Joker's Wild added The Reckoning to Destiny 2, and while it is a fun activity with an endless gun grind to sink hours into, its loot is such a crapshoot that it isn't really worth grinding. Bungie's hoping to make the Destiny 2 Season of Opulence (opens in new tab) gear grind more enjoyable and fulfilling by using the Menagerie, the season's new six-player matchmade PvE activity, to give players more direct, actionable ways to acquire exactly the loot they want - if they're willing to put in the time.
As Bungie explained in a recent blog post (opens in new tab), "players who emerge victorious in the Menagerie will use the Chalice to serve up an offering of runes in exchange for the weapons and gear they choose from the selection of items available. The treasure you find will be limited at first, but over time you’ll be able to upgrade the Chalice to acquire more plentiful and powerful rewards."
You can earn different types of runes by completing weekly bounties, opening weekly chests on the new Nessus Barge area, or using new consumables tied to Strike, Crucible, and Gambit completions. Once you have a good selection of runes, you'll put them in the Chalice and queue up for the Menagerie. "Completing the Menagerie will award you the gear you chose with your rune selections," Bungie said, with each rune affecting "what you receive and some of its properties, depending on how you slot them."
Bungie wants players to find out for themselves what rune combinations grant what rewards, but it did share one promising example: "if you wanted to earn a random roll of a 'Beloved' Sniper Rifle with Handling as the Masterwork trait, you would use a Rune of Jubilation, any red rune, and any purple rune."
Bungie was quick to add that "you will still have to grind to get that perfect roll," but that's still some pretty detailed fine-tuning, even more so than the weapon-specific Black Armory Forge bounties, and it should make the Menagerie a much better grind. Loot is more exciting when it's something you want, so I reckon players will be happy to put in a little extra effort into collecting runes if it means upping their chances of getting a specific gun, armor piece, or roll. I would've loved a system like this for The Reckoning, I'll tell you that. The rune grind could also breathe new life into neglected activities like Strikes, which is exciting in its own right.
Just as you can customize the loot you receive, you can also change the pacing of the grind itself by upgrading your Chalice. You can add more rune slots for more precise specialization, increase the rate you earn runes to allow for more rapid Menagerie runs or increase the number of powerful rewards you receive from the Menagerie. I imagine players will start with rune quantity or Power bonuses at the start of the season, then focus on rune slots and specialization later on. Bungie says you can "choose which upgrades you unlock first," so I'm assuming we'll either have all three Chalice upgrades eventually or be able to swap between upgrades when we want to change our grind. If the Menagerie plays out the way it sounds, and the activity itself is fun, it could well be one of the best grinds in Destiny history.
Bungie says "the next chapter of Destiny 2" (opens in new tab) will be revealed on June 6, just two days after the Season of Opulence starts.