Every Destiny 2 player I know is either constantly strapped for Legendary Shards or utterly incapable of spending them fast enough, and between this wealth gap and the comically frequent Legendary Shard dupes, Bungie's gotten so sick of the currency that it's straight-up deleting it in The Final Shape after six years of – say it carefully – Sharding.
Bungie announced the MMO's megaton economy change in its latest blog post. "How many Legendary Shards do you have?" the developer asks, as Shard dupe profiteers casually avert their eyes and whistle inconspicuously. No matter how many Shards you've hoarded, they're all about to vanish. Start buying those raid banners now, folks. The good news is that nothing is replacing Legendary Shards. They're just... gone. Bungie says it wants to streamline Destiny 2's currencies, and just as cutting off my arms would technically streamline my torso, it's making drastic changes.
Just to hammer the point home, Bungie adds: "Couple the Legendary Shard wealth disparity with the fact that we have seen more than a few loopholes players have found to farm (our regards to Rahool and Eva Levante, as well as more recently to Ikora), we have made the decision that it’s time to simplify the economy by removing this currency from the game ... we truly believe their removal is in the best interest of both the game and the players."
The death of Legendary Shards will come in phases, starting next season, Season 23. First, the Monument to Lost Lights will no longer require Legendary Shards, letting "new and returning players unlock weapons they may have missed more easily than ever before."
Also beginning in Season 23, focusing ritual engrams will no longer require Legendary Shards – just Glimmer and engrams, as well as Trials of Osiris wins or Nightfall Ciphers for those endgame loot pools. The catch is that you'll need to spend a lot more engrams – an eye-watering five engrams to focus a single Nightfall reward, which is a huge jump from the current cost of one engram, and Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris will run you the same. Judging from the early disgruntled player responses, this already seems primed for a hasty discount in the next few months. If we're lucky, the engram drop rate will also be increased, but that's not how the Bungie monkey's paw usually works.
The Final Shape's launch in early 2024 will put the final nail in the Shard coffin. "We will be removing all the remaining Legendary Shard sources and costs from the game, which includes Collections, Trials Passages, rituals, vendor purchases, and many more," Bungie says, and it still doesn't feel real.
Glimmer is to Destiny 2 what gold is to MMOs like World of Warcraft, but Glimmer is so ridiculously easy to come by – albeit only by buying it with Legendary Shards, which is a scary realization – that Legendary Shards have traditionally been treated as the baseline currency that greases all the wheels, so this change is going to take some getting used to. The Glimmer economy is my immediate concern, especially without a Glimmer cap increase mentioned in this blog. Bungie's out of its mind if it thinks anyone is going to run Strikes or public events or whatever just for Glimmer, and this wouldn't be Destiny 2's first (or second, or third) currency disaster, but we'll have to see.
"To be totally clear, we will not be offering a currency exchange for stockpiled Legendary Shards," Bungie stresses. "The goal in removing Legendary Shards is to make Destiny 2 a more approachable and fair experience for all players. This is why we are not raising Glimmer prices for items or adding replacement costs to things that previously needed Legendary Shards." (Again, this still leaves engram focusing costs, but I digress.)
The rewards for dismantling gear are getting a tune-up to suit this new, Shard-free world of ours. Exact values are subject to change, but from Bungie's estimates it looks like you'll get more Glimmer and Enhancement Cores on average per item you break down. And since Xur will no longer deal in Legendary Shards either, the Exotic merchant is getting a revamp, but Bungie's keeping Nu Xur close to its chest for now.
There is some no-strings-attached good news for the Destiny economy in today's post. The already infamous Essence of Crota grind for the reprised Crota's End raid Exotic Necrochasm is getting the nerf that was obvious to anyone who's cleared the raid a single freaking time. As of September 19 you'll be guaranteed an Essence every run, with bonus drops on your first clear of the week. Killing Crota after a full run will also give you a shot at hitting the Essence lottery and instantly getting the 50 you need. This does enable the nightmare scenario of grinding out 49 of the things and then getting the big payout in an act of karmic cruelty, but that's Destiny for you.
Bungie's just handed out what may be the first and most expensive legally binding permaban, slapping a teenager accused of cheating and harassment with a $500,000 fine.