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What’s Old Is New Again – Upgrading Exotics

The recent Destiny patch brought some notable changes to exotic weapons, but next week’s expansion offers some additional big adjustments. Specifically, exotic items will become available for an upgrade to keep them in line with the new top-tier gear.

Here’s how it works. Upgrading exotic weapons and armor is completed by interacting with the weekend vendor, Xur. When he arrives every Friday morning, he will now have a new option to upgrade one of your equipped exotic items. Each week, he’ll offer some (but not all) exotic items as being available to upgrade.

You’ll need three things. First, you need to own the original version of that exotic item, and turn it in to exchange for the upgraded version. It doesn’t matter if this old version of the item is brand new or fully upgraded. To complete the upgrade, you’ll also need to turn in an exotic shard. This recently introduced new material is available for purchase for seven strange coins from Xur, or by breaking down another existing exotic item in your inventory. Finally, each exotic upgrade costs a hefty dose of cash – around 7000 glimmer as of my playthrough of the expansion in mid-November. After turning all three of these things into Xur, he’ll hand you a brand new version of your item with a higher defense or attack value cap.

It’s important to note that this process resets the upgrades on your exotic item, but you’ll now have a new higher damage or defense cap to work towards – so you’ll need to decide if you’d rather keep your fully upgraded old version of a weapon or armor piece, or start over. With that said, the process of upgrading exotic items is now faster, and does not require ascendant materials. Instead, the last slot requires one additional exotic shard, as revealed in Monday’s patch.

With these changes in mind, players eager to start upgrading their exotics should be looking to save up glimmer this week, and also have enough strange coins on hand to purchase the requisite exotic shards.

Given this new feature, exotic items are ultimately far more valuable and important than standard legendary items. Where your older purple legendary items are left behind with the expansion, this change ensures that exotic items carry forward into the new content, and remain as powerful (and hopefully moreso) than new expansion-tier legendary items. It’s also important to note that these upgradeable exotics are available to all Destiny players once the expansion launches, not just the players who purchase The Dark Below. However, only owners of The Dark Below can get new exotics that launch with the DLC

TL:DR Exotics will be reset this weekend and upgraded. Base attacks will be 302 on in upgraded weapons, but you star scratch. Each exotic upgrade cost glimmer, so max out!

I knew about the Exotic Shards, but no idea about the upgrading of current exotic items. Thanks for the heads up. It’s a good thing my gf is working this weekend haha.

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Stop What You’re Doing and Learn “your” vs “you are”

Also, this is pretty big news.


And @Dynamible right now


Lmao can we hire a moderator to fix my spelling mistakes? I also fixed it.

Heh no worries man, just messing with you. No hate!

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I am now “asking for it”

I wonder if they’ll be worth upgrading or if it’s better to just try to get new exotic gear from the expansion?

From what I can tell you will have to upgrade even new exotics. Also you can only do one a week.

Do you think the PS exclusive weapons will be upgrade-able or not? This is because the rotation for upgrade able weapons rotates and might be same across platforms like it is now for other things Xur sells.

Good question. I think they will, but Idk how they will work it.

Big time. What is max damage for upgrades? This is how flawless raider will happen.

I question now what value ascendant shards have if you’re already level 30. I get they can be used to upgrade other legendary armor, but exotics won’t use them, and the new raid gear will use raid-only materials. They basically made them worthless and I recently pulled ~30 of them in a raid.

The new raid gear will still be legendary, I’m fairly certain that you will still only be able to wear one exotic. So you will still need the ascendant stuffs.

I’ve not followed it super close, but I didn’t see anything about raid gear specific material. The stuff I heard about was the exotic shards that were initially assumed to be raid only.

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Here’s a couple sources of many: Crota’s End Raid Loot; Radiant Shard; Radiant Energy

Radiant shards & energies replace ascendant shards & energies for Crota’s End raid gear. It seems you’ll get them randomly and from breaking down the new raid gear. I don’t know if these materials will also apply to the Vault of Glass gear, or if that gear will still use ascendant materials.

In the wake of all this, here’s hoping there’s a way to turn in ascendant materials (even if it’s just 2:1) for the newer mats.

Yeah. Not only that but I hope it doesn’t take the current standard quantity of material. It would be annoying to have to farm the amount it takes to level up one piece. We’ll see, might be pretty straight forward. Especially considering that it only takes one of the new exotic shards to level now level up an exotic item. Currently anyway.

So my Iron Banner gear at level 30, which I spent a whole week grinding for, is now sub-par because level 33 boots and gloves are now available through the Vanguard. Bummer.

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