After months of anticipation, Bungie have detailed a transmog system for Destiny 2 and it’s a convoluted, grind-y nightmare.
Fans of Destiny 2 had been brimming with excitement over Bungie’s upcoming transmog system. It had been a long requested feature that’s a staple in most loot-based MMOs such as World of Warcraft. Bungie heard the wishes of its fans and, in a recent blog post, announced the ‘Armour Synthesis’ system.
It allows players to aesthetically change the way their weapons and armour looks, whilst keeping the items stats and perks the same. It’s a very simple feature that gives players a lot more options to switch up their style online. Seemingly impossible to fuck up, surely?
Before we describe why Bungie’s take on the transmog system is a hot steaming pile of garbage, let’s take a look at how this popular feature works in World of Warcraft:
- Step 1: Go to a transmog NPC in one of the several major cities.
- Step 2: Interact with the NPC and choose the item you want to transmog.
- Step 3: Pay a small amount of gold.
As you can see, it’s incredibly simple, involves no microtransactions, and uses a nominal amount of the game’s central currency which players will almost always have readily available.
Now, let’s take a look at Destiny 2’s Armour Synthesis:
- Step 1: Defeating enemies will give players a new currency called ‘Synthstrand’
- Step 2: Players can use this currency to purchase ‘Armour Synthesis bounties’ from vendors.
- Step 3: Upon completing one of the purchased bounties, players will receive a currency called ‘Synthcord’
- Step 4: Players can turn ‘Synthcord’ into a ‘Synthweave’ by using the Loom located in the tower.
- Step 5: You can then spend you’re hard-earned ‘Synthweave’ on transmogging your gear.
As you can see, it is painstakingly more complicated than it has to be. Bungie then decided to take it one step further and added a bunch of unnecessary little rules to further annoy their player base.
If players accidentally choose the wrong bounty and refund it, they will only get half of their Synthstrands back. They also put a limit on how many Armour Syntheses a player can have, as well as limiting what tier of amour can be altered.
In essence, Destiny 2’s new Armour Synthesis system is a terrible take on a very simple system. It overcomplicates every aspect of it by adding three new currencies and plenty of frustrating steps that add nothing of value to the actual gameplay experience.
It almost feels like this has been done intentionally, but why?
Bungie, in the same Destiny 2 blog post, revealed that players can simply purchase Synthweave using Silver, a different in-game currency that can be bought using real-life money. So yeah, Bungie has incentivised players to use more of their hard-earned cash by making the alternative option unbearably slow and convoluted.
Forbes journalist Paul Tassi was the first to run the numbers, calculating roughly how long it would take to add every in-game piece of armour to one player’s transmog options. The answer was 33 years.
Okay new math says it will be 33 years worth of seasons not 500 for all (current) armor transmog
So my grandchildren can grind for me instead of my immortal exo descendants in the year 2521
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) April 22, 2021
In Destiny 2’s forthcoming content season, Season of the [REDACTED], players will be able to earn 20 Synthweave per class, meaning they’ll be able to transmog up to four full armour sets with constant play.
After that, players will be able to only earn 10 Synthweave per class, per season – or two full armour sets. A standard Destiny 2 season adds far more than two armour sets, between activities such as Strikes, Raids, Crucible, Gambit, and seasonal vanity sets. So without outright buying Synthweave with real money, not even a player with an unlimited amount of time will be able to build up their transmog wardrobe at the same pace content is being released.
Additionally, some existing in-game armour sets were available through Silver purchases, meaning players who paid for these sets with real-world money will not be able to transmog them. They’ll either need to grind for Synthweave, or pay for the set twice.
Armour Synthesis will arrive in Destiny 2 in “just a few short weeks”.