Bungie promised some changes to the economy of Destiny‘s endgame, and at least some of those changes are implemented in the latest patch for the game, v1.1, which is live now. In addition to an assortment of minor tweaks and fixes — no more knocking the Templar off of any ledges during the Vault of Glass raid, for one — is a major change to the way the game’s Exotic weapons and armor work.
The final upgrades for gold-colored exotic gear, only one of which can be equipped at a time in the armor and weapon categories, now depends on a new crafting material called “Exotic Shards.” These can be gotten by dismantling existing Exotic gear or purchasing one from Xur, Destiny‘s weekend-only vendor, for 7 Strange Coins, a rare currency in the game.
That’s not the only change to Exotics. Gold-tier weapons now start with a higher base damage stat, though that just means there’s a narrower upgrade range rather than higher damage totals overall. A number of specific Exotics were tweaked in one way or another as well: Thorn, Bad Juju, Hard Light, Suros Regime, Monte Carlo, MIDA Multi-Tool, Plan C, Hawkmoon, Red Death, Pocket Infinity, Vex Mythoclast, Invective, Ice Breaker, Patience and Time, Super Good Advice, and Truth (all changes detailed at Bungie.net).
In addition to all of that, the latest update also makes some changes to ease the strain of farming individual planets for more common crafting materials. Players now have the option of spending their accrued Vanguard and Crucible Marks — both special currencies earned for completing a range of tasks in PvE and PvP play — on “destination” crafting materials that can only be gotten on specific planets. For 10 marks of either persuasion, you get 20 of whichever crafting material you desire (Spinmetal, Helium Fragments, Spirit Bloom, and Relic Iron).
Among the other notable changes: Daily Heroic challenges and Daily Patrol bounties now drop destination materials from whichever planet they unfold on; Cryptarch reputation earned for decoding engrams is lowered, but the reward for leveling up your Cryptarch rating is now more likely to include a Legendary drop; and the “Relic Hunter” bounty is no more.