Bungie announced plans to retire some weapons from Destiny 2. A few months later, on May 14, the studio revealed detailed plans on how the weapon “sunset” system will actually work, and that players should expect it this fall. While some players are in-favor of retiring old weapons, a vocal group of Destiny fans are concerned about losing their favorite weapons. But MMOs require change to survive, and Bungie claims it needs to start sunsetting weapons to improve Destiny 2.
Last year, game director Luke Smith mentioned potentially removing one of the two Gambit modes from the game. There’s a solid rumor — now with in-game evidence — that Bungie could be blowing up one of the game’s older planets to make room for new stuff. And the Guardian home base, the Tower, may have a spaceship dropped on top of it in only a matter of weeks.
But the biggest upcoming change is weapon sunsetting. Starting in the fall, all weapons will have a maximum power level, and increasing a given gun beyond that level will be impossible. Under this new system, Destiny guns will stick around for a year, and then cease being viable in endgame content like raids and Nightfalls.
Because of how Destiny works, this doesn’t mean sunset weapons are useless. Players can still use weaker weapons in the Crucible, in patrols, in older Strikes, and in older story missions (to name just a few). But those who want to play raids, Trials of Osiris, and other activities that require high-end gear need to use new guns to be competitive.
The announcement upset fans because every weapon in Destiny feels unique. Even if two weapons have the exact same archetype and perks, they will each feel slightly different in a player’s hand. Everyone has their favorite set of weapons because everyone’s preferences for what feels good are different. And for some players, it took a lot of in-game time to pick up the perfect roll on their favorite gun. Losing so much investment every year is difficult for them to accept.
But even if the idea of weapon sunsetting stings for players, it may need to happen for Destiny to grow.
For the longest time, players — and Bungie — didn’t want to call Destiny a MMO franchise. But after its split with Activision, the studio started using the term to describe their game. Destiny has always fit the MMO mold, but now it’s time for fans to embrace a core aspect of every MMO: change.
In World of Warcraft, players collect statistically more powerful weapons each patch, and then fight statistically more powerful enemies. Destiny weapons also use stats like range, impact (damage), and reload speed to partially measure their usefulness. But perks are often what makes a weapon more desirable than another in Destiny….