Bungie has announced a plan to make a new, more accessible version of the hardest weapon to get in Destiny 2 - and now the community is questioning the very nature of the grind itself.
Redrix's Claymore is a legendary quality pulse rifle with a unique perk combo: Outlaw and Desperado. In combination, these two perks are devastating for competitive multiplayer in particular. Outlaw sees precision kills greatly decrease reload time, while Desperado sees reloading while Outlaw is active increase your rate of fire. In short, Redrix's Claymore is a pretty relentless death dealer.
But, it's pretty rare, because it's so hard to obtain. To get it, you need to reach the "Fabled" Glory rank in competitive Crucible. If you have a 50 per cent win / loss rate in competitive Crucible, you need to play around 440 games to get the necessary 2200 points to reach the Fabled Glory Rank. That's a lot of matches in Destiny 2's most hardcore competitive multiplayer mode.
And it's not just a case of soldiering through competitive Crucible to get the gun, either. Climbing the Glory rank ladder is incredibly tough. In competitive there's no radar, severe losing streak penalties and you end up being punished when players drop out. Recently, Bungie announced only 8750 players had Redrix's Claymore. For a game with millions of players, that's a shockingly low amount, but for those who have tried to get the gun, it perhaps comes as no surprise.
And so we come to the upcoming launch of season four of Destiny 2, and planned changes to the game outlined by Bungie. In the latest Bungie Weekly Update post, the developer said one of its goals is to remove the time pressures associated with Glory ranks and as part of that it said Shaxx, boss of the Crucible, will offer a new quest players can complete to earn Redrix's Broadsword, which is described as a "companion weapon" to Redrix's Claymore.
It sounds a lot like a clone of Redrix's Claymore that some believe will be even better through the new modification system coming to Destiny 2. It features a similar talent arrangement, Bungie said, but it does not share the lore and Triumphs associated with Redrix's Claymore. Crucially, it does have the fixed Outlaw + Desperado combination.
(Redrix's Claymore, by the way, is being retired in season four. If you're one of the few who have it, you'll still be able to use it, but you can't earn it beyond season three.)
As a filip to those who invested time into the grind for Redrix's Claymore, if you got the gun in season three, you'll receive additional bonuses, such as an exclusive emblem. Also, if you got the Claymore, you don't have to complete the quest for the Broadsword, you get instant access to it, so you'll be one of the few running around with the gun on day one. (Also, random roll versions will have a chance to drop from Crucible engrams straight away.)
This revelation sparked a vociferous debate within the Destiny 2 community, with some who obtained the Redrix's Claymore wondering why they bothered now the game will make a clone of the gun more accessible. I've seen scores of comments online from players who feel their massive investment in the grind for the Redrix's Claymore means the gun should remain exclusive to those who hit Fabled Glory rank in competitive Crucible. The new Redrix's Broadsword, these players claim, devalues not just Redrix's Claymore, but what it represents.
Adding spice to the debate is the fact that some players spent real world money to get Redrix's Claymore. People paid hundreds of dollars to Destiny 2 Crucible experts to obtain the weapon for them. Epic Carry, for example, charges $350 for someone to play on your account and grind for Redrix's Claymore (the boost takes between one and 14 days, apparently).
All the people who spent hundreds of dollars for Redrix's Claymore account recoveries after realizing that you can get the exact same gun in Season 4. pic.twitter.com/29D6LySwt7— Ari Smith (@tripleWRECK) August 16, 2018
Responding to the sentiment around Redrix's Claymore and its clone, senior multiplayer designer at Bungie, Kevin Yanes said the developer "wanted more players to experience the Outlaw+Desperado combo", but "we didn't want to give it away for free".
Yanes added: "The quest to achieve Broadsword will take considerable time and energy to complete and will warrant the reward at the end."
While we wanted more players to experience the Outlaw+Desperado combo we didn't want to give it away for free. Your achievement in earning Claymore is memorialized in the Triumphs and via emblem. You will also be a part of the few running around with Broadsowrd on day 1.— Kevin Yanes (@Tocom11) August 16, 2018
In a follow-up post on Bungie.net, the developer revealed the quest steps to obtain Redrix's Broadsword, and it does indeed look like it'll take a long time to get the gun. (You need to spend a long long time in the Crucible, basically.)
Of note, you need to reach the "Heroic" Valor rank, and reset your Valor rank five times within a single season. This means that unlike the grind for Redrix's Claymore, the grind for Redrix's Broadsword does not involve Glory ranks, which means it's easier.
Bungie's explanation for its decision-making around Redrix's Claymore makes sense when you consider so few managed to get the gun. We're talking about sub one per cent of the playerbase using this cool unique perk combo in Destiny 2. I suspect Bungie thought a higher percentage of Destiny 2 players would end up with the gun, and failed to anticipate just how difficult competitive multiplayer would turn out to be, particularly given the brutal, gruelling Glory rank climb in season three.
But was the right answer to make a more accessible version of the gun? Those who battled to get Redrix's Claymore are answering no to that question right now - and I kind of feel they have a point. But the debate has raised an interesting, more general question about video game rewards: does virtual item "exclusivity" have a shelf life? If so, how long should it last?
What is the grind, anyway?