Destiny 2: The Witch Queen – Weapon Crafting Is Fun, But Needs Changes – Screen Rant

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen’s exciting new weapon crafting system mostly works well, but a few changes could make it even better for players.
Over seven years after the start of the franchise, Destiny 2 finally added weapon crafting in its Witch Queen expansion. This new system is an exciting change to the game, as avenues for acquiring loot have remained largely unchanged since Destiny 2 launch in 2017. Crafting in its current form isn’t perfect, however, and a handful of changes over the coming months could greatly improve the player experience.
Destiny‘s weapon sandbox is an essential piece of the game. Each legendary weapon possesses five weapon perks. Two of these subtly modify a weapon’s base stat like range, handling, and reload speed, while the three more provide powerful situational bonuses that can greatly differentiate how two guns feel and perform. Players acquire these weapons in two primary ways – decrypting Engrams dropped by slain enemies and acquiring loot drops from chests and completed activities. While specific weapons are granted by specific activities, the weapons actually dropped are largely random – as are the perks these weapons roll with (each weapon has a pool of potential perks, usually between five to 10 per perk slot, and The Witch Queen added a fifth perk slot that stays consistent on each unique roll of the same weapon). This degree of randomness often makes acquiring weapons with desirable perks difficult, especially with the sheer volume of weapons added in each Destiny 2 each season.
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Fortunately, Bungie has over time added ways for players to target specific loot. Umbral Engrams, added in Season of Arrivals, can be focused, narrowing the breadth of what the resulting weapon could be; multiple seasons of iteration have turned Umbral Engrams into a reliable source of gear from specific seasons. Most recently, The Witch Queen has added a system for crafting weapons, designated Weapon Shaping, allowing players to create specific weapons exactly to their liking, chasing down community-designated “god-rolls” or their favorite combinations of perks.
Shaping a weapon in Destiny 2 is fairly complex. First, players need crafting currencies, or elements, acquired from progressing Deepsight Resonance – a meter that some random drop weapons might have that completes as the weapon is used. Additionally, players need the Pattern for the weapon they seek to craft. Some Patterns, like Destiny 2’s Ragnhild-D shotgun, are easy to acquire by progressing The Witch Queen‘s main quest; others require completing several Deepsight Resonance meters on drops of the same weapon. Once they have both currency and a Pattern, players can shape a weapon at the Enclave on Mars.
Shaping the weapon isn’t the end, however – when a weapon is first shaped, only a handful of perks are available to choose from. By continually using the shaped version of a weapon, players unlock more perks, which can be accessed by reshaping the weapon, swapping out old traits for new ones. If a player progresses a weapon far enough they unlock enhanced versions of its perks, improving the weapon’s capabilities even further.
The Weapon Shaping system does a lot of things right – first and foremost, it allows players to work towards specific gear more than ever before. This is especially important now, as powerful mods and abilities like Destiny 2 Volatile Rounds allow for more buildcrafting than previously available in Destiny. The shift away from random luck and towards a progression track rewards dedicated players for their time investment, and allows players to experiment with perks more freely than before, as every perk available on a craftable weapon is obtainable with enough crafting currency.
Like any game or system, Weapon Shaping isn’t without its faults. Bungie has acknowledged this, already having made slight tweaks to the system with more announced for future updates. A hotfix released on March 22 greatly increased the maximum amounts of each crafting currency that players could hold, as players were encountering the cap quite quickly; in the upcoming Season 17, Bungie will be removing the specific types of these currencies, citing low player interest in differentiating between them. This is undeniably a positive change, as specific crafting elements hardly impact the Weapon Shaping experience and players likely have better things to do than farming for crafting materials.
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These issues exist beyond the currencies, however. Acquisition of Deepsight Resonance weapons and the variety of shapeable weapons also negatively affect Weapon Shaping and likely should be addressed. The majority of Shaping’s benefits are a result of giving players more agency over how they spend their time in Destiny; unfortunately, the system still relies on random drops, as Deepsight Resonance weapons are required for crafting and guaranteed sources are few and far between. This problem is only further magnified by the number of completed Deepsight Resonance weapons actually required to unlock Patterns – while some weapons require two or three, each weapon from The Witch Queen‘s new Vow of the Disciple raid requires five. Destiny 2 raid weapons are already rarer rewards, as players have a limited number of opportunities to acquire them each week, the activities that drop them are notably more difficult than most of what Destiny offers, and weapons are never guaranteed to drop from encounters, much less drop with Deepsight. A bit of random chance is par for the course for Destiny, but ensuring that players can more reliably access the new crafting system would be ideal.
As for weapon variety, Weapon Shaping’s initial offerings as of Season 16 are acceptable but far from impressive. Destiny 2 has 18 different types of weapons – rapid-fire auto rifles, revolver-like hand cannons, the newly-added glaives, and more. Most of these categories have one or two craftable legendary weapons, with 25 total and a few categories missing entirely – there are zero craftable swords or hand cannons, though the crafting menu suggests that a sword may become available in the upcoming Guardian Games event. Future seasons will almost certainly add more weapons, but it would also be nice if Bungie could retroactively make certain older weapons shapeable, especially as previously removed Destiny 2 gear has been reissued in the past.
Bungie updates Destiny 2 frequently, so many of these issues will likely be ironed out in the coming months. Bungie’s weekly news articles have acknowledged some of Weapon Shaping’s present flaws, and while larger changes may have to wait for seasonal content drops, small adjustments may come even sooner. Overall, Weapon Shaping is a huge step for Destiny 2: The Witch Queen and may play a key piece in the expansion’s ability to keep players engaged until Lightfall and The Final Shape.
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Petra Jarrett is a contributing writer for games features who joined the site in February 2022. In 2021 she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Game Design and has significant experience examining and writing about game systems and experiences. In her spare time, Petra designs Dungeons & Dragons adventures, enjoys hikes, and plays board games with her family.


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