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At this point, I’m calling it. It’s pretty clear now that Bungie is never going to be able to catch up with its outstanding list of exotic weapon catalysts Destiny 2 needs. And as such, it’s time for at least a stopgap fix to alleviate one of the primary problems with this situation.
Right now, best I can count, there are 26 exotic weapons in Destiny 2 without catalysts, and the current pace is to add no more than 1-2 old catalysts per season. This time in Season of the Splicer we got the Deathbringer catalyst, and that was it. We do already have catalysts for the two new exotics this season, Cryothesia and Mythoclast, but that’s not always the case, and so the list almost always gets longer or stays the same. It never goes down in any significant way.
Here’s the list as it stands right now:
The Last Word
One Thousand Voices
Eyes of Tomorrow
Many of these are stuck in a weird gap of time between years 2-3, as eventually all year 1 weapons did get catalysts, and then Bungie started a system where a lot of new weapons (all season pass ones and secret quest ones) launch with a catalyst. But a lot were lost in the middle.
I don’t think it’s an “easy answer” to say that Bungie needs to devote a ton of time and work to making literal catalysts for all of these, upping the output to 8-10 a season to catch up within a year. Or having a “season of catalysts” to do them all. That is much easier said than done. Keep in mind, you have to think about a tremendous amount of testing and balancing for all of these, as lately, almost all catalysts are significantly more involved than just adding some stats (though even that would have to be tested thoroughly). As such, it makes sense why Bungie is devoting more time and effort to making new guns and exotics and catalysts rather than going back to old ones in any significant capacity.
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But that leaves a lot of these current weapons handicapped because of one thing that is tied to having an exotic catalyst: orb generation.
Exotic weapons without catalysts cannot generate orbs. Given that orbs give you super, orbs can give you ability regen and orbs can generate Charged with Light for builds, that’s a pretty significant thing.
The stopgap solution I’ve said before, heard others agree with, and want to say again?
Let us masterwork all these exotics, which would allow for them to generate orbs like a normal masterworked gun. No, we wouldn’t get a stat bonus (it would be a whole other can of worms to introduce stat-specific masterworks for exotics), but at least the orb problem would be solved. And I don’t even care if it costs prisms and an Ascendant Shard to do this (not three like armor though, please), so long as it was possible.
For some weapons, the ability to generate orbs would be its own sort of catalyst, especially Wavesplitter, which gets bonus power on orb pickup. For others, specially a primary like Monte Carlo or Le Monarque or Traveler’s Chosen, even the ability to generate orbs would be a big boon to their usability in PvE especially. Right now, you often don’t want to pick many of these weapons for almost that reason alone.
Of course I would still love to see actual catalysts made for this, I’m not abandoning that idea entirely. Bungie has done some excellent work with many catalysts lately, Trinity Ghoul probably being the gold standard, and I’d love to see more transformational ones like that. Clearly some of these weapons are doing just fine without catalysts (Anarchy, Xenophage), but it’s not just about sheer strength.
Anyway, I think this interim step with masterworking is needed. Otherwise, we’ll be just picking away at these 1-2 at a time for half the next decade, ultimately getting nowhere.
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