Any avid Destiny 2 player knows the struggle of trying to tick off a specific Exotic armour piece from their wishlist to complete a build, whether it’s Fallen Sunstar to be the cherry on top for any Arc Warlock build, or the Heart of Inmost Light for, well, any Titan build. But the fun doesn’t end there, as not only do you need that specific Exotic item, you also want it to have excellent stat rolls. A bad stat distribution can make even the best Destiny 2 armour pieces worthless. Welcome to the pits of RNG hell. Though, there is a solution hiding in plain sight.
Bungie has dedicated itself to overhauling several key features of Destiny 2 with the launch of Lightfall, from improving the New Light experience through Guardian Ranks, to reworking the entire Armour Mod system and the wider build-crafting experience. These are, without a doubt, among the biggest and most requested changes since the launch of Destiny 2, yet there’s one aspect of the build-crafting experience that has been seemingly left behind: how we acquire the Exotic armour pieces that are integral to our builds.
Currently, Exotic armour is primarily earned through completing Legendary Lost Sectors. These are short yet challenging encounters that feature plenty of enemies, Champions, and a boss at the end, but must be completed solo to qualify for Exotic drops. Defeating the boss and claiming the chest in the final room will reward you with loot, including (if you’re lucky) an Exotic armour piece.
The major annoyance with this system is the randomness and grind. Legendary Lost Sectors rotate each day, with new mission modifiers, locations, and a different Exotic armour type up for grabs. One day the Legendary Lost Sector might drop Exotic leg armour, and the next Exotic arms. If you’re wanting a specific armour piece, say a helmet, then you’ll have to wait until the designated Lost Sector helmet day and hope you get lucky to earn an Exotic, let alone the one you want with the stats you’re looking for. You can find yourself completing Legendary Lost Sectors back to back, earning nothing of value to you at all and making the experience a slog. Legendary Lost Sectors are not currently a viable use of your time, yet they are more or less the only way to get Exotic armour besides buying it from Xur, if he happens to even be selling it.
There is, however, a good solution to this system and it’s one that already exists elsewhere in the game – the Umbral Focusing system. The Umbral Focusing system used for Seasonal gear gives players the opportunity to decrypt Umbral Engrams into an item of their choice, such as a specific Seasonal weapon or armour piece, for a high cost. Good stat rolls are not guaranteed, but a player’s end goals become much more tangible. Right now though, this system only features Seasonal gear, not Exotic armour.
If the Engram Focusing mechanic was applied to Exotic Engrams, and Legendary Lost Sectors were to drop Exotic Engrams rather than gear pieces, then players could decrypt these rewards into the Exotic armour piece they’re aiming for, providing an effective method of target farming. This removes the layers upon layers of RNG while maintaining a sense of progression; players will still have to complete Legendary Lost Sectors to earn Exotic Engrams but they can now guarantee they will be able to get their hands on the piece of gear they want.
An Exotic Focusing mechanic could also be expanded to give players the opportunity to re-roll bad stat distributions on Exotic armour, hopefully turning a bad item into a much better one with a bit of luck. The material used to do so could be earned through endgame activities such as Legendary Lost Sectors, Grandmaster Nightfalls, Dungeons, and Raids. This would further tie the whole experience together, with players having a direct path to chase the gear they want.
Being one of the most requested changes, an Exotic armour Focusing system would effectively remove the arduous grind that blocks many players, particularly newer players, from creating the best Destiny 2 Titan builds, Warlock builds, and Hunter builds. With Bungie placing great emphasis on build-crafting over the past year with several massive overhauls to the subclasses, the upcoming changes to Mods, and the introduction of Loadouts, an Exotic armour Focusing system seems like a must if Bungie want to keep the grind in check for Lightfall.