The Excitement of Destiny 2 Seasonal Artifacts
Anarchy, the dominant exotic heavy grenade launcher in endgame PvE, was already incredibly powerful before the arrival of this season’s grenade launcher mods. However, the 25 armor mods contained in the Seasonal Artifact of Destiny 2 offer a treasure trove of possibilities for buildcrafters like myself. They introduce previously impossible synergies and allow us to unleash devastating abilities. In other words, we get to do some ridiculously overpowered stuff.
Unlocking Mods and Building Loadouts
The mods are arranged in a 5×5 grid and can be unlocked by earning XP. As you progress from left to right, the options become more enticing. The first few columns offer a variety of anti-champion mods, discounted ammo scavengers, and weapon reloaders. While these may not be the most thrilling, they encourage players to experiment with loadouts they may not have considered before. For example, the current season heavily focuses on grenade launchers, which, with the right mods unlocked, can stagger Unstoppable Champions and debuff them using the incredibly strong ‘Breach And Clear’ mod, which also reloads all stowed weapons. It’s a game-changer.
The Impact on Weapon Diversity
The Artifact mods have made running at least one grenade launcher a no-brainer. This could potentially lead to a lack of weapon diversity. However, we know that the Artifact will expire in 63 days, and something else will replace Grenade Launchers as the go-to choice. Personally, I believe linear fusion rifles, which recently received a damage buff, could be the next big thing.
Unique Builds and the Real Action
The final two columns of the grid are where the real action happens. These are the mods that enable unique builds. For this season, mods like ‘Warmind’s Decree’ spawn Warmind Cells from void splash damage, which can wipe out entire rooms of enemies with a single click. Being able to create Warmind Cells using weapons like the exotic rocket launcher Deathbringer or the void grenade launcher Truthteller is truly game-changing.
Another intriguing mod is ‘Energy Accelerant,’ which significantly boosts the explosions generated by perks like Firefly, Dragonfly, and Chain Reaction. However, there seems to have been an oversight during testing, as certain weapons that shouldn’t benefit from this mod, such as the Ruinous Effigy trace rifle and the Titan-only sword Crown Splitter, are still doing tremendous damage.
The Limitations of Unlocking Mods
Here’s the catch: each character is only allowed to unlock 12 out of the 25 mods, and only two from the final column. So, as a Warlock, I cannot have Breach And Clear, Warmind’s Decree, and Energy Accelerant unlocked simultaneously. Bungie may argue that this limitation encourages meaningful choices in building loadouts, but I believe it hampers the overall goal of the Artifact.
The whole point of the Artifact is to encourage experimentation and help players discover the fun of delving into the mod system and its synergies. By locking out the majority of options, the design of the Artifact is actually hindering its purpose. Additionally, the game already has systems in place to restrict mod combinations in terms of costs and armor slots.
The Sense of Waste and Missed Potential
The worst part is the sense of waste on Bungie’s part. They design cool mods that end up going unused because they are slightly less potent than other options. The usage stats speak for themselves. According to data from Braytech.org, 40.77% of guardians have Breach And Clear unlocked, while Impulse Recycler sits at 9.43% and Glacial Inheritance at a disappointing 3.88%.
Bungie has multiple ways of preventing problematic mod combos, such as the number of mod slots and corresponding affinities on armor. By being so stingy with unlocks, they are giving players less incentive to log on and grind for the mods, which goes against the whole point of the Artifact.
The Cost of Resetting and the Anti-Fun Factor
Players can choose to hard reset their Artifact, particularly at the start of the season when they are still figuring out what works best for their builds. However, the cost of resetting increases each time. Currently, I am facing an 87,500 glimmer bill to reset on my Warlock. Although there is a cap of 100k, it is still prohibitively expensive, considering the maximum glimmer capacity across the entire account is 250k.
Considering that the Artifact’s aim is to encourage experimentation and shift the meta, it is hard to justify why its restrictions are so punitive and anti-fun. Is glimmer scarcity really such a problem that the game needs a sink to remove it? I don’t think so.
An Open Plea to Bungie
Most of the time, players offering design solutions may not be aware of technical considerations. However, unless there are significant limitations, the answer here seems relatively simple. Bungie should drop the cost scaling and allow us to unlock everything each season. This would truly empower players to experiment and fully utilize all the mods available. Let’s take the Artifact system to its full potential, Bungie.
The Destiny 2 Seasonal Artifact is an exciting feature that enhances gameplay possibilities. However, the limitations on unlocking mods and the scaling cost of resetting the Artifact hinder the overall experience. Bungie has an opportunity to improve player satisfaction by allowing more flexibility and removing unnecessary restrictions. Embracing the spirit of experimentation, the Artifact system can become even more engaging and rewarding for players.