now have an entire category of mods that only work in conjunction with specific weapons: Seventh Seraph and Ikelos weapons. Tellingly, in this current season, both weapon types have returned, but Warmind Cells have been left untouched. I suspect the buildcrafting update will probably take a good look at how impenetrable these mods are to new players.
In the tweet thread, Bungie also announced some other upcoming changes to a handful of player pain points. First, the cost of arming weapons will be reduced next week. This is a way to convert rewards earned from higher merchant rewards into a specific weapon, perfect for chasing god scrolls. The downside is that it’s an expensive bet. Last week’s Iron Banner cost 100 Legendary Shards for each weapon – again, fine if, like me, you’re on 22,000 Shards, but prohibitively expensive for many.
However, starting next week, the price of Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, Crucible, and Gambit focusing will be reduced to 25 Legendary Shards, with Adept weapons costing 50. This feels like half of a good change. The price coming down is nice, but the game still needs a better resource to earn them – as it stands, they’re slowly trickling in for everything, but those who need to craft them quickly will struggle.
We’re also getting a notification that the Grandmaster Nightfall power cap and structure will be made more accessible in the next update. The details here have been teased for Thursday’s TWaB, but I suppose we can read a lot about Bungie experimenting more this season with combat mods that limit your power level regardless of your actual power level. The new Heist Battlegrounds seasonal activity includes a modifier that locks enemies up to five points above your current strength, and it’s been widely praised as a way to make the new stuff feel harder and more exciting. Honestly, the power level grind is my least favorite part of any season, so a more sensible rebalancing of how it works while still keeping the challenge feels like a good thing.
We’re a little over a month away Lighting, which offers both in-game loadouts and a new Guardian Rank system designed to guide players through the complexities of the game in a more natural way. Add in a new in-game LFG tool, slated for later this year, and there are sure to be some big changes in the coming months. It is likely that some of these systems will be explained in depth in the coming weeks.