In the wake of Bungie’s first twitch reveal about Destiny The Taken King many players came to a disappointing but unconfirmed realization. Bungie quickly solidified the unsettling news in their weekly update: the Gjallarhorn is getting left behind. One of the major pieces of the reveal about The Taken King was a run down of how year 1 exotics can be leveled up to year 2 status with new perks, power, and even aesthetics. Many are calling foul as we were given the impression that year 1 legendaries were being left behind but that exotics would still have a means to be leveled up. While I think leaving behind the Gjallarhon will be a good decision in the long run, I think Bungie totally botched and mishandled this with respect to the community.
Death by Xur
The biggest reason the news about the Gjallarhorn not coming into year 2 is making waves is because Xur just got done giving lots of players an early Christmas present. I’m fairly confident that the portion of the community who didn’t have a Gjallarhorn yet would have been much happier to never get one after hearing it’s stuck in year 1. What good is it to finally flood the community with the most coveted gun if you are locking it in time? My main frustration with this is that it just feeds into and fuels all the conspiracies and unwavering cynicism about Bungie and what they think of their community. Why couldn’t you just say, “You don’t need a Gjallarhorn because it’s getting left behind for better gear.”? Instead Bungie effectively told players, “Here’s something you could have used three months ago to get passed LFG hurtles, but we decided to hold on to it until right before it becomes irrelevant.” And here’s the kicker, I’m glad Gjallarhorn is getting left behind, and that’s what makes this even more disappointing.
Time to move on
The Gjallarhorn has had its day and caused enough controversy. It’s far more exciting and better for the community in the long run to move the game and weapons forward. It would start to feel like a flat tire if in the midst of all the new content, missions, bosses, gear, and guns to still have the ominous and powerful Gjallarhorn hanging around. I feel for those who just recently got one to drop or finally snagged one from Xur, but the weapon truly became its own entity within the universe of Destiny. Hopefully there are no new Gjallarhorns in The Taken King weapon pools, and the top of the weapon pyramid is more diverse and accessible. The encouraging thing is that Bungie has made it clear there will be more deterministic ways to get gear in the game, so my hope is we won’t have any more illusive godlike weapons. However, the temptation to create more community fueled controversy and hype surrounding one weapon may be too great for Bungie to pass up.
200 pound feather
To a point I think the Gjallarhorn is a strange feather in Bungie’s cap. That’s not to say this feather doesn’t come with a host of negatives and problems, but it’s no small thing to have an item from your game be the number one trending word on Twitter two days in a row. Destiny is clearly succeeding in channeling passion from its player base. The only concern I have is that this trend will continue with certain guns like the Thorn and the Gjallarhorn rising to the top and becoming so rare and coveted that they become the primary focus of most of the player base. With the updated RNG system and more intentional paths to gear the game should be able to shift in focus and be more about coming together with the community and working on missions, quests, and raids instead of playing the Destiny slots for a new highly coveted weapon. I know Bungie enjoys having different guns rise to the top and have a season of dominance, let’s just hope they make more in-roads for the community so when they start running wild in PVP they are at least accessible for most people.
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