The problem with Destiny 2’s transmog system is that it is treated as a grind that spans multiple Seasons of the game. Out of the 10 individual armor pieces players can unlock in any given season, each season in Destiny 2 adds at least one 5-piece armor set to the game. The current capacity for how players unlock cosmetic armor pieces in Destiny 2 makes for a slow process, and the time and effort required don’t match the quantity or quality of the rewards.
Players often resort to monetized cosmetics due to how easily accessible they are compared to the natural method of collecting cosmetic armor ornaments in Destiny 2. The unique armor sets from the Eververse store are in good standing in Destiny 2, but the natural method leaves much to be desired. While the roots of Destiny 2’s transmog system may be too deep to dig up at this point, there’s still plenty from recent games that could influence Destiny 2’s cosmetic systems for the better.
What Destiny 2 Could Learn from Diablo 4’s Transmog System
Transmogrifying armor in Diablo 4 and previous Diablo games is a fairly simple and inexpensive process. Players must obtain the desired gear by any means necessary, and then scrap the equipment to unlock its appearance. One of the biggest things that Destiny 2 could make use of from Diablo 4’s transmog system is how Legendary items are treated. Diablo 4’s Legendary items are the analog to Destiny 2’s Exotic gear, though Diablo 4 gives players a lot more freedom when it comes to cosmetics for top-tier gear.
Most Exotic armor and weapons in Destiny 2 have a few options of ornaments to apply, which act as cosmetic overhauls unique to the related gear. However, in Diablo 4 players can interchange the appearance of every Legendary item universally with the appearance of other Legendaries of the same item type. Unlike Diablo 4’s Legendaries though, Destiny 2 only allows players to equip one Exotic armor and weapon at a time. Even though there is already a system in place for Exotic ornaments in Destiny 2, letting players interchange the appearance of Exotic gear could be an interesting change.
How Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Sets a Good Pace for Earning Cosmetics as Rewards
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has one of the simplest systems for changing the player character’s cosmetic options, due to the process and variety having a lot less depth than games like Destiny 2 or Diablo 4. The different cosmetic options for outfits, hairstyles, droid parts, and weapon parts all come from various collectibles in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Most cosmetics can be found in hidden caches and rewards from completing puzzles around the different planets in the game. The rest of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s cosmetics come from in-game vendors who use planetary treasures as currency.
What Destiny 2 could learn from how Star Wars Jedi: Survivor gives players cosmetics is that, like Diablo 4, unlocking each cosmetic is its own challenge without the added steps of paywalls and time gates. To unlock Legendary gear appearances as universal armor ornaments in Destiny 2, players need to complete a bounty and use the rewarded currency to purchase each individual ornament. Otherwise, players can buy a select few cosmetic sets from Destiny 2's Eververse microtransaction store. The problem with the transmog bounties in Destiny 2 is that there is a limit in place of 10 bounties per character per season, and many players are critical of how convoluted this process is, as opposed to being a worthwhile challenge.
When it comes to armor cosmetics in Destiny 2, the process for obtaining these items is generally too demanding for casual players. The main grievance that the community has with cosmetics is the time gate that stretches out the process into a substantially long commitment. Given how cosmetic items have no inherent advantages in Destiny 2, the collection process is ultimately trapped in an outdated system that could take some pointers from other games.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.