New Exotic Upgrade Process!

Published on: Dec 3, 2014 @ 11:36

The Dark Below is the upcoming Destiny expansion, which drops on December 9th.

GameInformer was given access to it early, and has a lot of cool information to share, including the new pre-expansion Exotic upgrade process!

Upgrading Exotics

Pre-expansion Exotic items will become available for an upgrade to keep them in line with the new Exotic gear!

Upgradeable Exotics are available to everyone, however, only owners of The Dark Below can use the new Exotics that launch with the DLC.

Keep in mind that besides the final node, only Planetary materials (now purchasable) and Glimmer are needed to upgrade Exotics.

How does it work?

You’re able to upgrade your Exotics through Xûr. When he arrives, he will now have a new option to upgrade one of your equipped Exotic items.

Each week, he’ll offer some – but not all – Exotic upgrade choices. So, some weekends your Exotic item may not be eligible.


For an item to be eligible to be upgraded, you’ll need to hand over that item, as well as an Exotic Shard, to Xûr, Agent of the Nine.

Exotic Shards are obtained by dismantling an Exotic (upgraded Exotics will net 2 Shards) or buying them from Xûr for 7 Strange Coins.

Each Exotic upgrade costs around 7,000 Glimmer. After handing over the Exotic (fully upgraded or not – it doesn’t matter), you’ll receive a new version of your item with a higher defense or attack value.

For example: 1 Apotheosis Veil + 1 Exotic Shard + 7,000 Glimmer = Upgraded Max Defense Apotheosis Veil

Upgrading Exotic armor will allow you to increase your total Light level!

Note: This process resets the XP gained on that Exotic item; you’ll have to unlock all of the upgrades from scratch, but that’s easier now without the need for Ascendant materials.

Legendary Gear Isn’t Eligible

Legendary gear will not benefit from this new upgrade process.

Furthermore, buying new Legendary items – all of them are listed here – now requires that you gain Crucible or Vanguard Commendations.

The upgrade process for Crucible/Vanguard Legendary gear hasn’t been changed; you’ll still need Ascendant materials (or Radiant materials for raid gear).

Eris Morn & Quest Lines

We’ve also got some new information about The Dark Below PvE experience.

With the expansion comes increased difficulties for Heroics and Nightfall Strikes; a new tier for level 32 (power level 144) has been added for the Weekly Strikes.

will of crota quest


Quest lines are the main way Eris tells the story, and they’re used to combine the PvE experience.

Each quest includes multiple steps, and the end of a quest line often provides a designated reward. The initial story mission quest line ends with the acquisition of Murmur.

Upon completing the story mission quest line, Eris offers two additional quest lines that carry the story past those missions with smaller, bite-sized events that you’ll track down in the game world.

New PvE Mechanics

There’s a few mechanics introduced early on that will be used in future content, in greater difficulties. For example:

  • “A Dark Burden” eliminates the ability to use their vertical movement mode.
  • Damaging energy circle on the ground, forcing careful movement.

Check out if you’d like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)


  • Reflex

    hmm interesting. I like how Bungie is trying to incorporate Xur more to attempt to distance Xur from just the “exotic smuggler” image

    • Niklas bomber

      well with the bad juju bounty theres a part called the the blackmarketers coupon

  • Paratrooper2000

    Does that mean I have to re-do all the upgrades on my exotics to get the higher damage?

    • Paratrooper2000

      Yes, it does… 🙁

      You’ll need three things. First, you need to own the original version of that exotic item, and turn it in to exchange for the upgraded version. It doesn’t matter if this old version of the item is brand new or fully upgraded. To complete the upgrade, you’ll also need to turn in an exotic shard. This recently introduced new material is available for purchase for seven strange coins from Xur, or by breaking down another existing exotic item in your inventory. Finally, each exotic upgrade costs a hefty dose of cash – around 7000 glimmer as of my playthrough of the expansion in mid-November. After turning all three of these things into Xur, he’ll hand you a brand new version of your item with a higher defense or attack value cap.

      It’s important to note that this process resets the upgrades on your exotic item, but you’ll now have a new higher damage or defense cap to work towards – so you’ll need to decide if you’d rather keep your fully upgraded old version of a weapon or armor piece, or start over.

