For some Destiny players, a visit from Xur is quite similar to a visit from Santa Claus: waiting up the night before, eagerly anticipating his arrival and the gifts you’ll get to play with the next morning.
And much like Santa’s bag of toys, the loot Xur brings can be a hit or miss.
Xur, Agent of the Nine, is a weekend vendor who sells exotic weapons and exotic armor. His location changes every week, but he has an icon on the map that makes it easy to spot him.
A few Destiny 2 Facebook groups were quick to point out that most of Xur’s stock can be obtained simply through playing the main storyline, including last week’s exotic weapon, Riskrunner.
Of course, some players weren’t too thrilled about this prospect: why grind the game and save up Legendary Shards (there aren’t exotic shards like the original Destiny) just for the opportunity to purchase duplicate exotic gear? Where was the incentive to keep playing the game and collect every weapon and piece of gear if there wasn’t a whole lot to collect?
To those players I have just one question: what did you expect?
Destiny 2 launched on console less than one month ago. One. It should come as no surprise that “the grind” wouldn’t last nearly as long as the final, third-year version of the original Destiny. It’s unfair, and quite frankly, a little silly to compare the two, or expect Destiny’s 2 launch to include the same amount of content as a game that was developed and improved for three years. To expect the variety and quantity Destiny 1 provided at its end peak would do nothing but set you up for disappointment.
Destiny 1’s Xur was a coveted part of the game—he offered god-roll, must-have exotics in addition to helpful consumables like heavy ammo synthesis and Three of Coins (increases your chance for exotic drops). Visiting Xur was a great way to complete exotic collections, while building up your chances for success during PVE or PVP.
However, I think the fact that Destiny 2’s Xur’s exotic collection is obtainable through the story is actually reassuring. Not all players have the time or energy to level up multiple characters and get every story exotic. It’s nice that they can focus on one character and get exotics through dismantling legendary gear, instead of being forced to play through the story more than once. The duplicates can be bothersome at times, but a perhaps unintended effect of this is being more inclusive to players with less time or resources. Everyone can have the same base of gear, and move up from there.
Maybe this simplifies the game, but that makes the sequel more accessible to those who couldn’t keep up with the original Destiny. I enjoy the inclusivity, and Bungie’s appealing to more casual players.
There are also plenty of other ways to farm exotics, namely Heroic Public Events (which had their drop rates lowered after the first week or so) and raid chests. Xur isn’t the only source for end-game content—although it sure would be nice if we could have a community vote on what Exotics Xur is selling for a given week, or if there were higher exotic engram drop rates. (Three of Coins would fix this right up, but oh well.)
Oh, and Bungie, if you’re reading this: please bring back heavy ammo synths. Sincerely, everyone.