Destiny 2: How Weapons And Armor Are Changing In Year 4

Bungie plans to start sunsetting weapons and armor starting in Season 12 by introducing a new Maximum Power stat for infusion.

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Bungie is dropping more and more details about its plans for Destiny 2's next content year, including how it means to change the progression of its weapons and armor. Starting in the fall season, Destiny 2 gear will come with a power cap that effectively gives them a lifespan, dictating how long you can use them--and when you'll have to move on to something else.

The changes are detailed in the developer's This Week at Bungie blog post, which runs down how weapons and armor will be shifted starting in Season 12 this fall. The gist is that weapons and armor pieces at the legendary level, which compose most of a player's go-to equipment, will come with a new stat: a maximum Power level. That maximum will be whatever Destiny 2's Power cap will be three seasons into the future, effectively marking the end of that equipment's usefulness for endgame activities.

It's an alteration to how gear works that effectively means you'll need to farm up new armor and weapons every so often, instead of just relying on your favorite (or best) pieces indefinitely. Destiny 2 determines your character's overall lethality and damage resistance as an average of the "Power" level of each piece of armor you equip, and you're able to cannibalize new gear with higher stats to raise the level of your older, better gear with the game's Infusion system. That allows you to increase the levels of your favorite gear so you use it in higher-level activities, such as Raids.

Bungie raises the Power cap in Destiny 2 periodically, requiring you to play to get better gear and increase your character's overall strength to handle endgame activities. But an ongoing problem, according to director Luke Smith, is that Bungie is constantly adding new weapons and armor to the game, but players don't necessarily need or use them when they already have what's considered "best."

Once the new changes are in place, you'll only be able to infuse gear up to its set maximum Power level, which will match the Power cap three seasons after the item is first released. After that, the Power cap will keep going up, but you'll need new gear to match it, effectively retiring the old stuff. Bungie says that should encourage players to try new guns and armor and experiment with new character builds, instead of just sitting on the same old gear they've been playing with for years.

We'll start to see the new system in play next season, when weapons and armor get the new Maximum Power stat, but the actual changes won't go into effect until Season 12 and the start of Destiny 2's Year 4. It'll start to have effects pretty soon, though--everything from before Shadowkeep will have its max Power level set to the Season 11 Power cap, which means it'll start to be obsolete in the fall with Season 12. Everything from Shadowkeep forward will be viable for a full year from when it was released, so Season of Dawn gear will last until the Winter 2020 season, Season of the Worthy gear will be good until Spring 2021, and Season 11 gear will last until Summer 2021.

The good news is, Exotics are exempt from this new change--they won't get a max Power cap. Armor and weapons from the Last Wish and Garden of Salvation raids also get an exemption to make them last longer than most other legendary gear. But for everything else, the timer of planned obsolescence is about to start.

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