      • Niklas bomber

        you dont have to redo all of them, just do the ones youll us in dlc most often not just use all of them, like basic gear then the
        “elite” gear

  • h1zz

    I like the changes.
    Good content as always, PlanetDestiny.

    This might be a typo: “Upgradeable Exotics are available to everyone – even those ***with*** The Dark Below expansion”

  • Animeman

    I think they should have given the role of exotic upgrader to the gunsmith on the tower. He is pretty much obsolete after level 20

  • Animeman

    Can the Vex Mythoclast be upgraded to the same strength as the Nechrochasm in the same way?

    • jns

      I think so, maybe even better as it has already 323 attack at max.

  • Phillip Viera

    Will the vex raid gear be obsolete then??? I heard there will be a higher difficulty of the VOG so does that mean we’ll get higher quality VOG gear too? Maybe?

    • Thomas Harrison

      no it just means we wont have to grind crucible and vanguard rep to get to level 30 to do the normal will of crota raid

    • Niklas bomber

      Well no, the vex gear is what is advised to use going in to the hell mouth for the new raid, anyway ill seldom remove my vision of conflux

  • Ti-1800

    So we’ll need a ton of Glimmer for the upgrades, not to mention Strange coins… What’s the max amount of Glimmer we can hold, 25000?

  • BAMozzy69 .

    VERY disappointed to hear about the process for upgrading current Exotics up to the standard of the new DLC exotics.

    I am disappointed to hear that the progression will be lost. I have all but 2 of the currently available Exotics, all upgraded.I have put in a lot of time, effort, XP,, Glimmer and resources (Ascendants, planet materials etc) and will have nothing to reflect this. I will be in exactly the same position as someone who has just acquired, never used or upgraded a single aspect of the weapon.. Its a big kick in the teeth.I don’t want to get a Telemetry for all that effort either but think we should keep our progress and NOT have to go through the whole leveling up process again.

    Upgrading Exotics only changes the value of attack/defence, its not re-rolling its perks like reforging iron Banner weapons did. I earned the Icebreaker and Devourer perks, I earned the extra grenade on the Armamentarium and extra golden gun shot on the Aclyophage Symbiote for example. I paid the required fee to get these things and fully upgrade all my exotics yet have to pay it all again where people who get them now haven’t

    I wouldn’t mind if there was just a fee involved to upgrade the attack stats but doesn’t change or alter your progress. To me that sounds fair. That way if someone now acquires the base version they still have to put exactly the same resources into it as I have to get it to the same standard. Why am I being penalised to upgrade my fully upgraded items by having to pay again to upgrade it to a better standard. Those that haven’t upgraded anything only pay once to unlock each stage after paying Xur.

    At the moment for example, I have a fully upgraded Icebreaker. I have invested time and resources to get it to that stage. Someone could buy Icebreaker from Xur on Friday and stick it in the Vault. When Xur offers the opportunity to upgrade this to the higher standard, we both purchase this option and both have exactly the same weapon now,. They only have to invest time and resources into it once, yet i have to do it all again. My Icebreaker will have double the time and resources invested in it but will still be the same as theirs. I know they have changed the upgrade system but I earned 18 Ascendant Energy to get mine upgraded. In effect this now could be an Exotic Shard which costs 7 Strange Coins. Upgrading any fully upgraded exotic is now the equivalent of 14 Strange Coins (2 Exotic Shards) to their 1

    What would be fair is that what ever stage your exotic item is at, is carried over. Therefore if you have upgraded 4 things, 4 that point carries over. People still have to invest the same time and resources into it regardless.

    Lets take Icebreaker as an example. Mine is rated at 300 attack. Someone gets it and has never used it has a much lower attack, no perks unlocked etc. We both go to Xur and buy the upgrade. Now both of our weapons are identical with identical attacks. Whilst I may gain a higher attack rating (assume its base is now 302 – similar to images of Dragons Breath – upgradeable to 331), I gain 2 attack, they gain 28, I lose ALL the progress, glimmer and resources I put into that weapon – I have to pay twice to their once too

    Add that up over all my weapons AND Armour, its quite a lot. The last 3 Attack upgrades alone took 18 energy,/shards, 48 materials and around 1,000 glimmer (I can’t remember the glimmer amount now) or if you upgraded since the Patch 3400 glimmer, an exotic Shard (7 Strange coins or an Exotic items worth) as well as planet materials too.

