The Destiny 2 community, despite being largely pleased with the game, is very upset about shaders. In short, shaders - which you can use to change the color of your gear - are now consumable instead of permanent like in the last game, and a lot of players think that change was made to encourage microtransactions. Game director Luke Smith took to Twitter today to explain the reasoning behind the consumable customization system.
Shaders are earned through gameplay: leveling, chests, engrams, vendors. We expect you’ll be flush w/ Shaders as you continue to play. (1/4)September 7, 2017
When you reach level 20, Shaders will drop more often: vendor rewards, destination play and endgame activities. (2/4)September 7, 2017
Let me interrupt Smith here to note that a lot of players like the other part of Destiny 2's new shaders: the ability to individually colorize each piece of gear. The one-time use (or three-time, or five-time, depending on how many you have in your stack) part? Not so much. But here's why he still thinks it's a good idea.
Shaders are now an ongoing reward for playing. Customization will inspire gameplay. Each planet has unique armor and Shader rewards. (3/4)September 7, 2017
With D2, we want statements like "I want to run the Raid, Trials, or go back to Titan to get more of its Shader" to be possible. (4/4)September 7, 2017
I hadn't considered it from that perspective before. But I'm still not sold on the idea. The only original Destiny raid I ever cleared was Vault of Glass (thanks to the patient leadership of GR+'s own Andy Hartup); as such, the Chatterwhite shader I received for my victory was one of the biggest points of pride in my entire collection. I enjoyed equipping it from time to time just to run around the Tower and prove I did it. Under Destiny 2's new system, one of two things would happen. Either, a) my stack of Chatterwhite would sit unused in my Vault because I'm not a high-level player and I wouldn't know if or when I'd get another opportunity to collect more; or b), I'd say "screw it" and apply the precious shader to my current set of gear, then hate myself for wasting it when I got better stuff.
Maybe turning shaders into an "ongoing reward" will be fun enough on its own to make up for that little bit of extra anxiety. We'll all find out together, given Smith's statements - it sounds like Bungie doesn't plan to change the system any time soon. Also, reminder: shaders aside, the rest of the game seems really good, according to our Destiny 2 review-in-progress.