I’m not a big fan of crafting in video games. Too often, it just feels like busywork to me. That said, Destiny 2 weapon crafting has been pretty good since it debuted in Witch Queen a few months ago. It isn’t perfect, and it’s definitely had some unintended consequences on how people play the game, but it’s an interesting system. Now that we’ve had a while to see how it works, here’s everything good, bad, and ugly about weapon crafting in Destiny 2.
More control over playstyle — Being able to work towards a specific roll of a weapon feels good. I love being able to tune for specific, weird rolls like Swashbuckler/Grave Robber on an SMG, or meta ones like my Perpetual Motion/Elemental Capacitor Piece of Mind.
Simplicity — When it was introduced in Witch Queen, weapon crafting was far too complicated. There were too many materials to keep track of, each obtained from different gear and used to craft different perks. Thankfully, Season 17 has dropped all of these and now the process is quite straightforward: unlock a weapon pattern through Deepsight Extractions, use Resonant Elements and Alloy to craft your gear, use it a lot to open up new perks. Easy.
Promotes a sense of investment in your gear — One thing games like Warframe have had over Destiny 2 historically is that they allow for much more customization of your equipment, down to unique names, charms, and more. Weapon crafting and especially mementos have begun to push Destiny 2 in this direction, making players more attached to their glaive or shotgun or whatever rather than just a drop of a weapon.
Incentive to try out different weapons — Unlocking weapons for crafting requires you to find and use red-bordered versions of them. I like how this encourages players to play around with weapons and rolls they might not otherwise touch, even if it’s just until they can fill up the Deepsight progress bar and then shard the gun. Some players hate being forced into playing in a specific way or with specific weapons (see: anti-Champion mods) but this is a pretty low-stakes way of getting players to mess around with different things in Destiny 2.
Enhanced perks make crafted weapons distinct — While they don’t all have a massive impact, the introduction of Enhanced Perks for crafted weapons means they aren’t just customizable versions of existing drops — they can be built in specific, improved ways that distinguish them from other versions of the same gear.
Destiny 2 Weapon Crafting — The Bad
Season 17 Deepsight inflation — In season 16, it took three Deepsight Extractions to be able to craft the seasonal weapons. So why now, in season 17, are we up to 5? I still haven’t crafted any of the seasonal weapons, because I’m at like 3/5 on several of them. I actually kind of like the Deepsight unlock system, but this just feels like unnecessary padding.
It’s ok if Raid and Dungeon gear requires more Deepsight Extractions to craft, but five seems like an awful lot for seasonal weapons. Three across the board for seasonal weapons seems fine to me. Edit (6/21/22): Having run Duality a lot without having seen a single red box, five Deepsight Extractions is way too many. Five might be ok for Raids considering you can guarantee red boxes, but even that is pushing it. Five for a Dungeon with no way to focus gear and a drop rate this low is completely unhinged.
Not enough cosmetic options — It’s cool that we get those nice masterworked borders around our crafted weapons now, and there are even more ways that Destiny 2 could increase investment in our gear through aesthetic means that wouldn’t upset the crafted/drops balance. Let us equip a range of titles to our weapons, maybe, or little trinkets like in other first-person shooters. It would be easy to go overboard with this, but more aesthetic customization would make crafted gear feel more unique.
Material caps — Maybe I’m just not crafting enough (but maybe I would be doing it more if the Deepsight Extraction requirements weren’t so high) but I hit my cap of Resonant Alloy and Elements early on in this season. So now I’ve got a bunch of Deepsight weapons with exclamation marks in my vault, but there’s no reason for me to actually go through with the Extraction.
Drops are devalued — I didn’t really expect this, but I simply don’t pay attention to drops of craftable weapons anymore, even before I’ve unlocked crafting for them. If they don’t have a red border, I don’t care if they have a god roll — I’m going to craft it eventually anyway, so why bother? This might just be a quirk of my weird brain and way of playing Destiny 2, but I suspect it’s a pattern of thinking that other players have adopted too. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a weird one.
If you’re looking for more help with Destiny 2, we have guides covering how to unlock the Solar 3.0 fragments and grenades, how to get the new Jotunn catalyst, how to farm Vestiges of Dread and Opulent Umbral Energy, all Exotics, new weapon Patterns, seasonal mods, and Season of the Haunted triumphs. In addition, we’re covering all patch notes, bugs and top issues, Bound in Sorrow quest steps, and Calus Bobbleheads. We’ve covered how to get Opulent Keys, Bound Presence in Containment, Crown of Sorrow H.E.L.M. upgrades, Iron Banner Seal Triumphs, and the Trespasser Catalyst. And lastly, we’ve written on how to find a Loyalist Commander for Battles Lines Triumph and the Cek’ik Boss.