    I don’t know when the next DLC is likely to drop but if that increases the level of Exotics again, will I have to repeat this process of losing my progress and resources yet again as well as doing this with any/all of the Dark Below exotics to bring them up to the level of the House of Wolves DLC?

    Its literally just a change in the Attack/Defence stat and as we have seen with the latest patch, Bungie can easily do this across the board. Personally I think they should just update all exotics to keep them in line with DLC Exotics. That way no progress or resources are lost ad keeps these weapons from being redundant or replaced.

    I would of course prefer to see whatever status your weapon is at is carried over. It isn’t cheap with the glimmer cap either.

    IF Xur sells some Exotic I don’t have and Shards this Friday, there is NO reason to use them knowing full well that ALL progress and the Shards will be lost as soon as you upgrade these items again

    • I agree. It’s kind of a slap in the face for all the work that has been put into something. It seems like Bungie is not taking into the fact how much time people have to put into this game. It feels like they just throw shit at the wall and see what sticks….

      • BAMozzy69 .

        It is a joke that having spent time, (not only using the items but collecting sufficient) resources to upgrade them, we no lose everything and have to invest again – compared to those that newly acquire these who only need to invest once – unless of course they do exactly the same when the House of Wolves is released!

        Like I said, I think it would be better and fairer that everyone has to invest the same amount regardless. If that means paying Xur to upgrade its stats then fair enough as log as it keeps all the upgrades to the same point.

        There are only a few Exotics I don’t own currently available. If I am lucky enough to get these now there is NO point in using them until I can upgrade it further!

        There is NO point in buying Shards this week (if available) unless you store them in your vault – certainly no point in applying them.

        There is NO point in using any Exotic that is partially upgraded or investing in them any further…

    • kp

      stop crying, they made it easier to upgrade exotics for a reason. You get 30 bounty opportunities between 3 toons, with telemetry thats a quick process. not to mention it starts off out the gate at a higher attack value of 302 so it will do more damage than your maxed out version right away. im laughing out loud at your rant.

      • BAMozzy69 .

        That’s NOT the point! so I go up by 2 Attack on a Weapon but lose all the resources invested, lose all the perks I unlocked to go up by 2 attack compared to someone who has not invested anything can go up by 28 attack.
        I shouldn’t have to use Telemetries and as I have around 30 Exotics and can only equip 1 weapon and 1 piece of Armour at a time, it will take quite a bit longer.
        There is NO incentive to use or invest in any new Exotic until Xur gives you the opportunity to upgrade it.

        • James

          So instead of being thankful that Bungie is allowing previous exotics from becoming obsolete in PVE (normal practice in other games), you are complaining that your lvl 30 exotics aren’t being catapulted to max lvl 32 exotics for a shard and some glimmer, just because you spent some previous effort. It only makes sense that to reach the next max tier, you need to invest more time into it, as well as balancing the progression playing field. If that’s too much work for you, I recommend sticking to crucible where it doesn’t matter.

        • kp

          idk why you would upgrade all your exotics especially armor….1 armor piece for each toon so that piece can carry you to 32. dumb to do anymore than that.

          • BAMozzy69 .

            I upgraded various different Armour pieces for different reasons and Sub-classes. There is little point wearing Voidfang Vestments when you are a Sunsinger or Heart of the Praxis Fire if you are a Voidwalker. There is little point wearing Achlyophage Symbiote if you are a Bladedancer or Mask of Third Man if you are a gunslinger….. etc.
            I use different exotics for different situations and sub-classes.
            Its the same for my weaponry. I don’t just use Icebreaker or my Vex exclusively I actually enjoy using a variety of weapons although I must admit some don’t get used as often as others. Even Universal Remote gets used occasionally even though I don’t play PvP.
            I know its NOT a game beaker but I still can’t help feeling disappointed by this decision. I do think it would have been fairer that everyone pay the same to get their weapons to the same point. I would have preferred it if that you paid to upgrade and it upgraded it to the same point.

