Earning anything in Destiny 2 is a grind at the best of times, but that is especially true when it comes to trying to unlock any one of the weapons exclusively available through the Vanguard Nightfall playlist and Zavala’s dangerous Nightfall Strikes. If you want to get your hands on one of the currently available Destiny 2 Nightfall weapons, you’re going to have a tough time of it; and, the RNG mechanic utilized by Bungie often makes all of your efforts meaningless, anyway. This is a system that needs changing, and it needs changing soon.
Bungie’s Destiny 2 is one of the best FPS games available at the moment and, when you look at all the new PS5 games and new Xbox games out there at the moment, it’s still a game worth putting some hours into. However, it’s far from perfect and the longer you play, the more frustration you can find in the systems in place – particularly when it comes to trying to add the Nightfall weapons to your best Destiny 2 Titan build, your best Destiny 2 Hunter build, or even your best Destiny 2 Warlock build. These weapons often have the potential to be among the best Destiny 2 weapons you can earn at any given time, but unlocking one is very time-consuming and, when you do unlock one, you’re never actually guaranteed that the Nightfall weapon you get will come with stats that improve upon your currently equipped arsenal.
If luck is not on your side after completing a Nightfall Strike, and you don’t get the prized weapon drop, then you will need to earn five Vanguard Engrams (best earned in Nightfall playlist activities) and then trade those five Nightfall Engrams with Zavala in The Tower for a Nightfall weapon. Earning five Vanguard Engrams can take you two Nightfall Strikes if you’re lucky, but it could take you up to four or five; the drop rate of Vanguard Engrams during Nightfall playlist activities is not a guarantee. And, these activities are some of the hardest in the game, offering up a challenge with a recommended Power 10 below the Pinnacle Cap or Powerful Cap with multiple modifiers active at any one time.
And, without even considering how difficult these activities are in comparison to standard activities in other playlists, you’re actually required to spend five Vanguard Engrams on one weapon. To put this into some context, you can trade one standard or Exotic Engram with Rahool in The Tower to get one weapon or cosmetic – a much better rate of return for your efforts.
With the current drop rate of Vanguard Engrams in Nightfall playlist activities so low and often inconsistent, the difficulty of these Nightfall playlist activities so high, and no guarantee that the Nightfall weapon you unlock when you trade in five Vanguard Engrams for a Nightfall weapon is going to be any better than what you have already, it’s a system that hardly seems worth anyone’s time and something that Bungie should look to change ahead of the Destiny 2 The Final Shape release date.
As this recent post on r/DestinyTheGame shows, we’re not alone in this school of thought and regular Destiny 2 players are finding the rate at which you earn Vanguard Engrams – and the rewards those Vanguard Engrams eventually yield – both frustrating and disappointing.
“I’ve seen people saying they’re swimming in Engrams… but I’m literally getting fewer than last season”, one disgruntled fan explains – to which several others agree and state that the actual number of Vanguard Engrams that drop compared to Engrams related to content from previous seasons is “tiny”.
When it comes to the supposed increase in the Engram drop rate which Bungie mentioned prior to the Destiny 2 Season 23 release date, “there is not a substantial difference at all” another player attests. With inconsistent RNG systems employed and no guarantee when it comes to loot drops, it’s hard to say just how many Vanguard Engrams everyone is getting and even harder to say what they’re getting from those Vanguard Engrams when they trade them in. However, it’s clear that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the system in its current form and that dissatisfaction is entirely justified.
With each Nightfall Strike taking players anywhere from ten or 15 minutes at an easier difficulty to around an hour on higher difficulties, you really can spend a long time getting the weapon you want, or enough Vanguard Engrams for the Focusing system for Nightfall weapons. If you’re having a bad run of luck when it comes to Vanguard Engram drops, too, you could be there even longer. And, with all of these Nightfall weapon unlocks adhering to the same RNG system as the standard loot pools available, your chances of getting a ‘god roll’ from one are slim at best.
One rather simple way Bungie could improve the current system without actually introducing any major changes would be to lower the number of Vanguard Engrams required to unlock a Nightfall weapon. Even if this number was lowered by one, to four rather than five, it would feel like a significant improvement and would make the whole thing a lot less painful. Alternatively, Bungie could guarantee that everyone playing a Nightfall playlist activity earns at least two Vanguard Engrams upon completion. This would still mean you have to finish at least three to unlock a Nightfall weapon, which might be one more than people would like, but it would guarantee a Nightfall weapon at regular intervals.
Will anything like this actually happen, though? Well, we doubt that. Bungie has a lot on its plate ahead of The Final Shape and we’re not sure this is an issue that would be deemed ‘high priority’ by the developer. If you want to check out the current rotation of Destiny 2 Season 23 Nightfall weapons, you can right here.
However, if you’re looking for a new armament to add to your arsenal, you really should be trying to get your hands on the Destiny 2 Wish-Keeper bow and the Destiny 2 Buried Bloodline Exotic. Both of these weapons promise to be powerful options and have a very high chance of being a lot better than anything you earn spending Vanguard Engrams at the moment.