Destiny 2 Update Makes Exotic Engram Changes, Raises Power Cap, More

There are a host of quality-of-life tweaks coming with the Season of Dawn's update next week.

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The Season of Dawn is almost here in Destiny 2, and as is usually the case with a new content season, Bungie is making a bunch of changes and additions to the game with an update that also adds its new activities. We already knew that Dawn would see tweaks to various character subclasses, but now we have a better sense of what else will change when the new season drops on Tuesday, as well. Here's what to expect from the new patch launching alongside Season of Dawn on December 10 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. [Update: Bungie has released update 2.7.0 and Season of Dawn is officially available. Among the first things you'll want to do is make your way through the A Matter of Time quest, which unlocks both the Sundial and this season's artifact, and our guide to The Dawning recipes.]

The developer dropped the details in its This Week at Bungie blog post, giving a sense of everything we can expect from the update. First and foremost is the tweak that will affect players as they climb toward the endgame: the Power cap. That's the overall rating of your character's strength based on the gear you possess. In the current season, the Season of the Undying, the soft Power cap is 950, which is only accessible by getting weekly "Powerful" gear drops for completing certain activities. The hard Power cap, the highest you can get your gear in Undying, is 960, and it requires you to complete the toughest endgame content, like the Garden of Salvation raid, to receive "Pinnacle" drops. In the Season of Dawn, the soft cap rises to 960, while the hard cap will reach 970.

Bungie is also introducing a bunch of useful quality-of-life changes to Destiny 2 alongside the new season, and one major one is a change to how Exotic Engrams work. These are rare, random drops you get as you play the game that give out Exotic weapons and armor, the best and most unique stuff in Destiny 2. Right now, Exotic Engrams give a random Exotic item (not including the ones you need to earn by completing specific quests or activities). Meanwhile, you can buy Fated Engrams from Xur, Destiny 2's weekend Exotics vendor, which gives you an Exotic you don't already have for that particular character class.

In the Season of Dawn, Exotic Engrams and Fated Engrams become the same thing. When you receive an Exotic Engram while playing the game normally, it'll no longer just dish out a random item--it'll give you something you don't already have for that character. Once you have everything available to that specific character class, the engrams will once again drop random Exotic armor. That should make it a lot easier to fill up your collection without a struggle, while still allowing you to try to find the best possible stats for your Exotic armor over time.

Destiny 2 Season 9 - Season of Dawn Content Calendar
Destiny 2 Season 9 - Season of Dawn Content Calendar

Bungie's making some changes to bounties with the new season that will make leveling up and earning certain rewards a little easier, too. The Gunsmith will now offer repeatable bounties, and his weekly bounties for completing Crucible, Strike, and Gambit matches will be simplified so that you don't have to do each activity every week. A bunch of Crucible bounties will have easier-to-fulfill requirements as well.

There are a lot more little tweaks coming with the Season of Dawn, according to Bungie--including some improvements to the Eververse store that will make the premium currency store more transparent. Check out the full list of changes below.

Destiny 2 Season of Dawn Update Changes

Rewards

  • Increased the drop rate of the “Scourge of the Past” raid Exotic weapon Anarchy from 5% to 10%
  • The Exotic Engram and the Fated Engram have been collapsed into a single new Exotic Engram item
  • When opened, it awards a new Exotic if any remain to be collected; otherwise, it contains a random piece of Exotic armor
  • Note: Contents are still class-specific

Powerful and Pinnacle Reward Caps

  • Powerful Cap: 960, up from 950
  • Pinnacle Cap: 970, up from 960

Escalation Protocol

  • Escalation Protocol wave 7 chest no longer requires a key to open
    • Chest can be opened upon every successful completion of wave 7
    • Each time opening the chest awards one piece of EP armor for your character class until you have the full set
    • After full set is acquired, subsequent opening of the chest awards a random piece of armor
  • Charged Decryption Keys and Key Fragments are being removed from the game; these items will be removed from player inventories
    • Armory keys to spawn Valkyrie Javelins are unchanged and will remain
  • EP weapon drops were not touched and are still cumulative-stream boss drops

Weapon Mods

  • The cost of slotting a weapon mod has been reduced from 5,000 Glimmer to 500 Glimmer
  • Fixed an issue where Ada-1 could grant duplicate weapon mods

Bounties

  • Repeatable bounties have been added to the Gunsmith
  • Merged strike/Crucible/Gambit objectives on the Gunsmith weekly bounty "Field Calibration" into a single objective that shares progress from all sources
  • Removed Valor/Infamy and Vanguard tokens from "Field Calibration" as there is no longer a requirement for any of these linked activities
  • Added new mode-specific daily Crucible bounties (one per day, selected from full-time playlists and active rotators)
  • Reduced the completion requirements of several daily and repeatable Crucible bounties
  • Removed grenade and melee bounties from the Crucible bounty repeatable pool

Striker Code of the Missile (Middle Path)

  • Thundercrash
    • Increased base damage from 2,700 to 3,200
    • Increased in-flight damage from 100 to 200
    • Slightly increased the amount of time you have in the air after activation

Nightstalker Way of the Pathfinder (Bottom Path)

  • Vanish in Smoke
    • Added a short period (0.8 seconds) after the invisibility is applied where firing weapons or performing other actions will not break invisibility
      • This should help prevent allies from accidentally breaking invisibility the moment it’s granted to them if unexpected

Voidwalker Attunement of Fission (Middle Path)

  • Handheld Supernova
    • Adjusted grenade charge time so it lines up with the animations and FX; this should make it feel more consistent to activate

Crucible Maps

  • Added Rusted Lands to appropriate playlists
  • Added The Dead Cliffs, Legion’s Gulch, Retribution, and Solitude to appropriate playlists
  • Removed Emperor’s Respite, Equinox, Firebase Echo, and Vostok from all Crucible playlists
    • These maps are still available for play in private matches
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