Your Questions Answered About Destiny’s New Gear And Leveling

by Matt Miller on Mar 30, 2016 at 09:54 AM

Today’s Destiny live stream has recently wrapped up, and the presentation offered some extensive details about changes coming to the game’s gear and progression loop. Last week, we showcased an interview with live events lead designer Ryan Paradis, who shared a number of details about new activities. This week, we’re here to explain what we learned from the live stream about how those activities will help you improve and customize your guardian.

After you have your questions answered, click here to explore a gallery of over 80 images of new gear and other goodies arriving with the April Update. 

What’s the new light value cap?

Players can now take their characters to a light value of 335. The previous cap was 320. Several in-game activities and rewards will help your character reach 330, but those last five light points are only going to be obtainable on gear from very particular activities.

So, which activities provide 335 Light gear?

Players have several different routes to pursue that elusive 335 cap, including Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, strike uniques, Prison of Elders Challenge of the Elders, and exotic engrams, which now have a chance to decrypt at 335. Court of Oryx can also provide 335 artifacts.

At launch, playing the King’s Fall raid on hard mode will offer gear up to 330. Shortly after the April update launches, a hotfix will change that, so that hard mode will offer 335 gear, and normal mode will offer gear up to 320.

How is infusion changing?

Up until now, infusion has provided a way to slowly advance gear up the ladder of light. Often, it would require multiple higher-level pieces to get a new armor piece up to the set level. 

That’s changing with the April update, through the introduction of a one-for-one light-value exchange when infusing. For instance, if you have an unwanted helmet at 335 light, and a helmet you like at 3 light, you can infuse the one into the other, and get your desired helmet instantly up to 335. No more complicated math, or wasting multiple high-level pieces only to find that you just missed your desired mark.

Next Page: The new chroma system for character customization

What new equipment can I get?

The live stream revealed several new armor sets. We know that each class will be able to obtain a full kit of Taken-themed armor. Some players had suggested prior to today’s reveal that the Taken appearance would come through a shader, but it sounds like guardians will instead be acquiring individual armor pieces. This is called the Desolute armor set.

In addition, each of the three factions (New Monarchy, Dead Orbit, and Future War Cult) will have a new full armor set for each class. 

We can look forward to a new set of armor for each class that is exclusive to the new sterling treasures, and that this armor can accept chroma. This new set is called the Spektar armor.

And what are chroma?

Chroma are a rediscovered aspect of golden-age tech. In game, they add up to a new cosmetic feature that applies colored lighting to certain pieces of weapon or armor. Chroma come in four colors – red, white, yellow, and blue. It offers a new way to customize some of your armor above and beyond shaders. An applied chroma remains consistent, even after you change your shader. 

Armor and weapon pieces may contain a node that lets you apply a particular color chroma. You can reroll what color this node accepts, but you then lose whatever existing chroma has already been applied to that node. It costs 100 glimmer to reroll a chroma node. Once you roll the color you like, you can apply the chroma from your supply of that color. In so doing, that chroma is consumed as it’s placed into the armor or weapon.

It’s worth noting that this new feature is the first way that Destiny has offered a way to customize certain weapons. It remains unclear exactly how many weapon and armor pieces can be affected by the application of chroma. 

You mentioned some new treasure boxes?

Yes, the new sterling treasures are a randomized loot pack that can be obtained through several methods. You get one each week for logging in, from the postmaster. You can obtain a second sterling treasure if you play one match of the weekly PvP playlist sometime during the week. You can get a third chest for your first completion of the level 41 Prison of Elders each week.  

You can also purchase a sterling treasure using Silver at the Eververse Trading Co. There appears to be no limit on how many chests you can obtain by spending real money in this way, and these items appear to cost 200 silver. 

What can I get in the sterling treasures?

Sterling treasures can contain a number of different rewards. You are guaranteed a new armor piece, but these armor pieces always drop at light value 3 – you’ll need to use infusion to get that gear up to a usable level. The available armor includes the new Taken-themed Desolute armor set, or an exclusive set of chroma armor called the Spektar set, which is only found within chests. 

In addition, there are several possible rewards in chests beyond the guaranteed armor. You can get reputation boosts from sterling treasures. Another reward you can find in a treasure box is 1-3 chroma. There’s also a new sparrow available through the sterling treasures, and two new ships. New class items are also a potential drop. 

Next Page: Which specific weapons are returning from Year One?

What specific new weapons and other armor can I look forward to in the April Update?

Several year-one exotics and legendaries are returning. During the stream, we saw both the Queenbreaker’s Bow exotic fusion rifle and the Lord of Wolves exotic shotgun, and more exotics are showing up through Destiny’s Instagram today, including the Patience and Time sniper rifle, the warlock’s Purifier Robes,  the Universal Remote shotgun, the Lucky Raspberry Hunter chest piece, and the Titan’s Eternal Warrior helmet.  

Several old favorite legendaries are also returning, including Shadow Price, Badger CCL, Lord High Fixer, Grim Citizen III, Saterienne Rapier, Devil You Know, The Swarm, Zombie Apocalypse, Two to the Morgue, LDR 1000, Longbow Synthesis, and The Comedian. These returning legendaries can be acquired Vanguard and Crucible reward packages, and they'll drop at a value up to 330 light.

We are also getting several new weapons from Prison of Elders, including the Lethe Noblesse, Her Revenge, and Her Fury. 

We also saw several Taken-themed weapons, including a Taken shotgun that is acquired from the new Taken variant of the Winter’s Run strike. The most exciting new weapon shown was a new Void-based sword with Taken effects on it. Another cool reveal was a new Taken Ghost, acquired through PoE’s Challenge of Elders.

Where am I going to store all these new armor and weapon pieces?

The armor, weapon, and general tabs in your vault are each getting a full new page of space. In effect, the vault is getting a third larger in each category.

Anything new with emotes?

Yep. As we’ve come to expect, Eververse Trading Co. has a new selection of emotes for purchase using real money. The new legendary purple emotes include a Club Dance, an Instructional Dance, a Do It expression, and a Kick Dance. There are also several new rare blue emotes, including Amazed, Praise the Light, Praise the Gun, Sumo, Bye-Bye, I Don’t Know, and Rude Taunt. 

In addition, after getting all four pieces of the Desolute Taken-style armor set, you are provided free access to a new emote called the Taken Shiver, which makes your character move in the freakish and off-kilter patterns of Taken enemies.

What else do we still have to learn about?

Next week, Bungie plans to offer the final details about the April update in advance of release. Expect to learn more about changes to the Crucible, as well as new balance adjustments to weapons and subclasses.