Destiny's in-game microtransaction storefront 'Eververse', helmed by the lovely Tess Everis, is getting a major overhaul when Shadowkeep drops later this year.
Alongside the Armour 2.0 system that Bungie has been teasing to release alongside the major new expansion, Guardians will now see Eververse amour become focused around a new system called "universal ornaments." Instead of supplying armour and gear that comes equipped with its own statistics and perks, Eververse's focus will now move to "overhauling" the look of armour.
In essence, Eververse is going from giving out good-looking armour that doesn't really have much in-game value beyond how sweet your Guardian looks, to re-skinning powerful legendary gear that you may actually want to wear if you're heading into the Crucible or a major Raid.
"It stinks to go to the Eververse store and see an item that looks cool and then seeing that the item has bad perks on it," Bungie game director Luke Smith said during the Eververse announcement.
"In fact, when we’re setting up the armour, we’d twist ourselves up in knots to make sure the Eververse armour sets didn’t have good perks. We did this because we want the best way to get sweet perks on your armour to be by playing the game, not shopping for enhanced Hand Cannon loaders at Tess. The root cause is that Eververse armour has always had perks/gameplay capability as a part of the package.
"We’re done with that. As of this September, all Eververse armour is being converted into Universal Ornaments. These Universal Ornaments can be applied to all of the Legendary armour sets we’re releasing this Fall. They override the look of your equipped gear while preserving the perks, mods, and stats of the original item."
That's not the only big change coming to Eververse, however. One of the storefront's current currency, Bright Dust, is also copping a major overhaul to bring it in line with Bungie's new ideas of how to approach the in-game monetisation of the ongoing franchise.
"Historically, the best way to earn Bright Dust in Destiny 2 has been to buy a bunch of Bright Engrams, shard everything from the engrams, build a giant bankroll of Bright Dust and then spend it when the Warlock Dire Ahamkara helmet shows up the Bright Dust row in the last week of the season. We’re going to change this," Smith promised in the announcement.
"This Fall we’re changing Bright Dust from a pay- and/or play-to-earn currency to a play-to-earn reward. We’re adding Bright Dust as a reward for completing Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit bounties. We want all players to earn Dust for playing, not for spending money and destroying a bunch of items in their inventory. After you complete all your bounties for the week, there will be an additional avenue to keep grinding out Bright Dust."
The new change will see Guardians now collecting Bright Dust from activities in the game, rather than just dusting up Silver-purchased items from the Eververse. Bungie no longer wants people buying items they don't want, just for the chance to craft items that they do want.
Right now, the Eververse is geared towards a similar system to Blizzard's Hearthstone, which isn't surprising considering Activision and Blizzard are almost the same entity these days. In that popular card-game, you can only buy randomised packs that can be dusted for a small amount of the in-game currency. That can then be turned into the cards you really want, but sometimes you have to buy three, four, or five times as many cards as you need to get the one you want.
Does it make money? Hell yes. Blizzard reportedly made more than $1.5 billion last quarter. That said, Bungie is clearly moving away from the money-first ideologies that had taken root pre-separation. Now, the focus has turned to keeping Guardians enjoying the game and grinding, long into the future.
Bungie will release Destiny 2: Shadowkeep with these Eververse changes on Sept. 17 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The Google Stadia version won’t arrive until later this year.
So what do you think? Is this the right call from Bungie in regards to their in-game MTX?