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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!