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Destiny 2’s Disastrous Armor Transmog Is The Surest Sign Yet That Bungie Needs Your Cash

Let’s talk about Destiny 2’s incoming transmog system, or “Armor Synthesis” as Bungie prefers to call it. Revealed in last week’s TWAB, Armor Synthesis promises to allow players to create Universal Ornaments out of any armor in their collections–but only 10 per season (20 next season).

There were a couple of other pain points around Armor Synthesis, like a few Year One armors that can’t be made into ornaments as well as what seems to be a needlessly complicated four-step process to completing a single ornament that also adds three new resources to a game that’s only just recently gotten rid of its unnecessary resources, but it’s the artificial hard cap that seems to be catching the most flak.

There’s a lot of pent-up demand for something like armor transmog in Destiny 2. I myself have often wished for some means of making my high-stat armor look like something more desirable, and I have even gone as far as accepting a lesser armor piece as part of my build just because it looked nicer.

And I’m certainly not alone here. Ever since Bungie announced armor transmog almost a year ago, players have been eagerly awaiting its arrival by planning out all the various armor combinations that might lead to a cool new fashion statement for their Guardians.

To be told that you’ll only be able to turn four full sets of armor into ornaments next season and two more full sets of armor each season thereafter, it stings. But not as much as being told that you can get around that ornament limit by spending some cash.

For the low price of 1000 Silver (roughly $10 USD), players can turn another five pieces of armor into a set of Universal Ornaments through Armor Synthesis without dealing with the 10-piece limit or the complicated process of doing it the free-to-play way. Considering how eager Destiny 2 players have been for transmog, it’s about as blatant a cash grab as anything Bungie has ever done.

Bungie’s argument for the transmog price is that it’s still cheaper than buying a new set of Eververse armor (which is typically 1500 Silver), and you can even ornamentalize one armor piece at a time for the low price of 300 Silver ($3 USD). Neither of which would really be an issue if players could just keep grinding out armors to their hearts’ content, but forcing players to spend money if they want to unlock their entire collection as ornaments feels like a low blow.

And no, simply waiting several seasons to unlock a trickle of armor ornaments at a time isn’t really an option. There are over 370 armor sets in Destiny 2 currently, and at two armor sets per season times four seasons per year, it’d take over 46 years to unlock them all.

Obviously, no one is going to want to unlock their entire collection for use as ornaments, but the message from Bungie on transmog is clear: for truly fashion-conscious Guardians, spending money is the only option.

It’s also clear that Bungie sees Armor Synthesis as a huge potential moneymaker, and Bungie is a developer that is currently in need of a lot of money. Bungie has been working on unannounced IPs for years, and with the current hiring spree that seems to be going on, they need to actually start spending real cash to bring at least one of these IPs out of the shadows.

Along with new games, Bungie has a massive new office expansion in the works, a new Amsterdam satellite planned for 2022, new board members to appease, and even talks with production studios about a possible TV adaptation of Destiny.

All of Bungie’s hopes and dreams are riding on one game right now, and that game is Destiny 2. So yeah, armor transmog is a blatant money grab, but Bungie needs Destiny 2 to be making bank right now, and monetizing the hell out of transmog is the best way to do it.

Bungie still needs to keep their players happy, of course, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to eventually see a Bright Dust alternative to going beyond the 10-per-season transmog cap. But that probably won’t be for a while–at least, not until the next big Destiny 2 expansion brings in another wave of cash.

Next: Everything You Need To Know About Destiny 2 In 2021

 

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