Destiny 2 Finally Undoes “Gunsetting” With The Final Shape’s New Power System


Bungie is making major changes to Destiny 2‘s Power levels, the measure of your character’s strength that dictates how difficult content is, in its upcoming expansion, The Final Shape. The biggest change is a new system called Fireteam Power, which brings everyone in your party up to five levels below whoever’s Power is highest, which should allow anyone to join friends and play just about any content they want. That has an interesting knock-on effect, though: It undoes a move Bungie made four years ago, when it “sunsetted” a bunch of guns by putting an upper limit on their Power stats.

The impact of Fireteam Power

The changes to the Power system are outlined in Bungie’s latest This Week in Destiny blog post, which goes into detail about how the entire system is getting overhauled in The Final Shape. First and foremost, the Fireteam Power system will allow you to play just about any content with your friends, so long as someone in your group has a Power level that’s high enough to play that content. The person in a group with the highest Power level becomes the Power Leader, and everyone else gets their Power brought up to five levels under the leader’s level, if their Power isn’t already the same or higher. So if your Power level is 1950 and you’re playing with someone at 2000 Power, when you go into an activity, your Power level will jump up to 1995 for that activity.

As Bungie demonstrates in this image, your Adjusted Power is attuned to the Power Leader in your Fireteam, regardless of the Power score you get from your gear.

The idea here is to let you play whatever content you want with your friends, even if you’re new to the game or haven’t been playing Destiny 2 for years. Fireteam Power won’t change the rewards you get–you’ll still receive weapons and armor that are near your actual Power level, not the adjusted Fireteam Power level. And if you want to play tougher content without some high-level person to boost you, you’ll still need to climb the Power ranks as normal by earning rewards from different activities and increasing the Power levels of your gear. But the change removes any limitations that might keep low-level players from joining up with their high-level friends.

Bungie also acknowledges in the post that since Fireteam Power raises your Power level regardless of the Power on your actual weapons and armor, it would allow players to get around the fact that some older weapons have upper limits on their Power. Bungie put those limits on guns that were released before the Beyond Light expansion in a move players dubbed “gunsetting.” It meant those guns were effectively too weak to use in most future content and rendered them obsolete. That made a lot of people upset, however, since many of the deprecated weapons were fan-favorites that were extremely hard to earn, like The Mountaintop and Luna’s Howl.

Undoing gunsetting

So four years later, Bungie is undoing gunsetting altogether by removing the Power limits on legacy weapons. That means if you still have old versions of weapons like Luna’s Howl or any of the Black Armory weapons, you’ll be able to use them again in The Final Shape.

The Mountaintop in its Brave Arsenal iteration.

However, since it’s been so long, Bungie acknowledges that most players who’ve been around long enough to have those old Legacy guns have probably deleted them by now. Several–Luna’s Howl, The Mountaintop, The Recluse, Blast Furnace, and Hammerhead among them–are already back in the game (or soon will be) in new versions as part of the Brave Arsenal, a slate of reworked legacy weapons Bungie released with the Into the Light content drop launched a few weeks ago. “Most or all” of the other deprecated legacy weapons are also coming back to the game, Bungie says.

“We understand that many old Power limited items have been dismantled by this point, and we regret that we have no recovery mechanism for these,” Bungie wrote. “Going forward, we intend to reintroduce sources for most or all of these, updated to modern Destiny sandbox standards with added properties such as Origin Traits and build-crafting perks (as we have started to do with the BRAVE arsenal in Destiny 2: Into the Light).”

More welcome Power changes

Other changes to Power in The Final Shape are geared toward making it easier to understand what sort of difficulty you’re facing in any given activity. First, Bungie is lowering the Power level caps for all activities so that, generally, it’ll take less grinding to reach the upper Power bands that let you take on the toughest activities. You’ll only need to climb 40 Power levels through The Final Shape, which should be doable by playing through its story campaign, to hit the Powerful level cap at 1940. From there, it’s another 50 levels to the Pinnacle cap at 1990, and 10 more to the hard Power cap for gear at 2000. You’ll climb from there as normal using Artifact power, which is done by playing the game and earning experience points, but will reset with each of Destiny 2’s three “episodes” releasing in the year after The Final Shape.

It’ll also be easier to level up multiple characters going forward. Leveling has always been annoying for anyone who wants to play more than one character in Destiny 2, often requiring convoluted schemes of passing high-level equipment back and forth between each one. Bungie has streamlined that process over the years, but in The Final Shape, you’ll have an Account Power level that takes your best gear into account automatically. That means that after leveling up one character, if you jump to another low-level character, you’ll instantly get drops in line with the higher character’s level–drastically cutting down on the Power grind.

Bungie also shared an image showing how the user interface will change to show you the difficulty of an activity.

Finally, Bungie is changing the interface for activities to make it clearer what Power levels they require and how difficult they’ll be. Activities are now grouped into two sets: Power Disabled, in which the experience is the same regardless of how high or low your Power level is, and Power Enabled, where the strength of your gear determines the difficulty of the activity. However, Power Enabled activities will still have a cap so you can’t drastically outlevel the content to make it super easy.

The Final Shape is also doing away with the old names for activity difficulties, like “Legendary,” in favor of a more straightforward convention. Power Disabled activities include things like the regular Crucible and Gambit activities. Enabled activities are grouped into new difficulty tiers:

  • Standard (Power Cap: 1945): Vanguard Ops, Seasonal activities, Exotic missions, raids, and dungeons
  • Advanced (previously Hero, Power Cap: 1995): Nightfalls
  • Expert (previously Legend, Power Cap: 2005): Nightfalls, Lost Sectors, Seasonal activities, Exotic missions
  • Master (Power Cap: 2010): Nightfalls, Lost Sectors, raids, and dungeons
  • Grandmaster (Power Cap: 2020): Nightfalls

All those changes sound like they’ll go a long way to making it a little easier to level up your character quickly, jump into content with friends, and understand how difficult what you’re about to face will be when you get there. However, there’s no real salve for having deleted all your favorite pre-Beyond Light guns, except maybe that Bungie says it’ll bring them back eventually. We’ll have to wait and see exactly what forms those take.