The Elemental Affinity mechanic has been the bane of min-maxing Destiny 2 players since the Shadowkeep expansion’s launch, and Bungie is finally introducing a way for players to change their armor’s associated element. An update next season will bring fixes to the frustrating Elemental Affinity and seasonal mod system, but changing Elemental Affinity in Destiny 2 will come at a major cost, depending on the level of players’ armor.
Destiny 2′s latest season of content drops, Destiny 2 Season of Dawn, is nearing its end. Since Destiny 2′s seasons change its world rather than continuously add to it, this means much of Season of Dawn’s unique activities and story elements will go away. It also means a number of new things will be added, however, with original activities and a slew of sandbox changes. So far, Bungie has revealed sword mechanic changes that could point to the introduction of a new exotic weapon, and the developer has now detailed major changes coming to Destiny 2‘s Armor 2.0 system.
In the latest “This Week At Bungie” blog post, Bungie announced players will be able to change armor pieces’ Elemental Affinity next season. The Elemental Affinity mechanic allows only certain mods to be applied to certain Destiny 2 Armor 2.0 pieces, based on whether the mod and armor have matching Solar, Arc, or Void elemental symbols. Since the element tied to an armor piece is determined randomly when the armor is obtained, players have long felt there is too much chance involved in hunting down the perfect armor set. The ability to manually change an armor piece’s Elemental Affinity will mitigate some of that frustrating randomness, but doing so won’t be cheap.
For an armor piece of the base level (with only a single Energy slot available), changing Affinity will cost only one of Destiny 2′s Upgrade Modules, normally used for infusing armor to increase its power level. But for higher-level armor with more Energy slots, players will need to spend all the upgrade materials needed to get the armor up to that Energy level, in addition to the single Upgrade Module. For example, changing the Affinity of a Masterworked (10-Energy) helmet would cost one Upgrade Module, 25 Legendary Shards, three Enhancement Cores, three Enhancement Prisms, one Ascendant Shard, and a whole lot of Glimmer – on top of the same number of materials the player potentially used to Masterwork the helmet in the past.
This will be a very expensive process, but it’s not entirely unreasonable. Players will be able to find a perfect armor set more easily – especially since Destiny 2‘s next season will allow players to slot any seasonal armor mod into any seasonal armor piece – but the high cost prevents them from getting the perfect set too quickly. Guardians will essentially have to grind for materials like they’re upgrading a whole new set of armor, which keeps them from immediately completing their goals and having no reason to keep playing. Alternatively, players can plan ahead and just actually grind for a new set, changing the armor’s Affinity when it’s not yet upgraded to ensure they won’t need double materials. The change will still require significant investment from Destiny 2 players looking for a perfect set, but it will be a needed quality-of-life improvement for those without infinite time to hunt for random rolls.
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Destiny 2′s next season begins on March 9, 2020.