        • kp

          no, you start off 2 higher than you had, ends at 31 higher damage.

          • BAMozzy69 .

            I know it ends up 31 higher but the initial jump is +2. Those not invested anything have an initial jump of +28 and overall potential of +57

          • kp

            it is what it is, they couldve just told you “Hey those legendary and exotics you currently have? We arent doing anything with em, they will stay at 300 – happy hunting lol”

  • Lucas

    ok… but this only reset progression right? Or it changes the perks too?

    • Christian

      The perks are locked in. They wont change, all exotics have the exact same perks as their duplicates (:

      • Lucas

        Thank you. I was really worried about that 🙂

        I love my patience and time, it would not be as good as it is (for me) with other perks.

        • Christian

          I agree. They carefully hand pick all the perks. In fact, if you haven’t noticed yet, on Monday they added a new perk to “Patience and Time” that makes the scope a lower zoom. I find it very useful.

          • Lucas

            Yeah, its way better than snapshot in patience and time. But i think field scout is needed, at least in PvE.

  • Christian

    I’m glad they did this. Yes, it has disposed of a lot of effort to upgrade exotics, but it is re-establishing the importance of exotic gear and teaching us that we should be connected to these special weapons rather than treat them like disposable assets of our arsenal. I’m only a few Exotics short of completing my collection. I felt so much more thankful for my exotics when I had my first few, now I nearly have all of them, they just don’t feel so special. Now it’s back to the basics. People should learn “No, you can’t just upgrade ALL of your exotics. You need to pick your favourite, the one you really connect with, make it your companion and treat it with up-most respect.”

    I’ve had many exotics, but the one that feels special to me is “Thorn”. I am happy to invest my time and passion into this weapon to make it stronger. I’m not even that fussed about buffing out: “Pocket Infinity”, “Invective”, “Bad JuJu”, “Super Good Advice”, “The Last Word”, “Suros Regime”, “Patience and Time” etc. etc. They are my “Other” exotics, they are good, but not relate-able. I appreciate the update. It will take time for others to take it in, but people do need to now learn that Exotics shouldn’t be treated like a normal weapon. They are more than that.

    • Niklas bomber

      I agree, my “connected weapon” is invective and plan c because they are my favorite and first exotics, i do have super good advice but i dot really like so i would not upgrade it

      • Christian

        I’m glad someone agrees (: It was the way Bungie wanted exotics in the first place. I don’t think they ever expected any players to have so many, so they are introducing systems to filter them out again and trying to make them more reputable.

        • Niklas bomber

          anyway its going to be a while till house of wolves plenty of time to kill with training them

          • Christian

            Yeah. We’ll have our armouries up to par in no time. If we didn’t get these resets and upper levels I feel like we’d run out of things to do. Progressing our gear is half the fun (:

      • Christian

        I’m glad someone agrees (: It was the way Bungie wanted exotics in the first place. I don’t think they ever expected any players to have so many, so they are introducing systems to filter them out again and trying to make them more reputable.

    • Jimmy Jenga

      I’ve poured 99.9% of my time into one character (I did start another that was lvl2 then deleted it). Not that I don’t want to try out the other characters, I just want to see how this character evolves through the game. Same thing with weapons that I acquire, I’ve locked myself in to weapons that will grow my character through the expanded content added. Those are just my choices as a gamer. If I over think how I play or question the developers direction that’ll get in the way of the basic of what it is..entertainment…fun…a hobby. Hobbies are investments folks, whether it’s $ put in or time.

      Gotta give it up to David Vonderhaar from Treyarch. He posts the most polite comments in the Destiny Bungie forum that I’ve ever seen.

      • Christian

        Pretty much same here. I like my titan. Tried Warlocks but it doesn’t feel right. Haha.

        I totally agree. I have quite a connection with my Titan, I’m only really interested in his path and his arsenal.

        You’ve got it. Just go with the flow. It just shows you know what gaming is all about. It’s about having fun and letting the changes take you to new places that you want to experience and even enjoy. If we spend our time complaining, It’s just a waste. We don’t owe it to games if we don’t enjoy them. They are simply here for us to enjoy (: